N.J. Car Accidents and Soft Tissue Injuries don’t Mix


N.J> Car Accidents

Why not eliminate No Fault Car Insurance, altogether?

One, of many, objectives of the N.J. No Fault Law

Whereas, since the enactment of the verbal threshold in 1988, the substantial increase in the cost of medical expense benefits indicates that the benefits are being over utilized for the purpose of gaining standing to sue for pain and suffering, thus undermining the limitations imposed by the threshold and necessitating the imposition of further controls on the use of those benefits, including the establishment of a basis for determining whether treatments or diagnostic tests are medically necessary”

Soft tissue injuries

In exchange for a significant reduction of your car insurance premium when you select the “Limitation of Lawsuit” Threshold, you essentially agree to give up your right to initiate a lawsuit against a negligent driver for your pain and suffering for “minor injuries.” A Soft tissue injury is one involving injury to:

…the ligaments, tendons and fibers of the body that connect the skeletal bones. Ligaments are the bands of tissues that hold bones together, and tendons are cords of tissues attaching muscle to bones.

Soft tissue injuries, such as lower back pain from an auto accident, are difficult to prove because there is no absolute way to document the presence of pain or suffering in some soft tissue cases. Proof of a soft tissue injury is typically established through medical records documenting results of medical examinations and the injured’s complaints of pain and expert testimony.”

Why do soft tissue injuries evoke such passionate antipathy from car insurance companies and defense lawyers? Because  health care providers tend to significantly over treat neck and back sprains and strains. It is not unusual to find a chiropractor, MRI company, EMG specialist, and a gaggle of other health care providers lined up to treat a sprain/strain type of injury, with total medical expenses in excess of $15,000.  If the victim of car accident negligence is lucky, she may recover between $5,000 -$15,000. More likely, her recovery for pain and suffering (non-economic injuries) will be less than her medical bills. I am a life time, dyed in the polyester, true blue plaintiff’s lawyer; but this practice is shameful!

Has the N.J. No Fault Law reduced the cost of car insurance?

I don’t think so. There’s got to be a better way than care paths, pre-certifications, and use of nurse case managers who claim to be on the side of the victim/patient; but are really Inspector Clouseau’s for the car insurance companies. Why not scrap this unmanageable, convoluted  No Fault System; and return to the days of yesteryear when car insurance companies were not medical insurance companies? What direction has your car insurance premium traveled in the last decade, up or down? What do you think? Do I have your vote?


About Lawrence "Larry" Berezin

I retired from the private practice of law after a 35-year legal career and fight parking tickets for people like you and me. I love sharing valuable information and beating NYC parking tickets for the driving community in NYC

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