3 Ways to Lose your Right to Sue in a N.J. Car Accident

The N.J. car accident story 

NJ car accident

Make sure your auto is insured

I received a telephone call from a potential personal injury client yesterday. Judy fractured her left leg, and suffered a 10 inch laceration along the right side of her forehead in a car accident in N.J. on December 22, 2010.  She spent two weeks in St. Barnabas Medical Center, and was discharged to home. Judy explained she was stopped for a red light on Livingston Avenue when her car was slammed in the rear by another automobile.

Judy said there was just one, small problem…She was driving her car without the required No Fault Insurance coverage. I winced, but just didn’t have the heart to tell her the bad news.

Judy forfeited her right to sue the negligent driver

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-4.5:

a.    Any person who, at the time of an automobile accident resulting in injuries to that person, is required but fails to maintain medical expense benefits coverage mandated by section 4 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A), section 4 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.39:6A-3.1) or section 45 of P.L.2003, C.89 (C.39:6A-3.3) shall have no cause of action for recovery of economic or non-economic loss sustained as a result of an accident while operating an uninsured automobile

Since Judy was operating her uninsured automobile at the time of her car  accident, she is toast.

It can get worse…

The other two sections of 6A-4.5 provide:

b.     Any person who is convicted of, or pleads guilty to operating a motor vehicle in violation of R.S.39:4-50, section 2 of P.L.1981 (C.39:4-50.4a), or a similar statute from any other jurisdiction, in connection with an accident, shall have no cause of action for recovery of economic or non-economic loss sustained a s a result of the accident

c.     Any person acting with specific intent of causing injury to himself or others in the operation or use of an automobile shall have no cause of action for recovery of economic or non-economic loss sustained as a result of an accident arising from such conduct.

N.J. car accident lawyer

Ssssh....I'm thinking

Commentary

It doesn’t really matter whether you and I agree with this draconian provision in the N.J. No Fault Act. It is the law, and will bite you unless you maintain No Fault Insurance coverage on your automobile. Keep in mind this provision only kicks in when Judy operates her personal, uninsured automobile. It does not apply while Judy operates an automobile owned by another person.

There are ways to reduce your insurance premium; but I urge you to do whatever possible to purchase car insurance. Don’t get yourself into a mess like Judy.


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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

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