What Is the Average New Jersey Car Accident Settlement?

What Is the Average New Jersey Car Accident Settlement?

Car accident settlements depend on many factors, including the amount of losses and the policy limits. Complicating matters even further, New Jersey uses choice no-fault insurance. Under choice no-fault, your settlement will also depend on the type of injury you suffered and the type of insurance you bought.

Factors That Affect Car Accident Settlement Payouts

Every car accident is unique. As a result, settlements will vary widely. You need to look at the factors that will affect the size of your settlement. Some of these factors include:

Limited Right vs. Unlimited Right

Under New Jersey law, you must choose whether you want a limited or unlimited right to sue when you buy auto insurance. Both options pay for your injuries up to your policy limit and allow you to sue the at-fault driver for unreimbursed economic losses like medical bills and lost income.

Limited-right policies only allow you to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for pain and suffering from permanent injuries. Unlimited-right policies allow you to pursue claims for pain and suffering from temporary and permanent injuries.

Thus, limited and unlimited-right policies function the same when you have permanent injuries. But your choice will affect your settlement amount if you have temporary injuries. For example, if you suffered a concussion, your symptoms probably lasted less than two months. In this case, your settlement excludes pain and suffering and only includes your economic losses.

Motorcycles do not fall under New Jersey’s no-fault system. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you have a claim against the at-fault driver for economic losses and pain and suffering.

Severity of Your Injuries

More severe injuries will often require more expensive treatment and therapy. They will also have a greater effect on your ability to work. Finally, severe injuries diminish your quality of life more.

Permanent injuries often justify the highest settlements because they entitle you to pain and suffering damages regardless of whether you elected a limited or unlimited right to sue. Under New Jersey law, permanent injuries include:

  • Death
  • Loss of body part
  • Significant disfigurement or scarring
  • Displaced fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Any other injury that will not heal to function normally with further treatment

Thus, the average settlement for car accident back and neck injury that will not heal, such as a herniated disc, will be greater than the settlements for ones that will heal, such as back strain injuries.

Amount of Lost Income

Your income losses depend on how long you were disabled and your salary. Long-term disabilities and higher salaries justify higher settlements. Victims with temporary disabilities and lower salaries get smaller settlements.

Policy Limits

New Jersey vehicle owners must have liability coverage. When you pursue the at-fault driver, the liability insurer pays the claim up to the pre-set policy limit. Any additional amounts come from the driver’s personal assets. If they have none, you might need to settle for the policy limit (or find another liable party, among other possibilities).

Importantly, New Jersey’s no-fault system does not cover commercial motor vehicles. Under federal law, trucking companies must carry at least $750,000 in surety bonds and insurance. Thus, your settlement after a truck accident might be larger due to higher policy limits.

Your Comparative Fault

New Jersey uses pure comparative fault. Under this doctrine, your settlement gets reduced by your share of the fault. Thus, if you were 17% at fault for your crash, your settlement will only cover 83% of your losses.

Car Accident Settlement Examples

Some personal injury settlement examples involving traffic crashes include:

  • $400,000 for a pedestrian accident
  • $345,000 for a motor vehicle accident
  • $165,000 for a motor vehicle accident
  • $145,000 for a motor vehicle accident

These examples highlight the wide range of settlement outcomes.

An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer at Noonan & McMahon, LLC Can Help Determine the Value of Your Case

Car accident settlements are unique to each crash. To learn which factors might affect your settlement, discuss the facts of your case with an attorney who can help you understand how much your case might be worth. Contact us at Noonan & McMahon, LLC to to discuss the range of settlements you might get for your crash.

Noonan & McMahon, LLC – Freehold Office
35 Court St 1A, Freehold, NJ 07728
(732) 515 3996