If you’ve been involved in a car accident that was caused by the other driver, you might want to know more about the process of filing a claim for compensation with the other driver’s insurance company.
New Jersey’s No-Fault Insurance
In New Jersey, after a car accident you may first turn to your own auto insurance policy for coverage for medical expenses and other economic losses such as lost wages under the personal injury protection in your policy. You can also recover any economic losses not compensated by your insurance from the driver or drivers at fault for the accident. However, if you selected the “limited right to sue” or verbal threshold option for your auto insurance, you cannot recover compensation for pain and suffering or lost quality of life unless you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury.
What Happens after Filing a Claim with the Other Driver’s Insurer
Once you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, the insurer will conduct an investigation of the accident. In the investigation, the insurance company will want to determine:
- If their insured caused the accident and the insured’s share of responsibility for your injuries and losses. The insurance company will review the police accident report, accident scene photos, and driver and witness statements to determine what happened in the crash.
- The extent of your claimed expenses and losses.
- Whether your losses were directly and proximately caused by the accident. In many cases, insurers may try to argue that your injuries (particularly soft-tissue injuries) resulted in whole or in part from pre-existing injuries.
Once they’ve made these determinations, the insurer will decide whether to pay your demand for damages (if you’ve made a demand for a specific dollar amount), whether to make a settlement offer or negotiate a demand offer you’ve made, or whether to deny your claim altogether and defend its insured.
How Long Will a Claim Take?
Under New Jersey law, an insurance company is required to contact you within 10 business days after they have received your claim. If the insurance company wants to inspect your vehicle, they must instead contact you within seven business days; however, the insurance company has no obligation to inspect your vehicle.
Thereafter, the insurance company has 45 calendar days to either offer you a settlement or deny your claim, or to request more time for additional investigation. If the insurance company needs more time to make a decision whether to accept or negotiate your claim or to deny your claim, the insurer must provide you with a written explanation for the delay.
What to Do If the Insurer Denies the Claim
If the other driver’s insurance company decides to deny your claim outright, or in other words, it makes a determination that their driver was not at fault for the accident or that you were more at fault for the crash than the insurance company’s insured, you have several options for proceeding with your claim:
- File an appeal according to the insurance company’s internal appeals process.
- Request review of the insurance company’s decision by the New Jersey Insurance Claims Ombudsman, after you have exhausted the insurance company’s internal review process.
- File a written complaint with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance
- File a claim for compensation with your own auto insurance company if you have appropriate coverages, such as collision/comprehensive coverage.
- File a personal injury and/or property damage lawsuit against the driver you believe to be at fault for the accident.
Contact a Haddonfield Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Mt. Laurel and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 264 Kings Hwy. E., Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.