Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

New NJ Insurance Policy Limits Disclosure Law

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Thu, Apr 25, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

A bill recently passed in the New Jersey Senate will help injured plaintiffs make informed decisions in their pursuit of fair compensation for their injuries. The bill, S-2429, passed in the State Senate at the end of March, requires that insurance providers disclose the limits of coverage on a policy held by a customer who is party to an injury claim. After receiving a request for disclosure in connection with an injury claim (which must include a statement that the attorney represents a person injured in an accident involving someone insured by the provider, the insured person’s name and last known address, the date and time of the accident, and any existing police report), the insurance company has 30 days to respond in writing with a disclosure of the policy limits in question. The bill was sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari and Senator Nellie Pou, and co-sponsored by Senator Chris Brown. Having passed in the Senate on March 25th by a vote of 27-9, S-2429 will be sent to the Assembly to be considered.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, injury compensation

5 Most Common Misconceptions About Motorcycle Insurance

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 07, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

Insurance companies spend a great deal of money and effort to cultivate the impression in the minds of their customers that they are trustworthy and have the customer's best interests at heart. One of the worst times to discover how unwarranted that reputation may be is in the aftermath of a serious motorcycle accident. You rely on your insurance to protect you when disaster strikes, but how justified is your trust in your motorcycle insurance? Too many riders discover too late that they believed one or more of these dangerous myths about their insurance coverage.

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Topics: Personal Injury Protection, Automobile Insurance, insurance company, motorcycle insurance

What is Umbrella (or "Excess" ) Insurance? Is Umbrella Insurance Right for Me?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 05, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

Many kinds of insurance policies have two distinct functions: they provide a way to pay for the help we need when we are harmed, and they protect the assets we have worked to earn in the event that a mistake we make harms someone else. The latter type of protection is liability coverage. If you become a defendant in a lawsuit, the relevant type of liability coverage you carry may be used to compensate the plaintiff for their damages without involving your personal funds, property, or future earnings. Having sufficient liability coverage protects your assets and your family's financial stability.

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Topics: Automobile Insurance, homeowners insurance, liability insurance, umbrella insurance

Carfax Reports on Auto Accident Car Repairs: Loss of Car Value

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Nov 15, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

After a car accident, the goal of a lawsuit or insurance claim made by the victim of the accident is to make them "whole" -- in other words, to restore them to the condition they enjoyed before the accident, to whatever extent is possible. In terms of bodily injury, this frequently means that the negligent party must pay for any medical treatment required to aid the injured person in healing to their pre-injury state. If the victim's injuries have resulted in permanent disability or impairment, additional compensation is required to make up for the damage caused to the injured person's earning ability and general quality of life. A similar principle applies to compensation for damage to the victim's vehicle; they are entitled to seek compensation sufficient to restore them to their pre-accident state, practically and financially.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, carfax reports, loss of car value

Motorcyclists' Special Insurance Needs: Read This Before Riding

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Nov 01, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

For all of the mechanical and logistical differences between motorcycles and passenger cars, the regulations governing the two types of vehicles bear plenty of similarities. It's understandable that many riders, especially those who also own a car, assume that their motorcycle insurance and their car insurance work in basically the same way. In some respects that assumption holds true, but if you're involved in a serious motorcycle accident, expecting your medical needs to be covered as they would be if you'd been driving a car could result in a very expensive disappointment.

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Topics: Personal Injury Protection, Automobile Insurance, Uninsured Motorist Coverage, Motorcycle Accident, Underinsured Motorist Coverage, insurance company

What Insurers Don't Want Juries to Know

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 22, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

If a personal injury case resulting from a car crash or other accident goes to trial, the outcome of that case will likely be decided by a jury. As almost anyone who has ever received a jury duty notice in the mail knows, jurors are average citizens (the “peers” of those involved in the trial) who typically have little or no specialized knowledge of the law, outside of whatever they may have retained from a high school civics class. Jurors who are selected to decide a particular case must be briefed on the points of law relevant to the case in question, which they must consider in conjunction with the evidence and testimony presented by the attorneys during the trial proceedings.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, injury compensation, injury case, insurance company

After an Accident, How to Handle Your Insurance Company

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 20, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Insurance companies advertise themselves as reliable sources of help when disaster strikes; they paint themselves as friends, neighbors, people who are on your side or in your corner, ready to help you. We've all seen the "Good Hands" commercials on TV. These are all great marketing slogans, but the reality is that insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and they make their bottom line by taking in as much money in payments and premiums as they can, and paying out as little for claims as they can get away with. When you suffer a car crash or other accident and need to file an injury claim, you're likely to find the helpful and neighborly spirit of your insurance company vanishing in the face of your claim. Unlike actual friends, your insurer has no motivation to care whether your medical bills are paid in full, or whether you receive compensation for the lost wages and suffering you endured as a result of your injuries. In order to make sure you get the money you deserve, you need to know how to handle your insurance company. If you have retained the services of a personal injury attorney, he or she will do this for you. If you have not, read on.

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Topics: Injuries, Personal Injury, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, injury compensation, insurance company

The 6 Most Important NJ Car Insurance Coverages

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 03, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Check Your Car Insurance

Tax time is an excellent time to take stock of things and make better decisions going forward. NJ car insurance is an excellent candidate for this kind of “spring cleaning”. Experienced car accident attorney Francis M. Smith, Esq. reminds New Jersey drivers to look over their auto insurance policies to ensure that they are adequately covered in the event of an accident. To this end, he offers a free eBook, The New Jersey Car Insurance Buyer's Guide, to help drivers learn the facts about their policies. In his book, Mr. Smith recommends seven types of coverage drivers should be certain their policy includes.

  • Make sure the standard policy option has been chosen, NOT the basic policy.
  • Choose PIP primary, rather than Health Care Primary, coverage.
  • Select the $250,000 PIP medical expense coverage option. 
  • Pick the “no limitation on lawsuit” option. 
  • Buy both liability coverage and UM/UIM (uninsured/under-insured motorist) coverage.
  • For additional protection, purchase a personal catastrophe liability umbrella with limits of at least $1 million.
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Topics: Automobile Insurance

What is an Auto Insurance Threshold in NJ? And why you better know!

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 04, 2015

By Francis M. Smith
When you apply for auto insurance, there are a lot of choices in coverage you have to make, and we have discussed many of the important ones.  One of the most critical choices, though, is the “threshold”, a/k/a/ the “lawsuit threshold”. With one choice, you save a good bit of money (Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold) and on the other choice (No Threshold) you do not. The savings can be significant. So it’s a no-brainer, right?

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, NJ Auto Insurance, Permanent Injury

Why Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer after a Serious NJ Car Crash?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Dec 15, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

If you have sustained injuries in a serious car crash, a number of things must be done as quickly as possible in order to protect your rights to secure appropriate compensation from the insurance companies involved. However, in the aftermath of a serious accident, you are likely to be dealing with numerous other issues – receiving medical treatment and dealing with the pain of your injuries, overcoming the shock and stress of the accident itself, contending with the damage to your vehicle and the resulting transportation problems, managing the financial issues that arise from time spent not working due to your injuries, and in the most tragic cases, grieving and making funeral arrangements. These other important concerns make it all the more difficult for the average person without legal experience to handle their personal injury claim in the most effective way.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance

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