top of page
  • Writer's pictureAlexander J. Kemeny

How the Limitation on Lawsuit / Verbal Threshold Applies to New Jersey Car Accident Cases

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

The Limitation on Lawsuit / Verbal Threshold

If you've suffered injuries in a car accident in New Jersey, your ability to seek compensation for non-economic losses, like pain and suffering, depends on the tort option that applies to your case. Your claim will be governed by either the "Limitation on Lawsuit" option or the "No Limitation on Lawsuit" option. These were previously referred to as the Lawsuit Threshold and No Threshold options.

New Jersey Car Accident

Individuals with No Limitation on Lawsuit/No Threshold coverage can file a claim for any injuries resulting from a car accident, regardless of the type or severity of the injury. Those under the Limitation on Lawsuit/Lawsuit Threshold are not permitted to seek compensation for non-economic losses unless they meet at least one of six specified types of injuries.

When you purchase private passenger automobile insurance in New Jersey, you are automatically placed under the Limitation on Lawsuit/Lawsuit Threshold unless you actively choose to "opt out" of it. Those who opt for the Limitation on Lawsuit/Lawsuit Threshold option receive a slight reduction in a portion of their auto insurance premium. Additionally, immediate family members of the policyholder are also bound by the policyholder's choice.

The purpose of the Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold is to restrict legal actions and the ability of car accident victims to seek compensation for pain and suffering. This was a measure taken by New Jersey to reduce the overall cost of insurance by placing constraints on the kinds of damages that can be obtained through a lawsuit in the event of an accident-related injury.

We recommend you consider selecting the "No Limitation on Lawsuit"/No Threshold option. If you have previously chosen or received the "Limitation on Lawsuit"/Lawsuit Threshold, you may want to switch to the "No Limitation on Lawsuit"/No Threshold option.

If your insurance policy includes the Limitation on Lawsuit option, the limitation will not be relevant to your claim for compensation claim in certain situations. For instance, it won't apply if the vehicle responsible for your injury is a commercial vehicle like a taxi, dump truck, or tractor-trailer. Similarly, if the at-fault vehicle is an out-of-state private passenger car with an insurance company not operating in New Jersey, the Lawsuit Threshold won't be in effect.

The Six Categories of Injuries that Meet the Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold

If you fall under the Limitation on Lawsuit/Lawsuit Threshold, you must demonstrate that you have suffered one of the following types of injuries in order to be entitled to monetary compensation for to non-economic loss, such as pain and suffering:

1. Death

2. Dismemberment (loss of arms, legs, fingers, or toes)

3. Significant disfigurement or significant scarring

4. Displaced fracture (broken bone)

5. Loss of a fetus (unborn child)

6. Permanent injury, as determined within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, excluding scarring or disfigurement.

An injury is regarded as permanent when the affected body part or organ, or both, has not fully recovered to function normally and will not do so with further medical treatment.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, we strongly recommend that you consult with a knowledgeable New Jersey accident attorney to determine if the Limitation on Lawsuit applies to your particular case and, if so, whether your injuries satisfy the Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold.

The attorneys at Kemeny, Ramp & Renaud, LLC are available to assist you. We provide free consultations for people injured in an accident. Call us at (732) 853-1725 to schedule a consultation.


bottom of page