The Lawsuit Limitation
Many riders injured in motorcycle accidents may not be able to make a claim or sue for money damages as a result of the “lawsuit limitation.” Under New Jersey law, when you purchase automobile insurance, you must choose either the “lawsuit limitation” or “no limitation”. The “lawsuit limitation” limits your right to sue those who injure you unless you have very serious or permanent injuries. Close to 90% of New Jersey drivers have elected the lawsuit limitation because it results in a cheaper premium.
Even though there is no lawsuit limitation choice when you buy your motorcycle insurance, as a result of New Jersey Court decisions, if you choose the “lawsuit limitation” on your car policy, it applies to you in a motorcycle accident as well. As unfair as it sounds, your right to sue for your injuries will be limited. While motorcycle accidents can result in severe injuries which overcome the lawsuit limitation, many times they do not. In those cases, even though you may suffer for years with the injuries you sustained, if you have chosen the lawsuit limitation, you will not be able to sue for your injuries.
I suggest that you talk to your automobile insurance agent and find out if you have the lawsuit limitation. Have the agent price out your policy without the limitation. Some car insurance companies have better rates than others, so shopping around could help.
Motorcycle accidents can have a devastating impact on the life of the injured rider. Nowhere is this more apparent than in my law practice, where daily I deal with riders injured in accidents, many of whom will go without compensation as a result of their choice of the “lawsuit limitation.” Being in a motorcycle accident is always a surprise. Finding out you cannot pursue a claim can be an even bigger one!
Jerry Friedman, Esq.
The Motorcycle Attorney
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