What to do if Your Car Insurance Claim is denied in New Jersey


Getting into a car accident that leaves you with painful injuries that prevent you from working is a frustrating experience that happens all too often. In such a situation, you would expect your insurance company to pull through after your years of loyalty, yet surprisingly, even long time policyholders have their claims denied. Although there are likely valid reasons for a claim denial, insurance companies have been discovered to jump through all hoops imaginable to avoid paying for claims, so it is not uncommon for valid claims to be denied at any time.

The most common reasons a car insurance claim is denied in New Jersey are listed below:

  • Your car insurance policy does not cover that type of accident
  • Your coverage lapsed or you missed a filing deadline
  • You are not a named party on the policy

If this has happened to you, you may feel out of luck; however, this is not the case. Upon receiving a denial from your insurance company, there are a few other avenues you can try to receive the compensation you deserve.

File with the other driver's company

New Jersey is a no fault state, which means that if you are at fault for the accident and you have auto insurance, you should be reimbursed for medical expenses and lost wages through your PIP, or "personal injury protection" coverage. If you are not at fault but your claim is still denied, you may file a claim with the insurance companies of any other drivers involved, assuming it was a multi-car accident. Every driver is required by law to carry auto insurance in New Jersey.

There is also a "comparative negligence" law to be aware of, which means that more than one person can be blamed for an accident. You can collect damages only if your degree of fault does not exceed that of the other driver(s) involved. To prove another driver was at fault, police reports and evidence are considered. This is why it is crucial to take photographs following an accident, if you are capable.This law does not apply when you file a claim against your own insurance policy.

Additional Claims

In New Jersey, you can sue the other party(ies) for damages only if you have traditional car insurance. The state provides two options for car insurance policies: traditional and no fault. Under the no fault policy, you can only file a lawsuit if the accident resulted in dismemberment, disfigurement, significant scarring, displaced fractures, loss of a fetus or permanent injury. Under traditional car insurance, you are allowed to sue for the full range of damages for which you are entitled.

You can sue the other party or even the other party's insurance company in small claims court or in civil court. Small claims court suits can handle claims of up to $3,000. For any sum greater than that, you should consider suing in civil court. You may even be able to sue your own insurance company if they denied your claim in bad faith.

It is best to seek legal counsel before filing any claim to give yourself the best chance of receiving a satisfactory settlement. A personal injury attorney like James Vasquez can expertly negotiate with insurance companies to win what you deserve. If you have already been denied, contact The Law Offices of James Vasquez, P.C. to pursue other options.