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My husband was rear ended last week and has been in pain since (back mostly). He went to the hospital for whiplash last week.

Haddonfield, NJ |

The pain is ongoing. I noticed we have verbal tort on our car insurance. Can we still sue?

Attorney Answers 10


  1. If you have a verbal threshold his injuries need to be severe enough to breach it, however you should speak to an attorney asap to review your case. Let an attorney tell you if you are able to bring a claim.

    DISCLAIMER: Matthew Solomon is licensed to practice law in both the State of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey.This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Contact me for further detailed questions and answers. 215-561-0877


  2. For an injury like this, the verbal tort is overcome if there is objective evidence of a permanent injury. Most people in NJ carry the verbal tort on their policy. Also, if there was a commercial vehicle involved, it is important to note that they are not able to assert the verbal tort defense even if you carry it on your policy. Contact a lawyer to get a full explanation of your rights. Hope he feels better.


  3. Yes but vaulting the threshold will be difficult. There are many factors that must be considered in making such a determination. Your husband should get the medical attention he requires and should also consult with a qualified personal injury attorney in your area to discuss the viability of a claim.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change appropriately.


  4. The limitation on lawsuit threshold (sometimes referred to as the verbal threshold) makes it more difficult to be compensated for an injury sustained in motor vehicle accident than if you had selected the no threshold option. Your treating physician will have to provide a certification that your injury is permanent, that the diagnosis is based upon an "objective" test or assessment and that treatment is not likely to heal the injury. You may also meet the threshold if you have a "displaced fracture". An attorney cannot determine if you meet the limitation on tort threshold without looking at the medical records and test results. If you meet the threshold, the level of compensation will be determined by the nature and extent of your injuries, their impact on your life and any economic loss you may have incurred. You did not state whether or not the party at fault was a commercial vehicle. If it was, the threshold does not apply.
    The value of every case is different from the others because the facts and personalities are unique to every case. I have clients for which I would love to try their case because they are very pleasant, have significant injuries, and witnesses with no interest in the case verify the clients' post-accident physical limitations. I have other clients with similar injuries but who do not come across as well, or do not have witnesses to support the impact on the client after the after the accident, or there are other harmful facts. Simply put, there is no "stock" value for any particular injury. Everyone's case is different.

    Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. There are always specific facts that are important for an attorney to review before providing advice to a Client. In no way should you rely on the response provided herein to conduct your legal affairs on your own. You should always hire an attorney before you rely on advice provided.


  5. While it is still early, I'd say it is unlikely you will be able to sue unless his condition worsens and becomes disabling. Even if you can obtain a certificate of permanent injury from you doctor, insurance companies will often take a "no pay" position and try these cases because juries just aren't awarding any money in verbal threshold cases. If your husband's injury turns out to be serious enough to overcome the verbal tort, which for his sake I certainly hope it does not, then his case can probably be settled.

    A full legal opinion and firm recommendations can only take place in a formal consultation with an attorney. These are my general thoughts given the limited information presented and for the purposes of this online forum only. No attorney/client relationship exists.


  6. Depends what the full extent of the injuries are, and whether permanent. Retain a good personal injury lawyer to investigate.


  7. Most likely no but if gets worse see a local attorney for free interview.

    Please note that these answers are provided as a community service and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


  8. Yes, you can sue if your husband has sustained a permanent injury, or if you were hit by a commercial vehicle. I'd like to learn more about the accident and your husband's injuries.


  9. Most of the accidents I handle have the Verbal threshold. I file a claim on behalf of the client and oversee his medical treatment. It is imperative that the doctor he sees is experienced with getting paid through the auto insurance. It is also imperative that he he the proper diagnostic tests. Whether there is sufficient injury to ultimately file a law suit depends on the outcome after his treatment is over. He has nothing to lose by retaining a personal injury attorney because if he doesn't meet the threshold he does not have to pay the attorney, as most attorneys accept these cases on a contingency basis.

    973-984-0800. Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


  10. Your husband should seek medical care to address his injuries. If his problems persist, he should then consult with a lawyer. Whether he is able to recover a settlement is a complex questions requiring additional information.

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