DEEMER LAW FOILS CASE OF NEW JERSEY AUTO ACCIDENT VICTIM.
According to the urban dictionary, a “deemer” is an “idiot. Someone who [messes] up all the time and never succeeds in life. Deemer’s generally fail at life, over and over again, yet never realize it.” (The dictionary actually uses a different word than “messes.” But this is a family friendly website. I took the liberty of making a small change).
In New Jersey personal injury law, “deemer” refers to something else entirely. It refers to the “Deemer Law.” The law applies to out-of-state drivers insured by companies that do business in New Jersey. It states that such drivers are “deemed” to be entitled to certain benefits conferred upon New Jersey drivers. Specifically, the benefit of not being liable for the pain and suffering caused by “minor” injuries inflicted upon others in car accidents. (I put the word “minor” in quotation marks. This is because some of the injuries that the law deems “minor” are really not).
Drivers can still be held liable for these “minor” injuries in certain cases. But those exceptions are beyond the scope of this article.
(By the way, it is possible to purchase an insurance policy that will let you receive compensation for pain and suffering caused by even “minor” injuries. However, such a policy costs more. Therefore, most people do not buy one. Only when they are involved in an accident, and cannot be properly compensated for their “minor” injury, do they realize how shortsighted a decision they made. The next time your auto insurance policy is up for renewal, you should choose the “no limitation on lawsuit” option.)
Deemer Law Court Case
A New Jersey resident named Han recently found out the hard way about the Deemer Law. He was involved in an auto accident with a Canadian named Frank. Frank was insured by a Canadian company. Frank offered sufficient evidence to convince the judge that his Canadian insurer was affiliated with an authorized New Jersey insurer. The court therefore ruled that Frank was entitled to the benefits of the Deemer Law.
The jury found that Han’s injuries were not severe enough. Thus, it didn’t matter whether Frank was at fault. Hans received no compensation. An appeals court upheld both the judge’s ruling and the jury’s verdict.
This area of the law is very complicated. There are exceptions that may apply. If you are ever injured in an accident, you should not assume that your injury is too “minor.” Rather, you should see a qualified attorney immediately, for an evaluation.
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