Background of S-1558
On July 22, 2021 Governor Murphy signed into law S-1558. This new law requires auto insurers to disclose policy coverage limits to an injury victim when requested by their attorney. Prior to passage of this significant legislation, New Jersey law required that a lawsuit be filed before policy amounts were disclosed. This meant that countless unnecessary lawsuits were filed so that an injury party and his or her attorney could receive basic information from the insurance company.
Requirement for Disclosure Under S-1558
This new law requires that an insurance company who receives a request from an attorney in the State of New Jersey for disclosure of the policy limits under a private passenger automobile insurance policy must provide written disclosure of the policy limits no later than 30 days from the receipt of the request. The disclosure shall indicate the limits of all private passenger automobile insurance policies and any applicable umbrella or excess liability insurance policies issued by the insurance company to the insured.
The request by the attorney for disclosure of the policy limits must include the following: (1) statement that the attorney represents an individual who has suffered bodily injury or death alleged to be caused by a motor vehicle accident with the insured under a private passenger automobile insurance policy issued by the insurer; (2) name and last know address of the insured; (3) date and approximate time of the motor vehicle accident; (4) a copy of the accident report, if available, relating to the accident; and (5) a statement from the claimant, or attorney representing the claimant, providing insurance information, which shall include the claimants insurer, policy number, and policyholder name, tort threshold selection, and personal injury protection coverage limit.
Disclosure of the policy limits under the new law shall not constitute an admission that the victim’s injury or damage is subject to the policy and shall not be admissible as evidence at trial. The disclosure shall be confidential.
Final Thoughts on S-1558
This is significant legislation for victims injured in automobile accidents. It will expediate the resolution of countless lawsuits, especially in the pre-litigation phase. Thus, potentially allowing victims to be compensated for injuries quicker than previously considered.
The law firm of Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens, and Cammarota LLP are personal injury law experts and our attorneys are here to provide you a free consultation on your case. We look forward to hearing from you. Don’t wait, call us today!