What Is The “Deemer Statute”?

When a driver who lives outside of New Jersey happens to be operating her motor vehicle within the State of New Jersey and is involved in an accident, she will be subject to the “Deemer Statute”. That can be found at N.J.S.A. 17:28-1.4.

One effect of this law is that any out of state car insurance policy issued by an insurer authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey is construed as if it provides the insurance required by New Jersey statute. The deemer statute will also apply where the out of state driver’s policy is issued by an insurance carrier that is not itself authorized to sell automobile insurance in New Jersey, but that is legally affiliated with a company that is authorized to write automobile insurance in New Jersey.  This is helpful if the out of state policy is deficient, such as not providing for payment of medical expenses.   In that case, the insurance carrier issuing the out of state policy must provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits regardless of whether this is covered in the actual insurance policy.  For example, a New York or Pennsylvania resident who drives into New Jersey and gets into an accident through no fault of their own will be deemed to have a New Jersey auto policy with up to $250,000 of medical benefits.

However, this can also cut against the out of state driver.  All out of state insurance policies are deemed to contain the “limitation on lawsuit” option for accidents occurring in New Jersey, even if the out of state policy provides full coverage regardless of fault.  This can mean that the out of state driver may not be able to recover damages resulting from the accident, unless she satisfies the lawsuit threshold (see https://www.middlesexcountyaccidentlawyer.com/2013/04/).

So it is entirely possible that the out of state driver cannot recover for her pain and suffering. In order for such a driver to successfully pursue a pain and suffering claim as a result of the accident, she must satisfy the requirements of the limitation on lawsuit threshold that exist for any other New Jersey car accident victim, namely the permanent injury requirements of N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8a.
It is important to have a knowledgeable New Brunswick accident lawyer on your side.  Call me today.

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