New Jersey

Recent Reforms Enacted (since 2003) Creates a $78 million temporary fund to help cover costs of liability insurance. Fund paid by annual fee on physicians, attorneys, dentists, chiropractors and health facilities. Requires expert witnesses practice in the same specialty as the defendant and requires plaintiffs to file affidavit of merit, signed by a physician in the same specialty. Gives judges the authority to reduce awards they believe are excessive. Reduces from age 20 to 13 the statute of limitations for patients to file suit over injuries sustained at birth
Emergency Care Provision None
Reform Elements In Law Joint Liability
Collateral Source
Attorney Fee Limit
Expert Witness
Affidavit of Merit
Premium Subsidy
Constitutional Status of Reforms Untested.  State Supreme Court upholds expert witness law requiring that experts be board certified in the specialty practiced by the defendant if the defendant is board certified (Nicholas v Mynster) (2013)
Change in Insurance Rates AMA reports at least one insurer raised rates as much as 40 to 100% in 2004.
Insurance Availability Information not available.
Change in Physician Availability Information not available.
Change in Cases Filed/Awards 585 paid claims in 2003 or 20.1 per 1000 active nonfederal physicians. US avg. was 18.8 per 1000. 696 paid claims in 2005 or 24 per 1000 active nonfederal physicians. US avg. was 17.1 per 1000. (Kaiser) 524 total number of paid claims for 2006 or 15.9 per 1,000 active, non-federal physicians. 455 paid claims in 2007.
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