NJ Supreme Court Addresses Issue of “Significant Scarring”

The New Jersey Supreme Court has finally decided to set forth its interpretation of what constitutes “significant scarring” so that a injured accident victim who is subject to the limited tort/verbal threshold requirement can recover for pain and suffering. One of the ways for a plaintiff to cross the verbal threshold and sue for non-economic damages under the statute covering automobile insurance is to show “significant scarring.” But just when is a scar significant?

The High Court will address that question in the case in which the Appellate Division said the scar at issue was sufficiently significant to defeat a defense move to dismiss the case. Yet the trial judge in Soto v. Scaringelli described the woman’s four-inch scar this way: “Unless somebody was looking with great particularity at that shoulder under a good strong light, that scar is not visible.” The New Jersey Supreme Court will hold oral arguments at 10:00 a.m. on January 3, 2007. It may take months until the Supreme Court actually releases its written opinion on the matter.