Understanding New Jersey Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on May 01, 2017 in Car Accidents News
Auto insurance is required in New Jersey. State law also requires that every insurance policy contain personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.
Also known as no-fault insurance coverage, PIP pays benefits to those injured in an accident no matter who was at-fault for the collision.
If you are injured in a New Jersey automobile accident, whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, your PIP insurance will pay for your personal medical bills related to the crash up to policy limit. It will also provide reimbursement for other expenses associated with your injuries.
What is Covered by PIP?
Depending on the level of coverage you purchased, New Jersey PIP will cover three aspects of a car accident injury:
According to New Jersey PIP law, personal injury protection coverage provides reimbursement for all medically necessary expenses for the diagnosis and treatment of injuries caused by an auto accident up to policy limits. This can include:
- Ambulance services
- Hospital stays
- Doctors’ visits
- Specialist appointments
- Diagnostic tests such as x-rays, MRIs and CAT scans
PIP will also provide reimbursement for non-necessary medical expenses that are prescribed by a treating clinician for permanent or significant brain damage, spinal cord injuries or disfigurement.
If you are no longer able to work because of your car accident injury, PIP will cover lost wages. The amount of coverage varies by policy, starting as low as $100 per week on a $15,000 per year policy to $5,200 per week. Regardless of your policy terms, the limits cannot exceed your normal income.
If you are unable to perform essential tasks due to your injury, PIP will provide payment. A total of $12 per day is allotted for tasks such as laundry, cleaning and lawn mowing.
If an injury victim dies from his or her injuries, PIP will pay death benefits if he or she was a provider of income.
The individual’s next of kin can receive the maximum amount of benefits that could have been paid to the individual for his or her injuries if he or she had not died.
The benefits will be paid to the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment will go to surviving children, or if there are no children, to the deceased’s estate.
Additionally, PIP will provide benefits for reasonable funeral, burial or cremation expenses up to $1,000.
Your Right to Sue
In some situations, your PIP insurance may not be enough to cover the expenses you have experienced because of your injuries. In this case, it may be in your best option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
A lawsuit can help you obtain economic and noneconomic damages. However, if you did not choose the unlimited right to sue when purchasing your insurance policy, you will not be able to sue for additional noneconomic damages, which are not covered by your PIP coverage.
Unlimited Right to Sue
Individuals who purchased a standard policy with unlimited right to sue have the right to sue the person that caused the accident for noneconomic damages. These types of damages provide additional compensation for pain and suffering.
Limited Right to Sue
If you purchased the limited option, or if you have a basic policy, you cannot sue the person that caused your accident for additional noneconomic compensation unless you sustain one of the below permanent injuries:
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of a body party
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury
This option, however, does not limit your ability to sue for economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Legal Help After an Accident
The experienced lawyers at Lynch Law Firm can review your car insurance policy and help make sure you are receiving the compensation you need after an accident. If more compensation is necessary, we will advise of your options for filing a lawsuit seeking additional compensation.
Contact our team today for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more if you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident. We do not charge any upfront fees or other costs unless we recover compensation for you.
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