Is New Jersey a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
If you have been in a car accident in New Jersey, you have probably heard about the no-fault policy the state follows. Read on to find out how this may affect your claim.
If you suffered an injury, it is in your best interests to contact our New Jersey car accident attorneys today for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more about your legal rights. Our skilled team can walk you through your own insurance policy and determine the value of damage you have endured. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Is the Purpose of No-Fault Insurance?
No-fault insurance, also called personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, provides coverage to drivers and passengers who are involved in a car accident. Coverage is there no matter who is found to be at fault for the accident. New Jersey is one of 18 states that currently requires PIP insurance. It is not optional.
This is different from policies that are comprehensive, collision or liability. Those policies only pay out for damages based on who is found to be at fault for the accident. PIP policies pay out for damages as long as the accident is covered by the policy terms.
In New Jersey’s no-fault insurance system, claims for accidents are made through your own insurer. It is your insurance company that pays out for damages related to an accident, rather than the other driver’s policy if someone else was responsible for the accident.
A benefit of the no-fault insurance system is reduced costs – this process is believed to limit litigation and long insurance claims. Because the coverage is no-fault, claims are dealt with more quickly than in states where claims are investigated by opposing insurers.
What Does a No-Fault Insurance Policy Cover?
No-fault insurance can cover a variety of expenses incurred due to an auto accident, no matter if you are at fault or the accident was caused by another driver. Expenses that may be covered include:
- Health insurance deductibles
- Extra medical expenses above the limits of your health insurance policy
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses in the event of death
- Payment for services necessary due to your inability to perform them because of your injury
With a no-fault insurance system, it is not always possible to file a claim against an at-fault driver for damages above what your insurance policy pays out. There are specific circumstances that allow for a lawsuit, which typically involves only significant injuries or medical bills above a certain amount.
No-fault PIP insurance does not cover certain things that other policies would. For example, it does not cover:
- Damage to your vehicle caused by an accident. Collision coverage must be added to your policy to provide compensation for vehicle repairs or replacement.
- Vehicle theft. Comprehensive coverage would be needed to replace stolen vehicles.
- Damage to other people’s property resulting from an accident. Property damage liability coverage is needed to compensate others for damage done to their property in an accident in which you are involved.
- Medical expenses above your no-fault insurance policy’s limits.
Because no-fault insurance does not cover these accident-related expenses, it is important to make sure your insurance coverage is adequate and includes the right type of coverage.
What Is the Difference Between PIP and Medical Payments Coverage?
There is another type of coverage called medical payments coverage, which is separate from PIP. This is an optional coverage; it is not required in New Jersey like no-fault insurance.
Medical payments coverage, if you have it, can be used to reimburse medical expenses related to an accident up to your selected limits. There are state minimum coverages, but motorists are able to choose higher limits for added protection in the event of an accident.
Contact a Skilled Attorney for Help with Your Case Today
If you were injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our New Jersey car accident attorneys fight to hold negligent drivers responsible and recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today and learn what legal options may be available to help you recover compensation in your claim. We charge no upfront fees and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.
Call (800) 518-0508 today.