You were in a car accident and now you need medical attention. The question is who pays for it.
New Jersey’s No Fault Law
Under state law, you are responsible for your own medical bills – not the driver who caused the accident.
Laws without flaws don’t mean nobody is to blame. Of course someone is! Instead, the no-fault law stipulates that the insurance company must bear the medical costs of their own policyholder for every person injured in the accident, regardless of fault.
Should you have to pay for the consequences of the irresponsible behavior of the other driver behind the wheel? Absolutely not. However, no-fault insurance allows you to set up your medical claim faster so you don’t have to wait for insurance companies to decide who is to blame before you can start paying your medical bills.
Protection against personal injury
Pro Tip – Saving money by reducing your PIP coverage is usually not worth the additional medical expenses you will incur if you are ever injured and need to use your insurance coverage.
Because basic and standard auto insurance policies sold in the state of New Jersey must comply with no-fault law, they include a portion of coverage known as Personal Protection (PIP). PIP insurance covers your medical bills, but there are exceptions.
You are responsible for a portion of the cost, including a deductible of your choosing and a co-insurance percentage to pay for the first $ 5,000 in medical expenses.
When you take out auto insurance, you get PIP coverage. PIP only covers your medical expenses up to the limits of your policy. According to the Official New Jersey Auto Insurance Buyer’s Guide, most drivers with a standard policy will purchase $ 250,000 PIP coverage. However, some drivers are reducing their PIP coverage to just $ 15,000 to lower their premium costs.
When you get auto insurance, you also choose whether PIP or your health insurance is the primary policy that covers your medical expenses. It is always best to choose PIP as the primary. Once you’ve exhausted your limited PIP coverage, your health insurance will have to pay for your medical coverage. However, if you choose health insurance as your primary insurance, all of the PIP coverage you have purchased will be wasted as you will never be able to use it. In addition, health insurance tends to charge higher deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance than auto insurers, and health insurance may limit you to a specific network of doctors.
What costs does PIP cover?
Your own PIP coverage is responsible for your medical expenses, including:
Emergency medical treatment in the hospital
Inpatient hospitalization due to your injuries
Inpatient or outpatient interventions and operations
Inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
PIP coverage primarily applies to your medical bills. However, some auto insurance policies include additional PIP benefits, including basic services, continued income, and death and funeral benefits.
You probably don’t know easily what choices you made in your auto insurance, and you may not fully understand those choices. That’s okay. A skilled auto accident attorney can interpret your insurance policy for you and help you understand what benefits you are entitled to under your own policy and what compensation you are earning from the other driver’s policy.
What medical costs do I have to pay?
No matter how clear it is that the other driver caused your injuries, you will have to pay at least part of the medical expenses. Exactly how much you have to pay depends on the deductible you choose when you take out car insurance. Generally, you pay higher premiums to keep your deductible low.
It’s not fair that you have to pay the medical bills if someone else caused the crash. If you decide to make a claim, these medical expenses are among the damages that experienced auto accident attorneys seek compensation for you for.