24 Mar PIP ALSO KNOWN AS NO-FAULT: USE IT OR LOSE IT!
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey you will most likely be subject to New Jersey’s No-Fault or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) laws, which provide at least some measure of protection for crash-related medical bills that you incur.
PIP coverage is designed to provide some measure of medical coverage whether or not someone is at fault. So, for example, if Driver A is hit in the rear by Driver B, Driver A will have to look to the insurance policy covering Driver A’s car for PIP coverage. In typical circumstances, Driver B and Driver B’s car insurance will not cover Driver A’s medical bills.
Because of changes to New Jersey’s PIP laws there are now many circumstances where PIP coverage is limited or even unavailable. During the 1990s automobile insurance policies were required to have $250,000.00 in PIP coverage. Before that PIP was unlimited. Now, if someone has a “basic” policy or a “special” policy – sometimes referred to as dollar-a-day coverage – there may only be emergency PIP coverage to cover an emergency hospital admission. There are too many variations to cover adequately in this post.
In New Jersey, your eligibility for PIP coverage is often determined by insurance coverage available in your household. So, if there was a passenger in Driver A’s car, then that person will have to look first to his or her own PIP coverage even as a passenger.
We have experienced clients who have difficulty in obtaining PIP benefits because family members refuse to turn over their auto insurance information. This is unfortunate because the injured party may then be liable for their medical bills even when there is coverage available for them. In the example above, Driver B will not be responsible for paying medical bills for Driver A and the passenger in Driver A’s car.
So, if you are involved in an auto crash and need medical attention, please be sure to determine what PIP coverage is available to you. And, if your family member is involved in a crash and they ask you for your automobile insurance information you should not be offended. You have paid for coverage for just this circumstance and your family member deserves your cooperation.
Contact the lawyers at Zavodnick, Perlmutter & Boccia, LLC to discuss you serious personal injury matter. We can be reached at 201-653-1155.