No-fault car insurance is a system in which drivers injured in a NJ car accidents receive payment for damages from their own auto insurer no matter who was at fault for causing the crash.
New Jersey is a no-fault state. So, drivers must purchase a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy which provides coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses up to the limit of a driver’s PIP coverage.
Type of Policy Determines Range of PIP Coverage
If you purchase a basic insurance policy, your PIP coverage starts at a minimum of $15,000 and goes up to $250,000. A standard insurance policy ranges from $15,000 to as high as $250,000 or more in PIP benefits.
PIP covers medical expenses such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and medical equipment. Beyond that, PIP covers medical bills you incurred if you were injured as a passenger in another car or if you were a pedestrian hit by a vehicle.
While PIP can serve as primary coverage for your accident-related injuries, you may choose your own health insurance for your primary coverage. Your PIP would then act as your secondary coverage.
Standard Policy Offers Additional PIP Benefits
Drivers who purchase a standard auto insurance policy have PIP coverage that goes beyond medical expenses. A standard policy provides benefits that include:
• Lost wages—Pays for wages that you lost from missing work due to your injuries.
• Essential services—Pays for someone to do tasks that you would do yourself had you not been injured, such as cleaning your house or mowing your lawn.
• Death and funeral benefits—Pays your survivors for funeral expenses incurred due to your accident-related death.
Some medical costs go beyond PIP benefits when drivers or their passengers suffer significant injuries. In these cases, injury accident victims may be able to pursue additional compensation by filing a lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash.
Bringing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Drive
Under New Jersey’s no-fault laws, drivers can sue another motorist for causing an accident. But, the type of insurance policy drivers purchase determines their lawsuit options.
For example, a basic insurance policy allows drivers to sue for pain and suffering unless they suffered a permanent injury such as:
• Loss of a body part
• Loss of a fetus
• Significant disfigurement or significant scarring
• Displaced fracture
• Permanent injury (any injury that causes a body part or organ to lose its ability to function normally)
Under a standard policy, drivers have a right to sue for pain and suffering for any injury.
Before filing a lawsuit, however, it is best to contact a New Jersey car accident lawyer who can help you with the litigation process.
Before You Sue, Get Legal Advice
Pursuing legal action against someone else is not as simple as it seems. For one, drivers may challenge a claim of causing fault for an accident. What’s more, an insurance company may challenge an injured driver’s permanent injury claim. An attorney knows what is needed to stand up against these and other challenges.
A New Jersey car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence that supports your injury claim. Otherwise, an insurer may reject your claim or offer a low settlement that does not cover all of your expenses. An attorney can negotiate a claim on your behalf or file a lawsuit if the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement.
If you have been injured in a car accident and have not received the compensation you may be entitled to, contact a New Jersey car accident lawyer today.
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