“I was involved in an automobile accident, who is going to pay my medical bills?” This is probably the most common question asked by our clients. There is a common misconception that the insurance company for the “at fault” driver is responsible for payment of these bills. In some states that is accurate. However, in New Jersey we operate under a “no fault” system. This means that the issue of who caused the accident is irrelevant to determining whose insurance carrier is responsible for payment of your medical bills.
In New Jersey, every personal automobile insurance policy has a coverage Personal Injury Protection or PIP Benefits for payment of medical bills for a covered accident. This coverage provides that if you were injured in an accident, regardless of fault, your medical treatment would be paid for by your own automobile insurance carrier’s PIP Benefits. This is true whether you were in your own vehicle or someone else’s. Your PIP benefits follow the insured person, and not the vehicle. So, even if you were in an automobile accident, but as a passenger in a friend’s car; again it is your own automobile insurance policy’s PIP coverage that pays for your medical treatment.
You may ask, what if I am a passenger in another automobile that was involved in an accident in New Jersey but I did not have automobile insurance of my own? The law in New Jersey requires that the injured person is eligible for these same PIP benefits under a policy of personal automobile insurance under a policy issued to a “resident relative” with whom you resided at the time of the accident. If neither you nor a “resident relative” insure a motor vehicle, then you would look to the “host” vehicle’s insurance policy (the owner of the vehicle you were in at the time of your injury) for PIP benefits.
If you have been seriously injured in an automobile accident it is critical that you retain an attorney with knowledge and direct experience in taking on the auto insurance companies who will likely prematurely cut off your medical treatment regardless of how you feel. Our attorneys provide compassion for our clients while protecting your rights against the insurance industry and ensure that the medical treatment that you require due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident are not unfairly denied or under paid. Call us immediately to protect yours and your family’s rights.