As a no-fault state, it is mandatory for New Jersey drivers to have minimum car insurance coverage, including personal injury protection (PIP).
PIP pays for the medical care of the policyholder and everyone under the policy, no matter who is liable. Since there is no waiting time to resolve who is the at-fault driver, processing PIP payments often lasts only a few days to a month.
The state requires a $15,000 minimum, but other drivers purchase as much as $250,000. Knowing how PIP works can help drivers assess how much protection they want on the road.
What constitutes PIP?
Aside from medical bills, such as medications and ambulatory, surgical or rehabilitative services, the coverage also includes:
- Lost earnings
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Transportation costs
- Replacement services or tasks the victim cannot do due to the accident, such as child care and house cleaning
It is important to note that property damage to the policyholder’s vehicle or the car of the other party involved does not fall under PIP. Further, a separate bodily injury coverage also pays for the victim’s and their passengers’ injuries if the policyholder is responsible for the crash.
What makes PIP complex?
PIP may have elements that overlap with a basic health insurance policy. There are also specific exceptions if the policyholder files a lawsuit against the liable driver, such as suing for pain and suffering if they sustained catastrophic or permanent injuries. With these nuances and particular filing deadlines, a legal advocate is crucial to clarify uncertainties and fulfill paperwork on time. They can stay on top of the case so that the victim can focus on physical and emotional healing.