What is “Personal Injury Protection” Insurance?
Personal Injury Protection Insurance or (often referred to as PIP) is an extension of auto insurance that covers injured victims of auto accidents. Personal injury protection is a “no-fault” type of insurance, meaning that the insured driver should receive compensation for their medical expenses and lost income, regardless of who may be liable.
This comprehensive coverage is mandatory for all car insurance policies in New Jersey. So if you have car insurance in any area in NJ, your policy automatically comes with personal injury protection insurance. If you have been injured in an auto accident, your PIP coverage may cover medical expenses, lost wages, essential services, and funeral expenses where applicable.
What Medical Expenses are Covered by PIP?
The New Jersey Personal Injury Protection “No Fault” Statute clearly outlines PIP coverage for residents. There are several tiers of protection which can be elected for personal injury protection insurance. The lowest, “basic” coverage limits the medical benefits up to $15,000 per person, but there are other policies which may reach upwards of $150,000. It is state law that all covered individuals are allowed additional coverages up to $250,000 for catastrophic physical injury.
Examples of qualifying catastrophic injury include brain damage, permanent disfigurement, spinal cord injury, or any other injuries which are deemed to be permanent and significant requiring acute care. In a more general sense, coverage of medical costs from a personal injury protection insurance policy can go up as much as 16x depending on your ability to prove that your injuries are “permanent and significant”.
In addition, all medical expenses must be considered to be medically necessary. This essentially means that the insurer must believe that your treatment is to treat the symptoms of your injury as it was sustained in your accident and that it “is not primarily for the convenience of the injured person or provider”. Unnecessary tests and procedures which fall outside of the scope of your immediate injuries may not be covered.
At The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys can assist you in learning more about your legal recourse pertaining to personal injury protection insurance.
Discussing Further Coverage of PIP Insurance
- Lost wages. Many serious injuries prevent our clients from returning to work. You may be eligible for benefits ranging from $100 to $5,200 per week to replace your salary. The calculation takes into account the victim’s current income and may not surpass that amount. This benefit may be continued until the individual is able to return to work or the dollar amount paid reaches the maximum amount allowable.
- Payment for essential services. Essential services are chores and everyday activities which would normally be performed by the injured individual such as doing laundry, grocery shopping, and lawn care. This benefit is capped at $12 per day and $4,380 total.
- Death benefits and funeral expenses. In the event of a fatal auto accident covered by a PIP insurance plan, beneficiaries are entitled to three forms of compensation. First is a lost wages continuation which follows the rules detailed above for normal lost wages benefits. Second is a lump sum for essential services, which is generally the full amount of $4,380. Lastly, beneficiaries may receive a maximum of $1,000 to cover funeral expenses.
What Happens if my PIP Insurance Does Not Cover My Damages?
When your own PIP coverage does not cover all of the damages you have suffered as a result of a car accident, it may be necessary to instead file a personal injury claim against other drivers involved in your accident, and their insurance policy providers.
Of course, any car accident personal injury claim will need to prove that another driver was responsible for your accident, or at least 50% or more responsible thanks to comparative negligence laws.
When it comes to recovering compensation for damages which your own PIP car insurance policy does not cover, one of the most important things you can do is to retain the counsel of our experienced Passaic County car accident injury attorneys in order to gather and present the evidence necessary to ultimately securing an injury recovery.
Contact Our PIP Insurance Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman, our attorneys have over 50 years experience helping clients across Wayne, Clifton, Little Falls, Paterson, West Milford, and the greater Passaic County area to recover full and fair compensation in personal injury claims of all kinds.
Our attorneys work on a contingency basis. We are therefore able represent your claim to insurance companies while helping you to protect your family’s financial stability throughout the arduous claims process.
With many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements already recovered for our clients, our proven track record of success and years of service speaks for itself.
To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your accident, your personal injury protection insurance policy, and your options for recovering compensation, or your options for retaining our services, please contact us online.