Aug 162013
 

Those injured in car accidents in New Jersey often struggle to understand how their medical bills will get paid. They often have many questions, such as “who is eligible to make a PIP claim?” and “why do I have to pay a deductible?” In addition, many car accident situations result in confusion as to whose car insurance company will be responsible for paying the medical bills, especially when multiple car insurance policies could apply.

Under New Jersey car accident law, only certain classes of people can make PIP claims. New Jersey PIP law mandates that PIP claims are generally made by the following two classes of individuals:

  1. the named insured and members of his family/household, and
  2. everyone else (i.e., passengers).

The relevant portion of New Jersey Statutes Annotated Section 39:6A-4 provides:

[Standard insurance policies] shall contain personal injury protection benefits for the payment of benefits without regard to negligence, liability or fault of any kind, to the [1] named insured and members of his family residing in his household who sustain bodily injury as a result of an accident while occupying, entering into, alighting from or using an automobile, or as a pedestrian, caused by an automobile or by an object propelled by or from an automobile, and [2] to other persons sustaining bodily injury while occupying, entering into, alighting from or using the automobile of the named insured, with permission of the named insured.

For example, let’s say Dad is driving his two children and gets into a car accident. The children suffer injury. Because the two children live with Dad, they are eligible to make PIP claims under Dad’s car insurance policy. Here, Dad is the named insured and the two children are members of his household.

Suggested article: Injured in a NJ Car Accident? – The Basics of Medical Benefit (PIP) Claims

NJ PIP Law – How Pedestrians and Passengers Make PIP Claims

Under New Jersey PIP law, pedestrians and passengers must look first to their own policy and then a family member’s policy. This is known as primacy of coverage under Section 39:6A-4.2. This basically means that when more than one insurance policy could apply, only one insurance policy will be primary. In addition, only one PIP claim can be made under the primary car insurance policy. Generally, no one can make multiple PIP claims with multiple car insurance companies. The following examples explain the primacy of coverage principle.

Example 1, Pedestrian Accident Case: A pedestrian is crossing the street and gets hit by a car. The pedestrian will first look to his or her own car insurance policy. If there is no such policy, but the pedestrian is covered by a family member’s policy (i.e., mom, dad, or grandparent), then the medical bills would usually be paid by the family member’s car insurance company. Pedestrians who have no available PIP insurance may be able to make a claim with a special state fund, the PLIGA.

Example 2, Passenger Accident Case: Dad is driving a friend and gets into an accident. The friend does not have any applicable insurance policy. Therefore, the medical bills would be paid by Dad’s car insurance company.

Related car accident legal article:

New Jersey Car and Truck Accident Lawyer with Over 35 Years of Experience. Free Consultations

If you were injured in a car accident in New Jersey and have questions about your medical bills, feel free to contact Phil T. Ciprietti, Esquire for a free initial consultation. 800.281.8695

Mr. Ciprietti places the interests of his clients first in all matters.  Since 1982, Mr. Ciprietti has been certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. He is an experienced personal injury lawyer who has helped many injured car and truck accident victims in New Jersey.

In addition to helping residents of New Jersey in all types of accident cases, Mr. Ciprietti also represents residents of other states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Virginia who are injured in car, truck or bus accidents while driving on New Jersey roadways such as, the NJ Turnpike, AC Expressway, Interstate 295 or the Garden State Parkway.

*Disclaimer: Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in New Jersey. This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Use of the contact form on this website or emailing Mr. Ciprietti does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.