In New Jersey, the car accident law provides that regardless of who caused the accident, the injured driver or passenger’s own car insurance policy pays for their medical expenses incurred as a result of the car accident. This type of coverage is called PIP benefits. It not only provides medical expense benefits, it may also provide optional benefits if purchased by the driver:
- income continuation benefits,
- essential service benefits,
- funeral benefits, and
- death benefits.
Even though your mother was in your car, if she has her own auto insurance policy, then her PIP coverage would pay for her medical expenses related to the car accident. In order to receive the benefits, your mother will have to call her insurance company to open a claim. The insurance company will then send an Application for Benefits for her to complete before she can receive benefits.
Your Mother does not have an Auto Policy
If your mother does not her own auto policy, then she may be covered by an applicable auto policy. For example, she may be covered under your father’s auto insurance policy.
If no other auto policies apply, then your car insurance policy would provide PIP benefits to her.
Therefore, your mother’s medical expenses are covered by her own car insurance policy, if she has one. If not, then they will be covered by another applicable car insurance policy. Lastly, if that is not the case, then your car insurance policy will pay for her medical expenses.
In all of these scenarios, there is a deductible on PIP coverage. The usual deductible is $250. However, a policy owner may choose a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium. The deductible can go up to $2,500.
In addition to the deductible, your mother is responsible for co-pays. Though PIP benefits coverage pays for medical expenses, it does not cover 100% of the expenses due to the 80/20 co-pay provision. The deductible and co-pay provision apply to the first $5,000 of medical bills. Any medical bills above $5,000 are paid 100% by PIP benefits.
Therefore, if you mother has a $250 deductible and her medical bills are $5,000, her deductible and co-pay will total $1,200. If her medical bills are $7,000, her deductible and co-pay will still total $1,200 because the remaining $2,000 are paid by PIP benefits.
Therefore, your mother will be responsible for a portion of her medical expenses even though there is PIP coverage.
FREE Initial Consultation from a NJ Car Accident Lawyer
If you were in a car accident in Cherry Hill, Marlton or Camden and need to talk to a lawyer, call 800-281-8695.