Car & Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys Serving Clients across in Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Pennington and across Mercer County, NJ
It is absolutely necessary for you to understand how the State of New Jersey handles car accident claims if you have been recently injured in a motor vehicle accident. Some states are referred to as no-fault insurance states and others are known at-fault insurance states. New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means if you’re in a car accident it is your auto insurance carrier that is responsible for paying certain damages from the accident, regardless of fault.
This means that even if the other driver could be clearly at-fault for the accident it will be your auto insurance that pays for your medical bills. This is very different than at-fault states, where the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the other driver’s damages.
N.J.S.A. 39:6A-1 “New Jersey Automobile Reparation Reform Act”
New Jersey law N.J.S.A. 39:6A-1 also known as the “New Jersey Automobile Reparation Reform Act” states that all New Jersey, drivers must purchase Personal Injury Protection, otherwise known as “PIP”. This covers your medical bills if you’re injured in an accident. A PIP policy pays for you or other persons covered under your policy that are injured in an auto accident. It is commonly referred to as ‘no-fault’ coverage because it pays your own medical expenses no matter who caused the auto accident.
Fines and Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
It is important to remember that being caught driving without insurance in New Jersey is no small problem. A first time violation could mean a fine of between $300 and $1,000, community service, DMV surcharges of $250 for three years, and a mandatory license suspension of one year. In addition, there are substantial court costs and fees that are required to be paid in addition to the penalties listed above.
A second offense is even more problematic fines of up to $5000.00, a mandatory jail sentence of 14 days, 30 days community service, and a license suspension for two years.
The Ins and Outs of a PIP policy
PIP policy coverage is usually broken down into two parts: 1) the first part covers medical treatment received from doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers and medical equipment. While the second part may reimburse you for lost wages as well as money spent on someone to help care for your home or family while you were incapacitated. Furthermore, your PIP policy can contain Bodily Injury Liability Coverage. This coverage will pay for claims made by others who may have been injured or killed due to your negligence behind the wheel.
When purchasing your auto insurance policy you will be able to choose how much PIP coverage you would like. Though the standard is $250,000 you can adjust it to carry a higher or lower amount of coverage. They will then ask if you would like
Using PIP as Primary Health Insurance Policy
It is also possible for your PIP to be primary or your health insurance policy though it likely that your insurance company will advise you not to put PIP as primary being that they charge higher rates for having PIP as primary. However, despite the extra expense having a PIP as primary is often a better choice in the long run because if you are injured in an accident you may want to have access to those funds to cover medical costs.
Should you not choose to have PIP as primary, you will not have access to that coverage regardless of the level of coverage you chose. Paying extra for additional PIP coverage, above the $250,000 standard, will not matter if it is not primary. Furthermore, if you pursue a personal injury claim following your car accident the health insurance company can then place liens on your settlement demanding reimbursement for the costs they covered that would have been covered by PIP if you utilized your health insurance coverage rather than the auto policy.
Call for a Free Consultation with our Trenton NJ Auto Accident Attorneys
At Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson with a comprehensive, proactive strategy, we have been successful in recovering millions of dollars in settlements for our clients who have been injured in automobile accidents in Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Pennington and across Mercer County, New Jersey.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in New Jersey. Contact our Mercer County offices today at (215) 337-4915 to learn more about how our talented personal injury team can assist you. You can also fill out the online contact form to schedule a meeting at our offices in Trenton New Jersey.