Who Pays for Medical Bills After Car Accidents?
Even a seemingly straightforward car accident can quickly become a stressful and complicated situation if you are injured. Perhaps one of the more important questions that is asked is who pays for your medical bills following a car accident injury. In New Jersey, you have different options available to you.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage in New Jersey
In New Jersey, all drivers are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection when purchasing car insurance, with the options between Basic and Standard coverage. With New Jersey’s “no-fault” insurance rule, both options are meant to cover your bills stemming from an accident:
- Coverage for medical benefits is per person, per accident.
- Drivers who purchase basic PIP coverage must have at least $15,000 coverage. Those that purchase the standard PIP policy, which is generally more popular, have a limit of $250,000 coverage.
- For very serious injuries, such as permanent brain injury or disfigurement, New Jersey law allows up to the maximum $250,000 to be available for the injured party.
- PIP coverage amounts are meant to pay medical expenses and lost wages, so the basic $15,000 minimum will barely cover most injuries.
- PIP coverage may also include medical coverage for passengers injured in an accident.
- PIP may cover family members who live with you if they are in a car accident and do not own their own car.
Should your medical bills and other accident expenses be more than your coverage allows, you have the option to file an injury claim against the insurer of the other driver. However, the other driver must be at-fault for the accident.
Compensation for a Car Accident Injury
Whether you are filing a claim with your own insurer or the at-fault driver’s, you should seek compensation that fully covers all your losses, including:
- Diagnostic medical fees
- Doctor visits and hospital bills
- Emergency room costs
- Future expenses due to permanent disability
- Lost wages
- Medical devices
- Physical therapy or other rehabilitation costs
- Prescription costs
You may also seek compensation for non-economic damages, such as losses like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. There are no definitive dollar amounts associated with non-economic damages. However, they can be calculated to be up to five times the amount of economic damages, normally depending on the seriousness of injury, the injured party’s previous health, age, and so forth.
If your accident involved an at-fault driver who is either underinsured or has no insurance at all, you can still seek compensation if your PIP insurance includes underinsured motorist coverage. If the other driver is at-fault, then your injury claim will be sent to their insurer, where it will pay for your damages up to their liability limit. If their coverage amount is not enough to cover your medical bills and expenses, then your underinsured motorist coverage would take over for the remainder.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Injured Accident Victims Seek Compensation
After suffering an injury in a car accident, you may find it difficult for the insurance company to fully compensate you for your losses. The New Jersey car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. With our offices located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we proudly serve all clients of New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.