As is common in many states, New Jersey requires motor vehicle operators to carry automobile insurance. One of the features that the state requires to be carried in all insurance policies is personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance coverage, PIP provides compensation to injured parties no matter who is responsible for the accident. While these benefits can be enormously advantageous and help pay for medical bills, many people are not aware of what PIP exactly is.
What Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Covers
Based on the amount of coverage you purchase, PIP covers three different types of damages related to car accidents. These damages include the following categories:
If a person dies due to injuries incurred by an accident, PIP will award “death benefits,” which are passed to the deceased person’s surviving spouse. If no surviving spouse exists, these benefits will be paid to the next of kin. If you do not leave a surviving spouse or any next of kin, these benefits will pass to your estate and can be distributed with your estate plan. In addition to these benefits, PIP will also provide payment for a reasonable funeral up to $1,000.
If you are not able to work after a car accident, PIP will cover lost wages. The amount of coverage changes based on the policy that you hold. The amount of compensation that is paid, however, cannot exceed your normal income.
According to New Jersey law, personal injury protection provides for reimbursement for all medically necessary expenses for both the diagnosis and treatment of injuries due to a car accident. Some of these costs might include ambulance services, diagnostic tests, doctor visits, hospital stays, medication, rehabilitation, and therapy.
Pursuing Legal Action in Personal Injury Protection Cases
If PIP does not provide adequate compensation, you might decide to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits can help you obtain economic and noneconomic damages. If you hold a standard policy with the unlimited right to sue, however, you will be able to pursue additional damages including those related to emotional suffering. Individuals who selected a limited right to sue are only able to pursue additional legal action if one of several injuries arose including significant disfigurement, loss of a body part, fractures, loss of a fetus, permanent injury, or death.
Speak with a Seasoned Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one is injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced accident attorney who can help your case resolve in the best possible manner. We will begin by reviewing your car insurance policy to determine if you are receiving the maximum amount of compensation possible. If additional compensation is required, we can help you pursue these matters in a court of law. Contact Ferrara & Gable today to schedule an initial free consultation during which time we will discuss what options can be pursued to obtain compensation.