New Jersey Car Accident Injuries Update
New Jersey Changes Laws For Car Accident Injuries
On August 15, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed two new pieces of legislation into law. These new changes affect people injured in a New Jersey car accident. The updated laws will help New Jersey drivers collect further damages after a car accident. Effectively, the laws reverse an NJ Supreme Court decision that limited injured people’s rights.
New Jersey Car Insurance
You may not realize it when you purchase auto insurance in New Jersey. Each policy comes with health insurance to cover medical care if you or a passenger are injured in a crash. This is Personal Injury Protection coverage, or ”PIP.” This type of coverage is why some consider New Jersey a “no-fault” state. But, this is a misconception.
A New Jersey injury victim has always had the right to sue the wrongdoer who caused the crash. However, there have been certain laws passed to help keep the costs of auto insurance down. One condition is that you cannot sue the wrongdoer for medical bills covered under your policy. This made it hard for people to overcome liability limits in New Jersey.
New Jersey Auto Insurance Coverage
Every New Jersey driver must have an auto insurance policy with PIP coverage. The PIP amount can fall anywhere between $15,000 and $250,000. Drivers have the option to select the lowest. But, the standard PIP option in New Jersey is $250,000.
Old New Jersey No-Fault Laws
In New Jersey, the No-Fault Law covers medical bills. It requires each person’s insurance to cover their own injuries. This includes all medical bills. But, insurance only covers up to the elected policy limits.
In New Jersey, fault did not matter in the event of a car accident. The injured person’s insurance carrier will foot the bill. The person at fault could not be sued for the remaining costs of the injuries. As you can see, this causes extra hardship for injured people.
The New Jersey Supreme Court
Recently, lawyers for big insurance companies took their cause to court. They argued New Jersey residents with lower PIP coverage should be stuck with uncovered medical bills. An injured person could be stuck with up to $235,000 in unpaid medical bills.
Hanes V. Taft
The problem is, many low-income people can only afford the lower PIP option. But, the New Jersey Supreme Court sided with insurance companies. In Hanes v. Taft, the court decided people with lower PIP coverage cannot seek reimbursement. The court ruled unpaid medical bills were the responsibility of the injured person. It didn’t matter if someone else caused the crash.
Fortunately, the new laws reverse this Supreme Court ruling. But, there is still a lot of confusion.
New Law #1: S-2432 Provisions
The new provision states the injured can recover all medical expenses. They can also recover any exceeding costs from the at-fault party’s insurance coverage. This includes PIP (Personal Injury Protection). Health insurance coverage does not matter in this case.
New Law #2: S-3963 Provisions
This provision is an amendment to the law about unreimbursed medical bills. The provision allows for the injured party to recover all unreimbursed medical expenses. Specifically, expenses PIP does not cover.
This assists with recovering expenses beyond the PIP coverage cap. It allows injured people to collect the money they need to heal after the accident.
New Jersey Injury Lawyers
If you were in a car accident, we are here to help you! We know this can be a sensitive and life-changing situation. Our team is here to get you the best results for your New Jersey car accident injury case.
These new provisions provide hope for those injured in New Jersey car accidents. No longer will you need to suffer without money for medical care. You have the right to collect your deserved compensation to remedy your injuries.
Free Injury Consultation
Our established team has earned top rankings in the New Jersey area. We pride ourselves in our legal knowledge and aptitude. New Jersey laws are complicated and hard to understand. If you have any questions about your situation, call us.