"I was injured in a car accident. Who pays my medical bills?"

While that is the case in many states, New Jersey operates under a “no fault” system, meaning that who is to blame for causing the accident is irrelevant when determining which insurance company must pay for one’s medical treatment.  Your automobile insurance has something called Personal Injury Protection or PIP Benefits. So if you were injured in an accident, regardless of fault, your medical treatment would be paid for by your own automobile insurance carrier’s PIP Benefits. Another way to look at it is that the PIP Benefits follow the person, and not the vehicle. Take this example: let’s say you are in an automobile accident, but as a passenger in a friend’s car, again it is your own automobile insurance policy’s PIP coverage that pays for your medical treatment.

What if, in the passenger example, you did not have automobile insurance? Well, the law in New Jersey requires that the injured person next turn to any “insured resident relative” who must provide the PIP benefits to you.  If neither you nor a “resident relative” insure a motor vehicle, then you would look to the “host” vehicle’s insurance policy (the owner of the vehicle you were in at the time of your injury) for PIP benefits.

It is important to note that this information is not legal advice. I must stress this because this area of law has become so complex in recent years that now only attorneys that concentrate their practice in the area of personal injury practice or NJ auto insurance law should be consulted to determine an auto accident victim’s PIP eligibility and rights associated with automobile insurance.

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