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FAQ: Who pays for medical bills after a motor vehicle accident?

Frequently Asked Questions – Personal Injury – Motor Vehicle Accidents

Q:  I was involved in a car accident and I need medical treatment but I don’t have health insurance.  How can I get the necessary medical attention without generating large, unpaid medical bills? 

A:  Many people are not aware that New Jersey automobile insurance policies provide for up to $250,000 in medical coverage.  It is mandatory under New Jersey law for all personal car insurance policies issued in New Jersey to contain No-Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.  This means that medical bills will be paid under your automobile insurance, regardless of fault.  Before New Jersey adopted a no-fault system, medical bills were the responsibility of the insurance company of the individual who caused the accident.  Since fault was often contested, the payment of bills was often delayed by months or years.  With first-party PIP coverage, injured parties are eligible to receive prompt medical care, regardless of fault. 

The first step in obtaining medical benefits is determining if there is an applicable auto insurance policy for your accident.  Depending on the circumstances, this could be your own policy, the policy of a resident family member, or a policy covering the vehicle you were occupying at the time of the accident or the vehicle(s) that caused the accident.  If it is determined that no auto insurance policy exists that covers you or your loved ones medical expenses, NJPLIGA may provide medical benefits. 

The next step is to determine what amount of benefits is available for your use.  A standard New Jersey auto insurance policy will allow for up to $250,000 in benefits.  However, an individual can opt to purchase a policy with as little as $15,000 in medical coverage for a reduction in their policy premium.  The New Jersey courts are currently split on whether or not outstanding medical bills that are incurred as a result of choosing a reduced medical benefit limit can be claimed as damages in a civil lawsuit. 

In order to best evaluate the medical payment options available to you or your loved ones for injuries sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident, call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.   Our lawyers can help you submit an application for benefits to the proper insurance company and ensure that your healthcare providers submit their bills to the insurance company in compliance with the governing procedures. 

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