Frequently Asked Questions after an Accident
New Jersey Personal Injury Law Firm Established in 1987
Dealing with insurance companies is complex and time-consuming. The experienced NJ injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett made this handy frequently asked questions page (FAQ) to help you stay informed and save time. We hope you find it useful!
When should I contact an auto accident injury attorney?
You should contact an auto accident injury attorney immediately after the accident. Quick investigation and collection of evidence is an important part of a successful outcome.
When should I notify my insurance carrier?
You should notify your automobile insurance carrier or agent immediately after an accident. Inform them of the accident. Your policy may provide benefits that will help reduce your out of pocket expense such as property damage coverage, wage replacement, essential services or other benefits.
I was hurt in an accident, who will pay my medical bills?
New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. This means that in most cases your medical bills will be paid by your automobile insurance company even if your vehicle was not involved in the accident.
If you have no automobile insurance then it will be paid by the insurance company of the vehicle you were in. Payment is made under the "PIP Coverage" of the policy. "PIP" is short for Personal Injury Protection. Pre-certification of the treatment by the insurance carrier is often required before treatment can begin.
Am I responsible for any of the medical bills?
New Jersey insurers are required to offer PIP deductibles. Most policies contain a $250 deductible for the first medical bill that the insurance company pays. Then the insurance company pays 80% of the medical bills up to $5000.00.
Once the total medical bills exceed $5000 then the insurance company will pay the entire amount up to the policy limit of $250,000. The most out of pocket loss you will suffer is $1200. If you have health insurance you can submit the deductible bills to the health insurance provider.
What if the accident was caused by the other driver?
If the accident was another driver’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the NJ auto accident attorney Lloyd Bennett, Esq., P.C. We have been helping accident victims since 1987.
What if I was a passenger or my children, spouse, friend, or co-worker were hurt?
Passengers are often injured in car accidents. In many cases passengers have the same right to recover from the at-fault driver as the driver does. If the passenger owns a car or resides with a relative that owns a car then that family member’s automobile insurance policy will pay the medical bills even if that car wasn’t involved in the accident.
What if there is a dispute about who caused the accident?
If there is a dispute about who caused the accident, the law requires you to prove that another person caused the accident in which you were injured. We understand car accidents. We thoroughly investigate and use experts to assess fault. We will fight to help you win your case.
How will the insurance company evaluate my case?
Most likely, the insurance company for the person who caused the accident will try to offer you less than full compensation. Hiring our law firm can level the playing field. We have the expertise needed to protect your rights to receive full compensation.
What if the other driver does not have insurance?
If the other driver does not have insurance, uninsured motorist coverage may protect you. The rules involving uninsured motorist coverage are complex.
An insurance company is unlikely to thoroughly explain those rules or offer you all of the compensation you may be legally due. We understand New Jersey uninsured motorist coverage and can make sure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
What if the other driver does not have enough insurance?
If the other driver does not have enough insurance, under-insured motorist coverage may be available. Whether you are entitled to under-insured motorist benefits depends on a careful evaluation of your own insurance policy and the policy or policies of the other drivers involved and a thorough knowledge of how uninsured and under-insured insurance law operates in the State of New Jersey.
What type of insurance should I buy to protect my family and my assets?
New Jersey law requires automobile drivers to have automobile liability insurance. New Jersey law allows drivers to choose either the basic or standard policy. The standard policy provides liability coverage to protect your assets (your property and your income) if someone makes a claim against you. The basic policy does not.
I have full coverage, isn’t that enough?
Full coverage means you have coverage for property damage and liability together. It has nothing to do with your liability insurance limits. The liability coverage limit is the most amount of money your insurance company will pay to someone who is injured by you, a resident family member or by the driver of your car. In addition, the standard policy provides uninsured motorist protection in case you or a resident family member is injured by an uninsured car which is very common in New Jersey a basic policy does not.
What is a “standard” policy’s minimum limit?
The minimum liability limits and uninsured motorist limits under a standard policy are $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident for bodily injury and $5000 for property damage. However, New Jersey drivers can purchase more insurance up to $500,000 single limit policy and unlimited amounts thereafter in an umbrella policy.
This coverage will also provide you with an attorney, paid for by your insurance company in the event you’re sued. The standard policy also provides up to $250,000 in medical coverage called personal injury protection (pip) plus additional coverage for income continuation, essential services, death benefits and funeral expenses.
Why shouldn’t I buy a basic policy if it’s cheaper?
The basic policy does not provide coverage to protect your assets; it provides only $15,000 in medical coverage. It also provides up to $250,000 but only for brain or severe spinal cord injury and that will only cover hospitalization costs. There is no uninsured coverage and the insurance company will not provide an attorney to you if you are sued. Never buy a basic policy.
What threshold should I chose?
We recommend that you always chose a “no limitation on lawsuit” threshold. If you chose the verbal threshold you will eliminate the legal rights of yourself, your spouse and any children who reside with you to make a claim for money damages or to file a lawsuit against a careless driver unless you suffer on of the following injuries:
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of fetus
- Permanent injury (where a body part has not and will not heal to function normally)
The “no limitation on lawsuit” threshold permits you to always, make a claim or to file a lawsuit against a careless diver. Always choose the “no limitation on lawsuit”.
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