One of the most commonly asked questions about car accidents is who pays for the medical bills caused by them. Although this question seems like it would have an easy answer, this is not always the case. Many persons assume that the person at fault for the accident pays the bills. Although this seems logical, it is not how it works in New Jersey, since it is a no-fault state. As a result, all drivers in New Jersey must purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which pays for medical expenses, regardless of who is actually at fault for the car accident.
Special rules regarding payment
As a New Jersey resident, if you own a vehicle (i.e. the vehicle is registered to you), your car insurance pays for your medical bills. This rule applies, even if you were not driving your car at the time of the accident. After paying your medical bills, your insurance company recovers its expenses from the insurance company of the party at-fault for the accident. However, this is a process that does not require your involvement.
If you do not own a vehicle, the question of who pays for your medical bills gets more counterintuitive. Generally, in this situation, if you live with a family member (e.g. parent, child, grandparent, sibling or step-relation) that owns a car, it is their insurance that pays for your medical bills.
In cases where you do not own a vehicle or live with an insured family member, it is generally the insurer of the vehicle in which you were injured that will pay your medical expenses.
Of course, these rules have exceptions. For example, if you were injured in a car accident while in the course of your job, your medical bills are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Because of the complexity of the rules, if you are injured in a car accident, it is wise to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C. can protect your right to compensation, ensuring that you receive a fair settlement that addresses all the injuries you sustained in the accident.