Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is auto insurance that the state requires all drivers to have before they head out on the road. If you receive any injuries from a motor vehicle crash, this insurance covers medical care, any income you lost as a result and death benefits for your next of kin.
However, there are several different directions that this coverage can take. As a New Jersey motorist, it is imperative to know about your various options for PIP to determine how much your insurance will help you in an accident.
How much PIP do you need?
PIP offers numerous benefits to those who get in a crash, but it can be expensive to maintain. The minimum amount of coverage the state requires is $15,000, but many go for the maximum coverage of $250,000. Most of this depends on what the resident has as their health insurance policy, as some of the benefits in PIP could already be found there. If you are already paying a lot for your health insurance and know that they can cover you in a car accident, then you might want to have them as the primary plan so you do not have to pay so much for PIP.
New Jersey allows for several different insurance plans for those who do not know how to balance their health insurance and PIP coverage. These plans include:
- PIP primary: Having your PIP be the primary accident coverage so you can get full use out of the benefits.
- Full PIP health primary: Having your health insurance act as the primary coverage but allowing your PIP to take effect once you have reached your health insurance limits.
- Medical only PIP primary: Your PIP benefits solely focus on medical aid.
- Medical only health primary: Your health insurance will be the main source for accident injuries.
Additionally, your auto insurer can pay for your PIP medical benefits in the event you lose your health coverage. However, you will have to pay them an additional $750 deductiblebefore they do so.
Your right to sue
PIP is known as a "no fault" insurance coverage designed to provide financial assistance to parties injured no matter who caused the crash. Since PIPs cover medical expenses, you would have to sue them for non-economic damages such as disabilities, pain and suffering or any enjoyment you got out of the injured body part.
Your plan can include a limited or unlimited right to sue the other driver. Unlimited is fairly straightforward and allows you to sue the other motorist for any injury similar to other states, but this right increases your insurance policy costs. A limited right means that you can only file a lawsuit if it is under severe circumstances such as disfigurement or permanent disabilities. You should base your choice off of how much you think would be properly covered after a horrific crash.
Given the amount of options at your disposal, it can feel pressuring and overwhelming trying to select the PIP plan that is right for you. A personal injury attorney has experience in helping clients choose insurance policies that adhere to their future needs, so you may want to get in touch with one before your or a loved one heads out on the road.