If you’ve been injured in a car accident in New Jersey, you must first use and exhaust your PIP (Personal Insurance Protection) coverage to pay for your medical bills and lost wages. Every driver in New Jersey is required to have PIP coverage but some drivers carry the minimum or have serious injuries that cost well over their PIP coverage amounts. If your medical bills and lost wages are higher than your PIP coverage, you may have many questions about how to pay for your continued treatment and recovery.
What to Do if your Medical Bills are Higher than PIP Coverage
1. Contact an attorney
If you were injured in a car accident, especially one that is due to someone else’s negligence or careless behavior, contact an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer to discuss your case. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation and can advise you of your rights and options for your case. If you have a legitimate claim against the at-fault driver, a law firm will work to maximize your compensation for medical bills, lost wages as well as pain and suffering due to the accident from the liable party.
2. Contact your health insurance provider
It's important to continue medical treatment after the accident. Don’t stop or forego treatment, as that can adversely affect your claim later. Your health insurance provider may pay for medical treatment. You will be responsible for copays and out-of-pocket expenses but those costs can be included in your claim against the at-fault driver. Keep in mind that the health insurance company may put a lien on your claim to ensure that they will be compensated for the cost of your medical care.
3. Contact the hospital or healthcare provider
In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate with the hospital or healthcare provider to work out a payment plan or some arrangement that will allow the provider to be paid but will keep your account out of collections. A skilled New Jersey car accident lawyer can help with these negotiations and advise you on the best way to deal with your medical bills.
Who is Liable for Paying the Difference Between Medical Bills and PIP Coverage?
New Jersey and New York are both no-fault insurance states. This means that you must first file a claim with your own insurance before looking at other options. If the at-fault driver carries liability insurance, you may be able to file a claim against that coverage. But if they don’t or if the coverage amounts exceed the damages, you may also be able to file a claim with your own insurance company for underinsured motorist coverage, if you opted for it.
A word of caution with insurance companies -- don’t be quick to accept any offer that comes your way. Insurance companies are in business to maximize their profits and minimize claims. If you have been injured in an accident, in many cases, an experienced New Jersey auto accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurer to get a more reasonable settlement for your injuries. It's important to consider the full scope of your case, your claims and the damages you endured as a result of the accident.
Brandon J. Broderick, New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
Working with an attorney with extensive experience in car accidents can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it? When you hire a personal injury lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you are assured a passionate team fighting for your best interest and putting your needs first. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney, at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success with car accident settlements and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.