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Who Pays If I Am Injured in a Crash as a Passenger?

Who Pays If I Am Injured in a Crash as a Passenger?If you’ve ever been injured in an accident while in the passenger seat, you know that it’s an incredibly frightening experience. What is often worse than the accident, however, is the fact that New Jersey insurance laws are incredibly confusing and can be difficult to understand, much less navigate. Who pays your medical bills if you’re injured as the passenger? You? The driver of the vehicle you were traveling in? The driver who caused the accident? The answer depends on your circumstances. While you can often handle the situation with just your insurance company, in other scenarios you may benefit from working with a Northern New Jersey car accident attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates.

Understanding Personal Injury Protection Coverage

If you didn’t grow up in New Jersey, you may be surprised to learn that the state’s insurance laws are unique to say the least, especially when it comes to being compensated after a crash. Just 12 of the 50 U.S. states operate under what are known as no-fault insurance laws. In states without no-fault laws, the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for covering damages like medical bills and pain and suffering, but in New Jersey, your personal auto insurance is always called upon first.

If you are a New Jersey driver, you are required to have car insurance that includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Regardless of whether you are the driver or the passenger, and irrespective of who was at fault for the accident, PIP coverage will pay your claim, including any medical bills related to the crash. If your PIP insurer is refusing to cover your medical bills and other qualifying damages, a Northern New Jersey car accident lawyer should be your next course of action.

What if I Don’t Have PIP Coverage?

If you have PIP coverage, the payment process is relatively straightforward. But what if you are the passenger, and you don’t drive, and therefore do not carry PIP coverage? In this case, any family member you live with would be responsible for covering you under their PIP coverage. If you do not have insurance and you do not live with any family members, the PIP insurance of the driver you were traveling with would pay your bills.

What About Pain and Suffering Compensation?

New Jersey law makes it quite difficult to sue for pain and suffering unless you have what is known as “unlimited right to sue” within your auto insurance contract. Most people find this option far too expensive and do not carry it.

There is one additional scenario in which you may be able to sue: if your injury qualifies as permanent or severe under New Jersey law. To qualify as a “serious” injury, you must have suffered an injury that caused permanent disability, severe disfigurement, death, loss of a fetus, loss of a body part, a displaced fracture, or extensive scarring. Even if you have severe pain or what you would consider severe injuries, this doesn’t mean state laws agree.

If you believe your injuries qualify as severe under state law, it is imperative that you know how to get proper compensation. In this case, it is usually in your best interest to get in touch with a car accident attorney in Northern New Jersey. The Buttafuoco & Associates team is seasoned in representing victims in car accident cases, including complex cases involving wrongful death, severe injuries in high-speed accidents, and more. To find out more, get in touch with us today.

Issues with Insurance Companies

While we would all like to think that insurance companies exist to protect us, in reality these companies are businesses, and their ability to turn a profit depends on paying victims less than they may need to recover. Unfortunately, this practice is all too common.

There are steps you can take to negotiate with your insurer, and it is always better to negotiate than take the first offer. If you are uncomfortable negotiating or unsuccessful in your negotiations, a car accident lawyer serving Northern New Jersey can often help you with the process.

What Should I Do If I Was Injured as a Passenger?

If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident and were severely injured, do not have PIP insurance, are struggling to get a fair settlement from your insurance company, or have other questions about your case, contacting Buttafuoco & Associates for a free consultation of your case may prove useful. We have decades of experience fighting for clients’ rights against greedy insurance companies, and we will fight for you too. It is our mission to help clients recover the maximum compensation amount possible.

Get in touch with us today at 1-800-NOW-HURT.


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