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Law Offices of John Morelli
A Personal Injury Firm Serving All Of South Jersey

Understanding Your Personal Injury Insurance Benefits

New Jersey is a no-fault state. That means that if you are involved in an automobile accident, your own automobile insurance company will pay for your medical bills. If you did not own an automobile on the day of the accident, you would first look to the policies of anyone with whom you live and who you are related to by blood or marriage. This is called being a resident relative. If you live with anyone you are related to and they own an automobile, then you may have coverage for your medical bills through that insurance policy. Lastly, if you do not own an automobile and you do not live with anyone who has automobile insurance, you may be eligible through the policy of the person whose car you were in at the time of the accident.

Personal Injury Protection Benefits

Personal injury protection provides coverage under a standard policy of up to $250,000. This coverage, however, can be limited by the choices you make when you purchase the insurance policy. Typically, companies that advertise heavily on television, such as Geico and Progressive, will reduce your automobile insurance premiums by giving you much less in coverage. For example, Geico often provides only $10,000 in medical benefits. This is grossly inadequate in most cases. In addition, New Jersey law mandates that there be a deductible and a co-payment amount. The standard deductible and co-payment amounts are a $250 deductible and a 20 percent co-payment up to $5,000.

Deductibles And Co-Payments

This means that you can be responsible for up to $1,200 in deductibles and co-payments even if you have $250,000 in coverage. Your deductible amounts can also be increased when you select your personal injury protection benefits. Once again, Geico and those kinds of companies will tell you that you can save money by picking a much higher deductible, such as $2,500 or even $5,000. Imagine a simple trip to the emergency room because of an automobile accident that was not your fault. If you select a $5,000 deductible, you would be responsible for that initial $5,000, plus a possible co-payment on additional amounts.

The Types Of Policies You Should Choose

Personal injury protection is not expensive in New Jersey when compared to the benefits that you receive. When you purchase your automobile insurance, it is strongly recommended that you select the lowest deductible allowed by law, which is $250.

Getting Medical Care For An Accident Injury

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that all medical care is subject to precertification in New Jersey. This means that the insurance company must approve medical testing such as an MRI or any other procedure. Your treating physician must submit a request for precertification to the insurance company and that insurance company has an obligation to respond within a short time, normally 72 hours. If the insurance company denies the request, then your doctor may apply for reconsideration or file an appeal. If the appeal is denied, then your case is eligible to proceed to mandatory arbitration. If you have been denied treatment, it is strongly recommended that you seek the services of an attorney to assist you with the claim.

Reach out to our Cherry Hill office and set up an appointment with a lawyer by calling 856-528-3205. You can also reach us by email.

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