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“At-fault” vs. “no-fault” states

When clients come to see us here at the offices of Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, and Covelli following a car accident in Jersey City, they’re often surprised that when they sought medical attention after their accidents, they were asked to provide their auto insurance information. Most may assume that auto covers the repairs to one’s vehicle, while health covers his or her medical expenses. However, this is not always the case. In this post, we’ll examine how medical coverage is determined following a car accident.

According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were over 60,700 car accidents that resulted in injuries in 2013. When people are injured in accidents where another driver was determined to be at fault, they may automatically assume that driver’s insurance will cover their medical expenses. In many cases, that’s exactly what happens. The bodily injury or property damage coverage provisions of their policies are in place specifically to handle the medical expenses of others when they’re deemed to be liable. In other cases, one’s medical expenses may instead be covered by the Personal Injury Protection portion of his or her own policy.

 The question then becomes what sort of coverage one can expect following his or her accident: PIP or another driver’s liability coverage? The answer to that question depends largely on what state the accident occurred in. In terms of auto accident liability, states are either classified as “at-fault” or “no-fault.” In an at-fault state, the liable driver’s insurance coverage is expected to cover expenses. In no-fault states, accident injury victims have the option of having their PIP or their medical insurance billed. New Jersey is currently listed as a no-fault state.

For more information on getting medical expenses covered following an accident, visit our Car Accidents page. 

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Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli

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