One of the biggest hurdles for injured drivers to overcome after car accidents is collecting payment for medical bills. Collecting these payments depends on who pays and the case’s unique circumstances.
Because New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state, injured drivers seek payment for medical bills from their own insurance. If your medical expenses exceed the limits of your insurance policy, you can file a lawsuit for additional damages. In that case, payment would come from the defendant’s insurance provider. If you opt for a settlement, the other driver’s insurance will still pay for your medical bills, and you will not have to go through a trial first, so the payments can often be collected faster. Our team can help you identify factors that might speed up or slow down the time it takes to collect payments for medical bills.
If you want to collect payments for your medical expenses after a car crash, our NJ car accident lawyers can help you. For a free case review, call our dedicated Legal Care New Jersey team at (732) 838-9769.
Collecting Payment for Medical Bills After an Accident in NJ Through Insurance
In New Jersey, all drivers must carry at least three kinds of insurance: liability insurance, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured motorist coverage. New Jersey is also a no-fault insurance state, meaning drivers file claims with their own insurance providers instead of the other drivers’ insurance. If you are a New Jersey driver in a car accident, your medical bills should be covered by your own PIP insurance regardless of who is at fault.
In many cases, an injured driver’s insurance provider will send them payment for medical bills after the injured driver has already received treatment. Because insurance claims take some time to complete and approve, you will likely receive treatment and be billed by the hospital before you can collect payment from your insurance. As such, payments are more like reimbursements.
Even so, payments for medical bills from your PIP insurance tend to be relatively fast because there is no need to prove fault. You only really need to prove the accident happened and the cost of your medical expenses. If your insurance provider is slow to respond or approve your claims, our Newark car accident lawyers can help you pressure them into acting faster.
Collecting Payment for Medical Bills After an Accident in NJ Through a Lawsuit
Under New Jersey law, basic auto insurance policies must include the following:
- $5,000 of property damage liability per accident (bodily injury liability can be added as an option)
- $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance per person, per accident
Uninsured motorist coverage is not included in the basic insurance policy but is available in the standard policy. Under New Jersey’s no-fault system, you must satisfy your medical bills through your PIP insurance. You can file a lawsuit to collect payment for your medical bills if your medical expenses exceed the limits of your insurance policy or if you have unlimited rights to sue.
New Jersey drivers must decide whether they want a limited or unlimited right to sue when buying an insurance policy. You cannot sue the other driver for non-economic damages like pain and suffering with a limited right to sue. As such, you can only sue if your medical bills exceed the limits of your PIP insurance. However, with an unlimited right to sue, you can sue for non-economic damages regardless of whether your medical bills exceed your policy limits.
If you sue the other driver for medical bills that your PIP insurance could not cover, you can collect payment from the other driver’s insurance. Although you are suing the other driver, they should also carry liability coverage insurance, and their insurance will pay for your medical bills.
You can also collect payments for medical bills directly from the other driver if they lack insurance, although there is a risk that the uninsured driver will be insolvent. In that case, you can collect payment from your uninsured motorist coverage if you have any. Our Jersey City car accident attorneys can help you through your lawsuit and hopefully ensure all your medical expenses are paid.
Payments for Medical Bills Through a Settlement After a Car Accident in NJ
You might also collect payments for your medical bills after reaching a settlement agreement with the defendant. Settlements are private agreements made outside the courtroom and cut short the judicial process. As such, they tend to get injured plaintiffs the money they need faster than if they had a full trial. While the settlement terms will vary based on your case and negotiations, you will likely collect the payments you need faster.
Like in an ordinary lawsuit, the money paid as part of a settlement will come from the defendant’s insurance provider. Once agreed to, the insurance provider must process the settlement agreement before issuing payments. It might take a few weeks or more after the settlement becomes official before you see any money. If the insurance company is held up or moving too slow for your needs, call our New Jersey personal injury lawyers for help.
Factors That Slow Down or Speed Up Payment of Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident in NJ
Not all cases are the same. While some plaintiffs collect payments for their medical bills fairly soon after the crash, others are not so fortunate. Our Paterson car accident lawyers can help you identify any factors affecting how long it takes to collect payments for your medical bills.
Factors that might slow down your payment collection include contentious issues in your case, weak evidence, and high damages. The more issues surrounding a case the defendant disputes, the longer it will take to get to the truth, hold them liable, and make them pay for your medical bills. Weak evidence also slows down a case as it might take longer to convince a jury or judge of your claims. On top of that, insurance companies often dislike paying for high damages. An insurance company might be more reluctant to pay if you experience severe injuries with much more expensive medical bills.
By contrast, your might be able to collect payments from the defendant or their insurance company if there are fewer issues in dispute, you have stronger evidence, and your damages are smaller. Sometimes, defendants will admit to certain aspects of wrongdoing. If you have strong evidence to support your claims, it makes it harder for defendants to refute them. Also, insurance companies are sometimes more willing to pay faster when smaller damages are on the table as it might be more expensive to fight the matter in court.
Contact Our NJ Car Accident Lawyers for Help Collecting Payments for Medical Bills
Our Elizabeth car accident lawyers can help you collect payments for your medical bills after a crash as quickly as possible. For a free evaluation of your case and damages, call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769.