What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No-Fault Insurance?

In order to register and operate your vehicle in New York and New Jersey, you must purchase some basic auto insurance coverages, including Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Personal Injury Protection is also commonly called “No Fault” insurance. No Fault insurance laws were created to ensure that individuals involved in car accidents were promptly compensated by the insurance company, regardless of which party was to blame.

Personal Injury Protection not only expedites compensation for legitimate crash-related expenses, it also serves to curb frivolous claims arising from car accident injuries and financial losses.

When purchasing an auto insurance policy, you will be able to select the amount of desired PIP coverage. In New Jersey, this could be as low as $15,000 per person/per accident up to $250,000 per person/per accident. In New York, each insured vehicle is required by law to carry a minimum of $50,000.00 in PIP coverage for each occupant.

What does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) cover?

The primary purpose of PIP insurance is to restore individuals who were harmed in auto accidents to health and productivity as quickly as possible. PIP benefits are extended to the driver, passengers, and any pedestrians harmed by the insured vehicle.

No Fault car insurance covers three categories of losses: medical expenses arising from the crash, work-related losses, and death benefits.

  • Medical costs: can include medical services, ambulance services, surgery, hospital expenses, rehab costs, diagnostic tests and medication
  • Essential services benefits: Under NJ law, PIP will also cover a maximum of $12 per day to pay for essential services – including chores such as laundry, shoveling snow, etc. — that injured parties are not able to perform. In New York, this compensation for reasonable and necessary expenses is capped at $25 a day for up to 12 months from the accident date.
  • Lost wages/inability to work: New York No Fault laws reimburse up to 80 percent of lost wages from work, up to a maximum of $2,000 per month for a period of 3 years from the accident date. In New Jersey, the PIP coverage for work-related losses starts at $100 per week for a $15,000 annual policy, and can reach up to $5,200 per week in lost wages for a $250,000 policy.
  • Death Benefits: If the car accident results in death, next of kin in New Jersey are entitled to the maximum payout of their PIP claim, plus $1,000 in funeral benefits. In New York, this coverage extends a $2,000 death benefit to be paid to the estate of the decedent.

What is excluded from No Fault insurance?

It’s important to note that No Fault insurance does not cover:

  • The cost of repairing your vehicle
  • Damage to another party’s vehicle or property
  • Damages for “pain and suffering”

When can PIP benefits be denied?

Under most policies, PIP benefits may be denied if:

  • Your vehicle was not insured
  • You were injured while committing a felony
  • You intentionally contributed to your own injuries
  • You were operating a Vespa, Motorcycle or scooter
  • You were operating a vehicle that was stolen
  • You were driving drunk or while impaired by drugs

Speak with experienced personal injury attorneys

If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, you have first-hand experience how swiftly medical bills can pile up, creating immediate financial burdens. Missed work means lost income, which only adds to the challenges of paying your mortgage, making rent, or putting food on the table. Unfortunately, PIP benefits may not be sufficient to cover all your losses.

In crashes involving serious or catastrophic injuries, you may be eligible to sue for compensation. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman to explore your options for legal recourse.  Since 1975, we have been helping accident victims in Rockland County and Bergen County get fair compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering.

Additional No-Fault Insurance Resources:

  1. New York State, Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/auto/auto1202.htm
  2. New Jersey State, Auto Insurance http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/pdf/everythingauto2006.pdf
  3. State of New Jersey, Auto Insurance Policy http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/insurance/basicpolicy.shtml