Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits are contained in every motor vehicle liability insurance policy which pay for medical bills and related compensation. Every motor vehicle liability insurance policy issued in New Jersey is required to include PIP coverage to its insureds regardless of fault for the accident. Since the coverage is mandatory regardless of fault, it is more commonly known as “No Fault” coverage.
The limits of PIP coverage are dependent on the type of policy purchased. Basic policies provide medical expense benefits for the “reasonable and necessary treatment of bodily injury in an amount not to exceed $15,000 per person per accident” as well as coverage up to $250,000 for “all medically necessary treatment of permanent or significant brain injury, spinal cord injury or disfigurement” or “for medically necessary treatment of other permanent or significant injuries rendered at a trauma center or acute care hospital immediately following the accident and until the patient is stable, no longer requires critical care and can be safely discharged or transferred to another facility in the judgment of the attending physician.”
Contained within the definition of Personal Injury Protection coverage are:
- Income continuation benefits. The payment of the loss of income of an income producer as a result of bodily injury disability, subject to a maximum weekly payment of $100. Such sum shall be payable during the life of the injured person and shall be subject to an amount or limit of $5,200, on account of injury to any one person in any one accident, except that in no case shall income continuation benefits exceed the net income normally earned during the period in which the benefits are payable.
- Essential services benefits. Payment of essential services benefits to an injured person shall be made in reimbursement of necessary and reasonable expenses incurred for such substitute essential services ordinarily performed by the injured person for himself or herself, his or her family and members of the family residing in the household, subject to an amount or limit of $12 per day. Such benefits shall be payable during the life of the injured person and shall be subject to an amount or limit of $4,380, on account of injury to any one person in any one accident.
- Death benefits. In the event of the death of an income producer as a result of injuries sustained in an accident entitling such person to benefits under this section, the maximum amount of benefits which could have been paid to the income producer, but for his or her death, under subsection b. of this section shall be paid to the surviving spouse, or in the event there is no surviving spouse, then to the surviving children, and in the event there are no surviving spouse or surviving children, then to the estate of the income producer.
- Funeral expenses benefits. All reasonable funeral, burial and cremation expenses, subject to a maximum benefit of $1,000, on account of the death of any one person in any one accident shall be payable to the decedent’s estate.
26 N.J. Prac., Motor Vehicle L. & Prac. Forms § 21:1 (2014-2015 ed.)