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Marlton, NJ 08053

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Archive for May 2013

New Jersey Accident Lawyers Seek answer to whether drivers can sue for medical expenses beyond PIP limits

A New Jersey Superior Court judge decided that drivers who opt for lower personal injury protection amounts can sue for medical expenses that exceed their Personal Injury Protection coverage. Two women injured in a car crash can pursue claims for nearly $50,000 in uncompensated medical costs after the available $15,000 in PIP coverage was exhausted. However, the only other case to address the question Kim v. Kim came to an opposite result in 2010. The judge here held that Kim was not consistent with the language of the no-fault insurance law and the purpose behind the statutory scheme. The insurance company argued that  the standard policy contains $250,000 in protection and any medical costs below that amount cannot be recovered. Thus, an insured who chooses lower PIP coverage for a lower premium gives up the right to sue for medical expenses above that level.

The judge disagreed holding that the ““amount collectible” depends on the limit of the insured’s PIP policy, which in this case was $15,000. Plaintiffs are only barred from admitting evidence of medical expenses under that amount.” Additionally, he stated that the no fault law says that it should not be interpreted to preclude a car accident victim from recovering uncompensated economic losses from a tortfeasor and defines economic loss to specifically include medical expenses. Moreover, insurance law “is devoid of any legislative intent to have insured’s bargain for potentially bankrupting bills, in exchange for lower premiums”

For more information regarding Injury Law in the State of NJ, please visit NJ Personal Injury Lawyer John F. Renner.

Wise v. Marienski

Legal Quote of the Week:

“Litigation is the pursuit of practical ends, not a game of chess”

Felix Frankfurter, Indianapolis v. Chase National Bank, Trustee, 314 U.S. 63 (1941)