Dealing with the aftermath of an automobile accident is complicated enough without the added stress when the cause of the accident is another family member. If someone in your household hits your property (or you) with a vehicle, what happens?
Accidents Happen, Even in the Best Families
Assuming you have coverage for your household automobiles, insurance can cover the following:
- Liability – When a vehicle insured under the policy hits a person, or someone suffers injuries inside an insured automobile.
- Property damage – This would cover damage to property owned by someone else that is harmed by an insured vehicle.
In a family situation, either or both claims may arise.
Imagine a scenario where an exhausted parent backs out of the garage to head to work in the morning, and accidentally hits the teenager’s vehicle that was left parked in the wrong spot. This would be considered a property damage claim. If the driver accidentally hit someone else in the family, it would be a matter of liability.
How Does No-Fault Insurance Help?
Under the concept of no-fault insurance, the person responsible for an accident is not the one from whom compensation is pursued or claims are brought. Instead, each individual who purchases automobile insurance can procure “PIP” (personal injury protection) coverage that pays certain costs in the event of an accident, regardless of who was at fault. PIP coverage generally pays for:
- Lost wages, incidental rehabilitative expenses, and other opportunity costs.
- Medical expenses and treatment costs.
PIP coverage extends to the insured and household members up to the limit on the policy. If another family member on the policy hit you, PIP coverage would immediately come into play.
Other coverage options might include using healthcare coverage to pay for medical expenses, in order to reduce the cost of PIP. Additionally, there are extended PIP coverage opportunities available for extra fees by New Jersey insurers.
New Jersey policyholders are also allowed to select whether they wish to have a limited or unlimited right to sue. Not surprisingly, these offer different levels of recoverability after an accident and different premium costs. Understanding the auto insurance policy you have is essential. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident with a family member, reach out to Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari at (973) 635-5400.