Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) September 18, 2017 – Senior trial attorney Scott M. Goldberg, Esquire and firm Associate Jeffrey M. Thiel, Esquire recently announced a successful Appellate Division victory significantly changing New Jersey law benefitting motor vehicle accident victims.
“Imagine that you’re sitting at a red light at 3:00 A.M. in the morning and some drunk driver smashes into the rear of your vehicle sending you to the hospital. You walk out with a $10,000.00 hospital bill and $5,000.00 of property damage to your vehicle. Your minimum medical expense deductible is $1,200.00. Your property damage deductible is usually around $500.00,” began Goldberg.
“The law in New Jersey says you can recoup your property damage deductible from the other driver’s insurance, but not your medical expense deductible and co-pay. So you are out $1,200.00 due to absolutely no fault of your own,” he continued.
“This is established law in New Jersey,” explained Goldberg. “Then shortly after this became the law, New Jersey law changed to permit motorists to purchase reduced medical expense coverage, commonly called PIP or no-fault,” Goldberg continued. "So the issue became, what happens when your motor vehicle accident medical expenses exceed your reduced PIP coverage?"
According to Goldberg several of the trial courts in New Jersey were extending the New Jersey medical expense deductible exclusion to make innocent motor vehicle accident victims be responsible for their medical expenses exceeding their limited PIP benefits.
“And we had just such a case,” said Goldberg. “Our client had only $15,000.00 of medical expenses or PIP benefits. But her bills exceeded this by about $10,000.00.” “The trial judge said, effectively, ‘Too bad. You chose the lesser policy, so now you’re stuck with the excess $10,000.00 of bills,’ ” explained Goldberg.
“So we appealed. The Appellate Division overruled the trial court and held that our client’s excess medical expenses were, in fact, recoverable against the driver responsible for the accident." “It just makes sense,” said Goldberg. “And better yet, the opinion has been published which means that it controls all future cases in New Jersey with such issues going forward.”
“Our associate Jeff Thiel did a great job on the appeal. Not only did our client receive justice, but this significant law change will benefit any similarly situated New Jersey motor vehicle accident victim who incurs medical expenses in excess of their PIP benefits in the future,” added Goldberg.
Petrillo and Goldberg Law is a law firm in Camden County, New Jersey that specializes in the representation of motor vehicle, work related and other accident victims.
Petrillo & Goldberg Law
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