If you’re from New Jersey and you’re hurt in a Florida auto accident, your rights may be different than if you lived in Florida.
I’ll focus on the differences in this article. For the entire article, I’ll assume that the crash happened in Florida.
Will Your New Jersey Car Insurance Cover You if You’re Hurt While in a Rental Car in Florida?
If you have coverage for collision and other than collision (comprehensive) for at least one of the vehicles on your policy, you are eligible for rental car coverage in Florida. The same deductibles will apply to your rental vehicle in Florida.
Tip: If you do not have physical damage coverage on any of your insured autos, you will need to purchase this coverage from the Florida rental car agency. Coverage for a rented (non-owned) auto is provided while renting the vehicle in Florida.
Your New Jersey Personal Injury Protection Should Cover You in Florida
New Jersey residents with Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on their NJ vehicles are covered with PIP if they’re hurt in a Florida accident. This applies to the “named insured” and any “family member.”
You’ll either have a NJ Standard Policy or a Basic Policy. The Standard Policy gives you PIP as low as $15,000 per person or accident in Florida. PIP can be as high as $250,000 or more.
In a Florida car accident, you get up to $250,000 in New Jersey PIP benefits for “certain injuries ” regardless of your selected PIP limit. Thankfully, those certain injuries rarely occur.
Those “certain injuries” are:
- permanent or significant brain injury; or
- 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 an accident and until the patient is stable, no longer requires critical care and can be transferred to another facility in the judgment of the physician.
Will Florida PIP Cover a NJ Resident Who is in a Florida Auto Accident?
Maybe. Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance covers a NJ resident who is hurt in Florida while:
- A driver or passenger of a rental car
- A driver or passenger of a car registered in Florida
- A passenger in a private bus
When Won’t Florida PIP Cover a NJ Resident Who is in a Florida Auto Accident?
Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance doesn’t cover a New Jersey resident who is hurt in Florida if a:
- car hits a NJ resident while a pedestrian in Florida
- car hits a NJ while riding a bike in Florida
- car hits a NJ resident while riding a moped, scooter or motorcycle
- NJ resident is hurt while in a taxi, limousine or public bus
Can You Sue the Careless Driver in Florida Who Caused Your Injury?
Yes. You can sue any party who was responsible for the accident.
Pain and Suffering Damages for NJ Residents Who Are Hurt in Florida Accidents
In many Florida car accident cases, if you live in NJ you’ll need to meet the tort threshold in order to be entitled to pain and suffering compensation.
However, there are many situations where a NJ resident doesn’t need a threshold injury in order to get money for pain and suffering.
For example, a NJ resident doesn’t need to have a threshold injury if his/her accident was caused by a taxi, limousine or public bus.
If You’re Hurt in a Florida Car Crash and Have a NJ Health Insurance Policy, Do You Have to Repay a Health Insurer if You Settle Your Injury Case?
It depends on the type of health insurance plan that you have.
If you have a non-group health insurance plan that has a right of subrogation in the policy, and your only claim against the liable party’s bodily injury (“B.I.”) liability insurance in a Florida crash, I think that Florida law controls.
The same is true if you have health insurance through the city, county, municipality or the State.
This means that if the tortfeasor’s carelessness caused your injury, you can recover compensation from the tortfeasor that your health insurance paid.
You then need to pay back the health insurer. You subtract your attorney’s fees and costs from the pay back amount. The repayment amount is also reduced by any other equitable (fairness) factors.
If you have a self-funded ERISA health plan, the plan language controls.
New Jersey Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in a Florida Car Accident
NJ Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) coverage is the term used when there is no coverage at all on the other vehicle. Underinsured Motorist coverage is the term used when the other vehicle’s policy limit is inadequate to pay for all your damages.
No New Jersey UM Insurance if Basic Policy in a Florida Crash
If your New Jersey auto insurance is a “Basic Policy”, you won’t have New Jersey UM coverage. If you’re a passenger in a Florida car with UM coverage, that UM coverage may cover you.
You Get New Jersey UM Insurance if Standard Policy in a Florida Crash
Provided you have a Standard Policy, your own insurance company may pay for B.I. to you caused by the negligence of:
- any person or organization who did not have liability insurance at the time of the accident.
- any person or organization who had adequate liability insurance coverage at the time of the accident, but for some reason, the company writing the insurance denies that their policy provides coverage for the loss.
- any person or organization who did not carry enough insurance to pay for your damages in full.
Your New Jersey Right to Sue Option May Affect Your UM Claim from a Florida Accident
Under a NJ Standard auto policy, you either choose a Unlimited Right to Sue or a Limited Right to Sue. These options only cover lawsuits for “pain and suffering” or non-economic losses.
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