Governor Murphy Signs Haines Bill S-2432


NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE APPLAUDS GOVERNOR MURPHY FOR TAKING ACTION TO HELP INJURED VICTIMS OF AUTO ACCIDENTS

Governor Murphy signed a bill to remedy a New Jersey Supreme Court decision that left injured victims of auto accidents with large medical bills and no legal recourse against the tortfeasor.

TRENTON, NJ – Earlier today Governor Murphy signed a bill, S-2432, which allows injured victims of motor vehicle accidents to seek payment for medical expenses due to the negligent or reckless actions of another driver when those expenses exceed their insurance coverage under Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage.

"The New Jersey Association for Justice and the injured victims of auto accidents our members represent thank Governor Murphy for signing this important consumer protection bill into law,” said New Jersey Association for Justice President Kevin M. Costello, Esq. “The decision in Haines v. Taft would have left innocent victims of auto accidents with crushing medical bills and no legal right to sue negligent and reckless drivers for recovery of their medical expenses. Governor Murphy and leaders in the Legislature took an important stand for these injured victims of auto accidents, many of whom are low-income, and we thank them for it. By signing this bill, Governor Murphy has returned New Jersey’s civil justice system to one that allows economic justice.”

The bill signed by Governor Murphy, S-2432, was designed to remedy the March 26, 2019 New Jersey Supreme Court decision in Haines v. Taft that upended more than fifteen years of legal precedent by preventing accident victims who purchased auto insurance policies with limited PIP coverage from being able to seek recovery for their medical expenses above their policy limit. In many cases, and especially for those lower-income consumers who followed the law and shopped for an insurance policy they could afford, that PIP limit is as little as $15,000. The majority decision in Haines v. Taft invited the Legislature to step in and clarify their intent. S-2432 did just that by clarifying that the Legislative intent is that a victim injured in an auto accident should not be left with crushing medical bills and no legal recourse against the tortfeasor.

The bill goes into effect immediately.

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The New Jersey Association for Justice was founded in the 1940s as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America-New Jersey. NJAJ is a statewide association of trial attorneys dedicated to protecting people’s rights by working to strengthen the laws for safer products and workplaces, a cleaner environment and quality health care and preserving justice for all.