Definitions of Personal Injury Insurance Terminology

Definitions of
Personal Injury Terminology

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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This is edited from the NJ Division of Insurance - NJAC 11:3-4 and their webpage is:

Personal injury protection benefits applicable to basic and standard policies

(a) Personal injury protection coverage shall provide reimbursement for all medically necessary expenses for the diagnosis and treatment of injuries sustained from a covered automobile accident up to the limits set forth in the policy and in accordance with this subchapter.

(b) Personal injury protection coverage shall only provide reimbursement for clinically supported necessary non-medical expenses that are prescribed by a treating medical provider for a permanent or significant brain, spinal cord or disfiguring injuries.

Scope and purpose

This subchapter implements the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:6A-3.1, 39:6A-4 and 39:6A-4.3 by identifying the personal injury protection medical expense benefits for which reimbursement of eligible charges will be made by automobile insurers under basic and standard policies and by motor bus insurers under medical expense benefits coverage.


The following words, phrases and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Clinically supported" means that a health care provider prior to selecting, performing or ordering the administration of a treatment or diagnostic test has:

1. Personally examined the patient to ensure that the proper medical indications exist to justify ordering the treatment or test;

2. Physically examined the patient including making an assessment of any current and/or historical subjective complaints, observations, objective findings, neurologic indications, and physical tests;

3. Considered any and all previously performed tests that relate to the injury and the results and which are relevant to the proposed treatment or test; and

4. Recorded and documented these observations, positive and negative findings and conclusions on the patient's medical records.

"Eligible charge" means the treating health care provider's usual, customary and reasonable charge or the upper limit of the medical fee schedule as found in N.J.A.C. 11:3-29.6, whichever is lower.

"Medical expense" means the reasonable and necessary expenses for treatment or services rendered by a provider, including medical, surgical, rehabilitative and diagnostic services and hospital expenses and reasonable and necessary expenses for ambulance services or other transportation, medication and other services, subject to limitations as provided for in the policy forms that are filed and approved by the Commissioner.

"Medically necessary" or "medical necessity" means that the medical treatment or diagnostic test is consistent with the clinically supported symptoms, diagnosis, or indications of the injured person, and:

1. The treatment is the most appropriate level of service that is in accordance with the standards of good practice and standard professional treatment protocols including the Care Paths in the Appendix, as applicable;

2. The treatment of the injury is not primarily for the convenience of the injured person or provider; and

3. Does not include unnecessary testing or treatment.

"Non-medical expense" means charges for those:

1. Products and devices, not exclusively used for medical purposes or as durable medical equipment, such as any vehicles, durable goods, equipment, appurtenances, improvements to real or personal property, fixtures; and

2. Services and activities such as recreational activities, trips and leisure activities.

"Health care provider" or "provider" means those persons licensed or certified to perform health care treatment or services compensable as medical expenses and shall include, but not be limited to:

1. A hospital of health care facility that is maintained by State or any political subdivision;

2. A hospital or health care facility licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services;

3. Other hospitals or health care facilities designated by the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide health care services, or other facilities, including facilities for radiological and diagnostic testing, free-standing emergency clinics or offices, and private treatment centers,;

4. A non-profit voluntary visiting nurse organization providing health care services other than a hospital;

5. Hospitals or other health care facilities or treatment centers located in other States or nations;

6. Physicians licensed to practice medicine and surgery;

7. Licensed chiropractors;

8. Licensed dentists;

9. Licensed optometrists;

10. Licensed pharmacists;

11. Licensed chiropodists (podiatrists);

12. Registered bioanalytical laboratories;

13. Licensed psychologists;

14. Licensed physical therapists;

15. Certified nurse mid-wives;

16. Certified nurse practitioners/clinical nurse-specialist;

17. Licensed health maintenance organizations;

18. Licensed orthotists and prosthetists;

19. Licensed professional nurses;

20. Licensed occupational therapists;

21. Licensed speech-language pathologists;

22. Licensed audiologists;

23. Licensed physicians assistants;

24. Licensed physical therapy assistants;

25. Licensed occupational therapy assistants; and

26. Providers of other health care services or supplies including durable medical goods.

"Identified injury" means those injuries identified by the Department in the subchapter Appendix as being suitable for medical treatment protocols in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:6A-3.1a and 39:6A-4a.

"Emergency care" means all medically necessary treatment of a traumatic injury or a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that absence of immediate attention could reasonably be expected to result in: death; serious impairment to bodily functions; or serious dysfunction of a bodily organ or part. Such emergency care shall include all medically necessary care immediately following an automobile accident, including, but not limited to, immediate pre-hospitalization care, transportation to a hospital or trauma center, emergency room care, surgery, critical and acute care. Emergency care extends during the period of initial hospitalization until the patient is discharged from acute care by the attending physician. Emergency care shall be presumed when medical care is initiated at a hospital within 120 hours of the accident.

Published: May 21, 1999



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