Section 9.1 of the New Jersey Automobile Reparation Reform Act (the No-Fault Act), N.J.S.A. 39:6A-1 to -35, provides insurers, which have paid personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to their insured, with the statutory right to seek reimbursement against certain tortfeasors. N.J.S.A. 39:6A-9.1. If the tortfeasor is insured, the determination whether the insurer that paid the PIP benefits is entitled to recover those payments and the amount of the recovery is by agreement of the parties, and, if they are unable to agree, by arbitration. Ibid.
In this appeal, the non-PIP insurer disputes whether its insured was a tortfeasor. Thus, the question presented is whether that dispute must be arbitrated under Section 9.1 of the No-Fault Act or resolved in a court proceeding. The court holds that the issue of whether a party is a tortfeasor is to be resolved at arbitration when that issue involves factual questions as to the fault or negligence of the insured.