If you are a pedestrian who was struck by a car or truck in New Jersey, you might be wondering who is responsible for paying for your medical bills. Many pedestrians who survive motor vehicle accidents are seriously injured and require extensive medical treatment.
If You Have Your Own Auto Policy During A Pedestrian Injury in New Jersey
If you have your own auto insurance policy, your medical bills will be covered by your own automobile insurance company’s Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits. The reason why your own auto insurance would cover your injuries, as opposed to the negligence driver’s auto policy is because New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means that, regardless of who caused the accident, your own insurance company is required to pay your medical expenses.
Thus, even though you were not the driver or passenger in a car at the time of the accident, as a pedestrian involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, your auto policy will cover your injuries. For this reason, when you arrive at the hospital after a car accident where you were injured as a pedestrian, you should present your car insurance policy information, and not your health insurance information.
Other Auto Policies After New Jersey Pedestrian Injuries
If you do not own your own car and, therefore, you do not have your own auto insurance coverage, you must look elsewhere for coverage. The next place to look to have your medical expenses covered would be the automobile policy of any relatives that you reside with. So, for example, if you live with your parents, you would be covered under their auto policy, even if you are not the primary insured under that policy.
PLIGA – A Special New Jersey State Insurance Fund
If you do not have your own auto policy and if your household is devoid of any insurance policy, then your medical bills will be paid by the New Jersey Property Liability Guaranty Association (“PLIGA”). This is a special state insurance fund that covers medical bills in situations such as pedestrian accidents.
The purpose of PLIGA is to provide for the reimbursement of medical expenses to pedestrians injured in auto accidents that do not own a car or reside with a family member who owns a car. You should note, however, that PLIGA will not pay for your medical expenses if you are the owner of an uninsured car.
Often times, people do not want to get their relative’s insurance involved and therefore try to submit their bills to PLIGA. PLIGA, however, will run a comprehensive search for any household vehicles. You will therefore not be able to obtain PLIGA benefits is there is a car in your household.
Thus, to recap, the first place you would look for coverage for your medical bills is your own auto insurance. If you do not own a car, the next place you would look is to any household relatives with car insurance. If you do not reside with any relatives who have a car, then you need to apply for PLIGA.
Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorneys Serving New Jersey
The above information applies only if the pedestrian was struck by an automobile. If a pedestrian was struck by non-automobile, such as a motorcycle, truck, bus, or commercial vehicle, then PIP benefits will be paid by the insurance company for the at-fault vehicle, even if the pedestrian has their own auto policy or lives with a family member who has an auto policy. If you were injured as a pedestrian in a car accident in New Jersey and have questions about your medical bills, contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at Harrell, Smith and Williams today at (908) 264-7288 to schedule a free consultation.