A N.J. motor vehicle accident story
Joe arrived home from a tense, stressful day in court, and yelled to his wife, “Honey, I’m home. I’m going to take a walk before dinner.” With that, Joe threw on his sweat pants and sneakers, and headed out the front door. The cool night air was invigorating. “Just what the doctor ordered, instant stress relief,” Joe said to himself.
Joe reached the corner, and started to cross the street without looking both ways for traffic. Bam, lights out. Joe was struck by a motor vehicle, and knocked unconscious. Joe awoke in a bed in Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey. His first thought was, “Thank G-D I’m alive.” His second thought was, “How are my medical expenses going to be paid?”
Joe does not own a car. He and his wife recently moved to the suburbs from New York City. They were going shopping for a car over the weekend. Under N.J.S.A. 17: 28-1.3, every motor vehicle, excluding automobiles, but including motorized bikes (motorcycles) registered or principally garaged in New Jersey is required to carry “Pedestrian PIP.” This coverage provides payment of medical expenses incurred by a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle or motorized bike; regardless of fault.
In other words, Joe’s medical expenses will be paid by the N.J. liability insurance carrier for the motor vehicle that smashed into him while crossing the street; without regard to Joe’s fault. It is sufficient that Joe did not own a car, and did not reside with a resident relative who owned a car, to trigger his eligibility for “Pedestrian PIP” benefits.
Beginning in 1972, N.J. enacted a complex scheme of automobile liability insurance laws, rules, and regulations providing a myriad of benefits to people injured in automobile, bus, truck, and motorized bike accidents. Title 17 of the New Jersey Statutes requires mandatory Pedestrian PIP coverage for motor vehicles and motorized bikes. If you are wondering why “automobiles” are excluded from Title 17 Pedestrian PIP coverage, it is because Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes regulates mandatory Pedestrian PIP coverage for automobiles.
I suggest you speak to a very knowledgeable professional to guide you through this byzantine maze of laws, rules and regulations when you are injured in an accident. Knowledge is power.