Pitfalls for new Jersey Pedestrians

By: Marc A. Brotman

A recent study has shown that New Jersey is the 19th most dangerous state for pedestrians. This is obviously bad news for the most densely populated State in the country, where walking should be a safe and viable transportation option for all residents. Further, obtaining insurance coverage for personal injuries when you are hit by a car as a pedestrian can be particularly complicated. Typically in New Jersey, when you are involved in a car-on-car collision, your own automobile insurance pays for the medical costs of treatment for your injuries from the crash. That is called Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP”, and is part of the bundle of policies you buy when you get car insurance. If you own an automobile and have PIP coverage through your automobile insurance, your own PIP coverage pays for medical treatment for injuries if you are hit by another automobile as a pedestrian.

But if you do not own an automobile and you are hit by a motor vehicle while walking, then whether you can obtain coverage for your injuries from the owner of the motor vehicle that crashed into you may depend on what type of motor vehicle hit you. If you are struck by a “private passenger automobile,” or essentially a privately owned car, and you do not carry automobile insurance for your own car, then you may not be able to obtain coverage for medical expenses from the PIP policy of the car that struck you. Alternatively, if you are hit by a non-automobile motor vehicle, like a bus or a taxi, then you may be eligible for PIP coverage from that motor vehicle’s insurance policy. Furthermore, under the law in New Jersey, persons on bikes or skateboards or roller skates may also constitute “pedestrians” for insurance coverage purposes. This is a complex area of law that requires an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate.

If you have been injured by a car as a pedestrian, you need the knowledge and experience offered by the personal injury attorneys at Szaferman Lakind. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Marc Brotman or the other personal injury attorneys for consultation.