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Who Pays the Medical Bills for an Auto Pedestrian Accident?
Some of the most tragic accidents occur when an automobile strikes one or more pedestrians. Take the recent misfortune in Linden. According to news reports, a young mom and her children were waiting patiently to cross the street. When a driver stopped his car and waved the family on, the mother thought it was safe to walk to the other side. Unfortunately, another motorist decided to pass the motionless vehicle. Tragedy struck as the passing car hit the family. The mother and a child in a stroller were rushed to University Hospital in Newark for trauma care. Who pays their medical bills in this auto pedestrian accident?
In determining the payment of health care costs in accidents involving pedestrians, there are some important considerations. One is the type of vehicle that struck the victim. Was it a truck, bus, or automobile? Was it a commercial vehicle? In this Linden case, it appears that the accident involved someone’s personal car. Does that mean they are responsible for paying the bills?
New Jersey’s personal injury protection laws govern payment of medical treatment for car accidents. Notice the emphasis on car accidents. The law states that a person’s own automobile insurance covers them for accidents which occur “…while occupying, entering into, alighting from or using an automobile, or as a pedestrian, caused by an automobile…”. If the injured family or another family member has a personal automobile policy, it will be responsible for paying the medical bills. The system is based without consideration of fault.
Pedestrian accidents are unique as far as covering health care costs. New Jersey recognizes the special nature of these types of accidents. If your household is devoid of automobile insurance, the bills are then turned over to the New Jersey Property Liability Guaranty Association (“NJPLIGA”). This is a special fund that covers medical bill coverages in situations such as auto pedestrian accidents.
Medical bill coverage is different if the injuries were caused by a commercial vehicle, such as a truck or bus. New Jersey’s personal injury protection laws are limited to treatment related to car accidents.
The law office of Beninato & Matrafajlo has handled auto pedestrian cases for more than three decades. We are cognizant of the fact that you do not need the added stress as you recover from your accident. Contact us for assistance in processing your medical bills and ensuring you are eligible for all necessary medical treatment.