The answer depends on whether you have your own motor vehicle insurance policy and if there are other applicable auto policies.
You Own a Car and are Insured
If you own a car or other type of motor vehicle, such as a mini-van or a truck, and are insured under an auto policy in NJ, your auto insurance will pay your medical expenses resulting from your bicycle-car accident pursuant to your medical benefits coverage, also known as PIP benefits.
You may be wondering why your auto insurance covers your medical expenses when you were not injured while you were driving your motor vehicle and not at fault, but that is in fact the case.
Pursuant to New Jersey auto insurance law, PIP benefits also cover the insured driver when he is injured as a pedestrian struck by an automobile. Further, bicyclists are considered pedestrians. Therefore, a cyclist may make a PIP claim with his car insurance company if he was hit and injured by a car.
Because you were hit by a car in Marlton while riding your bike, you may file a PIP claim with your own auto insurance company, if you have one.
For a detailed discussion about PIP coverage for cyclists, see NJ Car-Bicycle Accidents – Who Pays for Injured Cyclists’ Medical Expenses?
As to why your own auto insurance applies when you are not at fault, it is because NJ is a no-fault state. Pursuant to NJ law, regardless of who caused the accident, your own PIP benefits coverage pays for any reasonable medical expenses resulting from your accident. Also see Injured in a NJ Car Accident? – The Basics of Medical Benefit (PIP) Claims.
You do not Own a Car but Other Auto Insurance Policies are Available
If you do not own a car or other type of motor vehicle, you may still be able to make a PIP claim if there is an applicable auto insurance policy.
NJ auto insurance law provides that PIP coverage is available to the named insured and “members of his family residing in his household” who are injured in a car accident as a driver, pedestrian or cyclist.
Therefore, if your spouse has an auto insurance policy, you are a member of your spouse’s family residing in the household. Your spouse’s PIP benefits coverage on her auto insurance policy will pay for your medical expenses. Another common scenario is if you are living with your parents and they have an auto insurance policy, then you are a member of the family residing in your parents’ household and are eligible for PIP benefits.
You do not Own a Car and No Other Applicable Auto Insurance Policies are Available
If you do not own a motor vehicle and are not covered under any other applicable auto insurance policies, then you may receive PIP benefits from the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy.
If you want to discuss your case further, please give me a call at 800-281-8695. We can also schedule a FREE consultation to discuss your accident in person.