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NJ Commercial Vehicle Accident Law – What are Injured Passengers’ Legal Rights?

Philip Ciprietti, NJ Car & Truck Accident Lawyer

Philip Ciprietti offers clients a genuine interest in their well-being and success and places clients’ interests first in all matters. Since 1982, Mr. Ciprietti has been certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney.

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Last week, there was a serious tractor-trailer and bus accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. It happened on Wednesday morning when a tractor-trailer switched lanes and struck the NJ Transit bus from behind. There were sixty-one passengers on the bus. As a result of the accident, ten people were injured, and one of the ten people sustained serious injuries. *Source: http://patch.com (Cops: Truck Switched Turnpike Lanes And Struck NJ Transit Bus, Injuring 10)

In situations like this, injured passengers may be confused as to what they need to do to make sure their medical bills are paid for. In addition, seriously injured bus accident passengers often do not know what their legal rights are. Who would they sue in the situation? The NJ Transit/bus driver or the tractor-trailer driver?

Related FAQ: I was on a bus that got in an accident in NJ. I am injured and need to have physical therapy for several months. Who pays my medical expenses?

Medical Expenses

When drivers or passengers are injured in motor vehicle accidents in Cherry Hill, Marlton, or Southampton, NJ car accident law provides that their own car insurance companies will pay for the medical expenses incurred as a result of the accidents regardless of who is at fault. This applies even if the insured driver is in another person’s car. Therefore, if an insured driver is injured while riding in a friend’s car, his PIP covers his medical expenses.

So does this apply if the insured driver is injured in a NJ Transit bus accident? Unfortunately, it does not. PIP only kicks in if the insured is injured in an “automobile.” See NJ Car Accident Law – Exception to Verbal Threshold: Automobiles not Covered by PIP.

Because a NJ Transit bus is not an automobile and not required to carry PIP, the injured passengers cannot use PIP coverage under their own auto insurance policies. However, if passengers bought “Extended Medical Expense coverage” on their car insurance policies, then their medical expenses may be paid by this coverage up to the limit purchased.

If the passengers do not have Extended Medical Expense coverage, they may be covered under another auto policy that has Extended Medical Expense coverage. For instance, if a passenger lives with his parents who have Extended Medical Expense coverage on their car insurance policy, the passenger’s medical expenses may be covered by this coverage because he is a member of the household.

If passengers do not have Extended Medical Expense coverage and are not covered under other policies that have Extended Medical Expense coverage, they have to use their health insurance to pay for the medical expenses.

Injured in a NJ Car Accident? NJ car accident law is confusing. Injured victims should consult a NJ car accident lawyer to explore their legal options. Call Philip T. Ciprietti, Esq. to schedule a FREE case evaluation. Mr. Ciprietti is an experienced NJ car accident lawyer and has helped many injured drivers and passengers in Cherry Hill, Marlton and Southampton, NJ. 800.281.8695

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