PIP is a popularly used acronym for “personal injury protection” benefits, a package of benefits required to be provided with every insurance policy for a private passenger automobile registered or garaged in New Jersey. The broad objective of PIP is to provide a prompt source of first-party recovery for insured drivers and qualifying family members who are injured in automobile accidents.
What is not as widely known is that, under the New Jersey PIP scheme, named insureds and resident members of their families may be entitled to PIP benefits if they are injured as pedestrians in an accident involving a qualifying automobile. In this regard, the term “pedestrian” is defined as “any person who is not occupying, entering into or alighting from a vehicle propelled by other than muscular power and primarily for use on highways, rails and tracks.” Under this definition, the user of any purely muscle-powered means of transportation, such as a bicycle or rollers skates, is clearly a pedestrian.
The PIP laws are complex and the source of much litigation in the state as there are various eligibility requirements that insurance companies attempt to exploit to deny coverage. Thus, if you have been injured in an automobile accident you should contact an experienced New Jersey Personal Injury and Automobile Accident Lawyer who is conversant in the applicable laws, can explain your rights, and pursue medical benefits and possibly recoupment of other damages on your behalf.