Like most car accidents in general, pedestrians are hit as a result of negligence. In some cases, drivers do not obey rules and regulations of the road. For example, they may not yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Other causes include distracted drivers, who may be texting on cell phones, speeding, driving under the influence, and poor visibility.
WHAT’S EXPECTED OF DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS?
Both drivers and pedestrians have responsibilities and New Jersey’s Right-of-Way laws lay out exactly what is expected of both. Generally speaking, drivers must always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, corners, and any other areas marked for pedestrians. They also need to stop and look both ways before making turns.
Pedestrians are expected to look both ways before crossing a street, use designated crosswalks, and step off the curb only when crosswalk lights indicate that it’s safe for them to do so.
SETTLING CLAIMS FOR PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
In practice, most pedestrian-car accident claims are settled through the driver’s car insurance, typically by way of an out-of-court settlement. New Jersey requires all drivers to carry car insurance to make sure victims can be compensated. Moreover, all car insurance policies must include coverage for Personal Injury Protection (or PIP). But, PIP benefits only cover what the law calls economic damages such as medical bills and wages lost because the injured person can’t work. They do not cover pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or other, non-economic types of damage. Also, PIP benefits have policy limits with the required minimum being only fifteen thousand dollars.
You will want an experienced personal injury lawyer working on your behalf if:
-the driver’s insurance denies these PIP benefits,
-your medical costs exceed the PIP policy limit, or
-you want to recover the less quantifiable (non-economic) damages from the party at fault.
WHAT IF SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS STRUCK AND KILLED BY A CAR?
Not surprisingly, pedestrian-car accidents can result in death because the pedestrian is largely unprotected from the impact of a several thousand pound vehicle. An at-fault driver who causes the death of a pedestrian after a car accident may face a wrongful death lawsuit. Just as you need to prove your case in non-fatal accidents, this kind of claim will also need to establish the driver’s negligence caused the accident. An attorney will gather the evidence needed to get a settlement for family members of the deceased. Among the things that can be compensated for include funeral expenses, wages the deceased would have earned, and lost companionship.
In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 173 pedestrian deaths in New Jersey, which represented 31 percent of all fatalities involving car accidents that year. This map shows the breakdown of pedestrian fatalities by New Jersey county. Most pedestrian fatalities occurred in Bergen and Essex counties, while Warren and Salem counties had no pedestrian deaths that year.
STATISTICS FOR NON-FATAL PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS IN NEW JERSEY
Although most pedestrian-car accidents in New Jersey are not fatal, that doesn’t mean the injuries caused by them aren’t serious.
According to a State of New Jersey Highway Safety Plan report, about four thousand people a year were injured in pedestrian-car accidents each year from 2011 to 2015. This table shows that most suffered minor injuries, but over a thousand had moderate injuries, and nearly two hundred or more were injured seriously every year.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, contact Rosenblum Law for a free, no-obligation consultation.