Hurt While Walking or Jogging?
New Jersey Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Injury Victims
Pedestrian fatalities continue to rise in New Jersey. As of May 2, 2019 54 pedestrians were killed in accidents with motor vehicles.
Even a car traveling at a low speed can cause disabling injuries, including spine and brain injuries, to a pedestrian. If you are hit by a car in New Jersey, you may be able to recover compensation from the driver’s insurance company or your own, depending on your policy. In addition, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
After a pedestrian accident, just like a car crash, you may get calls from pushy insurance adjusters who may try to pressure you into a quick settlement. However, you should not speak to another driver’s insurance representative until you have had time to call a pedestrian accident lawyer. Even if your claim is seemingly straightforward, New Jersey insurance laws are complex, and you may not know just what compensation you need or deserve. At Keefe Law Firm, our lawyers have decades of experience with these kinds of cases. We know what insurance companies can and should pay, and we will work hard to ensure you get a fair settlement.
Statistics and Causes of New Jersey Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 6,227 people died in pedestrian accidents in 2018. This is the largest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990. Approximately 66,000 pedestrian accident victims sustain injuries that require emergency medical treatment annually. Additionally, one of the deadliest states for pedestrian accidents is New Jersey with over 125 fatal accidents every year.
Other important statistics include:
- Pedestrians make up approximately 16 percent of traffic fatalities nationwide. In New Jersey, pedestrians account for 29 percent of all crash deaths. This rate is the third highest in the nation, exceeded only by the District of Columbia and Nevada.
- Alcohol use and drunk driving were contributing factors in almost half of all fatal pedestrian accidents.
- The increasing sales of light trucks and SUVs over cars is also a factor, due to the severity of impact from a larger, heavier vehicle on the human body.
- Approximately one fifth of all pedestrian accidents are also hit-and-run accidents.
- Three quarters of all pedestrian fatalities occur at night.
- 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur at intersections or crosswalks.
- Most pedestrian accidents occur in cities and urban areas, especially in areas without sidewalks or automated crosswalks.
- Nearly half of all pedestrian deaths involve cars or other vehicles traveling at less than 40 miles per hour. According to the Governors Highways Safety Association, 25 percent of pedestrians involved in a car crash at just 25 miles per hour will sustain serious injuries.
The number of pedestrian injuries and deaths nationwide is slowly growing. Many factors may contribute to this increase, such as a rise in the number of pedestrians on the road. An increase in distracted driving as well as distracted walking may also contribute to the surge in pedestrian crashes.
Who is Liable for Pedestrian Accidents in New Jersey?
The driver of the vehicle is often at fault in cases involving pedestrian vs. car accidents. Vehicle operators and pedestrians alike must exercise reasonable care when on the road and should obey New Jersey’s pedestrian safety regulations.
For drivers, this includes staying alert and looking out for pedestrians crossing the road, especially at crosswalks. Drivers owe a special duty of care to children, who are physically smaller and who are not expected to know the rules of the road. For pedestrians, the duty of care includes looking both ways before crossing and using designated crosswalks at the correct time.
Generally, if you are a pedestrian hit by a car, either the driver’s car insurance or your own should cover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses. Even though you were not driving at the time of the accident, your car insurance policy may apply to your damages. However, this depends on what kind of policy you have and who was at fault for the crash. In New Jersey, you may choose to purchase no-fault car insurance or a normal fault based policy. The rules for each of these types of policies are confusing, so it is always best to consult a pedestrian accident lawyer before filing any kind of car insurance claim.
Hit by a car, truck or other vehicle while walking? Call a New Jersey Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Now
If a pedestrian accident caused your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one, contact Keefe Law Firm. A pedestrian accident lawyer from our law firm can answer your questions about insurance and liability in a free consultation. If you need representation for a personal injury lawsuit, our attorneys will stand by you.
We are committed to providing our clients with individualized attention while they recover. With offices in Red Bank, New Brunswick, Point Pleasant and Newark, we provide legal services to pedestrian accident victims statewide. Schedule your free consultation today by contacting us online or calling one of our local offices.
Hit by a Car FAQs
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit if I was hit by a car?
Every state has specific time limits known as “statutes of limitations” which prescribe the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case such as a pedestrian accident, is two years from the time of the incident. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, your claims can be dismissed. This is why it is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as you are hurt or have determined that you have been injured.
Even though victims typically have two years to file a claim, a good personal injury lawyer needs adequate time to prepare and successfully represent you. This preparation includes examining medical reports, interviewing witnesses, visiting the scene of the accident, determining weather and road conditions, and much more.
How much does it cost to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit?
Usually, nothing up front. If you were hit by a car or other kind of motor vehicle, your lawsuit is classified as a personal injury matter. In New Jersey, personal injury claims are handled on a contingency basis. This means that all expenses relating to the prosecution of your case are paid for by your attorney or law firm. When your case is settled or closed, your legal fees are deducted from the settlement amount or jury award.
I’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident. What should I do if I want to file a lawsuit?
There are a number of things you can immediately after an accident to protect your rights.If you are able:
- Call the police and/or 911.
- Identify any witnesses and get their contact info. Take notes of conversations that you have with people involved in the accident or who were witnesses. Save them electronically.
- Take photos or videos of the scene and vehicles involved.
- Make sure you get the police report. It should be available at the precinct closest to the scene of the accident, about 10 days after the accident.
- Do not post anything about the accident on any social media account. It may be wise to post nothing until your case is closed.
- Contact an experienced, qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
What damages are recoverable in a pedestrian accident case?
You may recover damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages and income, and possibly damages for pain and suffering. If the defendant’s conduct is extreme, punitive damages may be awarded.
Hit By A Car Or Suffered Another Injury In A Pedestrian Accident? Our Lawyers Will Provide A Free Case Evaluation
At Keefe Law Firm, we stand for our injured clients to attain nothing less than the compensation they deserve. Talk to a Keefe Law Firm lawyer today about your options.