All it takes is a second of distracted driving to change your life forever. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, their injuries are often life-changing. These accidents should never happen in the first place, but when they happen to you or a loved one, you have the right to seek compensation.
An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the complex legal process. For over 30 years, I have represented people throughout the state of New Jersey who have suffered loss and serious injury due to the reckless, negligent, or careless actions of another. My firm, Maran & Maran PC, is proud to represent clients in Newark and throughout all of northern New Jersey, including Warren County, Sussex County, Passaic County, and the nearby areas.
To seek financial compensation for your injuries, it must first be determined who was at fault, or liable. Proving that someone was at fault requires proving that they did not fulfill their responsibilities as a driver.
New Jersey pedestrians also have responsibilities that they must follow to protect themselves and comply with the law. If a pedestrian was not fulfilling their responsibilities, then that may affect their case.
These responsibilities include:
- obeying traffic signals (such as "walk" or "don't walk" signs)
- walking facing traffic
- wearing reflective clothing at night
To learn more about pedestrian's responsibilities and how they may affect your case, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
New Jersey drivers have more responsibilities than pedestrians. In general, drivers have a duty to every person who uses the road.
More specifically, all drivers must:
- stop for any pedestrian in a crosswalk
- yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing in unmarked areas at an intersection
- obey speed limits
- watch for pedestrians when turning right at a red light
Drivers who violate these and other laws are subject to fines. They may also be held responsible for an accident that happened because they were not fulfilling their responsibilities.
To determine who was at fault for the accident, it's important to show that there was negligence on the driver's side. In general, negligence is failing to fulfill a duty by either not doing something or doing something wrong. For example, a driver who does not stop at a red light is acting with negligence. Similarly, a driver who breaks the speed limit is also acting with negligence.
New Jersey is a modified comparative fault state. This means that if the accident was even partially the pedestrian's fault, as long as they were not more than 50% at fault, they are allowed to receive compensation.
If it is determined that the accident was 25% the pedestrian's fault, then their financial compensation will be reduced by 25%. However, if the pedestrian is determined to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, then they cannot receive any compensation.
Financial compensation for the accident is also known as damages. It may be possible to receive damages for:
- medical bills (including rehabilitation and physical therapy in the present and future)
- lost income due to missed work
- pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- scarring or disfigurement
- loss of a function of a body part or organ
- loss of consortium (affection, companionship, and love)
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations (or, deadline) for filing a personal injury claim is two years after the date of the accident. Once two years have passed, your claim most likely will not be considered.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the consequences are often incredibly severe. It's important to act with care after the accident.
If you were in a pedestrian accident, get to a safe place and call 911. Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it's important to have medical records-and it's always better to be safe than sorry. Your symptoms may not appear until weeks after the accident. By seeking medical help right away, you'll show how serious the accident was.
You also need to call the police. It's important to have a police report with the facts of the accident, a description of the scene, and the driver's information.
Next, if there were any witnesses to the accident, you should try to get their contact information. Their testimony may be extremely useful in your case.
If you can, take pictures of the scene of the accident, and specifically, any property that was damaged as well as the road conditions and traffic signals.
Your last step is to contact a skilled lawyer to help you understand the legal process and present the strongest case possible.
Sometimes, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, their injuries are so serious that they do not survive the accident. If this has happened to your loved one, remember that it is possible to hold the driver responsible for their actions. Ultimately, this tragedy should never have happened; an experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through a wrongful death suit to help hold the driver accountable.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, medical bills are often only the beginning. I will craft a strategy to fiercely and compassionately pursue your desired outcome so you can move forward with your life. Maran & Maran PC is proud to represent clients in Newark and throughout northern New Jersey, including Essex County, Somerset County, Warren County, and the nearby areas. Contact me today to schedule a free meeting.