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New Jersey Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Pedestrian accidentUrban development across the U.S. and New Jersey has historically prioritized the convenience of drivers over the safety and interests of pedestrians. This has led to an environment where pedestrians must navigate heavily trafficked roadways and dangerous intersections. The outcome of this situation is both predictable and unfortunate.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, “3,434 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roadways in the first half of 2022, based on preliminary data reported by State Highway Safety Offices.” The vast majority of pedestrian accidents are preventable and involve drivers who commit traffic infractions. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a pedestrian collision, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The New Jersey pedestrian accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here to help you. We can take steps to ensure that your rights are being protected and that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. You can reach us anytime at 800-529-9997.

Common Causes of New Jersey Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians have a naturally small profile and are more likely to be overlooked by drivers than other vehicles. Most pedestrian collisions occur at intersections and during periods of reduced visibility. This will include the early morning and late evening hours. Adverse weather conditions, such as snow, rain, and fog can also contribute to pedestrians being overlooked by drivers. What follows are just a few of the other common causes of pedestrian collisions.

  • Speeding: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities. Drivers take much longer to slow down at higher speeds and are more likely to lose control.
  • Driver Intoxication: Many pedestrian collisions involve intoxicated drivers. This includes instances where drivers are intoxicated by alcohol, illegal drugs, or even over-the-counter medications.
  • Distracted Driving: When a driver is texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise not paying attention to the road, they are more likely to miss seeing pedestrians.
  • Left Turns: Accidents frequently occur when drivers make left turns and fail to notice pedestrians crossing the street. Part of the reason that left turns can be so dangerous is that drivers become fixated on cross-traffic and don’t see pedestrians or other vehicles until it’s too late.
  • Inadequate Infrastructure: Poorly designed or maintained infrastructure can also lead to a pedestrian collision. This could include instances where roadways lack stop signs, traffic lights, sidewalks, or adequate lighting.

Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians and other vehicles that could potentially enter their path. If a driver is approaching a blind curve, they must proceed with extreme caution. Similarly, cities and property owners should also do their part to help keep pedestrians safe. For example, cities can install pedestrian islands to give pedestrians refuge from heavy traffic. When drivers, cities, or other parties fail to take reasonable care to avoid collisions, they could be held liable.

Liability For New Jersey Pedestrian Accidents

If a pedestrian has an insured vehicle, they may be able to recover through their own insurance policy. Every driver in New Jersey must purchase Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) insurance, according to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-3.2. This policy covers accident victims regardless of fault. An injured pedestrian may also be entitled to pursue a negligence claim against various entities if they are seriously injured in a crash.

  • Drivers: All drivers have a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid collisions. If a driver fails to slow down to avoid hitting a pedestrian, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.
  • Truck Companies: Companies that own or operate trucks could be liable if their drivers hit a pedestrian. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the wrongful actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties.
  • Bus Companies: Buses are designed to pick up as many people as possible and thus routinely pass through heavily trafficked pedestrian locations. When a bus driver is negligent, their employer could be held at fault.
  • Municipal Entities: Cities and other municipal entities that maintain a roadway could be liable for a pedestrian collision if it was caused by a dangerous condition with the roadway. For example, a city may have allowed foliage to grow over a stop sign, which created a hazard for pedestrians.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers: The company that manufactured a vehicle or its component parts could be liable for a pedestrian collision. A defect with the brakes on a vehicle or its steering system could contribute to a collision.

Pedestrian collisions can be very complex events. The factors that contribute to pedestrian collisions can take place days or weeks beforehand. There could also be several liable parties. Accident reconstruction can be very useful after any pedestrian collision. This is a scientific process used to investigate, analyze, and draw conclusions about the causes of traffic collisions.

Common Injuries In Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians lack the protection provided by enclosed vehicles and are often seriously injured in crashes. Part of the reason for this has to do with the types of vehicles that commonly hit pedestrians. A large number of vehicles on the roadway in the U.S. in New Jersey are large SUVs and trucks. The high ground clearance of larger vehicles makes it more likely that they pull pedestrians under the vehicles as opposed to bouncing them off the hood. Victims of pedestrian accidents may suffer a wide variety of different injuries.

  • Broken Bones: It is extremely common for pedestrians to sustain broken bones and fractures in car accidents. Brakes may occur in a person’s arms, legs, wrists, and ribs.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Almost all pedestrian collisions involve the victim being thrown to the ground. The concussive force of this motion can lead to major spinal cord trauma.
  • Head Injuries: Pedestrians can also suffer major head injuries. These injuries can result in serious and lifelong impairment of a person’s physical and mental functions.
  • Lacerations: When pedestrians are hit by cars, they can be dragged underneath the vehicle and sustain serious lacerations in the process.
  • Internal Injuries: Being hit by vehicles can leave pedestrians with serious internal injuries. This can include damage to their internal organs.

It is crucial that victims of pedestrian accidents get a thorough medical evaluation. The severity of a person’s injuries will only become more apparent with time and treatment. Even if a person is able to heal physically from a collision, they may suffer from long-term psychological injuries. This can manifest as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those who suffer from PTSD might experience recurring nightmares and intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event.

Steps To Take After A Pedestrian Accident

There is virtually no safe speed for a pedestrian to get hit by a vehicle. Even low-speed collisions can knock pedestrians to the ground and leave them with serious injuries. It can be hard to know where to begin after any collision. But getting medical treatment should always be the first priority, even if a person feels like they are alright. Car accidents cause a person’s body to be filled with adrenaline, which can mask the presence of injuries. Victims of pedestrian accidents should consider a number of other steps in order to preserve their rights.

  • Gather Information: To the greatest extent possible, victims of pedestrian accidents should collect information from the driver involved in the collision, including license and insurance information. If there were eyewitnesses, their contact information should also be sought.
  • Document The Scene: It is also important to document the scene of any collision with photos and videos. These should show the vehicle(s) involved, your injuries, roadway conditions, and any property damage.
  • File A Police Report: Ensure that a police report is created. This will create an official record of the incident, and the report can be important when dealing with insurance companies.
  • Avoid Admitting Fault: Do not discuss fault or liability at the scene or with insurance companies without legal counsel.
  • Keep Detailed Records: Maintain a file with all of the documents related to your injury. This includes medical records, police reports, photos, and receipts for expenses incurred.
  • Contact A Pedestrian Accident Attorney: It is always a good idea to seek the guidance of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney after any pedestrian accident. They can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process.

There are so many advantages that come with hiring an attorney. For starters, it doesn’t cost anything up front to have an attorney handle a personal injury claim on your behalf. They work entirely on a contingency fee basis. They only get paid by the opposing party if they are able to resolve your claim. An attorney will consider all of the ways that an accident has impacted your life, both now and down the road. By doing this, they can work towards getting you a fair and just settlement.

Getting Legal Help After A Pedestrian Accident

Team GLKThe New Jersey pedestrian accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are committed to helping victims of car accidents. We understand how difficult it can be to move forward after a pedestrian accident. Our legal team has consistently achieved some of the highest verdicts and settlements for accident victims across New Jersey and New York. This includes an $8 million settlement for a pedestrian hit by a commercial van and a $6.75 million settlement for a pedestrian hit by an MTA bus.

If you were injured in a New Jersey pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. We are committed to making sure that every client gets the most compensation possible. When an insurance provider refuses to offer a fair settlement, we are more than prepared to take every case to trial. There is a reason so many people across New Jersey have hired us to represent them in their time of need. It’s because we are dedicated to winning on behalf of our clients above all else. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 800-529-9997.
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