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When someone walking on the street is struck by a car, the results can be scary. Even a car traveling slowly at a speed of 10 miles per hour can inflict disabling injuries on a pedestrian. If the car is driving 30 miles per hour or more, the injuries are likely to be catastrophic or even fatal.
LIABILITY IN A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT
The question at the heart of any accident, including a pedestrian accident, is who is responsible for the accident. In addition to the driver of the car and the person walking in the street, the municipality where the accident occurred may have some responsibility if the traffic signals were out of order or because of other safety issues.
In New Jersey, as in many other states, jaywalking is against the law. Technically, it cannot be expected that cars will stop for someone who is not in a crosswalk. However, in most states, drivers are responsible for paying attention to hazards in the road, including pedestrians. Therefore, if a driver hits a pedestrian who was not in a crosswalk, they may still be held accountable.
Drivers have a responsibility to come to a full stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk or at an intersection and will be held liable for injuries to a person they hit who was using a crosswalk. Even for a pedestrian hit outside the crosswalk, if the person was cautious when crossing the road, the driver will most likely be liable.
A pedestrian who was hit because of malfunctioning lights or poorly placed crosswalks may have a claim against the municipality where the accident happened. There are many factors that may affect the success of this type of claim, including warning signs indicating the crosswalk’s existence in a hazardous area, and the pedestrian’s judgment in the situation where no lights were working. An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate what type of claim will have the best chance of compensating you for your injuries.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT
If you have hit someone, do not leave the scene as you are required by New Jersey law to remain and administer aid to anyone who has been injured. Failure to do so is a serious violation. While you wait for the police to arrive, stay calm and make sure you have called for medical help. You may exchange contact information but should avoid extensive conversation and expressions of guilt, which can be interpreted as admitting fault.
If you are a pedestrian who has been hit and injured by a car, the burden of proof falls on you, the victim, if you decide to try to recover compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is important to have evidence of what happened to you through photos, videos, eyewitness accounts, and police reports and documents. You should also see a medical professional for treatment of your injuries. Failing to go for treatment will be seen as an indication that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant medical attention.
South Jersey Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the dedicated South Jersey pedestrian accident lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. can help you. Our personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience that can make the difference for your case. Call 856-354-9444 today to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. From our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we represent clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.