New Jersey Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrians are no match for the massive impact of being hit by a truck or car. The serious injuries that result can mean time off work, exorbitant hospital bills, and long rehabilitation.
In a no-fault state like New Jersey, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) kicks in to offset some of the expense, but all too often, the costs exceed the maximum payout. It’s important to remember that injury victims have options for significant compensation beyond that permitted through PIP. The knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Harrell Injury Law can help you take full advantage of the restitution you are entitled to.
You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. Request a free consultation with a New Jersey pedestrian accident lawyer to explore your legal rights. We’re here for you every step of the way.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Factors that commonly contribute to a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident include:
- Speeding: When vehicles travel too quickly for the area or weather conditions, it can be difficult to notice a person on foot—or react with enough time to avoid an accident.
- Night: Low visibility can make it difficult to see pedestrians, particularly if they are wearing dark clothing.
- Weather: Rain, snow, fog, and intense sunlight can all diminish driver visibility, although the driver is still liable for operating the vehicle in a cautious manner.
- Impairment: Nearly half of all pedestrian accidents (46%) involve driver intoxication with drugs or alcohol. Motorists who have had a few drinks may be inattentive, unable to stay in lane, or may make erratic decisions.
- Distraction: Drivers are responsible for giving their full attention to the road. Sometimes they are texting or fiddling with personal devices while behind the wheel, causing them to veer out of lane or make hasty decisions.
Often, victims are not sure precisely what happened in those crucial moments before the accident—and that’s okay! A big reason why injured parties call our NJ pedestrian accident attorneys is to get to the bottom of what occurred and why. This closure can be invaluable as you begin the road to recovery.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Are So Dangerous
The outcome is rarely good when an unprotected human body meets a heavy, solid vehicle. Serious injuries can occur even when the vehicle is moving at a relatively slow speed. Since 2009, pedestrian deaths have increased 59 percent.
According to the CDC, more than 7,000 pedestrians are killed on our nation’s roads annually. That’s one death every 75 minutes. Overall, 1 in 6 motor vehicle crash fatalities were pedestrians. Furthermore, pedestrian accidents prompt 104,000 emergency room visits for the treatment of serious injuries. Senior citizens and small children are especially at risk for suffering serious bodily harm from a car accident while they are navigating on foot.
Compared to the rest of the nation, New Jersey ranks as the 15th most dangerous state for pedestrians, with an average of 160 deaths, 320 serious injuries, and thousands of moderate injuries each year.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Common injuries that result when trucks or cars collide with pedestrians include:
- Amputations: loss of limbs due to injury, infection, or poor circulation and healing
- Bone fractures: breaks in the legs, arms, shoulders, backs, hands, and wrists
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): unconsciousness, concussion, skull fracture, and disability
- Neck injuries: whiplash, soft tissue tears, crushed disks, and mobility issues
- Spine injuries: spinal fractures, ruptured disks, dislocated vertebrae, and paralysis
- Soft tissue injuries: cuts, lacerations, muscle tears, joint damage, or disfiguring scars
- Emotional trauma: post-traumatic stress disorder, fear, anxiety, panic, and depression
Since these injuries can result in significant medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost income from missed work, and emotional injury, it’s important to explore avenues for collecting compensation to help get you through recovery.
Does PIP / No-Fault Insurance Cover Pedestrian Accidents?
Many injured pedestrians mistakenly believe they’ll be covered by their car insurance PIP policy after a pedestrian accident. While New Jersey is a no-fault state, insurance companies all too often encourage individuals to accept lower coverage for lower premiums.
Depending on the nature of your injuries, your recovery may require emergency medical care, ambulance transport, surgery or other invasive treatments, the setting of broken bones, assistive support like a wheelchair or mobility device, hospitalization, life-sustaining support, or psychological counseling. You may also require money to cover lost wages from time missed at work, or reduced earning capacity if you are no longer able to do the work you were formerly capable of. The total amount of compensation needed to cover these losses will rarely be obtained through PIP insurance alone. Pedestrians who do not own a vehicle and do not have PIP will not receive private insurance coverage for their medical bills. So where is the remainder of the money they need going to come from?
Harrell Injury Law can help answer this question and pursue the full amount of damages you are entitled to under the law, including assisting you get PIP benefits through the state when you do not have your own PIP policy.
Potential Compensation When Hit by a Car
All cases are unique, and the exact value of your claim will depend upon factors such as:
- The burden of proof and driver’s ascribed liability
- The severity and permanence of your injuries
- The total cost of medical expenses and lost income
In some instances, liability for a pedestrian injury may not attach solely to the motorist involved, but to a property owner or municipality if the accident involved a hazardous condition that could’ve been prevented through due diligence and maintenance.
You have the right to seek compensation to cover all your:
- Past, present, and future medical and hospital bills
- Past, present, and future loss of wages
- Rehabilitation, prescription drug, and therapeutic costs
- Relevant out-of-pocket expenses, including transportation
It’s important to consider potential future costs associated with your injuries today. If they argue that you’re partially to blame for the accident, insurance companies will also try to reduce the amount of compensation they give you under New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence Act, so you’ll want to build a strong claim that absolves you of any liability.
New Jersey allows personal injury claim filings up to 2 years after the accident occurred, although claims against public entities may require notice of claim within as little as 90 days. Don’t wait to contact a New Jersey pedestrian accident attorney at Harrell Injury Law.
How Harrell Injury Law Can Help
The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety stipulates that all drivers in the state must stop for all pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. Failure to do so can result in a $200 fine, points on their driver’s license, community service, and increased insurance costs. Even outside the crosswalk, pedestrians have a right to sue motorists for costs related to their accident injuries.
At Harrell Personal Injury Law, we work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not owe legal fees unless we secure compensation on your behalf. With over 38 years of combined experience, we understand the toll accidents can take on your health, finances, and overall well-being. Our team looks out for your best interests when handling negotiations with profit-driven insurance companies, urging them to consider the uniqueness of your claim and the totality of your losses—past, present, and future.
Contact us to speak with an accomplished attorney in our Wall Township office. We serve clients throughout Central Jersey, Howell Township, Monmouth County, and Jersey Shore.