The potential severity of motor vehicle accidents is compounded when pedestrians are involved. Without the protection of a car, pedestrian victims are subject to serious injuries and possibly death, even in low-speed scenarios. Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians claimed 7,450 lives in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Pedestrian related motor vehicle accidents have, over time, become an increasingly large percentage of traffic based injuries and fatalities. Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere, not only at high volume intersections and alongside major roadways, but also in parking lots and within residential neighborhoods.
The pedestrian accident lawyers at Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC have years of experience fighting on behalf of people whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you or a loved one were struck by a motorist, contact our law offices to find out how our attorneys can help you.
What If I Wasn’t Walking?
The laws protecting pedestrians include virtually everyone outside of a vehicle. You don’t even have to be on the road! If a car strikes and you are jogging, skating, checking your mailbox or waiting on the sidewalk, you are considered a pedestrian.
When and Where are Pedestrian Accidents Likely to Occur?
When it comes to accidents involving people who aren’t in a vehicle, the majority tend to happen in urban settings with their high density of automobiles. The open road is also a far more likely place for accidents to occur as opposed to intersections and traffic stops. In 2017, night time was by far the most dangerous time of day with 74% of all fatalities taking place after dark. Typical reasons for accidents involving pedestrians include:
- Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
- Using a Phone (Texting or Talking) While Driving
- Faulty Traffic Signs and Signals
- Not Looking Both Ways at a Turn
- Nonobservance of Traffic Laws
Pedestrians at a crosswalk have right of way by law. However, if there is no designated crosswalk, pedestrians are supposed to yield to vehicular traffic.
What You Should Do in the Aftermath of a Pedestrian Accident
In the aftermath of any pedestrian accident, you will likely be disoriented and in pain. However, it is imperative that you try to remain calm and take steps to ensure your safety. In addition, you should take as many steps as you are able to gather and preserve evidence. Here are good steps to take in the event of an accident:
- Call the Police – Get the police to the scene as soon as possible. They can help you gather evidence that you otherwise might overlook, including questioning witnesses. Get the name and badge number of an officer so you can obtain the police report.
- Get Medical Attention – Even if you “feel fine,” you could have internal or head injuries. If left untreated, these could be fatal. No matter how minor your injuries appear to be, get checked out by a medical professional at the scene. Let them make the diagnosis.
- Obtain Evidence – The more evidence you can gather, the better off any eventual personal injury case will be. Be sure to get contact info from the driver and any witnesses, photograph the scene and your injuries and make a note of important details like the time of day, the weather and the state of the road.
- Contact a Lawyer with Pedestrian Accident Experience – Do not speak with the insurance representative without legal representation. In fact, keep your statements to a minimum. Instead, obtain counsel to handle the legal aspects of the accident while you focus on healing. Although the insurance adjuster might seem kind and the amount generous, don’t be fooled. Their job is to pay you as little money as possible.
One important thing to remember is that pedestrian accident cases have a Statute of Limitations on them. If you fail to file a case within two years, then the court will dismiss your case. You also have to deal with the time sensitivity of memory and evidence. Witness might forget events or change their story and evidence can run cold. So be sure to contact a lawyer and file your case as soon as possible.
Fatalities in Pedestrian Accidents
Without the protection of a car, pedestrians are unfortunately at great risk of death in the event of an accident. If a loved one has passed away as a result of a motor vehicle accident, we can offer assistance in filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver as well as any other necessary legal action. These are emotionally charged and complicated cases that we handle with compassion while aggressively pursuing justice for the surviving family members.
What Do Pedestrian Accident Victims Recover?
We strive to provide victims of pedestrian accidents full compensation for their pain and suffering. First, we will seek payment for all of the medical charges related to the accident. Additionally, our pedestrian accident lawyers will address your lost wages and other damages/losses resulting from the accident.
Experienced NJ Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
At the Law Offices of Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC, we have decades of experience in litigating personal injury cases, including those involving pedestrians. We will zealously pursue compensation for your pain and suffering and to help you deal with lost wages, medical expenses and costs of rehabilitation. We have been servicing New Jersey clients from our offices in Red Bank and Morristown for over 20 years. Let us handle the legal side of things while you work on recovering.