For most adults, they go back and forth between being a driver and a pedestrian
every day. The problem is that when you’re a pedestrian, you’re
no longer protected by thousands of pounds of steel. Instead, you’re
vulnerable and if you’re hit by a motor vehicle, you know that the
car or truck is going to win.
If you are hit by a car while you’re a pedestrian, your first avenue
for compensation will be the driver of the vehicle that hit you. Meaning,
you’ll seek compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering,
and lost income from the driver’s auto insurance carrier.
But, in some cases you may be able to collect compensation from a third
party, such as the municipality that you were hit in, that is if an unsafe
condition contributed to the accident (e.g. traffic signs, traffic lights,
etc.). Or, you may be able to collect from the property owner’s
insurance if a hazardous condition in their parking lot played a role
in the accident.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can be very scary events. They can send your adrenaline shooting through
the roof, which can temporarily mask the pain of serious internal or external
injuries. If you are ever hit by a car, truck, or SUV, immediately call
the police and have them file a police report. In the case of a hit and
run driver, try to memorize their license plate number and call the cops!
Follow these steps after a pedestrian accident:
- Call the police.
- Take note of the license plate number.
- If you’re in a lot of pain, call an ambulance or get yourself to
an emergency room.
If you’re in mild pain, still
see a doctor right away. The adrenaline could be masking the pain, which can be excruciating
later as it wears off. Whatever you do, don’t wait to see a medical
doctor. If you wait, the insurance company likely won’t take your
claim seriously and they can even dispute it.
- Contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
New Jersey is a No-Fault Insurance State
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, in most cases the driver of the car
is considered to be at fault, but
not always. However, if a pedestrian is hit by a car in a cross walk, the driver is
almost certainly deemed liable for the accident.
If a pedestrian was not in a crosswalk when he or she was hit, there is
a very good chance that the driver will still be found at fault as long
as the pedestrian didn’t run or dart into the road, giving the driver
no chance to avoid the pedestrian. Essentially, it comes down to common sense.
New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. This means that the driver would
pay some, if not all of the pedestrian’s medical bills. If the accident
had occurred in a non-no fault state, the pedestrian would be responsible
for paying their own medical bills. To learn more about the state’s
auto insurance laws,
click here to read a brochure brought to you by the New Jersey Department of Banking
and Insurance. To file a personal injury claim,
contact our firm today.