Your Legal Options in a Pedestrian Accident

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

1 Aug. 2018

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.

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