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When you went to cross the street, you didn’t expect the accident to happen. You were careful, but the driver wasn’t. Now, you’re facing mounting medical bills and months of difficult therapy just to try to get your life back on track.
You don’t have to be in a vehicle to die in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,987 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2016. This is the highest number of pedestrians killed in a single year since 1990.
The 2016 report does not list injuries. However, the 2015 study estimates more than 70,000 injuries and 5,376 pedestrian fatalities. That’s almost 200 injuries and 15 deaths per day, and that number is increasing.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that during the past decade, car accident deaths decreased by 14% while pedestrian fatalities increased by 27%. As a result, pedestrians make up a larger portion of the deaths and serious injuries.
Distracted driving is one cause of this increased pedestrian accident rate. Your phone does more than make or receive calls. These all-purpose devices are also our media player, GPS, and messenger. Unfortunately, this also makes them a dangerous distraction. Of these, the government says texting while driving is riskiest for both the driver and those in their path.
“Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” -NHTSA
While pedestrian deaths are on the rise, the number of car crash fatalities is falling. Thanks to decades of innovation, you’re safer driving a car than ever before. Unfortunately, most safety standards only look at what happens during a crash if you’re inside a vehicle. As a result, the driver and passengers are safer, but pedestrians like you are still at risk. As a result, pedestrian deaths would be a larger percentage of car fatalities even if the number wasn’t increasing. But they are, which makes this already troubling trend more alarming.
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When the vehicle hit you, it turned your entire world upside down. You’re looking at a recovery that could take months, or years — if you recover from your injuries at all.
Recovery also means incurring mounting medical bills, missing work, or putting off things you love to focus on getting better.
Trying to get your life back on track feels like a daunting challenge. That’s where letting us file a personal injury claim for your pedestrian accident can help.
If the driver who hit you is at fault, they are responsible for the damages their negligence caused. This responsibility is one of the reasons New Jersey requires all drivers to pay for car insurance. When we file a personal injury claim on your behalf, we get you the compensation your damages deserve from that policy.
When you let us file a claim on your behalf, we’ll fight to get you maximum money damages. The accident caused you more harm than just your injuries.
If you try to fight the insurance companies on your own, they’ll try to offer you a small settlement that barely covers your medical bills.
They do this because their job is to make as much profit as possible, even if it harms innocent pedestrians like you. They hope you’ll accept their offer so they can pocket the rest of what they owe you as profit. We won’t let them do this.
At Console & Associates, we have more than 25 years of experience representing New Jersey car accident victims. We know what your rights are and how much money you’re entitled to, which is why people get an average of 3.5x more compensation when they work with an attorney than they do if they file on their own.
When we file a claim, we look at the total cost, or damages, from your accident. These could include:
When you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, your claim reflects your unique damages. We’ve helped thousands of clients get the settlements they deserve. While every claim is unique, here are some of the pedestrian claims we found a successful resolution for in the past.
Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
$450,000 | Toe Amputation
A commercial truck ran over our client as he crossed the street, ripping his big toe right off of his foot. The damage was so severe that, after he was flown to a trauma hospital, even more of his foot had to be surgically amputated. His injuries left him unable to perform his job as a landscaper, and because he did not drive himself, he had no insurance to cover his medical bills.
We worked to secure his coverage through the NJPLIGA state fund, arranged transportation so he could get to his medical appointments, and fought tirelessly for the money he deserved. We recovered $450,000 for him.
Fatal Skull Fracture
Our client’s family contacted us hours after the accident that left him in a medically-induced coma. The driver claimed our client “came out of nowhere” and “darted” into the street.
When our law firm began investigating the accident, however, the initial accident report fell apart. Our client was 70 years old and recovering from a recent hip-replacement surgery. There was no way he would dart into traffic. The driver had plenty of time to brake and avoid him.
The driver’s negligence robbed a community of a formerly active member and a family of their loving father. We fought for the family and settled for $250,000, which was the insurance policy limit. Our client succumbed to his injuries, but this settlement allowed him to settle his affairs with dignity.
Injured By A Distracted Driver
Our client was almost across the road when a vehicle struck him, throwing him more than 40 feet. The accident caused severe neurological problems, torn ligaments, and disc herniation.
After spending 17 months in recovery, our client continued experiencing numbness in his hands, and will likely continue to do so for the rest of his life. The injuries he sustained meant he could never go back to his old job or go on the long walks he used to love.
We filed a claim on his behalf against the negligent driver and obtained a settlement of $225,000 for his injuries and lost income.
When someone gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they have the responsibility to be aware of their surroundings. As a pedestrian, it shouldn’t be your job to keep the road safe, but with distracted driving on the rise, you need to protect yourself.
The GHSA study found that crossing the street at night is the most dangerous time for pedestrians. In fact, 75% of all fatal accidents occurred at night. The study found that 22% occurred during the day while the remaining fatal accidents happened at either dusk or dawn.
Pedestrians have the right of way at any marked crosswalk. As of 2010, drivers must stop completely if someone is attempting to use a marked crosswalk. If they don’t, they could obtain two points on their license, pay up to $200 in fines, and serve 15 days of community service. When there isn’t a marked crosswalk, pedestrians still have the right of way at intersections. If there is not an intersection or marked crosswalk, pedestrians generally do not have the right of way.
After your accident, you only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim, known as the statute of limitations. If you wait until after this time has passed, you cannot seek compensation.
For most personal injury claims, you only have two years after your accident. Depending on the nature of your accident and who the at-fault driver is, however, the statute of limitations is much shorter. For example, if a public or government vehicle strikes you, you must show an “intent to file” within 90 days of the accident.
It’s never too early to speak with an attorney. After getting the medical treatment you need, give us a call. An experienced personal injury attorney will review your claim and let you know what your next steps should be.
New Jersey is a no-fault state that requires all drivers to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) car insurance policies. These policies also cover your injuries if you are a pedestrian struck by the vehicle. If you have a car insurance policy and have your PIP chosen as primary, this policy covers your bills. If you don’t have PIP set as primary, or do not have car insurance, your own health insurance covers your medical costs.
If you don’t have insurance, you may qualify for the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA). The state maintains this fund to help cover the medical expenses of uninsured pedestrians.
The at-fault driver’s policy is ultimately responsible for your injuries. Once the claim settles, part of the settlement you get from the driver’s insurer may go to reimbursing your health insurance company. Until then, the most important thing is getting the medical treatment you need so that you can get better.
When we file your personal injury claim, we seek the compensation you need to get your life back on track. We’ll request maximum damages up to the bodily injury limit of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. This limit varies from one policy to the next but can be as high as $250,000.
New Jersey takes distracted driving seriously. If you’re pulled over for distracted driving, the first offense can cost you $400, and the fees only go up. If you’re pulled over three or more times, you can lose your license. If the driver who hit you was on their cellphone, they could face stiffer legal consequences. For the purpose of your case, however, distracted driving can make it easier to prove they were at fault for your injury.
A hit & run auto accident involving a pedestrian can carry stricter penalties for the driver since you had the right of way in the crosswalk. Try to remember as much about the vehicle as you can and describe it to the police. If the authorities can’t find the driver, the NJPLIGA can help you recover.
If you have a question about a pedestrian accident and you don’t see the answer above, or if you think you might have a personal injury claim, contact us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions during your free consultation.
After the accident, if you’re not seriously injured, the first thing you should do is call the police. They’ll file a report of what happened and determine who, in their opinion, is at fault.
Get the driver’s insurance information, as well as the contact information for any witnesses, but never admit fault. After the police have the information to write their report, go see a doctor.
Even small cars weigh more than 1,000 pounds, which is why a slow-moving crash is still dangerous. If you’re struck by a vehicle, you should always seek medical attention. Even if you think you’re okay, you could have a serious condition that might take weeks or months to show symptoms.
You only have two years, or less, after your accident to file a personal injury claim, so call today. Our top priority is your well being. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you’ll have the resources you need to get your life back on track.
When you call, we’ll ask you a few questions about your accident and injuries. Then an experienced personal injury attorney will review what happened and let you know what your options are. If you agree to let us handle your claim, we’ll fight to get you everything you deserve.
Justice shouldn’t have a price tag, and with us, it won’t. We don’t get paid unless and until we win. We’ll advance any costs your claim requires, and you’ll never pay us anything to speak with your attorney.
Call today and let us help. You will get better.
This article was professionally reviewed by Richard P Console Jr, an attorney licensed to practice in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Console has more than twenty-five years of experience practicing personal injury law and successfully resolving vehicle accident claims on behalf of his clients.
While this information was reviewed for accuracy, it should not be considered legal advice. Every claim is different. If you are thinking of pursuing a personal injury claim and have a question, contact us directly.