Victim of a Pedestrian Accident? What You Need to Know.
You are walking across the street within the lined crosswalk. You are absolutely paying attention to make sure all cars are stopped. As you near the middle of the intersection, a red car darts out of nowhere and heads directly towards you. Your attempts to quickly move away are futile. You feel your body tossed in the air. How is it possible that you were the victim of a pedestrian accident when you took every precaution regarding your own safety?
Here’s the good news. Many car accidents involving pedestrians include fatalities. The fact that you are alive to tell the story is fortuitous. That’s not to say that you didn’t suffer devastating injuries. Your wounds could include everything from broken bones to traumatic brain injury to severe lacerations. You could find yourself in need of extensive medical treatment. It could be the proverbial long road to recovery.
The Law and Pedestrians
More than likely, you can guess the meaning of a pedestrian. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes a Traffic Safety Fact Sheet that includes a definition of pedestrians. According to them, a pedestrian is “person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash.”
You might already surmise some of the laws regarding pedestrians crossing the street. NJSA 39:4-33 says that those on foot are not only expected to use crosswalks but also to stay to the right of them whenever possible. This specifically applies to intersections where a police officer or a traffic signal controls the intersection.
There’s also a law for pedestrians crossing at uncontrolled intersections. If there is a crosswalk, people crossing the street should stay within the lines. If there isn’t one, pedestrians are expected to cross the street at a right angle. Sidewalk use is mandated as opposed to walking in the road. If no walkways are available, pedestrians are expected to keep as close as possible to the extreme left side of the roadway.
The Consequences of Jaywalking
What is jaywalking exactly? It’s the concept of walking across the street without any regard for crosswalks. Most of us think of it as crossing in the middle. Unfortunately, it puts both the motor vehicle operator and pedestrian at a greater risk of collision.
In some states, a person who jaywalked may not be entitled to any compensation for a pedestrian accident. In New Jersey, however, there is still a chance for recovery. As long as you are found less than fifty percent negligent in the crash, you are entitled to monetary benefits. Your award will be reduced by the percentage of your negligence.
New Jersey law emphasizes that motor vehicle operators are expected to yield to pedestrians. There are exceptions that an experienced personal injury attorney can explain to you. Obviously, a car can cause tremendous damage if it makes contact with a pedestrian.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a pedestrian accident, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone would like to offer you assistance. We can help you make a claim for damages. Contact us to set up an appointment.