When a pedestrian is involved in an accident, there are certain things the victim should do. For example, if the pedestrian is hit by a driver, it’s important to exchange information with the driver. Also, seek medical attention as soon as possible to document any injuries.
Often, the other party will pay damages associated with the injuries without the pedestrian having to file a lawsuit. Our skilled pedestrian accident lawyers can assit you in that claim’s process. However, when the other party refuses to pay the only other remedy is to file a lawsuit. The attorneys at Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith have more than 30 years experience in pedestrian accident claims.
A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help Prove Fault
A pedestrian accident case falls under personal injury law. In other words, the pedestrian is seeking money to pay for medical bills associated with the injury caused by the other person. As a pedestrian victim, you are also entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional damages and your lost wages. There are no criminal charges involved.
A successful personal injury case requires proving negligence, or fault. Negligence is a legal term which means a failure to do—or not do—something a responsible person would to protect people from foreseeable risks. For example, the driver should have paid attention to a stoplight to avoid hitting a pedestrian. This involves exercising a reasonable standard of care to avoid being negligent. The reasonable care would be obeying traffic laws or not texting. That’s why an injured pedestrian, called the plaintiff in a court case, must prove the other person, the defendant, was at fault for the accident.
Drivers have a duty of care to avoid accidents from happening. A breach of that duty can include:
- Disobeying traffic signals or signs
- Failing to signal before turning
- Not paying attention
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/ or drugs
- Failing to yield to the pedestrian
- Ignoring weather or traffic conditions
- Talking or texting on a cell phone
In New Jersey, a pedestrian must exercise duty of care to avoid causing an accident. If the plaintiff fails to exercise this care, the court may decide that there was contributory negligence involved.
Contributory negligence is assessed against the pedestrian by reducing or eliminating the awarded amount. Thus, if the plaintiff wins, he may receive less money because he had some responsibility in causing the accident. Factors that make a pedestrian negligent for the accident include:
- Failing to use the crosswalk
- Darting in front of traffic
- Ignoring crossing signal at an intersection
- Entering traffic (jaywalking)
Non-Vehicle Pedestrian Accidents
Non-vehicular pedestrian accidents happen with poorly maintained property. For example, owners could be negligent when they don’t maintain sidewalks in front of their property, parking lots, buildings or construction sites. An example of this type of accident happens when a pedestrian is walking and debris from a poorly maintained building falls and hits the victim. Uneven sidewalks or poorly maintained sidewalks are another example.
Property owners have a duty of care to maintain their property. They must do or not do something that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances to protect others. A pedestrian in this case must prove the property owner was negligent. Proving fault involves showing the property owner:
- Had a legal duty to the plaintiff
- Breached his or her legal duty (failure to act)
- Caused the accident or the plaintiff’s injury
- Injured or harmed the plaintiff
Proving fault is the foundation of any personal injury case. Having the pedestrian accident lawyers of Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith to look at the facts and prove the case can help ensure that you get the financial assistance you are entitled to.