Pedestrians are much more vulnerable to serious injuries when an accident happens. Unlike car occupants, pedestrians don’t have the protection of a vehicle’s steel frame, airbags, and crunch zones. Drivers have the obligation to operate their vehicles safely around people who are walking on or around the street, yet many New Jersey motorists still negligently cause crashes, resulting in costly injuries for pedestrians.
In fact, according to statistics from the New Jersey State Police, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the state has spiked. From 176 in 2019 and 179 in 2020, it rose to 220 pedestrian deaths in 2021.
If you got hit by a vehicle while walking in NJ, you are likely entitled to your needed compensation. Get the legal help of a New Jersey personal injury lawyer with successful experience in pedestrian crash cases.
How To Claim Compensation as an Injured Pedestrian in NJ
There are several potential avenues for an injured pedestrian to seek compensation. One is to claim from their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP policy is mandatory for all car drivers in NJ, and it will cover the injuries of the policyholder even if they were walking, not driving, when the crash occurred.
If the pedestrian’s losses exceed their PIP limit, they may file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. All New Jersey drivers must have a minimum of $15,000 insurance to pay for injuries they cause on another person (third-party liability).
The injured pedestrian may also consider filing a lawsuit, especially if their injuries are substantial or if insurance negotiations are going nowhere. Note that even if the victim sues the driver, there is still a good chance that the case is settled out of court. Insurance companies often prefer to avoid a costly trial, hence the majority of personal injury claims arrive at a settlement before litigation begins.
In some cases, another party aside from the driver may be held responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries. For instance, if the accident occurred in a property with a dangerous condition – such as a parking lot with poor lighting – the property owner may face premises liability. Another scenario is if the accident occurred on a poorly maintained public road. In this case, a government entity may be liable as well.
It’s best to consult with a pedestrian accident attorney to explore your legal options to obtain maximum compensation.
Does Car Insurance Cover Hitting a Pedestrian in New Jersey?
Yes, auto insurance can apply to pedestrian injuries in New Jersey. Here are two ways:
If you are the injured pedestrian and you have auto insurance with Personal Injury Protection, your PIP policy will still cover your injuries even if you were a pedestrian when you got injured. Your PIP can also cover your family members living in the same house as you, in the event they get injured as a pedestrian.
On the other hand, if you are a car driver who hit a pedestrian, your PIP policy may extend to them if or when they decide to claim compensation from you.
Steps to Take Immediately After Your Pedestrian Accident
If you were walking and got injured by a car, do these things as soon as you can to help you claim compensation later on:
- Take note of the car’s license plate number, as well as its physical features (color, make or model, identifying accessories, and the like).
- Seek medical attention for any injury you have, even if it looks minor. Some accident injuries feel negligible at the scene but later turn out to be serious. If you are in pain or experience any physical difficulty, don’t hesitate to call 911.
- Report your accident to the police and request a copy of the crash report.
- Get the help of a personal injury attorney before giving a statement to anyone. Your lawyer can guide you on your next steps and protect you from mistakes that could cost you your claim.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in NJ
The Grossman Law Firm has been serving New Jersey for over 20 years and has won deca-millions on behalf of individuals injured in crashes. Our skilled legal service has earned us top ratings in the field of personal injury and the trust of NJ citizens who have suffered from the negligence of motorists.
Talk to us about your pedestrian injury. Call (732) 625-9494 for a free consultation.