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Walking is a health-conscious and eco-friendly option for reaching destinations within a community or for fun and fitness, but when a vulnerable pedestrian and an average 4,000-pound metal vehicle collide, injuries to the pedestrian can be serious or fatal. Pedestrian accidents are on the rise, including pedestrian accidents in South Jersey. Between 2020 and 2021, pedestrian accidents increased by an alarming 12.5% nationwide.
Traffic laws describe a pedestrian as an individual on foot and not operating a motorized vehicle or a bicycle. Pedestrians face a serious risk of injury in traffic accidents. Data from 2021 reveals that a pedestrian is injured in the US around every nine minutes and killed every 71 minutes. If you or a close family member suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, the pedestrian accident lawyers at Grungo Law understand the distress of taking on a complex legal claim while also dealing with painful injuries, medical procedures, and lengthy recovery times. Call Grungo Law today so we can hear about your accident and begin a strategy for the prompt compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Us as Your South Jersey Pedestrian Lawyers?
When a driver’s carelessness causes a serious accident to a vulnerable pedestrian, the consequences quickly become expensive. In addition to emergency treatment, most injury victims require ongoing medical care for months, and many require rehabilitation. Some pedestrians may be left disabled after a catastrophic pedestrian accident in South Jersey. Even less serious injuries may result in financial hardship with only a single missed paycheck and a large bill for emergency medical treatment. The South Jersey pedestrian accident lawyers at Grungo Law are ready to help guide your case through experienced legal counsel with the following advantages:
- Decades of experience navigating New Jersey pedestrian accident claims
- Free confidential consultations and no upfront fees—instead, we have a contingency-based payment system so we only take a fee after we secure your compensation
- A strong reputation in securing over $135 million for injured clients, including pedestrians injured in South Jersey traffic accidents
- A resolution-based approach to craft a compelling case for a settlement so you never have to see a courtroom, but an attorney who’s ready to advocate aggressively for your interests in court if required to seek a large jury award for your damages
- A South Jersey accident attorney who will individualize a strategy for your unique case using both classic advocacy methods and cutting-edge investigative technology, as well as the collaborative efforts of a talented team
Insurance companies often protect their profits at the expense of paying out what a pedestrian accident victim deserves in compensation. An experienced lawyer from Grungo Law anticipates and counteracts these common insurance company tactics and protects your best interests throughout the process of recovering compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault party.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in South Jersey
Aging traffic infrastructure, notoriously bad road designs, and congested roadways in South Jersey combine to make safely navigating the streets in both urban meccas and rural roads hazardous on foot. Common causes of accidents between pedestrians and motorists include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Intoxicated driving
- Reversing accidents such as backing out of a driveway or parking space into the path of a pedestrian
- Left turn accidents in which a driver making a left turn at an intersection focuses on traffic from the right and fails to notice a pedestrian approaching on their left as they move forward
- Unmarked crosswalks in South Jersey
- Failing to signal a turn
- Poor visibility due to nighttime driving/walking or inclement weather conditions
- Target fixation in pedestrian accidents in rural areas—this occurs when a driver focuses on an object on the roadside ahead, like a pedestrian, and inadvertently steers toward the object and causes a collision
Pedestrians aren’t perfect and sometimes make mistakes like jaywalking or distracted walking, but by far, the most common cause of pedestrian accidents in New Jersey is driver error or negligent driving. Sadly, children are common victims of pedestrian accidents caused by negligent or reckless driving in school zones and near public parks.
When a driver causes an injury to a pedestrian due to negligence, or failure to act in a way that a reasonable driver would in the same circumstances, they are liable for the damages. In personal injury claims, the word “damages” refers to the economic and non-economic consequences of the injury.
Common Injuries in South Jersey Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians have no protection in traffic. Compared to seatbelted drivers inside a metal vehicle or even helmeted motorcyclists and bike riders, a pedestrian is completely vulnerable in a collision. Common pedestrian accident injuries in South Jersey include the following:
- Broken bones/multiple fractures
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Thoracic injuries/internal organ damage
- Traumatic limb loss
- Soft tissue injuries
- Abrasions/road rash
Injuries in pedestrian accidents tend to be severe, but even less serious injuries cause significant physical and emotional trauma to victims. These consequences sometimes lead to hefty medical bills at the same time the injured victim cannot return to work due to their injuries and may have difficulty accomplishing routine daily tasks. A successful pedestrian accident claim to recover economic damages, and compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, is an important first step forward after the serious trauma of a car vs pedestrian accident. The South Jersey personal injury lawyers at Grungo Law are ready to defend your rights and advocate for your best interests to recover the compensation you’re due.
Liability in New Jersey Pedestrian Accident Cases
At-fault drivers are the most common cause of pedestrian accidents in South Jersey and elsewhere. When a driver’s careless or reckless actions behind the wheel cause an injury to a pedestrian, they are the at-fault party and liable for the pedestrian’s damages. Unfortunately, insurers often attempt to assign an undue portion of fault to the pedestrian in an accident to lower the amount they must pay out on the victim’s claim for damages. It takes a skilled attorney to investigate all aspects of the accident to gather and document evidence of driver liability. Proving liability for damages after a pedestrian accident requires demonstrating the following to be true in the case:
- That the at-fault party owed a duty of care to take all reasonable measures to prevent causing injuries to pedestrians sharing the roadway
- They breached their duty of care through negligence or recklessness behind the wheel
- Their negligent breach of duty caused the pedestrian’s injury
- The pedestrian suffered significant economic and non-economic damages from the injury
After your attorney from Grungo Law Firm gathers evidence of liability and carefully calculates your damages, they’ll send a compelling demand package to the auto insurance company of the at-fault party.
In less common pedestrian accident claims, the party at fault and liable for damages may be a negligent roadwork company, a traffic signal maintenance agency, or the manufacturer of a defective car part. A thorough investigation is critical to determine liability and make demands against the appropriate insurance coverage.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in South Jersey
After a terrifying pedestrian accident, many victims are far too injured to take steps to protect themselves physically and financially. Some lose consciousness or cannot move safely without causing further injury. However, if a pedestrian can sit up and use their phone or hand it to an uninjured companion or bystander to use for them, it becomes a critical tool not only for getting emergency services to the scene but also for documenting evidence. After a pedestrian accident, use a cell phone to do the following:
- First, call 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance and the police to the scene
- Then, use the camera to photograph as much of the accident scene as possible, including the vehicle that hit you, any damage to the vehicle, your visible injuries, and anything relevant like a crosswalk, signal light, or sign
- Add the contact information of the driver
- Add the contact information of eyewitnesses to the accident
- Record a brief statement detailing what you remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind since trauma often fades memories later
Always go to a hospital straight from the accident scene, preferably in an ambulance. Be sure to tell the doctor about all symptoms you experience, even minor ones. Some injuries take days to fully develop with painful or alarming symptoms. Asking for a complete evaluation as well as treatment for obvious injuries helps to catch these developing injuries early for prompt treatment. It also ensures documentation that the injuries occurred in the car accident and not from another cause later.
Make sure to ask for a detailed medical report and request a copy of the police report. Then gather your evidence and call the pedestrian accident attorneys at Grungo Law before speaking with the insurance adjuster assigned to your case.
What Compensation Can I Recover For My Pedestrian Accident Damages?
Serious injuries have serious consequences. A successful injury claim for damage helps pedestrian accident victims to recover compensation for damages such as the following:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses for ongoing treatment
- Reimbursement for lost income
- Future income loss
- Diminished earning capacity due to disability
- Pain and suffering
- Any other non-economic damages that apply in your case such as scarring, disfigurement, traumatic limb loss, PTSD, or loss of enjoyment of life compensation
- Wrongful death
If a negligent driver or other at-fault entity caused your injury, they are liable for the damages. In most South Jersey pedestrian accident claims, compensation comes from the insurance policy of an at-fault driver. If your loved one suffered fatal injuries from a pedestrian accident, you and your family may recover compensation for the loved one’s remaining years of income as well as funeral expenses and medical costs in a wrongful death claim. Speak to a wrongful death lawyer in South Jersey to learn more.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Damages After a South Jersey Pedestrian Accident?
New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including in pedestrian accident cases. While two years seems like ample time, it’s important to promptly file your claim as soon as the full scope of your damages becomes clear. Often the investigation and process of negotiation and mediation takes time. While most cases are resolved out of court through a mutually agreeable settlement offer, if the insurer underestimates the value of the claim with lowball offers or wrongfully denies a valid claim, you must file a lawsuit to recover damages within the two-year time limit. Only a few exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations apply, including the following:
- When a pedestrian accident occurs to a minor, they have up to two years from their 18th birthday to file a claim
- If an injured pedestrian is unconscious, comatose, or incapacitated for a time after the accident, the two-year time limit begins on the date they recover cognitive ability
- When an injury victim discovers an injury from a pedestrian accident later, the time limit begins on the date of the discovery. For instance, if a doctor diagnoses a stiff neck as a damaged vertebra from a pedestrian accident that you suffered six months ago, the two-year statute of limitations begins on the date of the discovery (delayed discovery rule)
Your attorney from Grungo Law can help you if you have questions about how the statute of limitations affects your case.
Call the South Jersey Pedestrian Accident Lawyers From Grungo Today
If you’ve been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, or your loved one was injured this way, you may be wondering where to turn, especially when insurance companies stall, delay, and deny your valid injury claim. Call or contact the attorneys at Grungo Law today so we can begin developing an individualized strategy to maximize the amount of compensation you recover in your claim and to seek prompt action.
You shouldn’t have to wait for the compensation you deserve. Your attorney from Grungo Law is ready to navigate the legal aspects of your recovery so you can focus on your all-important physical recovery and your family’s well-being as you move forward.