Pedestrian accidents can see you and your loved one suffer severe injuries due to someone else’s negligence. However, you can bring evidence of that negligence to light as you recover. In collaboration with a Paterson, NJ, pedestrian accident attorney, you can present your losses before a civil court and request equivalent financial support.
Morelli Law Firm understands, however, that pursuing legal action while recovering from an accident can be challenging. That’s why we step in and offer our services to you. When you bring your case to our firm, you can trust our team to undertake investigation, organization, and representation on your behalf.
New Jersey’s Expectations for Pedestrians
New Jersey has legislation that dictates how pedestrians are expected to behave while out and about. To pursue compensation for a pedestrian accident, you must indicate that you did not violate the law when your accident occurred.
New Jersey operates on an understanding of comparative negligence that does not allow you to pursue compensation in civil court if you can be held at fault for your accident. With that in mind, make sure you have evidence on hand indicating that you:
- Crossed streets at corners and via a crosswalk
- Yielded to oncoming traffic
- Checked your surroundings
- Obeyed local traffic signs and signals
- Wore reflective clothing while walking at night
- Were sober at the time of your accident
Failure to abide by these expectations can result in more than a struggle in civil court. According to N.J. Stat. §39:4-32, you may also face a $54 fine if caught in violation of these laws.
Exceptions to Pedestrian Expectations
There are some exceptions that New Jersey courts can apply to its pedestrian laws. For example, children are given some leeway when on the side of the road. While children are still expected to cross the street at intersections and make themselves as visible as possible, children will not be fined for failing to abide by pedestrian laws.
If your child is injured in a pedestrian accident, you can work with our attorneys to determine how best to represent their interests in civil court.
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How Duty of Care Protects Pedestrians in Court
A concept known as “duty of care” protects pedestrians from the negligence of other parties on the street. You can claim that a motorist, store owner, or similar party violated the duty of care owed to you if you want to pursue compensation after an accident.
Doing so, however, requires you to submit evidence that you were both owed a duty of care and injured due to the violation thereof. Viable evidence can include photos of an accident, physical debris from a collision, and eyewitness testimonies. Our attorneys can even call on expert witnesses to attest to your right to pursue civil action.
New Jersey’s Expectations for Motorists
New Jersey has as many expectations of its motorists as it does its pedestrians, if not more so. While motorists aren’t the only parties that can be held responsible for a pedestrian accident, it’s important to keep these expectations in mind. Pedestrians can later cite New Jersey’s motorist expectations when presenting evidence of a violated duty of care in their civil complaint.
The expectations New Jersey outlines for its motorists state that:
- Motorists must stop for pedestrians at marked crosswalks or face a $200 fine, two license points, 15 days of community service, and auto insurance surcharges.
- Pedestrians have the right of way even at crosswalks where a motorist may turn right on red.
- Motorists must obey speed limits and keep their vehicles out of pedestrian crosswalks.
- Motorists must repair and clean their windshields to ensure comprehensive visibility while driving.
If you have evidence suggesting that a motorist failed to meet any of these expectations, let our pedestrian accident lawyers in Paterson know. We can submit that evidence alongside your civil complaint.
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Invoking Duty of Care in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
To take legal action against a negligent party after a pedestrian accident, you need to file a civil claim. Civil pedestrian accident claims, also referred to as complaints, make the nature of your accident clear to the judicial representatives in Paterson. More specifically, you can use your complaint to elaborate on:
- The circumstances that you believe contributed to your accident
- The identity of the party you want to hold liable for your accident
- The losses you sustained in your accident
- What compensation you believe your accident may entitle you to
You can invoke the idea of a duty of care to indicate that you were owed protection at the time of your accident and, through someone’s negligence, denied it. However, you must bring a claim stating as such forward within two years of the day your accident takes place. N.J. Stat. §2A:14-2 establishes this deadline for all personal injury cases.
Pedestrian Accident Claims Let You Seek Compensation for Your Losses
Civil complaints do not allow you to request that a liable party face criminal consequences for their negligence. Instead, you have the right to request compensation based on the economic value of your losses. You can calculate the value of your damages with an attorney before you submit your official claim.
Your estimated compensation should include economic and non-economic losses related to your accident. Your economic losses are ones that have accompanying bills. You can face some of these losses after your accident occurs – but so long as you can tie them to the accident itself, you can include them in your complaint. These economic damages can include:
- Medical bills related to post-accident care
- Property damage, repair, and replacement costs
- The cost of at-home care needed to help you recover
- Lost opportunities to work or seek out new employment
Your non-economic damages do not come with bills. We can still add losses like pain and suffering to your estimate, though. A Paterson pedestrian accident lawyer can do so by applying multipliers to the sum of your economic losses.
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Let’s Discuss Your Rights After a Pedestrian Accident
Pursuing civil action in the wake of a pedestrian accident can be challenging for a variety of reasons. Contending with accident-related injuries on top of the technical nature of legal language can leave you stressed and confused. Fortunately, pedestrian accident lawyers in Paterson, NJ, can take the strain of investigation and representation off of your shoulders.
If you’d like more information about what Morelli Law Firm can do for you, reach out to our office and request a case evaluation. Our attorneys can meet with you, discuss your losses, and help organize your case for future presentation. We’re available to discuss these services over the phone or via our website’s chat function.