Atlantic City Pedestrian Accident Attorney
You’ve been crossing the street for a long time now, so you probably don’t give it too much thought. Pedestrians, however, are extremely vulnerable to the traffic all around them—especially in bustling cities like our fair Atlantic City.
When you’re on foot, you undoubtedly have a lot on your mind—places to go and people to see, after all—but you probably don’t pay a lot of attention to just how vulnerable you are to injuries. As a pedestrian, there is absolutely nothing to protect you from the impact of the accident (unlike the protection provided by the steel frame of a car when you’re in a car accident). When you head out on foot, always put safety first.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center shares several sobering statistics about pedestrian accidents:
- More than 5,300 pedestrians died in pedestrian accidents with motor vehicles in 2015, the most such pedestrian fatalities since 1996.
- From 2006 to 2015, the number of total traffic fatalities decreased by almost 18 percent, but the number of total pedestrian fatalities increased by 12 percent.
- Car crashes injured about 70,000 pedestrians in 2015, while about 61,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in such crashes in 2006—a nearly 15 percent injury rate increase.
If a driver’s negligence seriously injured you or someone you love in a pedestrian accident, you need experienced legal counsel. The skilled pedestrian accident lawyers at The Levin Firm know just how much trauma these accidents can cause, and we’re here to help guide your claim toward its most just resolution.
New Jersey’s Pedestrian Safety Laws
New Jersey’s dense population results in more than its share of serious pedestrian accidents. As such, New Jersey takes pedestrian safety seriously. In fact, New Jersey implements specific laws related to the responsibilities of both drivers and pedestrians. First, let’s peak at the responsibilities that New Jersey drivers bear:
- Drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in marked crosswalks. They must stop for pedestrians crossing in adjacent crosswalks into which drivers make right turns (from either red lights, stop signs, or yield signs). They must stop for pedestrians who enter one lane of the drivers’ half of the roadway.
- Drivers must not overtake and pass another vehicle that stops to allow pedestrians to cross the roadway.
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks (at intersections that crosswalks don’t control).
- Drivers must exercise due care for the safety of all pedestrians on any roadway.
Now, We’ll Consider Pedestrian Responsibilities:
- Pedestrians must not leave the curb or another place of safety and walk or run into a vehicle’s path when the vehicle is too close to allow it time to yield or stop.
- Pedestrians must yield to drivers when they cross a road anywhere other than at marked or unmarked crosswalks in intersections and must yield to drivers at intersections when the walk signal is not green (and the driver’s traffic light is green).
- Pedestrians must walk on sidewalks when available and accessible. Absent such sidewalks, pedestrians must walk on the extreme left-hand side of the roadway (or its shoulder), facing approaching traffic whenever possible.
- Pedestrians must exercise due care in protection of their own safety.
- Pedestrians must not cross any highways separated by median barriers (except where specific provisions for pedestrians exist).
It’s a lot to consider, but these responsibilities highlight the vulnerabilities pedestrians face when they take to the busy streets of New Jersey. Arrive alive by implementing these important pedestrian responsibilities every time you head out on foot. You can hold drivers who violate safety laws and cause you injuries liable for their actions and your losses.
Your Pedestrian Accident Claim And Insurance
If a New Jersey pedestrian accident injures you and you carry car insurance, your car insurance policy may cover your medical expenses. Typically, New Jersey car insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which means that your policy will cover your injuries even if the driver is completely at fault. PIP is a variety of no-fault insurance that covers most (but not necessarily all) medical expenses, though it doesn’t pay out on noneconomic damages, such as the pain and suffering often associated with devastating accidents. Therefore, New Jersey law may entitle pedestrian accident victims to significantly more compensation than their PIP policies make available.
Taking Your Claim To Court
If a driver’s negligence caused your pedestrian accident injuries, you’re living the devastating effects. Even those injured parties who carry PIP insurance can typically move their claims beyond the realm of PIP coverage and into the legal arena. Specific injury categories that reach this level of seriousness include:
- Lost body parts
- Significant scars or disfigurement
- Permanent injuries (those that haven’t healed and that doctors don’t expect to heal)
- Fractured bones
- The death of your unborn child if you were pregnant when the accident struck you
- The death of a loved one
Pedestrian accidents are uniquely complicated. If a pedestrian accident injured you or someone you love, you need experienced legal counsel to advise you about your best options for compensation.
Atlantic City Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Atlantic City attracts visitors from across the mid-Atlantic region. Many of them take in the sights and sounds of the casinos and boardwalk on foot. Workers and residents join them on the city’s sidewalks and in its crosswalks, making for a vibrant street life, but also posing the danger of pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians injured in traffic-related accidents and other incidents on Atlantic City streets and sidewalks frequently have lots of questions about their legal rights. Below, we answer some of the most common of those questions. For answers to specific questions about an Atlantic City pedestrian accident that left you or a loved one seriously injured, contact an experienced pedestrian accident injury attorney today.
I was hit by a car while crossing the street in Atlantic City. How will I pay my hospital bills?
Chances are good that you can file a claim. Motor vehicles should never collide with pedestrians. When it happens, it usually means the driver of the vehicle (or someone else) did something seriously dangerous that violated not just the law, but also a basic duty to avoid decisions or actions behind the wheel that could end up harming pedestrians like you.
One factor that could complicate the answer to the question, however, is whether you are covered by a New Jersey auto insurance policy. In the Garden State, all auto insurance policies include no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which pays the policyholder’s own medical and disability-related expenses resulting from injuries suffered in a traffic accident.
PIP coverage does not just cover people when they get hurt in their cars, however. It also covers them if they get injured as a pedestrian in a traffic accident.
In purchasing auto insurance, New Jersey drivers must decide whether to pay extra for an unlimited right to sue at-fault parties in a traffic accident that injures them, or to pay less for a policy that limits their right to sue only for accidents that cause certain kinds of severe injuries.
So, if a PIP policy covers you, and you (or whoever purchased that policy) paid less for it by opting for a limited right to sue, then it’s possible you might not have the ability to sue for your injuries, or that you can only sue for certain types of damages.
If that all sounds complicated to you, then you aren’t alone. New Jersey’s auto insurance laws can get confusing. That’s why, if you want to know if you can sue for your Atlantic City pedestrian accident injuries, your best bet is to seek the advice of an experienced pedestrian accident injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Who can I sue for my Atlantic City pedestrian accident injuries?
Assuming you can sue, then the parties who may owe you damages can vary, because every case is different.
As a general matter, however, after suffering serious injuries in an Atlantic City pedestrian accident, victims often have the right to sue one or more of:
- Drivers of the vehicle that struck them;
- Employers of drivers who strike pedestrians with a work vehicle;
- Owners of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian, if different than the driver, if it was unreasonably dangerous to let the driver take the wheel;
- Bars, restaurants, alcohol sellers, and social hosts, if they served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated driver or a minor, who then struck a pedestrian;
- City and state government agencies and contractors if they failed to correct, or warn about, dangerous sidewalk or road-related conditions that contributed to the pedestrian accident;
- Anyone else whose careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions cause the incident that leads to a pedestrian injury in Atlantic City.
To figure out if you have the right to sue someone for your Atlantic City pedestrian accident injuries, contact an experienced pedestrian accident injury attorney as soon as possible for a free case consultation.
What if I was not in a crosswalk in Atlantic City, or if I was crossing against a “Don’t Walk” sign when the car hit me?
You may still have a strong case for damages, and should talk to our experienced Atlantic City pedestrian accident injury lawyers right away.
It’s true that, as a pedestrian, you should use crosswalks and obey traffic signals. Like anyone, you have a duty not to take actions that endanger others. Failing to follow traffic laws and putting yourself in potential danger could affect the amount of money you may have the right to receive.
Still, drivers in New Jersey never have the right to run you over, and always have an obligation to operate their vehicles in a manner that avoids collisions with pedestrians. So, even if you were crossing traffic against a light or outside of a crosswalk, you can still have the right to take legal action seeking significant compensation for your injuries and losses.
What damages can I recover by suing for my Atlantic City pedestrian accident injuries?
New Jersey law allows for the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages in a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Economic damages refer to current and future out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result of your injuries.
Examples of economic damages commonly recovered through a lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses, such as emergency treatment at the scene or in the emergency department; transportation to the hospital via ambulance or air; diagnostic testing; physician and surgical services; hospitalization; prescription medication; physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Lost income if you cannot work because of the injury or required to miss work to attend an injury-related medical appointment.
- Loss of future earning capacity if you cannot work because of your injuries all or if your injuries require you to work at a different position or a different place as a result of that disability.
- The cost of household services that you used to perform but can no longer do because of your injuries.
Non-economic damages refer to the impacts that an injury has had on your life.
Some common non-economic damages claimed in pedestrian accident cases include:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, if the injuries you sustained prevent you from participating in activities and events you formerly enjoyed.
- Loss of consortium, which is a damage claimed on behalf of the injured person’s spouse for the loss of physical intimacy and companionship often experienced after a serious injury.
Every Atlantic City pedestrian accident case is different, of course, so there is no guarantee that you will have the right to recover damages in all categories above. To find out what types of damages your lawsuit might secure for you, and the amount of money you might recover, speak with an experienced pedestrian accident injury lawyer right away.
The driver who hit me was uninsured. Can I still recover money for my Atlantic City pedestrian accident injuries?
Possibly. Victims of pedestrian accidents in Atlantic City may have numerous places to turn for compensation after getting hurt by a driver who lacked insurance coverage.
These can include:
- The driver’s personal assets and income. Failing to carry insurance does not let the driver off the hook for damages. If that driver has money, stocks, personal property, or a steady income, then victims can often use the legal process to collect payment out of those assets.
- Other parties, like the ones listed above, who can share legal liability for an Atlantic City pedestrian accident with the driver; and
- Their own uninsured motorist insurance coverage, which many people choose to purchase in connection with buying auto insurance in New Jersey, and covers them in the event an uninsured driver injures them.
Experienced Atlantic City pedestrian accident injury lawyers know where to look for sources of payment for their clients’ injuries and losses. Talk to one today to find out where you may get money from after an accident harms you.
My loved one died in an Atlantic City pedestrian accident. Can I sue for compensation?
If you are a close family member of the deceased, then there is a good chance you can. In New Jersey, the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, or other close family members or dependents of a person who dies in a pedestrian traffic accident will often have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages.
Those damages may include the cost of your loved one’s medical treatment before death, the loss of financial support provided by your loved one, and expenses related to the death such as funeral and burial costs.
The legal representative of a loved one’s estate may also have the right to take legal action on behalf of the estate seeking damages that your loved one would have had the right to recover, had the death not occurred.
To learn more about your and your family’s rights after losing a loved one in a tragic Atlantic City pedestrian accident, contact an experienced pedestrian accident and wrongful death attorney right away.
I was hit by a car, but I don’t think my Atlantic City pedestrian accident injuries are serious. Can I still sue?
Don’t be so sure that you aren’t hurt! Some pedestrian accident victims don’t feel hurt after the accident, even though they have suffered potentially severe and life-altering injuries. The stress and adrenaline of the moments after an accident can mask pain, and some dangerous injuries (like brain and spinal cord trauma) do not necessarily show symptoms right away. If left untreated, those injuries could get much worse.
So, the answer to the question is yes, you still have rights, but to protect them to their fullest, you need to seek immediate medical attention and follow your doctor’s orders. Never assume that feeling “ok” after an Atlantic City pedestrian accident means you escaped it without an injury. Go see the doctor for a full exam that looks for injuries, and then call an experienced pedestrian accident injury lawyer to learn about your rights.
Is there a deadline for talking to a lawyer about my pedestrian accident in Atlantic City?
No, there’s no deadline for talking to a lawyer, and your first consultation with our experienced Atlantic City pedestrian accident injury lawyers is always free of charge.
There is, however, a deadline for taking legal action. In New Jersey, injured individuals generally have two years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit seeking damages. Missing that deadline can cost victims their legal rights. Also, the deadline can get shorter or longer depending on the victim’s age and who caused the victim’s injuries.
To make sure that you keep all of your options open for taking legal action after getting hurt in an Atlantic City pedestrian accident, contact our experienced Atlantic City pedestrian accident attorneys as soon as possible.
The Atlantic City driver’s insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
No! Never accept money or any other kind of compensation from the driver, the driver’s insurance company, or anyone else who might have been at-fault for your accident, without first speaking with an experienced Atlantic City pedestrian accident attorney.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. One of the ways that they do that is by working hard to avoid large payouts for accidents caused by people then insure. Their tactics include offering quick, lowball settlements to accident victims, hoping the victims will take the money without realizing it’s far less than what they need and deserve for their injuries and losses.
By accepting that money, or any other compensation, victims give up their legal rights. There are no take-backs. Once a settlement is done, the at-fault party walks away from liability for good.
So, to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance of recovering every dollar of compensation you deserve for your Atlantic City pedestrian accident injury, say “no, thank you” to settlement offers from at-fault parties and their insurance companies, and leave the negotiation of any settlement to an experienced attorney whose job is to represent your interests and no one else’s.
For a free consultation about your legal rights, contact an experienced Atlantic City pedestrian accident injury lawyer at the Levin Firm today.
If a Pedestrian Accident Injured You, Contact an Experienced Atlantic City Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Pedestrians are obviously extremely vulnerable to the especially brutal and traumatic injuries that vehicles can cause. If a pedestrian accident injured you, you know the difficulties that you’re facing. The Atlantic City personal injury lawyers at The Levin Firm in Atlantic City have the experience, dedication, and compassion to help navigate your pedestrian accident claim toward its most just resolution. Our skilled pedestrian accident attorneys are here to help, so please contact our office online or call us at (215) 825-5183 for a free consultation today.
The Levin Firm | Atlantic City Office
2 Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ 08401