Walking along a sidewalk or through a crosswalk in New Jersey is not supposed to be a life-threatening situation. Sadly, however, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports, you and your loved ones are at great risk for injury any time you take to the roads as pedestrians. In fact, the NHTSA has determined that at least 5,000 fatalities occur each year in incidents where motorists run into pedestrians; this doesn't even take into account the many other ways pedestrians may be injured.
Hopefully, whenever you choose walking as your mode of transportation to reach a particular destination, you remain as alert, aware and cautious as possible, regularly scanning your surroundings, on the lookout for possible dangers. However, even if you're careful, there may be little to nothing you can do to avoid injury if someone nearby is negligent.
How to know if another party has been negligent
As in most situations, when it comes to pursuing justice if you've been injured in a pedestrian accident, you would need to prove that the legal definition for negligence has been met in your particular circumstances. The following list provides basic information regarding personal injury claims and negligence:
- Generally speaking, negligence is legally defined as a failure to perform some action (or omission of a particular action) that most people would be reasonably expected to do or not do to keep others as safe as possible.
- The definition is by no means standardized in that there are many stipulations (some vary by state) that the court will consider before handing down a ruling in a pedestrian accident case.
- Such stipulations typically include the need to prove that the party against whom you are claiming negligence owed you a duty at the time of your injury and failed to fulfill that duty, which in turn caused you (or your child, perhaps) to suffer injury.
- More than one person may be negligent in a single incident.
- Not all pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles. Other possible negligence includes failure to maintain safe walkways, lack of adherence to safety regulations on construction sites and many other situations that may place you at risk while walking on a road, in a parking lot or on a sidewalk.
Let's say you're enjoying an evening stroll somewhere in New Jersey along with a group of friends or family members. If a drunk driver's vehicle hops a curb and knocks you to the ground, you may be able to hold him or her legally accountable for your medical bills, lost wages from missed work and any other expenses or economic losses you incur during recovery.
The same goes in situations where a pedestrian is walking along and trips over construction items or debris that a restaurant owner left lying around in front of his or her place of business. Seeking recovery of losses in a pedestrian accident can be a challenging process since the burden of proof in such cases lies with the plaintiff; therefore, it's typically best to reach out for support from an experienced litigator in order to obtain guidance and assistance to gather evidence and build a strong case.