How to protect your safety, best interests and legal rights
Walking is one of the primary modes of transportation for many people. Even in large cities with accessible public transportation, walking to and from stops is at the very least necessary for thousands of people. Additionally, many children walk to and from school and must cross busy intersections just to reach their destination. Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians are a common occurrence both in New Jersey and throughout the country. In 2013, 14% of all traffic related deaths were pedestrians. From 2003-2012, there were 3,384 pedestrian fatalities just in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area.
As pedestrian fatalities continue to grow and make headlines, more and more cities and towns are attempting to create more pedestrian-friendly, walkable communities. Unfortunately, even with ample sidewalks and additional regulations, pedestrian deaths are still likely to occur due to driver negligence. The most common factors that contribute to crashes involving pedestrians include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Distracted driving
Pedestrians themselves must also be proactive in taking steps to protect their safety. Using sidewalks and wearing bright-colored or reflective clothing allows motorists to see pedestrians more clearly. Walking while talking on the phone, texting and failing to check for traffic before crossing the street also contribute to accidents.
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, there are steps you should take to protect your rights. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible before agreeing to any settlement offers from insurance companies or other third parties. There are strict Statutes of Limitation that dictate how long you have to file a claim for recovery. Generally, you must file a claim within two years from the date the accident occurred or the date you became aware of the injury. However, in New Jersey, if you are involved in an accident with a state employee, entity or organization, you must file a Notice of Tort Claims within 90 days of the incident.
Personal injury and wrongful death claims require a skilled practitioner with a high level of legal knowledge and experience to be successful. There are many details and steps that must be followed to ensure that your claim is viable. It is vital to have an advocate on your side to fully investigate your claims and work collaboratively with all parties involved to ensure that you receive reliable and comprehensive legal guidance. If you have questions about your legal options, call 732-482-9285 or send an email today.