Belleville, NJ Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents are often deadly or lead to serious injuries for the pedestrian who is hit. Unlike other drivers and passengers, pedestrians have no airbags or vehicles around them to protect them, and their safety is left totally in the hands of the drivers around them.
If a negligent driver hit you with their car, you could be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries. However, getting the compensation you are entitled to is often difficult because of NJ’s no-fault insurance rules.
For help with your accident case, call the Belleville pedestrian accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today. Our phone number is (718) 841-0083.
Suing for Pedestrian Accidents in Belleville, NJ
Many pedestrian accident injuries are caused by dangerous or negligent drivers. However, the victims are the ones who face the expense and pain associated with those injuries. In many cases, there is insurance that can cover them – and it should be enough to deal with minor or moderate injuries in many cases. However, our Belleville pedestrian accident attorneys find that serious injuries often go without full compensation through insurance because of NJ’s no-fault insurance rules.
NJ No-Fault Insurance Payments
Under New Jersey’s no-fault insurance rules, all drivers in Belleville and throughout NJ are required to carry no-fault insurance that will cover them and the occupants of their vehicle in the event of a car crash. This means that you usually file with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance after an accident, no matter who was at fault.
Pedestrians are also covered by the PIP of the driver who hit them. This means that you should not need to worry about whether or not you have insurance, especially since a pedestrian might not have a car in the first place. However, PIP might not cover your needs in full.
The required PIP coverage limit is often too low to cover many pedestrian accident injuries in full. PIP also covers only economic damages – primarily medical expenses and lost wages. This could leave injured pedestrians with substantial economic damages that are not covered, as well as pain and suffering damages.
Sometimes additional coverage is available if the driver has more than a basic policy and has their own liability insurance. But this is not guaranteed, and it cannot be accessed in some cases anyway.
Filing Additional Insurance Claims
If the driver who hit you does have liability insurance, you could be entitled to file a claim against that insurance to get additional coverage. However, your injuries must be considered “serious” to allow this.
Lawsuits for Pedestrian Accidents
If your injuries qualify as “serious,” you could also be entitled to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This could open additional compensation that covers things like pain and suffering and other necessary non-economic damages.
To meet the “serious injury” threshold, you have to have a permanent injury, significant disfigurement, or other qualifying injuries (like a broken bone, amputation, or loss of a fetus). This threshold can be met in a surprising number of ways, especially since broken bones qualify automatically and since many surprisingly common injuries like back and neck injuries could qualify as “permanent.”
If you have your own PIP insurance because you are a driver, and you pay additional premiums for an “unlimited right to sue” policy, you could be able to avoid these restrictions and sue right away. Talk to our Belleville pedestrian accident lawyers for help navigating these complex insurance rules.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident in Belleville, NJ
For a driver to be held at fault for a car accident, there typically must be some violation they committed. Our Belleville pedestrian accident lawyers can point to clearly dangerous traffic offenses like drunk driving or texting while driving as proof that that driver was at fault for a car crash. We can also point to less obviously dangerous violations like speeding or failing to signal while turning. However, there may also be other factors that determine who is at fault.
For someone to be held liable for an accident, there must be proof that they violated some legal duty, and that that violation caused the victim’s injuries. Drunk driving, speeding, running a stop sign, or failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk can easily be the cause of a serious injury. However, other driver safety violations that might not violate any specific traffic code section can also be grounds for a lawsuit, such as a driver failing to keep a proper lookout or driving around a blind corner without watching for pedestrians.
In some cases, a pedestrian might be responsible for violating a traffic law as well. For example, crossing the street without a crosswalk or while you have a “Do Not Walk” signal could make you partly liable for the crash. However, this never gives a driver an excuse to simply run you down. When a pedestrian is found partly liable for their own injuries, they can still recover the defendant’s share of damages so long as the victim is 50% or less at fault for the accident.
If there is any question as to who might be at fault in your accident case, contact our Belleville pedestrian accident lawyers for help. We can present the proper evidence and arguments to help prove the driver who hit you was at fault. We can also fight to help you keep damages in the event that the court finds you partially at fault.
Call Our Belleville Pedestrian Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation Today
If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, call The Carrion Law Firm’s Belleville pedestrian accident injury attorneys today at (718) 841-0083. We offer free case evaluations.