Pedestrian accidents are often severe, resulting in catastrophic, life-altering, or even deadly injuries. People outside of a vehicle have very little, if any, protection from the forces of an accident. If you or someone you love was recently injured or lost their life in a pedestrian accident, the Reinartz Law Firms Hackensack pedestrian accident lawyers are here for you. We can seek the compensation you deserve on your behalf with our personal injury attorneys.
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About Reinartz Law Firm
Reinartz Law Firm is dedicated to serving injured clients. We are small enough to give personalized attention to your case but also big enough and thoroughly established to dedicate all necessary resources to our clients’ cases. Our attorneys work tirelessly to obtain the compensation you deserve after suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident.
If the insurance company or at-fault party refuses to offer you a full and fair settlement, we are trial lawyers who aren’t afraid to take your case before a judge or jury if necessary. We have a proven track record of getting the justice our clients deserve. Perhaps the best part is that we work on contingency fees only, meaning that our clients don’t owe us a penny unless or until we recover compensation for them.
Our skilled Hackensack pedestrian accident lawyers serve all of Bergen County.
Hackensack’s Dangerous Roads and Intersections for Pedestrians
According to a Governors Highway Safety Association report, pedestrian accidents now account for 17 percent of all traffic accident fatalities. Between 2009 and 2019, pedestrian fatalities increased by 53 percent, whereas all other traffic deaths only increased by two percent. About 5,000 pedestrians in the U.S. die each year, and 70,000 suffer injuries in traffic crashes.
While walking is great exercise, good for mental health, economical, and environmentally friendly, it’s unfortunately also dangerous. In fact, New Jersey has a higher rate of pedestrian accidents than other states throughout the U.S. Some areas around Hackensack are more dangerous than others for pedestrian travelers.
- Essex Street and Prospect
- Polifly Road and Essex Street
- South Summit Avenue and West Pleasantview Avenue
- Summit Avenue and Thompson Street
Both drivers and pedestrians should be especially mindful in these areas to help prevent accidents.
Common Causes of New Jersey Pedestrian Accidents
New Jersey pedestrian accidents occur for various reasons, most of which stem from driver negligence.
Your accident might have resulted from a driver:
- Failing to look for pedestrians in the crosswalk of intersections
- Who didn’t stop at a traffic light or stop sign
- Participating in some form of distracted driving, such as texting or talking on a cell phone, talking to passengers, eating, or personal grooming
- Unaware of their immediate surroundings or that a pedestrian was present before turning at an intersection
- Who didn’t slow down in traffic, in bad weather, or when crowds or children were near
- Who was impaired by alcohol, drugs, or even drowsiness
- Failing to maintain vehicle control
- Engaging in drag racing
It’s generally the responsibility of the driver to drive safely and obey the rules of the road while watching out for pedestrians. However, when they fail to take these actions, they are negligent, and the risk of causing an accident and injuries increases significantly. If they cause an accident, under New Jersey personal injury laws, they are responsible for compensating the injured victim (or their family member if they died in the accident) for their injuries and damages.
Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Injuries from pedestrian accidents can be catastrophic, life-changing, or even fatal. Pedestrians often sustain injuries when the vehicle impacts them, and they get thrown and land on the ground, causing additional injuries.
Pedestrian accidents typically cause:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI), including damage that causes paralysis
- Internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening
- Damage to internal organs
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Deep lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Road rash and burns
Pedestrian Rights in New Jersey
Pedestrians have the right of way in New Jersey. Drivers should not only extend them this courtesy for safety, but they should also obey the law. Drivers are often the liable or legally responsible party in a pedestrian accident. Even still, pedestrians need to behave with common sense and reasonable care. For example, suppose they fail to cross in a designated crosswalk or jump out in front of oncoming traffic.
Pedestrians also have the right to legal counsel and to file an injury lawsuit to seek compensation if necessary. Injured pedestrians can work with an experienced Hackensack pedestrian accident attorney who can help sort out liability for the accident and seek financial recovery accordingly.
Steps to Take After an Accident
If you are in a pedestrian accident, take these steps for your medical and legal well-being:
- Seek medical care, even if you don’t feel like you suffered an injury, to avoid insurance company disputes
- Call the police and make an official report
- If you are able, get the contact and insurance information from the other driver
- If you are able, get the contact information from any eyewitnesses to your accident—their testimony might be valuable to your claim
- Take pictures of the scene, the vehicle(s) involved, and your injuries at different stages of healing to serve as evidence
Making a police report, even if the driver ran off or you don’t think you suffered severe injuries, is imperative. It establishes an official record of the accident, ensuring that if you do suffer serious injuries that you don’t learn about until later, the insurance company doesn’t just have your word to rely on. Seeking medical care helps, in the same way, to establish that the accident occurred and any physical injuries you might have.
Without these two pieces of evidence, even the best Hackensack pedestrian accident attorney may struggle to help you seek compensation for your damages.
New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is simply a legal deadline. Specific statutes of limitation apply to personal injury cases, such as pedestrian accident claims. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for these types of cases is four years from the date of the injury. If you fail to file suit within that deadline, you cannot recover compensation for your injuries. The statute of limitations is a strict deadline.
While four years might seem like plenty of time, your attorney needs time to investigate and prepare your case. There’s a lot that needs to go on behind the scenes before your lawyer can formally file a lawsuit. Although, many times, they may not need to file suit or follow through and go to court because the claim settles out of court before that time.
You should also keep in mind that various factors can change the statute of limitations. For instance, if your claim involves a government entity, you can have a shorter statute of limitations. Or if your claim is for a minor child or the at-fault party leaves the state, your statute of limitations might extend beyond the regular deadline. However, determining which statute of limitations applies to your claim can be confusing. However, when you hire an experienced attorney to handle your claim on your behalf, they will know which deadlines apply and be sure to act accordingly.
Hackensack Pedestrian Accident FAQs
The Driver Claims I Darted into the Road and Caused the Accident. Can You Still Help Me?
At Reinartz Law Firm, our skilled Hackensack pedestrian accident lawyers will analyze all of the facts associated with your accident to craft the strongest argument in your favor.
We will perform a comprehensive investigation, including:
- Examining your medical records and the police accident report to determine what happened up to and during the accident
- Working alongside pedestrian accident reconstruction experts who can reveal more clearly how the accident happened
- Locating and talking to any witnesses who can support your claim
- Locating any video surveillance that might be available in the vicinity of the accident
- Determining whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol that may have derailed their ability to drive safely
The driver can claim whatever narrative they want. However, our investigation will reveal what really happened, and often, we can prove the driver’s fault.
What if the Driver Who Hit Me Was Uninsured or Had Insurance, but Their Insurance Coverage Is Less Than My Case is Worth?
While this isn’t ideal, you may still have sources of compensation. The same is true if you were the victim of a hit-and-run pedestrian accident.
Our attorneys can help you find other insurance sources.
Since the accident was with a motor vehicle, you have the right to pursue compensation from your own auto insurance carrier if you carry uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage. If you don’t have a car but live with a relative who does, then you may use their car insurance coverage as long as they purchased UM/UIM coverage..
We can help you file a police report and immediately report the accident to the insurer so they can’t deny coverage. We may also pursue compensation from the owner of the driver’s vehicle.
These cases can grow complex, and insurance issues further complicate matters. With a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney on your side, you can rest assured that your lawyer will explore all sources of potential compensation so that you recover the maximum amount possible to pay your injury-related bills.
Is the Driver the Only Party Whom I Can Seek Compensation From in a Pedestrian Accident?
No, depending on the specific circumstances of your claim, other parties can be liable for your accident. For example:
If the driver experienced brake problems, then the auto shop that negligently serviced the car might be partially liable.
An accident expert can determine that the intersection or roadway where you get hit by the vehicle was poorly lighted or designed, or the county had notice of prior pedestrian accidents at this location, making them party to the accident as well.
If an intoxicated driver hit you, you can hold the party or commercial establishment that supplied the alcohol to them be liable under New Jersey dram shop laws if the person served was a minor or was served while they were obviously intoxicated and the bar or restaurant staff knew that the individual would likely get behind the wheel.
My Family Member Died in a Pedestrian Accident. Now What?
First, please accept our sincerest condolences. We know this is a very difficult time. However, we are here for you and will stand up for your rights. Your family has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim, which is similar to a personal injury claim if your family member was still living.
The attorneys at the Reinartz Law Firm can help you with every step of a wrongful death claim, ensuring justice for your lost loved one and your family. Your loved one’s personal representative and their estate can receive money for their pain and suffering and medical and other related bills incurred before and after their death.
Did You Suffer Injuries in an Accident? Call a Seasoned Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Finally, call a seasoned personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. At Reinartz Law Firm, we can begin representing you and gathering evidence right away to support your claim. When you hire us, you can trust that we handle your claim thoroughly to obtain the best outcome possible. We offer no-obligation case reviews to pedestrian accident victims and their families in Hackensack and the surrounding areas.
Contact the Reinartz Law Firm today to schedule yours. You can reach us at (201) 778-4878 or online.
"Richard guided me in my suit and made me feel confident in my decisions during my entire case. He made recommendations that I otherwise, would not have known about."