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Clark is a walker-friendly township with gorgeous scenery, plenty of sidewalks, and a community wellness campaign that encourages walking. Walking is a great exercise—healthy for the environment and healthy for pedestrians. At least, it is most of the time. However, pedestrians are the most vulnerable users of a community’s roadways, and when accidents happen the result is often serious injuries or even death.

When you or a loved one are injured in a pedestrian accident, you may have a personal injury claim against the driver. You may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages, which can include medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for emotional trauma as well as pain and suffering. The type and amount of damages depend on the nature and severity of your injuries, as well as who was at fault in the accident. To learn more, consult a Clark pedestrian accident lawyer from Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC. Our team provides free, no-obligation consultations where we can help you understand your potential rights and remedies.

New Jersey’s Pedestrian Laws

People typically think of walkers when they think of pedestrians. The term actually includes a large group of people using the sidewalks and roadways for transportation. Non-walker examples of pedestrians include but are not limited to, wheelchair users, skateboarders, roller skaters, and people using non-motorized scooters. The Department of Law and Public Safety put together a Pedestrian Safety guide. The guide summarizes the responsibilities of pedestrians—and drivers—in the state. Pedestrians have an absolute right-of-way in crosswalks—motorists must stop for them, not just yield to them.

Motorists who fail to stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks are subject to a fine, community service, and points on their license. Additionally, their insurance companies may charge them higher prices. At unmarked crosswalks, motorists must yield to pedestrians. However, pedestrians are not supposed to suddenly leave the curb and enter traffic if a car would be unable to stop to avoid them. When pedestrians are not in crosswalks, motor vehicles have the right of way.

Sometimes, pedestrians contribute to their accidents. Some people believe this relieves motor vehicle operators of liability. Drivers have a greater duty of care than walkers—if they can safely avoid hitting a pedestrian, they should do so. However, even if a pedestrian contributes to an accident, they may still be able to seek compensation for their losses. Under the state’s modified comparative negligence statute, New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:15-5.1, contributory negligence does not bar recovery. However, the injured pedestrian cannot be more responsible than the wrongdoers against whom they seek recovery. A Clark attorney can investigate fault in a pedestrian accident and explain comparative negligence in more detail during a consultation.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

While pedestrians and drivers both contribute to pedestrian accidents, drivers are more likely to be responsible for these wrecks. Not only do they have a greater duty, but they are also more likely not to see a pedestrian than a pedestrian is not to see a vehicle.

Failure to yield the right of way is probably the top cause of pedestrian accidents. Drivers and pedestrians can both fail to yield, and they can do so in marked or unmarked crosswalks or elsewhere on the roadway. Distracted driving is also a frequent cause of pedestrian accidents. Driver distractions include texting or using other electronic devices, eating, drinking, grooming, changing radio stations, or just daydreaming. All it takes is a moment’s inattention for a driver to hit a pedestrian. Drunk drivers and drowsy drivers have similar risks. They may fail to notice a pedestrian or have delayed reactions, so they are unable to stop or swerve to avoid the pedestrian. Regardless of the cause of the pedestrian accident, our Clark attorneys can help prove liability.

Speak With a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Clark Township

Pedestrian accidents often have catastrophic consequences. In addition to painful physical injuries, they can create emotional trauma and lead to financial distress. If you are an injured pedestrian, you may be able to get compensation for those injuries. Schedule a consultation with a Clark pedestrian accident lawyer from Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC. The consultations are free and no obligation — even if you choose not to pursue a claim, you will be better informed about your rights and responsibilities.