Pedestrians walking along the interstate are more common than people realize. There are plenty of good reasons why someone would be walking along the interstate. If your car breaks down in the middle of the freeway, you may need to cross to safety while you wait for help. Unaware drivers may not see you crossing in time to stop, or other conditions like time of day and weather can affect visibility.
Consider these everyday situations for walking along the interstate:
- Crossing or entering highways
- Walking along the interstate after dark toward an exit
- Walking or standing on the shoulder after an accident
- Tending to a disabled vehicle
- Loose pets or livestock
Seek Medical and Legal Assistance if You Have Been in an Accident
Not all pedestrian accidents end in a fatality. The common types of injury sustained in a pedestrian accident can range from a simple sprain and bruising to more severe injuries that will require extensive medical attention. A lot will depend on the point of impact and the speed of the car.
No matter how bad you think your injuries are, if you are involved in a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention as soon as you are able. It is vital not only for your health, but any delay in seeing a doctor after an accident can negatively impact your claim.
Personal injury lawyers are not the ambulance chasers that insurance companies make them out to be. When you hire an attorney from The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates, we will be on your side to help you work with the insurance companies and file any claim necessary to cover medical expenses and other costs.
Pedestrian Accidents on the Interstate Occur for Many Reasons
Don’t assume that you are at fault because you are walking along an interstate and in an accident. Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings, and if they are distracted or impaired, they may not see you on the side of the road or crossing the highway. Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving while under the influence
- Turning around blind corners
- Poor weather
- Poor night vision
- Failure to obey traffic signals
If you are involved in an accident while walking along the interstate, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates today at 1 (800) 810-3457 to discuss your case.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident on the Interstate
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, call 911. Even if you don’t feel like you are injured, that doesn’t mean you are not hurt and need medical attention. After an accident, you can go into a state of shock and may not feel injured.
Get to a hospital as soon as possible and have a complete examination. If you delay going to a doctor, that can negatively affect your claim.
Get the driver’s vehicle and contact information and take photos and videos of any damage or reaction from the driver. If the driver is intoxicated, they can be belligerent and uncooperative. You can use this as evidence if they later claim not to be under the influence at the time of the accident. Document as much as you can if you can. A witness can help document if you are unable to do so.
If you have been in a hit-and-run accident, that does not mean you are out of luck. Police can take evidence from the scene that leads them to the driver, collect witness statements, and find other information to help determine fault.
After an accident, dealing with insurance companies can be confusing and stressful if you are still recovering from the accident. They will try to settle for the lowest amount possible, leaving you with medical expenses and limited financial support. If an insurance company is pushing you to settle, don’t. Contact us at the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates, and we will work with the insurance company and police on your behalf.
Things You Should Know About Pedestrian Accidents
Who is Liable?
In New Jersey, if a judge or jury decides you are 51% responsible for an accident, you will not receive any compensation for your injuries, even if you feel it is not your fault. A personal injury lawyer will work on your behalf to prove liability to the courts.
What You Can Claim
Insurance covers property damage and personal injury costs, but they will not pay more than the policy allows. If the driver does not have adequate insurance, you will be left to pay for any remaining expenses. An attorney can help you increase a settlement amount as they better understand the laws and how insurance companies work. You may be eligible for financial compensation for more than your immediate medical expenses, including:
- Continuing medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost wages
- Ongoing physical therapy costs
- Quality of life reduction
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Death of a loved one
Working With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies don’t want you to contact an attorney because they know they usually pay less on a claim if you do not have legal representation. They will push you to settle for the minimum amount they can legally pay and make you feel like this is your only option. Insurance companies are not looking out for your interest like a personal injury lawyer will do.
Time Limit for Filing a Case
In New Jersey, you have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you are injured before you are 18, you can file a claim up until the age of 20. It is essential to file a claim as soon as possible to help cover necessary medical expenses and lost wages.
Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws
Pedestrian accidents resulting in fatalities along interstates increased nearly five percent over last year. While not all accidents end in death, the majority of pedestrian accidents have minor to no injury. The types of injuries commonly reported include:
- Bone fractures
- Neck injury
- Spinal injury
- Soft tissue damage
- Brain injury
New Jersey law requires you to report any accident that involves death, injury, or property damage over $500. If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident while walking along the interstate, it is essential to understand the laws regarding accidents and pedestrian right-of-way.
New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence Law
The Comparative Negligence Law states that a judge or jury will determine the percentage of fault each person involved in the accident is responsible for. If a pedestrian is in an accident while in a marked crosswalk, the driver will bear the weight of the responsibility. Whereas if a pedestrian is in an accident while walking along the interstate, it can be challenging to determine who is at fault.
An attorney well-versed in all of the New Jersey pedestrian laws can help prove or disprove who is responsible for the accident. Do not assume that a pedestrian walking along the interstate is automatically at fault because they “shouldn’t be there.”
Statute 39:4-36 covers crosswalk and pedestrian safety for the state of New Jersey. As of 2010, all drivers must come to a complete stop when a pedestrian is in a designated crosswalk. The driver also must yield if a pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk.
Pedestrians are equally responsible for their actions and need to pay attention to their surroundings before crossing any street. Do not step off the curb to cross until traffic is clear or has come to a complete stop. Pedestrians need to obey all traffic signals and only cross when allowed. In an unmarked crossing zone, the pedestrian yields the right-of-way to any oncoming traffic and may only cross when safe.
Contact an Attorney Today to Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim
If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident while walking along the interstate in New Jersey, talk to one of our pedestrian accident lawyers about your claim and discuss the legal action available to you. Our attorneys are well-versed in pedestrian right-of-way laws and will work with the police and insurance company on your behalf while you concentrate on your recovery.
Don’t assume you are at fault simply because you are in an accident while walking along the interstate. Call 1 (800) 810-3457 today for a free consultation to discuss your case. At the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates, we work on your behalf throughout the claim process to pursue compensation for medical expenses, damages, and recovery.