If you were hit by a car while walking on foot, you could be entitled to file a claim against the at-fault driver for your injuries. However, there are laws and regulations that could restrict your right to sue if you are covered by a driver’s insurance policy in NJ. In addition, it can be difficult to know what your case is worth without the help of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer.
By taking your case to our pedestrian accident lawyers, you can rest assured that we have your best interests in mind. We will work to get you the compensation you need through whatever legal means are necessary, and we will fight to maximize the damages you receive by taking your case to trial if needed.
Contact our pedestrian accident attorneys by calling (732) 838-9769 today. Legal Care New Jersey offers free case assessments.
Right to Sue in Pedestrian Accident Cases in Hoboken, NJ
Under NJ law, every driver is required to carry no-fault insurance that can cover them or potentially even members of their household in the event of a car crash. This insurance can sometimes cover you even if you were not driving, resulting in available insurance coverage after a pedestrian accident. However, pedestrians who are covered by a no-fault insurance policy might also be subject to other rules for those policies, namely a restriction on your right to sue.
Even if you were not driving when the accident happened, you could be blocked from filing a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver unless you meet certain injury requirements. If your policy is an “unlimited right to sue” policy, then these restrictions do not apply. Otherwise, your accident must have resulted in “serious injuries” to open your right to sue the at-fault driver and claim damages for pain and suffering.
This threshold is often simple to meet, as it includes any permanent injuries, loss of limb, lost function of a body part, significant scarring/disfigurement, loss of a fetus, and even displaced bone fractures. As pedestrian accident injuries are often more severe than other auto accident injuries, these thresholds are often met in these crashes. Talk to our pedestrian accident lawyers about whether you meet this serious injury threshold and what damages you could be entitled to claim.
Damages for Injured Pedestrians in Hoboken
Injured pedestrians often face severe injuries without the protective features of a car around them. Instead, pedestrians often face one impact when the car initially strikes them and a second impact after they are thrown to the ground or into another object. This can often result in substantial head injuries, broken bones, back injuries, severe scrapes and cuts, and other injuries. There are typically three areas of damages you can claim in these accidents, but the amounts and specific damages will change depending on what injuries you suffered and what effects they have on your life going forward.
The most common “economic” damages in a pedestrian accident case are medical expenses and lost wages. However, any negative financial impact you face because of the injuries can also be compensated in a claim against the at-fault driver.
The damages you can claim for medical expenses often include not just the cost of emergency services at a hospital but also the cost of emergency medical transportation, follow-up appointments, specialist visits, later surgeries, and even various therapy sessions brought on by the accident – whether for physical therapy, occupational therapy, or mental health counseling.
Lost wages can be paid for the wages you have already missed while recovering from your injuries. If you have not yet returned to work or you will not be able to return to work at all, then damages can also be paid going forward for the additional missed work. If you were forced into a lower-paying position or career because of ongoing physical limitations from your injury, the difference between your old and new wages can be claimed.
As mentioned, other expenses can also be claimed. Commonly, this includes expenses like home care needs, the cost of household services you cannot perform, childcare expenses, and more. Talk to our pedestrian accident attorneys for help calculating all economic damages in your case.
Non-economic damages are paid to compensate you for other harms and experiences you faced that do not have a concrete economic value attached. This most commonly includes things like emotional distress, pain, suffering, and other intangible experiences. “Pain and suffering” is often used as a catch-all name for these damages.
As mentioned, these damages typically cannot be claimed against your own no-fault insurance and might require proof of serious injuries for these damages to be paid in your injury case.
Calculating the cost of these damages is often difficult because the value is not reflected in bills and statements like with economic damages. Instead, your own testimony, your doctor’s testimony, and statements from friends and loved ones will often be used to support your claim for non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are rarely awarded, but they are permitted in some cases under N.J.S.A. § 2A-15-5.12. These damages are used to punish a defendant rather than to compensate the victim.
To get these damages, you must first actually claim them in your initial complaint – the jury cannot decide later that they are appropriate if you did not ask for them. Second, you must prove that the defendant’s conduct was either “willful” or “wanton” in the disregard for potential injury or done “with actual malice” (i.e., intentionally). Lastly, these damages must be approved by a judge – so they are not usually available in settlements – and they are capped at the greater of five times the total of the other damages or $350,000.
Call Legal Care’s Hoboken Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
After being injured in a pedestrian accident, call the Hoboken pedestrian accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey. You can reach us at (732) 838-9769.