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Reasons for pedestrian injuries

In New Jersey and across the U.S., pedestrian accidents happen when a person is struck by a vehicle or falls due to uneven, cracked pavement or debris left in their path. In both instances, the pedestrian injury may be due to a driver’s negligence or that of a property owner. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 5,000 pedestrians die every year as a result of motor vehicle accidents, and approximately 76,000 pedestrians were injured in this way in 2012.

Drivers have a duty to be alert for pedestrians at all times. Frequently, drivers may be preoccupied, impaired or speeding. Additionally, they may not make allowances for bad weather conditions. Pedestrians must also show responsibility by using designated crosswalks, obeying traffic signals and looking for oncoming traffic. Children are at particular risk for being struck by a motor vehicle, as they may not be as careful as adults when crossing a street. It is a driver’s responsibility to heed cautionary signs located near places where children congregate, such as schools, to avoid injuries.

Pedestrian accidents may also occur when property owners or land holders fail to provide safe pedestrian paths. A pedestrian may be injured if a property owner knows a hazard exists but does not repair it or make any attempt to warn of its presence.

A pedestrian who becomes involved in an accident may suffer serious injury as well as associated financial distress. They may wish to recover the costs of medical treatment and lost wages. An attorney may help the individual by examining police reports and other evidence to determine who was at fault. Depending on the cause, the attorney may help by filing a personal injury or premises liability suit on behalf of their client.

Source: FindLaw, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview,” Accessed Feb. 4, 2015

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