Pedestrian accidents are far more common than you may believe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 75,000 pedestrians are hit by cars in the United States every year. That’s more than 200 people every day. The most common cause is distracted driving—motorists who are paying attention to a handheld device, a passenger or another roadside attraction instead of the roadway in front of them.
As a general rule, pedestrian accidents are based on a legal theory of negligence. To establish that the defendant was negligent, you must show that he or she failed to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. The level or standard of care takes into consideration circumstances such as weather conditions, roadway defects and traffic laws. The determination of whether the defendant’s conduct met the expected standard of care will ultimately be decided by the jury.
If the jury establishes that the defendant’s actions were inconsistent with the standard of care expected, the next issue that must be addressed is whether that failure to meet the standard of care caused the accident. In New Jersey and across the United States, that requires that the injured party show that:
Even if the injured party can show both a breach of the duty of care and causation, he or she must still show actual losses to recover any compensation. For example, if all damages or losses are covered by insurance, an injured party won’t be able to recover anything.
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