After a string of pedestrian accidents with motorists, the state of New Jersey has partnered with local communities and nonprofits to create a campaign to increase transportation safety. The program is known as Street Smart New Jersey. It focuses on educating the public on the following behaviors:
- Heads Up; Phones Down
- Use Crosswalks
- Wait for the Walk
- Obey Speed Limits
- Stop for Pedestrians
The program works through a combination of educational campaigns, increased pressure from law enforcement, and other measures to ensure the public follows safe practices.
Comparative Fault: A Legal Look at Street Smart New Jersey
These rules won’t just keep you safe; they will also help protect you from liability issues. In pedestrian accidents with motorists, the law will help an injured person find justice, but it will also recognize that for many injuries the pedestrian is also partly to blame. This is what is known as Comparative Fault.
For instance, if a pedestrian surprises a driver by jaywalking into the street, this person might be as much at fault for the accident as the driver. It is the responsibility of both the driver and the pedestrian to be vigilant and behave responsibly.
In cases like this, the damages are divided according to the driver’s and the pedestrian’s respective levels of responsibility. For instance, let’s say a jaywalker were injured and the jury gave a $100,000 verdict. If the jury ruled the pedestrian 25 percent responsible, that person would instead receive $75,000. By practicing simple safety measures, both drivers and pedestrians can protect their legal and personal safety.
Please also keep in mind that if you are involved in an accident you should always seek the counsel of an attorney before communicating with the opposing insurance company. Insurance representatives may seem friendly, but they may try to convince you to admit to a larger portion of the responsibility. An attorney can help protect you from this.
Hopefully, by taking the right steps, communities can work together to keep ourselves safer from accidents.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that empowers and defends victims of injury in the Cape May and Atlantic City areas.