Walking on public streets and roadways has become quite dangerous. Pedestrians are dying in America at a rate unseen in four decades. In 2021 nearly 7,500 pedestrians were struck and killed by vehicles. Those fatalities also represent a 12 percent increase from 2020. Despite safe driving initiatives in many states, there are no signs of significant improvement in this rate in the near future.
Recent studies indicate several causes for the high rate of pedestrian deaths. These causes include:
When a pedestrian is killed by a negligent driver, the victim’s close family members can sue the driver (and potentially others) for wrongful death. The family can recover for losses of any income that the victim would have earned for the family’s benefit. The suit can also seek money damages for loss of the family member’s affection and companionship.
New Jersey law also authorizes a type of lawsuit known as a “survival action,” which is brought by a legal representative of a person who died as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing. This action allows for recovery of any damages the victim would have been entitled to had they survived. If the victim did not die immediately, the survival action can recover for pain and suffering endured after the accident until the time of death. While a wrongful death case compensates the family, a survival case compensates the victim’s estate. The damages recovered are distributed in accordance with the victim’s will or under state intestacy law.
Ridgewood-based Seigel Law is a highly respected and experienced personal injury law firm in Northern New Jersey. If you have lost a family member due to another person’s wrongdoing, feel free to call 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a consultation.