In pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian is always the most vulnerable. This is often because the pedestrian is not offered the same protections as those traveling in a vehicle and automobiles are significantly larger and heavier than the person they strike. Furthermore, traveling by foot makes it hard to evade a vehicle that is traveling significantly faster than them. A recent pedestrian accident south of Newark is no different.

In Somerset County, a 63-year-old man lost his life while walking in the section of Holland Drive and Route 27. At approximately 8:38 p.m., police responded to a report of a pedestrian accident. When they arrived, they found the elderly man unresponsive and unconscious.

Witness accounts indicated that the man was crossing the roadway when a sedan heading south hit him. The vehicle was driven by an 81-year-old woman who did not suffer any injuries. Paramedics came to the man’s aide but he was declared dead at the scene.

As the Franklin Township Police Department and Somerset County’s accident reconstruction team investigated the fatal accident, both sides of Route 27 were closed to vehicles for nearly four hours. Other details, as well as the contributing factors of the accident are still under investigation.

In pedestrian accidents, driver negligence is often the culprit. This can include cases of distracted driving and drunk driving. Disregard of traffic regulations such as speeding and failure to yield are also a possibility.

Drivers should always keep in mind that they should yield to pedestrians, especially when pedestrians are using crosswalks. This can be easily done if drivers immediately reduce their speed upon sighting a pedestrian or entering an area where pedestrians frequent. If a driver injures a pedestrian due to negligence, the driver can be held liable.

Being in a pedestrian accident can be traumatic for the victim. The victim can suffer critical injuries including head trauma and a neck injury. Some pedestrians, like the elderly man from the recent accident, can even lose their lives. In any case, a Newark victim can file legal action against the negligent driver. If the victim dies, a family member can file a claim on behalf of the victim.

A personal injury claim or wrongful death suit are possible causes of action for victims and loved ones involved in an auto-pedestrian accident. Those affected should seek to protect their rights and interests by seeking advice about any possible options and actions they can take.

Source: My Central Jersey, “Somerset man fatally struck crossing Route 27,” Dec. 24, 2013