At Lieberman, Ryan, Forrest & Voorhees, LLC, we represent individuals who have been injured in car accidents through no fault of their own. As such, we have seen virtually every kind of car accident scenario that exists. In our experience, pedestrian versus car accidents can be some of the worst in terms of the severity of injuries suffered by the pedestrian victims.
Indeed, an automobile is heavy, and the driver inside a car has a great deal of protection in collisions. For this reason, pedestrians generally have the right-of-way when it comes to determining fault in a pedestrian versus car collision -- as long as the pedestrian was following traffic and other laws at the time of the incident.
Motor vehicle drivers often try to defend themselves against civil liability claims regarding pedestrian crashes by claiming that the pedestrian was at fault in the incident. For example, a motorist might say that the pedestrian "darted out" into traffic, and that he or she did not have sufficient time to stop. In some cases, this could be a valid defense, but in other cases, it can be easily countered.
Automobile drivers are required to keep an eye out for pedestrians and drive extra carefully in their presence. If it is shown that the motorist was speeding; distracted by his or her cellphone; under the influence; or doing some other negligent and/or unlawful activity when a "dart out" crash occurs, this evidence could be used to illuminate the motorist's negligence and at least partial culpability regarding the pedestrian crash.
Long story short, every pedestrian-related car accident is different in New Jersey, but motorists are generally held to a higher standard of care when it comes to pedestrian crashes. It is more likely for a motorist to be at fault in such incidents than the pedestrian.