Whenever someone is injured in a New Jersey pedestrian accident, it is important to determine what caused the crash and who was responsible. In 2010, New Jersey expanded the rights of pedestrians and increased penalties for motorists who fail to properly yield right-of-way at intersections and crosswalks.
Under New Jersey Statute 39:4-36, motorists must come to a complete stop “and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk.” Before this revision, drivers were required to yield but not to completely stop at crosswalks. Drivers must also “yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” Pedestrians do not, however, always have the right of way.
“No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.” This means that injured pedestrians who unsafely step into traffic at a dangerous location may not be able to pursue financial compensation for the injuries they have suffered. There are a few exceptions. In cases that involve a negligent motorist or a dangerous roadway, the pedestrian may hold the negligent driver or the governing body in charge of maintaining the roadway liable for injuries, damages, and losses they have suffered.