At about 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27, a mother and her three-year-old daughter were struck by a car while crossing the intersection at Park Avenue and West Second Street in Plainfield, New Jersey. Police found the two pedestrians seriously injured; the girl later died at the hospital.
Driver uninjured in fatal crash
The car accident reportedly happened when a man driving a Toyota Camry headed south on Park Avenue hit the pedestrians as they crossed Park at West Second. The driver, who was the only occupant of the car, was not injured in the crash. According to reports, he remained on the scene and cooperated with authorities. Police have not released his name, age, or hometown, and have not stated whether they will be charging him.
Haunting photos from the scene show a stroller and small sandals abandoned in the road near the involved vehicle. Several witnesses ran to the scene after hearing the crash but could do nothing but watch officers cordon off the area with yellow tape. According to a GoFundMe page that has been set up to help with the girl’s funeral costs, she left behind her parents, two older brothers and an older sister.
Pedestrian accidents becoming more common
Even though automobiles have become increasingly safer, being a pedestrian has become more dangerous. According to a 2015 preliminary federal report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, put out by The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian traffic deaths are on the rise. Some of the contributing factors include an increase in distractions like cell phones and other mobile devices, crossing where there is no intersection, and use of alcohol.
A common misconception is that the driver is always at fault in a pedestrian-vehicle crash. While the driver is often at fault, liability is generally more complicated. Both the driver and the pedestrian have a legal duty to act reasonably; if either acted unreasonably and it led to the injury or death, that person is at least partly at fault.
In an accident like the Plainfield crash, the driver had a duty to comply with all traffic safety laws and operate his vehicle without harming others. The pedestrians also had a duty to follow safety laws and to be aware of their surroundings. In deciding whether to press charges against the driver, the police are likely looking for evidence of these factors.
Liability for New Jersey pedestrian accidents
If a party is found to be at fault for a pedestrian crash, he may be liable to the victim or the victim’s family for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Therapy or rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional damages
- Funeral expenses
- Wrongful death claims of surviving heirs
If you or a loved one have been injured as a pedestrian in a crash in New York or New Jersey, the personal injury attorneys of Eisbrouch Marsh may be able to help. Our dedicated team incorporates the services of our legal professionals, investigators, medical experts, and engineers to help you build your case. For a free consultation, call 201-342-5545.
- NJ.com, 3-year-old girl struck, killed by car in Plainfield; mother seriously injured, http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2016/07/young_child_mother_hit_by_car_in_plainfield_child.html
- MyCentralJersey.com, Funderal fund set up for 3-year-old killed in Plainfield crash, http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/crime/jersey-mayhem/2016/07/28/funeral-fund-set-up-3-year-old-killed-plainfield-crash/87664692/
- Gofundme.com, Funeral costs, https://www.gofundme.com/2gr8ruk
- ABC7NY.com, 3-Year-Old Girl Dies After Being Hit By Car in Plainfield; Mother Also Struck, http://abc7ny.com/news/3-year-old-girl-dies-after-being-hit-by-car-in-plainfield;-mother-also-struck/1445122/
- GHSA.org, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, http://www.ghsa.org/files/pubs/spotlights/spotlight_ped2015.pdf