If you were hit by a vehicle and seriously injured while walking, you might be concerned about your legal options. The New York Pedestrian Accident Guide was created by personal injury lawyer Leslie Krause to help residents get the maximum settlement for their injury case.
Walking is a way of life in New York. Whether you’re walking to or from work, school, the grocery store, or just out getting some exercise, walking in New York is a serious risk. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, truck, bus, or even a motorcycle, the pedestrian can suffer from serious or deadly injuries. Pedestrian accidents account for more than 2/3 of all accidents in New York. They also make up more than half of accident fatalities.
Not all pedestrian accidents result in lifelong or deadly injuries. Yet, they can still cause damage to anything you’re carrying (such as a laptop), broken bones, lacerations, or serious sprains. They can cause unexpected medical expenses. If you are injured after you’re hit by a vehicle while you are out walking, schedule a free consultation with our New York pedestrian accident lawyer.
The Most Common Causes of New York Pedestrian Accidents
When drivers are found at fault for New York pedestrian accidents, the most common causes are:
- Inattentiveness; they may be talking or texting on their phone, eating, or simply not paying enough attention to driving
- Not yielding the right of way to pedestrians
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol including, but not limited to, legal prescriptions
- Not following posted speed limits
Who Is at Fault in a New York Pedestrian Accident
Serious pedestrian accidents aren’t uncommon in New York, especially in areas that are extremely crowded. So, how can a victim determine who is at fault for the accident that caused their injuries? While there are laws that protect pedestrians and give them the right of way in many circumstances, it’s important that you schedule a free consultation with our New York pedestrian accident lawyer. The facts surrounding these sorts of personal injury claims can be different. Those facts can help a lawyer determine who is responsible for your injuries.
Additionally, the police who respond to the scene will also take a report. Make sure that you get the report number from the officer and pull a copy of it. This will also help you and your lawyer determine who is at fault for what happened to you. Medical records, talking to witnesses, and working with an accident reconstructionist are also helpful tools to determine who is at fault. It’s imperative that you and your lawyer are able to build a strong case that supports your claim.
If the pedestrian is inside of a crosswalk and they followed the signs or signals that told them that they may cross the street, the driver may hold most or all of the fault. Even if there are no signs or signals present at a crosswalk, New York drivers are legally required to yield and give the pedestrian the right of way. Of course, we know that doesn’t always happen. It’s very important that pedestrians are extremely careful when they are crossing the street.
If the pedestrian isn’t in a crosswalk at the time of the accident, there will be other things that must be considered. For example, was there a crosswalk and the pedestrian chose not to use it? Did the pedestrian attempt to cross the street in a way that would be considered reasonably safe? If the pedestrian attempted to cross the street in a way that most people would consider safe, they may still be compensated for their injuries. If the pedestrian acted in a way that is considered extremely reckless, they may not be able to receive financial compensation.
Compensation Available for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
Often, victims are entitled to financial compensation for what has happened to them. Compensation may include:
- Medical care, including long-term care for spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or other injuries that result in the need for life-long medical care, nursing care, or rehabilitative services
- Lost wages, including time missed from work because of the accident as well as the inability to earn a certain amount of income if you’re no longer able to work in your previous field
- Final expenses for accidents resulting in the death of the pedestrian
- Loss of quality of life
- Property damage
The types of compensation (as well as the amount) that a victim or their family may be entitled to receive depend largely on the facts surrounding the accident. To learn more about compensation, schedule a consultation with our New York pedestrian lawyer. The first consultation is free.
Out Walking and Hit by a Vehicle? Here’s What You Should Do
Hopefully, you’ve already gotten medical attention. If you haven’t, get medical attention right away. Not all pedestrian accidents result in serious injuries that require immediate medical care. Yet, there are some injuries that go undiagnosed and get worse because they don’t have any symptoms or they don’t seem like a big deal when they manifest. Protect your future by getting checked out. Follow the recommendations of your doctor.
If the police arrived on the scene, make sure that you pull a copy of the police report. Then, call our New York pedestrian accident lawyer for a free consultation. We will discuss your potential claim with you. If you have a valid legal claim, we’ll make sure that you understand your options.
Letting the Insurance Company Handle It
A common question we’re asked is whether the pedestrian should just file a claim with the car insurance company and wait for their decision. In theory, it seems like a good idea. It seems like it would be faster and less stressful than filing a lawsuit.
However, insurance companies don’t always treat victims in a way that is fair. They often offer far less than a claim is worth. The adjustor assigned to your case is likely not someone who is extremely familiar with New York laws. They may try to pressure you into signing a settlement agreement that doesn’t give you the option to get help with future medical expenses related to your injuries.
While you should certainly file a claim with the car insurance company, you should also have a New York pedestrian lawyer on your side to talk to the insurance company on your behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions | New York Pedestrian Accident Guide
What Should I Do After I Am Hit by a Car?
If you are a pedestrian, and you are hit by a car in New York State and you sustain serious injuries, the first and most important thing you must do, is seek medical attention. You are just a person and you’re hit by thousands of pounds of vehicle. There are many things this car will do to your body that you have no idea about whatsoever. Go to the hospital; get yourself checked out. Go to your doctor; get him or her to check you out. It’s very important that you immediately seek medical attention.
The second thing you should do, if you can, is get the information of the vehicle that hit you. At the least, take a picture with your cell phone, or have someone else take a picture for you of the license plate of the car so we know exactly who it is that struck you. Get better; that’s the most important thing. Be healthy. Go to the doctor, go to the hospital, and tend to your needs.
How Do I Pick the Best Attorney?
When you’re a pedestrian in an accident in New York and you’re seriously injured you want to find the best possible attorney to represent you. You find them by researching the different attorneys available to you. You don’t want to hire the attorney who will do a divorce, do a closing on your home, do your will, and also do your accident case. You want an attorney that only does accident cases. Someone who day-in and day-out works on accident cases, and has the experience and the knowledge to represent you will be the best choice. You also want someone who has been in business for a long time. You want someone with a wealth of experience who can use that experience to benefit you in your case.
A good accident attorney is someone who’s available to you. You don’t want the lawyer who’s going to meet you for five minutes in his fancy office and usher you out to his paralegal, or to some low associate. When you call and want to speak to your lawyer, you should get the lawyer, not some underling who just pushes you off, or brushes you off, or doesn’t give you the information you need. In my office, if a client wants to speak to me, I’ll pick up the phone and talk to them. If a client wants to meet with me, we set up an immediate appointment. If a client just wants to know the status of the case, we will give them, immediately, the status of their case and how it’s going. We try and walk them through this most unpleasant process of being injured, through no fault of your own, and going to court and trying to make money for the damages you sustained.
You want a lawyer who’s going to be there for you, who’s going to work for you, and who’s going to care about your case. They should care about you, and want to make you happy and make you understand, as much as possible, what’s going on, how it’s going on, and how long things like this should take. That’s the type of lawyer that you need.
Is the Driver Always Responsible?
My answer, as a personal injury lawyer for 45 years, is yes. Unless you dropped from the heavens in front of their car, they could have done something to avoid hitting you. There’s always something to take care of. There are brakes they could have hit. They could have swerved to the right or left. Maybe they were driving too quickly. There’s something always wrong. They’re not always paying 100% attention while driving their cars.
I think when you’re hit by a car, that driver is always responsible. They may not be 100% responsible, but they’re enough responsible that you can get money for the injuries that you sustained.
Can I Be Partially at Fault?
The answer is, number one, yes, you can be partially at fault if you’re crossing between cars in the middle of the block and not at the crosswalk. The important thing to know is that New York is a state of percentages. Even if you’re 99% responsible for the accident, we can get you money for the 1%. Also, if you hire a good enough lawyer who’s an experienced litigator, they can take any experience and any situation and turn it the best way for your benefit.
Remember, there’s what the other party is going to say and there’s what you’re going to say. The other driver gets questioned by your lawyer, and if you’re lawyer knows what he’s doing, your lawyer can find many reasons why that other driver shouldn’t have hit you. Remember, you’re just a person in the street. He’s the driver of this big, heavy car. He has a tremendous responsibility not to hit anyone in any circumstance. Even if you feel you’re partially responsible, number one, maybe you’re not; maybe you think you are, but you’re really not. Number two, even if you are, that doesn’t stop you from having a personal injury case and from collecting money for your injuries.
What Benefits Am I Entitled To?
When you’re a pedestrian and you’re injured in a car accident in New York, you have the benefits of PIP, personal injury protection, or no-fault insurance. They’re two different words for the same thing. Number one, your hospital bills, your hospital stays, your hospital admissions, your hospital tests will all be paid. Number two, your doctor visits, your doctor tests, and everything related to your medical needs will also be paid. Number three, it can also cover your lost wages and incidental expenses.
In order to obtain these benefits, you must file certain documents within a limited period of time. Make sure you hire an experienced accident attorney who knows what they are doing and will file all these documents for you so you will get every single benefit available to you.
How Long Will My Case Take?
This is a very complex question and doesn’t really have any answer. Many factors go into this. Number one, what are your injuries, and how soon will we know the future of those injuries? How soon will we know the full extent of those injuries? Number two, what type of insurance is available? Who is the insurance company? Are they the type of company that settles cases promptly, or are they the type who must go to court? There are many cases that will not make any offers until you’re picking a jury in court.
There are many more factors that go into this, but the key factor for anybody who’s injured as a pedestrian is to hire an experienced accident lawyer. That lawyer will make it as quick and as prompt as possible if they knows what they’re doing. In my office, if you’re seriously injured, whether pedestrian or not, we will immediately put your case into suit and start pushing as hard as we possibly can, to get to court as quickly as possible and make you as much money as soon as possible. That’s what an experienced lawyer can do for you. That’s why it’s very important you hire one when you’re out looking for a lawyer.
How Do Determine How Much My Case is Worth?
If you’re a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle in New York and you would like to determine the value of your case, you need an experienced attorney to help you. An attorney who’s been practicing for a long time knows very well the value of each type of injury and all the nuances that can go into making the injury more valuable or less valuable. That’s why it’s most important, when you’re injured, to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. That lawyer will guide you, teach you, and show you examples from his or her own experience of the type of value of the cases.
Do I Have a Claim for a Hit and Run Accident?
The answer is yes, you can have a case. Number one, there is a special corporation in New York that will cover uninsured or hit and run cases, if all the requirements are met beforehand. Number two, your own insurance company may cover you for such an accident. There’s such a thing called household insurance, which every car owner must have in addition to their liability coverage.
There are avenues available to you, but to walk down those avenues it’s important that you hire an experienced accident attorney, who will file the proper forms within the proper period of time to make sure you are protected, and that these forms of payment are available to you. You can have a case if you’re in a hit and run; you just have to have a lawyer take good care of you, so you can get payment for it.
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
If you have any questions about your case, and you want an experienced New York pedestrian accident attorney to help guide you through it, please give Krause & Glassmith a call. We would be happy to answer your questions.