Traffic accidents kill close to 6,000 pedestrians in the US every year. On the congested streets of New York City, pedestrian accidents are even more common and crash data indicate that about 25 percent of all traffic-related fatalities and injuries in NYC involve pedestrians. While any type of road accident can be dangerous, pedestrian accidents are often devastating because those walking on the sidewalk have absolutely no personal protection, unlike the motorists who are sheltered inside their cars.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New York
Pedestrian accidents are quite common in New York and over the years, it has been found that they may be caused by one or more of the following factors:
Types of Injuries Likely in an NYC Pedestrian Accident
When a car hits a pedestrian, it may result in severe injury to several parts of the body. The lower extremities are the most likely to be damaged and injuries such as lacerations, broken bones, fractures of the pelvis, ligament and muscle tears are extremely common. If the upper part of the pedestrian’s body comes into contact with the offending vehicle, it could lead to the displacement of the shoulder, injuries to the neck and face, skull damage, vertebral injuries, and concussion.
Accidents in which the pedestrian gets tossed over the car or lands on the car’s hood are likely to result in injuries to the chest and abdomen, and hands, wrists, and arms. The injuries sustained in an NYC pedestrian accident can be life-altering and may require several weeks or months of treatment and therapy.
Under New York law, a pedestrian who is injured in an accident caused by a motorist is entitled to compensation for the losses they suffered. If you have been hurt in such a road crash, make sure you take the following steps to ensure you get the damages you deserve.
Step 1: Check if You are Injured and Dial 911
If you have been hit by a vehicle, do a quick check of the injuries you have sustained. Dial 911 at once to report the accident and the help you need. Convey your location to the 911 operator, giving information about landmarks and street signs to identify the exact spot.
Make sure the 911 dispatcher gets all the details of the injuries you have suffered so that they know how critical your condition is. Also, give them the information of the accident scene and details of whether the accident has led to a traffic pileup or other dangers.
Stay alert to any feeling of dizziness or numbness or nausea because these could be an indication of a serious injury. If you are bleeding or finding it difficult to breathe, the paramedics who rush to the accident site will decide about moving you to a local emergency room.
Even if you do not find any external signs of an injury, it is important to visit a doctor and have yourself examined. You must also stay alert to pain and swelling that develop over the days following the accident. Some injuries such as sprains and strains that affect the muscles and tendons may take longer to show up.
It is vital you seek immediate medical attention even if you feel fine after being in a pedestrian accident. If you let a long time elapse between being in the accident and having a medical check-up, the insurance company may later use this against you, claiming that your injuries were not a result of this accident.
Step 2: Collect All Relevant Information and Evidence
If you have not been badly hurt in the accident and are able to function reasonably well, make sure you get all details from the party at fault for your accident. Make a note of their name, address, insurance provider, vehicle’s make and model, vehicle identification number (VIN), license plate number, and driver’s license number.
Draw a rough sketch of the accident scene indicating the car’s position before and after the crash and also note down the approximate speed at which you thought it to be traveling. Also write down other details such as the date and time of the accident, the weather conditions at that time, and the presence of any problematic road conditions such as obstructions or potholes in the area where the crash occurred.
It’s critical you get these details down in writing at the earliest because over time, your memory is likely to grow faint and you may find it difficult to remember the relevant details at a later date.
Step 3: Get Photo or Video Evidence of the NYC Pedestrian Crash
Use your cell phone or any other electronic device you have to take photos and record videos that capture the scene at the accident site. Get the sounds and sights all covered and take pictures from different angles. This data will serve to support your claims regarding the nature of the crash, and the road and weather conditions that prevailed at the time of the accident.
Look for eyewitnesses to the crash who are willing to speak and get their permission to record their statements. Get them to write down their impressions of the crash as they saw it unfold and make sure they sign and date every page of this statement. Make a note of their names and contact information so that you can get in touch with them at a later date if required.
Step 4: File a Claim with Your Insurance Provider
Under New York’s no-fault insurance or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law, you can get compensation for the expenses you had to incur on your medical treatment, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses following the pedestrian accident. This law covers the expenses incurred on physical injury irrespective of who may have been responsible for causing the accident. You may file a claim with your own insurance provider to receive the compensation that is due to you. At a later date, if you decide to pursue action against the driver at fault for your accident, you can file a New York pedestrian accident injury claim against them.
To be able to do this, you must have suffered what is known as a ‘serious injury’ such as significant disfigurement, permanent loss of the ability to use an organ, loss of fetus, death, or bone fractures.
Step 5: Get in Touch With an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in New York
Under New York law, the statute of limitations specifies a period of three years for personal injury claims. After this period, you no longer have any legal right to seek compensation from the driver at fault for your accident. The insurance adjusters who approach you for a settlement are more than likely to convince you to accept a sum that is far less than what you truly deserve. If you try to represent yourself, it is more than likely that the amount you recover will be significantly lesser than what a pedestrian accident attorney could have obtained for you.
Even if you decide to take the case to a court trial, there will be a lot of complex paperwork such as depositions, subpoenas, and interrogatories that can be complex for a novice to handle. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney however has all the resources and tools necessary to get the paperwork completed in time.
Pursuing legal action against those responsible for your injuries while you are still preoccupied with recovering from your injuries can be a stressful and difficult task. However, a competent New York pedestrian accident lawyer has all the experience and knowledge necessary to handle such situations. So, make sure you engage the services of an expert New York personal injury lawyer soon after your pedestrian accident.
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in a pedestrian accident in NYC, you should get in touch with our personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. You may bring copies of the accident report, the evidence you may have collected at the accident site, witness statements if any, your medical records and bills, and any other documents relevant to the pedestrian accident that led to your injuries.
We have the resources to obtain critical information for your case that will not be easily available to you. Armed with useful information such as the driver’s past record of accidents or citations and the limits of their insurance policy, you will be able to drive a harder bargain with their insurance provider to ensure you get the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
We have helped several New York pedestrian accident victims get the justice they deserve whether it is through a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company, or through a court trial. To ensure that your claim gets settled before the statute of limitations expires, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.
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