Accidents involving pedestrians have increased to alarming levels in New York City. Data from the Department of Health shows that over 300 pedestrians are killed and more than 3,000 are hospitalized every year due to collisions involving motor vehicles and pedestrians.
Despite the fact that NYC is consistently rated as one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the world and the fact that the state has laws in place to protect vulnerable road users, pedestrians continue to get killed and injured on a daily basis – largely due to the callous attitude of drivers who do not know or care that pedestrians have just as many rights as they do.
In this article, we have answered the most commonly asked questions regarding pedestrian accidents in New York City. These answers can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian, the risks you face on the road, and the steps you need to take if you are injured in an accident.
What Are the Most Common Rules of the Road That Pedestrians Must Be Aware Of?
What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New York?
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in New York include:
What Should I Do If I Am Hit By a Vehicle?
Does New York’s No-Fault Insurance Cover Pedestrian Injuries?
Yes, it does. Under the no-fault law, pedestrians who are injured in a motor vehicle accident are entitled to receive up to $50,000 in compensation. While it might be sufficient for people who suffer minor injuries, it is too small a compensation for people who suffer serious, debilitating injuries.
This is why it’s vital to hire a New York pedestrian accident lawyer and sue the at-fault driver so that you can recover sufficient compensation to cover the cost of your short-term and long-term medical expenses as well as other financial losses.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Under New York law, you can seek compensation for the following economic and non-economic losses resulting from an accident.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Tort Claim in New York?
Yes, there is. You must file a tort claim against the at-fault driver within a period of three years – starting from the date of the accident. Otherwise, you will lose your right to sue the driver in question.
There are only two exceptions to the aforementioned law. These include:
The Driver Who Caused the Accident Was Cited. Do I Still Need to Hire a Lawyer?
Yes, you do. Even if the at-fault driver was cited, establishing their liability can be a difficult task – especially if there are no witnesses who can back up your side of the story in court. Moreover, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do everything they can to deny liability or to reduce the value of your claim.
So, unless you are represented by a competent New York pedestrian accident attorney who can establish the liability of the driver, you might not be able to recover the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to under the law.
I Was Partially At Fault for the Accident. Can I Still Sue the Driver?
Yes, you most certainly can. New York follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, under which you have the right to seek damages for your injuries even if you were partially responsible for the accident. Your compensation, however, will be reduced in proportion to the extent to which you were at fault for the accident.
For instance, if you are awarded compensation of $100,000 and if it is determined that you were 20% at fault for the accident, you will only receive $80,000.
Should I Talk to the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Directly?
No, you should not. Remember – the at-fault party’s insurance company is not obligated to pay you what you are entitled to under the law. They will employ every trick in the book and then some to deny or reduce the value of your claim. If you accidentally blurt out something that can be construed as an admission of fault, they will use it against you and try to reduce the value of your claim to the extent they can. So, let your lawyer deal with them.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company?
Again, the answer is no. The insurance company will voluntarily come up with a settlement offer only if they believe that they might have to pay you a substantial amount of compensation if the case goes to trial.
What seems like a reasonable amount of compensation at the time might not be sufficient to cover the cost of your medical expenses and other losses. So, do not accept any offer or sign any papers without consulting your personal injury attorney. Your attorney is the right person to decide how much your claim is worth and whether a settlement offer is worth accepting or not.
Can I Sue Anyone Other Than the Driver Who Caused the Accident?
You can, depending on various factors. For instance, if the accident was caused by a faulty auto part, the manufacturer could also be held liable. If you are hit by a commercial truck and if it is found that the trucking company forced the driver to work in violation of federal guidelines, the company can be held liable. If you were hit by a drunk driver, the establishment that served them alcohol can be held liable under the dram shop law.
Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? We Can Help You!
At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, we know how devastating the consequences of a pedestrian accident can be. We are fully committed to providing the best possible legal representation for pedestrians who are injured by drivers who break the rules of the road with impunity.
For nearly 100 years, our firm has fought for victims of road traffic accidents and helped them get the restitution they are entitled to under the state’s law. We have a track record of recovering substantial damages – including several multi-million dollar settlements – for our clients.
We can hold the driver who caused the accident – as well as other parties, if any – accountable for their negligence and fights hard to recover the maximum amount of restitution possible under the law.
Call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced New York personal injury attorneys.
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|$9 Million - Brain Injured Baby Settlement|
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