Pedestrian accidents are ubiquitous. An estimated 104,000 emergency department visits in 2020 were pedestrians treated for non-fatal crash injuries in 2020, according to the CDC. Though drivers have safety equipment to cushion them in an accident, pedestrians are unprotected.

If you have been injured in this type of accident, it’s understandable if you are overwhelmed. However, at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, our Rockland County Pedestrian lawyers will be at your side as your advocates throughout the entire process. We have the perspective and expertise to help you tell your story and compensate you for your injuries and suffering. 

What are my first steps?

If you have been hit by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian, you should:

  • Call the police right away to make a report 
  • Note the driver’s name and license plate number, then get their contact information
  • Take photos of your injuries, the vehicle that you collided with, damaged personal belongings, and landmarks near the scene
  • Write down or record everything you remember about the accident
  • Talk to people who might have witnessed the accident and get their contact information
  • Seek medical help
  • Inform your insurance provider about the accident
  • Reach out to a lawyer as soon as you can

Possible pedestrian injuries 

Whenever a pedestrian collides with a motor vehicle, they are at significant risk for severe and lifelong injury. This is why New York pedestrian accident attorneys advise you to seek immediate medical treatment after you’ve been hurt.

The severity of injuries depends on many factors. In adults, studies show that musculoskeletal injuries are more common than head and neck. However, since musculoskeletal injuries appear most frequently in the upper and lower legs and knees, they are more likely to lead to long-term disability. Head injuries generally have the most life-threatening outcomes. 

Risk factors

As in many motor vehicle accidents, several risk factors can contribute to a collision with a pedestrian. They include:

  • Impaired vision due to lack of daylight or severe weather
  • Intoxication of the driver, pedestrian, or both
    • Alcohol was involved for the driver or pedestrian in nearly half (46%) of crashes that resulted in a pedestrian death in 2019
  • Drivers not following the rules of the road
  • Driving too fast
  • Pedestrians lacking safety awareness 
  • Densely populated urban areas with poor walking infrastructure 

Pedestrian laws in New York

At crosswalks with traffic-control signals:

  • Pedestrian has the right-of-way when a traffic signal shows a steady “Walk.”
  • A pedestrian must not cross when a traffic signal shows a steady “Don’t Walk.”
  • A pedestrian must not cross if a raised hand is flashing, even if there is a countdown seeming to indicate that there is remaining time to cross.
  • If a pedestrian has already started crossing on a “Walk” signal, then they can continue to the other side.

In addition, at crosswalks without traffic-control signals–pedestrians have the right of way, and drivers must yield. And when there are no crosswalks–drivers have the right of way, and pedestrians must yield.

What if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is offering me compensation?

It isn’t in your best interest to speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company directly or to accept an offer from them. They are motivated by their bottom line, and not your recovery. If you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian, speaking with our team of injury lawyers is the best way to ensure that you are compensated fairly and justly under New York law. 

What if it’s been a long time since my accident?

The statute of limitations for filing a pedestrian accident claim in New York between private parties is up to three years. This gives you time to focus on recovering physically and mentally. However, we suggest you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This is so that crucial evidence, such as surveillance and dashcam video of the accident, is not lost. 

Contact us for a free consultation

If you were seriously injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver or if a family member was killed, you need the services of an experienced Rockland County pedestrian accident attorney at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. Schedule a free consultation at our office, and since we work on a contingency basis, there are no upfront legal fees. We look forward to hearing from you.