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.
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.
Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Q: What steps should I take immediately after a pedestrian accident to protect my legal rights?
A: If you are planning to file a claim, you should follow important steps to prepare a strong case, as Rockland County, NY pedestrian accident attorneys will advise you. First and foremost, prioritize your health and safety by seeking medical attention right away. Contact the police to report the accident and ensure that an official report is filed. Gather evidence at the scene, such as photographs of the accident scene, vehicle involved, and your injuries. Collect contact information from any witnesses who can provide valuable testimonies. Avoid discussing fault or making statements to insurance representatives without consulting a pedestrian accident lawyer. Seeking legal representation early in the process will ensure your rights are protected, crucial evidence is preserved, and that you receive proper guidance throughout the claim process.
Q: How can I prove liability in a pedestrian accident claim?
A: You need to show that the party responsible was negligent if you want to prove liability. This involves demonstrating that the driver, or another party, breached their duty of care toward pedestrians. Evidence such as eyewitness testimonies, police reports, traffic camera footage, or any available surveillance footage can be instrumental in proving liability. Gathering evidence that shows the driver’s disregard for traffic laws, distracted driving, speeding, or failure to yield to pedestrians strengthens your claim. Additionally, expert witnesses, accident reconstruction specialists, and medical professionals can provide opinions and analyses that support your case. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will help assess the available evidence, build a strong case, and work to establish liability on behalf of the responsible party.
Q: What types of damages can I seek in a pedestrian accident claim?
A: You may be able to seek various economic and non-economic damages if you have been an accident victim, as Rockland County pedestrian accident attorneys will tell you. Economic damages cover quantifiable financial losses, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages address intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and scarring or disfigurement. In cases of severe negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party. Consulting with a pedestrian accident lawyer is crucial to accurately assess the damages applicable to your case and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve based on your specific circumstances.
Q: Is there a time limit for filing a pedestrian accident claim?
A: Be aware that there is a strict time limit, or statute of limitations if you are planning to file a claim. The statute of limitations varies depending on the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. Failing to file a claim within the prescribed time limit can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. Statutes of limitations range from a few months to several years, depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the claim. It is important to consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to understand the specific statute of limitations applicable to your case and ensure timely filing of your claim within the prescribed timeframe.
Q: How can a pedestrian accident lawyer help with my claim?
A: A pedestrian accident lawyer plays a crucial role in advocating for your rights and ensuring a fair claim process. They have the legal expertise and experience necessary to navigate the complexities of pedestrian accident cases. A lawyer will assess the specific circumstances of your accident, gather evidence, communicate with insurance companies, negotiate settlements, and, if needed, litigate your case in court. They will help establish liability, calculate the damages you are entitled to, and fight for your best interests throughout the legal process. Having exceptional Rockland County pedestrian accident attorneys from Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. at your side has multiple benefits, so if you want to increase your compensation amount and maximize your recovery, consult a lawyer now.