PEDESTRIAN STRUCK BY MOTOR VEHICLE
Any person situated on or adjacent to a public street in and around the New York metropolitan area is susceptible to being hit or struck by a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, certain individuals are more vulnerable to being struck by a motor vehicle than others. For instance, young children walking to and from school or elderly persons trying to cross a busy street are likely in more danger of being struck by a vehicle. Another scenario occurs when someone is properly walking within a crosswalk in order to cross a street and a vehicle makes a turn from another street without seeing the pedestrian and the pedestrian is struck by the turning motor vehicle.
The fact remains that the New York metropolitan area and the outer lying areas can be extremely dangerous for pedestrians due to busy motor vehicle traffic, heavy pedestrian traffic and various other factors, including the speed of vehicles traveling on the public roads and prevailing weather conditions.
Additionally, children who reside in the five boroughs of New York City will often play outside their apartment buildings or homes and these children are extremely vulnerable to an accident with a motor vehicle because young children may run into the street to get a ball or walk/run in between parked vehicles. Drivers and operators of any type of motor vehicle on the public roads throughout the City of New York still have an obligation to look and watch out for children playing on the street.
Likewise, drivers of taxis, livery cabs, limousines and any other vehicles for-hire are also required to be fully aware of all pedestrian traffic around them. Unfortunately, all too often, these drivers are busy concentrating on looking for another fare or getting a passenger to his or her location as quickly as possible which ends up distracting the driver leading to dangerous and life threatening pedestrian accidents.
For over 30 years, the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. have handled numerous pedestrian accident cases which resulted in serious injuries and/or death. If you or a loved one has become an unfortunate victim of a pedestrian accident resulting in serious injuries or death, please feel free to call the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. so that you can have your potential claim thoroughly evaluated in addition to receiving all necessary guidance in order to permit you and your loved ones to recover full and fair compensation for all of your harms and losses.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Failure to yield to the right of way of a pedestrian crossing a street;
- Failure to obey a traffic signal, including traffic lights, stop signs, yield signs, caution signs and/or “Watch for Pedestrian” signs;
- Failure to look for a person walking in the crosswalk when turning from one street onto another street;
- Failure to look behind the vehicle when backing up;
- Pulling or backing out of a driveway without properly seeing what there is to be seen;Driving too close to the shoulder or curb of a road;
- Texting while driving;
- Using a cell phone while driving;
- Using or playing with the touchscreen computer inside the vehicle;
- Driving above the speed limit;
- Speeding in a school zone or construction zone;
- Driving while under the influence or driving while intoxicated; and
- Losing control of the vehicle, resulting in the vehicle moving off of the public roadway onto a sidewalk or other pedestrian location.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Pedestrian Accident
Certainly, the seriousness or extent of injuries sustained in any accident where a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle depends upon various factors including the points of impact or contact between the pedestrian and vehicle, as well as the speed of the vehicle involved. Unfortunately, injuries from pedestrian accidents can range from connective/soft tissue damage involving the cartilage, ligaments and tendons inside the human body to injuries involving fractures/broken bones anywhere in the body. The upper and lower extremities are especially vulnerable which can result in multiple fractures of the tibia and fibula bones in the lower leg, the patella (kneecap) in the middle leg and the femur (thighbone) in the upper leg. Additionally, when an individual is thrown or knocked off balance, it is natural for that person to hold his or her arms out in order to prevent a fall. Unfortunately, this often results in fractures to the hands, wrists, elbows and upper arms, including fractures of the shoulder and connective/soft tissue damage inside the shoulder.
If a pedestrian is thrown into the air, injuries can also include traumatic brain injury and/or internal injuries to various other organs in the human body including the kidney, liver and spleen.
Being struck by a motor vehicle weighing thousands of pounds can also result in crush injuries if a vehicle runs over a pedestrian.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles can very well lead to a wrongful death and tragic loss for family and other loved ones. Inasmuch as most pedestrian accidents are always very serious, it is extremely important to contact a competent and experienced attorney as soon as possible so that you can receive all of the necessary guidance and learn all of the rights available to you and your family due to any motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian which causes serious injuries and/or death. You can be sure that at the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C., you will be treated with kind courtesy, respect and compassion.
Steps to Take after a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident
- If you are able, move yourself out of the way of any other oncoming and/or moving traffic on the public roadway;
- Call 911 in order to seek medical assistance and contact the police;
- Try to stay calm and refrain from moving around so as not to aggravate or exacerbate any injuries you have sustained;
- Have someone contact your loved ones to inform them of the accident;
- Obtain or have someone obtain for you information concerning the identity of any vehicle involved in the accident with you, including the name and address of the operator and owner of the motor vehicle and any insurance information for the vehicle;
- Obtain any witness information you can on the scene;
- If possible, take or have someone take for your benefit photographs of the scene of the accident, including any damage to the vehicle(s) involved;
- Take pictures of your own injuries if possible;
- Consult with a lawyer as soon as possible;
- Keep a diary or other record of all the medical care and treatment received, including the names and addresses of all health care providers;
- DO NOT talk to or provide any recorded statement to anyone on behalf of an insurance company before you have spoken to a lawyer because insurance company representatives have significant training and years of experience in eliciting statements from victims of accidents which can distort the truth and/or facts only serving to accomplish the goal of trying to significantly diminish or eliminate your claim.
Pedestrian Accidents and New York No-Fault Insurance Law
In addition to permitting pedestrians to recover financial compensation for their pain, suffering and loss of any enjoyment associated with the activities of daily living due to injuries that have been proven to be serious under the law, New York’s No-Fault insurance law also permits pedestrian victims involved in a motor vehicle accident to receive payment for medical expenses, lost wages and certain other reasonable and necessary expenses related to the accident on a prompt basis directly from the insurance company covering the driver of the vehicle which made contact with the pedestrian regardless of whether the accident was the driver’s fault or not.
What this means is that one of the purposes of the No-Fault insurance law is to restore pedestrians who have been hurt in automobile accidents to as much health and productivity as swiftly as possible without having to wait to have their medical bills or lost wages paid. Once a proper claim has been timely made with the driver’s insurance company, all medical bills relating to medical care and treatment rendered due to the accident and any claim for lost wages will be submitted to the driver’s insurance company whether the accident was his or her fault or not.
In other words, regardless of whether you or a loved one intends to start a lawsuit against all responsible parties (the owner and operator of the motor vehicle) seeking financial compensation for pain, suffering and the debilitating effects of injuries associated with a motor vehicle accident, the insurance company covering the owner/driver of the motor vehicle which came into contact with you or a loved one must provide certain benefits associated with medical care, treatment and other reasonable and necessary expenses flowing from the motor vehicle accident irrespective of whose fault the accident was. As long as a timely claim is made to the owner/driver’s insurance company and medical bills and/or other necessary documentation are timely submitted to said insurance company, coverage will be available.
Basic No-Fault (also known as personal injury protection “PIP”) auto insurance coverage includes the following:
- Reasonable and necessary accident related medical and rehabilitation expenses (in accordance with established fee schedules);
- 80% of lost wages from work, up to a maximum payment of $2,000.00 per month for up to 3 years from the date of the accident; subject to statutory offsets for New York State Disability, Workers’ Compensation and Federal Social Security Disability benefits;
- Up to $25.00 a day, for up to a year from the date of the accident to reimburse other reasonable and necessary expenses (e.g., household help and transportation expenses to/from medical treatment) resulting from the motor vehicle accident; and
- A $2,000.00 death benefit (in addition to the $50,000.00 basis no-fault limit), payable to the estate of a person eligible for No-Fault benefits who is killed in a motor vehicle accident.
As a pedestrian, even if you or your loved one is covered with private health insurance, the No-Fault insurance available from the owner/driver’s insurance company is considered primary coverage to any health insurance which means that it must pay first in the event that medical care and treatment due to injuries is from the motor vehicle accident.
Pedestrian Accidents – FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: I have been hurt in a pedestrian accident and I want to file a claim for my injuries. What’s the first thing I should do?
A: There are a number of things you can do in the first few days and weeks after an accident involving a motor vehicle in order to protect your rights to seek compensation. Obviously, it is important to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible so that you can find out specifically what needs to be done so your rights are not diminished. In any event, you should also do the following:
(1) Write down as much as you can about the accident itself, your injuries and any other losses (such as wages) you or a loved one has suffered as a result of the accident;
(2) Make notes of conversations that you either had or are having with people involved in the accident or the injury claim;
(3) Preserve evidence of who caused the accident and what damage was done by collecting physical items in addition to taking photographs;
(4) Retain all witness information including names, telephone numbers and addresses because these people will be very helpful in proving your case;
(5) Obtain the police report or at a minimum the information necessary in order to get the police report such as an accident report number and the precinct involved so you can identify the proper owner/driver of any vehicle involved in the accident.
Q: Should I speak to an insurance company adjuster/representative who calls me on behalf of the owner/driver of the vehicle involved?
A: Although it is certainly important to cooperate with the insurance company who will be providing you with No-Fault benefits as described above, you must remember that this same insurance company may also be responsible for paying financial compensation to you as a result of a separate lawsuit that your or your loved one commences in order to recover money damages for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment due to debilitating injuries sustained in the accident. Therefore, it is extremely important to realize that the insurance company is not on your side. Insurance companies and their adjusters/representatives and lawyers are paid to minimize the money that gets paid out to people making claims due to injuries and/or accidents. After a serious accident, you may get a call from an insurance company whereby an adjuster or representative may attempt to ask you questions that can be designed to confuse you or have you admit to something you do not fully understand which can be used against you in Court or another proceeding in which you=re seeking compensation and benefits. Therefore, you should not give any statements to the insurance companies without first engaging an experienced lawyer to represent you.
Q: What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
A: It doesn’t matter if you bear some responsibility for the accident because you still have the right to seek financial compensation for your pain, suffering and any loss of enjoyment due to debilitating injuries which were caused by the partial fault of any owner/driver of the vehicle which stuck you. If you do bear some responsibility for the accident, this may simply reduce your eventual recovery of monies from the owner/driver. For example, if you were 50% at fault, your recovery may be reduced by 50%. Once again, the issue of fault has no bearing on the No-Fault benefits discussed above and only plays a role in diminishing your recovery in your claim for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment due to the debilitating injuries in a lawsuit started by you.
Q: As a pedestrian, what duty is placed upon me to avoid accidents?
A: Every pedestrian has the duty to obey traffic laws which relate to pedestrian obligations and requirements depending upon the location of the accident. For example, when crossing a street, New York City law requires pedestrians to cross the street at a particular location such as a crosswalk and only when the light is in their favor. Of course, every situation is different but a failure to obey certain traffic laws and responsibilities can certainly affect the determination of fault. This does not mean that you will not be able to recover full and fair compensation if you were not in a crosswalk. This simply means that a jury has a right to weigh out all of the evidence concerning your actions as a pedestrian, as well as the driver of the motor vehicle in order to determine what percentages of fault are attributable to the plaintiff-pedestrian and defendant-driver. If your case proceeded to trial in the event it could not be settled, the judge presiding over the trial would instruct the jury on the laws which govern both the conduct of the driver and the conduct required of any pedestrian involved in the accident. A jury would then apportion responsibility for the accident based upon the law instructed and the evidence heard during the trial. The apportionment would have to equal or total 100%. For example, a jury might not place any fault on the pedestrian even if he or she crossed a street in the middle of the block and not in a crosswalk. In this scenario, a jury might find that the driver still should have seen the pedestrian in the middle of the block and the mere fact that someone didn’t cross at the corner was not a substantial factor which caused the accident. Therefore, 100% of the liability would be found attributable to the driver and 0% to the pedestrian. However, if a jury felt that by not crossing at the corner the pedestrian was a substantial factor in causing the accident as well as the driver’s negligence, they could find the pedestrian 45% liable and the driver 55% liable which totals 100%. Any combination of percentages totaling 100% is possible.
Q: How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
A: Every state has certain time limits called “Statutes of Limitations” which govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you probably will not be able to file a lawsuit or a claim/lawsuit you improperly filed can be dismissed because it was untimely. More importantly, if a governmental agency or the municipality is involved (a defective traffic light or a municipal vehicle was involved), the time period may be much shorter and there may be other documents which need to be timely filed prior to being allowed to file a lawsuit. Consequently, it is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as possible so that you do not diminish your rights.
Q: What damages are recoverable in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident case?
A: As discussed above, the No-Fault benefits entitled to a pedestrian as a result of injuries are separate and apart from any right to start a lawsuit in order to recover damages for past and future pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment due to debilitating injuries as well as other damages. Obviously, it is best to call an attorney in order to receive guidance concerning what the various recoverable damages are and whether or not the injuries sustained by you or a loved one permit a lawsuit and/or claim to be filed. In the event of a death of a pedestrian, aggrieved family members have a legal right to seek compensation for all harms and losses which are able to be compensated under the law. Visit our web content relating to WRONGFUL DEATH for further information.
Q: What if I have no information concerning the vehicle involved in the accident or I find out there is no insurance coverage available or the vehicle fled the scene (hit and run)?
A: Obviously, have as much information available as possible as well as any documentation concerning the accident and any medical care and treatment which was rendered to you or your loved one. However, if this information and documentation is not available, we often have resources available to us in order to recover all necessary information and documentation. For example, we have at our disposal various investigators and other companies who are trained to undertake various steps and procedures to secure vital information and documentation on a timely basis.
If an investigation reveals there is no insurance coverage available concerning the vehicle involved in the accident or the vehicle fled the scene, the law does provide other avenues for you to recover financial compensation in order to cover your pain, suffering and any other damages. For example, if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured (a vehicle with inadequate coverage) vehicle or the vehicle fled the scene, the insurance carrier(s) providing coverage for any motor vehicle(s) which exist in your own household may be required to step in to cover you for your damages sustained in such an accident. If there was no automobile in your household on the day of your accident, then a corporation which has been set up by the State of New York (The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation) may be required to step in and provide you with coverage and compensation as a result of your injuries and damages. Please view our web content HIT AND RUN/UNINSURED ACCIDENTS for further information. Of course, it is best to call an attorney immediately to discuss this situation so that all necessary and proper steps can be taken on a timely basis.
Q: What if I have no medical insurance or coverage in order to pay for medical care and treatment?
A: As we have indicated above, if you have been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident whether as a driver, passenger or even a pedestrian, your medical bills will be covered through No-Fault insurance. Therefore, it is not necessary for you to have private health insurance or coverage from any other source. If you do not have a doctor or any other health care provider and you are not sure where to turn or who to go see, certainly we can assist you in obtaining immediate and excellent medical care and treatment in order for you to get better. These health care providers will receive payment for any medical services rendered to you directly from the No-Fault provider (insurance company) which is responsible for paying all of your medical expenses as required under the No-Fault law as a result of the motor vehicle accident.
Q: What can I expect if I call your office for help?
A: You will be put into direct communication with either Mr. Perlman or Mr. Rosen who will speak to you directly during this time of need and uncertainty. You will also receive straightforward answers from Mr. Perlman or Mr. Rosen who have over 30 years of experience representing victims of disabling accidents and injuries. You will never be charged any fee or asked to pay us any money in order to talk to us so that we can determine whether you have a claim or lawsuit. And most of all, remember, we are here to help you.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
Ira Perlman and Robert Rosen have over 30 years of experience in winning their clients full and complete monetary compensation for their harms and losses as well as the respect and dignity they so justly deserve. Mr. Perlman is a tenacious and seasoned trial attorney who has been successfully trying his clients’ cases as well as cases referred to the office from other attorneys for over 30 years. Mr. Rosen, with his adept litigation and writing skills has navigated clients’ lawsuits inside and outside the courthouse in order to achieve the excellent results that generate their ongoing success. The Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. are prepared to expend all of the necessary resources, financial or otherwise, in order to investigate and prosecute your case including retaining all necessary medical and/or technical experts in the relevant areas and fields and taking your case to verdict at trial if the insurance companies who represent the wrongdoers do not want to fully and fairly compensate you and your loved ones. If you, a family member or a loved one has become a victim due to an accident, malpractice or a serious injury and you would like to achieve optimum results relating to your claims, call the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. at 212-689-5000 for help now including a free initial consultation.