What Should I Do if I Was Injured as a Pedestrian in New York?
Just about everyone in New York City is a pedestrian at some point throughout their day. Pedestrians often have to cross busy streets and intersections, and the close proximity to motor vehicles means that accidents and injuries occur frequently. According to the CDC, the majority of pedestrian accident injuries or deaths involve being struck by a vehicle. If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of a driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Common Pedestrian Injuries
According to New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, pedestrians always have the right of way, and a vehicle turning or entering a roadway has the responsibility to yield to pedestrians. However, not all drivers pay as much attention to the road as they should, and they often fail to notice people walking near their vehicle. Factors such as driver distraction (which is often caused by cell phones) or impairment by alcohol or drugs can lead to an accident.
Pedestrians who have been struck by a vehicle can face life-threatening or even fatal consequences. The speed at which the motorist was traveling and the size of the vehicle, as well as the pedestrian’s age and health, can all affect the severity of the injuries. Some common injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents include:
- Head Trauma: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be minor or major, but even minor concussions must be treated with care to avoid long-lasting brain damage.
- Internal injuries: Internal bleeding can be caused by the blunt force of a vehicle hitting a pedestrian, and vital organs may also suffer serious damage.
- Back and Neck Injuries: Damage to the back or neck, including the spinal cord, can have devastating and long-term effects, such as paralysis.
- Fractures: Broken bones are often caused by the impact of a vehicle hitting a person’s body. Some bones which are commonly fractured in pedestrian accidents include the legs, arms, feet, and pelvis.
- Lacerations: Cuts from metal or sharp objects on a car can penetrate deep into the skin, causing complications such as damage to internal organs or infections.
- Wrongful Death: In the most extreme cases, pedestrians hit by a motor vehicle may die as a result of their injuries.
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
Immediately following a pedestrian accident, you should assess your injuries. Call 911 if necessary. Then, try to gather as much detail as possible, such as the driver’s license plate number and their contact and insurance information. If possible, take photos on your mobile phone to document the incident. These can be used as evidence if the case goes to court.
Under New York law, the insurance company of the driver that hit a pedestrian has to pay that person’s medical bills and lost wages. These are known as first-party benefits. In certain circumstances, you might also be able to file a third-party claim against the municipality where the accident occurred. For example, hazardous roads or malfunctioning traffic lights may have played a part in your accident. In a pedestrian accident involving any kind of municipal vehicle, such as a bus, you may be able to receive compensation from the city. In these cases, you must typically file a notice of claim within 90 days in order to receive damages.
Contact a Brooklyn Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered an injury as a result of being struck while walking, seek medical attention immediately. Next, you need to speak to a diligent New York pedestrian accident lawyer at Goldberg Sager & Associates. Our experienced legal team can determine who is liable for any damages you suffered as a pedestrian, and we will work hard for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Call 718-514-9516 today for a free consultation.