Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are all too common. Between bustling urban traffic and the rise of distracted or reckless drivers, pedestrians are at a heightened risk of injury. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is vital to understand your rights and how you can protect them.
Understanding the Rights of Pedestrians
New York State recognizes pedestrians rights, and its laws are designed to ensure that pedestrians are protected in the event of an accident with a motorist.
Right to Safety on the Road
Pedestrians have the fundamental right to safety on the road. Traffic laws and signals help to protect pedestrians by designating safe crossing areas and controlling the flow of vehicle traffic. Drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and to be vigilant for individuals on foot at all times.
Right to Compensation for Injuries
If you have been struck by a car or another type of vehicle, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. This includes reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to the accident, such as rehabilitation or therapy, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
Right to a Fair Settlement or Jury Verdict
Pedestrian accident victims have the right to pursue a fair settlement from the driver’s insurance company or to take the case to court for a jury verdict. The compensation offered should adequately cover the total extent of the losses and sufferings experienced due to the accident.
Right to Legal Representation
You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you in your pedestrian accident claim. Having a seasoned legal professional on your side can significantly impact the outcome of your case. An experienced lawyer will know how to negotiate with insurance companies, gather evidence to support your claim, and represent you in court if necessary.
Immediate Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
Now that we’ve covered the legal rights of pedestrians, let’s discuss the immediate steps to take if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, which can help you protect those rights:
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is the top priority. Even if the injuries seem minor at the time of the accident, it’s important to seek the advice of a medical professional. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent after the accident due to adrenaline.
A medical professional can properly diagnose any “invisible” injuries, which if undiagnosed, can lead to potential complications in the future.
Pedestrian accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which most commonly include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
These injuries can have long-lasting effects on your quality of life and ability to work, which makes seeking appropriate care and compensation all the more important.
Report the Accident
At the scene of the accident, call the police and ensure an official report is filed. When filing a claim for your injuries, the police report can act as a crucial piece of evidence by providing an objective and unbiased view as to what happened.
If you’re not able to report the accident immediately at the scene, you can file a report within 10 days of the accident.
If possible, collect the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses present at the scene. These witnesses may be able to provide statements that can help to solidify your claim with the insurance company.
Also, take note of the accident scene. If you can, take photos of the location, road conditions, your injuries, and the vehicle involved.
Consult a Lawyer
As soon as you are able, consult with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accidents. A knowledgeable attorney can help you better understand your rights and advocate to get you the best possible outcome for your claim.
Navigating Insurance and Legal Claims
Dealing with insurance companies after a pedestrian accident can be challenging. Here are some important considerations:
No-Fault Insurance: New York State operates under a no-fault insurance system, meaning that your own insurance company will pay up to $50,000 for your medical expenses and lost earnings if you were involved in a collision with a car.
Liability: Determining who is at fault is crucial. While pedestrians typically have the right of way, they must also adhere to the laws of the road. An experienced attorney can help establish liability and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Settlement: Insurance adjusters may attempt to offer you a quick settlement. Be cautious with early settlement offers, as they may not fully compensate you for the full extent of your losses. Consult with your attorney before agreeing to any settlement offers. If you are not offered an appropriate settlement, you may wish to move forward with a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
It is crucial to keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations for filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit. In New York State, personal injury victims typically have three years from the date of the accident to seek compensation for their injuries (although shorter deadlines sometimes apply where the responsible party is a municipality or state-owned entity). If you fail to file a claim within the applicable time frame, you may forfeit your right to seek compensation. An attorney can help ensure that you have correctly identified the deadline by which you must commence a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of the accident in which you were injured.
The Role of a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Navigating the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming, which is why having a skilled attorney is essential. In addition to evaluating any applicable legal deadlines, a pedestrian accident attorney can:
- Investigate the circumstances of your case
- Collect and analyze evidence
- Work with expert witnesses
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Advocate for your full legal rights
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Contact Cellino Law To Protect Your Rights
At Cellino Law, with decades of experience, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to guide you through each step of your claim and to secure a favorable outcome.
If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, don’t leave your rights and your future to chance. Protect yourself by turning to our attorneys who understand the complexities of personal injury law and who are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated team at Cellino Law will work relentlessly to ensure that your rights are honored and that your case receives the attention it deserves. Don’t wait to start the process of reclaiming your life after an accident. Reach out to Cellino Law today for a free consultation with a member of our legal team at (888)-888-8888.
Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.
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