Understanding Compensation for New York Pedestrian Accident Victims

Understanding Compensation for New York Pedestrian Accident Victims
Calendar icon April 19, 2024

The risk of serious injury is an unfortunate reality for pedestrians sharing the road with motor vehicles. When accidents happen, they can significantly affect a victim’s life, from physical injuries and emotional distress to financial burdens. It’s essential that pedestrian accident victims understand their rights to fair compensation, especially if they’ve suffered severe injuries as a result. This comprehensive guide will discuss the various types of compensation available, how to determine liability, and how you can seek justice for your injuries.

Types of Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims in New York

When involved in a car accident as a pedestrian, the results of the collision can be life-altering. You have the right to seek compensation for various types of damages, including:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses that have a clear monetary value. These can include:

  • Medical bills: This is often the most immediate and obvious expense, covering emergency room visits, hospital stays, medications, physical therapy, and any ongoing medical treatments needed because of the accident. In New York, your own no-fault insurance will cover these costs, along with lost wages, up to $50,000.
  • Lost wages: If you’re unable to return to work immediately—or perhaps ever—the lost income can be a considerable financial strain.
  • Rehabilitation costs: Recovering from a serious pedestrian accident may require extensive physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy.
  • Future medical care: In cases of severe injury, ongoing medical treatment and care may be necessary.
  • Property damage: Although less common in pedestrian accidents, if your belongings were damaged or destroyed during the incident, compensation might include reimbursement for those items.

In the event that the pedestrian accident results in a wrongful death of the pedestrian, the estate may also claim:

  • Funeral and burial costs: In the unfortunate event that the pedestrian accident results in a wrongful death, the estate of the deceased can seek compensation for funeral, burial, and cremation costs. 
  • Reduction in inheritance: If the deceased would have left an inheritance for the members of their estate, the estate can sue for what they could reasonably assume they would have received if the deceased had lived their full life expectancy.
  • Services provided by the deceased: If the deceased provided services, like childcare, the estate can claim these as damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intended to compensate the victim for the intangible losses suffered due to the accident, which can include:

  • Pain and suffering: This compensation is for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident.
  • Emotional distress: Accidents can lead to conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: When injuries prevent you from enjoying your regular activities or hobbies, you may be entitled to compensation.
  • Loss of consortium: This applies when an accident affects the relationship between the victim and their spouse or partner.

Unfortunately, as of 2024 in New York State, surviving families of wrongful deaths involving pedestrians are not entitled to recover non-economic damages for their sorrow, emotional trauma, or loss of companionship. 

Punitive Damages

In some cases where the behavior of the at-fault party was particularly reckless or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. These are not tied to the specific harm suffered by the victim but are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar future behavior.

Determining Liability Pedestrian Accidents

In New York, liability in a pedestrian accident can extend beyond just the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident. Here are some parties who may be held liable:

Driver of the Vehicle

The most common party held liable in pedestrian accidents is the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian. If the driver was negligent—for example, by speeding, running a red light, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, or driving while distracted or impaired—they may be held responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries.

Vehicle Owner

If the driver was operating a vehicle owned by someone else (such as a rental car or a company vehicle), the owner of the vehicle may also be held liable under certain circumstances. This is often the case if the owner negligently entrusted the vehicle to the driver or if there was some defect in the vehicle that contributed to the accident.

Government Entities

In some cases, a government entity responsible for road maintenance and safety may be held liable if a dangerous condition on the roadway, such as a malfunctioning traffic signal or poorly designed crosswalk, contributed to the accident. Claims against government entities in New York typically involve complex procedures and shorter timeframes for filing notices, so it’s important to act quickly if you believe a government entity may be at fault.

Pedestrian

While pedestrians generally have the right of way in crosswalks and other designated areas, they can also be held partially liable for an accident if they acted negligently—for example, by jaywalking or crossing against the signal. New York follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that if the pedestrian’s own negligence contributed to the accident, their compensation may be reduced accordingly.

Determining liability in a pedestrian accident can be complex, and it often requires a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident. It’s essential for anyone involved in a pedestrian accident in New York to seek legal guidance from an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer who can assess the situation and help pursue a claim for compensation.

Filing A Personal Injury Claim After A Pedestrian Accident

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may feel overwhelmed about where to start with your claim. Here are the steps to take:

1. Report the Accident: Ensure that the accident has been reported to the local authorities. A police report is a valuable piece of evidence when establishing the facts of the case.

2. Collect Evidence: If possible, gather evidence from the scene of the accident. Take photographs, get the driver’s insurance information, collect contact information from witnesses, and keep a record of any expenses related to the accident.

3. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Even if you feel fine, it’s crucial to get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries may not present symptoms immediately but can have long-term consequences.

4. Keep Records: Document everything related to the accident: medical appointments, discussions with insurance companies, and any time taken off work. This information will be crucial when you file a claim or a lawsuit.

5. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney: Navigating the legal process can be incredibly complex. An experienced personal injury attorney can manage your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for your rightful compensation.

6. Beware of Early Settlement Offers: Insurance companies may offer an early settlement to close the case quickly and cost-effectively. However, these initial offers are often much lower than what you may actually deserve. Before accepting any settlement, consult with an attorney.

Working with an Attorney

A personal injury attorney plays a crucial role in assisting individuals involved in pedestrian accidents in New York. Here’s how they can help:

1. Legal Advice and Guidance: A personal injury attorney will provide legal advice and guidance to the pedestrian regarding their rights and options. They will explain the relevant laws and statutes governing pedestrian accidents in New York and help you understand their potential claims for compensation.

2. Investigation: Your attorney’s team will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the pedestrian accident. This may involve gathering evidence such as witness statements, police reports, surveillance footage, and accident reconstruction analysis to determine liability.

3. Identifying Liable Parties: Your personal injury attorney will identify all potentially liable parties in your accident, which may include the driver of the vehicle, the vehicle owner, and possibly government entities responsible for road maintenance and safety.

4. Negotiation with Insurance Companies: Your attorney will handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. They will work to obtain a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

5. Litigation Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations with the insurance company, your personal injury attorney may encourage taking your case to court. They will prepare and present your case, including advocating for your rights and interests during trial proceedings.

6. Maximizing Compensation: Personal injury attorneys will work diligently to maximize the compensation for their clients. This may involve consulting with medical experts to assess the full extent of your injuries and calculating the appropriate damages to seek.

7. Navigating Legal Procedures: Your attorney and their legal team will handle all aspects of the legal process, including filing paperwork, meeting deadlines, and navigating any court proceedings. 

Overall, a personal injury attorney serves as an advocate for pedestrians injured in accidents, helping them navigate the legal system and pursue fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

How Cellino Law Helps Pedestrian Accident Victims

Pedestrian accidents can have devastating effects on your life, but you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. Let Cellino Law fight for the compensation you deserve. With years of experience in personal injury law, we have a track record of standing up for the rights of accident victims.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t wait to seek legal counsel. Don’t let an accident derail your life—reach out to our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys today.

Call us at 888-888-8888 for a free consultation. Our team is ready to help you navigate through this challenging time and enable you to move forward with the financial support you need. Remember, at Cellino Law, we’re not just your lawyers; we’re your partners in recovery, every step of the way.

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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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