Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in New York
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New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been injured in a pedestrian accident in New York? The aftermath of such an accident can be heartbreaking, overwhelming, and confusing, leaving you with physical, emotional, and financial burdens you may not know how to handle. However, you don't have to face this struggle alone.
A New York pedestrian accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan can help you understand your legal rights and pursue compensation for your losses. We understand this is a difficult time for you and your loved ones. For this reason, you can count on us for the guidance and support you need to navigate New York's complex legal system in your fight for compensation.
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What Are Some Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Some common causes of pedestrian accidents in New York include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to yield to pedestrians
- Poor visibility
- Poorly designed or maintained roadways, sidewalks, and crosswalks
- Inclement weather, such as rain, snow, or fog
How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents in New York?
Pedestrian accidents are quite common throughout New York. For context, let's look at a few statistics about these accidents in this State.
According to the New York Department of State, pedestrian accidents claim at least 300 lives in the State every year. In addition, over 15,000 get injured yearly on the State's roadways.
The year 2022 was the deadliest on New York City streets in almost a decade; at least 124 pedestrians died on the city's roads, according to a shocking report.
Even more startling is that the number of hit-and-runs in New York City had doubled since 2018, with over 42% of those incidents involving SUVs. In total, 124 pedestrians died, including 50 motorcyclists, 19 cyclists, and 15 moped and e-bike riders.
What Are Some Common Injuries Caused by Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents can cause many injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe, life-threatening injuries. Here are some examples of such injuries.
Head injuries: Pedestrians hit by a car or any other vehicle may suffer traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to more severe brain damage.
Spinal cord injuries: Pedestrian accidents can also cause damage to the spinal cord, leading to partial or total paralysis, chronic pain, and other serious complications.
Fractures: These include broken bones in the arms, legs, and other areas of the body. As a result, the injured may require surgery, immobilization, and extensive physical therapy.
Soft tissue injuries: These injuries include sprains, strains, and other damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Internal injuries: Usually deadly if left untreated, these injuries include organ damage, internal bleeding, and other serious complications.
Emotional trauma: Even if a pedestrian does not suffer physical injuries, they may still experience emotional trauma after an accident. This can include anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other psychological symptoms.
When Should I Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Generally, it is always advisable to consult an attorney after a car accident caused by someone else's negligence. That said, here are some additional situations where such an attorney can come in handy.
- If you've suffered severe injuries, such as those discussed earlier
- If there is a dispute over who was at fault for the accident
- If you file a claim and the insurance company denies or reduces it unfairly
- If your injuries are long-term or permanent
- If the pedestrian accident has caused emotional trauma or psychological distress
At Morgan & Morgan, we encourage you to contact us for a free case evaluation, even if you are unsure whether you have a valid claim. This is because each pedestrian accident case is different, and chances are the other party is liable for your injuries.
Additionally, considering that we offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation, you have nothing to lose when you contact us to discuss your options. We care for you and want to ensure the other party does not take advantage of your lack of legal representation to deny your claim or offer less than you deserve.
Can I File a Claim Without a Lawyer?
Filing a pedestrian accident claim without a lawyer can be risky. This is because of potential pitfalls that could jeopardize your case.
Firstly, navigating New York's no-fault laws for car accidents can be difficult without the help of an experienced lawyer. You may not know how best to present your case, the deadlines to observe, where to actually file a claim, or other steps in the legal process.
Secondly, insurance companies have seasoned attorneys who work to minimize the money they have to pay out in claims. And even though New York follows the no-fault system, meaning you can file a claim with your own insurance company after an accident, your chances of winning without a lawyer are very low.
Like many States, New York has a deadline for filing a pedestrian accident claim, and you may be barred from pursuing a claim if you miss this deadline. A seasoned attorney can help you beat these deadlines, ensuring you do not lose your chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
Lastly, being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a traumatic experience, and trying to navigate the legal process without a lawyer can add to this emotional distress. Your attorney can handle the legal aspects of your case, giving you the time and space you need to recover.
How Does a NY Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Determine Liability?
In most car accident cases, liability is always a contentious issue. It is even worse when a pedestrian is involved. While pedestrians usually have the right of way most of the time, insurance companies and other parties involved in the case may still want to fight back to minimize liability.
This is because the state of New York determines liability in a pedestrian accident based on pure comparative negligence. This legal concept means that the parties involved in the accident will share a percentage of fault based on their degree of negligence.
In general, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, and motorists must yield to them. However, pedestrians must also exercise reasonable care for their safety and avoid stepping into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
In addition, pedestrians and motorists can be found negligent if they engage in reckless or careless behavior. Such behavior includes speeding, failing to yield the right of way, or distracted driving or walking.
If both the pedestrian and driver contributed to the accident, recoverable damages would depend on the percentage of fault awarded to each party. For example, if a pedestrian was jaywalking and a driver was speeding, the degree of negligence of each party will influence the damages awarded.
Where Will My Lawyer File a Claim?
Since New York is a no-fault state, insurance companies must pay for medical expenses and lost wages of those injured in an accident. However, suppose the pedestrian's injuries are severe or exceed the $25,000 minimum for bodily injuries or $50,000 for injuries resulting in death. In that case, the victims or their survivors may be able to file a claim against the driver's insurance company for additional damages.
A pedestrian accident lawyer can also file a claim against a third party that contributed to the accident. Take, for example, a situation where the driver failed to stop because of a brake failure. In that case, liability could fall on the brake manufacturer, mechanic, supplier, etc. Alternatively, suppose the accident occurred due to poor road conditions, malfunctioning traffic signs, or a lack of safety features at an active construction site; the attorney may be able to bring a claim against the government or private developer responsible.
The bottom line is that liability can fall on different parties. Again, consulting an attorney is the best way to determine who may or may not be liable.
How Much Will the Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Charge to Handle My Case?
It depends on who you hire to represent you. For example, at Morgan & Morgan, we will not charge you anything to take on your case. In other words, if your claim is valid, we will fight for you and only charge you if we win the case and secure a settlement.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in New York?
In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim resulting from a car accident is three years from the accident, per New York's Civil Practice Laws and Rules (CPLR) § 214. You will lose the right to sue if you do not file a claim within this time frame.
However, some exceptions may apply. For instance, in the unfortunate event that you lose a loved one in an accident, the statute of limitation for filing a wrongful death claim will be two years from the date of death, not the accident date.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Pedestrian Accident?
The correct answer to this question will depend on the specifics of the accident. But, in a typical pedestrian accident case, plaintiffs can recover economic and non-economic damages.
Here is what these two categories of damages entail.
Economic damages refer to actual monetary losses you incurred due to the accident. They may include:
- Medical expenses, such as hospitalization, surgeries, cost of doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription medication, and other related expenses.
- Lost past and future wages if your injuries prevent you from working.
- Property damage, if the accident damaged or destroyed your property
These are intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify but are still compensable. They may include compensation for:
- Physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages to punish the defendant for their extreme recklessness
Is There a Limit to the Damages I Can Recover in New York?
No, New York does not have damage caps on car accidents. In other words, there is no limit on the amount of compensation you can receive for economic or non-economic damages resulting from a car accident. However, note that New York has a "serious injury" threshold plaintiffs must meet to pursue a personal injury claim against an at-fault driver.
How Does the Serious Injury Threshold in New York Car Accident Claims Work?
New York's "serious injury" threshold applies to car accidents and other personal injury cases. Under State law, to be considered a "serious injury" and meet the threshold, the injured party must have sustained an injury that meets at least one of the following criteria:
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature preventing the injured individual from performing usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the injury.
Note that meeting the "serious injury" threshold does not guarantee compensation. Instead, you must also provide additional evidence to support your case.
Let Morgan & Morgan Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Fight for You
Pedestrian accident cases are complicated. You would expect no-fault states like New York to make the claims process pretty straightforward. But that is not always the case; many factors come into play when pursuing compensation for such accidents.
That is where Morgan & Morgan, America's largest injury firm, comes in. With over $15 billion already recovered and more than 2015 happy clients, you can count on us to fight for your rights.
Contact us today online or call our New York office at (212) 738-6299 for a free case evaluation.