Pedestrians Hit By A Vehicle | Personal Injury Lawyers & Attorneys
In this time of increased driver distractions, pedestrians are at greater risk of injury when sharing the roads with motorists. Motorists are required to keep a look out for pedestrians, to sound the horn when a reasonable driver would have done so to warn a pedestrian of danger and to operate their vehicle with reasonable care to avoid hitting any pedestrian on the roadway. Motorists are also required to obey vehicle and traffic laws including yielding the right of way to pedestrians in certain circumstances. If you are hit by a vehicle, you’ve likely suffered severe injuries and will have a long recovery period.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pedestrian Accidents
Our personal injury lawyers provide answers to some important questions below.
If a driver drives distracted, speeds or is negligent in any other way, and strikes a pedestrian, a personal injury lawyer can bring a claim on your behalf. The lawyer must show that the driver did not operate his vehicle safely, and that as a result, he caused you to suffer an injury. In a standard negligence case, the law requires the injured party to prove that the driver breached a duty of reasonable care to the pedestrian, and caused the pedestrian injuries.
If you were hit by a vehicle, the automobile insurance company of the driver who hit you is responsible for paying your medical expenses. In New York State, the No-Fault law allows for payments for medical bills, a portion of lost earnings and reasonable expenses up to $50,000. Any medical provider you see should be informed that you were injured by a vehicle and the driver’s insurance information should be provided to your medical providers. It is important that your private insurance company does not pay for any of your medical expenses as it the responsibility of the automobile insurance to pay for these medical expenses up the first $50,000.
There are a few different options to assist you if you are out of work after being struck by a vehicle. First, you are entitled to seek no-fault coverage through the driver’s auto insurance carrier. The no-fault carrier will pay a portion of your lost earnings. A no-fault claim must be filed within 30 days of the accident. If the motorist who hit you has no insurance, you can turn to your own policy to submit a claim. If neither you nor anyone in your household has insurance, a claim can be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). Depending how long you are out of work, you may consider applying for New York State disability insurance. Finally, a personal injury lawyer can pursue a claim for you for any expenses that no-fault does not pay for, as well as your pain and suffering against the driver who hit you, any other party that may have caused the accident, and in some instances, against your own automobile insurance policy if you have suffered a serious injury.
Yes. In New York, in order to receive money for your pain and suffering you must have suffered a “serious injury”. In NY, a serious injury is defined as:
- Significant Disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss or 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;
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of the accident to pursue a claim against the driver/owner of the vehicle that hit you. If a death resulted from the accident, the statute of limitations is 2 years for a wrongful death claim. Additionally, the time limit can be as short as 90 days to file a notice of claim if you are pursuing a claim against a town, city, village or the state or a transit authority such as the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA).
Should I give a statement to the insurance company of the driver that hit me after I’ve been struck by a car?
No. The insurance company for the driver who hit you is trying to protect their driver, find a reason to blame you for the accident, and limit the amount of money they may have to pay you for your injuries. You should speak to a lawyer before giving any statement to an insurance company for the party responsible for the accident. If an insurance adjuster calls you, get the claim number and the phone number for the insurance agent and pass that information along to your lawyer.
If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of being hit by a vehicle, it is in your best interests to speak to a personal injury lawyer who has handled and is experienced with pedestrian injury cases. Before choosing a lawyer, make sure the lawyer is willing to listen to you and answer your questions. The best lawyers will guide you through the legal process and will work hard to obtain the most money for you.
It will cost nothing for you to hire a personal injury lawyer because these cases are handled on a “contingency fee” basis which means a lawyer will only receive a fee if the lawyer successfully resolves your case by a verdict at a trial or by settlement. New York state limits the contingency fee lawyers can charge to one-third of the total settlement or verdict.
You are not required to bring anything to the first meeting you have with your personal injury lawyer. However, certain things may be helpful for the meeting. These include:
- photos of your injuries
- photos of the vehicles involved
- photos of the accident scene
- medical records
- the police accident report
- names of any witnesses
- a copy of your own automobile insurance policy and any automobile insurance policy for any relative you reside with
- Last 2 years tax returns if you expect to be out of work
Yes. Even if the driver of the car that hit you was not ticketed by the police, a claim can still be pursued against the driver if the driver was at fault in causing the accident.
If there are no traffic-control signals to direct a pedestrian about when to walk, the driver of a vehicle must yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk by slowing down or stopping. If a motorist fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian as required by law, and strikes the pedestrian, the driver is responsible for the injuries suffered by the pedestrian. However, it is important to note that a pedestrian cannot suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield to the pedestrian.
A driver is still required to use reasonable care to avoid hitting a pedestrian even if a pedestrian was not in a crosswalk. However, if you are not crossing at a crosswalk, the vehicle has the right of way.
Many personal injury cases settle before having to go to court. However, in some cases an agreement cannot be reached as to who is responsible for the crash or what the fair value is of the injured person’s claim. In those instances, a trial by jury is needed. Ultimately, it is always up to the client to decide to settle if there is a settlement offer or proceed to trial.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
- If injured, when ready, contact a personal injury lawyer to determine if a claim can be pursued on your behalf
- Meet with a lawyer to discuss the incident
- Bring medical records or other relevant documents including an accident report if available
- Your lawyer will help you understand the process of a personal injury case
- Follow the doctors’ advice
- Go to all medical appointments
- Report all symptoms to doctors
- Take photos of injuries
- Tell lawyer anytime a new doctor is seen
- Determine how and why the injury occurred
- Speak with witnesses
- Obtain any investigative reports
- Obtain scene, vehicle and product photos, as applicable
- Obtain medical records and bills
- Consider all possible claims and theories of liability against any potential defendant
- Consult with experts
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurance company
- Obtain a settlement or pursue a lawsuit
- File a summons and complaint prior to the statute of limitations
- Serve the legal documents on the defendants
- Prepare and exchange evidence with the other lawyers in the case
- Conduct depositions of all relevant parties (also called EBTs)
- Defense medical examination conducted
- File motions (written applications) to the court if necessary
- Participate in arbitration or mediation if appropriate
- Determine liens if any
- Settle the case or proceed to trial
- You have the right to a trial by jury or by the judge who will act as both judge and jury
- At a trial, the injured person must prove it was more likely than not that the defendant was negligent and caused injuries
- The judge or jury will listen to all the evidence presented and the arguments by the lawyers, apply the facts to the law, and render a decision
Recent Verdicts & Settlements
Plaintiff, a 49-year-old man, was discharged from the hospital with critically low levels of potassium, which precipitated a fatal arrhythmia at home and subsequently caused his death. His family brought a claim against the hospital for medical negligence and wrongful death.
Plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of negligent monitoring of prescription medication.
Nursing Home Negligence
An 87-year-old man was discharged from a local hospital on the afternoon of his death and returned to his assisted living facility. His health began to deteriorate throughout that evening; a nurse was told to check on him but never did. Facility staff found him unconscious on the floor in his room later that evening; paramedics were unable to revive him. It was claimed that the facility failed to obtain appropriate medical advice, assistance and treatment.
Plaintiff suffered two dislocated shoulders and a dislocated elbow after he was struck by a vehicle, which negligently swerved onto the shoulder and into the bike lane.
Plaintiff was injured when a fork from a forklift truck fell on top of his left leg, severely fracturing the tibia and fibula, requiring numerous surgeries and resulting in a permanent, partial loss of use of his leg.
Plaintiff was assaulted outside of a bar in Saratoga and as a result suffered a traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull, brain swelling and brain bleeding, facial contusions and bleeding, as well as lacerations and bruises on his body. He also suffered from short and long term memory deficits and other cognitive deficits.
Plaintiff, a roofing contractor, suffered a fractured skull, cervical spine fracture and fractured ribs after falling from a roof. The injuries left him with chronic pain and fatigue, limited tolerance for walking, lifting, or carrying and limitations in his hearing and vision.
Federal Employers Liability Act/FELA
Plaintiff suffered a significant back injury while working for CSX.
Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle which went off the road and rolled over, causing him to suffer significant permanent injuries, including skull fracture; fractured mandible requiring surgical placement of plates and screws; facial fractures and lacerations; sternal fracture; spinal fractures; lacerations to spleen, liver and lung; multiple rib and toe fractures; tinnitus and hearing loss; post-traumatic stress disorder; facial scarring and numbness.
Plaintiff was an ironworker who was injured when he fell from a ladder, suffering fractures to both elbows resulting in permanent loss of strength and loss of range of motion in both arms. His impairment limited the number and types of employment opportunities and limited his future earning potential.
The infant plaintiff fell from a tractor being operated by a farm employee and was run over by the tractor. The 10-year-old boy suffered a femur fracture requiring surgery, multiple facial fractures requiring surgery, foot and toe fractures and loss of consciousness.
* Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.
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