Doctors and the Surgeon General say walking is great for your health. Unfortunately, if you are in Long Island, it may be quite dangerous, too.
Regardless of why you are walking, the high rate of pedestrian accidents makes it clear that caution is necessary. Pedestrian accidents are among NY state’s top 10 causes of hospital admissions and death. While 300 people die, over 15,000 pedestrians are injured each year.
The numbers don’t lie and tell the story that you are at risk for serious injuries and even death just by taking a stroll. If you are struck by a vehicle, you have rights. One right is to recover compensation if it is proven the other party was negligent.
At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our personal injury lawyers are ready to help you understand the legal process and your rights. Here, you can learn more about pedestrian accidents in Long Island, your rights, and how to prevent becoming a victim.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Pedestrian accidents are not straightforward. Several factors contribute to each incident, from road conditions to driver behavior. Determining fault requires a full understanding of local traffic laws and the ability to interpret forensic evidence. This often involves recreating the accident scene, analyzing traffic camera footage, and scrutinizing medical records.
Navigating Insurance Companies
Insurance companies can be challenging to deal with. They often use tactics to minimize payout, making it difficult for victims to get the compensation they deserve. Without a legal expert on your side, you risk settling for less.
Legal Expertise Matters
A specialized pedestrian accident lawyer brings specific skills to the table. At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, we understand the intricacies of pedestrian law and have experience handling similar cases. This expertise allows us to navigate the complexities more efficiently and increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Financial and Emotional Toll
Accidents cause physical injuries but also financial and emotional burdens. An experienced lawyer can quantify these damages, ensuring you receive full compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit
If your case goes to court, legal representation becomes even more crucial. A pedestrian lawyer will build a compelling case, backed by evidence and expert testimonies, to advocate for your best interests.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere at any time. While true, some accidents are more common than others. These include:
Crosswalk accidents are one of the most common types involving pedestrians. These occur when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks.
Legal implications can be complex, as the fault may lie with the driver, the pedestrian, or even inadequate road design. Understanding local traffic laws and using surveillance footage is often essential.
Hit and Run
Hit-and-run accidents are especially challenging because the responsible party leaves the scene. This makes immediate legal action crucial. Lawyers often use traffic camera footage, eyewitness accounts, and vehicle damage reports to identify the culprit.
Accidents in Parking Lots
Parking lots are hotspots for pedestrian accidents due to the constant movement of vehicles and people. Here, visibility and speed are major factors. Cases in parking lots often involve reviewing security footage and gathering eyewitness accounts to establish fault. The lack of road signs or markers in parking lots adds another layer of complexity in determining responsibility.
School Zone Accidents
Accidents near schools are particularly sensitive, often involving children as the victims. Special laws exist to regulate speed and right-of-way near schools. Violations of these laws can result in severe penalties for the at-fault driver.
Common Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Being struck by a vehicle can cause serious and even fatal injuries. Some common injuries seen in pedestrian accidents include:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, and contusions. While they might seem minor initially, these injuries can lead to chronic pain if not adequately treated. Prompt medical evaluation is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Pedestrians often suffer fractures in accidents, commonly affecting the arms, legs, or ribs. Recovery can be a lengthy process involving surgery and rehabilitation. These injuries often come with substantial medical costs and time away from work.
Head and brain injuries, such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are among the most severe outcomes of pedestrian accidents. They require immediate medical attention and can permanently affect cognitive function, motor skills, and emotional well-being.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, affecting the victim’s quality of life. These injuries demand specialized medical care and can result in life-long disability, requiring adaptive technologies and home modifications.
Pedestrian accidents can also cause internal injuries like organ damage or internal bleeding. These conditions are life-threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated, often necessitating surgical intervention.
Determining the Cause of a Long Island Pedestrian Accident
In most pedestrian accidents, the driver who struck the pedestrian is considered at fault. This is how New York laws work.
Drivers are required to take precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian. However, you must work with your attorney to prove how the accident occurred to recover compensation.
One or more of the following factors may have played a role in your accident:
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Mistakes behind the wheel
- Aggressive driving behaviors
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Failure to yield the right of way to the pedestrian
- Reckless driving
Our attorneys may find other factors that contributed to your accident. For example, the at-fault driver’s vehicle malfunctioned, and they could not brake and prevent hitting you. It may be possible to file a product liability lawsuit in this situation.
Proving Negligence: Knowing the Cause of Your Accident
You must prove they were negligent to hold another party financially responsible for your losses. There are four elements to proving negligence, which include:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty
An example would be if a driver did not stop at a red light before they turned right. At the same time, a pedestrian was crossing the street, legally at the crosswalk, and the driver struck them. The driver of the vehicle owed the pedestrian a duty of care.
They should have been driving with reasonable care and obeyed the traffic laws. When the driver did not stop, they breached this duty of care, causing the collision and the damage to the pedestrian.
Evidence Used to Prove Negligence
As mentioned, proving negligence requires evidence. Common evidence used in these cases include:
- Forensic evidence
- The police report
- Medical records
- Accident reconstruction data
- Videos or pictures from the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Traffic camera footage
Our attorneys know how to use evidence to build a case based on negligence. We use services from skilled private investigators to ensure we have all the information and facts about your accident.
How to Pursue Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident on Long Island
Our legal team works with each client to determine the best solution based on their situation. There are several avenues to consider when attempting to recover compensation.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Provider
According to New York state law, all drivers must carry no-fault insurance. This provides basic coverage for lost income and medical treatment. You can file a claim with your insurer if you own a vehicle and have this coverage. This is true even if you were a pedestrian when the accident occurred. This is beneficial, especially if the driver who hit you was underinsured or uninsured.
Our legal team will assess your case and explain what options you have. Based on the facts of your case, you may be able to resolve your case through negotiations with your insurer or have another option to seek compensation.
File a Claim with the Negligent Driver’s Insurance Provider
If your no-fault insurance does not cover your losses, you can file a claim with the at-fault insurer. When our lawyers help with your case, we handle every aspect of this situation. Our team will gather related evidence and build a strategy to help pursue fair compensation. We never leave you on your own. Call us for more information.
Sue the Negligent Party After a Pedestrian Crash
We have found that most pedestrian accident cases are settled through insurance negotiations. However, some will proceed to court. If we cannot negotiate a suitable settlement, we will take your case to court to fight for you.
There are a few reasons we encourage you to sue the negligent driver. Some reasons include:
- The statute of limitations for your case may expire
- The insurance company denied your claim
- There are disputes on the facts of the case
- The insurance company will not offer a fair settlement agreement
- Another reason
When we decide to file a lawsuit on your behalf, the first step is to submit the paperwork to allege negligence. The driver accused of negligence can respond, and both sides will investigate what happened. After this, both sides build a case. During this process, negotiations typically continue.
Our goal is to do whatever we can to help resolve your case in a manner that benefits you. Our lawyers are ready to go to trial to help you secure the damages you deserve.
The Aftermath: What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
The moments following a pedestrian accident are critical. The first step is to call emergency services for medical assistance. You should also call the police to report the accident. If possible, move out of the way of traffic to a safe location. Do not leave the scene before police arrive; your statement will be necessary to the official accident report.
Start collecting evidence as soon as it’s safe to do so. Use your smartphone to take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to vehicles involved. Photograph skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signs or signals nearby. These details can serve as vital proof in establishing fault and building your legal case.
If there are witnesses, obtain their contact details. Eyewitness accounts can offer unbiased perspectives invaluable in court or during settlement negotiations. The sooner you speak to witnesses, the fresher the event will be in their minds, increasing the reliability of their accounts.
Documentation and Records
Request a copy of the police report, as it’s an official record that outlines the basic facts of the accident. Seek medical attention even if injuries seem minor. A medical report will provide a professional evaluation of your injuries, which can be essential in establishing the extent of your damages.
Consult a specialized pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer will help you navigate the legal intricacies and advise you on the best action. They can also take over communication with insurance companies to ensure you’re adequately compensated.
How The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini III Can Help
At our law firm, we offer a comprehensive range of legal services. Each of these is designed to help accident victims recover compensation.
From the first moment you come to us with your case, you can count on our team to advocate for you and work tirelessly to help you with your situation. We take over the legal process, which gives you time to focus on your family and recovering from your injuries. We will also work to negotiate with the insurance company to settle your case outside of court.
If your case goes to court, our team has the litigation experience to advocate for you. We handle everything from filing claims to representing you in court so that you can focus on your recovery.
Contact The Law Firm of Joseph J. Perrini, III for Help and Information
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating. You may experience a serious injury that impacts you for the rest of your life.
At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, we understand the impact of these accidents. Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.