What Should a Pedestrian Do After Being Struck by a Car in New York?
What Should a Pedestrian Do After Being Struck by a Car in Brooklyn?
Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a traumatic experience. The immediate aftermath can be chaotic and confusing, but knowing the steps to protect your rights and interests is crucial. This guide will walk you through the process, from the immediate actions to take after the accident to understanding your legal rights and navigating the insurance claims process to considering a lawsuit in Brooklyn under New York law.
Immediate Actions to Take After the Accident
After an accident, your priority should be to ensure your safety and seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, getting checked out by a medical professional is important. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent and could become serious if left untreated.
Next, report the incident to the police. A police report can be valuable evidence if you file a claim or lawsuit. Try to provide as much detail as possible about the accident, including the driver’s information and the circumstances leading up to the accident.
Ensuring Safety and Seeking Medical Attention After a Pedestrian Accident
Immediately after the accident, try to move to a safe location if possible. If you’re seriously injured, wait for medical help to arrive. Once you’re safe, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Injuries can be severe as a pedestrian without the protection of a vehicle and seatbelts. Remember, not all injuries are immediately apparent, and a medical record documenting your injuries can be crucial evidence in your case.
Reporting the Accident to the Police
It’s important to report the accident to the police, even if the injuries initially seem minor. The police will create a report detailing the accident, which can be valuable evidence if you decide to file a lawsuit. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible and obtain a copy of the report for your records.
It is also important that you report the accident within 24 hours to a governmental agency, such as the police, in case there is a hit-and-run, and the person driving had no automobile insurance in the household.
Gathering Information at the Scene of Your Pedestrian Accident
Collect as much information as possible at the accident scene. This includes the driver’s name, contact information, insurance details, and any witnesses names and contact information. If possible, take photos of the scene, including your injuries, any property damage, any damage to the vehicle, and any other relevant details.
Understanding Your Legal Rights as a Pedestrian
As a pedestrian in New York, you have certain rights regarding motor vehicle accidents. Understanding these rights is crucial in protecting your interests and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
Under New York law, drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid accidents with pedestrians. If a driver fails to fulfill this duty, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries. This can include responsibility for your medical costs, property damage, pain, suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Pedestrian Rights in New York
In New York, pedestrians have the right of way in most situations. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and pedestrians have the right to cross at any intersection, even if there’s no marked crosswalk. However, pedestrians also have a duty to exercise reasonable care and follow traffic laws. Suppose a pedestrian fails to follow the law. In that case, this may impact the amount you are eligible to receive, but in most cases would not bar you completely from recovering from your injuries.
Legal Obligations of the Driver to Pedestrians
Drivers have a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care to avoid accidents with pedestrians. This includes following traffic laws, paying attention to the road, and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. If a driver fails to fulfill these obligations and causes an accident, they may be liable for your injuries.
Navigating the Insurance Claims Process
You’ll likely need to deal with insurance companies after an accident. This can be a complex and often frustrating process. Understanding how the insurance claims process works can help you navigate it more effectively and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance Company
After the accident, report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. Please provide them with all the information you’ve gathered, including the police report and medical records. Be honest and thorough in your report, but avoid making statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault.
Dealing with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
Dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company can be challenging. They may try to minimize their liability or deny your claim altogether. It’s important to remember that the insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible.
The insurance company may record your calls and correspondence. Be cautious when speaking with them, as any misstatement by you could serve as a defense to them so they can avoid paying you. Consider consulting with an experienced attorney before accepting any settlement offers.
Legal Considerations for Filing a Lawsuit
If your injuries are serious, you may consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. There are several legal considerations to remember, including determining fault and liability, understanding the role of negligence, and the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New York.
Determining Fault and Liability
In a pedestrian accident lawsuit, you’ll need to prove that the driver was at fault for the accident. This typically involves showing that the driver was negligent, meaning they failed to exercise reasonable care to avoid the accident. Evidence such as the police report, witness statements, and photos or videos of the accident can be crucial in proving fault. Our attorneys understand the burdens of proof and what is required to prove fault and liability in cases like yours. Contact us today at (800) 560-0214 or complete the form on this page for a free consultation.
Understanding the Role of Negligence
Negligence plays a key role in personal injury lawsuits. To prove negligence, you’ll need to show that the driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care; they breached that duty and this breach caused your injuries. In some cases, both the pedestrian and the driver may share fault for the accident, which can affect the amount of compensation you can recover.
As the plaintiff in the case, it is your responsibility to prove their negligence, and this is primarily done through the use of evidence and testimony. The more evidence you have, the greater your chance of success.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in New York
In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. You have three years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you fail to file within this time frame, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
However, this period will be shorter if the defendant is a municipality, such as a state, county, city, village, or other entity. In these cases, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident and file a lawsuit within one year 90 days. Failing to do so would prevent you from filing your claim against the municipality. Still, it would not prevent you from filing against other defendants who are private parties.
Working with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, consulting with a personal injury attorney may be in your best interest. Our attorneys can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights. We have the experience needed for these types of cases. We are familiar with the processes of insurance companies, negotiating tactics, and litigation strategies. Having someone experienced on your side can help you advocate for the outcome you deserve.
When to Consult with an Attorney
If your injuries are serious or you’re having trouble dealing with insurance companies, it may be time to consult with an attorney. An attorney can provide valuable guidance and help you understand your options. They can also take over communication with the insurance companies, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
How Our Firm Helps Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
Our Brooklyn personal injury attorneys can assist in a pedestrian accident case. They can gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. They can also help you understand the potential value of your case and advise you on the best course of action. We handle everything from filing the complaint to negotiating a settlement. We will even take the case to trial if that is your chosen route.
Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Case
Choosing the right attorney for your case is crucial. Look for an attorney with experience in pedestrian accident cases, a strong track record of success, and a reputation for excellent client service. Choosing an attorney, you feel comfortable with and who you trust to handle your case is also important.
Contact Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. We understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’re committed to providing the compassionate, effective representation you need.
To schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. at (800) 560-0214 or complete the form on our website. We look forward to assisting you with your case.