Personal Injury Lawyers Bronx and Westchester County, New York

What To Do After A Pedestrian Accident In New York City

If you were hit by a car, it’s important to understand your legal options

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents occur all too frequently in the city, with New York City having one of the highest pedestrian accident rates in the country. In such situations, it becomes essential for those injured while crossing the street or walking near roadways to know how to navigate the aftermath of getting hit by a car.

As such, it's essential for injured pedestrians in New York City to have a comprehensive understanding of their legal rights. At Giampa Law, our team of New York City pedestrian accident attorneys is here to provide guidance and support at every stage of the process.

NYC pedestrian accidents are common

Pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities are common in New York City. On average, the city witnesses approximately 100 fatalities and 7,000 pedestrian injuries that necessitate emergency room visits each year, as reported by data from the City of New York and the New York City Department of Transportation.

Pedestrian accidents in New York City often occur due to drivers failing to adhere to traffic regulations. Here are common scenarios leading to pedestrian accidents:

  • Speeding Drivers: Imagine a driver rushing through a residential area in the Bronx well above the speed limit. They suddenly encounter a pedestrian crossing the street, but due to their excessive speed, they are unable to stop in time, resulting in a collision.
  • Distracted Drivers: Picture a driver glancing at their phone or adjusting the radio while approaching a crosswalk on Bronxwood Ave. In the midst of distractions, they fail to notice a pedestrian already in the crosswalk, leading to an accident.
  • Reckless Drivers: Visualize a driver impatiently running a red light at an intersection on E 196th without checking for pedestrians. In doing so, they collide with a pedestrian who has the right of way.
  • Drunk Drivers: Consider a scenario where an intoxicated driver loses control of their vehicle and veers onto a sidewalk near St. James Park, striking a pedestrian who is walking there.
  • Aggressive Drivers: Envision a driver making an illegal right turn at a red light on Grand Concourse, disregarding pedestrians in the crosswalk. Their aggressive maneuver results in an accident with a pedestrian who had a legal right to cross the road.

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    Understanding the most at-risk pedestrians

    Certain individuals are more susceptible to pedestrian accidents in NYC. According to the NYC Department of Transportation, the following groups face a higher risk:

    • Male Pedestrians.
    • Adults Over 65. Older adults face an elevated risk of injury in pedestrian accidents due to several factors, including increased vulnerability to injury, medical complications that can affect overall health, and a higher risk of falls.
    • Brooklyn Residents. Among the boroughs, Brooklyn records the highest pedestrian fatality rate in New York City.
    • Evening Walkers. Pedestrians walking between 6 p.m. and midnight are at an increased risk of being involved in accidents in New York City.

    What are the most dangerous intersections in New York City?

    Pedestrian accident data in New York City has found that certain intersections are more dangerous than others. According to NYC Department of Transportation data, the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians include:

    • Baxter Avenue and Broadway (Queens)
    • 168th Street and 89th Avenue (Queens)
    • Park Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Manhattan)
    • East Houston Street and Broadway (Manhattan)
    • Hull Avenue and East Mosholu Parkway North (Bronx)
    • Valentine Avenue and East 196th (Bronx)
    • Willoughby Street and Lawrence Street (Brooklyn)
    • Wyckoff Street and Smith Street (Brooklyn)

    Steps to take after getting hit by a car

    What should you do in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident in New York City? Acting swiftly is crucial to ensure you receive the necessary medical attention and support for your injuries. While every pedestrian accident varies, common steps often include:

    1. Dial 911 immediately to report your pedestrian accident. The dispatcher can dispatch a police officer to the scene.
    2. Request an ambulance if your injuries are severe or life-threatening.
    3. Seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen over time. A thorough medical evaluation can ensure you receive the necessary care and document your injuries for any potential legal claims.
    4. If it's safe, document the accident scene by taking photographs – the more pictures, the better.
    5. Collect contact information from any witnesses who observed the accident, as eyewitness statements can be valuable evidence for your pedestrian injury claim.
    6. Gather the driver's complete information, including their full name, address, driver's license number, and insurance details. If your injuries prevent you from doing so, you can obtain this information later from the responding NYPD police officer.
    7. Record the investigating police officer's name, badge number, and contact information. This allows you to obtain a copy of the official New York accident report, which all officers complete for injury accidents.
    8. Contact a New York City pedestrian accident attorney promptly to understand your rights and available legal options.

    Determining fault in a pedestrian accident

    Assigning fault in a pedestrian accident can be a complex process that requires a thorough investigation. Several factors are taken into account to determine who is responsible for the incident. Understanding how fault is determined in a pedestrian accident is essential for pursuing a personal injury claim and seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.

    Key factors considered when determining fault in a pedestrian accident may include:

    • Traffic Laws: Investigators examine whether the driver and pedestrian were adhering to traffic laws and regulations. Violations such as running a red light, failing to yield, or not using crosswalks can impact the assessment of fault.
    • Right of Way: The right of way dictates who has the legal obligation to yield in various traffic situations. Evaluating whether the pedestrian or the driver had the right of way at the time of the accident is crucial.
    • Witness Statements: Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the accident occur can provide valuable insight into the sequence of events and actions of both the pedestrian and the driver.
    • Surveillance Footage: If available, surveillance footage from nearby cameras can offer a clear visual record of the accident, helping to determine fault.
    • Speed and Reaction Time: The speed of the vehicle and the reaction time of the driver are assessed to determine if they had a reasonable opportunity to avoid the collision.
    • Weather Conditions: Failure to adjust driving for weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or fog, can affect visibility, potentially impacting fault determination.
    • Distracted Driving: Investigators look into whether distractions, such as cellphone use, played a role in the accident.
    • Intersection Design: The design of the intersection or road may be examined to determine if any hazards or flaws contributed to the accident.

    It's essential to remember that fault can be shared between parties in some cases. New York follows a comparative negligence system, meaning compensation can be reduced if the pedestrian is found partially at fault. That’s why consulting with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney is crucial for understanding the legal nuances of your specific case and pursuing the compensation you deserve.

    Insurance company tactics used in pedestrian accident claims

    Insurance companies often use various tactics to minimize the compensation they pay out in pedestrian accident claims. It's essential for pedestrians involved in accidents to be aware of these strategies and protect their rights when seeking fair compensation. Here are some common tactics used by insurance companies to reduce pedestrian accident claims:

    • Quick Settlement Offers: Insurance adjusters may offer a quick settlement shortly after the accident, hoping the victim will accept a lowball offer before fully understanding the extent of their injuries and damages. It's essential to resist the urge to settle quickly and consult with an attorney who can assess the true value of the claim.
    • Blaming the Pedestrian: Insurance companies may attempt to shift blame onto the pedestrian, arguing that their actions, such as jaywalking or not using a crosswalk, contributed to the accident. This tactic can reduce the insurer's liability.
    • Disputing Medical Treatment: Insurers may question the necessity of certain medical treatments or argue that the injuries were pre-existing, minimizing their responsibility for medical expenses.
    • Challenging Liability: Insurance companies may contest liability, claiming that their insured driver was not at fault at all or that the pedestrian's actions were the primary cause of the accident.
    • Lowballing Damages: When calculating compensation, insurers may undervalue damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses, aiming to pay the least amount possible.
    • Recording Statements: Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters, as they may use recorded statements against you to undermine your claim. Consult with an attorney before providing any statements.
    • Seeking Surveillance Footage: Insurers may investigate the accident scene, review surveillance footage, or hire investigators to gather evidence that can be used to challenge the claim.
    • Delaying Claims Processing: Some insurers intentionally prolong the claims process, hoping that financial pressure will force the victim into accepting a lower settlement offer.
    • Downplaying Injuries: Insurance companies may downplay the severity of injuries, arguing that they are not as significant as claimed, which can affect the compensation received.
    • Leveraging Comparative Negligence: If the injured pedestrian shares any portion of fault for the accident, the insurer may use New York's comparative negligence law to reduce their compensation proportionately to their percentage of fault.

    How a pedestrian accident attorney can help

    To protect your interests and maximize the value of your pedestrian accident claim, it's advisable to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A pedestrian accident lawyer can navigate the process of dealing with insurance companies, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate on your behalf to secure fair and full compensation for your losses.

    Whatever the circumstances of your injury claim or lawsuit, our Bronx pedestrian accident lawyers at Giampa Law want to work with you and ensure your rights are respected. We take these cases very seriously because we understand how a serious injury can change a person’s life. To learn more about your potential legal options, contact us and schedule a free consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney.

    Click here to download a printable PDF of this article, "What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident in New York City."

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