When you’re out for a walk, crossing signals, crosswalks, and sidewalks are all designed to protect you from traffic. However, walking near a roadway always poses some level of risk. If you are involved in an accident with a car, truck, SUV, or another type of vehicle while walking, you’re at a substantial risk of a serious injury. In the event you are involved in a pedestrian accident, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer from the La Sorsa and Beneventano Law Firm immediately for legal guidance during this difficult time.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer from the La Sorsa and Beneventano Law Firm Without Delay
The vast majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by drunk drivers, distracted drivers, and other types of driver negligence. The evidence that’s needed to prove liability depends on the cause of the accident. Depending on the facts of a case, an accident victim may have grounds for a claim against the driver, a government entity, the company that employs the driver, and another party. Immediately, following an accident, a lawyer will compile evidence, consult expert witnesses, speak with people who witnessed the accident, and contact insurance companies.
The Aftermath of a Pedestrian Accident in New York
After being hit by a vehicle, it can be difficult for the accident victim to think clearly. Unfortunately, what the victim does and says at the scene of the accident can affect the outcome of their claim. To avoid disputes related to damages and liability, follow the tips below:
- Contact the police
- File a police report
- Take photos of the vehicle that struck you, the road conditions, weather conditions, property damage, the scene of the accident, and your injuries.
- Take photos of the driver’s license plate, insurance card, and driver’s license.
- Take down the name, phone number and address of any eyewitnesses.
- Visit your doctor for an evaluation
- Follow your physician’s treatment instructions
- Avoid missing any subsequent doctor’s appointments
- Keep track of your recovery process in a journal
- Avoid posting on social media
- Avoid speaking with an insurance adjuster
- Do not accept a settlement offer from an insurance adjuster until you have spoken with a lawyer
- Contact an attorney that specializes in pedestrian accidents
Why You Need to Hire a Pedestrian Injury Lawyer
The injuries a victim has sustained in an accident can be catastrophic. To minimize their liability, a defendant or insurance company may try to coerce the victim into providing a statement. The statement will be recorded and can be used against the victim to dispute liability or damages. The insurance company may also review the victim’s social media, searching for posts that can also be used against them. Crucial evidence that can be used to support the victim’s claim, such as video surveillance may also be erased. An attorney that specializes in pedestrian accident law can help the victim to avoid making crucial mistakes that the defendant or insurance company can use to disprove a claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that time is of the essence. A lawyer will immediately move into action and gather any evidence that’s still available. They can also take over negotiations with insurance companies and will use proven strategies during settlement negotiations or litigation.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Determining who is at fault in an accident can be challenging. In this type of case, a pedestrian accident lawyer will have the resources to get to the bottom of a case. By law, a driver must show reasonable care when operating a vehicle. If the driver is willfully careless or negligent, they can be held liable for the accident.
A negligent driver may:
- Text or talk on the phone while driving
- Fail to see a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk
- Fail to use a turn signal
- Miscalculate hazardous weather or road conditions
A willfully careless driver may:
- Drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Speed through a crosswalk
- Ignore school zone signs or crossing signals
If a lawyer can identify the driver liable, the victim will be well on their way to attaining compensation. However, New York allows for shared liability, so the victim’s actions before the accident may also be an issue. A pedestrian may be partially liable for an accident if they:
- Darted into traffic
- Ignored traffic signals
As an example, the defendant’s insurance adjuster can determine that the pedestrian was thirty percent responsible for the accident due to their negligence, in which case the settlement would cover only seventy percent of the victim’s damages. A lawyer can work with an insurance company to ensure their client receives a fair settlement and may take the case to court if the insurance company offers a settlement that is not satisfactory or reasonable.
Pedestrian Injury Claim Damages
Another gray area of a pedestrian accident case is determining the damages the pedestrian is due as an accident victim. This is where the advice of an accident lawyer will be invaluable. The damages awarded can cover the victim’s current and future financial losses, including:
- Ongoing mental or physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Medical bills
In the event the accident caused the death of a loved one, a lawyer will also seek funeral expenses.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer from the La Sorsa and Beneventano Law Firm
Life after a serious accident can involve time off work, constant doctor and therapy appointments, special modifications made to the home, and insurmountable stress. If an accident has left a victim unable to work, with mounting medical bills, they must do everything they can to give their claim the best chance of success. A pedestrian accident lawyer from the La Sorsa and Beneventano Law Firm can help guide an accident victim through the claims process and hold all parties involved accountable.