New York City is one of those places where pedestrians are everywhere. And with so many pedestrians being densely packed in one place—alongside cars, trucks, and other vehicles—of course accidents are likely to occur. And when a pedestrian accident occurs, it’s likely the accident victim will have many questions afterward, especially if they’ve never been through such an ordeal before. Browse this FAQ for answers to the questions pedestrian and sidewalk accident lawyers get asked frequently.
Call us at 1-800-HURT-511 if you’ve been injured in a sidewalk or pedestrian accident. Our sidewalk and pedestrian accident lawyers in the Bronx have been representing victims of these accidents for over a decade, and we’ve helped individuals across the Five Boroughs seek damages for injuries that were caused by another’s negligence.
What Should Be Done Immediately After A Pedestrian Accident?
Immediately after a pedestrian accident, you should call the police to report the accident so responding officers can file a police report. Then you should seek medical attention, which most accident victims do by calling 911. An ambulance will take you to the nearest emergency room, and there you’ll be examined and your injuries will be treated.
You Must Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention after a pedestrian accident is vital. Even if you think the accident only resulted in minor bumps and bruises, you may have sustained injuries that’ll present later on. An emergency medicine specialist will be able to identify injuries that haven’t presented yet, and they’ll be able to document these so, when these do present later on, there’s a record linking them to the accident. If you wait and don’t seek medical attention right away, and later injuries present, it’ll be harder to prove that these are related to the accident.
Call A Lawyer
It’s also wise to reach out to a lawyer at this point, either while you’re in the hospital or immediately after you’ve received medical treatment. A pedestrian accident lawyer will instruct you regarding what to do next, and you won’t have to pay up front to get help from them if they decide to take your case.
How Are Medical Expenses Covered After An Accident?
If you’ve been saddled with medical bills as a result of an accident, you’ll be responsible for paying these. If you have health insurance, this will defray some of the upfront costs. If you can’t afford to pay the bills your health insurance provider won’t cover, or if you don’t have health insurance when an accident occurs, the medical care provider will make you sign a lien, and this will obligate you to pay the bills once you receive an award. If your health insurance provider paid some of your bills, and you receive an award later on, they may be entitled to reimbursement.
Can A Pedestrian Collect Damages If They Were Struck Outside A Crosswalk?
Even though pedestrians are required to use crosswalks when crossing roadways, a pedestrian may still be able to seek damages from the motorist that struck them if they weren’t in a crosswalk when the accident occurred. In some instances, a driver will try to pass a crossing pedestrian, only to end up hitting them despite their efforts. A driver may also fail to slow down once a pedestrian crosses into their lane, perhaps because they’re texting.
A pedestrian may share fault in the accident, but as long as they’re not more than 50% to blame for the accident, they’ll still be able to seek damages. However, the award size will correspond with how much fault they bear.
Can An Injured Pedestrian Recover Damages After An Accident?
After a pedestrian accident, an accident victim will likely seek damages for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages both past and future
- Pain and suffering
If an accident victim succumbs to their injuries, their dependents/family can seek damages on their behalf to pay for funeral costs and other expenses related to the individual’s death.
Who’s Liable For Paying Damages After A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
While most pedestrian accidents only involve two parties, there are instances where multiple parties bear responsibility for an accident. The following are instances where liability may be shared:
- A driver couldn’t stop for a pedestrian because their brakes failed after a car service.
- A pedestrian is struck because an intersection is poorly designed or lacking proper signage.
- An intoxicated driver hits a pedestrian after leaving an establishment that served them too much alcohol.
Determining where fault lies is what a skilled and experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to do, and they’ll make sure all parties that bear some level of liability are sued.
Who’s Liable For Paying Damages After A Sidewalk Accident?
The answer here largely depends on who owns the sidewalk. Most sidewalks are publicly owned, but there are plenty of private sidewalks as well. Sidewalk accident cases are in the realm of premises liability law, and this doctrine holds that property owners are responsible for maintaining their properties and fixing hazards that occur. And if a hazard cannot be addressed right away, a property owner must clearly and properly indicate the hazard.
If a sidewalk owner fails to uphold their duties under premises liability law, it’s likely they’ll be held liable for paying damages if someone gets injured as a result of their negligence.
Why Do Sidewalk Accidents Happen?
The following hazards can cause sidewalk accidents:
- Uneven sidewalk bricks/slabs
- Tree roots coming up through the sidewalk
- Defective surfaces (like mats and tarps)
- Unsecured grates and manhole covers
- Sidewalk defects like cracks, holes & loose bricks
There are plenty of other hazards that can lead to sidewalk accidents, but the ones above are the most common.
How Long Does A Sidewalk Accident Victim Have To File A Lawsuit?
In a case involving a government entity, an accident victim will have just 30 days to notify the appropriate entity that an accident occurred. If you send a claim to the wrong department or miss the filing deadline, it’s likely you’ll be precluded from seeking damages. There may also be a limit regarding how much you can seek in damages, and this limit is likely well below $100,000.
What Defenses Do Accused Parties Raise In Sidewalk Accident Cases?
A defendant in a sidewalk accident case might claim that the hazard which caused the plaintiff’s injury was obvious and easily avoidable. And a government entity may avoid a lawsuit altogether because of laws which shield government entities from such lawsuits.
Call 1-800-HURT-511 to speak with our sought after sidewalk accident lawyers in Brooklyn. We’ll help you seek damages from an at-fault party, and our lawyers aren’t afraid to go head to head with a government entity in court. Hire best pedestrian accident lawyer.