New York City is a pedestrian’s paradise… or so we’re led to believe. In reality, New York City is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians due to the prevalence of traffic and unsafe drivers. Unfortunately, when pedestrian accidents occur, they are often accompanied by major injuries and high medical expenses.
Broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and more often result from a single misplaced second of attention. In other cases, a driver or bicyclist may be negligent beyond reasonability. They may be liable for a lawsuit so the victim can get the compensation they need to pay for their medical bills.
Yet even in the most clear-cut pedestrian accidents, the facts may not always fall in your favor when you present your case to court. That’s why hiring a knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer is a wise idea, especially if you want to acquire the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. is now accepting new clients for pedestrian accidents and other cases like yours. We have a long history of successful case outcomes and treat each of our clients as family, not short-term customers. You can get started by contacting us today at 1-800-966-4999.
What Are Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents occur when at least one pedestrian is injured by hazards like cars, bikes, construction equipment, and more. Although many pedestrian accidents occur on or around crosswalks, they can also happen on sidewalks, in the middle of the street, and anywhere else.
Auto accidents in which at least one pedestrian is injured are by far the most common types of pedestrian accidents. Because of the size and weight differences between people and heavy machines like cars, the injuries sustained from such accidents are usually severe.
That said, pedestrian accidents don’t necessarily need to include cars at all. Pedestrian accidents can occur when:
- A bicyclist impacts a pedestrian who is crossing the street
- Construction scaffolding collapses, injuring the pedestrian when they walk beneath it
- A truck’s cargo falls from the bed, ending up in the street and impacting a pedestrian
Regardless, pedestrian accidents can be dangerous for victims because pedestrians:
- Are not usually wearing safety gear
- May be hit by fast-moving objects or machines
- Are often not prepared for the accident
- Do not have ways to protect themselves
The danger of pedestrian accidents highlights the importance of walking carefully when exploring New York City. However, even if you do your best to stay on high alert, you may still be involved in a pedestrian accident due to the carelessness or negligence of another party.
Frequency of Pedestrian Accidents in New York City
Despite recent initiatives to increase pedestrian safety, New York City remains a comparatively dangerous place to walk, even in broad daylight. According to New York City’s official statistics, there were 497 pedestrian fatalities between 2012 and 2014, which accounted for over half of the 889 total traffic-related fatalities in the Big Apple over the same period.
Things have not necessarily improved in the years since 2014. By June 30, 2021, for example, fatal crashes killed approximately 124 New Yorkers, and pedestrian deaths have increased year-over-year from 2018 until today.
By November 2021, another report indicated 740 pedestrians had been injured as a result of traffic accidents. Many of these injuries or deaths were due to preventable causes, including alcohol, backing up unsafely, aggressive driving, failure to yield the right-of-way, and more.
Ultimately, pedestrian accidents are far from an uncommon occurrence in New York City. But even though pedestrian accidents are something to consider and anticipate, it does not absolve those responsible from legal recourse. All New Yorkers need to be aware of what they should do if they are ever involved in one of these incidents.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The Big Apple is a busy and bustling place, but pedestrian accidents happen in New York City for the same reasons they occur everywhere else. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving, such as driving while texting or on the phone
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- A pedestrian crosses the street when they shouldn’t
- A bicyclist isn’t paying attention and impacts a pedestrian
- A road hazard causes a driver to swerve and accidentally hit a pedestrian
As you can see, many of the causes of pedestrian accidents are also causes of auto accidents. However, in most pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian(s) involved is the person most likely to be seriously injured. Therefore, pedestrians are usually those with the grounds to file a lawsuit.
Additionally, pedestrian accidents may be due to neither directly involved party. For example, suppose a construction company’s employees fail to pick up mechanical equipment that spills into the street unexpectedly, which causes a car to swerve into a pedestrian. In that case, the construction company may ultimately be found at fault for causing the accident.
Because of this inherent uncertainty, pedestrian accident lawyers can provide invaluable assistance when determining who should be accused of negligence in a lawsuit.
Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents often cause severe injuries for those involved, especially individuals not in automobiles. Common pedestrian accident injuries can include:
- Broken bones
- TBIs or traumatic brain injuries
In the worst-case scenarios, pedestrian accident injuries may incur exorbitant medical expenses that require victims to sue another party just to pay for their bills. While pedestrians are most likely to be injured in a pedestrian accident, bicyclists and car drivers or passengers may also be injured depending on the case circumstances.
What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you’re ever involved in a pedestrian accident, you should take steps to get yourself and anyone else to safety right away. Ensuring the safety of anyone involved is paramount before you start thinking of legal consequences, especially if you or a loved one are among those injured.
Next, call for help. Try to get as much information as you can from the responding officers, such as their names and who they work for.
If you are seriously injured, seek out medical assistance and do the same for anyone else who may be injured in the incident. This includes any drivers or other pedestrians. If you’re a driver and you impact a pedestrian, your first priority should be getting people to safety and calling emergency services.
Even if you don’t appear to be seriously injured, you should still contact the authorities and get checked by a medical professional. This will ensure that the accident is documented by a police report and that any potential injuries are documented as well, which will help in the case of a future lawsuit. Additionally, even though you may not appear to be injured at first glance, certain injuries can make themselves known down the line.
If you are well enough, you should also document the scene by taking pictures or videos of the accident and its location. You can also take contact information from witnesses.
Next, prioritize recovery at home or in a hospital over accusing any party of fault right away. However, give your statement to a police officer if you are medically able to. You may also assist your future lawsuit by:
- Writing down your account of events as clearly and neutrally as possible
- Corroborating your account with others at the scene in writing
Once you and any others are medically stabilized, you can begin thinking about potential lawsuits. If you know that a driver, bicyclist, or another party is at fault for the incident, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer right away.
Who’s At-Fault for Pedestrian Accidents?
Determining fault for a pedestrian accident can be tricky, especially if multiple factors are relevant. Even though New York is a no-fault state, pedestrians injured by a careless driver or bicyclist may still be able to acquire compensation if they can successfully prove fault on the part of the driver or bicyclist.
Similarly, drivers may be able to prove that pedestrians are at fault for accidents in some cases. A jaywalking pedestrian, for instance, could be found at fault for needlessly causing damage or injuries to themselves and others.
In legal terms, negligence specifically means that:
- A party had a responsibility to follow a safety rule, such as driving safely while on shared roads AND
- The party violated the safety rule, either willfully or ignorantly AND
- The violation of that rule led to the victim’s injuries
In pedestrian accidents, drivers or bicyclists are more often negligent compared to pedestrians themselves. For example, a negligent driver who speeds through a red light and impacts a pedestrian in a crosswalk was negligent because:
- They had a duty to drive safely
- They ignored this duty to run the red light, knowingly committing a crime
- By impacting the pedestrian, they directly caused the injuries from the accident
Negligence is used to determine how much fault, if any, is awarded to the parties in a pedestrian accident case. Not all cases are 100% the fault of one person. Some may have shared fault. For instance, a jaywalking pedestrian may be found partially at fault when all the facts are laid out.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents
Depending on who is found to be at fault for the injuries in the accident and other factors, pedestrian accident victims can expect significant compensation. Compensation is typically awarded for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income if the injuries sustained in the accident prevented the victim from going to work for a certain amount of time
- Damaged or destroyed property
- Loss of companionship if a victim was killed
The exact amount of compensation can vary heavily from case to case. However, compensation awards can add up to millions of dollars in some instances.
How Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Can Help
Pedestrian accident cases can be complex, lengthy, and may involve difficult testimonies or evidence gathering requirements. For these reasons and more, victims should consider hiring pedestrian accident lawyers as soon as they are safe and they’ve decided to file a lawsuit.
Specifically, pedestrian accident lawyers can assist by:
- Assessing the full range of damages you may qualify for
- Helping you search for and present evidence to assist with your case
- Coaching you when the time comes to present your evidence to the court
- Communicating with police officers to gather the appropriate evidence
- Negotiating with any other party’s insurance agency
- And more
However, only some pedestrian accident law firms are really worth your time and money. The best pedestrian accident lawyers will have a history of success, a sterling reputation, and specified practice areas that speak to the time the firm’s attorneys spent learning New York pedestrian accident law.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. has all three of these elements and more, plus a history of success with pedestrian accident cases. For example, we recovered $1.5 million for the family of a pedestrian who was killed in a car accident when they were crossing in the middle of the road.
It’s just one example of the potential compensation you can receive for your case with Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. on your side. Call us at 1-800-966-4999 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyers for YOU
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating, but you don’t have to file your lawsuit and present your case alone. With the right pedestrian accident lawyer on your side, your case will stand a much better chance of being successful, and you may receive all the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills and then some.
Fortunately, Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. is knowledgeable in the areas of pedestrian accidents, auto accidents, personal injuries, and more. We’ve helped New Yorkers just like you recover massive sums for their accident injuries and are ready to take on your case.
Even better, you can contact us today to get started ASAP. We’ll give you a free case evaluation so you know what to expect from the upcoming lawsuit and what compensation you could receive should your case be successful.
If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident, you don’t need to wait or settle for subpar legal representation. Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. today at 1-800-966-4999 and get what you need to pay for medical bills and more.