Pedestrian accidents are an all-too-common occurrence on the busy streets of New York. Motorists have a responsibility to drive cautiously when pedestrians are present and are required to yield the right-of-way. Unfortunately, distracted, tired, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent drivers often strike pedestrians, and when a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds hits a person, the consequences can be devastating.
In the aftermath of a pedestrian-vehicle accident, you may not know what to do or where to turn for help. The pedestrian accident lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C. have provided the following information that will hopefully help guide you if you are hit by a car while walking in New York.
If the Driver Stopped After They Hit You
Drivers have a legal obligation to stop and provide aid if they strike someone on foot. If the driver pulls over to check on you, they should also provide their insurance information to you.
After a pedestrian accident, you should:
- Call 911: It is critical that you call law enforcement right away. The police will arrange for an ambulance (if necessary) and prepare an official accident report. The police report is often a crucial piece of evidence if you file a claim for damages after an accident. Answer the police officer’s question truthfully, but be mindful of what you say. You don’t want to say anything that could be seen as admitting fault for the accident.
- Seek medical attention: The next thing you should do after contacting the police, even if an ambulance is not called, is to seek medical attention. Even low-level pain may point to something much more serious, like an internal injury. A physical examination will identify any injuries so they can be treated and documented.
- Document the scene: Take photos and videos of the scene and your injuries if you can. Having a visual record of what occurred and what damage was sustained can help strengthen your claim later. Try to make a detailed list of what led up to the collision. Include the make and model of the vehicle, as well as a description of the driver.
- Talk to witnesses: If any bystanders witnessed the accident, get their contact information if you can. This information will likely be included in the police report, but it is still advisable to have a copy of your own. Witnesses can provide objective testimony regarding fault, which can strengthen your claim.
- Consult with an attorney: If you were hit by a car, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you turn to your own insurer for coverage, an experienced attorney can investigate and develop a legal theory to help obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. At Finz & Finz, P.C., the initial consultation is always free, so you don’t have to worry about any obligation to hire a lawyer.
If the Driver Drove Away
Your options are more limited if the driver flees the scene of a pedestrian accident.
The steps you should follow in this scenario are similar:
- Call 911: Even if the driver fled the accident scene, you should still immediately call 911. The police may be able to track down the driver. Give the responding officers whatever information you have about the vehicle. Even if you didn’t see the license plate, your description could help them find the driver.
- Seek medical attention: It’s essential to seek medical attention following the accident, as a physical examination may reveal injuries that you’re not yet aware of.
- Document the scene: Visually document the scene and your injuries with photos and video footage. If you can recall any details about the vehicle that hit you, including the make, model, color, license plate, or other information, jot those down.
- Talk to bystanders: If you can, speak to witnesses who may have seen what occurred. Bystanders can provide strong evidence of fault in court and may even recall pertinent details about the hit-and-run driver and their vehicle. Record their contact details for later.
- Consult with a pedestrian accident attorney: Contact a highly skilled lawyer at your earliest convenience. If you can’t find the driver, or if it turns out they don’t have insurance, you’ll likely have to file a claim with your insurer using your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. The pedestrian accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. can help you navigate the claim process and will work tirelessly to pursue the full compensation you deserve.
It’s essential to work with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer as you put your claim together, even if you are dealing with “your” insurance company. A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can help build your case and maximize your financial outcome.
Contact Our New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, regardless of whether the other driver stopped or not, you need help from an experienced injury lawyer. The law firm of Finz & Finz, P.C. has helped thousands of clients recover compensation after pedestrian accidents in New York City, Long Island, and across New York State. We can help you seek the justice that you deserve. Get started today by calling us or visiting our contact page to fill out a free case evaluation form.
This post was originally published in September 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in September 2021