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, drivers who are distracted, drowsy, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent could strike a pedestrian, and when a vehicle weighing 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 New York pedestrian lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C. have provided the following information that will hopefully help guide you if you are hit 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 a pedestrian. If the driver pulls over to check on you, they should also provide you with their insurance information.
It’s important to call the police as soon as possible, so they can create a report of the accident. 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 you admitting to fault for the accident.
Sometimes following an accident – even a serious one – you may not notice your injuries right away due to the shock of the collision. Believing no harm has been done, you decline the driver’s insurance information, fail to call the police, and continue on your way, only to notice, an hour later, the beginnings of sharp pain. What should you do?
The next thing you should do, after contacting the police, 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 injuries so they can be treated.
Document the accident and your injuries. Try to make a list of the steps that led up to you being struck by the car, and make the list as detailed as possible. Include the make and model of the car, as well as a description of the driver. Be sure to take photos of the accident scene, if possible.
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 attorney can develop a solid case for 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 After They Hit You
Your options are more limited if the driver flees the scene of a pedestrian accident. Your first step should still be to call 911, as 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.
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 own insurer using your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
It’s important to seek medical attention following the accident, as a physical examination may reveal injuries that you’re not yet aware of. It’s also important to work with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer – even if you are dealing with “your” insurance company, as a skilled accident lawyer can help build your case and maximize your financial outcome.
Your Legal Options After a Pedestrian Accident
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, regardless of whether the other driver stopped or not, you need help from an aggressive, experienced personal 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 will 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.