Pedestrian accidents are among the leading causes of serious injuries in New York State. Every year, 15,000 people are injured, 3,000 are sent to the hospital, and 300 are killed in collisions with motor vehicles, per the New York Department of Health. The average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds, enough to cause life-threatening, even fatal, injuries in the event of a collision. Recovering from a devastating pedestrian accident takes time and money. Medical bills can quickly pile up, leaving a victim struggling physically, emotionally, and financially. What’s more, New York’s no-fault insurance laws are confusing, and many injured pedestrians struggle to secure the money they’re entitled to under the law.
That’s why the legal team at Finz & Finz, P.C. has provided this helpful guide on the system. It will explain how the no-fault insurance system affects pedestrian accident claims and provide additional insight into pursuing the full amount you could be owed.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
New York is one of a dozen states to subscribe to a no-fault auto insurance system. Under this regime, car accident victims file a first-party claim with their own insurance provider seeking compensation from their personal injury protection coverage. PIP insurance covers an injured individual’s reasonable and necessary medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and reasonable household expenses.
Pursuing Compensation for a New York Pedestrian Accident
New York law extends PIP protections to pedestrians as though they were an occupant of a car that hit them. In other words, when a driver strikes a pedestrian and causes injuries, the pedestrian files a claim against the driver’s PIP policy. As an injured pedestrian, you do not need to turn to your policy for compensation. If you do not know the identity of the driver or the driver is uninsured, you can file a compensation claim with your insurance provider or the company of a household family member who holds a valid New York auto insurance policy.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can cause catastrophic and life-changing injuries. PIP insurance tops out at $50,000. If your medical expenses and financial losses exceed the policy coverage limits of the driver’s policy, you may not have the compensation you need to cover all your expenses.
New York pedestrian accident victims can also seek compensation for their injuries via a personal injury lawsuit, provided the driver was at fault and their losses extend beyond $50,000 or they meet New York’s serious injury threshold. New York State Insurance Law calls a “serious” injury one that meets any of the following conditions:
- Significant disfigurement
- Bone fractures
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent limitation of a body organ or limb
- A significant limitation of the use of a body part or organ system
Your injuries may also be “serious” if the injury or impairment is not permanent but does prevent you from performing substantially all of the activities you conduct every day for no less than ninety days during 180 days immediately following an accident.
Common Injuries Associated with Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can cause devastating injuries that may change a person’s life for the foreseeable future, physically and financially. Some of the most common injuries associated with New York pedestrian accidents include:
- Back, neck, and spine injuries
- Broken bones
- Dental injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Road rash
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Have you been hurt in a New York pedestrian accident? Discuss your situation with a knowledgeable New York pedestrian accident attorney for help. Your medical expenses may be so significant they assistance from an attorney may be necessary to recover the money you deserve.
Steps to Take Following a New York Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents are traumatic and may leave you uncertain about what comes next. Although you should attempt to document the scene and exchange information with the at-fault driver, that may only sometimes be possible. To protect yourself and your legal right to recover the compensation you deserve, consider taking these proactive steps:
- Contact the authorities – Always contact the authorities in a pedestrian versus car accident. Law enforcement can document the crash and provide vital medical assistance.
- Seek medical attention immediately – Adrenaline is powerful. Following a crash, it can mask the signs of significant injuries. Although you may not feel worse for wear, you could suffer internal injuries or concussion. It is always best to seek medical attention immediately following a pedestrian accident. Your medical records may also be crucial evidence in your pedestrian accident claim.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions – Seeking immediate medical attention is vital, but your treatment shouldn’t end after a single visit. Always follow your doctor’s orders and stick to your treatment plan. That means keeping all follow-up appointments and taking your medication as prescribed.
- Contact an attorney – Navigating a pedestrian accident claim can be challenging, especially when you are hurt. Leave the heavy lifting to an experienced New York pedestrian accident attorney who can prepare a solid claim on your behalf and aggressively negotiate for the money you need.
- Stay off social media – Do not engage on social media platforms until your attorney resolves your claim. An insurer or attorney can use your words and photographs against you to deny or diminish the value of your claim.
- Keep records – You can help your attorney by keeping all medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. These and your paystubs can allow your attorney to estimate the value of your pedestrian accident claim accurately.
Arrange a Consultation with an Experienced New York Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
A pedestrian accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. As bills pile up, you may not know who to turn to for help. The knowledgeable New York pedestrian accident lawyers with Finz & Finz, P.C. can start the process of seeking meaningful compensation for your injuries. You can focus on recovering without the stress of fighting an insurer for the money you need.
Contact our New York office today for a free consultation, during which we will review your case and advise you on your options for pursuing justice.