When most people think of automobile accidents, they imagine two or more vehicles getting into a wreck. But often, and especially in a major city like New York, the victims of automobile accidents are pedestrians. Like the victims of car crashes, pedestrians can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But proving liability can be a challenge. That’s why you need the dedicated personal injury attorneys of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C.
Why do these accidents happen?
Like most accidents involving vehicles, negligence on the part of the driver is usually to blame. The victim’s responsibility after being involved in an accident is to demonstrate that the driver, by some negligent act or omission, breached the duty of care owed to pedestrians. Some examples of negligence include:
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Failing to give a pedestrian the right of way
- Failing to keep a proper lookout of the traffic and road conditions
- Failing to avoid the pedestrian by timely use of brakes and steering
- Driving while impared because of lack of adequate sleep
- Distracted driving, including because of cell phone use
- Running a red light
- Failure to adjust to the conditions (e.g. slowing down considerably in bad weather)
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Pedestrians are commonly injured by vehicles in crosswalks, but may also be hit on sidewalks, street corners, and in parking lots and garages.
What to do if you’ve been struck by a vehicle
Your first priority after being in any kind of accident is to seek medical attention. This is especially true for pedestrians, who are far more likely to be seriously hurt than another motorist. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, see a doctor.
You or someone in the vicinity should call 911 immediately and ask for first responder assistance. In addition to an ambulance, police will arrive and take information from you about the circumstances surrounding the accident. This includes the time, date, location, and weather conditions. Later, the police will generate an important record known as a police report that contains this and other valuable information. Your personal injury attorney can assist in obtaining a copy of that report.
Sadly, in many pedestrian injury cases, the responsible driver flees the scene. If this happens to you, don’t panic, but follow the steps above. Give the police as much information as you can recall about the vehicle and the driver. If any witnesses saw the accident, ask them to speak with police, too. You should also speak with these individuals yourself and get their contact information. Make your own notes about the accident as soon as possible.
How an attorney can assist
Finally, reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will investigate how and why the accident took place and begin building a lawsuit to demand monetary compensation. Your lawyer will also work to quantify your damages to ensure you are fairly covered for your medical bills, missed time from work, and other losses. Part of this involves filing a claim for “No Fault” benefits which generally must be done within 30 days of the accident.
If the driver was criminally negligent or fled the scene of the accident and is later caught, a separate criminal trial will take place. Although you must pursue a civil lawsuit to seek monetary damages, the evidence uncovered during the criminal trial could prove relevant. Lastly, your lawyer will work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to settle the matter out of court, if possible. If the insurance company does not offer you fair compensation, Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. will take your case to trial.
Experienced Advocacy You Can Count On
Queens personal injury victims, as well as all others, know they can rely on the trusted legal counsel of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. We fight hard for the victims of personal injury cases, including pedestrians who have been hurt by motorists. Give us a call today to learn more.