As a pedestrian in New York City, you usually have the right of way when crossing the street, and all vehicles, including buses, must usually yield to you.
Accident Statistics Involving Pedestrians
In the United States, a pedestrian is killed in an auto accident every 109 minutes. A pedestrian is injured in an auto accident on average every 7 minutes. These statistics are from the National Center of Statistics and Analysis. However, a person only needs to speak with persons who regularly walk or run to understand the risks faced by a pedestrian involved in an auto accident.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents regularly occur because automobile drivers are not vigilant in maintaining a lookout for walkers and runners. These accidents take place despite the caution generally exercised by pedestrians. As the above statistics indicate, in an accident between a pedestrian and automobile, the pedestrian generally loses the battle. Unfortunately, these types of collisions are all too common on our roads and interstates today. The investigation of these accidents is made more complicated by the inherent bias that often exists with members of law enforcement and the public against walkers and runners.
Injuries From Accidents Involving Pedestrians
The severe, debilitating and permanent injuries that arise from pedestrian accidents with automobiles, motorcycles and trucks result in significant financial losses to the individuals involved and their families. However, the law provides an injured person with the right to recover his or her damages from the responsible party. Such damages include, but may not be limited to, medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and other economic losses.
Individuals are also entitled to recover for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries and treatment. The spouse of the injured person is entitled to recover for the loss of the services of his or her spouse. Although a monetary recovery can never repair the damage that is done to the individual, it can at least ease the financial burdens created when a pedestrian is injured in a car accident.
Insurance Companies and Pedestrian Accidents
The insurance company for the automobile, motorcycle or truck will start an investigation of the pedestrian accident immediately. The insurance company will try to limit the recovery of the injured pedestrian to the lowest possible amount. Accordingly, these companies have established very specific and elaborate procedures on handling pedestrian accident claims often occurring within 24 hours after the accident.
The approach or tactics of insurance companies vary; however, many insurance companies try to reach a quick settlement with an injured pedestrian. Their purpose is to avoid responsibility for future medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that are likely to develop. This is a trap that an injured pedestrian needs to avoid. When a person is injured in a pedestrian accident, it very often takes months to completely assess the person’s injuries. At that point, the person may need surgery or other extensive treatment.
Likewise, if you were on the job when injured, the worker’s compensation insurance company will try to obtain reimbursement of their payments for medical expenses and lost wages. Again, there are significant limitations on their right to receive reimbursement. These are important issues that you need to understand prior to agreeing to any settlement with the insurance company for the auto, motorcycle or truck.
Insurance companies for automobiles, motorcycles and trucks have vast experience in evaluating personal injury claims from pedestrian accidents and will seek to obtain the lowest settlement possible. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney or lawyer with considerable experience dealing with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney or lawyer must be prepared to institute litigation on your behalf if the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim for a fair value.