Many drivers do not look out for pedestrians, especially at intersections where a crosswalk isn’t marked. Although drivers should yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, not all do. The consequences of being struck by a vehicle, even one going at relatively slow speeds, can be devastating. In New York, your no-fault car insurance will cover medical expenses related to a car accident whether you were in a vehicle or a pedestrian. However, serious injuries are common after a pedestrian accident, and you may be able to obtain compensation by filing a lawsuit for damages. The dedicated Syracuse pedestrian accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help you assert your legal rights following a crash.Liability for Pedestrian Accidents
Even when a pedestrian’s injuries are catastrophic, drivers and their insurers will search for ways in which the pedestrian might be at fault. Insurance companies will seek to avoid paying compensation for serious injuries even when the liability of their insured seems clear. The driver may claim he had a green light even though he had a red light. Or, the driver may argue it was nighttime and you weren’t in the crosswalk. Sometimes more than one driver is to blame for a pedestrian accident. There are situations in which you may need to retain an accident reconstruction expert to establish the liability of one or more drivers.
If you were in a pedestrian accident and incurred serious harm, you may be able to recover damages by alleging negligence, and a skilled injury lawyer can help. To establish a claim of negligence, you will need to show: (1) the driver owed you a duty to use care, (2) breach of duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A driver may breach the duty to use care in many different ways. He may speed, fail to obey traffic signals or signs, or drive drunk. In evaluating the defendant’s conduct, the jury will consider what a reasonable driver would have done under the circumstances.Damages
You may be able to recover compensatory damages if you can establish another’s liability for a pedestrian accident. Compensatory damages are damages intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had there been no negligence. They can include both your economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses could include wage loss, medical bills, replacement services, and out-of-pocket expenses. Noneconomic losses may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The extent of your injuries will determine the amount of damages you can recover. For example, if you are left paralyzed after a car runs you down in a crosswalk, your damages are likely to be more substantial than if you are knocked over and suffer bruises when a car slowly backs into you while you are walking through a parking lot.
New York follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. This means the jury will consider the arguments and evidence, determine damages, and assign percentages of fault to you and the driver. You can recover damages even if you were partially to blame. Suppose, for example, the light was turning yellow at an intersection without crosswalks and you stepped out in front of a car that was turning right, assuming the driver would see you and stop, but he was distracted and instead ran you over. If the damages were $1 million, and the jury found that you were 50% to blame, while the driver was 50% to blame, you could still recover $500,000 from the driver. But, you would need to bear $500,000 of those damages yourself.Consult a Seasoned Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Syracuse
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has lost their life in a pedestrian accident in Syracuse, you can talk to a skillful trial lawyer regarding your legal rights. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent injured victims in Syracuse, Rochester, and across Upstate New York, including in Utica, Canandaigua, Ithaca, Lowville, Binghamton, Oneida, Cooperstown, Watertown, Auburn, Lyons, Herkimer, Oswego, Elmira, and Wampsville. Call our firm at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.