Many drivers do not look out for pedestrians, especially at intersections where a crosswalk isn’t marked. Although drivers should yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, not all of them do, and catastrophic accidents can result. The consequences of being struck by a car or truck, even one going at relatively slow speeds, can be devastating to a person whose body is not protected by being inside a vehicle. In New York, your no-fault car insurance will cover medical expenses related to a car accident whether you were a pedestrian or riding in a vehicle at the time of the collision. However, serious injuries are common after a pedestrian accident, and you may be able to obtain compensation by filing a lawsuit for damages against the responsible parties. 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
Pedestrian accidents can occur in a wide range of settings. They commonly happen in intersections and crosswalks, either due to drivers failing to see pedestrians or not following the rules of the road. They may occur in privately owned parking lots at low speeds, or they may involve high-speed collisions on highways or other major roads.
Even when a pedestrian’s injuries are catastrophic, drivers and their insurers will search for ways in which the pedestrian might be deemed to be at fault. Insurance companies will often seek to avoid paying compensation for serious injuries, even when the liability of their insured seems clear. For example, the defendant driver may claim he had a green light even though he had a red light at the time he struck you with his car. Or, the driver may argue that when you were hit, it was nighttime and you weren’t in the crosswalk. Sometimes more than one driver is to blame for a pedestrian accident. There are also situations in which you may need to retain an accident reconstruction expert to prove a specific chain of events in order to establish the liability of one or more drivers.
If you were struck in a pedestrian accident and suffered serious harm, you may be able to recover damages by alleging negligence on the part of the responsible driver, and a skilled injury lawyer can help. To prove a claim of negligence, you will need to show: (1) the driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A driver may breach the duty to use reasonable care in a variety of different ways. For example, he or she may speed, fail to obey traffic signals or signs, drive while texting or while otherwise distracted, change lanes in an unsafe manner, 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 person’s liability for a pedestrian accident in which you were seriously injured. Compensatory damages are damages intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had there been no negligence, and no resulting accident or losses. These types of damages can include both your economic or financial losses, as well as non-economic, or less tangible losses. Economic losses could include things like wage loss due to missed work following an accident, bills for medical procedures and prescriptions, replacement services, and out-of-pocket expenses. Noneconomic losses may include amounts for 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 the extent of the damages that occurred, and assign percentages of fault to you and the defendant driver or drivers. Under this system, you can recover damages as an injured pedestrian even if you were partially to blame for your accident, or partially negligent. 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 you incurred were valued at $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 the losses you experienced on your own.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 in order to understand your legal rights and make decisions regarding your next steps. The aftermath of a vehicle collision that results in severe injuries can be overwhelming and confusing, and you may have countless questions about how to navigate this difficult process. You may have a family to support, but no way to deal with the mounting expenses that are adding up after your accident. We understand how significant the impact of these collisions can be, and are dedicated to helping our clients seek the compensation they may be entitled to as a result of someone else’s careless conduct. 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.