In a large city like New York City, pedestrian accidents are common. Cars and people share busy, congested roads. The result can be catastrophic for pedestrians.
The most current data from the Environment and Health Data Portal reports 8,079 pedestrian injury emergency department visits in a recent year. Queens had the highest number of incidents that year, with 2,519 pedestrians taken to ERs after injuries.
The medical bills after a pedestrian accident in New York City can be substantial. The pedestrian is, at least initially, responsible for paying the medical bills. However, there are options to seek reimbursement for medical bills and other damages caused by a pedestrian accident.
PIP Insurance Claims for Pedestrian Accidents in Queens, NY
New York law requires drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance to operate a motor vehicle legally in the state. Drivers must have both PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance coverage and liability insurance coverage. PIP is no-fault insurance that pays regardless of who caused a car accident.
After a pedestrian accident, you can file a claim with your PIP provider. Your no-fault insurance provider should pay the medical bills from the pedestrian accident. However, if you do not have PIP coverage, you might be able to get reimbursement for medical bills if a family member in your household has a PIP policy.
Many people in New York City do not have car insurance because they do not have a car. The driver’s PIP insurance should pay your medical bills if you do not have PIP coverage. However, you can also use your health insurance to pay for medical care if no PIP insurance policy covers your pedestrian accident.
Can a Pedestrian Sue an At-Fault Driver for Damages Caused by a Pedestrian Accident in Queens?
Even though New York is a no-fault state for car insurance, injured victims can sue an at-fault driver for damages. However, the victim’s injuries must meet the serious injury threshold.
Serious injuries include but are not limited to, broken bones, amputation, death, and permanent injuries. The definition also includes some non-permanent injuries. The injuries must prevent you from engaging in all or substantially all of your usual and customary daily activities for at least 90 days out of the 180 days after the accident.
Pedestrian accidents cause catastrophic injuries for pedestrians. Generally, a person cannot withstand being hit by a motor vehicle without sustaining injury. In many cases, the injuries are traumatic and life-threatening.
The difference between a PIP claim and a claim against the at-fault driver is that you must prove fault to win a liability claim against the driver. You must prove that the driver’s negligence or intentional act was the direct and proximate cause of the collision. Therefore, you must have evidence proving causation and fault to establish liability for a pedestrian accident.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Queens?
If you prove the driver is liable for your damages, you can receive reimbursement for your economic damages. You can also receive compensation for non-economic damages. Examples of damages in a pedestrian accident case include:
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of income, benefits, and wages
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Diminished further earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life
The amount you receive depends on your injuries, the strength of your evidence, and other factors. If you were partially to blame for causing the accident, your compensation could be reduced under New York’s contributory fault laws. A jury would decide if you contributed to the cause of the accident and the percentage of fault.
Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Queens, New York?
Negligence is the leading cause of pedestrian accidents. The driver and the pedestrian make mistakes or errors that lead to the collision. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving and distractions while walking
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Impaired driving and walking while intoxicated
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving and road rage
You have the burden of proving the driver caused your accident to recover compensation for your injuries. Fortunately, most of what happens on Queens roads is recorded by traffic, security, or surveillance cameras. The footage of the collision can be strong evidence proving fault.
A Queens pedestrian accident lawyer can help you gather additional evidence proving fault. An accident attorney also understands how much your case is worth. Of course, the insurance adjuster knows the value of your claim too, but they will offer a much lower settlement offer to avoid paying large claims.
Before accepting a settlement offer or signing a settlement agreement, talk with a Queens pedestrian accident attorney to determine if you have been offered a fair amount for your injury claim.
Contact Our Pedestrian Accident Law Firm in Bronx, NY
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