Getting hit by a car while walking in New York City can be a frightening experience. Pedestrians have no protection in the event of a crash, so it is common for these accidents to cause serious injuries. Even if you feel fine after such a crash, it is important to take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and your claim for compensation.
Steps to Take
If you have never been involved in an accident before, you may be unaware of what you should do. Here are the steps you should take after a pedestrian crash.
- Move out of the street. If you are conscious, the first thing you should do after a crash is to prevent another one from happening. You can do that by getting out of the street. The streets of New York are very busy, and it is not uncommon for accident victims to get hit multiple times.
- Stay calm. You may be angry after a crash. You may be crying or swearing. You may be overwhelmed by an adrenaline rush. In any case, breathe and try to control your emotions.
- Keep the driver there. Do not let the driver leave right away, even if you feel fine. Adrenaline can mask serious injuries. Ask the driver to stay until the police arrive. Get a photo of the other car and license plate number in case the driver does flee the accident scene.
- Get an accident report. Call the police right away. Do not leave the accident scene and call hours later. It will be too late. Get the police on the scene so they can write out a report. This will be helpful for your insurance company and any personal injury lawsuit you choose to pursue.
- Gather evidence. Get the driver’s information for your insurance company. Get photos of the car and the surrounding environment of the accident scene. Jot down notes about the time of day, weather conditions, and road conditions.
- Seek medical help. Even if you feel fine, you may have a serious medical issue. Bones may be broken. Perhaps you have internal bleeding. Do not wait and see if you will feel better. This could negatively impact your case. Instead, head to the ER or your personal physician right after the accident.
Making a Claim
Unless you were jaywalking or darting out in front of traffic, then you will usually be able to make a claim against the driver. This is because drivers have a duty to be alert to their surroundings by looking out for hazards such as pedestrians.
In some cases, you may be able to file a claim against the local municipality. This would occur if there was a defect or some issue that caused the town to be at fault for your accident. A broken traffic light, poorly placed crosswalk, defect in the pavement or other safety hazards would be examples of a municipality’s negligence.
Who Pays the Medical Bills?
New York is one of 12 states that have no-fault auto insurance laws. This means if you are hit by a car in New York, the driver will pay most or all of your medical bills. If the accident occurred in any other state, then the pedestrian’s health insurance would pay the bills. If the pedestrian has no insurance, then the injured pedestrian would be on the hook for the bills.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Pedestrians are especially susceptible to serious injuries when involved in an automobile accident. They can suffer head trauma, broken bones, and even death. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in New York City, the lawyers at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. can assess your case and help you recover compensation for your damages. Contact our office by filling out the online form or calling 718-596-7800 to schedule a free consultation.