Pedestrian Accidents Attorney in DeWitt, New York
Pedestrian accidents are some of the most serious that can happen on the road, and the victim’s life may change forever. A pedestrian hit by a car will face not only the physical challenges of recovering from the accident, but the emotional and financial challenges of the recovery as well.
The person responsible for this devastating accident should be held accountable for their actions. It is possible to seek accountability if you or a loved one were in a pedestrian accident. With the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you can seek compensation for the damage the accident has caused to your life.
Mr. Nichols at Nichols Law Offices, PLLC has almost 30 years of experience practicing law with a focus on personal injury. He is dedicated to treating each of his clients with compassion. Mr. Nichols is committed to providing personalized service and will aggressively advocate for the best possible outcome. Nichols Law Offices, PLLC proudly represents clients in DeWitt, Rome, Utica, Cortland, and the rest of New York.
Who has liability in a pedestrian accident? The answer depends on how the accident occurred. It is helpful to be aware of New York pedestrian laws as you consider your options.
New York’s Pedestrian Right of Way Law
According to New York law, pedestrians have the right of way in most situations. This includes and goes far beyond when the “walk” sign is illuminated. Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing a marked or unmarked crosswalk and the traffic light is green for the direction they are walking. Pedestrians have the right of way even when the light is green for a vehicle that wants to turn. Pedestrians also have the right of way when entering or exiting a road, alleyway, building, or driveway. These are some, but not all, of the situations where the pedestrian has the right of way.
With rights come responsibilities. Pedestrians have the responsibility to act with due care. They must never suddenly leave a curb or safe spot and walk on the road when it would be challenging for a driver to yield. Pedestrians also must yield to drivers emerging from tunnels or under overpasses. If a pedestrian crosses a road at any other point besides a marked or unmarked crosswalk, they must yield to drivers. If there is a sidewalk available, pedestrians must use it.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians in almost all situations. It is their responsibility to use due care and to give pedestrians the right of way when in marked or unmarked crosswalks. When a pedestrian is crossing the street and the driver wishes to turn, the driver must allow the pedestrian to cross first. Speak with a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney to learn more about drivers' responsibilities.
In some pedestrian accidents, road conditions were the factor that caused the accident rather than the driver’s actions. These conditions may include roads that are unsafe due to not being treated for snow and ice, poor maintenance or upkeep, and other situations. In these cases, it may be possible to hold the party responsible for the road accountable for their actions. This could be the city or municipality, county, or state.
Determining who was at fault for the accident is the first step in understanding the possibility of a personal injury claim under New York law.
New York Is a No-Fault State
New York is a no-fault state, so it is required that you first seek compensation from your own insurance company rather than the person who was at fault. However, if your insurance company does not offer an appropriate settlement, you may be able to seek compensation from the policy of the person who was at fault for the accident.
Under New York law, even if the victim was partially at fault for the accident, they can file a personal injury claim. However, any financial compensation they would receive for the accident will be reduced by the percentage that the accident was their fault. For example, if the court finds the victim 25% at fault for the accident, and the compensation was set at $10,000, then the victim would receive $7,500.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the deadline after which you can no longer bring a case to court. In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years. Once three years have passed, you will no longer be able to bring your case. That’s one reason why it’s so important to contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible.
"Damages" is the term used to describe the financial compensation for the damages that the accident caused. It is possible to seek compensation for both economic damages, which can be quantified, and non-economic damages, which are less easy to measure in numerical terms. Economic damages for a pedestrian accident might include lost wages, medical bills, and more. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and others.
What Steps Should I Take Next?
Your next steps will depend on your role in the accident.
If I’m the victim…
If you are the victim, focus on your physical recovery first. Keep copies of all of your medical bills and records of any time missed at work due to medical appointments. Take action to protect your case and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your options.
If I’m representing a loved one who was incapacitated or lost their life…
An accident may have permanently incapacitated your loved one or they may have, in the worst accidents, lost their life. It is important to take care of yourself in this incredibly difficult time. When you are ready, you can speak with an attorney about filing a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one.
Pedestrian Accidents Attorney in DeWitt, New York
Physical recovery from your injuries should be your top priority after a pedestrian accident. It is also important to consider your legal options for financial compensation. Mr. Nichols will use his vast experience to guide you through each step of your case. Nichols Law Offices, PLLC proudly serves clients in DeWitt, Syracuse, Rome, Utica, Cortland, and nearby areas in New York. Contact the firm today to schedule a free consultation.