What Compensation is Available in a New York City Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident changes your life. While you consider yourself lucky to be alive after getting hit by a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds, you are still facing a long recovery and possible permanent disability.
Compensation is available in a New York City pedestrian accident either through the driver’s no-fault insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. The former pays a limited amount of compensation, so seriously injured pedestrians will have to opt for the latter.
The New York pedestrian accident lawyers at Douglas and London fight for your rights so that you may receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Most cases are settled, but our dedicated trial lawyers will take your claim to court when necessary. Our track record is second to none, as our firm has recovered more than $4 billion in settlements and verdicts for clients.
New York is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance. The victim must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company within 30 days of the accident. Under New York law, every driver must carry at least $50,000 in no-fault liability coverage. Never agree to an insurance settlement without consulting a pedestrian accident lawyer.
If the victim’s medical expenses exceed the amount of the driver’s insurance coverage, or if the injuries are severe– which is often the case in a pedestrian accident– it is possible to go outside the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit. This also true if the driver was committing a crime at the time of the accident, such as driving under the influence.
Under New York’s no-fault law, the following types of injuries are deemed “serious”:
- Loss of use of a body part, system or organ
- Significant limitation of a body part, system or organ
- Loss of a fetus
If the person cannot perform the “material acts” of their usual daily activities for at least 90 days of the 180 days following the accident, they may also file a personal injury lawsuit.
Pedestrian accident victims should receive compensation for all medical expenses relating to the collision, including future medical costs. Besides the bills for hospital stays, doctors and specialists, surgeries and medications, these expenses may include:
- Physical therapy
- Medical equipment
- Home or vehicle modification
- Costs of caregivers
Keep careful records involving out-of-pocket expenses, such as over-the-counter medications or the costs of transportation to and from healthcare providers’ offices.
Many pedestrian accident victims cannot work for substantial amounts of time after the crash. They should receive the amount of wages lost while recuperating, in addition to employee benefits such as vacation and sick days and bonuses.
Diminished Earning Capacity
A serious accident can affect a person’s future earning capacity. If they can no longer perform the job they held before the accident, they may receive compensation for their lost or diminished earning capacity.
For example, say the pedestrian was a surgeon, and the accident resulted in the amputation of several fingers. While the individual can probably still work in the medical field, they no longer have the ability to perform surgeries. Their earning capacity has diminished considerably.
Pain and Suffering
Unlike medical expenses or lost wages, pain, and suffering are a subjective category that refers to both physical pain and mental suffering. You cannot receive compensation for this under a no-fault insurance claim, but you can if filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
If the case goes to trial, the jury may award punitive damages if the driver’s conduct was particularly reprehensible. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and serve as an example. This might include a drunk driver going at high speed who deliberately crashes into people at an intersection.
Contact us at Douglas and London for a free consultation
If you or someone you know was severely injured because of a driver’s negligence or recklessness, contact the experienced New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas and London. We offer complimentary consultations, so call or text us 24/7 to schedule an appointment or complete our online form.
After we review your case, we will discuss your options. You do not pay a fee unless you receive compensation, as our attorneys work on a contingency basis. Hablamos Español.