The Big Apple attracts more than 65 million tourists annually from all over the world. New York is a walking city, so if you’re here as a tourist, you’ll most likely see much of the city on foot.
Unfortunately, the city is a chaotic place, and pedestrian injuries aren’t uncommon. Furthermore, when these injuries involve a vehicle from the road or a pedestrian knockdown, serious or even fatal, can occur.
If you sustain a pedestrian injury while touring this ever-popular locale, it’s important to know who to turn to, and how to seek damages if appropriate. We’ve put together a guide covering how to stay safe on vacation in New York, and what to do in the event of an accident.
Severely Injured Vacationer in NYC Found Unable to Seek Damages
Two of the most important aspects of filing a claim? Timing and blame. These are truly everything in some cases. Here’s an example of an injured party left high and dry for not acting quickly to seek damages after the original claim being denied.
A British tourist was sitting on a fountain ledge talking to her friend when a cab driver allegedly lost control of his vehicle and crashed into her. The woman’s left leg was severely injured and had to be amputated.
The cab driver had been arguing with a bike messenger at the time of the crash, and had a questionable driving history, with three moving violations within two years of the accident.
The tourist sought damages against the city for failing to keep the dangerous cabbie off the road. However, a Manhattan Appellate Court ruled that the city was not to blame for the accident.
In this scenario, there were two mistakes:
- The claim was filed against the city, but no other parties — like the cab company or the cabby himself — were named.
- The clock continued to tick, and the statutes of limitations ran out before an updated claim was filed.
The victim, just 28 years old, is now unable to seek damages to compensate for an injury that will alter the course of her life, and have profound financial and emotional consequences.
Common NYC Vacation Injuries
Although most tourists are left with a positive impression of NYC, vacation injuries are not uncommon in the Big Apple. Because seeing the city involves a lot of walking, many injuries are sustained on foot.
Common New York vacation accidents include:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Pedestrian knockdowns
- Car crashes
- Public transit, taxi or rideshare injuries
- Bicycle accidents
Any of these accidents can cause life-altering or even fatal injuries. Unfortunately, many of them could have been prevented altogether, but for another party’s negligence.
If you suffer a preventable accident while on vacation in New York, you have rights. Seeking damages won’t undo the accident, but will lessen the inevitable financial and emotional burdens of a serious injury.
Determining Liability in New York: Who Pays if You’re Injured?
Even when it’s clear that an accident could have been prevented but for the negligent conditions that caused it, identifying the responsible parties can quickly become complex.
For example, if a New York bike messenger hits you and knocks you down, there are several potentially responsible parties:
- The cyclist, if riding negligently (for example, on the sidewalk instead of the bike lane)
- The bicycle’s manufacturer, if the accident was caused by a mechanical failure
- The messenger’s employer, if the messenger was untrained
- The city, if the accident was caused by a road condition that led to the cyclist losing control of the bike
Clearly, even in a relatively simple accident, determining liability can become surprisingly complex. In fact, this often requires the expert help of a personal injury attorney, and potentially an investigator that your attorney could bring in.
Furthermore, you’re best to seek the guidance of a local New York personal injury attorney knowledgeable about local laws on seeking damages.