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Were You Hit By a Car and Injured As You Crossed the Street?

Hit By a Car?

Getting hit by a car can cause very serious injuries, disability and other lasting problems. As a pedestrian, however, you have special rights in the roadway. Let a Bronx hit by a car lawyer explain the details.

How to Prove (and Win) Your Case If You Were Hit By a Car Crossing the Street

It is not uncommon for a pedestrian hit by a car to sustain serious injuries to the spine, knee, shoulder or other parts of the body because of the powerful and dangerous forces associated with a moving vehicle.  These types of pedestrian accident cases are commonly referred to as pedestrian knockdown cases. There are special rules that are in New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law designed to protect pedestrians crossing the street. 

Put simply, you must prove that the driver who struck you was negligent in order to win a pedestrian knockdown case. This means that you must establish that the driver failed to follow recognized rules of the road, as they are called, and caused the accident.  There are many specific rules that drivers must follow depending on how the accident happened.  As a general rule, however, drivers must keep a proper lookout for potential hazards, including pedestrians crossing the street.

In addition to the conduct of the driver involved in the accident, the pedestrian’s conduct is also legally important.  This is known as comparative fault analysis. Pedestrians have a responsibility to look with care for oncoming traffic to avoid placing themselves in a position of danger when crossing the street.  In fact, the law specifically provides that no pedestrian “shall suddenly leave a curb” if a car is too close and it is “impractical” for the driver to avoid the accident.

Does a Pedestrian Always Have The Right of Way in a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrians do not always have the right of way.  In fact, one important issue that comes up in pedestrian knockdown cases is whether the pedestrian was crossing in a crosswalk.  The law gives pedestrians who are crossing in a crosswalk the right of way, meaning that drivers must yield to them.  In fact, drivers are legally required to slow down or even stop, to allow pedestrians to cross in a crosswalk.  If the accident happened outside of the crosswalk, however, the law flips this requirement and provides that pedestrians must yield to drivers.

Ultimately, these cases are decided on two competing questions:   whether the driver exercised reasonable care to avoid hitting the pedestrian, and whether the pedestrian looked with care for oncoming traffic to avoid placing himself in a position of danger.  Sometimes a jury will find that both the driver and pedestrian were negligent.  When this happens, the jury will assign percentages of fault to each person involved.  This is called comparative negligence.  When this happens the amount of the award is reduced by the percentage of the pedestrian’s fault.

What Type of Injury Does a Pedestrian Hit By a Car Need To Win a Case?

In addition to proving liability, you must also prove that your injury is a “qualifying injury” under  New York State Insurance Law 5102(d).  This requirement, known as the “serious injury law” is very technical and is the source of much litigation.  To qualify, your injury must meet certain, often vague requirements, under the law.

Ultimately, the Court will review the medical documentation in your case, and determine whether your injury is potentially sufficient for a jury to even consider whether you meet this requirement. If the Court finds that it is not, your case will be dismissed – even if the defendant was completely at fault for the accident.

Who Pays the Medical Bills of A Pedestrian Hit By a Car?

Finally, a pedestrian involved in a car accident is entitled to No-Fault Benefits.  These benefits cover hospital, medical and other bills associated with your injuries.  Your lost wages are also covered by No-Fault Insurance.  To receive these benefits you must file a No-Fault Application   within 30 days of the accident with the insurance company of the car that hit you. You are entitled to these benefits, even if you were partially or completely responsible for the accident. | Ask Questions – Get Answers

If you have any questions about your pedestrian knockdown accident, contact our experienced car accident attorneys for more information by email or calling (718) 364-4000.  You can also get started by simply filling out one of our case intake forms, and we will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.

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