When you are walking near traffic, you are naturally vulnerable to injury. After all, unlike motorists on the road, you do not have anything surrounding you to protect you. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers in New York fail to pay attention to their surroundings and end up striking pedestrians.
If you have been seriously hurt in a pedestrian crash, you have the right to seek to hold the reportedly at-fault driver accountable in civil court. A few steps are important to take directly after the accident to protect your best interests legally.
After the accident
Following your pedestrian accident, you may benefit from recording as much as possible about the crash itself. You can also write down information about your injuries as well as other losses you may have incurred as a result of the collision, such as the loss of wages. You might also want to make notes regarding any conversations you had with the other parties involved in the crash.
Other post-accident steps
Preserving evidence concerning who caused the crash is paramount as well, in addition to maintaining evidence of the damage caused. This is possible by collecting any physical items from the accident scene and taking pictures. Locating witnesses to the accident may also help you with proving your case.
Filing a claim
Following a pedestrian crash leading to injuries, you may opt to file a personal injury claim against the driver who allegedly hurt you. Contacting an attorney as soon as you can after your accident will help you to ensure that you file your claim within the state's statutes of limitations, or established time limits. When you meet your attorney, bringing medical bills and reports with you can be helpful for demonstrating the nature and extent of your injuries.
In court, a preponderance of the evidence is required to establish liability before the court hearing your case. This is necessary before a judge will adjudicate claims for financial damages.
If a judge in New York determines that you were partially at fault in the pedestrian crash, this might decrease your recovery. For instance, if the judge decides that you were 60% at fault, he or she might reduce your recovery by 60%. However, whether you receive full or partial recovery, the monetary compensation you receive can help with addressing your medical costs and other expenses associated with the accident.