Walking and jogging may be ways of life in New York, but our state has one of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in the country… and recent data shows that the problem is getting worse.
New York’s large pedestrian population means that a greater number of people are vulnerable to being hit by cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles here — especially when drivers don’t show pedestrians the care and respect they deserve.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian in White Plains, New York City, or anywhere else in New York — or if someone you love has been killed while commuting as a pedestrian — you may be entitled to significant financial compensation under the laws of our state.
Careless drivers and their insurance carriers have a responsibility to pay for the damages they cause. You may have a claim for compensation under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies tend to defend themselves aggressively against pedestrian injury claims in New York, making it difficult for victims to get the full and fair compensation they deserve on their own. An attorney can help.
As White Plains pedestrian accident lawyers, we fight hard for the rights of unfairly injured pedestrians in New York. We take a firm and aggressive stand against insurance companies, fighting to maximize compensation at every turn.
Lever & Ecker, PLLC is a New York personal injury law firm with offices in White Plains and Manhattan, representing pedestrian accident victims throughout the state of New York.
Our attorneys have more than 55 years of combined experience in the practice of law, with a long record of successful outcomes in the overwhelming majority of our cases. We’d like to put our experience in your corner, standing by your side as you navigate the complex claims process ahead.
What Is a Pedestrian Accident?
When we talk about pedestrian accidents in the context of personal injury law, we are typically talking about an accident where a motor vehicle hits someone who is traveling on foot (e.g. walking, jogging, running, standing, crossing the street, etc.).
While bicycles are considered vehicles under New York law, bicycle accidents are sometimes described as pedestrian accidents too. Learn more about legal representation for bicycle accident victims in New York.
Finally, pedestrians are sometimes injured in accidents that do not involve a motor vehicle. Examples include slip and fall accidents, dangerous sidewalk accidents, assault and battery, and other pedestrian injuries. Learn more about New York slip, trip, and fall accidents and premises liability claims for injured pedestrians.
This particular webpage is intended primarily for pedestrians who have been injured by a motor vehicle such as a car, truck, van, motorcycle, taxi, or bicycle.
Who Is Responsible for a Pedestrian Accident?
Generally speaking, pedestrian accident cases come down to the question of negligence. Negligent drivers are legally liable for the damages they cause as a result of their negligence.
Every driver owes a duty of care to the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians around them. Any breach of that duty constitutes negligence under the law.
Common examples of negligence that can cause pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving (e.g. texting while driving)
- Running off the shoulder
- Drunk driving (DUI / DWI)
- Aggressive driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians
Even if the pedestrian is partly at fault for their own accident, the victim may still be able to recover compensation from the driver.
It’s possible for more than one party to be responsible for the accident at the same time. The New York pedestrian accident lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can help you identify each potentially liable party in your situation.
Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
The human body is no match for a moving vehicle. When pedestrians are involved in an accident, the injuries tend to be serious. Some are catastrophic or even fatal.
Some of the most common injuries in New York pedestrian accidents include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Bruises or lacerations
- Knee injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Paralysis (in severe cases)
- Death (in severe cases)
Naturally, every accident is different. Your injuries may not look like those described here. The New York pedestrian accidents lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC are prepared to help with these or any other injuries.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
While you are not required to hire a lawyer in order to pursue your claim, having an experienced attorney by your side can make a meaningful difference throughout the claims process.
Studies have shown that accident victims who hire personal injury lawyers tend to recover larger amounts of financial compensation than those who do not.
In addition to handling every aspect of your case and advising you at every turn, your lawyer can help you take a confident stand against the insurance companies on the other side.
Insurance companies are large and powerful corporations. They are not afraid to mount an aggressive defense against your injury claim.
Often, the insurance company begins by making a settlement offer, which may seem enticing at first but may also be for far less money than you deserve.
Indeed, this is precisely why many insurance companies make early settlement offers — they hope to you buy you off quickly before you realize what you’re owed. Once you sign the settlement, there’s no going back.
Insurance companies have virtually endless financial resources, legal support, and litigation experience on their side. It can be difficult to get a fair shake acting on your own.
The experienced New York pedestrian accident lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can stand with you and represent your interests against even the largest and most powerful corporate interests.
What Can I Be Compensated for in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
New York is a no-fault car insurance state. The no-fault rules are complex even when both parties are inside a motor vehicle. They get even more complex when one of the parties is a pedestrian.
As an injured pedestrian, you may be able to bring two separate claims:
- A no-fault claim, which will cover your reasonably necessary medical expenses as well as a portion of any lost earnings (80% or $2,000 per month, whichever is less).
- A bodily injury claim, which proceeds like a traditional personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and/or their insurance provider. With this claim, you can seek additional compensation for economic expenses not covered under the no-fault claim (e.g. additional medical expenses, lost wages, or property damages), as well as emotional damages (e.g. pain and suffering, emotional distress).
You are able to bring the no-fault claim automatically, regardless of who was at fault for the crash, even if you do not have auto insurance of your own! Because you were injured as a pedestrian, generally speaking, you will be regarded as having “first-party benefits” (in other words, you will have the same rights under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy as the driver).
You are only able to bring the bodily injury claim if you can show that there was a “serious injury,” as that term is defined under New York law. Many pedestrian accidents do qualify, but you should talk to a lawyer to learn how the law might apply to your injuries.
While it is not possible to predict or guarantee a particular outcome, you should understand that some injured pedestrians have a claim to substantial damages after an accident in New York.
We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our White Plains personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to learn more about your rights.
What About Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents in New York?
Sadly, hit-and-run accidents are not uncommon in New York, especially where pedestrian injuries are concerned.
If you have been injured by a hit-and-run driver in New York — or if your loved one has been killed in a tragic hit-and-run — please don’t give up hope. You may have a number of options available to you for claiming the compensation you deserve. The New York pedestrian accident lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can help.
How Long Does a Pedestrian Accident Claim Take?
Because every case is different, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long a pedestrian accident claim takes in New York. Some claims resolve in a matter of months; others take a year or longer.
The period of time required will depend on a number of factors, including (but not necessarily limited to):
- The nature of the evidence in the case
- How many parties are involved
- The severity of the injuries
- The court’s calendar (if the claim proceeds to trial)
- The extent to which the insurance company is cooperative
- The time of year
- Whether there is a dispute as to causation or liability
At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we understand the importance of putting your legal claim behind you and getting the compensation you need as soon as possible. At the same time, we want to make sure we never rush a claim or do anything to compromise your best interests.
As New York pedestrian accident lawyers, we work hard to resolve these cases as efficiently as possible. We do recognize, however, that the fight for meaningful financial justice can take time.
There may be a number of options for paying your medical bills and other obligations while you wait for your claim to resolve.
We are committed to keeping our clients informed about the status of their claim — as well as our expectations and strategies — at all times.
Schedule a Free Consultation with our New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Please do not sign a settlement agreement with an insurance company or any other party until you have talked with a lawyer. Doing so can permanently impact your legal rights. You and your family may be entitled to more compensation than you realize.
Lever & Ecker, PLLC is a New York personal injury law firm located in White Plains and serving clients throughout the state, including New York City’s five boroughs (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island), as well as Westchester County, Rockland County, Long Island, and beyond.
We are proud to offer bilingual legal representation for our Spanish-speaking clients.
We will not charge a fee for our services unless and until we get you money. Your initial consultation is completely free with no obligations whatsoever.
To schedule your confidential consultation with our New York pedestrian accident lawyers, please call 914-288-9191 (in White Plains) or 212-766-5204 (in Manhattan), or simply contact us online.