Every day, millions of New Yorkers get around on foot. However, pedestrians face the danger of being struck by bicycles, cars, trucks, taxis, and other motor vehicles even when safely crossing the street with the right of way at an intersection or in a crosswalk. According to the NYC DOT, 115 pedestrians in New York City were fatally struck by motor vehicles in 2018.
Since motor vehicles weigh thousands of pounds, the impact of a pedestrian knockdown can lead to severe, debilitating injuries and tragically death. Even if the injuries are relatively minor, they often require extensive and costly medical treatment. With medical care adding up to thousands of dollars or more, you may be concerned about how you will cover these expenses.
New York’s No-Fault Law Applies to Pedestrians
In New York, drivers are required to have No-Fault insurance, which provides first-party benefits to pedestrians that are hit by a car or other vehicle under the New York No-Fault law. No-Fault insurance covers the cost of medical treatment for victims of car accidents up to $50,000 as well as lost wages up to $2,000 a month. This can cover diagnostic testing, medical treatment, hospital stays, physical therapy, x-rays, office visits, medical equipment, and medications.
To receive No-Fault benefits, a pedestrian must file a “Form NF-2” application with the driver’s insurance company within thirty days of the date of the accident. If the accident was a hit and run, your own vehicle insurance may cover No-Fault benefits, depending on whether your policy addresses this kind of situation. Otherwise, you can file a first-party benefits claim with MVAIC (the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation) if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Pedestrian Knockdown Injuries
Pedestrian knockdown accidents can be caused by many different circumstances. New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1146 provides that drivers must “exercise due care” to avoid collisions with pedestrians. If a driver’s failure to do so causes injury to a pedestrian, they may be guilty of a VTL violation for which civil penalties such as fines or imprisonment can be imposed. Driver negligence, recklessness, inattention, carelessness, failure to obey red lights, speeding, and distracted driving are common causes of these kinds of accidents.
Being struck by a vehicle can cause serious injuries, and even fatalities, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal damage
It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately if you suffered injuries in a pedestrian knockdown incident. Whether you think you’re seriously injured or not, internal bleeding and other injuries that may not be readily apparent can be fatal if left undetected.
Compensation for Pedestrian Knockdown Injuries
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian knockdown accident, No-Fault insurance may not cover the full cost of your medical care — your injuries may require hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, or any other treatment recommended by your doctor which exceed the $50,000 No-Fault cap. In these cases, it is often necessary to file a lawsuit to recover your economic damages.
If the court finds that the driver was negligent, you may be awarded compensation for unreimbursed medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost wages, and the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Pain and suffering, also known as non-economic loss, compensates for things like loss of enjoyment of life, inability to perform certain activities as well or as frequently as you had and loss of consortium.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Knockdown Attorney
If you or a family member were injured as a result of a pedestrian knockdown or a hit and run accident, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible who can protect your rights and advise you of your legal remedies.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help you obtain the maximum compensation available for your pedestrian knockdown injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.