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Driving on the road is a daily occurrence for most people. We spend so much time behind the wheel that we often forget how dangerous driving truly is. Car accidents happen every day, often when we least expect them. However, accidents happen to more than just drivers. Pedestrians are frequently struck and seriously injured by vehicles.
If you are a pedestrian injured in a car accident, you can hold the driver accountable for your injuries and expenses. However, New York insurance laws require you to jump through a few additional hoops before filing a lawsuit. In some ways, these insurance laws will help you get some compensation quickly and without too much hassle about who caused the accident. However, this compensation might not be sufficient, and you may have to sue to get all your damages covered.
After a pedestrian accident, you might be recovering from some very severe injuries. Our Westchester, New York pedestrian accident lawyers know how to get compensation for car accident victims, whether they were drivers or pedestrians. For a free legal consultation, contact The Martello Law Firm. Call our offices at (646) 396-0236 to speak with one of our qualified attorneys today.
No-Fault Insurance Laws and Pedestrian Accidents in Westchester, New York
The State of New York is different from many other states because it enforces no-fault insurance laws in car accident cases. New York’s no-fault insurance laws can be found under I.S.C. Law § 5103. When it comes to insurance laws and regulations, many states are fault-based. Under a fault-based system, a pedestrian injured in a car accident would have to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. The pedestrian would need to prove the driver was at fault for the accident to recover any compensation. Under a no-fault system like in New York, people are paid from their own insurance companies rather than the other party’s, and no-fault needs to be demonstrated.
It might seem like a no-fault insurance system is perfect. You are covered by your own insurance, and you do not have to worry about gathering evidence to prove the other person is at fault. However, there are some downsides to the system. No-fault insurance policies typically cover only basic economic losses, including most medical expenses but not death. Basic economic losses are also capped at $50,000.
While $50,000 might seem like a lot of money, your expenses and damages could easily surpass this value. A serious accident could lead to costly doctor visits, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and other treatments. However, if you can prove you suffered serious injuries in the accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you. Our Westchester, New York pedestrian accident attorneys have experience getting injured pedestrians the compensation they deserve after car accidents.
Who Is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident in Westchester, New York?
The issue of liability is not necessarily examined right after a car accident with a pedestrian. As mentioned previously, New York is a no-fault insurance state. The issues of fault and liability are not considered until a pedestrian tries to file a lawsuit. Even then, the pedestrian must prove they suffered a severe injury to file a lawsuit before being allowed to sue the driver for liability. Once the issue is broached, however, a pedestrian could hold a number of parties liable for an accident.
The obvious first choice for a lawsuit over a car accident would be the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian. Drivers bear a significant responsibility while they are operating a vehicle. A breach of this duty of safety could lead to the driver being held liable for a pedestrian’s injuries. In most cases, drivers are sued under a theory of negligence. Under such a theory, you would need to prove that the driver owed you a legal duty of care, that they breached or violated that duty, that the breach caused the accident, and that you suffered real injuries.
However, the driver that hit you is not always directly responsible for that accident. If the driver was rear-ended by another car, causing the first vehicle to strike you, you could sue the driver of one or both vehicles for causing the accident. Our Westchester, New York pedestrian accident lawyers have experience with a wide variety of accident cases. Our team can help you identify the most appropriate defendant in your accident case.
When Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for a Pedestrian Accident in Westchester, New York?
If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit for your accident, you must do so within the relevant statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit for bringing certain legal actions. Different types of lawsuits may adhere to different statutes of limitations, some shorter and some longer. According to C.V.P. Law § 214, a plaintiff has 3 years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
This time limit is shorter than it seems. Remember, New York is a no-fault insurance state, and filing a lawsuit requires proving that you suffered serious injuries. This rule places several hurdles in your path to filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Not only that, but you must exhaust any available personal injury protection insurance that typically pays out without a showing of fault. When filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, time is of the essence, and you need to move quickly. Our Westchester, New York pedestrian accident attorneys can help you navigate the insurance and lawsuit processes quickly and efficiently.
Call Our Westchester Pedestrian Accident Lawyers to Get Help
Car accidents leave victims with very serious injuries, especially for pedestrians. If your damages exceed the compensation limits common in no-fault insurance payouts, our Westchester, New York pedestrian accident attorneys can help you get all your expenses covered. Call The Martello Law Firm at (646) 396-0236 for a free legal consultation.