Pedestrians who are hit by motor vehicles often suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries. The law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians, so negligent motorists can and should be held accountable. If you or a family member was harmed while crossing a street or walking, running, standing, etc., alongside a roadway, you should learn about your legal rights.
At Zlotolow & Associates, our dedicated Brooklyn pedestrian accident lawyers have more than 20 years of experience successfully pursuing personal injury claims for victims of negligence and recklessness. We have made it our mission to hold at-fault drivers and evasive insurance companies accountable, and we will fight aggressively for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your pedestrian accident claim. We pursue accident claims on a contingency-fee basis, which means you won’t pay a fee unless we recover compensation for you.
How Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Help You
If contacted promptly after a crash, our pedestrian accident attorneys in Brooklyn can move quickly to gather evidence and develop a strong legal claim for you. This may include documenting:
- Accident scene evidence, such as skid marks or lack thereof, drag marks, traffic control devices, visibility issues, etc.
- Law enforcement accident reports, which will include details from the scene and may indicate that the driver is facing charges
- Statements from you and other witnesses we can identify
- Video camera footage of the accident, if available
- Damage to the driver’s vehicle, which indicates speed of impact and the seriousness of your injuries
- Damage to your clothing, shoes, personal belongings, etc., which may also illustrate the force of impact
- Driver cellphone records, which may indicate activity at the time of the crash (distracted driving)
- Social media activity of the driver, who may make incriminating statements online
We will work to demonstrate how and why you were hit by a car or truck, and establish who should be held responsible for your accident and injuries. Armed with this evidence, our Brooklyn pedestrian accident attorneys will aggressively pursue a full and proper monetary settlement.
Compensation for You After a Brooklyn Pedestrian Accident
An insurance adjustor who offers a settlement soon after a serious accident is not taking into consideration your actual medical needs and costs. This initial offer is based on previous payouts for claims like yours and other statistics, including a range the insurance company believes you are likely to accept, like it or not.
You need experienced and independent legal help to identify all of your costs and losses related to the accident, both now and in the future. Depending on the circumstances of your case, our skilled legal team can help you demand payment for:
- Medical bills, from emergency care to hospitalization, surgery, rehab, and other long-term needs that disabling injuries may require
- Lost income due to the accident, including future loss if you are unable to return to work
- Your physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses after a fatal pedestrian accident
In cases involving catastrophic injury, our team consults with experts who develop life care plans with current and future care requirements and their costs. Future and ongoing medical needs may include anticipated surgical procedures, assistive devices (wheelchair, hospital bed, modified vehicles, etc.), home renovations to accommodate a wheelchair, and in-home nursing care or assistance.
We also work with actuaries and financial planners to project income losses due to disability that causes inability to work for a living or diminished earning power. Depending on the client’s occupation, we may seek payment for lost salary and wages, the value of fringe benefits, anticipated raises, promotions and/or other career advancement that would have been realized had the pedestrian accident not happened.
In addition to the driver in an accident, there may be third parties involved that may be liable to you. For example, the company that employed a truck driver who hit a pedestrian while on the job could be liable for their employee’s negligence. Under New York’s “dram shop” law, a business that sells alcohol to an underage driver (younger than 21) or to someone “visibly intoxicated” may be held liable if that customer later hits a pedestrian because of impairment.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Brooklyn
Pedestrian accident statistics show that most pedestrians are hit and injured by drivers who make errors or are negligent. The most common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
- Distracted driving. Texting and other uses of smartphones and other personal electronic devices in recent years have made the existing problem of distracted driving worse. Eating and drinking, talking to passengers, and other activities are also forms of distracted driving. A distracted driver will get into an accident quicker in a crowded urban area like Brooklyn. More than one-third of pedestrian accidents are caused by distracted driving, according to the NYC Department of Transportation.
- Failure to yield. Many accidents occur when a driver fails to yield and hits a pedestrian who was crossing at an intersection with the light and in a crosswalk, or at an intersection with a stop sign. Nearly all failure-to-yield pedestrian accidents happen at intersections that have crossing signals, according to the NYC DOT.
- Left-hand turns. When drivers turn to the left, their vehicle’s A-pillar support between the windshield and side window partially blocks their line of sight. This makes it more likely they won’t see a pedestrian, which makes left-hand turns more dangerous. The NYC DOT indicates pedestrian accidents happen more often in left-hand turns by a margin of 3 to 1.
- Speeding. The higher a vehicle’s speed, the more likely it is the driver will be unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Add slippery pavement (due to rain, snow, etc.) and/or limited sight distance (particularly on city streets), and the chance for an accident to happen increases. Higher speeds also exponentially increase the force of impact in a pedestrian accident and the seriousness of injuries.
- Drunk or impaired driving. Accidents involving drunk or impaired drivers are more than twice as likely to result in a fatality, statistics show.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Injuries in a pedestrian accident are often catastrophic. They may include one or more of the following:
- Head and traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI can consist of lasting physical damage that causes cognitive and psychological deficits.
- Spinal cord injury. Damage to the spinal cord may cause paralysis, including paraplegia (below the waist) or tetraplegia (affecting all four limbs).
- Neck (cervical) and back injury. Back injuries ─ such as crushed vertebrae and discs and/or muscle, ligament, and tendon tears ─ are notorious for never truly healing. They can easily lead to chronic, disabling pain.
- Internal organ injury. Damage to the heart, liver, bowels, and other vital organs can be fatal if not quickly treated in surgery.
- Broken bones. The impact of being hit by a vehicle, or of hitting the ground or other objects, can cause complex and compound fractures of legs, arms, ribs, the pelvis, etc. Particularly in older pedestrians, complex fractures may not fully heal.
- Knee injuries. Fractured and crushed knee-caps and torn ligaments can cause permanently diminished mobility.
Treatment for any one of these injuries can be prohibitively expensive. Broken hips or crushed knees may require replacement surgery. Medical costs, as well as pain and suffering, grow exponentially when a pedestrian suffers multiple injuries. In cases of disabling injury, which may not be apparent right away, the cost of a pedestrian accident is never-ending.
It is crucial that you have a knowledgeable Brooklyn pedestrian accident attorney on your side who will fight for the full and fair compensation you need to recover. You should not face a lasting financial burden because of someone else’s negligence.
Contact Our Brooklyn Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
Contact the Brooklyn personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates today to schedule a free consultation with our skilled legal team. We do not charge for legal services in pedestrian accident claims unless and until we recover compensation for you.