Brooklyn Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Brooklyn is one of the most walkable boroughs of New York City, especially in neighborhoods like Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, and Boreum Hill. Everything most residents need is usually within a five-minute walk, including access to the bus and subway. Even when not using their feet as their primary mode of commuter transportation, plenty of Brooklyn residents enjoy a leisurely stroll, or a walk or run as a way to get in some daily exercise.

Even in walking-friendly places like Brooklyn, however, pedestrians still face a substantial risk of getting knocked down by a motor vehicle and suffering severe or catastrophic injuries. In fact, New York often ranks in the top five to ten states for pedestrian deaths, with a large number of those fatalities occurring in The Big Apple.

If you suffered injuries because of a negligent motor vehicle driver or reckless cyclist while walking around Brooklyn, New York law entitles you to file a lawsuit seeking damages against anyone who caused your harm. The skilled Brooklyn personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, are here to help you recover losses related to your injuries. Contact us today to discuss the events that led to your pedestrian accident, to determine your eligibility for compensation, and to devise the best plan for you to move forward.

Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Results in Pedestrian Accident Cases

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have advocated for Brooklyn personal injury victims for more than four decades, including on behalf of those who suffered injuries in pedestrian accidents. Our firm’s passionate dedication to client advocacy and the pursuit of justice has led to the recovery of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients.

Some examples of recent outcomes in pedestrian accident claims include settlements in the amount of:

  • $1,100,000 for an elderly client who suffered injuries after a motorist struck her in a crosswalk
  • $800,000 for a client who sustained serious injuries when a vehicle knocked him down in a crosswalk
  • $400,000 for a client who suffered injuries after a pizza delivery driver hit him
  • $285,000 for a client who was in a crosswalk and struck by a distracted delivery van driver
  • $250,000 for a client who suffered injuries after a driver struck her when she was rollerblading to work

The examples above do not guarantee a particular outcome for your pedestrian accident case. Each case has distinctive circumstances that can increase or decrease the value of a pedestrian accident claim. Clients can rest assured, however, that diligent attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, will investigate their pedestrian accidents to uncover relevant facts and to identify all parties who have potential legal liability. Our team fights tooth-and-nail to pursue the best outcome for every client’s case to hold all parties who caused harm accountable.

The Prevalence of Pedestrian Accidents in New York City

New York City’s status as a highly walkable city, coupled with the alarming amount of injuries and fatalities from pedestrian knockdowns, has prompted the city’s Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) to invest time, money, and manpower into learning more about pedestrian accidents, so policymakers can make data-driven decisions about laws and safety programs related to pedestrians.

If you have sustained severe injuries in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident, you are likely going through a challenging time and might be struggling to cope with your injuries.

Below we provide some NYC DOT pedestrian accident statistics and key findings from their research, which can give you a better idea about their prevalence in New York City and how your accident fits in:

  • In New York City pedestrian accidents, victims are 10 times more likely to lose their life than the motor vehicle driver who struck them.
  • Among all of New York City’s traffic deaths, approximately half are pedestrians.
  • Inattentive driving leads to over one-third of New York City’s pedestrian accidents that result in injury or death.
  • Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians cause about one-quarter of all New York City’s pedestrian accidents.
  • Most New York drivers have no idea the speed limit throughout the city is 30 miles per hour.
  • Manhattan has four times more pedestrian injuries and deaths than Brooklyn and the other boroughs.

The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates over 100 pedestrians died on New York’s streets and roads in 2018, a number that continues to rise. While it is true that pedestrians who jaywalk can cause a traffic accident, the vast majority of pedestrian knockdowns result from the careless, sometimes even reckless, actions of drivers who fail to prioritize safety when behind the wheel, and of cyclists who ignore the rules of the road on city streets.

Causes of Brooklyn Pedestrian Accidents

Many different scenarios can directly or indirectly cause a pedestrian accident that results in dangerous or fatal injuries. Motor vehicle drivers cause most pedestrian knockdowns, but situations do exist where a third-party contributes to a pedestrian accident. Some of the most common causes of Brooklyn pedestrian accidents, which might occur together, include:

Distracted Driving

As mentioned above, inattentive driving, more often referred to as distracted driving is the leading cause of pedestrian accidents in New York City. Cell phone use is one obvious distraction, but crackdowns throughout the nation have resulted in an overall reduction in texting and driving, especially in older drivers. Other common distractions that predictably lead to a pedestrian accident include adjusting vehicle features such as the radio or climate controls, drinking, eating, putting on makeup, tending to backseat passengers, and focusing on an event outside of the vehicle.

Failure to Yield to Pedestrians

The number two leading cause of pedestrian accidents in Brooklyn and across the city is failure to yield to pedestrians. One of the first lessons student drivers learn is that pedestrians always have the right of way, even when they shouldn’t. Unfortunately some drivers forget this. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles carefully and to stay alert to others with whom they share the road. Many pedestrian knockdowns happen in crosswalks when pedestrians follow the rules and cross at the appropriate time, only to have a reckless driver cause a catastrophe.

Impaired Driving

Many different factors can impair a driver and lead to a dangerous and potentially deadly pedestrian accident. Drugs, alcohol, prescription medication, and fatigue all cause similar impairments. Driving safely requires processing large amounts of visual and auditory information. Impaired drivers lose the ability to process that information and to react appropriately, and especially struggle with judging time and distance. An impaired driver might try to stop for a pedestrian, but judge poorly and hit the pedestrian anyway.

Reckless Driving

Some drivers are purposefully careless and aggressive. They dart in and out of traffic, go too fast in inclement weather or when traffic is heavy, and pay little to no attention to following the rules of the road. Reckless drivers rarely follow the speed limit. They tailgate other vehicles. These behaviors make them a menace to pedestrians.

Traffic Devices

Although less common as a cause of pedestrian accidents, faulty traffic devices can lead to pedestrian injuries. Specifically, malfunctioning traffic lights, malfunctioning crosswalk indicators, and downed stop signs put Brooklyn walkers at risk. When cars and pedestrians cannot rely on signals and signs to direct them, especially during heavy traffic times, pedestrian knockdowns will occur. In these situations a government entity might be at fault for failing to keep pedestrians safe.

Defective Vehicles and Vehicle Parts

Automobile manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the products they bring to market are free of defects, roadworthy, and safe for drivers. When a vehicle has a design or manufacturing defect, it can cause mechanical failure. This can ultimately cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, potentially leading to a pedestrian accident. Defective car parts too, especially tires, can cause dangerous accidents putting anyone who is nearby the vehicle at risk for accident and injury.

New York PIP Insurance & Pedestrian Accidents

New York is one of the few states in the nation to have no-fault insurance laws. New York drivers must purchase a minimum of $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage when they register a motor vehicle. This coverage kicks in to cover the driver’s own personal injury costs after an accident, regardless of who caused the accident.

In New York, PIP coverage extends to drivers who get injured as pedestrians. This means that if you are a registered New York driver, but you get injured in a collision with a motor vehicle while walking (not driving) along Atlantic Avenue, you must first file a claim under your own PIP policy.

Similarly, if your minor child gets into a pedestrian accident, your PIP insurance typically will pay for the initial costs associated with your child’s injury. Basic New York PIP coverage will pay for medical expenses and up to $2,000 per month in lost wages until the policy limit is exhausted.

However, severe pedestrian accidents quickly cause expenses that exceed the $50,000 minimum. What’s more, many Brooklynites do not own cars, and so do not have PIP coverage at all. Fortunately, victims of Brooklyn often have the right to seek compensation for their additional expenses and losses through a personal injury lawsuit.

Recovering Damages Beyond PIP Insurance in Brooklyn Pedestrian Accidents

If you choose to take legal action against the party who caused your injuries, New York law requires you file a personal injury suit with the court within three years from your date of injury in most cases.

If you reach an agreeable settlement with the insurance company or defendant, or the court rules in your favor, you might recover the following losses incurred as a result of your pedestrian accident injury.

  • Medical treatment costs including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, diagnostic testing and imaging, surgery, followup care, and medication
  • Future medical treatment when a pedestrian accident causes a permanent condition or disability requiring ongoing treatment and around-the-clock care
  • Rehabilitation costs for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other types of treatment to help accident victims regain lost functions and physically or emotionally cope with any permanent disability
  • Assistive devices including crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and artificial limbs
  • Home modification expenses to make one’s home accessible after a severe injury, including the cost of a hospital grade bed, installation of handrails in the shower and bathroom area, and construction of wheelchair ramps
  • Other expenses including replacing services the victim provided in their household before the injury, such as the cost of a cleaning service, lawn care service, snow removal service, or childcare
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Other non-economic damages that might apply to a particular case
  • Exemplary, or punitive damages, when a pedestrian accident is a result of intentional harm or gross negligence

If you have lost a loved one in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident, New York law allows the representative of your loved one’s estate to file a wrongful death suit to recover damages. In the event the estate prevails, your family might recover some of the above economic costs, as well as funeral expenses and burial or cremation costs. You can ask your attorney about your eligibility to take legal action for wrongful death and to determine the best path forward for you and your family.

Get the Legal Help You Need After a Brooklyn Pedestrian Accident

If you suffered injuries in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident, or if a loved one tragically died, the award-winning legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is here to help you get the compensation you deserve for the accident and injuries.

Contact us today at (877)-565-2993 or online to discuss the details of your case with one of our compassionate and qualified attorneys. We start with a free case evaluation, and handle personal injury cases on contingency, which means we collect attorney fees from any compensation we secure for you in the form of a settlement or verdict in your favor.

Call us today at (877)-565-2993 and make an appointment.

Brooklyn Office

8701 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209