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 Pedestrian Accident 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brooklyn Pedestrian Accident FAQ
A ten-year-old girl was critically injured in Canarsie after a woman traveling at a high rate of speed in an SUV struck her as she was crossing Remsen Avenue in the crosswalk. The driver allegedly fled the scene of the accident, leaving stunned witnesses to seek help for the child. Those at the scene stated that vehicles often speed through the area. A couple of days before the girl was injured, a driver struck and killed a 52-year-old pedestrian on Rockaway Parkway near Skidmore Avenue.
According to traffic statistics, motorists injure dozens of pedestrians each month in Brooklyn. If you or your loved one were injured in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident, then you may have the right to obtain substantial compensation for your injury. Below we answer some common questions we hear from clients about Brooklyn pedestrian accidents. For answers to questions about a specific accident that left you or a loved one injured, contact the experienced Brooklyn pedestrian accident injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers today.
Pedestrian accidents have been increasing in recent years. Heavier traffic and city governments that fail to maintain safe intersections bear much of the blame.
Other factors that have contributed to the increase include:
- The increasing popularity of SUVs: According to USA Today, pedestrian deaths involving SUVs increased by 50 percent in just a few years. The reason these vehicles are more likely to cause death or serious injury to pedestrians is that they have a higher profile front end. Most pedestrian accidents involve the person being struck by the front end of the vehicle, so the higher profile means a collision that strikes the head and chest of the individual rather than the hips or legs. Federal regulators have long known this to be the case but refuse to factor pedestrian accidents into the safety ratings of SUVs. Additionally, SUVs are heavier than most other vehicles, and impart more force in a collision, which also makes their collisions with pedestrians deadly.
- Distracted drivers: Distractions are a major contributor to all types of motor vehicle accidents, including pedestrian accidents. Driving distractions constitute anything that draws the driver’s eyes from the road, hands from the wheel, or mind from the task of safe driving. One of the most dangerous distractions for driving is texting, as it does all three of those things. In the time it takes for a driver to read or reply to a text while driving at 55 miles per hour, the driver’s vehicle will have traveled the length of a football field with a driver whose eyes are off the road, whose hands have left the wheel, and whose brain lacks the capacity to make safe driving decisions and to text at the same time.
- Alcohol impairment: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents involved either a driver or a pedestrian who was impaired by alcohol. Alcohol interferes with a driver’s ability to operate safely by blunting the driver’s ability to stay in a travel lane, brake effectively, control speed, and exercise good judgment.
Males are more likely to be struck by cars while walking. Older adults and young children also have a higher risk of this accident type. Adults over the age of 60 account for approximately 20 percent of all pedestrian accident fatalities. One in every five children who is killed in a traffic-related accident is a pedestrian. The risk for pedestrians also increases at night, as darkness makes it harder for motorists to see an individual walking on the roadway.
Pedestrian injuries tend to be quite severe due to the height and weight differential between a person and a vehicle, and the likelihood that the pedestrian is not going to just be struck by the vehicle, but also thrown onto the hood or windshield or through the air.
Even low-speed accidents such as the one you experienced can result in debilitating or fatal injuries—even a “gentle” fall onto a concrete curb or street is bound to hurt or break something.
The taller the front end of the vehicle is, the more catastrophic the injuries generally are.
Some common injuries suffered by pedestrians in an accident with a motor vehicle include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. TBI is a major source of death and disability in the U.S. Brain injuries may result in permanent deficits in a person’s ability to function at home, work, school, or within the community, and often lead to health complications requiring further medical treatment, a reduced life expectancy, and a diminished quality of life.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can leave a Brooklyn pedestrian accident victim paralyzed, facing a life transformed by a senseless, preventable accident.
- Broken bones. The force of the collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle, or the pedestrian’s subsequent impact with the ground, can lead to severe bone breaks that take months to heal and lead to permanent disability and chronic pain.
- Internal injuries. The impact in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident can damage the lungs, kidney, liver, and spleen, among other vital organs. Internal injuries pose the risk of internal bleeding, which can be fatal if not responded to quickly, and often lead to lifelong health complications.
- Deep lacerations. Between broken glass from a windshield and the rough surface of the road, very few pedestrians survive an accident without severe cuts and abrasions. Infection, blood loss, and scarring can easily result from these injuries.
The personal injury protection policy you were required to purchase in New York to register your car likely covers you against some of the costs of the injuries you sustained in a pedestrian accident.
The typical policy will cover:
- Reasonable and necessary medical expense related to your injury, up to the limit of your policy.
- Up to 80 percent of lost wages due to you being too injured to work or missing work to attend medical appointments related to your injury.
- Up to $25 a day to pay for expenses related to your injury, including the need to hire someone to perform household tasks that you can no longer do on your own.
- Up to $2,000 in death benefits for the funeral and burial expenses incurred by the estate of a pedestrian killed in an accident.
Serious injuries sustained in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident usually exceed the limits of personal injury protection coverage. Accident victims frequently have the right to take legal action to seek additional compensation from anyone at fault for the accident, however.
Of course, because of the city’s public transportation system, many Brooklyn residents don’t own cars, so they don’t have PIP insurance. In these cases, pedestrian accident victims might need to seek compensation from the at-fault driver, even in instances of less severe injuries.
Speak with an experienced Brooklyn pedestrian accident injury attorney at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today to learn more.
Drivers must do their part to prevent Brooklyn pedestrian accidents by:
- Avoiding driving while drunk or when fatigued, as both of these conditions decrease a driver’s ability to detect hazards in the roadway and safely stop for them.
- Avoid distractions such as texting and other cell phone use, eating or drinking, applying makeup, adjusting stereo or other vehicle controls, or any other activity that will lessen the driver’s focus on driving.
- Remember that pedestrians can be anywhere and use caution, particularly in areas near parks or schools that are often frequented by children and in residential neighborhoods.
- Always check blind spots before backing up to ensure that no pedestrian is walking in the vicinity of a car.
- Remember that speeding increases not only the severity of the collision but the injuries that are sustained. Drivers should always follow the posted speed limit, signage, and traffic control devices.
- Never attempt to pass another vehicle while it is stopped at a crosswalk or behind a bus, as there is a likelihood of a pedestrian in the area who is attempting to cross the road.
As a general matter, someone owes you compensation for your Brooklyn pedestrian accident injuries if that person (or company) had an obligation not to put you in danger through their decision or actions, they put you in danger, and you as a result you suffered harm.
In the vast majority of Brooklyn pedestrian accidents, the driver of the vehicle that strikes the pedestrian has a legal liability to the pedestrian victim. Cars should never, ever, strike pedestrians, and those that do have drivers who most likely made a tragic mistake behind the wheel.
In some cases, others may also have liability for the pedestrian victim’s injuries. For example, if the driver could not stop the car in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian because of a mechanical defect in the car’s brakes, then the manufacturer of the car or the brake components could have a legal liability to the pedestrian. Likewise, if the pedestrian accident happened at a particularly dangerous Brooklyn intersection that the city knew posed an extreme danger to pedestrians, then the city itself could have legal liability.
The most reliable way to discover who owes you money damages for the injuries you suffered in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident is to speak with an experienced pedestrian accident injury attorney right away.
Victims of Brooklyn pedestrian accidents may have the right to seek compensation from the parties with legal liability by filing a Brooklyn pedestrian accident lawsuit. Every lawsuit for damages involving a Brooklyn pedestrian accident has its own unique facts and circumstances, of course, so there is no guarantee of what compensation a victim may recover.
However, in general, a lawsuit typically seeks compensation for the pedestrian victim’s:
- Medical expenses, including emergency treatment at the scene or in the emergency room, transport to the hospital by ambulance or air, physician and surgical services, hospitalization, diagnostic testing, prescription medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity if an injury results in a permanent disability that renders the victim unable to work.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
Talk to an experienced Brooklyn pedestrian accident injury attorney today about the types of compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Yes, you need a lawyer.
You may have heard someone say that you can always represent yourself. Technically, that is true. Practically speaking, however, it is not. Trying to represent yourself in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident injury claim is always a terrible idea. We have seen people try, and in our experience, it always costs them far more money than they ever thought they could save by going it without a lawyer’s help (as to which, see below).
The fact is, most people do not have the skill and knowledge to negotiate with insurance companies and defense lawyers for the settlement they need and deserve. They certainly do not have any idea how to go to court and convince a judge and jury they deserve compensation.
The first meeting with our experienced Brooklyn pedestrian accident injury lawyers is free. Our Brooklyn pedestrian accident lawyers also work for a contingency fee. That means the lawyer and client agree to a percentage that the lawyer will get of any money the lawyer’s efforts recover for the client. The client pays nothing out of pocket, and the lawyer has a strong incentive to get the client paid as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. It’s a win-win.
To learn more about your rights after suffering injuries in a Brooklyn pedestrian accident, contact the experienced Brooklyn pedestrian accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today.
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.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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