Smithtown, NY Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
From broken bones to internal bleeding, pedestrian accidents can often cause very serious injuries that need medical care. New York law assures that those damages should be covered by the driver who hit you, but getting compensation can often be complex.
Our attorneys can fight insurance companies and work to get you the financial compensation you need to cover not only the medical bills you faced because of the accident but also lost wages. In many cases, we can even fight for pain and suffering damages by taking your case to court.
For a free case review, call the pedestrian accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.
How Pedestrians Can Get Compensation for Car Accidents in Smithtown, NY
Car accidents in New York are governed by a no-fault system where drivers carry insurance to cover their own injuries in a crash. These policies extend to covering the other occupants of their vehicle, but I.S.C. Law § 5102(j) also extends this coverage to pedestrians hit in a car accident. This means that any “basic economic loss” should be paid for by the driver’s no-fault auto insurance.
This coverage should include $50,000 for “personal injury protection” coverage (PIP), which should extend to cover an injured pedestrian. The definition of “basic economic loss” under § 5102(b) also makes it clear that there are limits on the other financial damages this covers, including limits on lost wages and other “necessary expenses.”
To get the rest of the damages you are owed, our pedestrian accident lawyers can help you pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. In these claims, you can recover compensation above and beyond what the no-fault policy covers, potentially reaching the defendant’s liability insurance. That should include a minimum of another $25,000 for injuries to one person.
When you file a claim like this, you could be entitled to additional damages for pain and suffering, but you can only file this claim if you meet certain requirements first.
“Serious Injury Threshold” for Pedestrian Accident Injuries in Smithtown, NY
Before you can file a lawsuit against a driver who hit you, you will need to show that your injuries are sufficiently “serious.” Again, § 5102 provides a definition of “serious injury.”
These rules allow lawsuits for any permanent injury, including loss of a limb or lost use of a body part or organ. Loss of a fetus or death of the pedestrian are also included and allow lawsuits. One common injury that is included is a fracture, meaning that something like a broken wrist, broken rib, or even a broken finger should allow a lawsuit.
Injuries also qualify as “serious” if the injury will cause the victim to be unable to perform their usual “daily activities” in 90 of the 180 days after the injury. Put another way, if your injury keeps you laid up in recovery or temporarily disabled for at least 3 months, then the injury is certainly serious enough to allow you to sue.
Pain and Suffering Damages for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents in Smithtown, NY
Pedestrian accident victims are often entitled to pain and suffering damages because their injuries are often so serious. Along with damages for any damaged property (e.g., your clothes or cell phone), medical expenses (e.g., hospital bills and copays for doctor’s appointments), and lost wages (as well as lost future earnings), pain and suffering can be vital to helping you move forward after a serious injury.
“Pain and suffering” is a broad term that is typically used to cover all “non-economic” damages. That is, the compensation you receive for things that have no clear financial cost to them, like emotional distress and mental anguish. These damages are inherent in an injury case, so it is more about proving how much your pain and suffering is worth rather than proving that you suffered from the injury.
Proof that you cannot perform activities because of your injuries or proof that you have suffered from depression and mood changes since the accident are often strong pieces of evidence in favor of high pain and suffering damages. You can also have friends and family testify about how the injury affected you, and you can use your own words in live testimony and from journals or diaries to show the jury the impact the injury had on your life.
All in all, pain and suffering is often calculated either by assigning a per-day rate to your pain and suffering or by multiplying the other damages in your case by a multiplier chosen based on the severity of your injuries. From there, we can adjust the claim up or down to reflect your specific situation and claim that value in damages.
Do You Have to Go to Trial for Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Case in Smithtown, NY?
Overall, most injury cases are resolved before trial ever takes place. Our lawyers will fight to settle your case through negotiations with the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Often, insurance companies are willing to settle the case without the need for a trial, especially when there is overwhelming evidence of the injuries and fault in the case. However, we can fight your case at trial if the defense is unwilling to settle for a reasonable amount.
It is important to have a lawyer review any offers to settle before you accept them. In some cases, accepting a check from the insurance company functions as a settlement and blocks you from getting additional damages from the defendant and their insurance company. If you settle early in your case, this could leave you with only a portion of your damages covered, especially if you are early in your recovery and do not yet know the full extent of how much your injuries will cost.
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Smithtown, NY Today
Call (718) 841-0083 for a free case review with The Carrion Law Firm’s pedestrian accident attorneys.