Staten Island Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
After pedestrian accidents, victims may be able to recover compensation by filing lawsuits in Staten Island.
When in need of compensation following a pedestrian accident in Staten Island, victims should proceed quickly. Filing immediately will ensure certain evidence is protected and that you abide by the statute of limitations. Victims should allow our lawyers to handle all correspondence with insurance companies and negligent drivers so that they do not unintentionally accept fault. After you file your claim, negotiations will likely proceed and the defendant may offer you a settlement. Based on the success of negotiations and whether or not a settlement offer properly compensates you, your case might proceed to trial in Staten Island. If you do take your case to court, you might be able to claim greater damages.
To get a free case evaluation from the Staten Island pedestrian accident lawyers of The Carrion Law Firm, call (718) 841-0083.
How to Approach a Pedestrian Accident Case in Staten Island
Knowing how to approach an injury claim as a pedestrian victim will be important to the success of your case. Filing quickly is key, as is knowing what to say and what not to say to an at-fault party following an accident in Staten Island.
Begin by filing your claim quickly. After reviewing your case, our pedestrian accident lawyers can help you proceed. The deadline to bring such a claim is three years from the accident date. Tolling for delayed discovery rarely applies to pedestrian victims who are often immediately aware of their injuries, or, at the very least, should become aware of them when they go to the hospital.
This is one of the reasons why going to the hospital immediately after an accident is crucial. If you do not do this, certain injuries, like internal injuries, might go undiagnosed. Suppose a judge believes you should have reasonably known about your injuries sooner but you were irresponsible in delaying medical care. In that case, they might decide that tolling does not apply to your case and dismiss it if it was filed past the standard three-year deadline.
Filing quickly aids pedestrian accident victims in other ways was well. When you bring your case as soon as possible after an incident, you are likely to recover compensation sooner. Because pedestrian victims often sustain serious injuries when struck by vehicles, they might face very expensive medical treatment and detrimental lost wages. Delaying bringing your case might cause you to be overwhelmed by such damages and reduce your chances of claiming compensation for those damages.
Do Not Speak to the Negligent Party
Although New York is a no-fault state for car accidents, pedestrian victims can sue in instances of serious injury. And, although an insurance claim would be filed with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, that does not mean you are guaranteed to recover compensation. Because of that, pedestrian victims need to be very careful when speaking with negligent drivers. Do not apologize at the accident scene, as doing so could be misconstrued as you accepting fault. Let law enforcement get the at-fault party’s name and information while you focus on getting immediate medical care. During future proceedings, allow our attorneys to speak directly to the at-fault party and insurance companies.
If you unintentionally accept fault for the incident, that can be used against you. New York is a pure comparative fault state. This means that pedestrian victims in Staten Island can see their damages reduced if they are proven to share fault for their injuries. While you may not be barred from recovery, a reduction in your damages could cause you to be unable to cover all of your medical expenses and lost wages. Proving that a defendant alone is responsible for your damages can allow you to avoid the implications New York’s comparative fault laws present for victims in Staten Island.
Settling a Pedestrian Accident Case vs. Going to Trial in Staten Island
Because pedestrian victims are often seriously injured following accidents involving motor vehicles, they might want to resolve claims as soon as possible to get compensation and move on. But is that necessarily wise?
While it is understandable to want to put a traumatic pedestrian accident behind you and move forward with your life, it is not advisable to settle too hastily. If you accept an initial settlement offer from an insurance company or an at-fault party, the offer may not properly compensate you for your damages. Settling requires negotiations, which can be lengthy based on the other side’s willingness to compensate you for your various losses properly. While many pedestrian accidents do, in fact, settle out of court, settling is not required. You should not feel coerced or pressured into settling your claim, as doing so could leave you without sufficient compensation.
If settlement negotiations are not progressing as they should, you can proceed with a trial in Staten Island. A trial might benefit you in several ways. First, certain damages not available in most settlements or insurance claims, such as compensation for pain and suffering, will likely be available in pedestrian accident lawsuits. Because pedestrians often experience challenges like anxiety and depression in the aftermath of such an incident, recovery of non-economic damages might be paramount.
Furthermore, taking your case to court opens the door to punitive damages. For example, suppose the at-fault party was grossly negligent in causing your injuries and was operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In that case, the judge or jury in your case might award you punitive damages. There is no limit on recovery of on non-economic damages or punitive damages in Staten Island or throughout New York.
Call Our Staten Island Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
Call our pedestrian accident lawyers at (718) 841-0083 to set up a confidential and free case review today.