Buffalo Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Experienced Attorneys Getting The Compensation You Deserve
If you’ve suffered an injury from being hit by vehicle while walking, running or jogging, contact our Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyers to fight for you.
Motor vehicle accidents are traumatic experiences for drivers or passengers. And if you’ve been injured in one, we want to say how very sorry we are. Thanks to airbags and safety features by automobile manufacturers, occupants of motor vehicles now have better chances than ever before of avoiding harm and serious bodily injury. Unfortunately, however, the same cannot be said of pedestrians. Given the number of vehicles on the road today, pedestrians are perhaps more vulnerable than ever if struck by a motor vehicle.
Unlike occupants of motor vehicles, pedestrians have no safety features to shield them from death or injury when they are hit. In 2015 alone, nearly 5,500 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S., and that same year, another 129,000 pedestrians were admitted to emergency rooms for non-fatal injuries stemming from such accidents.
When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, and fortunate enough to survive, injuries from the collision are generally severe, costly, and life-altering. Immediately following such an event, the pedestrian and his family are confronted with a myriad of pressing questions and concerns that demand immediate attention. Who will pay for my medical bills? What if I cannot return to work? What if I never heal? How will I support my family? Should I speak with the driver’s insurance company?
These are just a few of the many questions that typically bombard a pedestrian if they are fortunate enough to survive the accident. Given the severity of the consequences, it is essential that the injured pedestrian or his family retain one of our experienced Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyers immediately.
What to Do After an Accident
The two most important things an injured pedestrian should do following a motor vehicle accident are: 1. Seek medical attention as soon as possible; and 2. Refrain from conversations about the details of the accident with the other driver’s insurance carrier.
While the majority of victims of a pedestrian motor vehicle accident are immediately transported from the scene of the accident to the emergency room by ambulance, there are some cases where less forceful impacts are involved, and the injured pedestrian may be tempted to turn down an ambulance, under the belief that they are okay or “too tough” to go to the ER. Regardless of whether or not the injured pedestrian believes they are okay, they often times are not; and seeking emergency room treatment immediately after the accident is important for two reasons. First, it allows for the early detection of hidden injuries that may not be visible or felt by the victim who is likely in shock following the event. Second, it documents the injuries and symptoms one experienced after the accident, allowing that person to be referred immediately to the particular specialists they need to see in order to initiate the healing process.
When a person refuses to go to the emergency room at the scene of the accident, it gives the adverse driver’s insurance carrier the impression that the victim was not harmed, even though in many cases the victim suffered a severe bodily injury they may not have been aware of due to shock or delayed manifestations of pain. The refusal of emergency treatment at the scene of the accident can create an uphill battle for the injured pedestrian when they later seek to get their injuries rightfully compensated by the adverse driver. Delaying treatment only gives the adverse driver’s insurance carrier an opportunity to attribute the pedestrian’s injuries to some cause other than the accident.
An injured pedestrian should never give a statement to the other driver’s insurance carrier outside the presence of their attorney. It is common practice for the other insurance carrier to solicit a recorded statement from the injured pedestrian. While the insurance representative may sound sympathetic, it is important to remember that they represent the adverse driver who hit you and their one and only goal is to pay you as little money as possible. They are recording the statement for a reason. It is their goal to get the injured pedestrian talking in the hopes that they make a statement that is unfavorable to their case. In turn, the insurance carrier will later produce that statement and use it to get the injured pedestrian’s case dismissed from court.
It is so important that the injured pedestrian or their family retain one of our experienced Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyers as soon as possible after the accident to properly guide them and instruct them how to avoid all of the early traps that unscrupulous insurance carriers spring in their attempts to limit and deny the injured pedestrian’s compensation. All it takes is one early misstep by the injured pedestrian in dealing with the insurance carrier and the entire case may be crushed.
No-Fault Insurance Benefits
New York is a “No-Fault” insurance state. Without regard to fault the law provides, that the other driver’s mandatory no-fault insurance covers an injured pedestrian’s economic damages of up to $50,000.00. This includes all costs associated with ambulance, hospital, physical therapy, and physician bills related to the accident, along with the costs of prescription medications and all diagnostics such as x-rays, CTs, and MRIs. Also included in the adverse driver’s no-fault insurance are lost earnings of up to $2,000.00 per month for the injured pedestrian. The other driver’s no-fault insurance, however, does not include compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, permanent disabilities and disfigurement.
New York’s “No-Fault” system was originally developed to allow injured parties to receive immediate medical treatment expeditiously without the parties having to squabble over fault. However, as the law developed, insurance carriers put up roadblocks and procedural hurdles that prevent many injured pedestrians from collecting their no-fault benefits. One of our skilled and experienced Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyers will be familiar with all of the carriers tricks and can navigate you through the necessary paperwork to assure you are not prevented from receiving your statutory no-fault benefits.
Personal Injury Litigation
It is important to remember that an injured pedestrian’s no-fault benefits are capped at $50,000.00 and do not include damages for pain and suffering. Given the severe nature of the injuries that pedestrians routinely sustain in a motor vehicle accident, the no-fault insurance benefit can be easily exhausted.
In cases where an injured pedestrian’s economic losses exceed the $50,000 no-fault limit, or in cases where the pedestrian’s injuries qualify as “serious injuries” under the law, the injured pedestrian can step outside of New York’s no-fault system and pursue litigation to collect additional economic damages and non-economic damages for pain and suffering, and permanent disabilities and disfigurement as well. Additionally, the law permits families of a deceased pedestrian to pursue Wrongful Death benefits as well. In order to recover theses additional damages, the injured pedestrian or their family must prove that the adverse driver was responsible for causing the underlying accident, as well as the pedestrians injuries and losses.
Stepping outside the State’s no-fault system can be complicated and is best left up to an experienced personal injury attorney. The other driver’s attorneys will use every trick in the book to get your cased dismissed, from trying to pin your injuries on pre-existing conditions, to claiming that your injuries are not severe enough to meet the criteria for a “serious injury.” Additionally, if the court papers initiating the injured pedestrian’s claim are not properly plead, attorneys for adverse driver can succeed in getting the case dismissed from court. An experienced Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyer will know how to combat the insurance company’s tricks right from the start, and will ensure that you get fully compensated for all of your injuries and losses.
Contact Our Experienced Buffalo Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
We are an office of hard working Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyers who know the law and we are not afraid to fight the insurance companies all the way to trial. We have decades of experience in representing injured pedestrians just like yourself. Our goal is to take the financial stress and uncertainties out of the process so that you can focus on making a complete recovery from your injuries. We fight to make sure our clients and their families are made whole. There’s no cost to you whatsoever, as we work on a contingency fee basis and only get paid if we win. Don’t allow yourself to get jerked around by the greedy insurance companies. Call us today so that we can get working on your case immediately!