Were you hit by a vehicle while walking? You need to learn what to do when injured in a pedestrian accident, then call our Buffalo lawyers.
1) Choosing an Attorney
We always recommend interviewing as many attorneys as possible. Ask them: what part of their practice focuses on this area, how many cases have they handled like this before, and what results have they gotten. It doesn’t guarantee a future result, but it give you an idea on what their experience level is, what their approach might be, how they handle it, what kind of a time frame they will give you as far as how they handle things, what they will present regarding your claim, and then how they will try to resolve it for you eventually once your treatment is concluded.
2) Available Damages
One of the things that we see when we’re accessing damages in a pedestrian versus car accident in New York state really involves the nature and extent of the damages and how bad the injuries are. They really can be much worse, so the value of your case is often based upon fault, shared fault or a balance of that, as well as how bad the injuries are. The damages in a pedestrian versus car accident case can be much more significant in New York state because they are not protected by any structure. They don’t have that protection of an airbag or a seat belt. The pedestrian really is defenseless against a car that’s always a couple thousand pounds of steel, plastic, and glass.
3) Insurance Negotiations
No; do not talk to the insurance companies! Let your attorney handle it. They may ask you a series of questions that might be detrimental to your case due to how they ask them. Even if it wasn’t your fault, they will phrase them in certain ways that might not be beneficial to you. Never speak to them on your own behalf. Have an attorney do it for you because that first interview, how it goes, the questions that are asked, the answers that are given, could really color how the claim is handled and what kind of a result you get down the road.
4) Case Liability
As in any case, the driver of the vehicle can be sued, and also the individual who owns the vehicle, as long as that individual provided consent to the driver. In addition to that, although a lawsuit can’t be commenced in this case, we can also look to see if the individual who was struck has their own insurance policy available to them. Under the provisions of your own insurance policy, if your injuries are in excess of the amount of coverage that the insurance policy of the other vehicle had, we can pursue what’s called an underinsured motorist claim against your own insurance company. Now, on certain occasions that can be instituted as a lawsuit. There’s also arbitration provisions inside of your policy that can be utilized in order to make sure that you are fully compensated in the event that you’re struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian.
5) Recovering Damages
Some of the worst injuries we see in our business, and those that typically have very tragic results, occur when a pedestrian is injured in an auto accident. In that particular situation, you would not only be seeking to file a claim against the other person for your injuries, but that vehicle would also be responsible for covering your no-fault bills. In New York State, that means when two cars are involved in an auto accident, then each driver’s car insurance carrier would cover the owner’s medical bills and lost wages through something called no-fault. As a pedestrian, you look to the striking vehicle for both.
You have a claim against them for pain and suffering, but you also need to have them cover your lost wages and your medical bills. For that, you have to get a written claim in to the insurance carrier within 30 days of the accident, or they won’t pay any of your bills. Typically, they will use the opportunity to take a statement from you under the no-fault part, and then use that statement against you later during the personal injury part. For that reason, you really need to enlist the services of counsel right away – particularly in situations where the insurance carrier can force you to give them a statement early on in the case and then try to use it against you later.
Have you or a loved one been severely injured from being hit by a vehicle while walking? Learn what to when when injured in a pedestrian accident, then contact our dedicated and experienced attorneys to schedule your free legal consultation.
The Buffalo Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC fight for the rights of persons who are injured or disabled. We approach each case on an individual basis and personally assist each client with their unique needs. We are involved in every step of the legal process, and ensure that each case receives the time and effort necessary for success.
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