Hempstead Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian injuries are usually much worse than most other vehicle collision injuries. Vehicle occupants have multiple restraint systems, not to mention a steel cage, to protect them. Pedestrians literally only have the clothes on their backs. As a result, even if they survive the wreck, their medical bills often exceed $100,000.
A Hempstead pedestrian accident lawyer can delay medical bill payment. But these costs must be paid eventually. Therefore, at the Giuffré Law Offices, our diligent Hempstead pedestrian accident lawyers build a solid, evidence-based claim for fair compensation. We often supplement items like the police accident report with compelling electronic evidence, such as a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder. In our experience, we’ve learned that the more effort we put into our daily homework, the better we do on the test.
Some victims believe that unless they were in the crosswalk with the light, they are ineligible for compensation. Granted, these cases are easier to prove, from a liability standpoint. But this principle isn’t true.
The duty of reasonable care requires drivers to avoid accidents when possible. That responsibility includes avoiding jaywalking pedestrians.
A combination of excessive speed and a failure to maintain a proper lookout usually causes non-crosswalk pedestrian injuries. Speeding drivers have less time to react to driving hazards, like a pedestrian in the road. Furthermore, most drivers are on the lookout for fast-moving cars and quick-changing lights. Slow-moving pedestrians are often not on drivers’ radar screens.
In addition to compensation for economic losses, these victims are entitled to compensation for their emotional distress and other noneconomic losses. This compensation puts these victims in the position they would have been in if the accident hadn’t happened. That’s the purpose of financial compensation in a personal injury claim.
Common Insurance Company Defenses
Distracted walking, which is an offshoot of contributory negligence, and the emergency doctrine are the most common defenses in a pedestrian accident claim.
Essentially, distracted walking shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor (negligent driver) to the victim. The insurance company basically argues that the victim didn’t stop and look both ways before walking into traffic. This defense is easier to establish if the victim was using a cell phone or other device in the moments prior to the wreck.
In these situations, jurors must divide fault between the two parties on a percentage basis. New York is a pure comparative fault state, So, even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, the victim is still entitled to fair compensation.
When insurance company lawyers say something like the victim “darted out into traffic,” they are usually setting up the emergency doctrine. This legal loophole excuses negligence if the tortfeasor reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency.
Most people react reasonably when they hit pedestrians. They generally pull to the side of the road and wait for emergency responders to arrive. But a jaywalking pedestrian is not a sudden emergency, because it’s not a totally unexpected situation. Therefore, this defense normally does not apply.
Connect with a Diligent Hempstead Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Hempstead, contact the Giuffré Law Offices, P.C. You have a limited amount of time to act.