Walking is a given in NYC. If you’re one of the many drivers in the City, you already know to watch out for people crossing the street out of nowhere.
Emergency rooms treat over 100,000 pedestrians for accident-related injuries every year, and about 5,000 pedestrians are killed in an accident with cars. Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan was created to help reduce these kinds of accidents that hurt people all over town. It seems to be working—in 2017, the Mayor announced that the City experienced a 32% decline in pedestrian accidents.
But while safer street design and lower speed limits have helped, pedestrian accidents still happen. If it’s you who has hit a pedestrian in New York City, here are a few things you need to know.
At The Accident Scene
Like a car accident, take care of the immediate needs first.
- Pull over safely and stop your car. Stay calm, and don’t leave the scene of the accident.
- Call 911 and offer first aid. Get yourself and the pedestrian out of the way of traffic, help them as much as you can and call 911. Put your emergency flashers on, and make sure both of you are in a safe area. Ask any witnesses to remain to give a statement to police.
- Exchange personal information. If the pedestrian is awake and able, you can exchange personal, insurance and other relevant information once you’re safely out of harm’s way.
- Take pictures of the accident area. This includes photographs of damages, the area where the pedestrian accident happened, and any injuries.
- Speak carefully to anyone at the scene, and do not admit to fault. While it may feel like the right thing to do, apologizing or making comments such as, “I didn’t see you” or “I’m so sorry” are seen as an admission of fault or guilt.
You may be required to pay damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other accident-related expenses
After The Car Pedestrian Accident
- Contact an attorney. You may find yourself facing civil or criminal liability, or both. An East Village personal injury lawyer who can advise and help you with a pedestrian accident is important.
- Contact your insurance company within 30 days. You’re required to report an accident to your insurance company to let them know what happened. Talk to your attorney before you do, to ensure that it’s done correctly.
You can also be criminally charged if you committed:
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of the accident
You could face fines, jail time and have your license suspended.
Pedestrian At Fault
As a motorist, you have a responsibility to operate your motor vehicle with a duty of care that keeps pedestrians safe. This means staying alert and driving with utmost safety to avoid harming pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in wheelchairs or on crutches, especially around pedestrian walkways and crosswalks.
It’s not often that someone on foot is responsible for the accident, but it does happen. Pedestrians can also be at fault for their accident, at least partially. Whether jaywalking, darting out into the street, or even being intoxicated at the time of the car-pedestrian accident, the fault can shift to the pedestrian if they are responsible.
If it does happen, you should still render first aid and assistance, get the pedestrian and yourself to a safe area, and call 911. You’ll still need to file a police report and report it to your insurance company. Contact an East Village attorney as well to make sure everything is handled properly.
East Village’s Pedestrian Accident Law Firm
Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier has been helping East Village New Yorkers with pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury cases for over 25 years, and we’re ready to help you, too. Call us at (212) 777-9400 or contact us online, and we’ll talk to you about your case. Your first consultation is free. Our contingency fee basis means we don’t get paid unless we settle your case or win the trial.