Pedestrians may be a common sight in Richmond County (Staten Island), but that doesn’t mean that pedestrians in Richmond County are safe when walking, jogging, or biking. Pedestrians in Staten Island often must navigate along streets that put them in close proximity to traffic and cross busy, dangerous intersections. While few drivers in Staten Island want to cause harm to a pedestrian, these types of accidents do happen. Additionally, while a driver can often simply drive his or her vehicle away from the scene. Not so with pedestrians: injured pedestrians may be forced to live with the effects of injuries they sustained in the collision for years to come.
In dealing with these effects, injured pedestrians may find it difficult to pay for the treatment and assistance they need – especially if they are unable to work or must accept a low-paying job due to their limitations. Parker Waichman LLP believes this to be patently unfair and is able to help injured pedestrians hold those who cause these collisions to account for the harm they cause.
Richmond County Pedestrian Accidents and Causes of Collisions
Few of the pedestrian collisions (that is, where a pedestrian is struck by a car, truck, or other vehicle) that happen in Richmond County are true “accidents” – they are not unforeseeable events that happen despite people’s efforts to avoid them. Instead, these hurtful and painful events come about because one or more people are not acting with due regard and care for the safety of others when they get out on the road. Any one of the following careless acts can set into motion a chain of events that ends with the pedestrian suffering significant physical and mental harm:
- Failing to scan sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians (especially near intersections) before proceeding;
- Traveling too fast to stop in time for pedestrians who enter the roadway. Even though the speed limit may permit a driver to travel up to a certain speed, that does not mean the driver should do so. Where the roadway is slippery, when it is dark outside and there is poor lighting, or when there is a heavy concentration of other traffic and/or pedestrians, then it may be considered careless for a driver to travel at the speed limit;
- Not using headlamps when appropriate (or not having working headlamps or driving at night with headlamps that are too dim to adequately light the roadway);
- Driving while distracted by text messages, phone calls, music and/or movies, or other passengers’ conversation in the car or truck;
- Drinking and/or consuming drugs before getting behind the wheel of a car or truck. These substances can significantly and negatively impact a person’s ability to drive safely; and/or
- Other similar careless actions and behaviors.
Sometimes (especially in cases where the injured pedestrian is a victim in a “hit and run” collision) it can be challenging to figure out what exactly happened to cause the pedestrian accident. This can be harmful to the legal rights of the pedestrian – if the pedestrian is not able to find evidence showing that a specific person or people were careless in bringing about the pedestrian accident, then the pedestrian may be limited in obtaining monetary compensation for his or her injuries. The time and cost involved in finding the answers to these and other questions may be cost prohibitive for many injured pedestrians, but with a resourceful and informed law firm like Parker Waichman LLP by their side, these vulnerable injury victims can find the justice they need and deserve.
An Injured Richmond County Pedestrian’s Right to Sue
After a pedestrian collision, a pedestrian may have injuries that range in severity from those that are mild to those that are catastrophic. These injuries may be physical or psychological/mental in nature. Physical injuries that a pedestrian may suffer include:
- Cuts, lacerations, and bruises;
- Broken bones, including hip bones, leg bones, and shoulder bones (which can take significantly longer to heal and result in much greater impairment);
- Head trauma, traumatic brain injuries, and/or injuries to the spinal cord, neck, and/or back;
- Internal injuries to organs and/or internal bleeding;
- Crushing injuries that may result in the need for amputation of arms and/or legs; and/or
- Disfigurement and scarring.
In addition to these physical injuries, the pain of the injuries and the healing process can also cause the injured pedestrian to experience depression, anxiety, and/or other similar difficulties. Where an injured pedestrian’s injuries are slight, the injured pedestrian’s own health insurance may be sufficient to adequately address the costs of doctor’s visits and/or counseling sessions. Where these injuries are severe and/or result in permanent consequences (such as extensive scarring or the loss of a limb), the benefits available under any insurance policy are not going to be enough to provide the injured pedestrian with the help he or she needs. In these situations, a pedestrian injury lawsuit may be necessary.
How Do Richmond County Pedestrians Injured in a Collision Get Paid?
Being a pedestrian and suffering an injury from a car or truck strike does not automatically guarantee that the pedestrian will obtain payment from the at-fault driver. In fact, for some injured pedestrians, compensation only comes about after a rather lengthy process. For others, though, the process of obtaining compensation can come rather quickly. If the injured pedestrian and the at-fault motorist agree to a settlement, then compensation may be given to the injured pedestrian in a matter of months. In a settlement agreement, both parties agree that the injury victim deserves some compensation and they come to an understanding on not only how much compensation the injured pedestrian should get but also how quickly the injured pedestrian should be paid. Injured pedestrians may prefer to resolve their claim through a settlement as doing so generally allows the injured pedestrian to get paid faster (although often not quite as much as he or she would have received through a successful lawsuit).
If a settlement is not possible or desired, then the other way in which the injured pedestrian can be compensated is through a successful injury lawsuit. A judge or jury will hear the evidence of the case and determine if: (1) the motorist acted in a careless manner in how he or she operated his or her vehicle; (2) the careless behavior led to the pedestrian collision and the pedestrian’s injuries; and (3) what amount of compensation is needed to address the injured pedestrian’s losses. The judge or jury may also determine if the pedestrian him- or herself also engaged in careless behavior and, if so, what role this played in the collision.
In either case, one of the first steps in the recovery process is to visit with a Richmond County pedestrian injury lawyer to discuss what happened and what evidence is available to prove the pedestrian’s case. Parker Waichman LLP offers injured pedestrians a case consultation to discuss these matters. This consultation is free to injured pedestrians and does not create any obligation on their part to use Parker Waichman LLP’s services. During the case consultation, injured pedestrians can learn whether they have a viable claim for compensation, how the responsible party will be held accountable, and what compensation they may likely receive.
Where Are Pedestrian Injury Lawsuits Heard and Decided?
If a pedestrian injury lawsuit is filed, it is usually filed in the local state supreme court where the pedestrian collision happened. (There are a few exceptions to this general rule – situations in which it may not be advisable to file in the local court but rather in another court. The injured pedestrian’s lawyer is best suited for determining if any of the exceptions apply in the pedestrian’s case.) This means that for pedestrian injury collisions occurring in Richmond County, any resulting lawsuit is likely to be filed in the Staten Island State Supreme Court. Depending on the outcome of the case at trial, a different court would hear any appeal that may need to be taken.
Does It Cost Anything to Hire an Attorney to Help with a Richmond County Pedestrian Injury Lawsuit?
When one first considers hiring an attorney, the first thing that person might worry about is whether he or she will be able to afford representation. After all, attorneys are not traditionally known for being “budget-friendly.” However, Parker Waichman LLP does accept pedestrian injury lawsuit cases from Richmond County on a contingency basis. With this arrangement, our firm does not charge the injured pedestrian any fees or retainer upfront and does not do so while the case is being litigated. The only condition under which our firm gets paid for its services is if the firm prevails on behalf of the client and is able to secure a compensation award for the client. At such a time, our law firm receives a small percentage of the overall compensation award as compensation for its services. If we are not able to obtain compensation for the injured pedestrian, then we do not receive any payment for its services.
This arrangement allows injured pedestrians access to high-quality legal representation at a time when finances are difficult without the risk of owing huge sums of attorney’s fees later that they cannot afford to pay. Injured Richmond County pedestrians have no financial risk by retaining Parker Waichman LLP.
The Time is Now to File a Richmond County Pedestrian Injury Lawsuit
While a pedestrian may still be reeling and attempting to “regain his (or her) footing” after a pedestrian injury collision, he or she does not have much time to decide what legal action to take. New York’s statute of limitations means that injured pedestrians who may have a right to file a lawsuit must do so within three years of the date of their collision. If they do not, then, they may find it impossible to later try to obtain compensation if they decide they need it.
It’s a lot to try to remember to file a lawsuit in time while also remembering treatment orders and schedules and trying to get back to as close to “normal” as possible. That is why having an attorney can make all the difference to injured pedestrians, as retaining experienced legal counsel can help ensure the injured pedestrians’ legal rights are protected while the pedestrians themselves recover from their injuries.
Parker Waichman LLP Looks Forward to Hearing From You
Do not let your opportunity to obtain monetary compensation for your pedestrian accident-related injuries slip away. Speak with Parker Waichman LLP by phone at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or by using the firm’s website. Ask to schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation and let us show you and your family how our firm’s extensive experience and resources are able to make a positive difference in your future.
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