Buffalo Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 6,000 pedestrians are killed and tens of thousands more are seriously injured in accidents in the United States each year. Western New York sees more than its fair share of serious pedestrian accidents.

At Richmond Vona, LLC, our Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyers are committed to providing high-quality, results-focused representation to injured victims throughout Western New York. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in one of these accidents, the first thing you should do is ensure that you or your loved one receives proper medical attention. Document your injuries and, if possible, get the name and contact information of the involved driver. Then, reach out to our experienced personal injury attorneys to learn more about your legal rights and options.

How Do New York’s No-Fault Insurance Laws Apply to Pedestrian Accident Cases?

New York is a no-fault insurance state. Contrary to some myths, a pedestrian accident can, in fact, fall under the state’s no-fault system. If you suffered a minor or moderate injury in a pedestrian collision in Western New York, then you likely have a no-fault case.

You can step outside of the no fault system, however, and hold a negligent driver responsible for a pedestrian accident if you suffered a serious injury in the collision. To meet New York’s serious injury threshold, plaintiffs typically must prove that their injuries disabled them for at least 90 of the first 180 days immediately after the accident, or that they lasted longer.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

When drivers cause serious injuries to pedestrians through carelessness, recklessness, or other forms of negligence, they can be held legally liable for any resulting injuries.

Some of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Running red lights
  • Running stop signs
  • Distracted driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Intoxicated/drunk driving
  • Traffic law violations

These are just some examples of how a motorist’s negligent or wrongful actions can lead to a devastating accident. If you believe that someone else—whether it was the driver of a car, the operator of a commercial vehicle, or even a bicyclist—was at fault for your injuries, know that you have rights, including the right to seek financial compensation for your damages. A Buffalo pedestrian accident attorney could help.

Understanding New York’s Comparative Fault Laws

New York is a pure comparative negligence state (N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 1411). Under New York law, a plaintiff’s financial recovery will be reduced in proportion to their own negligence—but it will not be barred. For example, imagine that a person suffered $20,000 in financial damages in an accident. If they are deemed to be 40 percent at fault for their own accident, their recovery will be reduced by 30 percent. In other words, they will only be able to recover $12,000 in damages instead of the full $20,000. This has important implications for fault-based pedestrian injury claims, as large insurance companies often try to blame an injured pedestrian for part, or all, of their own accident.

Simply put, even if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident that resulted in your injuries and other damages, New York comparative fault laws allow you to still seek compensation. If you have questions or would like to learn more about how this might apply to your situation, contact our Buffalo pedestrian accident attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Injured Pedestrians Deserve Full Financial Compensation

Establishing liability is only one step in the personal injury claims process. Injured pedestrians must also prove the value of their losses. With limited exceptions, injured pedestrians can only recover compensation that is tied to specific damages. The large insurance companies look for any opportunity that they can find to limit recovery.

At Richmond Vona, LLC, our experienced Buffalo attorneys fight tirelessly to help injured pedestrians maximize their financial support.

Through a pedestrian accident claim, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Ambulance costs and emergency room care
  • Other medical bills and related expenses
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitative care
  • Loss of current and future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring or permanent physical impairment
  • Loss of life enjoyment

If your loved one was tragically killed after being struck by a car or another motor vehicle, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

A wrongful death case allows certain surviving family members and relatives to recover compensation for certain damages, including:

  • Medical expenses associated with the deceased’s final treatment
  • Funeral/burial costs
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Value of household services provided by the deceased
  • Loss of companionship, love, support, and guidance
  • Loss of consortium

Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Like any personal injury claim, pedestrian accident cases are often very complex. The motorist who hit you will likely not want to admit fault; they might try to argue that you were partially or wholly to blame for the accident. Insurance companies also do not want to pay out these claims, as they tend to be relatively high in value due to the serious and even catastrophic nature of pedestrian injuries.

It’s important that you have a knowledgeable and effective attorney on your side who can fight back against insurance companies’ tactics and work to recover the compensation you are owed. If your injuries are serious and/or debilitating, you need compensation not only for your immediate medical expenses and lost wages but also for your future damages, as well. Even if the insurance company offers a settlement, which they may, this offer will likely fall far below what you actually need, now and in the future.

Before speaking to anyone from the other party’s insurance company, reach out to Richmond Vona, LLC and discuss your options with one of our Buffalo pedestrian injury attorneys. We offer free initial consultations and do not charge any attorneys’ fees unless we successfully recover compensation for you.

Pedestrian Accidents FAQ

Q: What is pedestrian negligence?

A: When a pedestrian accident occurs, the question must be asked regarding which parties did something wrong to contribute to the accident. Any wrongdoing on behalf of the pedestrian is sometimes referred to as “pedestrian negligence.” For example, entering the street when the crosswalk sign says “Do Not Cross” is a form of pedestrian negligence that can worsen that pedestrian’s chances of receiving full compensation for their damages.

Q: Does the pedestrian always have “the right of way”?

A: No, pedestrians do not always have the right of way. Motorists and pedestrians alike must follow the rules of the road. There are many times in which a pedestrian must yield to motorists and traffic to help prevent an accident. Drivers are colloquially taught that pedestrians “always have the right of way” to reinforce the idea that a driver should do whatever they can to protect and avoid pedestrians.

Q: Do I still have a case if I was jaywalking?

A: Yes, jaywalking or entering traffic without the right of way is unsafe and can raise your liability if a pedestrian accident happens. Jaywalking does not, however, automatically make you fully or mostly liable for an accident. You should always speak with a Buffalo injured pedestrian attorney to see if you can still file a claim despite admitting to jaywalking.

Q: What information should I gather for my attorney?

A: The driver who hit you while you were walking down the street will more than likely try to deny doing anything wrong. If you want your pedestrian accident claim to have a better chance of succeeding, then you should gather as much evidence from the scene of the crash as possible, which can be used to prove liability. Helpful information will include the driver’s insurance and identifying info, pictures of the scene, police reports, eyewitness statements, and more.

Q: How long do I have to file a claim?

A: In New York, injured pedestrians have three years from the date of the accident to file a pedestrian accident claim. If no such legal action is commenced within that three-year statute of limitations, then the pedestrian will lose the ability to start a claim and demand a recovery.

Q: Are there more pedestrian accidents in New York compared to other states?

A: The data is not concrete, but it does seem that New York’s streets are more likely to see serious pedestrian accidents than when compared to the streets of other states. Based on information from the New York State Department of Health, pedestrian accidents are among the top 10 causes of injury-related hospitalizations in the state. Pedestrian accidents are also among the most common causes of preventable fatalities.

Q: What happens if the driver who hit me is uninsured? Who pays for my compensation?

A: If you are hit by an uninsured motorist or the driver commits a hit-and-run, you are not completely out of options to get compensation. Your own auto insurance policy might be used to make a recovery or at least get help paying for medical treatments, especially if you added uninsured motorist (UM) insurance to your policy.

Contact Our Buffalo Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Right Away

At Richmond Vona, LLC, our Buffalo pedestrian accident lawyers have the skills, experience, and tenacity to represent injured pedestrians. If you or your family member was injured while on foot, we are here to help. Call us today for a free, no obligation review of your case. From our office in Buffalo, we represent injured pedestrians throughout Western New York, including in Erie County, Wyoming County, and Niagara County.

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