Many Westchester residents enjoy walking on the streets. They do this to go to restaurants, shops, and libraries and take their kids to school and parks.
Certain Westchester towns have a walkability score above 90, making them ideal for spending time with loved ones. However, we must remember that we can find negligent people anywhere.
Not obeying traffic rules leads to accidents. With many pedestrians, it's only a matter of time before an accident happens. If you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle in Westchester, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Our pedestrian accident lawyers from The Ward Law Group can help you make the driver responsible for your injuries.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Accidents involving pedestrians in Westchester, New York, can occur in various scenarios, each with its circumstances and legal implications. Let’s explore some of the most common types that we can find:
- Crosswalk Accidents:
One of the most common types of pedestrian accidents involves incidents within marked crosswalks. Accidents happen when drivers don't let pedestrians go first, even if the signals or signs say it's safe.
In such cases, it's essential to gather evidence such as witness testimonies, traffic camera footage, and police reports to establish liability.
- Hit and Run Incidents:
Hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians are unfortunately prevalent in Westchester. This occurs when a driver in the accident flees the scene without providing necessary information or assistance to the injured pedestrian.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents should promptly report the incident to law enforcement and seek medical attention. Thorough investigations can sometimes rake and bring at-fault drivers to justice.
- School Zone Accidents:
School zones provide safe havens for children, but accidents involving pedestrians still occur in these areas. Such incidents often arise due to speeding, distracted driving, or failure to obey school zone traffic laws.
The presence of law enforcement at these school zones is significant to keep reckless drivers from speeding.
- Accidents at Intersections:
Intersections are dangerous for pedestrians, especially when drivers don't give them the right of way or drive recklessly. Determining fault in these situations may require a comprehensive analysis of traffic signals, signage, and applicable pedestrian crossing aids.
- Parking Lot Incidents:
Parking lots, though seemingly low-speed environments, can be surprisingly hazardous for pedestrians. Parking lot accidents happen when drivers don't pay attention to pedestrians or follow speed limits.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. A driver gets distracted from driving by texting, using a phone, or changing the radio. Inattention to surroundings significantly increases the risk of colliding with a pedestrian, particularly in high-traffic areas.
Excessive speed is a significant contributing factor in many pedestrian accidents. When a vehicle goes fast, drivers have less time to react to surprises, like a person suddenly walking onto the road.
Failure to yield the right of way is crucial in pedestrian accidents, especially at crosswalks and intersections.
This often arises from drivers failing to recognize pedestrians' right of way, violating traffic signals, or neglecting to give pedestrians the necessary space and time to cross safely.
Another common cause for Westchester pedestrian accidents is impaired driving due to alcohol or drugs, which remains a significant concern in pedestrian safety.
Intoxicated drivers experience impaired judgment, reduced reaction times, and compromised motor skills, increasing the likelihood of pedestrian accidents.
It’s also possible that accidents occurring because of neglected or poorly maintained roadways can also contribute to pedestrian accidents. Uneven surfaces, lack of proper lighting, and inadequate signage can create hazardous conditions for pedestrians and drivers.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
- Fractures and Orthopedic Injuries:
One of the most prevalent types of injuries in pedestrian accidents involves fractures and orthopedic trauma. This includes broken bones in the limbs, pelvis, and spine.
The impact of a vehicle can exert immense force, leading to severe fractures that may require extensive medical treatment, including surgeries, immobilization, and rehabilitation.
- Head Injuries and Trauma:
Unfortunately, head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), are common in pedestrian accidents. Even with helmets, pedestrians remain vulnerable to head trauma upon impact.
Such injuries can lead to a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments, necessitating long-term medical care and rehabilitation.
- Soft Tissue Injuries:
Soft tissue injuries encompass damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can cause chronic pain and mobility issues. Whiplash, a common soft tissue injury, occurs when the head and neck are abruptly jerked, often seen in pedestrian accidents involving sudden stops or impacts.
- Internal Injuries and Organ Damage:
Pedestrian accidents can lead to severe internal injuries, including damage to organs like the liver, spleen, and kidneys. Even in cases with no visible external trauma, the force of the collision can cause internal bleeding and damage, which may require immediate medical intervention.
- Spinal Cord Injuries:
Accidents involving pedestrians can result in spinal cord injuries, which can have profound and often permanent consequences. Depending on the severity and location of the damage, individuals may experience partial or complete paralysis, impacting their daily life, mobility, and independence.
- Psychological Trauma:
It's important to note that the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can also lead to significant psychological trauma. Victims may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Addressing the emotional well-being of victims is crucial for their overall recovery.
- Scarring and Disfigurement:
In some cases, pedestrian accidents can result in severe cuts, abrasions, and burns, leading to scarring and disfigurement. These injuries can have long-lasting emotional and physical effects, often requiring cosmetic or reconstructive surgery and psychological support.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you find yourself injured in a pedestrian accident, your initial step should be to dial 911. This action will prompt law enforcement and emergency medical services to swiftly arrive at the accident scene, prioritizing your immediate medical care.
Following this, and if you can do so, you can start documenting the incident.
This involves gathering witness statements and their contact information, capturing photos or videos of the accident scene and your injuries, and requesting your physician to provide all relevant medical records about the accident and resulting injuries.
Subsequently, securing the representation of a seasoned pedestrian accident lawyer specializing in New York City and Westchester County cases is imperative.
This legal professional will vigorously advocate for the compensation necessary for your recovery. Taking this step within the state's stipulated three-year window is paramount, as exceeding this timeframe will likely forfeit your right to pursue legal action.
Remember that if you feel too nervous right after your accident and want your lawyer to be there, The Ward Law Group enables you to call us so we can provide you guidance, and if possible, we can be there to make sure these previous recommendations are made.
What Are Your Legal Rights After A Pedestrian Accident?
After a pedestrian accident in Westchester, New York, it's imperative to understand your legal rights to ensure you receive the compensation and support you may be entitled to.
- Right to Compensation:
As a pedestrian in an accident, you can seek compensation for your injuries. This can include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
Documenting all costs and losses incurred due to the accident is crucial, as this information will be vital in pursuing a fair settlement.
- Right to Sue the At-Fault Driver:
If your injuries are severe and exceed the limits of the at-fault driver's personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you have the right to pursue legal action. In such cases, you can file a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the accident. This legal recourse is especially crucial for covering extensive medical bills, ongoing care, and other expenses related to your injuries.
- Right to File a Claim Against the City:
In cases where poor road conditions contributed to the accident, you may have the right to file a claim against the city or municipality responsible for road maintenance. This can include issues like poorly marked crosswalks, inadequate lighting, or other factors that played a role in the accident. Proving negligence on the part of the city may lead to additional avenues of compensation.
- Right to Family Members in Case of Fatality:
In the tragic event of a pedestrian fatality, the surviving family members also have rights. They may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party, seeking compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering. This legal recourse provides a means of financial support during a difficult time.
The Ward Law Group | Westchester Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Most of the time, pedestrians leave with the worst part of an accident, so if you or a loved one got severely injured by a negligent driver, you deserve justice. Call us at 855-DOLOR-55 for a free consultation of your case.
We can help you build a solid case to receive a fair monetary compensation. Our team of experts in New York law can provide you with high-quality representation either to negotiate a fair settlement or to defend your rights in a trial.