Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | June 16, 2022 | Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are often involved in traffic crashes. Every year, thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed in crashes with cars.
The results from these crashes can be life-changing for the injured pedestrians and their families. In addition to coping with a serious injury, or even death, injured pedestrians and their families must also figure out how to pay their medical bills.
Therefore, if you were a pedestrian injured in a crash with a car, it is important to understand what your options are to recover compensation for any injuries suffered.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen In New York?
Accidents involving pedestrians can happen for a variety of reasons. Pedestrian accidents are more common in dense, urban areas where there are many cars and people out and about. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publication, common reasons for accidents involving pedestrians include:
- Alcohol. Drivers impaired by alcohol make up about 50% of all pedestrian crashes that end in fatalities;
- Nighttime. Approximately 75% of crashes that end in pedestrian fatalities happen at night;
- Left Turns. It is three times more likely for a pedestrian to be in a crash with a car when the driver is turning left at an intersection.
Fault for these crashes can be placed on either the driver, the pedestrian, or both depending on the circumstances. Drivers are typically found to be at fault for negligence in the following situations:
- Driving recklessly;
- Failing to yield;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Distracted driving (i.e., texting);
- Failing to yield to traffic signals or signs.
On the other hand, pedestrians could be at fault in the following situations:
- Jaywalking or failing to use the crosswalk;
- Being intoxicated;
- Failing to use the sidewalk or walking on the road.
Regardless of fault, the pedestrian will probably suffer more severe injuries in a crash with a car. Therefore, it is generally important for pedestrians to understand their rights and duties in New York. Understanding these rights and duties can help prevent crashes and injuries.
How Can A Pedestrian Hit By A Car In New York Make An Insurance Claim?
New York is a no-fault state that uses personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This means that regardless of who is at fault for the crash, PIP will cover the pedestrian’s medical bills for any injuries sustained as a result of the crash, up to the limits of the policy. PIP can apply to the pedestrian’s medical bills in three types of scenarios.
First, the pedestrian’s PIP coverage applies even though they weren’t driving their vehicle at the time. Second, if the pedestrian doesn’t own their own vehicle but lives with a relative who owns a vehicle in New York, the pedestrian can make a PIP claim on their relative’s auto insurance.
Finally, if the first two options are unavailable, the PIP insurance belonging to the driver of the car involved in the crash could cover the pedestrian’s medical bills.
What if PIP Does Not Apply or Is Not an Option?
If PIP insurance coverage is not an option, a pedestrian can use their own health insurance to cover their medical bills for injuries sustained in the crash. The pedestrian can also sue the at-fault driver to recover the remaining damages if their injury meets the “serious injury” threshold.
Unfortunately, if the pedestrian is at fault for the crash and they have maxed out their PIP and health insurance coverage, they may have to deal with their own medical bills. Furthermore, if the crash was a hit-and-run, the pedestrian would not have the ability to sue the driver or use the driver’s insurance.
If the pedestrian is in this type of worst-case scenario, they may still qualify for no-fault benefits via a state-funded program called the New York Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation. This program provides a certain amount of help to victims that were injured in a crash that was not their fault.