Unfortunately, personal injury lawsuits involving automobile accidents are one of the most common types of cases. In New York City these incidents far too often involve pedestrians or bicyclists. The “rules of the road” apply just as much to pedestrians and bicyclists as they do to automobile drivers. However, the injuries caused to a pedestrian or bicyclist from an automobile can, obviously, be devastating.
The law seeks to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. As an example, under New York State law (Pattern Jury Instruction 2:75) a person in a crosswalk at an intersection that is not controlled by a traffic signal has the right-of-way and a motor vehicle is to slow down or stop to allow the person to cross safely.
Moreover, even though a person crossing a street outside of a crosswalk does not have the right of way, an automobile driver must still use reasonable care to avoid hitting the pedestrian. Thus, we learn from this that it is NOT illegal to cross the street in the middle of the block and a pedestrian can recover damages for injuries he or she may have suffered in such accident if a jury finds that the driver did not act reasonably!
Finally, even if a pedestrian or bicyclist has violated a rule of the road at the time of an accident this does not prevent them from recovering money damages. If it can be proven that the driver of a motor vehicle in such circumstances was also negligent the pedestrian or bicyclist may still recover money damages.
It is important to remember that the “No-Fault” law applies to pedestrians and bicyclists involved in motor vehicle accidents. A “serious injury” must be proven to have been suffered by a pedestrian or bicyclist in order to recover money damages against the driver of a motor vehicle.
Additionally, No-Fault applications should be sent within 30 days of the accident by a pedestrian or bicyclist to the insurance company of the motor vehicle that came into contact with you. Regardless of whose fault the accident was, No-Fault will pay up to $50,000.00 for “basic economic loss” which includes medical bills, lost wages and out of pocket expenses. Moreover, a pedestrian or bicyclist who owns their own vehicle should send written notice to their own vehicle’s insurance company if you have excess PIP coverage (additional No-Fault coverage over $50,000.00) or UM/SUM coverage (insurance under your own policy that covers you in case the driver of the motor vehicle that struck you is uninsured or has minimal insurance coverage).
At our law firm we believe that automobile drivers have a deep seated responsibility to look out for pedestrians and bicyclists in our great city! If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn we can help.
There is no fee for any of our services unless we recover money damages for you.