​Albany Pedestrian Injury Accidents

As the weather gets warmer, people tend to walk outside more. Whether you are walking with your kids to an Albany ice cream parlor on a sunny day, strolling down your street after a pickup basketball game, or even taking a moonlight run with your dog in the park, chances are you are outdoors more than in our cold winters. But here is a stark fact about all these activities: they increase the potential for pedestrian accidents in Albany and throughout the U.S.

Pedestrian accidents can cause some of the most severe and long-lasting injuries found in any traffic collision.

It is not hard to see why.

A car hits a pedestrian with tons of steel. A pedestrian hit by a bicycle or motorcycle receives injuries from the vehicle, the velocity, and the impact. Pedestrians are also at risk of injury from flying debris from an accident in which they are not directly involved.

If you or a family member suffers an injury from any pedestrian accident caused by negligence, an Albany pedestrian accident attorney can help you receive compensation and obtain justice. With our Albany personal injury attorneys’ your first consultation to discuss your accident is typically free.

Pedestrian Accidents: A Leading Cause of Injury and Death

In New York State, pedestrian accidents are among the top 10 causes of injury and death. Roughly 300 pedestrians die annually from pedestrian accidents, and about 15,000 are injured throughout the state. In Albany county, more than one-third of the people killed in traffic accidents every year are pedestrians. Pedestrians were the second-largest group hospitalized and taken to emergency departments in Albany county after occupants of vehicles were involved in crashes.

According to the National Safety Council, pedestrian accidents account for more than 17 percent of all traffic-related deaths nationwide, and the percentage is higher among middle-aged people. In roughly 40 percent of these fatalities, alcohol intoxication played a role.

Perhaps even more disturbing than the number of accidents and fatalities, however, is the trend. Over time, it has become more dangerous to be a pedestrian but less dangerous to be in a vehicle. From 2007 to 2016, the number of pedestrian deaths climbed by 27 percent, while the danger to vehicle drivers and occupants dropped by 14 percent. A recent survey by the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that pedestrian fatalities had risen to the highest percentage of overall traffic fatalities in 33 years.

The nature and extent of harm in pedestrian accidents vary according to the impact, type, speed, and size of the vehicle, and where on the body the car hits the victim. Some pedestrian accident victims are dragged by a vehicle or thrown into another object. Vulnerable populations, such as small children and the elderly, sustain some of the most severe injuries.

Pedestrian accident victims can suffer:

  • Fractured bones
  • Cuts
  • Bruises
  • Internal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Loss of limb (amputation)
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Nerve damage
  • Crush injuries
  • Burns
  • Coma
  • Death

Victims can also suffer psychological trauma from the fright and pain of being hit by a vehicle, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or phobias about being in the same spot or doing the same activity, such as walking or playing.

Albany’s Environment and Pedestrian Accidents

Numerous major roadways surround Albany and the surrounding areas, making it dangerous for people traversing these areas on foot. In addition, the city of Albany alone runs more than 35 parks that attract all ages.

But it is not only major roads or areas specifically set aside for running and walking that present the opportunity for pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere people are walking, including residential streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, schoolyards, sports venues, outdoor concerts, Albany International and other airport parking lots, and more.

What Compensation Can Pedestrian Accident Victims Receive?

Under New York State personal injury law, victims of accidents can receive compensation if a negligent party causes their injuries. Negligence means failure to act with the level of care a person of ordinary prudence would have used in similar circumstances.

Vehicle drivers, for example, must act with a duty of care toward pedestrians. The duty of care includes obeying all laws and regulations and driving prudently and responsibly. They should not, for instance, drive 50 mph on a residential street. They should not run through yellow or red traffic lights. They need to stop when a pedestrian is walking in a crosswalk.

To obtain compensation, you must show that the driver was negligent. You will also need to show that the negligent actions caused the injuries. It is too common for insurance companies to claim that another source than the accident caused your injuries.

Monetary compensation for damages incurred in the accident is the redress for injuries suffered by a pedestrian.

This compensation can include:

  • Costs of medical treatment already incurred – For emergency (ambulance) transport, surgery, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, doctor appointments, prescription medication, physical therapy, and more.
  • Costs of estimated future medical treatment – If an injury or its symptoms are long-lasting or life-long, such as a spinal cord injury or TBI, years of medical treatment and multiple surgeries and hospitalizations may be needed. You may include all of the above, plus retrofitting a home to accommodate an injured person with hospital beds, ramps, and more.
  • Lost wages during treatment and recovery – If the injured person had a job and the accident, treatment, and recovery periods caused them to lose time from it, the lost wages can be part of the damage compensation.
  • Loss of future wages – If injured people cannot work at a previous job or work at all, they may include the estimated income lost as part of their compensation.
  • Pain and suffering – Mental, psychological, and physical pain can all be part of the damages sought.

The New York State Statute of Limitations

All states have a statute of limitations during which plaintiffs must bring legal cases or the courts will refuse to hear them. In New York, a pedestrian injury case needs to start within three years of the date of the accident.

However, some exceptions can be particularly pertinent in pedestrian accident cases in Albany.

First, if the injured person is under 18, the three-year period does not legally commence until they turn 18. Second, if the person alleged to have caused the injury leaves New York State after the accident but before filing any lawsuit, the law won’t count the period of absence if it lasts four months or more.

Pedestrian accident victims and their families need to note the statute of limitations. But they should also realize that time is of the essence in achieving justice. A successful case depends on evidence. The sooner you gather evidence, the more likely it is to be available and convincing to an insurance company, a judge, and a jury.

How Is Negligence Established in an Albany Pedestrian Accident?

Part of any process of getting damage compensation is establishing who or what was at fault for those injuries.

This includes establishing who or what is negligent. The negligent party could well be the driver of a vehicle. But the list of possible negligent parties, frankly, is long. What if a driver strikes your child but says the car’s brakes failed? In that case, the research could establish that a mechanic did not repair the car’s brakes properly. In that case, you can hold the repair shop negligent.

Lawyers establish negligence through evidence of who or what caused the accident.

The evidence can include:

  • A copy of the police report from the accident
  • Pictures or videos from the accident scene
  • Surveillance footage of the accident scene from a store or other establishment
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Forensic analysis of the scene, such as skid marks on the pavement

Negligence also involves proving that a victim’s injuries stemmed from the accident and not some other source.

To that end, the evidence can include:

  • Medical records of ambulance calls
  • Medical records of diagnosis
  • Images or videos of your injuries
  • Treatment records

How Should I Handle Insurance Companies?

There are two methods of receiving damage compensation from a negligent party. One is to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. The other is to litigate your case in civil court.

Filing a claim sounds simple, doesn’t it? But unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. Insurance companies do not always treat victims fairly to make a profit and keep their margins high. They have numerous strategies designed to pay you less than you deserve.

One of the most commonly used strategies is called “low-balling.” The insurance company settles your claim promptly. But it is for a much lower amount than you should have received for the damages you suffered. Insurance companies know that injured people and their families may feel stress and pain because of the accident. They may need the money to pay bills and live. Low-balling takes advantage of your fears and pain.

Denial of your claim is another frequently used strategy. The insurance company refuses to pay the claim. Its reasons? They could say that someone else caused the accident. They might say that something else caused your injuries. They may dispute that your injuries are of the nature you say or as severe as you say they are.

Insurance companies may also delay your claim. Receiving a claim check can take months. It may be difficult or impossible to reach them. They may say they need additional paperwork. They are hoping you will go away.

An experienced personal injury attorney has experienced all these strategies countless times. They can see through them. They can negotiate with insurance companies despite them. They can help you gather evidence that counters these strategies. They can review your claim to ensure that you receive a just amount given your injuries.

If the insurance company does not settle fairly, they can begin and litigate a lawsuit against them. Insurance companies know their chances of denying or minimizing a claim decrease before a jury. They may settle before a court date if they know a lawsuit is coming.

What to Discuss With a Lawyer

Albany Personal Injury LawyersThe law in New York is very complex. It is prudent to discuss a case with an attorney. Initial consultations are always free; there is no charge.

At the initial consultation, bring all your evidence (police reports, images, eyewitness contacts, medical reports). You can also bring notes about the accident. Notes help the attorneys understand what happened, the circumstances under which it happened, the nature of the injuries sustained, and how that impacted the victim’s life and their family.

If you have no or limited evidence, attorneys can help you gather it. They work with investigators who can talk to eyewitnesses and search for surveillance footage.

How an Albany Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help

Contact an Albany pedestrian injury attorney today if you or a family member suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident in Albany or the surrounding areas. They will discuss your case. They fight for a fair and just settlement so that you recover full compensation for the injury a negligent person caused. Get started today.

Albany Personal Injury Lawyer

1707 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205