It is an unfortunate fact of life that simply walking down the street can result in an injury. Even if you are being careful and paying attention to crosswalks, walk signals, and pedestrian walkways, you can still be hit by cars.
Most of the time, these accidents are entirely the fault of the driver, but there are still cases where the pedestrian may take some of the blame. This makes it important to create a thorough claim to show the driver was at fault. Working with a Bronx pedestrian accident lawyer could be the best way to do this. By obtaining an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer, you could have an ally who understands how to build effective claims.
When is the Driver at Fault in The Bronx?
Most pedestrian accidents involve wrongdoing by the driver, but in general, these actions do not constitute a criminal act meant to hurt the walker. However, accidental injuries can still be the source of a civil suit.
Because the collisions are typically accidents, they are pursued using the legal theory of negligence. For a plaintiff to win a claim based on negligence, they must prove three main elements:
• The driver had a duty of care
• They breached the duty of care
• That breach was the proximate cause of injury
A person can only be negligent if they have a duty to care for the plaintiff. This is rarely an issue in a pedestrian accident case because all drivers assume a duty to care for all other people—including pedestrians—they may encounter on the road.
The plaintiff also needs to prove that the driver breached this duty of care. In other words, that they were responsible to some degree for the accident. Finally, it must be shown that the accident directly caused the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. A skilled lawyer could help with establishing fault in a bicycle collision case.
When the Pedestrian Might Share the Blame
Some pedestrian accidents occupy a gray area of the law. Even if a pedestrian is crossing the street while using a crosswalk, they may have crossed against the light. Other factors such as traffic density, the weather at the time of the crash, and the clothing the walker was wearing may contribute to the accident as well.
Any Bronx pedestrian accident attorney must take all the facts of the incident into account to fully evaluate the merit of the claim. Even if the pedestrian contributes to the accident, though, this may not completely bar recovery.
New York employs a concept of law known as comparative negligence. This means that a plaintiff can contribute any amount of blame to the accident and still recover damages. For example, a jury may award the plaintiff $10,000 in damages but also find the plaintiff was 25 percent at fault for the accident. In this case, the plaintiff would recover $7,500 in damages.
The Bronx Pedestrian Accidents Statistics
- Tremont in the Bronx. One person was injured and another killed after the driver of a 2017 BMW sideswiped a 2018 Acura – and then hit the two pedestrians who were standing right behind a parked Chevrolet (pinning in both of them). While one man only sustained an ankle injury, the other died at the scene due to severe head and body trauma;
- Elderly man suffers a brutal death. In April 2018, a Bronx garbage truck driver hit and killed a 70-year-old man while he tried to cross E. 152nd Street near Jackson Avenue. The driver then backed up and ran over the man a second time. Due to his severe head injuries, the victim was declared dead at the scene;
- Early morning pedestrian fatality. After being hit by one car on the southbound side of the Bronx River Parkway, the male pedestrian was apparently hit by a second vehicle that dragged his body about 40 to 50 yards. Like so many other Bronx accident victims, this man died at the scene where he was injured;
- Young child hit by car is now recovering. A little five-year-old boy was hit after he ran out into the street on Timpson Place near East 149th St. He sustained a severe cut to one leg and bruising to his liver after a speeding Ford Explorer hit him. According to his family, he later began to improve — and was finally moved out of the New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital ICU.
All these accidents clearly indicate that on any given day, we can each suddenly become a pedestrian accident victim.
Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
To provide a clearer understanding of what pedestrian accident victims often endure, here’s a brief overview of what several adults (all New York Times employees) had to cope with after they were hit by vehicles while simply walking down NYC streets.
- Jill A. This older woman, an executive Times editor, says she was hit while crossing the street with the light. Immediately afterwards, a policeman told her that if the delivery truck that hit her had rolled over her body just two inches higher up, she would have probably died due to all her major organs being crushed. Jill had to undergo surgery for a broken femur, obtain multiple blood transfusions and receive treatment for a broken pelvis. She also required stitches in her right foot that was crushed. She had been crossing the street in Times Square, heading to the gym before work, when she was hit. Jill says that the food delivery truck that hit her first rolled over her foot – which caused her to be dragged down just before the truck’s rear wheel rolled over her left side. She recalls the morphine drip (and her husband) waiting for her at Bellevue emergency room. Jill had to be hospitalized for four weeks before she could finally return home. During her lengthy recovery, she had to slowly learn how to walk again, while also battling both PTSD and depression;
- Denise F. This 47-year-old woman was working as a Times news design editor when she was seriously hurt in a New York pedestrian accident. She was walking on West End Avenue, trying to cross at 95th St. (with the light), when a driver turned left onto West End and hit her. Although her injury was simply classified as a “pedestrian knockdown” incident (that caused a concussion), she still needed to take a full month off from her job. Missing work greatly saddened her since she had only used two sick days during the prior 10 years. Denise also suffered a fractured clavicle and a labrum tear — and needed surgery for a rotator cuff tear. Her doctors initially overlooked some of her most serious injuries; they were not detected and treated until after she had been sent home from the hospital;
- Mike S. This middle-aged man, a Times news desk editor, was hit in Brooklyn on a Saturday night. He still recalls seeing the car “barreling” toward him. Afterwards, he hobbled across a traffic lane before collapsing onto a median strip. Several witnesses ran to try and help him. (The police indicated that he may have crossed the street outside the crosswalk). Mike was taken to New York Methodist Hospital. He said it was awful having to wait alone in the the ER for 12 hours, unable to reach family and friends by phone. Mike believes he received minimal medical help, even though he was experiencing great pain. He was sent home the next morning on crutches, after being told to go see an orthopedist. He soon discovered that his tibia had been crushed and that his knee was seriously damaged. Although Mike’s knee surgery was successful, he says his pain was nearly unbearable for about five weeks. The pins placed around his knee during the surgery caused immense pain. He believes he was given “insufficient” pain medication while coping with tremendous exhaustion and depression. Mike also reports that it was difficult to finally wean himself off all the morphine, oxycodone and other painkillers that wound up proving to be a crucial part of his recovery. It took him six weeks to return to work
What is also rather tragic is that despite all these terrible injuries, none of the careless drivers who inflicted them were ever forced to respond to any charges.
Experienced Representation for Pedestrian Accident Cases in The Bronx, NY
Suffering an injury while walking can be one of the most unexpected yet serious causes of injuries. A walker has no protection in a collision that a person in a car may be afforded and the resulting injuries can be life-changing or fatal.
As a result, plaintiffs should expect their personal injury attorney to understand the full effect that this accident had on their life. A Bronx pedestrian accident lawyer could listen to your concerns and pursue your claims for their full value. Call today to explore your options.