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How Long After a Pedestrian Accident Can I Sue in NY?

What is the Timeframe for Filing a Lawsuit After a Pedestrian Accident in NY?
Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit I Greenberg & Stein P.C.

Unfortunately, pedestrian automobile accidents happen more frequently than you may imagine in New York City. In 2020 there were 10,968 reported pedestrian injuries and fatalities as a result of motor vehicle crashes. This includes accidents that occurred both on the street and on sidewalks. If you have been the victim of a pedestrian car accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

New York is a no-fault state, which means that you need to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance provider or your own insurance companies. However, if you meet certain criteria you may be allowed to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In the state of New York, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that this time limit does not apply to all cases. Some pedestrian accident cases may have different deadlines depending on the specific circumstances of the incident.

Statute of Limitations in New York For Pedestrian Accidents

The statute of limitations in New York is three years from the date of the accident for personal injury claims, including those involving pedestrian auto accidents. This implies that you have three years from the date of the accident to make your claim or you might lose your ability to launch a lawsuit. The statute of limitations is also three years from the date of the accident for claims for property damage that can result from a pedestrian automobile collision.

There are some scenarios in which the statute of limitations will differ. Here are some cases that have a different deadline.

The at-fault party is a government entity

There will be certain modifications in the lawsuit filing process if you were struck by a government vehicle. Within 90 days of the collision, you must first submit a “notice of claim” to the governmental agency you intend to sue. When the 90-day period has expired and the notice of claim has been submitted, you have one year to initiate a lawsuit.

The victim is a minor

If the injured party of a pedestrian car accident is a minor, the deadline for filing a lawsuit is also different. In New York, the time limit for filing a lawsuit when the victim is minor is three years after the 18th birthday of the injured party. This means that if a minor is injured in a pedestrian car accident, they have until their 21st birthday to file a claim.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases

In New York, the statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit in cases that involve a wrongful death is two years from the date of the accident. Therefore, the family or estate of the deceased pedestrian has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a claim for wrongful death.

Every case is unique and some details may cause the statute of limitations to change. It is always advisable to seek professional advice from a pedestrian accident attorney to ensure that you meet all deadlines.

What Happens if I Wait Too Long?

If you wait too long to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit in New York, you may lose your right to pursue legal action altogether. Failing to file your lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations may result in the defendant(s) raising a defense known as the statute of limitations defense. Your case will probably be dismissed if the court decides that the statute of limitations has passed, and you will not be able to pursue your claim.

When Should I File an Insurance Claim for a Pedestrian Accident?

You should file an insurance claim for a pedestrian accident as soon as possible. Your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries are higher when you file a claim soon.

Benefits of Filing a Claim Soon

Filing an insurance claim can be very beneficial for your case. For example, when you file a claim soon, it is more likely that you will be able to have more and better evidence. Evidence can quickly disappear and if you wait too long you may gather enough proof to support your claim. Another important benefit is that the severity of your injuries will be taken more seriously. When pedestrian accident victims wait too long, the insurance company may argue that the injuries sustained by the pedestrian are not as serious as they claim.

Insurance Policy Limits

It is worth noting that your compensation cannot exceed the insurance policy limits. If your injuries are very serious, it is possible that your medical bills are costly and exceed the policy limits. In cases in which the policy limits cannot cover the cost of the medical expenditures, there are other options you can explore to recover the compensation you need. For example, using your own insurance policy or filing a lawsuit. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you decide what is the best course of action for your particular situation.

When Can I Sue for a Pedestrian Car Accident?

In New York, no-fault laws apply to motor vehicle accidents, including pedestrian accidents. These laws require that the injured pedestrian’s own insurance company pay for their medical bills and other expenses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This coverage is often referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). If the injured party does not have any insurance policy, they may be able to file a claim with the driver’s insurance provider.

Under New York’s no-fault system, pedestrians who are injured in car accidents can receive up to $50,000 in benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to their injuries, regardless of fault. However, there are certain exceptions to the no-fault system for pedestrian accidents. For example, if the injured pedestrian suffers a serious injury, such as a fracture, disfigurement, or permanent disability, they may be able to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for additional damages beyond the no-fault coverage.

What happens if I am partially responsible for a pedestrian accident?

If you are partially responsible for a pedestrian accident in New York, your damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. New York is a comparative negligence state, which means that each party involved in an accident can be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. For instance, if a car that is texting while driving impacts a pedestrian who is crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, the driver may be deemed to be 80% at blame for the collision, while the pedestrian may be found to be 20% at fault for not using a crosswalk. If the pedestrian sustains $100,000 in damages, their losses may be scaled back by 20% ($20,000) to reflect their 20% share of culpability.

Recoverable Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit

Economic Damages

In a pedestrian accident lawsuit in New York, economic damages that may be recoverable include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Home care and assistance
  • Transportation costs

It’s important to note that economic damages must be supported by evidence, such as medical bills, receipts, pay stubs, and other documentation.

Non-Economic Damages

These are non-economic damages that can be recoverable in a lawsuit:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement and scarring

Loss of consortium It’s important to note that non-economic damages can be difficult to quantify and are often subjective.

Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Filing a lawsuit after a pedestrian accident can be complicated, especially if you are dealing with your injuries, lost wages and your bills start to stack up. Seeking help from an experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help you gather the evidence necessary to build a solid case, negotiate with insurance companies, and even represent you in court if necessary. Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a law firm in New York that helps people who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. Contact us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.