Knowing what you should do if you were hit by a car on Long Island can help you get the medical care you need, protect your rights, and play a role in holding the at-fault driver accountable later on if you decide to pursue compensation for your injuries.
First and foremost, you must focus on your own wellbeing. Get immediate medical care, either by having an ambulance or friend take you to the nearest hospital or seeing your doctor.
Not only can prompt medical care ensure that your injuries are treated, but it can also document your collision-related injuries and serve as evidence later on.
If you do not need to leave the scene of the collision for emergency medical treatment, you should also call the police, exchange contact information with the driver involved in your crash, photograph the scene, and try to collect the phone numbers of potential witnesses.
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You Can Help Collect Evidence for Your Case
If it is safe to do so, you may want to gather information at the scene of the collision, such as the driver’s name and contact information, their insurance company, and details about their vehicle. In addition, get contact information for any witnesses. Take pictures of the vehicle and the scene, if possible, focusing on any other factors, such as a blocked stop-sign, which may have contributed to the collision
In many cases, your injuries may prevent this, and that is OK if they do. The police who respond to the crash should also record this information.
Once your injuries are stable, you may want to take the time to record the facts of what happened. This could include where you had been, where you were going, what you saw the vehicle do, and how the collision occurred. This record can help to jog your memory later on. You may also want to return to the scene to document the area once you are well enough to do so.
Save any bills, receipts, or related notes or documentation in a file so that you have easy access to it when the time comes to file your claim or pursue compensation via personal injury lawsuit.
You May Want to Enlist the Help of a Pedestrian Collision Attorney
After you have received treatment for your injuries, you may want to consider whether a personal injury attorney could help you. While a lawyer is not required to handle insurance claims or even a personal injury lawsuit, there may be advantages to letting an attorney handle these tasks for you.
The settlement negotiation process can be challenging for victims who are also undergoing treatment and recovering from injuries. This can be even more true if the insurance company challenges your claim or tries to offer you a low settlement amount.
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they can handle the claim processes on your behalf. They may be able to gather evidence to demonstrate a fair value for your injuries and negotiate a settlement while you focus on healing. If the responsible party’s insurance company is unwilling to make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer may be able to take your case to trial.
Compensation in a Pedestrian Collision Case
If you can prove that the driver or another liable party caused your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation that includes:
- Medical care costs, both current and future
- Lost wages, benefits, and other pay
- Diminished earning ability if you cannot go back to your job
- Pain and suffering losses and other non-economic losses
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A Legal Deadline for Pedestrian Collision Cases
Keep in mind that, under New York CIvil Practice Law and Rules (CVP) §214, New York generally gives victims three years to take legal action against the responsible party in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. One such exception—when the driver was working for a government agency—could shorten how long you have to act considerably. Additionally, if a municipality is involved in some other way, such as failing to ensure an intersection or roadway was safe, a claim against them must be brought very soon following the accident.
If you wait too long and allow the statute of limitations to expire in your case, your lawsuit may be dismissed.
Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. May Be Able to Help You
If you were hit by a car on Long Island, call Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. today for a free consultation on your case at (631) 451-7900. A member of our pedestrian collision team can review your case and may be able to recommend what you should do if you were hit by a car or otherwise injured by another party’s negligence.
We may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payment necessary.