Motor vehicle accidents that involve two vehicles of roughly the same size colliding can result in severe injuries to the passengers. Even a wall of metal and glass, as well as structured, specially formulated plastics, can't keep people safe in the event of a collision.
Considering that vehicles themselves can't protect people from injuries, it should come as very little surprise that pedestrians who get struck by a moving vehicle often suffer catastrophic and lasting injuries. After all, they don't even have the protection of a vehicle or bicycle to absorb the impact of the crash.
Pedestrians who get struck by a moving vehicle may have to live with the injuries they suffer for the rest of their lives. All too often, the consequences of a vehicle striking a pedestrian is fatal for the pedestrian. Both in cases of severe injury or death, it is likely that the victim or their surviving family members can bring action against the driver who caused the collision.
Injured pedestrians have a right to compensation
Even when a vehicle isn't going very quickly, the force of an impact against the human body can prove devastating. The person who gets struck may suffer broken bones at the site of impact. They could also wind up thrown back onto the pavement, potentially causing broken bones or even traumatic brain injuries. Those injuries could result in immediate hospitalization, followed by a lengthy recovery.
For many people, returning to work simply isn't an option when dealing with a severe injury like a compound fracture or a brain injury. Victims of pedestrian crashes begin to rack up massive medical bills at the same time that their income suddenly stops. Personal injury lawsuits allow those hurt by negligent drivers to secure compensation that can offset the financial impact of the crash on their lives.
Surviving family members also have rights under New York law
In the event that a crash proves fatal, the people who loved and depended on the deceased have rights as well. Wrongful death laws in New York allow surviving family members to hold a driver accountable for the financial impact of the crash. If negligence or a criminal act played a role in the crash that cost the life of a loved one, your family may be able to hold that person accountable in civil court.
Pedestrian injury and death cases are often emotional for the party bringing suit. However, you shouldn't put off looking into your rights just because of the strong emotions you attached to the crash and its effect on your life. Instead, sit down sooner rather than later with an attorney who can guide you in making the best decision for your family.