In any type of traffic accident, there are certain actions you need to take at the scene of the incident. If you’ve been struck by a vehicle, taking the proper actions will help you file a personal injury claim if it becomes necessary, and they’ll also help you get the financial and medical help you may need for your recovery. The guide below details several steps you can take in case you’re struck by a vehicle.
What Rights Do Pedestrians Have in NYC?
The Vehicle and Traffic Laws in New York (commonly referred to as the VTL) outline the responsibilities of both drivers and pedestrians. Failing to follow these rules will negatively impact your ability to file a personal injury claim anywhere in the state. For pedestrians, this means being aware of your surroundings and avoiding risky acts such as jaywalking.
However, vehicle operators have a higher duty of care. They must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks under all circumstances. Even if there’s no stop sign or traffic signal, they’re required to stop at the crosswalk. Additionally, one vehicle may not pass or overtake another vehicle that has stopped for a crossing pedestrian. As long as the pedestrian hasn’t deliberately stepped into moving traffic and is within the crosswalk, the pedestrian has the right of way.
What Should You Do If You’re Hit by a Vehicle?
Assess Your Condition
The first thing you should do is assess your medical condition as best as you can. If you have broken bones or severe pain, you should remain still. Otherwise, you may begin documenting the accident.
Record the driver’s license plate number (for instance, by taking a picture) and try to locate the nearest cross streets. This will help you provide the 9-1-1 dispatcher with accurate information. After calling emergency services, you can gather the name, contact information, and insurance information from the driver. Resist the temptation to discuss the accident until the police arrive.
Photograph the Damages
You should get pictures of all property damages that were caused by the accident, so you’ll have evidence for filing your personal injury claim. Close-up pictures of damages to the vehicle and your personal property (such as your bicycle or glasses) can help you if you consult an attorney after the accident. You can use the photos when filing an insurance claim with the help of your attorney, and they’ll also be useful if the case results in a lawsuit.
These steps can help you seek the damages you’ll need to recover from the accident, but you should also consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C. is a Bronx, NY law firm that has experience handling pedestrian personal injury accidents. They provide the dedicated and personal legal representation you need to recover fair compensation. To learn more about their legal team, visit their website. You can schedule a free initial consultation by calling (718) 822-0500.