Pedestrian accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic—and often fatal—injuries. Because people on foot have no protection from forceful impacts, even low-speed collisions can result in permanent disability or death.
When you consider the statistics—on average, a pedestrian dies from crash-related injuries every 90 minutes—it becomes alarmingly apparent just how common these devastating accidents are. For those who lose their loved ones, though, the victims aren’t just another statistic; they’re an irreplaceable part of the family.
While suing the drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless motorist won’t undo the tragedy that unfolded, it may help the deceased’s surviving relatives achieve some sense of closure. It could also protect the family’s financial security in the wake of the loss.
Read on to learn the answers to some frequently asked questions about pedestrian accident wrongful death claims:
1. When Should I Call a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
In the state of New York, the standard statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years; however, that doesn’t mean you should postpone calling a lawyer. Critical evidence may be time-sensitive, and the insurance company will likely reach out within just a few days of the crash, so it’s wise to call an attorney and start building your case as soon as possible.
What’s more, there are exceptions to the two-year filing deadline. If you intend to bring a suit against a government agency, for example, you must submit notice of your claim within just 90 days, and you must file the lawsuit within 15 months.
2. Will My Family Still Have Grounds for a Claim If the Deceased Had Been Jaywalking?
If the victim was jaywalking at the time of the accident, the insurer may refuse to cover 100 percent of the resulting damages or try to deny the claim outright; however, a skilled attorney may still be able to get your family fairly compensated depending on the circumstances. For example, if the pedestrian was exercising reasonable caution and there were no crosswalks available, the motorist who struck him or her may shoulder at least some liability. After all, drivers have a duty to travel at safe speeds and to exercise reasonable care so they can make evasive maneuvers when hazards—or pedestrians—appear.
3. How Can I Prove Liability for My Loved One’s Death?
In order to obtain a recovery from the at-fault party’s insurer, you will have to prove liability. The strongest evidence of liability in these cases typically includes some combination of the following:
- Photographs of the accident scene;
- The official police report;
- Dash cam footage or surveillance recordings of the incident;
- Cell phone records;
- Eyewitness deposition; and
- Toxicology reports.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Wrongful Death Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we are committed to helping accident victims and their loved ones seek the compensation they need to put their lives back together. Our compassionate attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field.
We have helped thousands of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in New York.