Can I Sue a Driver Who Ran over My Foot?
Pedestrian accidents injure and kill thousands of people every year in the United States. In 2015 alone, more than 5,000 pedestrians died in traffic crashes, and over 129,000 received hospital treatment for injuries.
Although speeding, distracted driving, and other forms of recklessness account for a significant portion of these collisions, many of them occur when the vehicle is barely moving. When a car runs over a person’s foot, for example, a devastating injury can occur regardless of how fast the vehicle was traveling.
These injuries are especially common in urban centers like New York City, where the crosswalks are always crowded and traffic inches along at a snail’s pace. They can also happen right after people step out of taxis and Uber vehicles.
If a motorist ran over your foot, contact Charnas Law Firm to find out if you have grounds for a personal injury claim. Attorney Scott Charnas represents injured people throughout New York and Massachusetts and has recovered nearly $50 million in successful settlements and verdicts. Call 212-980-6800 to schedule a free case evaluation with a pedestrian accident lawyer in New York City.
Here’s what you need to know about suing a driver who ran over your foot:
Barring cases that involve strict liability, negligence is the foundation of every successful personal injury claim. That means in order to recover compensation for the damages you incur, you must prove the motorist breached the duty of care owed to you as a pedestrian.
As long as you were following right-of-way laws when the accident happened, proving fault should be relatively straightforward. If you were violating the rules of the road when the incident occurred—by crossing outside of a marked crosswalk, for example—you may be considered partially liable; however, under New York’s pure comparative negligence system, it may still be possible to recover compensation for your damages. Your settlement or verdict might simply be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
If a motorist ran over your foot, it is essential that you save all documentation regarding your injuries from day one. This includes diagnostic images, pharmacy receipts, and medical bills. You should also photograph the limb in question every day to record the healing process.
These documents will help your attorney prove damages. Other essential evidence might include pay stubs to document missed work, home care invoices, and receipts for medical equipment such as crutches. Your personal injury attorney will use all of this evidence to calculate a fair settlement amount.
How Long Do I Have to Sue a Driver Who Ran Over My Foot?
In the state of New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is typically three years. That means if the insurance adjuster refuses to pay a fair settlement, you’ll have three years to file suit; however, because there are circumstances when the deadline is different, it’s wise to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so you can confirm precisely how much time you have to go to court.
For example, if the motorist intentionally ran over your foot, you might have only one year to file the lawsuit. And if your loved one died from injuries sustained in the accident, your family would have just two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party.
Finally, if a government entity is to blame—perhaps a government employee was driving the vehicle that ran over your foot—you would have to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident. You would then have one year and 90 days from the date on which you were hurt to file a lawsuit against the appropriate agency. If you fail to file a formal suit before the applicable deadline has passed, the judge will likely dismiss your case.
What Should I Do Following a Pedestrian Accident?
If you’re hurt in a pedestrian accident, what you do in the aftermath will have a major impact on the strength of your claim. Some of the most important steps to take immediately following the incident include:
- Calling the police;
- Taking note of the motorist’s registration information and insurance policy number;
- Gathering the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses;
- Photographing the area where the accident occurred;
- Photographing any visible wounds;
- Seeking medical care; and
- Calling a personal injury lawyer.
In the days and weeks following the accident, it’s wise to:
- Track all expenses associated with treating your injuries;
- Write detailed journal entries documenting your recovery;
- Avoid posting about your injury or case on social media;
- Refer all correspondence with the insurance adjuster to your attorney; and
- Avoid providing any recorded statements.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
Fortunately, more than 9 out of 10 personal injury cases are resolved before reaching court. In some scenarios, though, proceeding to trial is the only way to pursue a fair payout. If you have sufficient evidence of both liability and damages but the opposing party simply refuses to cooperate, your lawyer may recommend filing a formal lawsuit and going to court.
At Charnas Law Firm, we always aim to win fair settlements for our clients without having to go through litigation, but our trial attorneys aren’t afraid to go to court if the opposing party refuses to settle. We have many years of litigation experience and the resources to take on even the largest insurance companies.
Discuss Your Case with a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in New York City
If you sustained serious injuries after a motorist ran over your foot, turn to Charnas Law Firm for comprehensive legal guidance. Scott Charnas requires no money upfront and does not charge a retainer to take advantage of his legal services. Call 212-980-6800 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York City.