Not many things are as beautiful as taking a morning or an evening walk with your puppy or a loved one. But that beautiful morning or evening walk can turn into a horrible nightmare if you are involved in an accident.
An accident that involves a pedestrian and a motorist can be devastating. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you may pursue the at-fault party for compensation. This is where a personal injury lawsuit comes in. However, it is not unusual for insurance companies to balk at paying some or all of a claim.
Here are common reasons why your pedestrian accident claim may be denied or reduced:
You took long to file your claim
For obvious reasons, a pedestrian accident can leave you hurt and shaken. Amidst the pain and confusion, you may find yourself focusing on your recovery, and this is understandable. However, it is important to understand that you have a limited time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is the statute of limitations.
In the state of New York, you have up to 3 years (36 months) from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Failing to file your claim within the statute of limitations period can result in the dismissal of your case.
You contributed to the accident
Basically, every individual has a responsibility to exercise reasonable care while using public infrastructures like roads and sidewalks. To this end, pedestrians are expected to observe traffic laws while using the highways, streets and crosswalks.
If a pedestrian fails to observe traffic rules, and that failure results in them being hit by a car, then the pedestrian may be deemed to be partially responsible for their own losses. In this case, the court will review your case and make a decision based on New York’s pure comparative negligence law. This will assign a percentage of fault to each party, limiting what the driver must pay.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you understand and avoid the mistakes that can hurt your case.