In this final installment of how DubiLaw has established itself as “Trial Counsel to The Profession,” I want to focus on pedestrians and the dangers they face while walking or jogging in New York, particularly their risk of being struck by a vehicle. In New York City, the statistics are particularly alarming:
- Between 2012 and 2014, 497 pedestrians were killed when hit by a vehicle.
- From October 27 through November 14, 2016, 4,268 drivers were cited for failure to yield to pedestrians.
- From January to June of 2017, 5,577 pedestrians and bicyclists were injured and 46 were killed.
Regardless of New York’s law mandating that drivers “take great care” not to hit a pedestrian, and regardless of the fact that this law overrides all other laws pertaining to crosswalks, sidewalks, or any other pedestrian safety area, pedestrians nevertheless are at great risk when crossing New York City’s busy streets.
Common Factors Involved in Vehicle-Pedestrian Accidents
The most common “excuse” drivers give for striking a pedestrian is, “I didn’t see him.” Invariably there is a reason – or several reasons – why the driver failed to see the victim. Common reasons include the following:
- Distracted driving; i.e., cellphone usage, over-engagement with passengers, eating and/or drinking, etc.
- Failure to yield to the pedestrian
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
- Failure to signal while turning
- Disregarding traffic and/or weather conditions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Common Pedestrian Injuries
Given the size and weight of a vehicle as compared to the size and weight of an unprotected pedestrian, the range of injury types is nearly infinite. The most common injury types, however, are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Extremity injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Psychological and emotional trauma
Obviously some pedestrians are more severely injured than others when hit by a vehicle, but their medical expenses are substantial either way. The following two DubiLaw success stories exemplify the typical damage amounts we obtain for our clients depending on the severity of their injuries. Both cases were referred to me by attorneys who do not practice personal injury law.
The Woman Crossing 5th Avenue
A woman crossing 5th Avenue at 81st Street in late afternoon was hit from behind by a car whose driver made a left turn without signaling. The impact knocked her to the ground where she hit her head on the pavement and was rendered unconscious. At the hospital, a CT scan revealed an epidural hematoma on the left side of her head for which she had to undergo a craniotomy. After several months of severe headaches, pain in her neck, back, and leg, and problems with concentration, memory, dizziness and imbalance, she underwent additional testing and medical treatment, started a physical therapy program and began acupuncture treatments. Over the course of the next three years, she developed vision problems and also a substantially reduced ability to perform physical tasks. She was out of work for seven months, after which she could only perform limited work duties due to her physical limitations. Ultimately I obtained a $1 million mediated settlement for her.
The Male Jogger
A car struck a middle-aged male jogger, shattering his right knee and causing several of his discs to bulge. Due to his injuries and the extensive medical and surgical treatment he was required to undergo, he was off work for eight months and became disabled for purposes of his job as a residential home improvement estimator. After more than a year of negotiation with the defendant and his attorneys, I obtained a $125,000 privately negotiated settlement for my client.
If you need outside counsel to help you serve your personal injury clients better, please call me toll-free at 833-FOR-DUBI (833-367-3824). I will be happy to talk with you and explain in further detail how I can be of service to you and your clients.