Summer is upon us. The sun is out, and beaches and barbecues are calling. With the hot summer months come more cars on the road and more folks walking or biking to their destinations.
Unfortunately, this is a volatile mix that results in more accidents, and pedestrians are at increased risk in the summer months. Those pedestrians who are involved in summer accidents need a strong advocate in their corner, and we are here to help.
By the Numbers
In New York, there are, on average, 312 pedestrian deaths every year due to motor vehicle accidents. This figure results in a fatality rate of about two out of every 100,000 people in the city.
Hospitalizations due to pedestrian accidents average around 3,450 every year, which works out to almost 18 people per 100,000. Finally, such accidents result in more than 12,100 visits to emergency rooms every year, which is a fairly large number.
Increased Summer Risk
During periods of the year when more people are on the road, the risk of accidents increases. In the summer, as more people choose to enjoy the nice weather by walking or biking, the risk of accidental injury or death increases dramatically. Statistically speaking, especially for accidents involving teen drivers, nine of the deadliest days of the year fall in the summer months.
The Fourth of July has been the single deadliest day for summer pedestrian accidents. Labor Day weekend is a close second - both holidays average between 140 and 150 fatalities per year across the nation. Also, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that seven out of the 25 most dangerous days of the year occur in August.
It's Not Your Fault
If you are injured while walking or biking, it can be a confusing and terrifying time. The first thing to remember is that it isn't your fault. You are a victim, and you are entitled to have your rights protected.
People may be pressuring you to answer questions and sign papers that you don't understand. Do not sign anything or provide a written description of the accident without consulting first with an experienced attorney. Frequently, the representatives of the driver who struck you will seek to diminish their liability by trying to have you admit that you may have been all or partially at fault for the accident. They might approach you at your door, call you, or try to take a written or recorded statement, all before you have had the chance to discuss your case with qualified counsel.
What to Do
When involved in this kind of accident, the first thing to do is to seek medical attention. Keep track of all of your medical treatments and costs. If you can, get names and phone numbers from witnesses, and any information you can about the car that hit you. This includes the car's license plate and the driver's information. Then, after immediate medical concerns have been addressed, contact a personal injury lawyer.
Only a qualified injury lawyer has the ability to navigate the tricky laws of pedestrian and bicyclist accidents and make sure you get compensated for your lost wages, medical injuries, pain, suffering and other avenues of recovery. If you have been struck by a vehicle in the Brooklyn area, we can help. Take a look at our pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents pages and call us for a free consultation.