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Bloomberg Launches Pedestrian Safety Initiative

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking initiative to curb pedestrian accidents. In hopes of increasing pedestrian safety, plans to install 1500 countdown clocks throughout the city are in the works.

In a city with high foot traffic, pedestrian encounters with motor vehicles is inevitable. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), over 15,000 pedestrian accidents occurred in the state of New York in 2008 alone. Out of those, 99 percent resulted in injuries to the pedestrian.

The New York City Crosswalk Project

To minimize pedestrian injuries, Michael Bloomberg instigated a pilot program by installing countdown clocks at 24 intersections throughout New York City. The pilot program revealed that the clocks helped pedestrians crossing particularly long or wide streets. As a result, New York City is installing 1500 countdown clocks in various areas.

The initiation has since increased the public interest surrounding pedestrian safety and the protections afforded to pedestrians injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Many individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents are most likely aware that automobile insurance will pay for their injuries and/or damage to their vehicle. What most people may not know is that pedestrians involved in auto accidents are entitled to compensation from auto insurance as well.

Compensation for Injured Pedestrians

In the state of New York, if a pedestrian suffers injuries from an automobile accident the pedestrian will be covered under New York's No-Fault automobile insurance laws. The insurance company of the driver that hit the pedestrian provides compensation for property damage and medical expenses up to $50,000. The pedestrian has 30 days to file a claim. If the injured pedestrian wishes to seek additional damages outside the realm of the law, including pain and suffering, he or she must file a lawsuit against the other driver.

However, states with no-fault insurance laws, including New York's, require injured parties to meet a particular threshold if they wish to recover additional damages outside the scope of the no-fault laws.

Certain conditions must be met under the threshold requirements. Death, loss of a limb and broken bones are the most common conditions that typically pass the threshold. However, pedestrians who suffer soft tissue injuries like ankle sprains or pulled muscles may find it more difficult.

Along with the crosswalk initiation, the Bloomberg Administration announced plans to implement another pilot program-20 mph speed zones in various residential neighborhoods.

The Bloomberg Administration hopes the new measures will provide pedestrians the means to navigate streets more safely.

If you or someone you know suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, it's important to contact an experienced pedestrian accident injury attorney in your area.

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