New York Pedestrian Accident - a Case in Point
Our New York personal injury law firm took in a pedestrian accident case last summer where a pedestrian while crossing Avenue P in Brooklyn, NY was struck by a van. Although the vehicle responsible for the pedestrian accident stopped at the scene and fire and police responded, the driver and vehicle information was never recorded. In this particular case, the fire department initially responded and then left the scene when they confirmed 911 had notified the police. Unfortunately, by the time the police arrived, the injured pedestrian had already been taken away to the hospital by ambulance and all the witnesses had left the scene. Even though the van had stayed until the police responded, the operator and passengers of the van did not speak English and could not communicate with the police. Not knowing that a serious accident had taken place, the police let the van go on its way. No one from either the fire department or police department recorded any driver, vehicle or vehicle owner information. Without any of this information, there was no way to identify the insurance company for the van with which to file a pedestrian accident claim.
Our investigation, which included a canvas of the area, revealed that a nearby synagogue operated a video surveillance system. The front surveillance cameras were angled to include the street traffic as well. The synagogue agreed to produce the surveillance tape for the time when the pedestrian accident occurred. While the surveillance tape showed the van stopped in traffic, it was not of sufficient quality to read the writing on the side of the van or the license plate numbers. However, we speculated that perhaps this was a daily route used by the van driver. Our investigator suggested that he place an operative in front of the synagogue to observe if the van would pass by again. Fortunately, that was the case and the operative was able to photograph the license plate on the van. Through the Department of Motor Vehicles, our law firm learned the name of the insurance company. The insurance company confirmed that the van had been in an accident involving a pedestrian on the morning in question and coverage for no-fault benefits, which paid for our client's medical and hospital expenses. The insurance company also confirmed coverage for our client's pain and suffering injury claim. Tenacity, imagination and experience as pedestrian accident lawyers, saved the day in this particular case. We were also confident that by leaving no stone unturned, we would eventually learn the identity of the motor vehicle involved.
This example is truly a worst-case scenario; however, this perfectly demonstrates why it is imperative to get the driver, vehicle and vehicle owner information of all the vehicles involved in a car accident and/or pedestrian accident. (See our article: What to Do If You Have Been Injured In a New York Motor Vehicle Accident.) As an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer, I cannot emphasize enough that the collection of all pertinent information at the accident scene is essential to a successful pedestrian accident claim outcome and receiving the maximum pedestrian accident claim settlement.
Persistence is many times the key to a successful result as it was in this case. This is the touchstone of the Personal Injury Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel