auto accident involving a pedestrian in New York City

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auto accident involving a pedestrian in New York City

My son is listed as a driver on my car. He was working and was asked to make a delivery with the car. When he returned from the delivery, the entrance to the place where he worked is located right next to a bus stop. It was night time and a woman ran out into the middle of the the street as he was preparing to turn into the lot. She ran right into the car and fell to the ground. My auto insurance company tells me that the person involved won’t give them any information and I recently received a summons from the Supreme Court, along with my son. I forwarded this to my insurance company. Please help

Asked on March 29, 2009 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Your insurance company will defend you and your son if he was an authorized driver. As he was working for his employer at the time of the accident, his employer may also have liability for any injuries caused by his negligence.

There are two basic issues.

1. Was your son negligent (at fault) in terms of his driving? That usually depends on all the facts and circumstances and who is likely to believe the two or more stories that will emerge -- his story (I was driving very slowly, paying attention, my headlights were on, the road was well lit, she darted out between 2 parked cars, etc.)  and the pedestrian's story ("I crossed at the crosswalk, with the light, after carefully looking both ways and this car with the lights out came from out of no where at a fast speed and hit me..."  If he was acting reasonably and his lights were on and she darted out and no reasonable driver could have stopped, there would be no liability. 

2. What were her damages -- not only immediate medical bills and other economic damages (such as loss of wages, torn clothing, costs of rehab and nursing care, etc.) but non-economic damages such as for any residual injury (such as a scar, a limp) and pain and suffering. 

Your insurance company (and his employer's) will either settle the case or pay any judgment up to and including the amount of the liability limit on your policy. If our limit is too low, and his employer lacks un-owned auto liability coverage you may have a problem. 

By the way, in NY any licensed lawyer can issue the summons, which starts the action.


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