pedestrian crosswalk

Traveling on foot is an economically friendly and healthy means of transportation for individuals to navigate the Big Apple. The busy streets and sidewalks, heavily populated with people, create an environment rife with danger. Pedestrians are not afforded the same protections as those within the vehicles, making them more vulnerable to sustaining catastrophic or fatal injuries in the event of an accident. Victims of pedestrian accidents are often burdened with physical, emotional, and financial consequences that haunt them for years to come. As such, many injured parties wonder who can be held liable for a pedestrian accident. Please continue reading to learn how fault is determined in pedestrian accidents and how a seasoned Bronx Auto Accident Lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve. 

Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault for a Collision?

Due to its bustling environment, there is an alarming number of pedestrian accidents in New York. Several factors contribute to the occurrence of pedestrian accidents. However, pedestrian accidents are often the result of driver negligence. The following factors can contribute to pedestrian accidents:

  • Motorists speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving without headlights at night or during inclement weather conditions
  • Pedestrians who cross the road outside of the crosswalk
  • Distracted pedestrians crossing the street
  • Pedestrians disobeying traffic signals

Similar to motorists in New York, pedestrians are also obligated to uphold a reasonable level of care for their safety and abide by traffic laws to mitigate the risks of accidents. In most cases, the fault, if not entirely, lies with the driver. When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk, determining fault is usually straightforward because motorists are required by law to yield the right of way to anyone using a crosswalk. It’s crucial to note that a motorist may still be at fault even when a crosswalk isn’t present. Drivers must yield for pedestrians when they cross at the corners of intersections. However, pedestrians must pay attention while crossing and check for oncoming traffic before entering the road.

Nevertheless, in some instances, a pedestrian can be held partially at fault for an accident. If the pedestrian disobeyed New York traffic laws, such as crossing the street outside a crosswalk (jaywalking) or crossing an intersection diagonally, they could be held responsible for their contribution to the cause of the accident. Essentially, pedestrians are only at fault if their behavior was grossly negligent or the driver who struck them didn’t violate traffic laws.

How is Fault Determined in Pedestrian Accidents Under New York Law?

New York is a comparative negligence state. This legal doctrine is used to determine fault in a personal injury case. Under a comparative negligence system, injured plaintiffs can still recover compensation for their damages even if they were partly responsible for the cause of an accident. While they can still recover compensation for their damages, their award will be reduced to reflect their percentage of fault for the accident.

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined lawyer from the legal team at James Newman, P.C., who can help fight for the best possible outcome for your case.