New York Pedestrian Accidents
With hundreds of thousands of New York residents and tourists crossing the streets of New York City every day, accidents are inevitable. Even though COVID restrictions kept people at home in 2020, nearly 250 pedestrians were killed, which was the most since 2014. Just this month, a woman was fatally injured by a dump truck as she crossed the street in Times Square. Despite strict right-of-way regulations for pedestrians, motorists are often hurrying to their destinations, distracted, or just not observant, often leading to tragedy.
New York law gives pedestrians the right-of-way in crosswalks and all intersections whether there is a crosswalk or not. This means that a driver must yield for a pedestrian in a crosswalk or in an intersection, even if the driver has a green light. Drivers are also expected to look for pedestrians when backing up, pulling into parking places, and when emerging from a driveway, alleyway, or side street.
Pedestrians are required to observe traffic signals, including Walk/Don’t Walk signs and other traffic lights. Pedestrians are also prohibited from crossing intersections diagonally, unless authorized by a traffic signal. When crossing roads at locations other than designated crosswalks or intersections, pedestrians must yield to oncoming traffic. Since New York personal injury law recognizes contributory negligence, a pedestrian who is injured when failing to observe these rules may be found partially or completely at fault for an accident. Even when the pedestrian is partially at fault for an accident, however, it may still be possible to collect damages from the driver for their portion of the blame in the accident.
What to Do After an Accident
- Always seek medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are not serious. You may have injuries that do not show symptoms until hours or even days after an accident.
- Do not assume that the accident was your fault, even if you were crossing against a light or jaywalking. Do not admit fault to anyone.
- Talk to a New York personal injury attorney as soon as possible, especially if a city vehicle was involved. There are strict time limits for claims against government agencies, and failure to report an accident within the required time period, or failing to use the proper method for reporting, can result in your claim being denied.