New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Traveling on foot in New York City is the most common way to get around. It can also be very dangerous when motorists and pedestrians don’t follow the rules.
Pedestrians account for about half of motor vehicle accident fatalities in New York City, and pedestrians are 10 times more likely to die in an accident than occupants of motor vehicles, according to the New York City Department of Transportation.
Driver inattention and the failure to yield to someone on foot account for roughly two-thirds of pedestrian deaths and serious injuries in traffic accidents, the New York City DOT reports.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you know that the costs of the medical treatment can be huge. You may also be unable to work and coping with a significant amount of pain and suffering. If your loved one was killed in a crash, then you could be left without the financial and emotional support you were dependent upon.
The laws in New York allow pedestrians who were hurt in accidents to take legal action against the person responsible for the crash. An experienced New York City pedestrian accident lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you understand and protect your legal rights.
New York Laws to Protect Pedestrians
Drivers are expected to obey all of the rules of the road to help keep pedestrians safe. There are also some specific rules that govern how motor vehicles and pedestrians interact. For example, Section 4-04 of the New York City DOT Traffic Rules requires that:
- Drivers exercise due care in order to avoid crashes with pedestrians.
- Pedestrians obey all traffic signals as well as lawful orders and directives of law enforcement.
- Drivers yield to pedestrians crossing in crosswalks if there are no traffic or pedestrian control signals and if the vehicle’s path is close enough to the pedestrian to put the pedestrian in danger.
- Pedestrians refrain from suddenly leaving a curb or walking into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Drivers refrain from passing vehicles stopped at crosswalks to permit pedestrians to cross.
- Pedestrians refrain from entering restricted areas, including those with signs, fences, barriers or other devices prohibiting entry.
- Pedestrians cross intersections only at designated crosswalks.
- Pedestrians use crosswalks to cross roads on any block with traffic-control signals at both intersections bordering the block.
- Drivers yield to pedestrians when the pedestrian control signal displays a WALK sign, a green hand symbol or a green walking figure.
- Pedestrians yield to drivers when a pedestrian control signal shows a DON’T WALK sign, a red hand symbol or a red standing figure. Pedestrian control signals also count down the amount of time remaining to cross and pedestrians should not enter an intersection when this countdown shows an insufficient amount of time to cross.
- Drivers yield to pedestrians already in crosswalks when the traffic-control signal changes. Pedestrians should proceed to a curb as soon as possible when the traffic-control signal changes.
Compensation for a Pedestrian Crash
If a driver broke any laws designed to promote traffic safety or behaved in a careless or unreasonable manner in any way while driving, that driver may be held legally liable for the pedestrian accident. If the driver was working at the time of the crash, his or her employer could also be held liable for the accident.
A pedestrian could recover compensation from a driver or his employer through filing a personal injury lawsuit and proving his or her case to a judge or jury. An injured pedestrian could also negotiate an out-of-court settlement. In the event that the pedestrian was killed, the surviving family members could be entitled to pursue a claim for wrongful death damages.
Why Do Pedestrians Get Hit by Cars in New York City?
According to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles information, there were 15,928 crashes involving pedestrians during a single recent year, and 296 of those crashes were fatal. Some type of injury occurred in an additional 15,614 New York pedestrian accidents. These statistics show just how widespread the problem of pedestrian crashes is in New York. Sadly, most if not all of the injuries and deaths in pedestrian accidents could have been avoided.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has put together a New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan. The plan was based on an investigation of eight years of data about pedestrian accidents and was intended to illustrate the common causes of pedestrian crashes and to highlight some ways to protect pedestrians.
The plan outlines and discusses several common causes of pedestrian crashes in New York City. According to DOT information:
- Distracted driving was cited as the cause of almost 36 percent of crashes resulting in the death or serious injury of pedestrians.
- A driver’s failure to yield was cited as a cause of 27 percent of accidents causing serious injury or death to pedestrians.
- A pedestrian crossing against the signal was a factor in 20 percent of serious injury or fatal accidents involving pedestrians.
- Speeding, limited sight distance or slippery pavement was a factor in 21 percent of pedestrian fatality and injury cases.
- Eight percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a drunk driver.
- In 31 percent of pedestrian crashes involving large trucks, the crash occurred when the truck driver was making a right turn.
- Twice as many deaths occurred in pedestrian crashes that involved a speeding driver. On New York City streets, the standard speed limit is only 30 mph, but the majority of drivers in New York are not aware of this.
- Private cars, as opposed to taxis, buses or trucks, are the vehicles involved in 79 percent of crashes that seriously kill or injure pedestrians.
- Crashes caused by lane changing were more than twice as deadly as other pedestrian crashes.
In many of these instances, the driver of the vehicle was the one responsible for causing the crash.
Where Do Pedestrian Crashes Happen In New York?
Pedestrian crashes can happen anywhere in New York City. In fact, 52 percent of all New York City traffic deaths involve a pedestrian.
However, pedestrians are at the greatest risk in Manhattan. There are four times as many pedestrians killed or injured in Manhattan per mile of street than there are in other boroughs.
Major two-way streets account for a total of 12 percent of the road network in Manhattan, but are the location where 47 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur.
Intersections are also more likely to be the site of a pedestrian crash in New York City. For example:
- 75 percent of crashes where pedestrians were killed or seriously injured occurred at intersections in Manhattan. This is very different from other areas in the U.S., as data show that 76 percent of all U.S. pedestrian fatalities or injuries occur somewhere other than at an intersection.
- 47 percent of pedestrian injuries and fatalities occurred at signalized intersections, and in 57 percent of these cases, the pedestrian was crossing with the signal.
Many of those killed are not residents of Manhattan. About 43 percent of pedestrians who are killed in Manhattan live outside of New York City or live in another borough. Many of those visiting the city may not be familiar with traffic patterns or with the high speed of vehicles, and this could potentially contribute to the risk. However, even lifelong New Yorkers can be a victim of a pedestrian crash.
Hit by a Car in New York City? Call a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in NYC Today
If you were seriously injured in a New York City pedestrian collision and someone else was at fault, you could be entitled to compensation. The NYC accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are skilled at evaluating traffic accident claims and have a track record of getting results.
Call the firm today or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your claim. We serve pedestrian accident victims in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and all of New York City.
- New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
- New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan