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

 In Blog, Law

Understanding Pedestrian Accidents in New York

Pedestrian accidents are common, especially in bustling urban areas like New York. The city’s busy streets and sidewalks, teeming with people, create a high-risk environment for such accidents. The risk escalates during the night when visibility is reduced.

Several factors contribute to the occurrence of pedestrian accidents. Distracted driving, for instance, is a significant cause. When drivers are engrossed in texting or talking on their cellphones, they may fail to notice pedestrians in time to avoid a collision. Other common causes include drunk driving, reckless driving, road construction, and right-of-way violations.

Determining Fault in Pedestrian Accidents

The determination of fault in pedestrian accidents often revolves around the concept of negligence. In legal terms, negligence refers to a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Suppose a driver fails to exercise this level of care and causes an accident. In that case, they may be deemed negligent and, therefore, at fault.

However, it’s not always the driver who is at fault. Sometimes, the pedestrian may also be partially to blame for the accident. This is where the concept of contributory negligence comes in. Under this principle, if a pedestrian contributed to the accident through their own negligence, their compensation might be reduced.

New York follows the rule of comparative negligence. This means a pedestrian partially at fault for an accident can still recover damages. Still, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 30% at fault, they can still recover 70% of their damages.

The Role of Traffic Laws in Pedestrian Accidents

Traffic laws play a crucial role in determining fault in pedestrian accidents. For instance, drivers must yield to pedestrians at marked crosswalks and intersections. If a driver fails to yield and hits a pedestrian, the driver is typically at fault for the accident.

However, pedestrians also have a legal duty to follow traffic laws. If a pedestrian jaywalks or crosses against a traffic signal and is hit by a car, the pedestrian may be found at or partially at fault.

Additional Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

While many pedestrian accidents involve vehicles, there are other ways in which pedestrians can be injured. For instance, debris from construction sites can pose a significant hazard to pedestrians. Falling objects, uneven surfaces, and exposed wires can all lead to accidents.

Dangerous conditions in front of buildings, such as icy sidewalks or poorly maintained stairs, can also cause accidents. Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition, and failure to do so can result in liability for any accidents that occur.

Other potential hazards include poorly lit areas, which can make it difficult for pedestrians to see and avoid obstacles, and aggressive dogs, which can cause serious injuries if they attack a pedestrian.

Regardless of the cause, any pedestrian accident can have serious consequences. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, seeking legal advice is important to understand your rights and options.

The Legal Process of a Pedestrian Accident Claim

Proving fault in a pedestrian accident involves a thorough investigation and evidence collection. This can include police reports, witness statements, surveillance footage, and more. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help gather this evidence and build a strong case.

Dealing with insurance companies is another crucial aspect of a pedestrian accident claim. Insurance companies often have their own legal teams working to protect their interests, and they may try to downplay the victim’s claim or even have it dismissed. Having a lawyer on your side can help level the playing field and protect your rights.

The Impact of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can have a devastating impact on the victims. The physical injuries can be severe, requiring extensive medical treatment. Emotional trauma can also be significant, leading to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Moreover, the financial implications of a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming. Medical bills can pile up quickly, and if the victim cannot work due to their injuries, they may lose their source of income. A successful pedestrian accident claim can help cover these costs and provide the victim with the financial support they need during this difficult time.

Common Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents often result in severe injuries due to the lack of protection pedestrians have against the impact of a vehicle. These injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to life-threatening conditions.

One of the most common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents is broken bones. The force of the impact can easily break bones, particularly in the legs and hips. Head injuries are also common, especially if the pedestrian is thrown onto the hood or windshield of the vehicle. These can range from minor concussions to serious traumatic brain injuries, which can have long-term effects on cognitive function.

Other common injuries include spinal cord injuries, which can result in paralysis, and internal injuries, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. In addition, pedestrians can suffer from psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, due to the accident.

Contact the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. for Help with Your Pedestrian Accident Claim

If you have questions about how fault is determined in pedestrian accidents under New York law, or if you need help with a pedestrian accident claim, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. Our experienced attorneys can provide you with the guidance and representation you need to navigate this complex legal process.

To schedule a free consultation, call us at (800) 560-0214 or complete the form on our webpage. We’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve.