In an average year, 312 New Yorkers die each year in pedestrian accidents. An additional 3,027 are hospitalized and 12,506 New Yorkers visit the emergency room as a result of pedestrian accidents. While many of these accidents occur in New York City, pedestrian accidents can and do occur throughout the state — including right here in Long Island.
Pedestrian accidents can lead to devastating injuries. When a car, truck, or other motor vehicle strikes a person, the results can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, the rate of distracted driving and other poor driving practices only seems to be increasing. As a result, the overall number of pedestrian accidents seems to be rising as well. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents across the country in 2016, increasing 9% from 2015 — a pedestrian was killed every 1.5 hours.
At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we have more than 75 years of combined experience helping clients who have been injured in pedestrian accidents and other types of accidents. We are fierce advocates for our clients, working with them to help establish their right to compensation for their injuries.
How New York Law Protects Pedestrians
Under New York law, both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to remain alert when walking and driving. In addition to specific regulations in place in various towns and cities across New York, statewide laws provide guidelines on right of way. A traffic violation may be used to establish fault in a pedestrian accident case, particularly if a driver failed to yield to a pedestrian’s right of as required by the law.
Under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, in the absence of a traffic signal, pedestrians are afforded the right of way over motor vehicles. In addition, any driver that must cross a sidewalk, driveway or parking lot must yield to pedestrians on that walkway. In other words, if you are walking along the sidewalk and a car attempts to make a turn into the alley or into a parking lot (across the sidewalk), it must allow you to pass.
However, there are laws that favor drivers. Another section of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requires pedestrians to yield to the right of way of drivers in any roadway, except in marked crosswalks or unmarked crosswalks in intersections. This means that drivers have the right of way unless there is a crosswalk, or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
This second section is often used by defense lawyers to establish comparative fault on the part of the pedestrian. As a Long Island pedestrian accident attorney can explain, comparative fault is a concept that reduces a victim’s compensation by the percentage that they are at fault. For example, if you crossed the street outside of the crosswalk and were hit by a speeding car whose driver was texting while driving, you are partially at fault because you did not give the driver the right of way. The jury might decide that you were 10% at fault, while the driver was 90% at fault. If your total damages award was $100,000, it would reduce the amount to $90,000. The question of comparative fault can be complex, and will vary based on the facts of your case. Working with a skilled Long Island pedestrian accident attorney can help you determine whether you have a viable case, as well as your options for moving forward.
How a Long Island Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you are likely overwhelmed by the prospect of recovering from your injuries, time off of work, mounting bills, and covering your daily expenses. Working with a Long Island pedestrian accident attorney can ease this stress by allowing you to focus on your health while we work towards a financial recovery.
Pedestrian accident cases can be complicated, and many involve factors such as hit and run drivers or the need to file a claim against a business or government. An experienced lawyer can investigate every aspect of your case to determine the best path forward in order to maximize your compensation.
Winkler Kurtz, LLP is here for victims of pedestrian accidents. For more than 30 years, we have represented victims of all types of accidents throughout Long Island. We have substantial trial experience, and will stand by you through every phase of your case. Contact us today by phone at 631-928-8000 or via contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Long Island pedestrian accident attorney.