Even the safest driver can experience a serious accident when the other party is being negligent. While we normally attribute negligence to other drivers, what happens if a pedestrian caused an accident?
Most areas have laws that protect pedestrian rights, but what happens if an accident with a pedestrian happens because they were careless? Who decides fault?
We’re here to explain. Keep reading to learn all about pedestrian vs driver fault in an accident.
When Do Pedestrians Have Right of Way?
Pedestrians in New York State are responsible for their own safety, to a point.
All pedestrians should look both ways before crossing any street. They’re responsible for obeying marked crosswalks, walk signals, and traffic lights. Pedestrians also have the right of way when they’re walking across unmarked crosswalks (though they should still be careful).
Drivers are always expected to yield to pedestrians.
The law almost always bends to the pedestrian. Because New York is a no-fault state, the pedestrian will receive coverage for hospital bills and other expenses that occur as a result of the car accident. Where it gets tricky is when it comes to personal injury claims.
What Is Pedestrian Negligence?
There are rare occasions where New York State may determine that the pedestrian contributed to the accident. Regardless of whether it was driver negligence or pedestrian negligence, it needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt that the offending party could have avoided the accident.
New York is protective of pedestrian rights, so even if a pedestrian caused an accident, it’s difficult to prove. While the court may determine that they were at fault if they were crossing during a time when they shouldn’t have been, their lawyer can argue that the pedestrian’s negligence wasn’t the primary factor involved in the accident.
What Happens If a Pedestrian Caused An Accident?
Most of the time, if a judge determines fault, the driver will be responsible for damages. Even if the pedestrian was negligent, this is difficult to defend when they are the injured party. More significant injuries (or death) make this harder.
It’s important to get a good attorney if you want to defend yourself in this case.
Here are a few questions that people have about pedestrian negligence and auto accidents. For more questions, contact a personal injury attorney.
What Is Comparative Fault?
New York State has a comparative fault situation. This means that when it comes to personal injury cases, both parties can be responsible for compensation, even if one of them was 99% at fault.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
It’s very difficult to win a case against a pedestrian. You need an attorney to determine that the pedestrian contributed to the accident and that you reacted to your best ability.
What Could I Be Responsible For?
If the court determines that you were at fault, you may be responsible for hospital costs, loss of income, pain and suffering costs, and any costs related to a disability that the pedestrian suffers as a result of the accident.
Was the Pedestrian at Fault? We Can Help
If you’ve been in an accident with a pedestrian, you need to act fast to make sure that you’re protected. You shouldn’t try to navigate the legal system alone. When it comes to what happens if a pedestrian caused an accident, it boils down to how the judge determines fault.
We want to advocate for you. Schedule a free consultation today so we can start building your case.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.