When Is a Pedestrian at Fault in a Car Accident?
Accidents involving pedestrians can result in very serious injuries and high medical costs. There are various reasons why a car can hit a pedestrian. In some circumstances, the collision may have been caused by the driver’s negligence. It is also possible, nevertheless, that the pedestrian was at fault. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, pedestrians are required to obey traffic signals, use crosswalks when available, and walk on the sidewalk when one is provided.
Fortunately, even if they were entirely or partially to blame for the collision, a pedestrian may still be able to receive compensation for their damages. New York is a no-fault state. This means that an injured pedestrian who was involved in an automobile accident may be entitled to compensation under the driver’s insurance policy, regardless of who was at fault. Every driver must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Up to the policy limits, this coverage will cover the pedestrian’s medical costs.
Determining Fault in A Pedestrian Accident
As previously stated, pedestrians are expected to obey traffic signals and rules when crossing the street and using crosswalks and sidewalks appropriately. Pedestrians are expected to exercise reasonable care for their own safety. This includes looking both ways before crossing the street, being aware of their surroundings, and not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a pedestrian is found to have not taken these precautions and is involved in an accident, they may be considered at fault.
In the case where a pedestrian is hit by a car while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk with the signal, the driver is more likely to be found at fault. Additionally, if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or the driver was speeding, driving recklessly or not paying attention, they will most likely be held accountable for the accident. However, if the pedestrian was crossing at an unmarked crosswalk, jaywalking or crossing against the signal, the pedestrian would be considered at fault.
It is important to note that fault in a car accident is determined on a case-by-case basis and that multiple parties may be found at fault. Factors such as visibility, weather conditions, and the actions of both the pedestrian and the driver are taken into consideration.
Evidence For a Pedestrian Accident Case
If the driver was responsible for the accident and the pedestrian can sue them, they must demonstrate that the driver’s negligence or carelessness led to the accident. To demonstrate this, the plaintiff must provide evidence to support their claim. It is crucial to provide photos of the accident scene and the injuries sustained. Surveillance system footage can be extremely valuable to determine if the driver was at fault. Furthermore, statements from eyewitnesses can also be very beneficial in case the pedestrian who was injured and the driver have different versions of the accident.
In New York, comparative negligence is a legal principle that is used to determine the degree of fault for an accident and how much damages should be awarded to the injured party. Under comparative negligence, the court will consider the actions of all parties involved in the accident and assign a percentage of fault to each party. For example, if the court finds that the driver of a car was 60% at fault for an accident and the pedestrian was 40% at fault, the driver would be responsible for 60% of the damages and the pedestrian would be responsible for 40% of the damages.
New York follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that if a person is found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, they cannot recover any damages. If a person is found to be at fault for an accident, their damages award will be reduced by their degree of fault. For example, if a person who is awarded $100,000 in damages is found to be 30% at fault, their award would be reduced to $70,000.
Meeting The Serious Injury Threshold
Only no-fault benefits are available to the pedestrian in cases when the driver is not to blame for the collision. However, the pedestrian may bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver if the driver was at fault, the policy limits were insufficient to pay the medical costs, or the injuries were serious. The serious injury threshold in New York is defined as an injury that results in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, a fracture, loss of a fetus, permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system. Or a non-permanent injury that prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury.
Recoverable Damages Available After A Pedestrian Accident
In general, the following types of damages may be available after a pedestrian accident:
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of any medical treatment, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. It also includes the cost of any future medical treatments that may be necessary as a result of the accident.
- Lost wages: This includes any income that the person was unable to earn as a result of the accident and the recovery process.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for the physical and emotional pain, and suffering caused by the accident.
- Property damage: This includes the cost of repairing or replacing any personal property that was damaged in the accident, such as clothing, a cell phone, and personal belongings.
- Loss of consortium: This includes compensation for the loss of companionship, comfort, and support that the person’s spouse or family members may have experienced as a result of the accident.
- Punitive damages: This is a form of compensation that is intended to punish the defendant for particularly reckless or negligent behavior.
Greenberg & Stein Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you have recently been injured by a driver while you were crossing the street or simply walking on the sidewalk, you may feel overwhelmed by the situation. Recovering from your injuries, trying to seek compensation for your injuries, and dealing with insurance companies is not easy task. Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a law firm that has helped countless New Yorkers get the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys have vast experience handling pedestrian accident cases. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. An attorney can help you build a solid case, gather evidence, speak to eyewitnesses and negotiate with insurance companies. Contact us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.