While pedestrians are a common site on Staten Island, summertime sees an increase in pedestrian activity across New York. When the weather is pleasant, people are more apt to want to take a walk, jog outside or ride their bikes. However, it is essential that motorists pay extra attention to pedestrians in their vicinity in the summer months, to avoid causing a pedestrian accident.
The New York State Department of Transportation has implemented a new public awareness campaign to remind motorists that there are more pedestrians on the roads in summer than any other time of the year. Pedestrians have the right of way in many situations. Motorists should not drive aggressively around pedestrians at intersections or honk their horn at them. Pedestrians can cross the intersection, and motorists will still have time to turn. The state has also installed bright yellow signs at crosswalks without stoplights or stop signs, to make motorists aware that pedestrians may be present.
Unfortunately, despite these measures, auto-pedestrian accidents will still occur. Pedestrians knocked down by automobiles can suffer serious injuries. Simply put, pedestrians are unprotected and when a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds collides with them, it is almost inevitable that the pedestrian will be injured. Some auto-pedestrian accidents end in death.
When a pedestrian is struck by a car, he or she may want to pursue a legal claim against the motorist responsible for the crash. Compensation may be sought for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress and more if it can be shown that the motorist was negligent. Negligence means that the motorist owed a duty of care, which was breached, that the breach actually and proximately caused the victim's damages and that the victim indeed suffered damages. While this post cannot guarantee any outcome in an auto-pedestrian case and should not form the basis of any legal filing, attorneys can help explain more about negligence, so pedestrians struck by an automobile can understand their legal options.