New York pedestrian accidents: Who is responsible?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Pedestrian Accidents

As well as being home to millions of residents, New York is a hotspot for tourists. Consequently, thousands of people can be making their way around the city at any one time. Cars, buses and other forms of public transport are all popular means of getting around. However, many people opt to travel on foot.

Sadly, one result of so many people traveling at any one time is that accidents do occur. Rules and regulations are in place to help both motorists and pedestrians stay safe, but they are not always adhered to. A momentary lapse in concentration, one careless act or a tight deadline are just some common factors that may lead to accidents.

It is vital that motorists and pedestrians are aware of their rights and responsibilities to protect themselves and avoid any potential tragedy.

What responsibilities do motorists have?

According to New York law, pedestrians have the right of way at all crosswalks and even intersections where no crosswalk is in place. To clarify, this means that a driver should give way to a pedestrian, even if there is a green light. Drivers are also expected to be aware of pedestrians when they are reversing, parking and driving down narrow lanes.

What are the responsibilities of pedestrians?

The burden of safety does not fall completely on motorists. Pedestrians are expected to be safety conscious as well. For example, pedestrians are supposed to adhere to different signs and signals, such as “don’t walk” signs. Furthermore, pedestrians are not supposed to cross intersections diagonally, unless a traffic signal specifically instructs it. Additionally, when crossing at sites that are not specifically crosswalks or intersections, pedestrians are supposed to yield to oncoming traffic. It is important to note that the state of New York recognizes contributory negligence. Therefore, if a pedestrian has failed to observe the rules, they could be held partially responsible for any accident that occurs.

Familiarizing yourself with the laws relating to motorists and pedestrians can help keep you safe as well as protect your interests. Even if you are held partially responsible for an accident, you may still be able to bring forward a legal claim.