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Pedestrian Hit by a Car in New York City: Liability Explained

| Jun 22, 2020 | Car Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

Understanding Liability When a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in New York City Suffers Serious Injury

Pedestrian Hit by a Car in New York City

One of the most serious types of motor vehicle accidents is when a pedestrian hit by a car in New York City.  Not only a car, but also a truck, motorcycle, bus, sanitation vehicle, emergency vehicle, or any other vehicle on the roadway.  This is because pedestrians are vulnerable in that they do not have any protections such as a seat belt, airbag, side curtain, or even just the walls of a vehicle around them.  And unlike bicyclists and motorcyclists, pedestrians also do not have any helmets to protect them.  This is why our pedestrians hit by a car in New York City could suffer catastrophic personal injury including wrongful death.  

A pedestrian knockdown is not a simple or normal type of claim that a person may have.  This is why victims and their families need to hire an experienced New York City personal injury lawyer such as those at Cohen and Cohen Law Group, P.C.  Our compassionate and knowledgeable law firm has handled catastrophic personal injury cases in Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, and elsewhere throughout New York.  If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a catastrophic pedestrian knockdown, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed in a pedestrian knockdown case, call for a FREE consultation to learn what rights to compensation you may have under New York law.

Liability for Pedestrian Hit by a Car in New York City Cases

Pedestrian Hit by a Car in New York City

There are several issues with all pedestrian hit by a car cases.  This includes where the pedestrian was, where the vehicle was, who had the right-of-way, and who was generally at fault.  There are typically also issues with comparative fault.  This is because insurance companies and defense lawyers like to place blame on a pedestrian who is hit by a car, especially a pedestrian that is seriously injured.  This is because comparative fault could reduce a victim’s award.  

Duty of Care of a Motorist

The first issue is always who has a duty of care.  As a driver in New York, all motorists owe a duty to exercise the reasonable care under the circumstances in the use or operation of a motor vehicle.  This requires motorists to act as a reasonably prudent driver and to abide by all vehicle and traffic laws, drive defensively, and see what there is to be seen.  This means that a motorist who does not drive reasonably, does not follow the VTL, drives aggressively, and fails to see pedestrians in or around the roadway could be negligent.  

Where Crossing Matters

The next issue is usually where the pedestrian is.  A pedestrian in a crosswalk and who is walking with the right-of-way from a traffic device, or a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk and there is no traffic controlled device, always has the right-of-way under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1151.  

However, even a pedestrian who is not at a crosswalk and starts to cross after yielding to all vehicles is entitled to cross and has a right-of-way under NY VTL section 1152.  The operative part is that the pedestrian has already started to cross the street.  A pedestrian does not have the right-of-way if there are other vehicles so close to him or her that it would be unsafe to cross.

Motorists Have a General Obligation to Avoid Colliding with Pedestrians

Moreover, all motorists have an obligation to avoid colliding with any motorists on the roadway.  While this is what a reasonably prudent driver would do, it is also what a sensible driver would do too.  This is provided for under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1146, which expressly requires in the statute that “every driver” must exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.

Were You Hit by a Car?  Ask our New York City Personal Injury Lawyer For Help

Some of the worst and most disabling injuries are those caused by a pedestrian knockdown.  When a pedestrian is hit by a car in New York City, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, or anywhere else in NYC, a victim and his or her entire family could suffer significant physical, emotional, and financial harm.  If this happens to you or a loved one, or if you lost a loved one in a pedestrian knockdown accident, call our New York City personal injury lawyers at the Queens car accident law firm of Cohen and Cohen Law Group, P.C. to learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation under New York law by dialing 800-247-8164 or using our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.

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