Crosswalks are common sites of personal injury and auto accidents in New York, often due to misunderstanding of crosswalk laws or right-of-way statutes. Depending on accident circumstances, victims may be eligible to file crosswalk accident lawsuits.
When Can Pedestrians File a Crosswalk Accident Claim?
Driver Ignores Pedestrian Presence in the Crosswalk
According to Vehicle & Traffic Code Section 1151, drivers have to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks, even if there is no traffic control signal. This is also true if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk when the light turns green, before they finish crossing the street.
For example, if a pedestrian is crossing the street slowly, the traffic light turns red, and a car speeds ahead and causes a personal injury, the driver would be at fault for the accident, and liable for a personal injury lawsuit.
Driver Ignores Traffic Lights and Right-of-Way
Vehicle & Traffic Code Section 1150 indicates that both pedestrians and drivers must obey traffic control signals. If a driver ignores traffic lights, such as when they run a red light, they will be liable for the resulting accident in a personal injury lawsuit if they harm a pedestrian crossing the street.
Driver Ignores Pedestrian Guide Dog or Sign of Visual Impairment
According to Vehicle & Traffic Code Section 1153, drivers must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog or who shows signs of visual impairment.
Drivers must yield the right-of-way to such pedestrians even if the traffic light is green. If a driver ignores this and impacts a blind or visually impaired pedestrian, they may be liable in a crosswalk injury lawsuit.
Driver Doesn’t Yield to Pedestrian Entering/Exiting an Area
Vehicle & Traffic Code Section 1151-A indicates that vehicle drivers must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian on a sidewalk whenever they are entering or exiting from a(n):
- Private road
If a pedestrian is crossing an alleyway sidewalk and a driver attempts to enter the alley too quickly and hits a pedestrian, they may be found at fault for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
When Can Drivers File Crosswalk Accident Lawsuits?
While most crosswalk accident lawsuits are fileable by pedestrians, drivers can also file crosswalk accident lawsuits under certain circumstances.
Pedestrian Leaps Out Into the Street Without Warning
Drivers are only held responsible for avoiding hazards they can reasonably see or anticipate. If a pedestrian leaps in front of a motor vehicle and is hit in the process, they may be held liable for an auto accident or personal injury. Eyewitness accounts are often crucial in establishing a pedestrian’s negligence in such cases.
Pedestrian Crosses Without a Crosswalk or Sidewalk
Vehicle & Traffic Code Section 1152 indicates that pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to any vehicles on a roadway if there is no crosswalk. Furthermore, the same Section states that pedestrians may not walk on limited-access roads, such as highways, without sidewalks. If they are injured in an auto accident, they may be held at fault for the accident even if they sustain injuries.
Types of Crosswalk Accident Lawsuits
Crosswalk accidents can be very dangerous to individuals and harmful to personal property. Depending on the circumstances and the attribution of fault, different lawsuits may be filed.
Pedestrian Crosswalk Accident Lawsuits
Pedestrians may typically file two types of lawsuits: personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits. Personal injury pedestrian crosswalk accident lawsuits may be filed if:
- The plaintiff was directly injured due to the negligent actions of the accused party
- The accused party violated one or more New York statutes/laws
Wrongful death pedestrian crosswalk accident lawsuits may be filed if:
- The plaintiff was killed as a direct result of the negligent actions of the accused party
- The accused party violated one or more New York statutes/laws and this led to the wrongful death
Driver Crosswalk Accident Lawsuits
Similarly, New York drivers may also file crosswalk accident lawsuits if the party responsible for the accident was a pedestrian or another driver.
For instance, drivers may file personal injury crosswalk accident lawsuits if the plaintiff was injured because of the actions of the pedestrian when that pedestrian violated a law. The family members or loved ones of a driver may file a wrongful death lawsuit if the driver or someone in the motor vehicle died due to the actions of a pedestrian violating crosswalk laws.
Drivers may also file auto accident lawsuits because of violated crosswalk laws. For example, if a pedestrian illegally crosses the street, forcing a driver to swerve to avoid hitting them, they may accidentally hit another motor vehicle in the process.
In such an auto accident, the at-fault party would be the negligent pedestrian, not either driver in the incident.
A similar claim may also be filed if one driver accidentally hits a pedestrian because of the negligent driving or actions of another driver on the road. In such a circumstance, the at-fault driver would be responsible for the personal injuries or death of the impacted pedestrian.
Crosswalk Accident Statistics
- Each year, nearly 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 are injured by motor vehicles both on crosswalks and on roadways.
- 63 pedestrians were killed in New York City alone between the years of 2012 and 2014 due to “irregular crossing actions”.
- Another 9 were killed when crossing with an appropriate traffic light.
- There were nearly 15,000 pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes in New York State in 2014. In these, 268 pedestrians were killed.
Because many crosswalk accidents involving pedestrians often involve a motor vehicle hitting a person, injuries can be quite severe. Common injuries for crosswalk accidents include:
- Broken bones
- TBIs or traumatic brain injuries
- Skin lacerations or “road rash”
- Paralysis or spinal damage
Common Causes of Crosswalk Accidents in New York
Some of the most common causes of accidents in crosswalks include:
- Poor lighting of the crosswalk
- Failure by the pedestrian or driver to yield the right-of-way
- Driving distractedly (i.e. texting and driving)
- DUI or DWI
- Dangerous weather conditions
Crosswalk Accident Settlement Amounts
Because crosswalk accidents can lead to many injuries or the destruction of personal property, compensation may be awarded to plaintiffs to cover the cost of medical expenses, for pain and suffering, and to restore damaged or destroyed property.
For instance, a recent New York crosswalk accident lawsuit filed by a pedestrian saw the plaintiff receive $700,000 to cover the cost of their medical bills and lost income while they recovered.
Another lawsuit filed by a driver against a pedestrian who crossed the street improperly and caused an auto accident led to damages of up to $150,000. The range of compensation can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident and the evidence gathered.*
*Sobo & Sobo does not cite actual settlement values for our clients’ cases, even anonymously, for reasons of privacy. From time to time, we may include publicly available individual case histories and ranges of general US settlement values that are published by reliable sources. These, however, should not be interpreted as representing Sobo & Sobo cases or suggest future outcomes at Sobo & Sobo.
Contact a NY Crosswalk Injury Attorney
Sobo & Sobo has over 50 years of experience winning settlement amounts for crosswalk accident victims across New York’s Hudson Valley and New York City. Free consultations are offered to all injured parties to discuss the value of their case, and explore their options moving forward. Call 855-468-7626 or contact us online to book your consultation today.