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Determining Fault in Pedestrian Accidents

Fault in pedestrian-car accidents isn’t always as clear-cut as one might think. While the tendency is for people to believe the driver is always at fault, there are situations in which the pedestrian may be liable for the accident that occurs, even though the pedestrian is far more likely to be more severely injured than the driver due to the lack of protection he or she has while walking. 

Drivers are more likely to be liable if they broke any of the rules of the road during the accident. Perhaps they were speeding, or ran a red light. Perhaps they were drunk behind the wheel (in which case, the driver will basically always be held responsible) or distracted. A particularly common pedestrian accident scenario is when a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, causing the injury. Drivers are responsible for always yielding at crosswalks, even if there is not a stop sign, yield sign or traffic signal. Yet, for some reason, this is a rule that many drivers are unaware of. 

Pedestrians also have certain responsibilities that they must uphold. While they will basically never be liable if the accident occurs on the sidewalk, they are expected to exercise care when crossing the street. Pedestrians must obey crossing signals, and should not jaywalk or venture out into a street at an uncontrolled intersection. Using a crosswalk will give a pedestrian the right of way. For pedestrians’ own safety, it’s important that they look both ways before crossing the street to make sure that there are not any cars coming. 

Keep these standards in mind when considering whether you might have the ability to file a personal injury claim after a pedestrian accident. If you followed the rules and can prove that the driver did not, you may be able to recover monetary damages. Contact the knowledgeable New York personal injury attorneys at Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson to learn more.

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