What To Do If You’re Involved In A Pedestrian Crosswalk Accident

What To Do If You’re Involved In A Pedestrian Crosswalk Accident
Calendar icon April 13, 2024

Pedestrian accidents at crosswalks are a significant concern in urban areas across the United States, like New York City. These incidents often result in severe injuries and can have life-altering consequences for the victims. Understanding the legal nuances and protections available to pedestrians is crucial for anyone involved in such an accident. In this blog post, we will delve into the key legal insights regarding pedestrian accidents at crosswalks and how victims can seek justice and compensation with the help of experienced attorneys like those at Cellino Law.

Understanding Pedestrian Rights at Crosswalks

Pedestrians have designated rights that are protected by traffic laws and regulations. At a marked or unmarked crosswalk, vehicles are typically required to yield to pedestrians. However, pedestrians are also expected to follow the rules, such as crossing only at designated areas and obeying traffic signals. Despite these measures, when accidents occur, determining fault can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of state and local traffic laws.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents at Crosswalks

Several factors contribute to pedestrian accidents at crosswalks, including:

  • Failure to Yield: One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents at crosswalks is motorists failing to yield to pedestrians. In New York, pedestrians have the right of way in all crosswalks, at intersections with marked or unmarked crosswalks, and on walkways where a vehicle may be entering or exiting the roadway. 
  • Distracted Driving: There are many different types of  distractions that can take a driver’s attention off of the road. Actions such as texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio, even for a moment,  can increase the risk of striking a pedestrian at a crosswalk.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver’s ability to react to pedestrians crossing the street, increasing the likelihood of accidents at crosswalks.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making them more likely to cause accidents.
  • Poor Visibility: Inadequate lighting, obscured signage, or obstructed views can make it difficult for motorists to see pedestrians in crosswalks, increasing the risk of accidents, especially at night or in adverse weather conditions.

Insights For Victims Of A Crosswalk Accident

For pedestrians who have been injured at a crosswalk, being armed with the knowledge to protect your rights is crucial. Here are some things you should know if you’re involved in a crosswalk accident:

Determining Fault and Liability:
To recover damages in a pedestrian accident claim, victims must demonstrate that another party acted negligently and caused injury as a result. This could include failing to stop at a crosswalk signal or texting while driving. If you’re working with an attorney, they will work to gather additional evidence like traffic camera footage, speak to eyewitnesses, and work with accident reconstructionists to help determine liability.

Comparative Negligence:
Many states, like New York, operate under comparative negligence laws that affect compensation in pedestrian accidents. If a pedestrian is found to be partially at fault for their injuries, as stated in the police report or through the insurance adjuster’s investigation, the recoverable damages may be reduced by the percent they are found to be at fault.

Statute of Limitations:
Pedestrian accident victims have a limited time frame, known as the statute of limitations, to file a claim. This period varies by state, but in New York, injury victims have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damages. Failing to file within this timeframe can result in losing the right to pursue compensation.

Damages and Compensation:
Victims of pedestrian accidents at crosswalks may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation costs. 

Punitive damages may be awarded to the victim if the driver was acting in a particularly egregious or malicious way, meaning to cause damage to the victim. However, these damages are not available in every jurisdiction, so it is important to work with a skilled legal professional for guidance on damages that can be awarded.

Steps to Take Following a Pedestrian Accident

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident at a crosswalk, it’s important to take the following steps to ensure that your rights are protected.

  • Seek Medical Attention: After an accident of any kind, it’s imperative that you seek the guidance of a medical professional. Even if you do not feel seriously injured after a crosswalk accident, a thorough examination from a medical professional can ensure that there are no “invisible” injuries.  If left untreated, these minor injuries can cause lasting problems.
  • Document the Scene: If possible, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the crosswalk, any traffic signals, the vehicle involved, and your injuries.
  • Gather Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the driver involved and obtain contact details from any witnesses. If the driver fled the scene, do your best to recall the vehicle make/model, license plate number, and direction they were heading.
  • File A Police Report: While at the scene, or as soon as possible after, contact the police to file an official accident report. This objective view of what happened at the scene is a valuable piece of evidence when filing a claim.
  • Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer: Seek legal advice as soon as possible. An attorney with experience in pedestrian accidents can guide you through the legal process and help secure the compensation you deserve.

How Cellino Law Can Help

The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming, but you do not have to face it alone. At Cellino Law, our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys specializes in representing clients who have been injured in pedestrian accidents at crosswalks. We understand the complexities of these cases and are committed to fighting for the rights and best outcomes for our clients.

With our extensive experience, we will thoroughly investigate your case, gather the necessary evidence, and build a strong legal strategy. We will handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation. Our attorneys can also represent you in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident at a crosswalk, it’s crucial to speak with an attorney who has a deep understanding of these cases. Contact Cellino Law today at 888-888-8888 for your free case consultation.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.

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