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Pedestrian Car Accidents in New York

Pedestrian car accidents in New York can have devastating consequences, resulting in severe injuries and even fatalities. These accidents occur when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, often leading to life-altering physical and emotional trauma. According to the New York Department of Health, in New York State approximately 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 are injured each year by motor vehicles. Men aged 65 and older had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths. It’s not surprising that within New York State, New York City has the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths and injuries. Within New York City, the highest percentage of pedestrian accident fatalities occurring in Brooklyn. Notably, pedestrians account for 52% of all New York City traffic fatalities and 33% of all severe injuries.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian car accident in New York, it is essential to seek legal guidance from an experienced New York pedestrian car accident lawyer. Navigating the legal complexities of a pedestrian car accident case can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of the accident. Stephen Bilkis & Associates can provide invaluable support and guidance throughout the entire legal process of pursing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Car Accidents

According to Pedestrian Safety Report and Action Plan issued by the New York Department of Transportation (DOT), the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted Driving. Driver inattention was cited in nearly 36% of crashes resulting in pedestrians killed or seriously injured. Distracted driving typically refers to the driver focusing on their cellphone or navigation instead of the road.
  • Failure to Yield. According the DOT report, 27% of pedestrian accidents were caused by the driver failing to yield.
  • Speeding. Speed-related factors are major contributors to pedestrian car accidents. 21% of all accidents where pedestrians were killed or seriously injured could be attributed to factors such as speeding, including driving too fast to stop under prevailing weather conditions. Interestingly, a DOT study found that a significant number of New Yorkers were unaware that the default speed limit in New York City is 30 mph.
  • Alcohol: 8% of all fatal pedestrian crashes involved a driver who had been drinking. Alcohol also plays a role in the relative severity of a crash. In New York City, pedestrian crashes that involved drivers under the influence of alcohol were more than twice as likely to result in a fatality.
New York Statutes and Regulations Related to Pedestrians

New York has specific statutes and regulations in place to protect the rights of pedestrians and ensure their safety. Understanding these laws is crucial for both pedestrians and drivers:

  • Right-of-Way: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law grants pedestrians the right-of-way in crosswalks and at intersections, even if there are no traffic signals. Drivers must yield to pedestrians lawfully within these areas.
  • Pedestrian Signals: Pedestrian signals indicate when it is safe for pedestrians to cross the road. Both drivers and pedestrians must obey these signals to ensure safe crossing.
  • Traffic Control Signals: Pedestrians must comply with traffic control signals, such as traffic lights and walk/don't walk signals, while crossing the road. It is essential for pedestrians to wait for the signal indicating it is safe to cross and to yield to traffic when the signal instructs them to do so.
  • Sidewalk Usage: Pedestrians should generally use sidewalks when available. If sidewalks are not present, pedestrians must walk facing traffic to maintain visibility and reduce the risk of accidents. N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1156. When a driver of a vehicle emerges from or enters an alleyway, building, private road, or driveway, it is their responsibility to yield the right of way to any pedestrians approaching on a sidewalk that extends across that alleyway, building entrance, road, or driveway. N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1151-a
  • Shared Spaces: In areas where vehicles and pedestrians share the same space, such as parking lots or certain roadways, both drivers and pedestrians must exercise caution and yield to one another.

If you have any questions about the laws related to pedestrian car accidents, contact an experienced New York pedestrian car accidents lawyer.

Pursuing Compensation for a Pedestrian Car Accident

Pedestrians involved in car, truck, or any type of vehicle accidents can face a variety of serious injuries, including fractures and broken bones, head and brain injuries, back and spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, internal injuries, and cuts and abrasions. Note that in order to recover damages for a pedestrian accident, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered serious injuries.

For example, in Washington v. Jose, 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 30029 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2023), on February 2, 2020. Plaintiff Kimberli K. Washington was the pedestrian involved in pedestrian car accident. Washington claimed to have suffered serious injuries to various parts of her body, including her lumbar spine, thoracic spine, cervical spine, and left leg/ankle. The defendant attempted to get the case dismissed, arguing that the plaintiff had not suffered serious injuries. However, the court ordered that defendant's motion for summary judgment be denied, and Washington's motion for partial summary judgment on liability be granted.

Emotional and psychological trauma, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and phobias related to traffic, are also common consequences. Severity and long-term impact depend on factors like vehicle speed, point of impact, and pedestrian health. Seeking immediate medical attention is vital, even for seemingly minor injuries, to address delayed symptoms or internal complications.

Injured pedestrians have the right to pursue compensation for various damages resulting from car accidents. The amount of compensation depends on the severity of the accident and injuries suffered. This compensation covers current and future medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and assistive devices. Lost wages due to inability to work because of injuries, both current and potential future earnings, can also be claimed.

Pedestrian accidents inflict significant physical and emotional pain and suffering, warranting compensation for discomfort, distress, anguish, and diminished quality of life. Long-term or permanent disabilities or impairments resulting from accidents entitle victims to compensation for the impact on daily activities, independence, and overall well-being.

Consulting with a seasoned pedestrian car accident attorney in New York is critical for understanding legal rights and navigating the compensation process effectively. Note that if a loved one was killed in a pedestrian car accident, their personal representative has the right to pursue a wrongful death action against the responsible party.

Pedestrian Car Accident Verdicts and Settlements
  • $9,500,000.00 pre-trial settlement for victim of pedestrian car accident who suffered amputation. On January 15, 2015, Antonio Diaz-Cortez, a meat packer, was hit by a New York City Transit Authority bus driven by Ramon Intriago while crossing Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Diaz-Cortez suffered injuries to his right leg, back, pelvis, and shoulder. He sued Intriago and the Transit Authority, alleging negligence and failure to properly train Intriago. Diaz-Cortez claimed he had the right of way with the walk signal, citing New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. Defense argued Diaz-Cortez crossed against the pedestrian light and walked into the bus. Physical evidence suggested Diaz-Cortez was outside the crosswalk when hit. Diaz-Cortez was hospitalized for 47 days with multiple severe injuries including fractures to his leg, pelvis, clavicle, and scapula, as well as hip dislocation and herniation. In May 2022, a pretrial settlement was reached, with the Transit Authority agreeing to pay $9.5 million to Diaz-Cortez, covering both itself and Intriago.
  • $8,500,000.00 settlement paid to victim’s estate for fatal pedestrian/bus accident. On November 25, 2015, Rukhsana Khan, a seamstress, was fatally struck by a transit bus on the median of Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn. Her husband, Fayaz Khan, sued the bus driver, MTA Bus Co., and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), alleging negligence. The lawsuit claimed Kozlenko was speeding and that the defendants were vicariously liable. Plaintiffs argued the bus drifted onto the median, supported by surveillance footage and expert analysis. Defense contended Khan was far from the nearest crosswalk when hit. Khan sustained severe injuries including skull fracture, rib fractures, and collapsed lungs, dying within an hour of the accident. Survived by her husband, a 24-year-old daughter, and five minor children, Khan was the family's primary earner and emotional support. Her estate sought damages for funeral costs, loss of earnings, and children's loss of parental guidance. The pretrial settlement amounted to $8.5 million, paid by the MTA. The settlement reflected compensation for economic losses and the emotional toll on Khan's family, recognizing her crucial role as provider and emotional anchor.
  • $4,900,000.00 settlement for victim of pedestrian car accident who suffered injuries to back and knee. May 20, 2019. On the evening of September 11, 2014, Guadalupe Hernandez, a 62-year-old unemployed woman, was hit by a vehicle driven by Eric Gordon at the intersection of East 219th Street and Carpenter Avenue in the Bronx. Hernandez claimed injuries to her back, knee, and neck, suing Gordon and Cablevision Systems New York City Corp. for negligence. She alleged Gordon ignored a stop sign, supported by video evidence. Defense argued Hernandez ran into Gordon's vehicle. Hernandez suffered injuries including tears in her knee's meniscus, herniated discs in her spine, and subsequent surgeries. She underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in July 2015 and cervical spine fusion in May 2017. Treatment included epidural injections and physical therapy. Hernandez claimed lasting pain, limited mobility, and reliance on a cane for three years, affecting her ability to perform household chores. She sought $1.6 million for future medical expenses and unspecified damages for pain and suffering. Defense claimed Hernandez's injuries were pre-existing degenerative conditions. A pretrial settlement was reached, with the defendants' insurers agreeing to pay $4.9 million, comprising $3 million from the primary insurer and $1.9 million from the excess insurer.
  • $6,500,000 verdict for a 51-year-old Queens pedestrian who was hit by a truck. The plaintiff sustained injuries when the defendants' truck hit him from behind while he was crossing a crosswalk in the Meatpacking District on his way to work. He suffered a concussion, along with tears to his right shoulder and right elbow. Recovery from these injuries took a year. However, the plaintiff was also diagnosed with multiple herniations, leading to him undergoing a single-level cervical fusion and two-level lumbar fusion after conservative treatments proved ineffective. Following a 9-day trial, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff and awarded him $6,500,000 in damages.
  • $5,000,000 jury verdict in a favor of a pedestrian injured by a vehicle. A 34-year old pedestrian suffered multiple leg fractures and injuries to his pelvis and hand when he was struck by a car on a sidewalk in Brooklyn. The vehicle was driven by an unlicensed driver who was told to move the double-parked car by a New York City police officer.
  • $4,030,000 jury verdict in a pedestrian knockdown case. The plaintiff was crossing the street in Washington Heights, where she was struck by a Camelot Communications Group, Inc. van. As a result, the victim sustained numerous injuries including: neck fracture, broken rib, head injury, torn meniscus and wrist injury. The case went to trial, and the total awarded was $4,030,000-- $1,759,000 for past pain and suffering, $1,250,000 for future pain and suffering, $30,000 for past medical expenses, and $20,000,000 for future medical expenses, which are expected to be incurred over a period of 22 years. Miller v. Camelot Commc'ns Grp. 2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 31804
  • $3,600,000 settlement to victim of a pedestrian accident in Manhattan. A 72-year old man was struck by a van while crossing the street in Manhattan, suffering brain injuries.
  • $1,900,000 settlement to a pedestrian who was hit in a vehicle accident. A city of New York sanitation worker was severely injured when a truck struck a car, which then hit our client. He had spinal surgery and even with a pre-existing condition, the $1,900,000 settlement was reached.
  • $1,495,000 jury verdict in favor of plaintiff who was injured by a commercial van. A 41-year-old factory worker was struck by a commercial van while crossing the street. Her wrist was fractured in the accident, which required multiple surgeries.
Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Pedestrian car accidents in New York can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian car accident, it is crucial to consult with an experienced pedestrian car accident attorney serving New York. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we understand the complexities of pedestrian car accident cases and are committed to fighting for the rights of our clients. We will assess your case, gather evidence, and navigate the legal process to help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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