If A Pedestrian Is Hit In A Crosswalk, Is The Driver Always At Fault?

February 21, 2014

When a pedestrian suffers a personal injury while using a Buffalo crosswalk, there are specific New York State laws that protect the pedestrian.  This does not mean, however, that the driver of the car involved in the accident is always at fault.  Instead, which party is negligence – and to what degree – must be determined based on the actions of each party.

If a traffic control device is present at a crosswalk, pedestrians must obey the signs or signals in the same manner as drivers. As a result, a pedestrian in a crosswalk who is crossing against the light will usually be found to have at least some responsibility for his or her own injuries if struck by a car, and any amount awarded in damages would be reduced.  If there is no traffic control device in place or it is not working, however, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing the road in a crosswalk.

Even if a pedestrian does have the right of way, New York State law provides that a pedestrian may not suddenly leave the curb and enter the crosswalk when a vehicle is so close that it would be impractical for the driver to yield.  Doing so would constitute negligence on the part of the pedestrian.  This does not mean the pedestrian must be found wholly at fault, but he or she may be found partially responsible.

If you have suffered a personal injury caused by an automobile and have any questions regarding your legal rights, we would be happy to help you. Please feel free to call our office at 716-400-0000.