Can Pedestrians Ever Be at Fault for an Accident in New York?

A pedestrian accident can be a traumatic experience. When people are hit by cars, severe injuries are typically sustained. Fortunately, victims may seek compensation from the people responsible for their crashes. Accordingly, determining who is at fault for a pedestrian accident is a necessary step toward recovering payment for the damages it caused.

Pedestrians can be considered at fault for accidents in New York. Accordingly, some at-fault motorists will attempt to shift blame onto pedestrians in order to avoid paying for damages they caused. Our lawyers can help pedestrians protect their interests and prove that other parties are at fault.

If you were involved in a pedestrian accident in New York, get help establishing who is responsible for your injuries. Speak with our experienced Westchester pedestrian accident attorneys today by calling The Martello Law Firm at (914) 685-6950 for a free case assessment.

Pedestrians Can Be at Fault for Accidents in New York

Pedestrians may be considered at fault for accidents in New York. A key aspect of personal injury lawsuits involves proving that defendants violated their duty of care. For example, motorists in New York have a duty to drive at legal speeds, obey traffic signals, and avoid distracting themselves behind the wheel. If a defendant is fails to adhere to their duty of care, then they may be deemed at fault for an accident that stems from their negligent conduct.

Accordingly, if a pedestrian does not comply with their duty of care in some way, and that breach of care leads to an accident, then the pedestrian will be considered at fault. There are many different ways that pedestrians can breach their duties of care. Crash victims can review their claims with our New Rochelle personal injury lawyers to help ascertain which party is to blame.

Examples of Situations Where Pedestrians Are at Fault for Accidents in New York

There are multiple ways that a pedestrian can be found to breach their duty of care. The following are examples of situations where pedestrians are at fault for accidents in New York:


According to V.A.T. Law § 1152, jaywalking is illegal in New York. Jaywalking refers to the crime of crossing streets at locations other than crosswalks. Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point that has not been designated as a crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all incoming vehicles.

Unfortunately, jaywalking is still a common occurrence in New York. Many pedestrians cause crashes by negligently attempting to cross streets without yielding the proper right-of-way. Therefore, negligent drivers often attempt to assert that jaywalking pedestrians are responsible for their crashes. Support and guidance from our pedestrian accident attorneys can help when arguing that the other party to your crash is at fault.

Distracted Walking

Distracted walking is an increasingly common cause of pedestrian accidents. Many people are aware of the dangerous associated with distracted driving. However, fewer people seem to be as concerned with the perils of distracted walking. When a person carelessly attempts to cross the street while their attention is diverted, harmful crashes can happen.

There are multiple ways that pedestrians can distract themselves. For example, distracted walking may occur when a pedestrian attempts to cross the street while looking down at their phone, eating, or having a conversation with another person.

Poor Judgment

Pedestrians can also be considered at fault for accidents caused by their poor judgment. There are several ways that pedestrians can express such behavior. The following are all examples of poor judgment exhibited by pedestrians in New York:

  • Crossing the road quickly without checking for traffic movement
  • Darting onto the road to retrieve objects
  • Wearing dark clothes that make people difficult to see at night
  • Throwing objects onto the road
  • Behaving in a way that intentionally distracts motorists

Still, there are many other forms of poor judgment exhibited by pedestrians that can result in accidents. If you believe your pedestrian accident occurred because of the other party’s poor judgement, then you should reach out to our pedestrian accident attorneys for help supporting your claim.

Walking in Prohibited Areas

Furthermore, some pedestrians caused accidents by walking in prohibited areas. Not all areas are safe to traverse on foot. For instance, pedestrians are not permitted to walk along the sides of interstates because those areas are so dangerous for walkers. Furthermore, pedestrians may be restricted from walking through some construction zones. If you suffered a crash while waking in a prohibited area, then you should contact our White Plains personal lawyers for help with your case.

Walking Under the Influence

Most people are aware that drunk driving is illegal. Drunk drivers can be held accountable for crashes they cause. However, pedestrians who walk under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also be deemed at fault for certain accidents.

Impaired pedestrians can exhibit reckless decision-making abilities, delayed reaction times, and blurry vision. Therefore, pedestrians who walk under the influence are prone to committing negligent actions that result in accidents.

What Happens if You Are Partially to Blame for Your Pedestrian Accident in New York?

Courts in New York follow a pure comparative fault rule. This means that damages in pedestrian accident cases are usually assigned based on each party’s share of the blame. For example, if you are considered 40% responsible for your pedestrian accident while the pedestrian is 60% to blame, then the pedestrian will be responsible for 60% of damages caused by the crash while you will account for the leftover 40%.

Even if you are over 50% at fault for your crash, you may still recover damages from the other party if they share a portion of the blame. Accordingly, you should reach out to our pedestrian accident attorneys as soon as possible after experiencing a collision. Our team of Yonkers pedestrian accident lawyers can help take the right steps toward financial compensation.

If You Suffered a Pedestrian Accident in New York, Our Law Firm Can Help

After sustaining a pedestrian accident, get help from our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys by calling The Martello Law Firm at (914) 685-6950 to review your potential lawsuit for free.

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