Pedestrian Knockdown Cases in New York- Part II

Following our recent discussion of who is responsible for paying an injured pedestrian's medical bills following a car accident, we now address the law in New York governing pedestrian knockdown cases.

The Statutes

Vehicle & Traffic Law (VTL) 1112(a) provides that a pedestrian facing a steady walk or walking person symbol at a cross walk may proceed across the road and shall be given the right of way by other traffic.

VTL 1146 provides that drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian... upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary.  This statute imposes a rebuttable presumption that driver operated the vehicle in a manner that caused the injuries sustained by a pedestrian as a result of the driver's fauilure to exercise due care.

If a driver strikes a pedestrian in a New York cross-walk, these statutes will be used by the pedestrian's lawyer in an attempt to have a court impose liability upon the at fault driver. A Car accident can happen in White Plains, Yonkers or any other municipality outside of New York City.  The Vehicle & Traffic law governs such collisions.

Is a driver automatically responsible for any injuries caused to a pedestrian in a car or truck accident?

In a word, No. Just because a collision occurred, does not mean that it was the driver's fault. The pedestrian may have been partly at fault or completely at fault. It depends upon the circumstances of the accident.

Why should I hire a lawyer if I was injured in a pedestrian knockdown accident?

Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible on a claim. The insurer will likely seek to defend such a case by trying to shift the blame for the accident to the pedestrian. It takes an aggressive and experienced personal injury attorney to take the steps necessary to protect an injured person's rights-especially when the case is venued in Westchester or Rockland County.

These cases often have to be fought right up through trial before an insurance company will finally make a reasonable settlement offer. The insurers know which lawyers and law firms will fight hard for their clients. Having the right attorney makes all of the difference.

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