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Is Jaywalking Permissible in New York?

Posted in New York Law on February 24, 2023

Is Jaywalking Permissible in New York?

New York City streets can be challenging to navigate for drivers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, pedestrians are at significant risk of injury if they are hit by a car.

Pedestrians do not have the protection of seatbelts, airbags, and a metal frame. Therefore, they might suffer several catastrophic injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, and internal organ damage.

Pedestrians and motorists have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to avoid accidents. When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, it can be difficult to determine liability if both parties claim they have the right of way. Understanding New York City jaywalking laws can help.

What Is Considered Jaywalking in New York City?

Jaywalking is generally defined as crossing the street illegally. New York has specific laws defining when pedestrians have the right of way and where they can cross streets and roads.

According to the New York City Traffic Rules Section 4-04(c)(3), a pedestrian shall not:

  • Cross or enter a roadway at any point where fences, barriers, signs, or other devices prohibit or restrict entry or crossing.
  • Cross any road at an intersection except in a crosswalk.
  • Cross a road except in a crosswalk at any block where there are traffic control signals at the intersections bordering the block.

However, the section also states that motorists must exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.

Article 27, Sections 1150 through 1157 of the New York Vehicle & Traffic Law discuss pedestrians’ rights and duties, including when pedestrians have the right of way. In most cases, pedestrians have the right of way in a marked crosswalk unless they are crossing against a traffic signal. Pedestrians also have the right of way on the sidewalk and must use sidewalks when they are provided and safe to use.

However, pedestrians also have a duty to follow traffic laws, including laws regarding pedestrians. Breaking the law could create a presumption of negligence. Therefore, jaywalking could impact your ability to recover compensation for a pedestrian accident claim.

Who Is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident in New York City?

Liability for a pedestrian accident can be challenging to sort out. The driver and the pedestrian might claim they have the right of way. A New York City personal injury lawyer can investigate to determine the factors that led to the accident.

Evidence in a pedestrian accident could include:

  • Video of the accident from a traffic camera, bystanders, and surveillance cameras
  • Statements by the driver and the pedestrian
  • Evidence from the accident scene
  • Testimony from eyewitnesses
  • Accident and police reports
  • Data from a vehicle’s recording systems
  • Medical records

Common causes of pedestrian accidents in New York City include speeding, failing to yield the right of way, and distracted driving. However, a pedestrian could be partially to blame. For example, a pedestrian could cross the road illegally or fail to pay attention.

The party who causes a pedestrian accident is liable for the damages. A motorist and a pedestrian could share liability under New York’s contributory fault laws. If so, the pedestrian’s compensation for damages would be reduced by the pedestrian’s percentage of fault for causing the accident.

What Damages Could I Receive for a Pedestrian Accident in New York City?

If a driver hits you with their car in New York, you could recover compensation for your financial damages and losses. Economic damages could include, but might not be limited to:

  • The cost of medical treatment and future medical bills
  • Loss of income, wages, benefits, and a decrease in future earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, including help with household tasks and personal care

Additionally, a pedestrian accident victim could recover compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced after the crash. Non-economic damages include:

Punitive damages could be available as well, but only in instances where the at-fault party acted outrageously, such as with the intent to cause the pedestrian harm.

Seek Legal Advice From an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

The injuries sustained by a pedestrian can result in life-altering conditions. Many pedestrians hit by a car in New York City sustain permanent impairments. If so, it is crucial they prove the motorist caused the crash so they can recover full compensation for all damages.

However, an insurance company might try to blame you for jaywalking if you are hit by a car. Blaming you for failing to follow pedestrian laws is a way for the insurance company to avoid liability for damages.

Never admit fault or assume you cannot file a personal injury claim for a pedestrian accident if you were jaywalking. Instead, talk with a New York City pedestrian accident lawyer.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City personal injury lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600

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