New York is no stranger to heavy foot traffic. Despite efforts to keep pedestrians safe, however, they remain vulnerable to serious and even fatal accidents. Negligence is almost always to blame for pedestrian accidents, and victims have the right to seek monetary compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt as a pedestrian, talk to the Queens personal injury attorneys of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C.
Why it’s important to understand the causes of pedestrian accidents
When a pedestrian is injured because of someone else’s negligent acts or omissions, that individual is entitled to ask a court to award damages. “Damages” is a term meaning the sum of money that a personal injury victim wins as compensation for their injury, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
However, the victim has the burden of showing that the at-fault party or parties were actually negligent. This means establishing all necessary elements of a New York personal injury lawsuit. And it also means explaining what exactly the liable party did that was irresponsible or reckless. Understanding why you were hurt will therefore help you build your legal case.
Why pedestrian injuries happen in New York
With that in mind, consider a few of the most frequent causes of pedestrian accidents:
Distracted drivers. Although drivers owe pedestrians a duty of care, which includes letting them safely cross the street, not all motorists are paying attention to driving. Distracted driving is a shockingly common occurrence and can be caused by cell phone use, eating or drinking while driving, talking to passengers, or anything else that takes the driver’s focus off the road.
Problems with crosswalks. Unmarked crosswalks, or those lacking appropriate signage or signals for crossing the street, can result in injury. Government entities that are responsible for crosswalk safety can be held liable for these accidents, but it’s important to retain an attorney who is familiar with the rules for doing so.
Speeding. No matter the context, speeding always increases the risk that somebody will be seriously hurt. Pedestrians are especially in danger of speeding vehicles, whether they are crossing the street, walking in school zones, or even walking and standing along the sidewalk. Speeding drivers can be held liable for any pedestrians they crash into.
Driving under the influence. Any sort of impaired driving is illegal and dangerous. While most people associate this with alcohol, it can also result from the use of drugs (whether prescription or not). Anyone who hits a pedestrian while driving under the influence can be criminally charged but also forced to pay civil damages to the victim.
Rolling “stops.” Drivers should fully stop at stop signs, stop lights, and pedestrian crossings. When they only engage in a rolling “stop,” whether due to impatience or for other reasons, they can accidentally strike a pedestrian and cause serious injury.
Construction work zones. Falling tools, irresponsible use of machinery and equipment, and other unsafe behavior can injure pedestrians who walk near construction zones. Even though construction is a major and ever present part of life in New York, contractors, property owners, and others must take reasonable steps to keep pedestrians safe.
Standing Up for Your Right to Claim Damages
Our law firm helps pedestrians assert their right to seek compensation for losses resulting from another person’s negligence. We also work with eligible surviving family members to demand wrongful death damages, which are similar, in the event the pedestrian dies from his or her injuries. Call Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. today to get started on your claim.