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Queens Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Queens is a great place to walk around in, but it is not always safe for pedestrians. New York City as a whole is one of the most dangerous places for those on foot, and thousands of pedestrians are hurt every year in Queens. As pedestrians are recovering from their serious injuries, they may not realize they have many options available to them for recovering damages. If you have been hurt, now is the time for you to recover. Our experienced Queens pedestrian accident attorneys can advise you of your options and help you navigate the claims process.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents in Queens?
Pedestrian accidents are typically caused by a driver’s negligence. Some of the most common negligent behaviors that cause pedestrians to get hurt are as follows:
- Impaired driving: Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs do not have the same reaction time, perception, or judgement. All of this can result in an impaired driver not seeing a pedestrian, or misjudging the walker’s proximity to the vehicle.
- Fatigued driving: It has been said that driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Fatigued drivers also exercise poor judgment and have slowed reaction times. In the worst-case situations, a drowsy driver may fall asleep at the wheel, putting everyone around them in danger.
- Unsafe turns: Pedestrians must look both ways before crossing a street, and drivers must do this, as well. Unfortunately, when drivers are turning, they often look to ensure the path ahead of them is clear, but they fail to look where they are turning. Often, a pedestrian is crossing the street and is hit by the vehicle.
- Distracted driving: Texting and driving is illegal in Queens, but it is not the only form of distracted driving. Eating, drinking, applying makeup, loud music, and rowdy passengers are also distractions to a driver. When a driver is distracted, they may not watch the road as closely and may not see someone walking across it.
- Aggressive driving: Tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and failing to use turn signals are all forms of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is very reckless behavior and motorists that engage in this behavior often have little regard for the safety of others.
- Failing to yield: Sadly, many drivers do not realize that pedestrians have many rights when they are on the road, and they do not respect them. Some drivers simply refuse to give pedestrians the right-of-way, even when someone on foot has the legal right.
Tragically, the above are just a few of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Queens. Still, it is not always easy to determine the cause. For example, if you were hit while out on foot, it may be difficult for you to tell the driver was distracted at the time. A Queens pedestrian accident attorney will have the tools necessary to determine the cause, so you know how to hold liable.
What are the Pedestrian Laws in Queens?
New York has very strict pedestrian laws that all walkers and drivers in Queens must follow. In most situations, motorists must yield right-of-way to pedestrians. At all times, drivers must try to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Pedestrians usually have the right-of-way when they are in a crosswalk, even if it is unmarked. Regardless of whether a pedestrian is in a crosswalk or not, they are expected to follow all traffic control signs and signals, and they must remain within the markings on the pavement. If you are hit as a pedestrian and you are not following these laws, you can likely still recover damages for medical bills, lost income, and more. However, the amount of damages you will receive will be greatly reduced because your actions contributed to the accident.
Are Motorists Always Liable?
Due to the fact that motorists owe pedestrians a high duty of care in most situations, many people think drivers are always at fault for a pedestrian accident. That is not true. Pedestrians, like drivers, can also be found liable for a crash. Pedestrians have a legal obligation to cross the street only at crosswalks. When they are not at a crosswalk and want to cross the street, they must yield the right-of-way to drivers. A pedestrian’s duty of care in this situation is to look both ways before crossing the street, and to wait until the road is clear before going into the road.
For example, it is not uncommon for pedestrians in Queens to cross the street before they reach a crosswalk. Sometimes, they may become impatient and want to cross before the road is clear of vehicles. In this instance, the pedestrian may dart out into traffic and not give a driver enough time to stop before hitting them. In this case, the pedestrian would likely be found at least partially at fault for the crash.
Drivers will almost always use the defense that you contributed to the accident so they are not liable for full damages. It is important to refute these claims when they are untrue, which they often are. If you are found partly at fault, it will greatly reduce the amount of damages you receive. Under New York’s pure contributory negligence laws, accident victims who contribute to the crash can still file a claim for damages. However, you will also be assigned a percentage of fault and any damages you are awarded are reduced by the same amount. Unlike other states though, you can still file a claim even if you were mostly at fault for the accident.
Get Legal Help Today
If you have been hurt in a crash, our Queens pedestrian accident attorneys at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help you recover the fair settlement you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can provide the sound legal advice you need.