Who Is at Fault if a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car?

Personal Injury Attorney Serving The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan & New York City Areas


If a pedestrian is hit by a car, most people will always think the driver was at fault. While this is usually true, in some cases the pedestrian may be partially liable, depending on what they were doing at the time they were hit. It's rare that a pedestrian would be held significantly at fault after being hit by a car, however, and your best bet is to call a lawyer as soon as possible to see if you have a viable case. Group of pedestrians crossing the street in front of a yellow cab in NYC

If you were injured after being hit by a car, please call NYC personal injury lawyer Reid B. Wissner at 212-903-4LAW (4529) to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.

Comparative Negligence in New York City

The state of New York follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule when it comes to sharing fault in an accident. This means that if your case makes it to trial, your damages may be reduced by the amount you are found to be liable. For example, if you are found to be 40% responsible for the accident which caused your injuries, your damages would be reduced by 40%.

This rule applies in New York courts, but does not necessarily apply when settling with an insurance company. Hiring a personal injury lawyer skilled at insurance company negotiation is essential in any case, but even more so if you think that you might have been partially responsible for your own injuries.

How to Determine Fault in a Pedestrian Accident

There are a number of factors that go into determining fault in an accident involving a car driver and a pedestrian. Both the driver and the pedestrian have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and act appropriately and safely.

Circumstances where a pedestrian might be found partially or fully liable include:

  • Darting out into the middle of a street from a hidden location, such as behind a car or a tree
  • Not paying attention to surroundings, such as while texting or talking on the phone
  • Disobeying traffic laws, such as walking out into an intersection against the light

However, the full picture must be taken into account when determining liability. If a pedestrian was jaywalking on a clear and empty road and were hit because a drunk driver was speeding excessively, then the pedestrian will likely not be found liable. However, the pedestrian may be found partially liable if they were jaywalking on a busy street and the driver could not conceivably have foreseen that they would run out into the road. Circumstances can be complex when it comes to liability, and an experienced lawyer can help find the facts of the accident. The driver almost always holds more liability than a pedestrian, even if the pedestrian was doing something like texting while crossing the intersection.

Personal injury lawyer Reid B. Wissner has extensive experience helping to determine liability and get clients the best settlement possible. He can navigate the complex legalities surrounding pedestrian accidents, and can stand up for you against unscrupulous insurance companies out to protect their bottom line.

Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation

If you were injured after being hit by a car, don’t hesitate to contact Reid B. Wissner by calling 212-903-4LAW (4529) to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We serve clients in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and other nearby areas of greater New York City.

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