Recent statistics from the New York City Police Department, indicates that over 15,000 bicyclists and pedestrians were injured in NYC in 2012. There is evidence to demonstrate that fatal pedestrian accidents are on the rise . Recent studies report that in January 2013, 28 pedestrians died as a result of being struck by motor vehicles. Motorcycle accidents continue to rise. as well. Statistics showed that in January of 2015 there were 40 motorcycle accidents. Truck accidents with pedestrians also are a problem. Distracted driving continues to be the primary cause of these motor vehicle accidents. Recently in January of 2022 , Mayor Adams announced new initiatives focusing on pedestrian safety at intersections. Among the announced changes the DOT ( Department of Transportation of the City of NY) will make design changes and improvements to 1,000 intersections to make them safer with improved traffic signals , raised crosswalks and other expanded pedestrian space and visibility measures. Additionally it was announced that the NYPD will expand enforcement against drivers who speed or fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. As reported by Channel 4 New York, on January 2 2022, a Bronx pedestrian was fatally struck by a FDNY Ambulance driver. On January 18, 2022 a 15 - year old girl was killed after a school bus struck her and the driver was later arrested. The bus driver was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian and failing to use due care. As published on December 27 2021 , a judge ordered NYC to install signals to aid blind pedestrians. U.S. District Court Justice Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan ruled that the city had failed to fully install crosswalk signals that aid the blind and visually impaired at nearly 97% of the city's 13,200 intersections with pedestrian signals. The judge said that installing the signals at more than 9,000 intersections would cost just under $672 million dollars.
I represented the sister of a man who was struck and killed on Hylan Blvd in Staten Island by a young driver. The case had many difficulties of proof including the timing of lights and the color of lights at the time of the impact. Luckily we were able to obtain the testimony of a bystander that witnessed the impact. He testified that the pedestrian had the walk light and the impact by the truck caused the man to go up on the hood of the vehicle and be thrown several feet into the air. The issues in that case included whether the pedestrians had sustained any or how much pain and suffering. The jury in that case held both the operator of the truck and the pedestrian negligent. The City had neglected to change the speed limit at that intersection notwithstanding traffic studies and evidence that elderly people and others had difficulty in crossing the intersection within the time allotted by the pedestrian walk/ don't walk light. Sometimes certain intersections have cameras so it is important to get any videos of the accident.
Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of NY and case law in Pedestrian Accidents
The pedestrian and driver's actions at an intersection are governed by the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York . If a pedestrian has the walk light in his or her favor before crossing the street, Courts have placed a substantial emphasis on the pedestrian's position and direction when he or she was hit by the vehicle. Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1111(a) and the NYC Traffic Regulations Section 4-03(c) are one of the statutes that governs the rules of pedestrian / vehicle intersection accidents. Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1111(a) provides in part :
Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic-control signals, other than lane direction control signal indications provided in section eleven hundred sixteen , exhibiting different colored lights, or colored lighted arrows, successively, one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, yellow and red shall be used, and said light shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and to pedestrians as follows:
(a) Green indications:
1. Traffic, except pedestrians, facing a steady circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. Such traffic, including when turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other traffic lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.
2. Traffic, except pedestrians, facing a steady green arrow signal may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow, or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time, except that a U-Turn may be made by traffic facing a left green arrow signal unless a sign prohibits such U-Turn or such U-Turn is in violation of any other provision of law. Such traffic shall yield the right of way to other traffic lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent cross walk at the time such signal is exhibited.
3. Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section eleven hundred twelve , pedestrians facing any steady green signal, except when the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.
Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1112(a) provides as follows :
Whenever pedestrians are controlled by pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words “WALK” or “DON'T WALK”, or exhibiting symbols of a walking person or upraised hand, such signals shall indicate and apply to pedestrians as follows:
(a) Steady WALK or walking person. Pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right of way by other traffic.
(b) Flashing DON'T WALK or upraised hand. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrians who have partially completed their crossing on the WALK or walking person signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the flashing DON'T WALK or upraised hand signal is showing.
(c) Steady DON'T WALK or upraised hand. No pedestrians shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrians who have partially completed their crossing on the WALK or flashing DON'T WALK signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the steady DON'T WALK signal is showing.
Of particular interest is the case of Yi Min Feng v Jin Won Oh , 71 A.D.3d 879, 895 N.Y.S. 2d 856 , where the person injured / plaintiff who was one-third across the crosswalk with the walk light in his favor, and was within the crosswalk , and struck by the defendant's vehcile on the left side of her body . The court held that there was a triable issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff was comparatively negligent in that the evidence demonstrated that she did not look to her left as she crossed the street. In another important case Hines v New York City Tr. Auth., 112 A.D. . 3d 528 , 977 N.Y..S. 2d 238 [1st Dept. 2013], the court rejected the possibility of comparative fault on the plaintiff where he looked both ways before crossing the street and he could not have avoided the accident, when the defendant's vehicle struck him on his right side knocking him down.
If you or a family member have been involved in a pedestrian - vehicle accident YOU NEED A NYC PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY EXPERIENCED IN HANDLING \PEDESTRIAN - MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CASES .
Contact Ed Lemmo Esq. of Lemmo Law for a free consultation . I have the experience, and empathy to assist you and your family under such tragic circumstances. I will assist you in evaluating your case and whether there is merit .