Legal Options for Pedestrians Hit By Cars
In most cases, pedestrians hit by cars who choose to file lawsuits make their claims against the driver of the car that struck them. However, depending on the other circumstances concerning the accident, victims could also file claims against the municipality where the accident occurred, like if there were unsafe conditions caused by poorly maintained roads, traffic control devices or other items for which the city, state or county is responsible.
With that in mind, consider some of the following legal options pedestrians have after being hit by a car:
Filing claims against a negligent driver
In most cases, the driver is considered at fault, even if the pedestrian was not crossing the street at a crosswalk. There are various laws that exist regarding driver attentiveness, so plaintiffs can argue that drivers should have been aware of hazards in the road, including pedestrians. If the pedestrian is hit in the crosswalk, it’s basically an open and shut case — there is very little chance that the driver will be able to avoid liability.
Filing claims against a negligent municipality
If the layout or condition of the streets is likely to cause accidents, or if traffic lights or stop signs are broken or fail to control traffic properly, the pedestrian could file a claim against the municipality where the accident occurred. Another scenario is a poorly-placed crosswalk, such as one located around a curve that does not give drivers adequate time to notice pedestrians crossing the street. Because the municipality is responsible for the placement of crosswalks, it might be held liable in that situation.
If you are hit by a car while traveling on foot in New York City and sustain one or more injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for the medical costs, lost wages and other damages you suffer. Consult an attorney to learn more about your rights after a pedestrian accident.