In the bustling city of Rochester, New York, people are continually on the move. From the scenic Genesee Riverway Trail to the urban heart of the city, pedestrians are an integral part of Rochester’s vibrant atmosphere. However, with the mix of vehicles and pedestrians, accidents are bound to happen. That said, if you’ve been injured in an accident as a pedestrian due to no fault of your own, you most likely require financial compensation to heal. Contact a seasoned Rochester pedestrian accident lawyer from Lacy Katzen LLP today.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer | Fighting for Clients in Rochester & Upstate New York
Pedestrian accidents are devastating, and often, other motorists are to blame. If you’ve sustained an injury as a pedestrian, you need a competent Rochester personal injury lawyer in your corner who can effectively fight for the compensation you deserve.
Pedestrian’s Rights and Safety Measures
Pedestrians have specific rights to ensure their safety. Some of those rights are as follows:
- Right of Way at Crosswalks: Even if there’s no traffic signal, vehicles must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Signaled Crossings: Where signals are available, pedestrians should follow them, ensuring they only cross when given a clear signal.
Importantly, pedestrians should take certain safety measures to avoid becoming accident victims in the first place, including the following:
- Stay Visible: Wearing reflective materials or carrying a flashlight during low-light conditions can help ensure visibility.
- Use Sidewalks: Always walk on sidewalks where they are available. If none exists, walk facing oncoming traffic.
- Avoid Distractions: While walking, refrain from using headphones or looking at your phone continuously.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Accidents involving pedestrians can occur for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common causes are as follows:
- Distracted Driving: In the age of smartphones and in-car infotainment, distracted driving has become a leading cause of accidents. A momentary lapse in concentration can have devastating consequences for pedestrians.
- Poor Visibility: Factors such as bad weather, dim lighting, or pedestrians wearing non-reflective clothing can lead to reduced visibility, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Intoxication: Alcohol and drugs can impair a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and focus, leading to collisions with pedestrians.
- Speeding: Vehicles traveling at high speeds may not have enough time to react to pedestrians, especially in densely populated areas or near crosswalks.
- Failure to Yield: Many pedestrian accidents occur at crosswalks where drivers fail to yield the right of way.
- Reckless or Aggressive Driving: Behaviors like tailgating, switching lanes without signaling, and ignoring traffic signs put pedestrians at heightened risk.
Determining Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
Liability in pedestrian accidents often hinges on the legal concept of “negligence.” To prove negligence, one must show:
- Duty of Care: All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and avoid causing harm to others.
- Breach of Duty: This occurs when a driver fails to act in a reasonable manner, resulting in an accident.
- Causation: There must be a direct link between the driver’s breach of duty and the injury sustained by the pedestrian.
- Damages: The pedestrian must have incurred tangible or intangible harm (e.g., physical injuries, emotional trauma).
Importantly, however, New York operates under a “comparative negligence” system. This means if a pedestrian is found partially at fault (e.g., jaywalking or walking while distracted), their compensation can be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
Pedestrian safety in Rochester, New York, is a shared responsibility. While drivers must adhere to traffic rules and stay alert, pedestrians also have a role to play by being cautious and visible. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident due to no fault of your own, contact a lawyer from Lacy Katzen LLP for a free consultation today.