- September 2, 2022
- Personal Injury
Every year, more than 100 pedestrians are struck and killed while walking in New York. If you have been involved in this type of accident and are the driver who hit a pedestrian, it is important to know what rights you have. Also, it’s worth noting that the pedestrian isn’t automatically absolved of all fault because you were the one behind the wheel.
Even though pedestrians usually are the ones who are considered to have the legal right of way, there are certain circumstances where they are going to be considered at fault or partially at fault for an accident.
Hiring a personal injury attorney who has prior experience dealing with these types of accidents is one of the best ways to know what rights you have. Keep reading to learn more if you’re wondering what happens if I hit a pedestrian who’s jaywalking and what to do when I hit a pedestrian who’s jaywalking.
Jaywalking occurs when you cross the street in a non-designated area or somewhere you don’t have legal permission to do so.
Some of the non-permitted areas include times when the crosswalk blinks “Don’t Walk.” It’s also worth noting that jaywalking is considered a citable violation of the traffic laws, even if you aren’t in a vehicle.
Prior to the 1920s, there were not any laws about this, because vehicles were not widely used. However, as vehicles became more popular through the decades, it was clear that laws were needed to protect pedestrians and drivers. While it depends on the specific jurisdiction, in some cases, jaywalking is considered a minor infraction; however, in others, it is a misdemeanor. Usually, no matter what it is charged as, it will come with some type of fine.
Who’s At Fault When a Jaywalking Pedestrian Is Hit by a Car?
When it comes to determining fault after hitting a pedestrian, there are several factors to consider. While this is true, there are a few things to do and avoid doing right after the accident occurs.
Make sure you don’t leave the scene (this is true for any accident). Instead, make sure to pull off to the side of the road right away. Contact the police and other emergency services that are needed and tend to injuries until the authorities arrive to start the investigation regarding what happened. Other steps may need to be taken, as well, just like with any other type of car accident. This is necessary to help protect you just in case the pedestrian attempts to pursue damages.
One thing you need to do is to collect personal information, which includes gathering the names and phone numbers of everyone involved.
We also recommend that you take pictures of the scene. This should include the location of the accident and any damage to your vehicle. It’s also a good idea to photograph other things at the scene, which will help provide proof that the pedestrian who was struck was actually jaywalking when you were in an accident with them.
If anyone saw what happened (witnesses), make sure you get information from them so your attorney can contact them later. The goal for you while you are still at the accident scene is to get as much information as you can to support the fact that the pedestrian was, in fact, jaywalking, and, as a result, they share at least part of the blame in the accident that occurred.
Will You Go to Jail if You Hit a Jaywalker?
Usually, if you are involved in a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident, it will be treated similarly to a two-vehicle accident. When the authorities arrive at the scene, they will record all personal information and begin the accident report. Afterwards, everyone who was involved will typically be allowed to leave. While this is usually true, there are always exceptions to this. There are several situations when hitting a pedestrian may result in your going to jail, even in situations where the pedestrian was jaywalking.
Some of these situations include:
- Hit-and run-accidents: If you accidentally hit a pedestrian with your vehicle and don’t stop at the scene, it is much more likely that you will experience criminal charges. A hit-and-run that results in serious injuries or a fatality is considered a felony in New York and carries the potential of significant fines and jail time.
- DWI or OUI: For drivers who are Driving while Intoxicated or Operating Under the Influence, it means that they have used alcohol or drugs. This means that the driver is not in complete control of their vehicle and may have slowed reaction times or drive recklessly. In this case, it can result in the potential of jail time, harsher penalties related to losing their license, and extensive fines.
- Vehicular manslaughter: This is a form of involuntary manslaughter; and even in situations when a pedestrian happened to be jaywalking, if the driver operated their vehicle in a reckless manner – like driving while under the influence or speeding – causing a death, the driver may be facing criminal charges.
If you are involved in any type of car-versus-pedestrian accident and you have been arrested, it’s a good idea to contact our legal team, who understands these types of cases. We can also help with other situations. For example, you may wonder, “If you hit a jaywalker at night, who’s at fault?” Our legal team is ready to answer any questions you have.
Contact an Attorney for Help with Your Pedestrian vs. Vehicle Accident
There’s no question that when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, it can have a devastating outcome. While this is true, there are steps that you can take to prove that you were not completely to blame or to blame at all.
If you find yourself in this situation, get in touch with our legal team at Kaplan Lawyers, P.C. You can reach us by calling (516) 399-2364 or by using the online chat feature. We are ready to help you with your case and work hard to see that you don’t face significant consequences from the situation.
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]