Halloween is a popular holiday that sends scores of trick-or-treaters onto the sidewalks and roads in search of candy and other treats. It is a fun-filled day, but with increased pedestrians on or near roadways, there is a risk of increased car accidents involving pedestrians. Indeed, according to some sources, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Most pedestrians are out during dusk or later in the night, when visibility is low. A recent study found that the relative risk of a pedestrian fatality was 43% higher on Halloween than with control evenings a week before and after Halloween.
New York Vehicle & Traffic Law Article 27 helps to explain when pedestrians do have the right of way in certain circumstances. Some examples include but are not limited to:
Pedestrians do not always have the right of way. Determining who has the right of way, however, does not always determine who is liable when a pedestrian is injured on New York roads, be it on Halloween night or any other time. New York is a comparative fault jurisdiction, meaning that culpable or blameworthy conduct on the part of a pedestrian will not completely absolve a motorist from liability where the motorist did not exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.
Even when pedestrians do not have the right of way, it is still the driver’s responsibility to take as much care as possible to keep pedestrians safe. Vehicle and Traffic Law 1146 says that drivers must take due care when driving to avoid colliding with any bicyclist or pedestrian. In addition, New York courts have held that motorists owe a duty of care to see what is there to be seen—including pedestrians on the road–and, if possible, react to avoid colliding with the pedestrian.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help examine the facts surrounding any motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian runover or knockdown on New York roads. Often these cases will depend on time-sensitive evidence—like security footage, or vehicle black box data—that should be preserved and recovered. This sort of evidence can often make the difference when it comes to receiving compensation for pain and suffering.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident on Halloween or any other day of the year, the personal injury attorneys at William Mattar P.C. may be able to help. We know the laws that affect pedestrian accident cases and can work to get you the best possible recovery. You can contact us 24/7 by submitting a contact form online, or by calling (844) 444-4444.