Pedestrian Accident Outside of a Crosswalk

Pedestrian Accident Outside of a CrosswalkIn New York, a pedestrian has the right of way when crossing the street at an intersection. However, even at an intersection, pedestrians must pay attention. This means following applicable traffic signals and looking for cars before entering a road, especially whether there’s oncoming traffic.

In some instances, a pedestrian may attempt to cross a street outside of a crosswalk, and be hit by a car. It may appear that if a pedestrian does not use a crosswalk he or she will not be able to recover compensation for their injuries, but this is misplaced.

If you were injured walking outside of a crosswalk, contact William Mattar. Our personal injury attorneys can review your case and help determine if you have a claim for compensation. Don’t wait—call (844) 444-4444 today to speak to one of our accident attorneys. Our team is standing by 24/7.


Like motorists, pedestrians have legal responsibilities and laws that they must abide by. If a pedestrian fails to follow the rules of the road, he or she may be liable for a potential accident even if they were struck and injured by the vehicle.

Actions that may contribute to a pedestrian being found at fault (either partially or entirely) in a car accident include:

  • Disregarding a traffic signal before crossing the street (ex. crossing when there is a “Don’t Walk” signal)
  • Walking where pedestrian access is forbidden, such as on a thruway or bridge
  • Crossing a street while under the influence of drugs or alcohol where it is found to have contributed to the collision
  • Not checking for vehicles before crossing a street
  • Walking while distracted (ex. texting or looking down at a phone)
  • Crossing a road or intersection outside of a designated crosswalk (also known as “jaywalking”)

What is Jaywalking?

Those who walk outside of a crosswalk, or cross an intersection diagonally, are “jaywalking.” Under New York State law, jaywalking is prohibited, and pedestrians are required to yield the right-of-way to vehicles before crossing a street while outside of a crosswalk. If you illegally walk outside of a crossing area, and were involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, you may be found partially at fault for the accident.

However, every case is different when it comes to liability. Even if you were jaywalking when your accident occurred, depending on the circumstances, the motorist of the vehicle that caused your injuries may also share fault. This is because all motorists are required to see that which is there to be seen. If you were there to be seen, the motorist can still be held liable. A pedestrian accident lawyer at William Matter can look closely at the facts of your case and help determine who may be liable for your accident.


While pedestrians have a duty to follow traffic laws and signals, motorists also have a duty to act reasonably under any given situation. Drivers are expected to be attentive while driving and to be aware of their surroundings, including the presence of a pedestrian crossing a road. There are certain ways in which a driver may be at fault for a pedestrian accident:

  • Traveling above the speed limit
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians crossing the street or standing on the corner of an intersection
  • Failing to stop for a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk or crossing area

If the driver involved in your pedestrian accident was driving negligently, you may have a case. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers today to explore your legal options.


In a traffic accident involving a car and pedestrian, both parties can share fault.

For instance, a pedestrian may cross outside of a crosswalk at an intersection, but the driver who struck him or her may have been texting (or otherwise distracted) when the collision occurred. Negligence laws would dictate that if the motorist had been paying attention to the road, he or she may have been able to stop in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian. In this case, the driver and pedestrian may both bear responsibility for the crash.

In New York, a concept called comparative negligence may apply. This rule says that even if an injured pedestrian contributed to the traffic accident, they may still be able to recover damages for a personal injury. However, the amount of compensation that is awarded may be reduced in proportion to their share of the fault.


Pedestrian accident injuries can be devastating, as a pedestrian is completely exposed to the impact of a motor vehicle. If the motorist who caused your injuries shares fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Common types of damages for a pedestrian crash include:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical care, both short-term and long-term
  • Lost wages, including anticipated future income
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Wrongful death

Unfortunately, because of the nature of pedestrian accidents, victims suffer fatal injuries more often than passenger car occupants. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than the occupants of vehicles to be killed in a traffic crash. An estimated 5,977 pedestrians died in car accidents in the U.S. in 2017 alone.

In the event that a pedestrian suffers a fatal injury, the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. Compensation for a wrongful death claim may include medical expenses for treatment received prior to death, funeral expenses, lost wages of the deceased, and loss of companionship.


If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an attorney at William Mattar law offices. Our legal team has experience helping injured pedestrians get the financial compensation they deserve. We can serve victims all over New York State, including in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Syracuse, NYC, and Long Island. Give us a call today at (844) 444-4444 or complete our online consultation form to schedule a free initial consultation.

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