Floral Park, New York, is a village located in western Nassau County on Long Island, NY. Its founder, a seed and bulb entrepreneur named all the streets and avenues for flowers and trees. Today, Floral Park is a thriving community with more than 16,000 residents adjoining the Queens neighborhood known as North Floral Park.
Floral Park has its share of pedestrian accidents. The statistics for pedestrian accidents in Nassau County show 16 were killed, 294 pedestrians were hospitalized, and 717 pedestrians were treated and released from an emergency department in a recent year due to traffic-related injuries. Of course, not all of these accidents happened in Floral Park. Even one pedestrian accident is one too many considering car pedestrian accidents are preventable.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a motorist’s recklessness or disregard for safety, contact a Floral Park pedestrian injury lawyer at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, to discuss your legal options. Our Long Island law firm has successfully negotiated many personal injury claims and secured millions of dollars in compensation for people who were injured through no fault of their own.
Common Causes of Floral Park Pedestrian Accidents
Distracted or inattentive drivers are a common cause of pedestrian accidents. Drivers talking on cell phones, tuning the radio, or looking at a phone may not be looking for a pedestrian crossing an intersection or walking along the road. The driver may fail to brake and hit the person on foot.
Drivers who speed down Floral Park streets or rush through changing traffic lights may be at fault in pedestrian accidents. The faster a car is traveling, the less time the driver has to react to avoid a collision after recognizing a person in the road.
Drunk drivers have reduced alertness and impaired judgment. An intoxicated driver will generally take more time to recognize a hazard and respond, such as braking to avoid hitting a pedestrian crossing the road. All drunk driving accidents involving pedestrians are preventable, and drunk drivers should be held accountable for their irresponsible behavior.
A driver backing out of a driveway or a parking spot needs to be especially vigilant for pedestrians behind them. Many pedestrians are struck by cars that are moving in reverse.
If you were hit by a car while on foot, you should contact a Floral Park pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Negligence is a critical issue in personal injury claims because New York law incorporates the concept of “contributory negligence.” This concept means if a pedestrian and a car driver were involved in an accident, a determination must be made about how much each party contributed to the accident.
Pedestrians may be hit by a car while walking or running on the street, crossing a road in a crosswalk, or while jaywalking. Jaywalking means crossing or walking unlawfully or without regard for approaching traffic. Sometimes, there are no crosswalks available.
Many pedestrians do not understand when they have the right of way. Some pedestrians assume incorrectly that because they are on foot, vehicles must always yield to them. Under New York law, a pedestrian has the right-of-way if the pedestrian is in a crosswalk, and there are no traffic signals present. The pedestrian is required to obey all traffic signals if signals are present. If a crossing signal is present, a pedestrian must not cross if the “Don’t Walk” or upraised hand is showing a countdown for the amount of time left to cross, or if the upraised hand is steady.
Pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles if the street does not have marked crosswalks or the pedestrian is crossing at a location other than an intersection. A pedestrian is not allowed to step off the curb into traffic or walk into the path of an oncoming vehicle that is too close to allow the vehicle to stop in time.
Pedestrians can also be negligent in ways that involve unsafe behavior such as by being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or by being distracted by a cell phone instead of paying attention to traffic.
Common ways driver negligence causes accidents include:
- Visual distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. This may involve looking at scenery, glancing at something on the side of the road, looking at a navigation system or staring at a phone.
- Manual distractions involve activities that require a driver to take his or her hands off the wheel, such as eating and drinking, tuning the radio, texting on a cell phone, or adjusting the heat or air conditioning.
- Cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind and attention off the task of driving. They include talking on a phone, thinking about family, daydreaming, or any number of other issues.
The faster a vehicle is traveling, the less time the driver has to avoid a crash. A vehicle’s speed will also have a significant impact on the injuries suffered by pedestrians in a crash.
A 2011 study reports that while risks vary significantly by age, the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle ranges from 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph up to 90% at 46 mph. The average risk of death for a pedestrian ranges from 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph up to 90% at 58 mph.
Failure to Obey Traffic Signs
Drivers have a duty to obey traffic signs and signals and yield when pedestrians have the right of way. Failure to do so could lead to a severe injury or fatal pedestrian accident.
A driver who speeds through a red light, disregards a crosswalk signal or runs a stop sign may be found to be negligent in an accident.
A driver making a left turn at an intersection is required to yield to a pedestrian who is crossing with the light. According to NPR, the highest number of pedestrian fatalities caused by left-hand turn accidents occur right here in New York State.
Injuries as a Result of Being Hit by a Car
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, several factors will determine the severity of the injuries. These include the driver’s speed, the type of vehicle, and the pedestrian’s age and overall health. Impact injuries are caused when a body collides with a moving or stationary object.
When a moving car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian’s injuries are usually to the lower body such as the legs, thighs, hips, and knees. If the vehicle involved is a sport utility vehicle, it may strike the pedestrian higher on the body and cause injuries to the abdomen, arms and chest cavity.
The injuries may include lacerations and contusions, broken bones, damage to internal organs, internal bleeding, and even amputation of limbs.
The pedestrian may sustain additional injuries by being flung by the initial force of impact and hitting the pavement, sidewalk or ground. The most common injury sustained in this situation is a head injury. Head injuries may range from a concussion to a traumatic brain injury.
Who is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
New York State laws use the legal doctrine of contributory negligence to determine fault. Simply stated, this means if a pedestrian and a car driver were involved in an accident, a determination must be made about how much each party may have been at fault for the accident.
A pedestrian who is hit by a car in Floral Park may demand compensation for his or her injuries, even if the pedestrian was partly at fault for the accident. In that scenario, the pedestrian’s recovery is reduced by his or her own percentage of fault.
Determining percentage of negligence is a complex process and you cannot do it alone. You should seek legal assistance. An experienced pedestrian injury compensation lawyer can review the details of your accident and discuss whether you have a right to make a claim.
If your accident took place in Nassau County or Queens, you can get help from the Floral Park pedestrian accident attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help Me in Floral Park?
The Floral Park pedestrian accident lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP have more than a century of collective experience. We have obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our injured clients. We take pride in our attentive service and aggressive advocacy for our clients.
When you work with the pedestrian accident law firm of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, you will work directly with our firm’s partners, Richard Jaffe and Stephen Cohen. We’re committed to helping you get full compensation for your injuries. We handle pedestrian accidents in Floral Park, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and across New York City. If you can’t make it to our office, we will make arrangements to come to you at your home or hospital bed. Call us today at 855-928-0580 or contact us online for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accidents lawyer serving Floral Park, call 516-358-6900