December 2, 2022
Winter Pedestrian Accidents in New York City
By Jonathan Damashek
New York City is known to have snowy streets and icy sidewalks during the winter months. Although some accidents cannot be prevented in these conditions, you can take some preventative actions to avoid an injury.
If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident in New York City, you need a team of experienced attorneys who know how to get you compensation from those who are responsible.
Call the personal injury lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. at (212) 490-5700 or use our online contact form to reach out.
What Makes Winter Dangerous for Pedestrians?
Pedestrians are at risk when they walk near motor vehicles, especially in New York City, where there is a lot of traffic. Rough weather conditions during the winter pose even more danger than average for pedestrians in the city.
When cars drive on icy roads, they risk sliding into people who are walking nearby. Whether a vehicle slides onto the sidewalk or cannot stop and slips across an intersection, they are responsible for any injuries they cause to pedestrians. Pedestrians are also at risk during the winter when they walk on icy sidewalks. A slip and fall can result in severe neck and back injuries as well as broken bones.
There are various local conditions and situations that contribute to the alarming number of winter pedestrian accidents:
Icy, snowy streets make it more difficult for vehicles to come to a stop. A car might fail to brake in time for a crosswalk, causing a pedestrian accident.
Congested traffic on city streets with aggressive drivers pressing forward contributes to the high numbers of pedestrian accidents. When weather is bad, traffic is typically slower, leading to more traffic jams and a higher risk for accidents.
Even when a street is clear, speeding is a huge issue contributing to injury or fatalities. However, speeding on an icy road can cause tires to lose traction and gain momentum. This could cause a car to slide uncontrollably into other vehicles and pedestrians.
Rain, snow, and other weather conditions cause reduced visibility. When a driver is unable to clearly see their surroundings, they might fail to observe a pedestrian. Similarly, winter usually means the days get darker earlier. Drivers might struggle to see a pedestrian in the dark, so it is important to make sure headlights are on and both parties pay attention while travelling to their destinations.
Icy Sidewalks and Crosswalks
Drivers are not the only ones who slide on ice. Pedestrians can easily be injured in a slip-and-fall due to slick, wet, or icy conditions.
High Numbers of Pedestrians
At certain NYC intersections, there are large numbers of pedestrians pressing the crosswalk buttons. But with cold winter weather might come a greater desire to get to a warm destination, causing many pedestrians to become impatient. When pedestrians hurry in a mass of people, they could cause a crowd surge. This makes it difficult for an individual to stop and avoid a collision if a driver runs a traffic light or slides through a slick intersection. Similarly, someone could be pushed in the crowd, causing them to slip and fall or rarely even get trampled.
Cars Running up On Sidewalks
A driver who serves to avoid an object or other vehicle in front of them might end up driving onto a sidewalk, potentially hitting a pedestrian.
NYC is a popular tour destination, and many people travel to see the city’s famous winter scenery. However, more tourists means more buses. The number of large buses can increase the risk of a pedestrian-bus accident. These types of accidents can be particularly dangerous and even fatal.
The holiday season brings out the best and worst in many of us. For already-aggressive drivers, wintertime stress can exacerbate their driving errors. NYC has its fair share of aggressive drivers, including taxis and cars. These drivers put pedestrians at a higher risk for injury or death, especially when people are rushing or preoccupied.
Many city streets in the boroughs have long stretches to cross, with limited time to do so. This can create a hazard when conditions are already rough, particularly for children and the elderly.
Who Is Responsible for Winter Pedestrian Accidents?
Ice and snow on the roads and sidewalks can cause serious accidents, and it can be hard to know who is responsible. In some situations, there may be more than one accountable person. You should work with a pedestrian accident lawyer to determine the at-fault parties in your case to hold them responsible.
A Motor Vehicle May Be To Blame
If you were hit by a car, truck, or SUV, then the motor vehicle may be at fault. Pedestrians often have the right of way, especially if there is a crosswalk or traffic signal in the “walk” phase. Drivers may think they can turn right on red or rush across an intersection, but they must give pedestrians the proper right of way.
If a motor vehicle driver is responsible for your pedestrian accident, you can file a claim with their insurance company. Insurance claims can be complicated. You must present evidence that their insured violated New York law by not giving you the right of way. Our team of attorneys knows how to prove that the driver is at fault and you deserve compensation.
Property Owners May Be at Fault
If you slip and fall on a sidewalk or in a parking lot during the winter months, the property owner may be to blame. Property owners must maintain safe spaces for their invitees, customers, and others who visit their premises.
If a property owner is at fault, you may have a premises liability case. However, these cases can be difficult because they can claim they didn’t have time to clear the ice and snow or did not know the danger. Work with our attorneys to file a property insurance claim.
Call Our NYC Pedestrian Accident Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one are injured in a pedestrian accident in New York City, you need an experienced team of attorneys on your side.
Call Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. at (212) 490-5700 or use our online contact form to reach out.