New York City is one of the few places in the US where it is not necessarily advantageous to own a car. According to the Governor’s Safety Traffic Committee, New York State averages around 300 pedestrian deaths every year. Thus, it is important to be aware of your rights should you become the victim of an accident when you are a pedestrian.
While there are no strict jaywalking laws in New York City, pedestrians are expected to abide by some rules. For example, if you are within the bounds of a crosswalk and you are hit by a car, generally the driver is going to be found 100% at fault unless you walk out into the street against the light. You also must give drivers enough time to yield to you. Additionally, if you are trying to cross the street between crosswalks and are struck by a vehicle you did not see, then it is possible that you will bear some of the fault.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are not uncommon in Manhattan. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident where the driver left the scene, New York State actually has a fund to assist. This fund is called the New York Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation. Generally speaking, to benefit from this fund you must be a resident of New York, though there are certain exceptions to this. The most important thing is to make sure you report the accident to the police within 24 hours of it happening.
This post is intended to educate you on your rights as a pedestrian in New York City. It is not intended to be taken as legal advice.