A federal court ruling last week may soon make New York City more walkable for those who are blind or visually impaired. According to The New York Times, in an opinion released on Dec.27, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer criticized city officials for failing to make the vast majority of New York’s more than 13,000 intersections safe for thousands of blind and visually impaired residents.
He also ordered the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee the installation of signal devices, which use sounds and vibrations to inform people when it is safe to cross the road. The ruling will change the face of the city’s streets, a vast majority of which are only governed by visible cues such as flashing countdowns, red hands and walking figures. It is also a watershed moment for disability rights in a major city where street crossings typically do not assist its blind or visually impaired residents.
Lack of Accessible Intersections
City officials told the Times that the court ruling did recognize some of the challenges the city has faced in its attempts to install the systems over the years. The case was filed back in 2018 alleging that the Department of Transportation and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, making it dangerous for those who cannot see to walk on city roads.
Last October, a judge ruled saying the city had violated the federal law by failing to install accessible signals. These types of signals are present at less than 4% of city intersections. They essentially let pedestrians know when it is safe to cross through beeps, voice recordings and other sounds. They also vibrate to communicate to residents who are deaf or hearing impaired.
Around 2.4% of New York City’s residents are visually impaired. Disability advocates have also pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic is changing pedestrian and traffic patterns that blind residents often depended on to make their way through streets and sidewalks. The need to have access to a pedestrian signal is even more important now than it was before the pandemic, advocates say.
Rights of Victims
Injured victims of pedestrian accidents can seek compensation from at-fault parties for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones in pedestrian accidents can seek compensation for damages such as lost future income, medical and funeral costs, pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Pedestrian accident victims and their families should remember that they can seek compensation for injuries or losses in collisions even if the victim was not walking in a marked crosswalk and even if the driver involved in collision was not charged. Our law firm recovered the full one million dollar insurance policy for a girl who was not in the crosswalk when a motor vehicle hit her.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
For 50 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
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