FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JANUARY 16, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 93
Q: One fall evening, I was walking on a sidewalk. I stopped at the entrance to the parking
lot of a pizza parlor, looked in both directions, saw no vehicles, and continued walking. After I had
already walked more than halfway across the entrance, a SUV accelerated into the lot. According to
a witness, I put my hands up in front of me but – too late – was propelled up in the air three feet higher
than the hood of the car. The young man, who was returning from making a delivery, had not even
A: Under section 1151(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, it is often the duty of a driver to
yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing within a crosswalk. Generally, ‘crosswalk’ refers to a
part of a roadway at an intersection, whether marked or not. Similarly, under section 1146(a) of the
VTL, “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist,
pedestrian, or domestic animal upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when
Your attorney may wish to argue that, under these circumstances, the entrance to the
parking lot qualified as a ‘roadway’. Be that as it may, even without a statute, the common law
obliges a driver to see what is there to be seen through the proper use of his or her senses and deems
the driver negligent for a failure to do so.
For that matter, both the driver and the pedestrian are obliged to keep a proper lookout.
Each is required to act with due regard to the movements of others. In any event, it sounds like your
own behavior was exemplary: you exercised due care as you crossed the entrance, and could not
possibly have avoided this tragedy.
Your attorney is likely to name as defendants not only the driver, but his parents, in case
it was their vehicle. Certainly, your attorney will name the restaurant, pursuant to the doctrine of
respondeat superior – under which an employer may be held vicariously liable for the torts
committed by an employee who is acting within the scope of employment.