In recent years, the authorities have been paying close attention to car accidents involving pedestrians on New York streets. After news reports of increasing numbers of accidents and lax penalties against careless drivers, the public has been calling for criminal prosecution of reckless drivers. The city has implemented a new pedestrian safety initiative and may be getting more serious about prosecuting cases against negligent drivers. Recently, an indictment was filed against a 25-year-old motorist who struck and killed a 57-year-old pedestrian who was crossing a street in the Bowery last November.
According to police, the motorist was driving his BMW at 55 mph, twice the 25 mph speed limit enacted across the city in 2014, when he crashed into the victim. The pedestrian was propelled into the air and landed 140 feet away. He later died in the hospital.
The driver also lost control of his car and crashed into a hydrant on a sidewalk that was filled with numerous other pedestrians. Fortunately, there were no other injuries.
The driver pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges. He claimed that he was driving only a few miles above the speed limit.
However, the criminal justice system doesn’t always deliver justice in these cases. In one case involving a postal truck that hit and killed a pedestrian, the driver was found not guilty. Three years laterhowever, the victim’s husband won a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.
Experienced attorneys can help the injured and their families to understand their legal options after a pedestrian accident. These accidents often lead to serious injuries or death for pedestrians, and the medical costs and lost wages associated with these injuries can be financially devastating. It’s important that the injured and their families learn about how to seek compensation, regardless of how the criminal case is resolved. However, it’s also important for the injured and their families to get help as early as they can, as there may be deadlines for filing any legal action.
Source: New York Press, “Tougher stance on pedestrian safety?” Daniel Fitzsimmons, May 4, 2015