Fall 2023 Personal Injury Review
Our NYC pedestrian accident lawyers and White Plains car accident lawyers discuss some recent accidents in New York and the legal issues surrounding the accidents.
BROOKLYN DRUNK DRIVING CRASH
Drunk driving is a serious issue that continues to cause injury and death and serious personal injuries through out New York Estate. A recent tragedy in Brooklyn reminds us all how dangerous drunk driving is. On November 7, 2023, a 20 year old Brooklyn BMW driver was arrested and charged with speeding and drunk driving, after he struck a teenage pedestrian and a cyclist on a Brooklyn street. This latest tragedy is another reminder of the devastating consequences of drunk driving. The Brooklyn incident highlights the fact that drunk driving doesn't only put the driver at risk. The 19-year-old pedestrian who was sent flying through the air on impact is in a coma and fighting for her life. The cyclist who was also struck by the BMW driver has thankfully survived but is now dealing with the trauma of what he experienced. These are real people whose lives will never be the same again. New York's Vehicle and Traffic laws prohibit any one from driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08, and they also prohibit operation of a vehicle where the operator's ability to control the vehicle is impaired by alcohol or drugs, including marijuana, regarless of the blood alcohol level.
Our NYC drunk driving accident lawyers know that this is not an isolated incident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving claimed the lives of 10,142 people in the US in 2019 alone. That's equivalent to 0.32 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Additionally, 28% of all traffic fatalities were attributed to alcohol-impaired driving. Our NYC and Westchester drunk driving lawyers know that these numbers are sobering and that getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol significantly affects the operators ability to properly control a vehicle and dramatically increased the likelihood of an accident. Alcohol and drug abuse are major causes of road accidents, and account for a significant number of fatalities. Data from the NHTSA indicated that drunk driving had accounted for almost 29% of all road fatalities in the United States in 2018. Drunk drivers are more likely to drive recklessly, speed, and are at a higher risk of crashing. Similarly, drug abusers are more likely to be involved in accidents, particularly due to impaired judgment and reaction time.
So what happens if a drunk driver causes massive injuries and has only minimal insurance? Is the victim out of luck? Not necessarily, if the victim owns a vehicle or has a vehicle in their household, they can pursue Supplemental Underinsured motorist benefits through their own insurance company, up to their own policy limits, if they are more than the insurance which the drunk driver has. Also, our NYC drunk driving injury lawyers have brought many dram shop cases, which allows the victim of a drunk driver who was either served with alcohol while underage or was served alcohol when they were already intoxicated to sue the bar or liquor store that sold them the alcohol. So if you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a drunk driver call our Westchester drunking driving accident attorneys or our NYC drunk driving injury lawyers.
PEDESTRIAN FATALITY IN MANHATTAN
On Friday, November 3, 2023, a tragic pedestrian accident resulted in the death of a woman who was struck and killed by an Access-A-Ride van in Manhattan. This tragic accident occurred even though New York State's Vehicle and Traffic Law 1146 requires all drivers to operate their vehicles so as to avoid hitting pedestrians. Our NYC pedestrian accident lawyers know that both New York State and NYC traffice laws provide a pedestrian crossing the street with a light in their favor with the right of way over turning vehicles. The victim was crossing the street with the right-of-way when she was hit by the van, therefore the van violated the vehicle and traffic law and the Access A Ride company is at fault for the accident. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018, road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death globally, especially among young people between 5-29 years of age. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reports that more than 2.3 million people in the United States are injured every year as a result of road accidents, with more than 37,000 deaths reported annually.
CRASH RESULTING IN FIRE
A 53-year-old man was identified as the victim of a fiery crash in Westchester. Police reports indicate that the crash was fatal and continue to investigate its cause. When a vehicle catches fire, often a defective part or negligent design is often the cause. Cars must be manufactured to be crashworthy, which means that they are able to withstand a crash, and avoid secondary injuries, and sustain the crash, which is foreseeable, without catching fire. The ford pinto case is one of the most famous cases involving desgin defects where the fuel line was susceptible to catching fire after an impact.
NEW YORK CITY CRASHES
Over the weekend New York City saw two horrific crashes on its highways. These accidents have left four people critically injured, and have raised concerns about road safety. One of these accidents occurred when the driver involved fled the scene on foot, leaving the victims behind. This acts as a reminder of the importance of safe driving practices and responsible behavior on the road.
Blog Body: The first accident happened on the Long Island Expressway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway exit. A Honda, traveling eastbound in the left lane, attempted to cross over three lanes of traffic, crashing into the barrier and hitting two other vehicles. Two women occupying one of the other vehicles were critically injured in the collision. It is unclear whether the driver of the Honda was under the influence of alcohol, had been distracted while driving or was simply driving recklessly.
The second accident occurred on the Grand Central Parkway. The driver of a BMW lost control of the vehicle, causing it to strike the center median before crashing into a highway divider. Passengers were thrown from the vehicle and one found lying in the road a short distance away. The BMW driver fled the scene on foot, leaving behind all of the passengers. Four people, two men, and two women, were injured in this incident, and all were taken to the hospital in critical condition. The police have yet to apprehend the driver or determine the cause of the accident.
With both of these accidents, it is fortunate that nobody was killed. However, the injuries sustained by the victims are severe and will undoubtedly have long-lasting effects on their lives. It is essential that we remind ourselves of the importance of safe driving habits and responsible behavior behind the wheel. Speeding, drunk driving, and reckless driving can have catastrophic consequences and leave others with long-term physical, emotional, and financial damages.
Sadly, road traffic injuries and fatalities occur all too frequently in New York City. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, over 200 people die and over 50,000 people are injured annually in road crashes. While there have been some notable decreases in the number of fatalities and injuries in the city, there is still much work to be done.
BROOKLYN PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES
Brooklyn residents were left shocked and devastated after a tragic car accident claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy and left an 11-year-old critically injured. The driver responsible for the accident was reportedly an unlicensed teenager who lost control of the car and crashed into a support pillar for an elevated train. The accident occurred on a busy street in Brooklyn, with witnesses describing the sound of screeching tires and a loud crash. Emergency services rushed to the scene, but tragically, the 4-year-old boy was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. The 11-year-old child suffered serious injuries and is reportedly in critical condition. The driver of the car, who is believed to be just 17 years old, was also hospitalized with injuries.Our NYC pedestrian accident lawyers know that unlicensed drivers that lack the skill necessary to operate a vehicle, dramaticaly increase the likelihood of an accident. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, more than 11% of fatal crashes involving drivers aged 15 to 20 in the city between 2016 and 2018 involved unlicensed drivers. This is a worrying trend that highlights the need for better education and enforcement around licensing requirements. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 243,512 motor vehicle crashes in New York City in 2019, resulting in 62,043 injuries and 238 deaths
TEENAGER KILLED IN ACCIDENT WITH MTA BUS
On October 11, 2023, a 16-year-old riding a motorcycle died in a collision with an MTA bus in East Elmhurst. Our New York City wrongful death lawyers know that New York law is somewhat callous and is a trap for the unweary as far as bus accidents are concerned. New York law requires the parents of a dead teenager to take legal actions, while they should be greiving. In any bus accident involving an MTA bus, a notice of claim must be filed in 90 days, to be able to sue the MTA. This means that the bus company will be off the hook, if a notice of claim is not timely filed. If the deadline is missed the family then has to go to court and prove that the MTA had adequate notice of the facts of the claim and that there is a lack of prejudice from the delay.
Also, who is repsonsible for the funeral bill, is sometime counter-intuitive. If the family of the teenager who died has a vehicle, the funeral bill must be paid by their own car insurance, which means that a no fault application must be filed with the insurance company within 30 days of the accident.