New Yorkers walk. We walk to work, to the subway, to the gym. But when that many pedestrians tangle with the heavy traffic on the city streets, disasters happen regularly.
Such was the case earlier this month in Brooklyn. On Thursday, Oct. 19, a 9-year-old boy suffered a severe fractured leg after getting hit by a box truck. The child was walking across Linden Boulevard near its intersection with Crescent Street at approximately 3:41 p.m.
Witness sees aftermath, hears screams
An employee at the nearby Linden Deli Grocery witnessed the pedestrian-truck accident in East New York. The 20-year-old deli worker reported hearing screams from the street and ran outside. He stated that ""a big truck hit his legs,"" and the bones were visible.
The witness added that the injured boy was still conscious after getting hit. His expression indicated shock, the witness detailed, like, ""What happened, what happened?”
First responders arrived on the accident scene and transported the child by ambulance to Brookdale Hospital. Fire and police authorities report that he received treatment for his leg fracture.
The police investigation continues. However, initially no crime is thought to have occurred.
Liability not a criminal issue
It’s important that New Yorkers understand that there can be two paths to justice after an accident involving a motorist and a pedestrian. Sometimes criminal charges are appropriate, as when a driver is speeding or otherwise breaking the law.
But other times there may not be any indication of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the driver involved in a collision. Not being guilty of a crime, however, does not negate any civil justice the injured party (or his or her survivors in the case of a fatal accident) may decide to pursue.
If the driver in the vehicle-pedestrian accident was determined to be liable for the accident, even if only partially, the victim can file a claim for damages. Should the insurance company drag its feet on paying out a claim, it may be necessary to retain a New York City personal injury attorney to file suit in order to preserve the victim’s rights.
Other defendants may share liability
There may also be additional defendants identified and pursued for justice in these cases. Sometimes the fault for the collision is shared between two or more defendants — not necessarily just the driver. For instance, if the signal lights were malfunctioning at the time of an accident, the city and/or the company tasked with maintaining the traffic lights could be named as defendants in a civil action.
Adding one or more deep-pocket defendants to a civil lawsuit can often greatly increase the potential settlement or jury award for the victim.