Residents of New York City who live in Manhattan and go into Brooklyn in the morning to work, visit or shop found themselves somewhat stymied on Monday morning, Aug. 17. The lanes to Brooklyn on the Brooklyn Bridge were closed down due to a car accident. A Honda automobile had been disabled on the right-hand eastbound lane at about 4:50 a.m. when a Lexus traveling east rammed into it.
That was followed by a sedan crashing into the Lexus and causing it to flip over. One passenger in the Lexus was ejected and seriously injured. He was taken to Methodist Hospital in critical condition. Four occupants of the Honda and one from the sedan were taken to hospitals with complaints of neck and back injuries.
They were reported in stable condition. At first blush, the press reports indicate that the driver of the Lexus was at fault. Whenever a driver encounters a disabled vehicle sitting on a highway or road ahead, it is the legal duty of the driver to stop or go around the stopped vehicle.
One must operate one’s vehicle at a safe enough speed to be able to stop for any other vehicles or persons found ahead on the highway. Crashing into a stopped, disabled vehicle on a major bridge where one’s focus must be intensely on the road ahead, indicates negligent driving. News reports stated that one driver had been taken into custody, and presumably, based on the facts reported, it was likely the driver of the Lexus.
The ejected Lexus passenger has a claim against the Lexus driver for the monetary equivalent of his injuries, including for pain and suffering. Each of the other persons injured in the car accident also has a similar claim. If the driver of the sedan is also deemed to be negligent, then — pursuant to New York law — he or she will generally share liability on the basis of that driver’s percentage of fault. Additional compensation may be available under the appropriate policies owned or associated with each injured victim.
Source: abc7ny.com, “7 injured in chain-reaction accident on the Brooklyn Bridge; 1 driver in custody“, Aug. 17, 2015