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Pedestrian injury claim settled by city for $4.5 million

The driver of a motor vehicle in New York City cannot strike a pedestrian who is properly in a crosswalk without having serious legal consequences. Under the present law passed during the DeBlasio administration, it is a misdemeanor to commit that offense. The driver will also face a pedestrian injury claim in civil court for monetary damages in compensation of the innocent pedestrian's injuries and losses.

In 2012, a city employee struck down a 50-year-old woman who was crossing the street in a crosswalk at the intersection of Division Ave. and Berry Street. The woman survived, but she has struggled with a severely crushed leg since the accident. She endured at least three surgeries, in which surgeons have implanted 12 metal screws and a metal rod that have thus far been have been holding together her shattered right femur.  

She has a permanent limp and a shortened right leg. At the time of the event, she was walking to catch a bus to her New Jersey job when the city vehicle hit her. The city employee driver admitted during questioning that he did not see the woman prior to striking her. That is akin to an admission of negligence in that it is generally true that a driver must be driving slow enough to be able to observe the road area ahead.

The pedestrian injury claim being paid by New York City likely contains an amount for the victim's prior lost wages and estimated loss of future earning capacity. Because she will likely never be able to work again as a direct result of the accident, she is entitled to collect all of her lost earnings projected into the future up to the day of retirement and beyond, with various adjustments. Future anticipated medical expenses are also covered, which would be based on the estimated cost of future surgeries, medication and rehabilitation services. Finally, the amount negotiated by the respective attorneys for the parties also contains a provision for pain and suffering.

Source: New York Daily News, "EXCLUSIVE: NYC agrees to pay $4.5 million to Brooklyn woman mowed down by city employee driving agency vehicle", John Marzulli, March 20, 2016

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