Mayor Bill deBlasio has been trying to make New York City's streets safer; not from crime, but from dangerous driving. His Vision Zero initiative has lowered the speed limits in specific areas of the city with the goal of reducing the number of crashes and pedestrian accidents. Among the five boroughs, there are 21 zones that have been added to the program. The New York Police Department will have officers on hand to not only enforce the lowered speed limits, but also distracted driving prevention, running red lights and any other traffic violations.
One such violation is failing to yield to pedestrians. Sadly, there was a pedestrian accident in one of the Brooklyn zones shortly after it had been added to the initiative. The pedestrian who was struck was sent to Interfaith Hospital in critical condition.
The crash happened late last month at the intersection of Bedford and Atlantic avenues. When police arrived on the scene, the 52-year-old pedestrian was lying in the street with injuries to his body and head. The driver is a 35-year-old man who is now facing driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired and vehicular assault charges.
Though the criminal charges may be warranted, they alone will not help the pedestrian who was hit. If the pedestrian were to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, he may be able to get some compensation for his medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Police report that the pedestrian was not in the crosswalk at the time of the crash, but if there is evidence that the driver was negligent, such as driving while intoxicated, the pedestrian may still be able to win a personal injury lawsuit.
Source: Eyewitness News ABC 7, "Pedestrian struck in Brooklyn; NYPD launches Vision Zero initiative," May 26, 2014