On behalf of Jeff Antin of Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP, Attorneys at Law posted in Distracted Driving on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Everywhere you go in New York City, you see people out on the sidewalks. In the city that never sleeps, there is always something going on, and it is important for motorists to avoid distractions that can lead to a car accident. When a pedestrian is hit due to driver distraction, the injuries that a victim receives can be extremely serious and in some cases, fatal. Sadly, drivers who hit pedestrians are not always held criminally responsible for their actions.
A distracted driver ran into a 16-year-old when he took his eyes off the road in front of him to pick up a carton of milk that had fallen. Instead of being charged with reckless driving, the man was charged for driving without insurance. The teenager died. This case and others are an example of the failure of New York City laws to seek justice for citizens when they are victims of pedestrian accidents.
Such behavior apparently does not fall under the definition of reckless driving, despite the fact that the actions of the drivers have resulted in five victims either being seriously injured or dying within the past month. This means that drivers who are distracted, can literally walk away from a pedestrian accident without any time in jail.
This lack of action on the part of prosecutors is likely leaving family and victims feeling re-victimized a second time, not to mention possibly putting other pedestrians at risk since these drivers are still on the road. When a victim cannot achieve justice in a criminal court of law, they may want to consider taking civil action against the person at fault for their injuries.
Source: New York Post, “Drivers who hit people on sidewalks not being prosecuted,” Rebecca Harshbarger, March 26, 2013