Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ghosts in the Courtroom

Q: What does a “ghost bike” have to do with a New York City wrongful death lawsuit?

New York wrongful death attorneys know all too well what a “ghost bike” represents. Scattered all across New York City intersections, ghost bikes are regular bicycles that have been eerily dipped entirely in white paint and chained as a permanent part of memorials at the sites where a bicyclist has been hit and killed.  A haunting reminder of their unnecessary death.

The number of New York City bicycle accidents continues to grow as more and more people take to bicycles for exercise or commutation. Clearly, a vulnerable and essentially unprotected bicyclist is no match for a faster and heavier car, truck, or bus in a collision. Serious injuries and often death may result.

While all fatal bicycle accidents are tragic, a recent one claiming the life of a 14-year-old immigrant child is particularly sad. Reportedly, the boy emigrated from Guatemala—all alone-- a year ago, was living in a room with five unrelated men, and was working as a delivery boy to send money home to his family when he could. Now there is a ghost bike with his story attached at a New York street corner where his life ended.

The young boy was allegedly attempting to cross the street on his bike when a BMW-- which witnesses claim was speeding-- blew through the intersection, plowed into the boy, and continued driving about a half of a block, "dragging the boy, leaving a trail of his clothing and mangled scraps of this bicycle [and] kept going until an off-duty cop… maneuvered his vehicle to block the BMW ". Several backseat passengers reportedly fled the scene. The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital. It does not appear that charges will be filed.

Regardless of whether an accident which causes a serious personal injury or death results in criminal charges being filed or a conviction, victims (or their family members in the event of the victim’s death) may still pursue a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death, as the case may be.

Personal injury lawsuits arise when someone is seriously injured as the result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of another person or entity. If the victim dies from the injury sustained in the accident, the victim’s estate and/or closest surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death action. So, seeking the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident is important to preserve your right to sue, especially if a municipality is responsible.

After proving liability, the victim in a personal injury action may be entitled to compensatory damages for such things as current and future medical and rehabilitative costs, current and future lost income or diminished future earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.

Wrongful death actions are more complex as who has standing to sue and for what damages is determined on a case-by-case basis dependent upon the relationship of the family member and the deceased victim. Generally, damages will include such things as the final medical and funeral costs of the victim, the victim’s pain and suffering between the injury and death, financial support and services the victim provided to family members, and more-- again depending on the specific circumstances.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in any kind of accident, The Law Office of Arthur O. Tisi can help you obtain the financial compensation to which you are entitled. While we can't undo your injury, or bring your loved one back, we can take legal action to help relieve the financial burden of your loss. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our office in New York City, we represent residents of Brooklyn and the Bronx in all types of personal injury actions and have a successful track record of achieving some of the top verdicts in New York.


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