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Fatal accident in Albany prompts calls for action

Lawmakers and city officials are scurrying to make changes at an intersection where a pedestrian was recently killed in a car accident, but this is unfortunately little solace for the family who has to deal with the loss of a loved one. One concerned citizen said she has been complaining for years about the number of drivers that speed through that very same intersection. While no amount of traffic signs can completely stop negligent drivers, lawmakers are hoping to at least reduce the risk at this particular intersection.

One Councilman mentioned that improvements such as flashing lights, public education and certain adjustments to the timing of the current traffic signals may help reduce the risk to pedestrians as they cross what he describes as a horrific intersection. However, the best way to reduce the risk of a fatal accident lies within the hands of each driver. Each driver is responsible for monitoring the road, obeying the signs, watching for pedestrians and driving safely.

Speeding through an intersection is typically considered negligence on the part of a driver. When a person dies in a fatal accident as the result of a negligent driver's recklessness, the family may have a wrongful death claim against the driver. A wrongful death claim may include compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering before the person died, loss of consortium if the person was married, medical expenses and funeral expenses, among others.

For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a car accident, a legal professional can help the family determine if they have a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver. Although a wrongful death claim cannot undo the loss a family has suffered, it can help with the overwhelming financial burdens that come with such a loss.

Source: WNYT, "Albany councilman: Safer streets on the way," Dan Levy, March 4, 2013

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