A pedestrian being hit by a car is bad enough, but an SUV only compounds the damages. A mother and daughter recently were crossing an intersection when they were hit by an SUV in a car accident. The mother and her four-year old daughter were rushed to the Albany Medical Center following the accident
The father of the mother recalled getting the news of an accident that morning, not realizing that his daughter and granddaughter were the victims. Both the daughter and mother remain hospitalized with serious injuries. The daughter suffers from a broken pelvis and bruised lungs. The granddaughter remains in the pediatric ICU after hours of surgery to reattach her spinal cord to her skull. The accident has raised talks about whether proper safety measures were in place at the busy intersection. The family's attorney is investigating the case to determine if claims can be made against the SUV driver, the State of New York, the city and/or the Department of Transportation. So far, the SUV driver was not ticketed for the accident and no criminal charges are expected
Claims arising from auto accidents are generally negligence claims. In bringing a negligence claim, the accident victim must show that the responsible party owed a duty of care under the circumstances, that the responsible party breached that duty of care, that the breach was the proximate cause of the accident and that the accident caused injuries to the victim. State and local authorities can owe a duty of care to make an intersection safe, the breach of which may give rise to a negligence claim. If more than one person is responsible for a victim's injuries, then in most states, the law makes them all responsible for the entirety of the damages in some manner. However, if the victim was partially responsible for the accident, the doctrine of comparative negligence applies and a portion of the victim's damages are reduced in proportion to the victim's percentage of fault.
Albany motorists involved in a car accident at a busy intersection should be aware that liability may also extend to multiple parties who were responsible for keeping the intersection safe. Moving swiftly to preserve key evidence and proper investigation are paramount to building a good case, which includes timely notification to potential governmental parties.
Source: FOX 23 News, "Family of mother, daughter hit by SUV speaks out," March 30, 2013