A driver in Brooklyn was recently arrested after being involved in multiple accidents. The man was driving his SUV in the afternoon when he noticed 2 people crossing the street in a crosswalk while he was attempting to turn. While attempting to avoid hitting the pedestrians he struck a parked car and then went onto the sidewalk, colliding with a building and another car. He continued driving and made a U-turn into the wrong driving lane. While heading the wrong way, he struck another parked vehicle and went onto the sidewalk again. While on the sidewalk, he struck and killed a young boy and injured his younger brother while they were walking with their mother. A woman was also hit by the man's vehicle, causing a leg injury. The man faces charges of negligent homicide reckless driving and assault.
A wrongful death exists when a person is killed due to the negligence of another person or entity. To be successful in a wrongful death action, the plaintiffs must show that multiple elements exist. These elements are a person's death, caused by another's negligence or harmful intent, surviving family members that are injured financially and a personal representative appointed to the estate of the victim.
If successful, the damages to which the surviving family members may be entitled is based on the financial injury to which they were subjected. Many factors are involved in such a determination including medical expenses, loss of income, loss of guidance and loss of inheritance, among others. The amount in such a determination is typically smaller when the victim is a child as it is difficult to estimate their potential income or any other financial injury. Among the factors invoked in such a difficult determination are the child's age, potential income and habits.
The emotional toll on surviving family members in a wrongful death case cannot be easily remedied by a monetary award, but at the very least it may help them to minimize the financial impact to which they are subjected. Anyone considering such an action may seek the guidance of a skilled personal injury attorney to help them assess their case.