Crosswalks can be dangerous hazards, both for pedestrians and drivers, especially in urban areas such as Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 2015, a grandmother was attempting to cross a street in Elizabeth while carrying her two-year-old granddaughter and four-year-old grandson. The three stepped in front of a United States Postal Service truck with tragic consequences.
The grandmother was attempting to cross Rahway Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Elizabeth. She was carrying her granddaughter and guiding her grandson by holding his hand. A mail truck turning into Rahway Avenue struck the three while they were in the crosswalk. The granddaughter was killed, and the grandmother and grandson suffered injuries.
The two survivors and the family of the two-year-old sued the postal service for wrongful death damages and personal injury damages. Plaintiffs alleged that the driver of the mail truck did not look to his right toward the pedestrians in the crosswalk. Plaintiffs also alleged that the driver was using a cellphone shortly before the accident.
The case was submitted to mediation, and the parties reached a settlement. The Postal Service agreed to pay a total of $4.9 million to the victims. One million dollars was allocated to the estate of the two-year-old victim, $1.8 million to the grandmother, and $430,000 for the grandson. The balance of the settlement was allocated to expenses and legal fees.
Anyone who suffers serious personal injuries or loses a loved one due the fault of another party may wish to consider commencing litigation to collect damages. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can provide a helpful evaluation of the facts and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.