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Pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle accidents on the rise

There has been a bad streak of fatal traffic accidents in New York City over the past several weeks. Since Halloween, motor vehicle accidents have claimed the lives of at least 11 pedestrians in the city. On Nov. 15, the city held a rally at City Hall Park and marched to the United Nations to honor the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

The crowd of 200 included several pedestrian victims of negligent drivers on New York's streets. Mayor de Blasio attended and spoke of the administration's Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the city. It is unknown why the current spate of deaths occurred, especially in light of the several protective measures put into effect as part of Vision Zero.

In light of the recent tragic statistics, the city has increased substantially the numbers of police deployed to the affected areas. There is a crackdown on reckless driving, speeding and not yielding to pedestrians through Nov. 22. Several persons in the rally called for stricter laws against those who kill bicyclists and pedestrians.

In conjunction with the press of safety measures to lower the death rate, it is important to understand the importance of enforcing the rights of victims and their families to obtain monetary compensation when a death is caused by a negligent driver. In motor vehicle accidents involving death, the family of the decedent is entitled to bring a wrongful death action against the negligent driver or drivers who caused the person's death. These actions may result in the payment of funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and earning capacity over the decedent's remaining estimated life span, medical expenses, and pain and suffering if the victim was conscious at all after the collision.

Source: The New York Times, "Marchers Warn of Safety Crisis Amid Spate of Pedestrian Deaths in New York", Tatiana Schlossberg, Nov. 15, 2015

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