On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
Police arrested a hit-and-run driver of a rental truck that ran over and killed a man who was riding his bicycle home from work on Jan. 19. The Queens man was arrested for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident with death involved. With respect to motor vehicle accidents in New York City, less than 10 percent of the 4,754 hit-and-run drivers involved in accidents in 2015 were arrested. Additionally, other deadly vehicular accidents in the city involving pedestrians and bicyclists have already been reported in 2016.
The arrest will give no lasting emotional relief to the family of the deceased man. However, it may add additional insurance proceeds to the family's potential recovery, by allowing a civil court wrongful death action for damages against the driver and possibly the truck rental company. The truck likely could not have been rented without some assurances of existing insurance or without the purchase of adequate insurance at the time of rental.
Furthermore, even with the additional insurance, if there are one or more insured motor vehicles in the decedent's family residence, then each of those may potentially be tapped for underinsured motorists' coverage if the truck insurance is insufficient. Moreover, the recovery for an employed 31-year-old man may be substantial because of the right to collect for the loss of his earning capacity for the remainder of his life. In that connection, it also appears that the estate has a strong negligence claim against the truck driver.
The bicyclist was reportedly driving parallel to the truck when the truck either made a turn or otherwise veered into the decedent. A witness reported the accident victim being dazed, bleeding and badly injured right after the collision. He died later in a hospital, but the fact that he was conscious for a time increases the amount of the potential pain and suffering recovery. Although fatal motor vehicle accidents in New York City have declined under the DeBlasio administration, there is still much work to do in preventing these tragic and costly events.
Source: NBC New York, "Driver Arrested in Brooklyn Hit-Run That Killed Father Bicycling Home After Work: NYPD", Andrew Siff and Katherine Creag, Jan. 20, 2016
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