Some traffic accidents seem simple to analyze for a determination of liability. Others, with seemingly simple facts, can be surprisingly complex. These phenomena are demonstrated by a tragic recent accident in Crown Heights in Brooklyn in which a 32-year-old woman was killed in a collision between a motor scooter and an SUV.
According to police, an MTA bus was traveling north on Dean Street when it stopped to let an SUV back out of its driveway. When the bus stopped, a motor scooter driven by a 32-year-old woman and carrying her 6-year-old son tried to pass the bus. As the scooter pulled around the bus, the mother accelerated and struck the SUV. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The young boy suffered cuts to his face, but his injuries were not life-threatening. Neither the mother nor her son was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. The driver of the SUV was not injured.
Who is liable for the mother’s death?
At first glance, the mother would appear to have been the cause of her own death. Under these circumstances, her family would most likely be unable to recover wrongful death damages from either the MTA or the driver of the SUV.
But what if the bus driver was negligent in stopping for the SUV? Did the driver signal properly? Were the signals working? The driver of the SUV may have been negligent in failing to check for oncoming traffic before backing out of the driveway. Finally, the mother may have been negligent in failing to wear a protective helmet.
As can be seen, this accident looks different depending on whose viewpoint is used. Personal injury law is complex. The injured and their families can learn more about their options by speaking with an experienced attorney.