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NYC pedestrians face danger and peril every day

According to the nonprofit Transportation Alternatives, every year more than 15,000 bicyclists and pedestrians are injured in traffic accidents involving motor vehicles. As one can imagine, injuries suffered in these types of accidents tend to be serious in nature and often result in victims suffering permanent disabilities or succumbing to fatal injuries.

Perhaps the only thing worse than being the victim of a pedestrian accident is when that accident involves a driver who flees the accident scene. This past Sunday, a total of five pedestrians were victims of hit-and-run accidents, three of whom were killed and two who suffered serious injuries. While police are working to identify the responsible drivers, to date, the victims' shocked families are left with few answers related to how their loved ones died.

In December of last year, at a time when the city's hit-and-run totals numbered around 38,000, City Council members voted to increase fines against hit-and-run drivers to as much as $10,000 in cases involving a victim’s death. Additionally, in 2014, the city passed the Right-of-way law which carry penalties including a misdemeanor criminal charge and fines of up to $250.

Residents, commuters and visitors to New York City have the right to walk down the sidewalk or across the street without fearing for their lives. Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians and/or who leave the scene of a pedestrian accident should be held accountable and subject to both civil and criminal penalties.

An attorney, who handles personal injury and wrongful death matters, can assist victims who are adversely affected by pedestrian and hit-and-run accidents. Damages awarded in these types of cases may include medical expenses, lost wages, disability and funeral costs.

Source: NBC-4 New York, "Fatal Hit-Runs Double in 2016 in New York City," Andrew Siff, Feb. 29, 2016

 NYC.gov, "Local Law 29 of 2014," March 2, 2016

CBS-New York, "City Council Approves Legislation Increasing Penalties In Hit-And-Run Crashes," Dec. 17, 2015

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