An off-duty NYPD officer died and an off-duty FDNY firefighter was critically injured early morning on Nov. 16 when the police officer’s speeding car crashed into a median on the FDR Drive. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the fatal car accident happened when the off-duty police officer was racing with another vehicle along the East Side highway just north of the East 23rd Street exit and lost control before hitting a concrete median. The impact of the collision threw a female passenger and her boyfriend, a firefighter with the FDNY, into oncoming traffic.
The firefighter was left fighting for his life with major injuries while the woman’s right foot was severed. The police officer was extricated from the wreckage and transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. While the firefighter avoided getting run over by other vehicles after he was ejected, he was listed in “extremely critical condition.” Police said no other vehicles were involved in the fatal collision. It is unclear what happened to the other vehicle that was involved in the race. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this horrific crash.
Dangers of Street-Racing
Street-racing crashes are underreported, but often result in multiple fatalities and catastrophic injuries. There is a dearth of statistics when it comes to street-racing. But, based on the most recent numbers reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 800 people were killed in illegal street-racing in the first half of the last decade. NHTSA reported that fatalities from these types of accidents increased by more than 33 percent in the second half of the decade.
Officials expect street-racing crashes to increase even further in the coming decade. Several spots in New York City are notorious for street-racing. The New York Post has reported that the areas with the most 311 complaints are Richmond Hill’s 124th Street, Frances Lewis Boulevard in northern Queens and Leo Fracassi Way in The Bronx.
Speed contests on public roadways are illegal in New York. The state’s Basic Speed Law (VAT Section 1180) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”
Rights of Passengers
If you are a passenger who has been injured by the actions of a negligent or reckless driver, you have rights to compensation under New York law. New York has “no-fault” auto insurance. This means that insurance companies must pay for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs that stem from a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. Any payments you get for your expenses will come from the covered vehicle, whether you were a driver or passenger in that car. Typically, no-fault claims must be filed within 30 days of a car accident. So, it’s crucial to act quickly.
In these types of cases, it is important to understand that no-fault claims are separate and different from bodily injury claims. You also have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent person or persons who caused your damages. Victims should obtain information from the scene including the police report; contact information for all parties and eyewitnesses; photos and video from the crash scene; and insurance information of the parties involved. If you are injured and need to get to a hospital right away, ask a friend or family member to get these crucial details for you. Your New York car accident lawyer can also help you gather and compile this important information. The bodily injury claim (third party case) can be worth millions of dollars if the injury and the liability warrant it.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
If you found this article useful, please share it!