NY Bicycle Accident Lawyer Discusses Tragic Central Park Pedestrian Fatality

In New York City, roadway disaster can strike in the blink of an eye – often with cataclysmic results. In September of this year, an unlikely collision between a 59-year old pedestrian and a 31-year old cyclist left the pedestrian dead – and the cyclist possibly facing criminal charges from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The crash occurred around 4:30 pm on September 18 at a crosswalk at West Drive in the park, near West 63rd St. According to eyewitness reports, the cyclist was barreling down pedestrian areas and children’s bike lanes before eventually careening directly into the victim as she stepped off the sidewalk.

The victim was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she remained on life support for severe head injuries. She passed away on Monday, September 22 from the complications of her injuries – leaving behind two college-aged children and a grieving spouse.

Possible negligence or criminal culpability

In the wake of this tragedy, many are urging the District Attorney’s office to take immediate criminal action against the cyclist – citing a recently-enacted New York law allowing authorities to criminally charge wayward cyclists who injure or kill pedestrians. Presently, the District Attorney’s office has not revealed whether it plans to charge the cyclist with a crime, however establishing civil liability under New York’s laws of negligence may be possible considering the reports surfacing regarding the biker’s penchant for speed.

As a New York pedestrian accident attorney can explain, negligence is established by setting forth facts to show that a civil defendant did not exercise care and reasonable caution with respect to the plaintiff-victim. This type of inquiry is heavily fact-driven, and often requires careful consideration by a jury to determine what exactly constitutes “reasonable” behavior – as the standard may differ for each person.

However, some behavior and misconduct is more easily construed as unreasonable than others – particularly conduct that stands out as overly dangerous, intentional or unnecessarily reckless.

In the case involving the pedestrian, eyewitnesses report seeing the biker weave in and out of lanes generally designated for pedestrians and children. In fact, the defendant himself recalls swerving right before the moment of impact, presumably to avoid colliding with another pedestrian, cyclist, or vehicle. The cyclist reportedly remained on scene and was cooperative during the ordeal, however it is possible his cycling style could result in a finding of negligence – rendering him liable to the family under New York’s wrongful death laws.

NY wrongful death laws

In the wake of this horrific pedestrian accident in New York, the surviving family members of the deceased may be able to recover from the cyclist under the laws of wrongful death. A wrongful death action is available to provide grieving survivors with compensation for the deceased’s final illness, funeral and burial. It is also a way for family to receive compensation for the untimely loss of their mother, spouse, child or sibling – specifically compensating for the loss of the relationship.

Contact a New York pedestrian accident attorney

If you recently suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident and would like advice about your legal options, we encourage you to contact The Sanders Firm today. Our New York personal injury attorneys can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with your accident. To arrange your free, no-obligation consultation, please call 1-800-324-7752 today. Resources

  1. NY Daily News, Woman, 59, dies days after being struck by cyclist, https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/woman-59-dies-days-struck-cyclist-upper-west-side-article-1.1948078
  2. NY Post, Central Park cyclist veered into wrong lanes before tragic crash, https://nypost.com/2014/09/20/central-park-cyclist-veered-into-wrong-lanes-before-tragic-crash/
  3. NY Post, ‘This was an unavoidable accident’ says cyclist who mowed down woman, https://nypost.com/2014/09/22/this-was-an-unavoidable-accident-cyclist-who-mowed-down-woman/