Families of victims killed in police car crash sue NYC

Two lawsuits have stemmed from a 2012 collision between an NYPD cruiser and a dirt bike. The 20-year-old driver of the bike died, and the 17-year-old passenger suffered brain damage and paralysis. While the police department claims the accident resulted when the bike driver made a dangerous maneuver, a witness and the families of the victims believe otherwise.

According to the NYPD, the bike driver tried to pass the police car on Watson Avenue in the Bronx. The officers on the scene claim the bike bumped the cruiser, causing the driver to lose control and hit a car that was double parked. Meanwhile, the police car hit another vehicle. But an 18-year-old witness tells a different story. The anonymous witness came forward about a month after the crash, claiming that the bike wouldn’t have crashed if the police car hadn’t hit it. Referring to the driver of the dirt bike, the witness said, “The police car completely ran over him.” The family of the other injured rider is suing the city in pursuit of $105 million in damages. The amount sought by the family of the deceased driver wasn’t reported. In New York, lawsuits filed on behalf of permanently injured victims often call for higher compensation amounts than lawsuits filed on behalf of victims who died because of their injuries. This is because lifelong medical care may be necessary for the surviving victim, and that will likely be the case here. The families of deceased victims can also seek some measure of compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. New Yorkers who have questions about personal injury or wrongful death are encouraged to visit our auto accident site. Our firm represents clients who have suffered injuries because of another party’s negligence. Source: The Village Voice, “Family of Ronald Herrera, Dirt Bike Rider Killed in Crash With NYPD Car, Files Suit Against City,” Albert Samaha, Oct. 18, 2013