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Runner Killed, Brothers Injured in Long Island Crash

A 22-year-old runner was recently killed and her two brothers were injured when a minivan collided with them on Harned Road in Commack, Long Island. The three siblings were running in a single file on the road’s northbound shoulder near Donna Court on a Thursday morning when the accident occurred. One woman succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital, while her younger brothers survived with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the minivan and her passengers were unharmed.

Pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents like this are unfortunately common. Because pedestrians are unprotected, these collisions often result in serious injury.

Determining liability

Both drivers and pedestrians owe a duty of care to everyone on the road. This duty involves operating vehicles safely, obeying traffic laws and taking precautions in areas where pedestrians and vehicles share the road, such as crosswalks or school zones. Similarly, pedestrians have a duty to follow all traffic laws, such as staying on sidewalks or the shoulder of the road and safely crossing at intersections.

To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff, they breached that duty and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual harm. For example, in the accident above, if the driver was distracted or speeding, they would have violated their duty of care.

Comparative negligence

Sometimes both the pedestrian and the driver may share some level of responsibility for the accident. In these cases, the legal doctrine of comparative negligence applies. This means that each party’s degree of fault is determined by percentage, and damages to the plaintiff are reduced by the percentage of which they were at fault. For example, if a pedestrian jaywalks, they may bear a percentage of responsibility for the accident.

If you or a loved one were harmed in an auto accident, reach out to the experienced personal injury attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP for a consultation.