On Friday, Feb. 13, at around 8:45 a.m., a 16-year-old girl was hit by an MTA bus as she was crossing Grand Street on foot. The bus was turning from Union Avenue on to Grand Street and hit her, pinning her leg under the bus.

The bus driver, a 58-year-old man, stopped at the scene and was arrested at that time. He is charged with a criminal misdemeanor as a result of a new law, only in effect since May 2014, that makes injuring a pedestrian or cyclist who has the right of way a criminal misdemeanor rather than merely a traffic violation.

The MTA states that pedestrian and cyclist safety is a top priority and that the issues regarding safety are dynamic. The agency will continue to adapt its policies and procedures to meet these dynamic needs on an ongoing basis.

Whether or not the bus driver is found guilty of a criminal misdemeanor, the victim may want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in order to be compensated for the costs associated with the accident. Medical expenses, rehabilitative costs, long-term prognosis, lost earnings, and emotional trauma are the kinds of factors that the court considers when evaluating monetary awards in personal injury claims.

In this instance, both the individual driver and the MTA could be held accountable to the victim, if for example, the vehicle was in poor repair or the driver was impaired in some way. Since the victim is a minor, her parent or guardian could talk with an attorney to determine how best to proceed. Additionally, a personal injury with auto accident litigation experience may have access to resources that can help the family members cope with the outcome of a serious injury that could potentially affect the victim’s long-term quality of life.

Source: NBC New York, “MTA Bus Hits 15-Year-Old Girl Crossing Street in Brooklyn; Driver Arrested: Police”, Feb. 13, 2015