Jiahuan Xu, a 15-year-old girl in Brooklyn, was walking to school last month when she was suddenly struck by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus. She had been crossing the street when the bus seemingly came out of nowhere. According to Xu, one of the bus’s wheels pinned her left leg for 15 minutes or more, and now her family fears that she may lose her leg as a result of her injuries.
The driver of the bus, Francisco de Jesus of Queens, was charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian. However, the bus drivers’ union said that de Jesus should not receive harsh punishments for making a simple mistake. Failure to yield was made a misdemeanor crime in 2014 under the new Vision Zero plan imposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, which aims to decrease pedestrian accidents throughout New York City. The union argues that city workers and drivers should be exempt from driving-related criminal charges.
Regardless of whether if criminal charges continue to proceed against de Jesus, it is likely that the driver and the MTA will face a multi-million dollar civil lawsuit from Xu’s family — whether or not the girl must have her leg amputated. Catastrophic injuries significantly increase the amount of compensation negligent parties must pay to victims if a personal injury claim is successful.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian in an accident with any type of vehicle, speak with an experienced New York personal injury attorney at [ln::firm_name] to find out if you may be able to pursue compensation.