A basic principle of negligence law in New York City and elsewhere is that a passenger who is injured or killed in an accident will generally be entitled to monetary damages if the incident was caused by the negligence of one or more other persons. That general rule for car accidents likely will apply to a recent tragic and heartbreaking accident in which a young woman was killed while celebrating her 21st birthday. She was the passenger in a vehicle that crashed on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge when its driver lost control and rammed into a median, throwing the decedent from the car.
The impact was so violent that it literally split the 2013 Infiniti into two sections. The police charged the operator, who is a traffic enforcement agent with the New York Police Department, with driving while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter and other felonies. If he is found guilty of the charges, the estate of the deceased woman will have an easier burden in proving negligence due to the applicability of the legal doctrine called "negligence per se."