When a vehicular accident occurs in New York City, those involved in the traumatic event often rely on the New York City Police Department to get them through the turmoil. The police often arrive first on the scene, take care of directing the removal and extrication of victims, where necessary, and generally act as the all-around directors of the action until it subsides. In a few pedestrian accidents and vehicular crashes, the police may become embroiled in a controversy that emerges post-accident.
For example, a 21-year-old Bronx woman is suing the city and two police officers who she says falsified an accident report regarding an incident in which she was struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. She had been crossing the street at W. Fordham Avenue when the car knocked her about 40 feet along the snow-covered road, says the complaint. In every accident where there is property damage and/or personal injury, the police must investigate what happened and file a report.
The report must be accurate because it may become vital to injured person/s seeking to make a civil claim for damages. The woman alleges that the police falsely reported that the driver stopped and reported the accident. That alleged whitewash of a New York City accident with serious injuries could have affected the woman’s right to find the driver and make a claim for personal injury damages.
She also charges that the police did not list any witnesses on the report even though there were three of them. The lawsuit asks for multiple millions in damages. The woman alleges that she suffered seven fractures in her pelvis that could disable her permanently.
The NYPD has responded by saying that the driver feared for his own safety and that is why he drove away. If the city cannot prove that statement by credible evidence, it may be facing a large jury award. One important principle to protect is the required transparency of reporting in pedestrian accidents and vehicular accidents in general. Whether the allegations will hold up remains open to determination in the litigation process.
Source: nydailynews.com, “Woman to file $150M suit accusing NYPD of hit-and-run ‘coverup’“, Christina Carrega, Laura Dimon and Stephen Rex Brown, Feb. 26, 2017