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Woman Seriously Injured by School Bus While Crossing Queens Street

A woman trying to cross the street in Auburndale, Queens was struck and severely injured by a mini-school bus on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. The accident occurred at around 8 a.m. at the intersection of Utopia Parkway and 46th Avenue.

When emergency services arrived, the victim was found bloodied and lying unconscious in the street. She was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Queens and is expected to live. While the crash was severe enough to damage the front of the bus, none of the passengers were injured in the collision.

We wish a speedy and complete recovery to the victim, and offer our condolences to the family during this stressful time.

While it's not yet clear exactly how this accident occurred, these sorts of accidents are more common than one might expect. From 2007 to 2014, for example, there was an average of 2,049 school vehicle accidents per year in New York. Just two weeks ago, for example, a woman was struck and killed by a school bus in the Bronx as she tried crossing the street within a crosswalk.

This latest accident comes at a critical time in New York City's ambitious Vision Zero campaign, which was begun in 2014 and just this month updated with new initiatives and borough-specific Pedestrian Safety Action Plans. The updated report notes that "[p]edestrian fatalities in Queens declined 7% in 2018" compared to 2009 - 2013, before the safety initiatives began to be implemented. The report also notes that the New York City Department of Transportation made safety engineering improvements at 92% of Priority Intersections they originally identified back in 2014.

These promising-sounding safety statistics make it even more disheartening to learn that, in the first 28 days of 2019, there were nearly double the number of traffic fatalities in New York City than in the same time frame in 2018. Statistics also show that while overall traffic fatalities were down in 2018, Queens was the only borough where there was in increase in deaths, up 14.5% from 62 traffic deaths in 2017. Across all boroughs, pedestrian fatalities rose 6.5% in 2018.

These statistics are not meant to disparage the very necessary work that Mayor de Blasio is attempting to accomplish through Vision Zero, but rather make the point that devastating accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. Stories such as this make it clear that it only takes one momentary lapse of judgment or attention to cause somebody a potentially serious, debilitating injury. When that happens, it is up to the legal system to ensure that injured parties receive the compensation they're entitled to, so that they can cope with medical bills and lost wages that can add up very quickly.

As a firm, Block O'Toole & Murphy has won more results exceeding $1,000,000 than any other law firm in New York every year since 2012. People who are badly injured in accidents outside of their control might not be aware of their rights, or the compensation that might be available to them. A truly good attorney will be able to take on the legal and logistical complexities that can arise after a serious injury, so that you can focus on your health, which is what's most important.

If you are interested in filing a lawsuit to recover money for damages that feel insurmountable, call 212-736-5300 to receive answers to your most pressing questions, so that you can go back to focusing on the things that truly matter.