Pedestrians Lift SUV Off Woman after Crash
Perhaps more than anyone else, pedestrians are at risk of suffering fatal injuries in an accident. Sometimes, the most serious injuries a pedestrian faces stem from having a heavy car resting on them. Fortunately, bystanders moved swiftly to lift an SUV off a pedestrian in late January 2020 after a collision left her on the ground beneath the vehicle. According to the New York Post, the woman was struck in the Lower East Side, at the intersection of Delancey and Norfolk.
Witnesses report that the accident happened very quickly and that onlookers moved fast to lift the SUV off the pedestrian. About a dozen people in all lifted the vehicle. The incident, which was captured on video posted to Twitter, shows the people pushing the vehicle up onto its side to free the pedestrian from underneath. Most SUVs weigh between 5,000 and 7,000 pounds and are often twice as heavy as the average passenger sedan, so the quick action was definitely necessary.
Some of the most serious injuries that a person can suffer are crush injuries. Heavy objects not only can break bones and mangle soft tissue like nerves, but the pressure on the skeleton can cause a cascade of problems.
When skeletal muscle is damaged, it begins to break down, releasing certain toxins into the bloodstream. These toxins can then overwhelm the kidneys, which is why kidney failure is often a complication from a crush injury. Many people suffering from crush injuries need to have the affected limb amputated so that they avoid the worst complications. Many victims, if left untreated, can go into shock and possibly die.
Relieving a heavy weight from a pedestrian is therefore vital. We can only hope that other Good Samaritans follow the lead of those in New York City.
Liability for Helping a Victim
Some people choose not to help those injured in accidents because they fear that they will expose themselves to liability. This is not an entirely unrealistic fear. And no law requires that bystanders render aid unless they were driving a vehicle that hit someone.
Fortunately, New York has a “Good Samaritan” law on the books, Public Health Law, Article 30, Section 3000-a, that might apply in some cases. This law shields those rendering voluntary medical assistance from legal liability unless they were grossly negligent. In other words, simply being careless will not expose someone to a lawsuit for trying to help a victim. So if you attempt to provide CPR but are careless, you cannot be sued for negligence.
Contact Our New York City Pedestrian Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Review
Whether you can receive compensation in New York for a car accident depends on the insurance at issue and the events surrounding the accident. Contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman today at 212-285-3300 or by filling out our contact form. Our team has negotiated many tough settlements for accident victims, including pedestrians. We will gladly meet with you for free to discuss your legal options for getting compensation.