The New York Personal Injury Blog

'I Didn't See Her' Might Work For Criminal Defense, Not P.I.

There's finally enough information to follow-up on the tragic story of Roxanna Sorina-Buta, 21, of Queens. In late May, the young lady was returning home from her job. While she was crossing the street, with the light, she was run over by a dump truck. The truck did not stop or alert police. It simply disappeared.

At the time, there was no information on who the driver was and where the truck was from. However, after an extensive investigation, the police finally identified the driver and identified the truck as a New York City Department of Transportation truck, reports the Gothamist.

Streetsblog has an interesting discussion about why the driver might walk away without criminal charges. Apparently, in New York, the law requires that the driver know that they hit someone to be charged with leaving the scene or with homicide. So, the defense of “I didn’t see her” might actually work.

However, would it work in a personal injury lawsuit context? Not as likely. The standard that someone is held to in such a case is not whether or not they knew. It’s whether or not the reasonable dump truck driver would have known.

Considering the accounts that said that Sorina-Buta was crossing legally, with the light, in a crosswalk, and that the truck barreled over her, it seems that the driver probably didn’t meet the standard of the reasonable person.

Further proof of his substandard conduct can be found in our previous coverage, when we pointed out that he likely violated traffic laws during the accident.

Because the driver did not act up to the reasonable person standard, and injury resulted from his behavior, he, and his employer, could quite possibly be liable under a negligence theory.

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