School is back in session at many New York City schools, which means that the sidewalks are once again filled with students walking to and from school. Unfortunately, an increase in sidewalk traffic also means an increased likelihood for pedestrian accidents in the city.
It didn't take long for a pedestrian accident to occur this school year. Last week, five students were injured in Queens when a car jumped the curb and struck them on the sidewalk as they made their way to school. According to reports, the driver of the vehicle was attempting to park at the time when he hit the accelerator instead of the break, causing the vehicle to lurch at the students.
The accident served as a harsh reminder for parents and students alike that pedestrian accidents are common in the highly-congested city. But perhaps the biggest shock to parents came after the principal of the injured students' school sent a letter blaming the students for the accident.
The letter, which was sent to parents hours after the incident, said that "children must be encouraged to be aware of their surroundings" and that electronic devices threaten the safety of children as they walk to and from school. Needless to say, parents were not happy with the principal's reaction to the accident.
As it turned out, none of the students who were involved in the accident appeared to be using electronic devices when the accident occurred.
All too often, authorities are quick to blame pedestrians for accidents. For that reason, it's important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side after being injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident.
Source: New York Observer, "Principal: Turns Out Headphones Didn’t Cause that Horrific Queens Crash," Orla Ryan, Sept. 16, 2013