Lee M. Schwalben, M.D., J.D., LLC
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Fatal accident takes the life of pedestrian

Even in pedestrian friendly cities, it is nearly impossible for pedestrians here in Louisiana and elsewhere to avoid coming into contact with traffic during their journey. At some point, it will be necessary to cross a street or walk close enough to traffic to risk becoming the victim of a serious or fatal accident. The circumstances under which a crash occurs can often be the difference between life and death for the victim.

Some motorists will claim that the pedestrian "just appeared" in front of them. In fact, this is what the driver involved in a recent pedestrian vs. car accident told police when she was questioned in the aftermath of the accident. Preliminary reports indicate that the crash occurred at approximately 5:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday morning.

The driver was in the right, northbound lane of Tulane Avenue approaching South Jefferson Davis Parkway in New Orleans. She claims that it was too late to stop by the time she saw the victim. When police arrived, the woman was barely alive and lying in the street. An ambulance rushed her to a nearby hospital, but it was too late. She was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival.

The investigation is ongoing, and authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if impairment was a factor in this fatal accident. In the meantime, the family of the victim retains the right to conduct its own investigation in advance of filing a wrongful death claim. Any evidence gathered by the family and/or officials could be offered in civil court to establish that the death of their loved one was the result of another party's negligence. If a Louisiana civil court determines that to be the case, damages that could defray the financial impact of their family member's untimely death might be awarded.

Source: wdsu.com, "NOPD: Woman dies after being struck by vehicle in Mid-City", Bun Choum, April 2, 2016