A family is mourning the loss of one of their own due to the poor decisions made by a woman driving on Staten Island.
59-year-old Stanley Marshall was riding his bike on Richmond Road when he was involved in a car accident with driver Lisa Martini. Martini was attempting to make a left turn out of a mall parking lot onto Richmond Road when she struck the bicycle that Marshall was on. Both the man and his bike were pulled under her Honda CRV and crushed.
Marshall survived the initial accident and was rushed to a nearby hospital with a crushed pelvis and internal injuries. Not soon after, he succumbed to his injuries. His family members reported that the damage done to his organs was so severe that they were only able to donate his eyes.
The police determined that Martini was driving under the influence of marijuana after she stated, “I was just pulling out from getting my food and I guess I hit something. I smoked a little bit of weed around 2:30.” She also mentioned that she regularly took several prescription drugs for anxiety. The police charged her first with driving under the influence and then later, vehicular manslaughter.
Criminal vs Civil
In this case, the negligent party, Martini, will face criminal charges filed by the police. Criminal charges are filed when someone has committed an offense against the state or society.
In addition to these charges, it is possible that the loved ones of Marshall may filed a civil lawsuit in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. In civil cases, the plaintiffs allege that the defendant in some way failed to uphold a duty that was owed to the deceased. For example, it is generally accepted that anyone behind the wheel of a car owes pedestrians, bicyclists, and other commuters safe interaction when they are on the road. If they are negligent, and someone is injured or killed, they could be held liable for the damage they caused and forced to pay the plaintiffs compensation.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when someone dies due to another person’s negligence. If the victim had survived, they would have been able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, their loved ones are now the plaintiffs and are seeking compensation.
In order to establish that the plaintiffs have a claim for wrongful death, the state of New York requires proof of five things:
- That a death did, in fact, occur.
- That the death was caused by the negligence of the defendant.
- That the deceased could have pursued a personal injury claim if they hadn’t passed away.
- That the plaintiffs have suffered a loss due to the death of the deceased.
- That there are damages the estate will be able to recover.
Types Of Compensation
The compensation that is awarded in a lawsuit is called “damages”. They type of damages awarded depends on the facts of the case. It is possible that the plaintiff may recover compensation for:
- the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before they passed
- the medical expenses for the care required for the injuries the deceased suffered from
- the loss of support and services that the deceased provided their family members
- any lost inheritance for children of the deceased
- funeral and burial expenses
Statute of Limitations
Wrongful death claims in New York must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased’s death. In some states, if the representative of the estate is too young or incapable of filing the claim, a stop will be placed on the statute of limitations until they are able to make the decision. However, this does not apply in New York. In these cases, the guardian of the plaintiff is expected to pursue legal action for them.