Pregnant Mom Sustains Knee and Neck Injuries

Brielle C. Goldfaden obtained a $140,000 settlement from the City of New York for our 31 year old client who was involved in a crash with a New York City, Department of Sanitation street sweeper vehicle.

Our client, who was pregnant at the time and driving her three-and-a-half year old son to daycare, was hit by a street sweeper vehicle one morning in Brooklyn. She was traveling straight in the left lane of a two lane, two way street when she noticed a street sweeper in the parking lane to her right. As our client got near the intersection ahead of her, with the green light in her favor, the street sweeper suddenly attempted to make a U-turn across 4 lanes of traffic to get to the other side so he could sweep the opposite parking lane. Without seeing our client's SUV, the sweeper crashed into her front passenger side in the midst of his U-turn.

As a result of the crash with the large, heavy street sweeper vehicle, our client injured her knee and neck. Thankfully, her unborn baby and her toddler were uninjured. Brielle C. Goldfaden was able to convince the City of New York that their street sweeper driver was at fault for making a reckless decision when he tried to make a U-turn across multiple lanes of traffic, simply to clean the other side of the roadway.

Interestingly, while the negligence standard applies to most car accidents, requiring that drivers act with ordinary care, street sweepers are only liable in civil suits when their actions are reckless – making it more difficult for a plaintiff to prevail in a lawsuit against a street sweeper. Despite the heightened burden of proof, WRSMH attorney William Hepner and Appellate Counsel, David Schwarz proved during summary judgment motions that there were factual questions as to whether the sweeper's actions were reckless. During settlement negotiations with the City, Brielle argued that the sweeper's actions were reckless when he turned across multiple lanes of traffic and failed to see the plaintiff's SUV and the City of New York agreed to pay our client $140,000 for her injuries.

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