A May 14, 2015 accident involving a bus and an ambulette near the Palisades Center in West Nyack, NY has resulted in the death of a 48 year old ambulette passenger and injuries to four other people. The collision happened on a bright sunny Spring day in an area with significant traffic volume.

While the Clarkstown Police will be conducting a thorough reconstruction of the accident in an attempt to determine what led to the collision between the two vehicles, it will be likely be determined that the injured passengers played no role in causing the accident. As a result, protecting the rights of the injured passengers will require an attorney to strategically prosecute a lawsuit on their behalf. Separate counsel will be needed for each passenger. One attorney cannot represent either of the drivers involved and also represent a passenger as this would be a conflict of interest.

Successfully prosecuting a claim for personal injuries or wrongful death on behalf of a passenger in a multi vehicle accident requires the attorney to focus the attention of the court on what is known as the innocent passenger doctrine. This doctrine holds that the rights of the injured innocent passenger to obtain summary judgment on the issue of liability exists and must be recognized notwithstanding the potential issues of comparative fault as between the drivers of the two vehicles.  Rodriguez v. Farrell, 115 A.D.3d 929 (2d Dept. 2014)

The goal of any lawsuit in a personal injury or wrongful death case is to obtain compensation for the victim.  Our trial lawyer’s blog recently discussed the types of damages in wrongful death cases.  These cases are challenging both professionally and emotionally for all involved.

We have successfully litigated such cases using the innocent passenger doctrine on behalf of our clients for many years. Contact us for more information.