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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, May 22, 2017

Off-duty NYPD Officer Crash Kills One Sister and Injures Another

Q: What charges and consequences may a police officer face for off-duty conduct unbecoming an officer?

A drunken driving car accident in the pre-dawn hours in New York City is not necessarily newsworthy these days. But when it results in the serious personal injury and wrongful death of two sisters and their friend, people take notice. Add to that the allegation that the accident was caused by an off-duty NYPD officer driving while intoxicated-- and it’s front page news.

In addition to facing criminal charges and possible civil lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death by his victims and/or their survivors, an off-duty police officer may also face police misconduct charges if they’re suspected of engaging in conduct unbecoming a police officer. Alcohol and driving offenses are some of the common allegations of police misconduct charges. Police officers are viewed as being officers 24/7-- even when they're off-duty. Police officers are expected to not only enforce the law but to abide by it --at all times.

In the case at hand, the off-duty police officer reportedly crashed into the other car with such force that he sent it careening into a tree and a light pole. The other driver died from her injuries the next day while her sister sustained a fractured arm and hip as well as trauma to her internal organs. The other passenger, a male, sustained a concussion and multiple abrasions. The police officer was arrested at the scene "after police said he showed signs of being drunk and was initially charged with vehicular assault, DWI and refusal to take a breath test". The criminal charges were upgraded after the driver died.

When someone is injured as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of someone else, they may recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. If the victim dies from the injuries they sustained, their estate and/or their close surviving relatives may be entitled to compensatory damages as well. Wrongful death cases are complex, particularly when a police officer is the defendant, so seeking advice of a skilled personal injury and wrongful death attorney as soon as possible is the best course of action. In many cases, the time to file a notice of claim or commence legal action is very short and you don't want to miss the window of opportunity.

Some of the damages which may be recoverable include current and future medical expenses, property damage, lost income, anticipated future lost income or diminished earnings, pain and suffering, and more. In particularly egregious instances, punitive damages may also be awarded. In wrongful death claims, the victim’s survivors may be able to recover the cost of the victim’s final medical and funeral expenses, loss of financial support and/or companionship, and other damages depending on the particulars of the case.

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of the negligence of another person or entity, the Goldstein Law Firm in the Bronx, New York can help. While a lawsuit won't bring your loved one back or undo the accident, it may help to relieve the financial burden caused by your unexpected loss. Call us at 718-239-0239 for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout the New York City metropolitan area, as well as clients injured while visiting New York.


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