A 27-year-old man was killed by hit-and-run driver in the Bronx over the weekend. The man had only recently moved to New York from his native Ireland.
Although police are not entirely positive yet as to what happened, because the car accident is still under investigation, it seems the man may have been in the street after celebrating a little too hard with his friends. He was struck around 3:30 a.m. on East 233rd Street near Oneida Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Apparently, this tragic incident was captured on videotape from a nearby security camera. A man who saw that videotape told a reporter that the driver of the vehicle that struck the man did not stop or even seem to slow down. As of Monday, police had not publicly identified a suspect or arrested anyone in connection with the fatal car-pedestrian collision.
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This incident represents a good chance to talk about comparative negligence. That term refers to negligence on the part of the plaintiff that reduces the amount of damages that can be recovered from the defendant. In this case, if the man was indeed drunk and in a dark roadway at 3:30 a.m., the doctrine of contributory negligence would recognize that those were not safe or wise actions to take.
However, the concept of comparative negligence recognizes that making a mistake, as this man may have done, does not mean that the plaintiff is entirely responsible for what happened. Rather, it seeks to recognize that real life is complicated. In some situations, both the plaintiff and defendant may have contributed to what happened, but the Defendant is still responsible for that portion of the accident that can be attributed to his or her negligence. The damages that the plaintiff receives is reduced by the percentage of fault that he or she has in causing the accident. If the case is not settled, a jury will be asked to apportion fault.
Source: New York Daily News, “Victim identified in fatal hit-and-run in the Bronx,” Vera Chinese and Barry Paddock, June 16, 2013