A 23-year-old Australian tourist was killed while bicycling along Central Park West on Friday. According to police, Madison Jane Lyden was cycling in the bike lane with a friend when a garbage truck fatally struck her at around 4:45 p.m. First, a black delivery vehicle parked along the side of the road pulled in front of Lyden, which caused her to swerve. A private garbage truck then crashed into her. Both drivers remained at the scene, and the garbage truck driver was brought into custody.
The garbage truck driver is 44-year-old Felipe Chairez. He’s been charged with driving while intoxicated in connection with the fatal crash.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville offers some thoughts to The Legal Herald on wrongful death lawsuits for victims killed by drunk drivers and their families:
No family deserves to go through the turmoil of losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident. When an innocent victim is killed by someone who made the reckless decision to drive drunk, justice can be found through both the criminal and civil court systems. While the police will arrest and charge the driver, the victim’s family may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Taking legal action may not be a priority for many families during this difficult time, but doing so can help demand accountability from third parties who may have enabled the accident and provide the financial support many families need after unexpectedly losing a loved one.
In cases where the drunk driver was at work and operating a work vehicle, the victim’s family may have grounds for a lawsuit against that driver’s employer. In order to have a case, your lawyer will need to establish negligence by the company – such as hiring a driver with a previous DUI on their record. Proving negligence is complicated, but you can begin to understand your legal options by speaking with an experienced DUI wrongful death lawyer.