What to do if I was sitting at a bar when a truck carrying 7 cars came down the hill, lost his brakes and crashed through the building I was in?

The bartender sitting next to me was killed. My husband and I suffered minor injuries. I’m seeking compensation for lost wages not covered, personal property damaged/lost and perhaps emotional distress. The tricking company most likely does not have adequate insurance to cover all loses. Who would be next in line as far as responsibility? City? There have been 3 other similar accidents in the same spot and nothing has been done to change.

Asked on July 8, 2014 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is very difficult to recover emotional distress damages for a single accident, not involving malice or a deliberate attempt to harm or distress you, and where the person near you who was killed was not a family member. Speak with an attorney about the case--it may be that if all you have is some minor injuries, a small amount of lost wages, and presumably minor personal property damage, that you cannot recover enough money to justify the cost of a lawsuit.

If you do sue, you could also sue the driver personally, as well as his company. You *may*  be able to sue the city IF the road is unreasonably danagerous as laid out; the fact that there have been other accidents there does not necessaril prove that, since  the issue is whether the road as designed is unsafe, not whether there happen to have been accidents (since accidents occur on even the best roads). You would need some sort of highway/road/accident specialist to help you determine that, and you would have to factor the cost of that specialist into the economic calculation of whether a suit is worthwhile.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.