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$4.5 million settlement for New Jersey woman injured by bus

Bergen County pedestrians injured by motor vehicles frequently don't survive. When they do, their suffering is often tremendous. An unprotected pedestrian can be injured severely and endure a long and painful recovery or suffer permanent disability. The physical injuries are exacerbated by financial hardships including wage losses and overwhelming medical expenses.

A 2010 pedestrian accident in Newark ended a woman's ability to walk more than a few steps. She was hit by a New Jersey Transit bus and pulled beneath the wheels. The accident victim's injuries kept her in a hospital for three months and in a convalescent facility for an additional two months.

The accident fractured the woman's ankle and ripped away skin on her legs from underlying tissue. Several of the victim's ribs were broken during a medical procedure to revive the patient after her heart stopped. Four years after the bus accident, the 56-year-old woman is almost entirely dependent on a walker or wheelchair. Her condition is reported to be permanent.

The bus driver claimed he couldn't see the woman crossing the intersection because the pedestrian was in a blind spot as the bus was turning. The story later changed when the driver stated that the victim walked into the turning bus but wasn't in the intersection.

People who saw the accident reported that the driver was on a cellphone. A New Jersey transit investigation concluded the driver was inattentive and did not have the bus under control. The transit agency recently agreed to settle the civil claim filed over the pedestrian accident for $4.5 million.

Families of severely-injured accident victims often make incredible personal sacrifices. Efforts to care for a disabled relative can involve time away from work, further depleting a family's finances already damaged by the victim's loss of income. Financial recovery is possible when an attorney can show that the cause of the victim's and family's pain and suffering stemmed from negligence.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "NJ Transit settles for $4.5 million with Newark bus accident victim" Richard Khavkine, May. 16, 2014

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