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NYC police stepping up investigations of serious car accidents

Changes to the way New York police respond to serious car accidents could help accident victims hold reckless drivers accountable for their actions as well as help city leaders build safer roads.

In the past, police in New York City have only investigated car accidents in which at least one person died or was likely to die. Police will now investigate crashes in which a person has been critically injured or cases that call for further investigation.

The New York Police Department drew harsh criticism last year for their handling of certain cases. In some instances, investigations weren't begun until days after victims died from their injuries. Typically, as time passes, less pertinent information is available to crash investigators.

We frequently discuss serious accidents on this blog. Just last week, a community was torn apart when a young couple was killed after their livery car was hit by another vehicle as they were on their way to the hospital. The woman was pregnant. Her baby was delivered by cesarean section after the accident but died a day after the tragic accident.

Accidents are bound to happen in New York City. However, more in-depth investigations by authorities may help them understand why accidents happen more frequently in certain areas and what kinds of behaviors lead to more serious accidents.

When people get in their cars each day it can be easy for them to forget how devastating a car accident can be. People assume they won't be involved in a crash. However, a minor error on the part of one driver can leave numerous people with serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Fortunately, victims may be able to hold negligent drivers responsible through civil lawsuits.

Source: The New York Times, "After Criticism, Police Change Policy and Begin Investigating More Traffic Crashes," Matt Flegenheimer and J. David Goodman, March 10, 2013

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