Drunk drivers have been taking lives at the rate of 17,000 each year for decades. Those who survive are often left with serious, debilitating injuries. Such was the case recently when a woman who tested well over the limit hit a New York cabbie.
On a Thursday evening in late February taxi driver Sajad Matin was unloading baggage for a fare when a woman driving a Mazda SUV struck him at full speed. Mr. Matin’s kneecaps were crushed, and he was unconscious when the rescue crew arrived.
Unfortunately, the cabbie’s left leg was so badly injured doctors had no choice but to amputate. Mr. Matin remains in a coma two weeks after the crash. Drunk driving injury attorney Nussin Fogel reports that doctors are still unsure whether the right leg can be saved.
The driver of the Mazda remained at the scene, where police determined her blood alcohol level was .136, one and one-half times the legal limit. The woman was taken into custody and charged with felony assault and drunk driving. She has been released on a $15,000 bail bond. The woman admitted to having been drinking prior to the accident.
New York personal injury attorney Nussin Fogel reports that Mr. Matin immigrated many years ago to the U.S., and has been a cab driver for 15 years. He is the sole support to his wife and two children. Sadly, it seems unlikely that he will be able to return to his job. Needless to say, the accident has brought terrible pain and hardship to his family.
The director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance explained that cab drivers who are injured on the job are not eligible for state disability. Taxi drivers from all over New York City have been visiting the still-unconscious victim and offering support.
Drunk drivers cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Despite significantly increased penalties, the problem does not seem likely to disappear anytime soon. Fortunately, victims like Mr. Matin are eligible for medical benefits and some of their lost income. In addition, these accident victims may have legal recourse for unpaid medical costs, pain, and suffering compensation and lost income.