When we are not in our cars, we may think we are immune to car accidents. This is especially true when we eat at restaurants. But, as restaurants across New York re-open their dine-in service as outdoor only, patrons are finding their seats may be located on the streets. This means that, just eating lunch, could pose the risk of a car accident. Some locals experienced this reality first hand recently.
Café Alula, located in the Greenpoint neighborhood, has opened up its outdoor seating area of dine-in customers. Unfortunately, according to police, a hit-and-run driver collided into that area last Thursday, and then kept driving. Six people were impacted by the vehicle, and a 34-year-old woman was hurt/
The accident occurred before 11:00 a.m. on Franklin Street, near Eagle Street. Bystanders said the accident was horrifying and were shocked that the driver just kept driving after colliding with the barriers, people and a nearby motorcycle.
Police are still looking for the maroon Toyota Camry that left the scene. The woman who was injured received non-life threatening injures and is expected to recover.
Not the First Incident
Cars colliding with outdoor eating spaces is becoming more common. In fact, this was the second collisions of this kind in the city this week alone.
In that Monday night accident, there was a collision between two vehicles on the Upper East Side on Second Avenue near 92nd street. After the cars collided, one car careened into an outdoor seating area. Luckily, no one was hurt in that incident.
As more and more restaurants move tables onto sidewalks and onto the streets, these car accidents will only increase. This brings up the question of liability.
Of course, the drivers who impact diners are liable for the injuries their negligence caused. However, it is important to contact an attorney immediately after these types of car accidents because the drivers may not be the only ones that can be held liable. If the driver was working at the time, the employer may be liable. In addition, depending on the facts of the situation, even the restaurant owner may be liable.