NYC Sidewalk

Young Woman Killed in Sidewalk Accident

Victoria Nicodemus was known for her friendly demeanor, her extensive knowledge of art history, and her love of the holidays. Last Christmas, 30-year-old Victoria was shopping for presents with her boyfriend in Fort Greene, Brooklyn when a wayward SUV jumped a sidewalk curb and struck her; she eventually died from the injuries she sustained from the impact.

It was 5:30 on a Sunday, when 39-year-old Marlon Sewell of Brownsville, Brooklyn lost control of his car. Driving down Fulton Street, Mr. Sewell veered sharply to avoid another vehicle, which had stopped abruptly in front of him. This took his car off the road and up over the curb, where he barreled into Ms. Nicodemus.

It was a horrible accident; but is this the whole story? Victoria’s family doesn’t think so.

Marlon Sewell, who was operating his vehicle without a license, was charged with only misdemeanors: aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree He was also charged with driving without a license.

Accidents happen, that so much is true, but is this due punishment for robbing a young, vibrant woman of her life? Some are not so sure.

Members of Victoria Nicodemus’ family, including her brother Hank Miller, believe that the charges, which carry with them a fine and probation but very light potential jail time, may not be suitable in their allocation of justice. It’s understandable, considering the perspective of the bereaved. One fact does remain: even if there were mitigating factors, and the accident was the product of unavoidable circumstance, Mr. Sewell should not have been behind the wheel of a car in the first place.

Furthermore, is Bill de Blasio, who vowed to make New York City sidewalks safer under his administration, going so far as to call it the focal point of his governing strategy, doing enough to prevent these needless accidents? Sadly, Victoria Nicodemus is only one of many similar pedestrian deaths that have occurred in this city over the past decade. In the following section, we’ll talk about Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan, which aims to improve pedestrian safety across the five boroughs.

We at Kaplan Lawyers PC believe the story of Victoria Nicodemus presents a profound twofold problem that New Yorkers are forced to face. First, the issue of safety for pedestrians who normally consider, and are right to consider, their sidewalks a safe haven. The second issue is, more generally, the dilemma of underrepresentation in a court of law. If you are seeking legal counsel, it is in your best interest to enlist the help of New York City’s premier vehicular accident law firm. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we provide a team of experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys, who will fight determinedly for you.


Vision Zero

According to the website, Vision Zero:

“Seeks to eliminate all deaths from traffic crashes regardless of whether on foot, bicycle, or inside a motor vehicle.”

It’s an ambitious goal, but what is actually being done to improve our safety? For a more comprehensive look at the intricacies of the process, you can visit’s pedestrian safety action website. What follows is a breakdown of the plans which are in place:

  • Identification: Finding the most problematic areas is the most effective first step in rectifying the situation. These areas have been dubbed “Priority Corridors” and “Priority Areas.” At the outset of this program, 12,000 pedestrian safety issues were identified and digitally mapped. Once the problems were identified, the pathway towards solving them became clearer and more easily achievable.
  • Awareness: The process of keeping citizens safe is a two-way street. It’s imperative that drivers remain in control of their vehicles, but it’s of equal importance that the pedestrians who inhabit our sidewalks are informed, alert and aware. This program looks to disseminate safety education literature, and aims to also spread the word digitally.
  • Implementation: Installing red light cameras in “Priority Corridors” is one of the most effective ways to stem speeding citywide. Augmenting the amount of speed limit signage works in tandem with these cameras, keeping drivers aware of, and driving under, the speed limit. Increasing pedestrian street-crossing times has also yielded incredible results.

This is only a rough overview. There are many more facets of the plan, which, hopefully, will continue contributing towards the larger goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities.


Kaplan Lawyers PC

The city streets are fraught with danger and complexity. On both sides of the wheel, obstacles are continuously presenting and re-presenting themselves. How we handle ourselves in the aftermath of an accident can mean everything when it comes to the long-term consequences we suffer. Often, those who seek subpar legal counsel end up paying more in the end, in terms that are sometimes unforeseen. When you take legal action, you want to maximize your compensation and settle, resolutely, all related matters. No matter what your legal issue, we at Kaplan Lawyers PC offer maximum results. We’ll fight determinedly by your side throughout the entirety of your legal process. If you’re unsure of your rights, or have questions regarding your case, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.