According to Newsday, Dimas Debrito, the driver of the Mercedes that struck and killed 24-year-old Mallory Weisbrod on August 10th remains uncharged. The lack of formal charges comes as a surprise to some as the circumstances surrounding the accident are questionable.

On August 10, the NYPD responded to reports that a Mercedes-Benz travelling south on Second Avenue had driven onto the sidewalk and struck Mallory Weisbrod and two other women, ages 23 and 21. Investigators reported that the driver of the Mercedes was 64-year-old Dimas Debrito. In the accident Weisbrod wound up pinned against a light pole. Weisbrod and the 23-year-old were taken to Bellevue Hospital Center while the 21-year-old declined medical treatment. Debrito was also taken to the hospital, though the extent of his injuries remain unknown.

While New Yorkers may be miffed at the lack of a formal criminal charge, the family of Weisbrod and the other two victims may have legal recourse. In the case of Weisbrod, her immediate family may be able to file a wrongful death claim on her behalf. In a wrongful death case, a victim’s immediate family can sue for compensation on their behalf. In Ms. Weisbrod’s case however, a wrongful death claim could be problematic. While Mr. Debrito’s driving appears to be a clear example of negligence, much of compensation awarded to families in wrongful death claims depends on whether the deceased had any dependents. Because Ms. Weisbrod was 24, her family’s ability to collect substantial compensation may be limited depending how much they relied on her income. In this type of lawsuit, the victim’s family can recover compensation for the loss of an essential income, the loss of future earning potential, the economic value of parental guidance (in instances where the deceased had children), funeral costs, medical bills, prior to death, and pain and suffering.

The other two women injured in the accident may also be able to collect compensation through a car accident lawsuit. In a car accident claim, they’d be eligible to receive compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, or pain and suffering caused by their injuries. To have a valid case the two women would have to prove that Mr. Debrito acted negligently in driving over the sidewalk, and that it directly led to their injuries.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or died after being struck by a car, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit