Car accidents are a common occurrence in Syracuse, and while they happen with regularity, that does not mean they are not preventable. Rather, most collisions are brought about by the careless driving of one or more people involved in the crash. While typically, issues of negligence must be decided by a jury, in cases in which liability is clear, plaintiffs may be granted judgment as a matter of law. In a recent opinion, a New York court discussed the standard for granting summary judgment in a car accident case in which it ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff. If you were injured in an accident, you should confer with a Syracuse car accident attorney regarding your potential claims.
The Subject Collision
It is reported that the plaintiff suffered substantial injuries in an accident that occurred when the car she was driving was struck by a car driven by the defendant. The crash happened at an intersection that was governed by a traffic light. The plaintiff proceeded through the intersection as the light was in her favor when she was hit by the defendant, who ran the red light. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for her damages. After discovery closed, she moved for summary judgment, but the court denied her motion. She then appealed.
Proving Negligence as a Matter of Law in a Car Crash Case
On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling. The court explained that if a plaintiff in a case alleging negligence moves for summary judgment, he or she must then prove, prima facie, that the defendant violated a duty owed to the plaintiff and that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries. Further, the court noted that a plaintiff does not have to demonstrate that he or she was not comparatively negligent in order for the court to grant summary judgment. Continue reading