Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Most people will be involved in collisions at some point in their lives, and while some are fortunate to walk away unharmed, others sustain injuries that are not only painful but also costly to treat. Simply because a person suffers harm in an accident does not mean that they will be awarded compensation, however. Rather, a person injured in a car accident must demonstrate that another person is at fault to recover damages. Recently, a New York court issued a ruling in which it discussed the evidence needed to establish fault in car crash cases. If you were hurt in a collision caused by another motorist, you could be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse personal injury attorney regarding your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that in November 2016, the plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by the first defendant when it was struck by a vehicle driven by the second defendant. The plaintiff sustained injuries in the crash and subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit.

Reportedly, the first defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not establish she was at fault for the accident and, therefore, the claims against her should be dismissed. While the plaintiff did not oppose the motion, the second defendant did; the court subsequently denied the motion, and the first defendant appealed. Continue reading

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Car accidents are common throughout New York, and in many instances, they cause not only property damage but also significant injuries. Fortunately, parties harmed in collisions caused by reckless drivers can often recover damages in civil lawsuits. While in most car accident cases, the courts will find that there are issues of fact that must be resolved by a jury at trial, in some cases, they will find that no factual disputes exist and judgment should be granted in favor of one party as a matter of law. Recently, a New York court issued an opinion discussing judgment as a matter of law in car accident cases, ultimately determining that the trial court erred in granting judgment in favor of the plaintiff. If you were injured in a collision caused by another driver’s carelessness, you might be owed compensation, and you should meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Subject Accident

It is alleged that the plaintiff was sitting in the driver’s seat of her car, which was parked on the street. She subsequently felt an impact, first on the left rear side and then by the driver’s side door of her vehicle. She then saw the decedent’s vehicle on the left side of her car. Immediately before the crash, the decedent was coming out of the driveway that was behind the plaintiff’s car.

It is reported that the force of the impact caused the plaintiff’s vehicle to move two feet forward and strike the car in front of it. The plaintiff suffered injuries in the accident and filed a negligence claim against the decedent. Following the decedent’s death, a representative of her estate was substituted as the defendant. The case proceeded to trial, and at the close of evidence on the matter of liability, the defendant moved for judgment in her favor as a matter of law. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.   Continue reading

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Generally, car accidents are caused by reckless driving. Thus, a person injured in a car crash will typically seek compensation from the driver they deem responsible for the collision. Defendants rarely concede their liability, but unless they can establish a non-negligent reason for an accident, they may be deemed culpable. Recently, a New York court discussed what evidence is sufficient to rebut an inference of negligence in a chain-reaction car crash case. If you sustained injuries in a collision caused by another driver, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is smart to contact a Syracuse personal injury lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff was the driver of the first car in a four-car chain-reaction collision. The defendant was operating the second car at the time of the crash. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he negligently caused the accident and the plaintiff’s subsequent harm. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Negligence in the Context of Car Accident Cases

In New York, a defendant seeking dismissal of a negligence claim via summary judgment must show that they were not at fault in the subject accident. The appellate court explained that an accident can have more than one proximate cause, and the party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of establishing they are not at fault as a matter of law. Continue reading

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Even seemingly minor rear-end collisions can cause significant injuries. Although the second driver in a rear-end crash is typically deemed responsible, the first driver must nonetheless prove fault and that the accident caused them to suffer harm in order to recover damages. It is not uncommon in lawsuits arising from rear-end collisions for the defendant to admit fault but to argue that the plaintiff did not actually suffer serious harm as a result of the crash. Recently, a New York court assessed what a defendant must prove to establish they did not cause a plaintiff’s harm in cases arising out of rear-end collisions. If you were hurt in a car crash, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving her vehicle when it was struck from behind by a car driven by the defendant. The impact caused the plaintiff’s vehicle to propel forward into the car in front of her. She suffered injuries in the accident and subsequently brought negligence claims against the defendant. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the issues of whether the plaintiff’s alleged harm arose out of the accident and whether she suffered a severe injury. The court denied her motion, and she appealed.

Establishing a Car Accident Caused a Serious Injury

On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying her motion because she met her initial burden of proof by establishing that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury that was causally related to the accident. Further, the defendant argued that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the presence of a triable issue of fact in her opposition. Continue reading

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In most Syracuse personal injury cases, the plaintiff will allege that the defendant acted negligently. Merely proving negligence is not sufficient to demonstrate liability, though. Instead, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s negligence proximately caused their harm, and if they do not, their claims may fail. This was demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a New York court in a car accident case. If you were injured in a collision, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer to determine what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The Plaintiff’s Accident and Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff was riding his bicycle when he struck the side of the defendant’s bus. He sustained harm in the accident and subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant and the driver employed by the defendant. The case proceeded to trial, after which the jury determined that the defendants were negligent, but their negligence was not a significant factor in bringing about the accident. The plaintiff then filed a motion to set aside the jury’s verdict and for a judgment as a matter of law, or alternatively for a new trial. The trial court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Establishing Proximate Cause

The appellate court ultimately denied the plaintiff’s appeal. It noted that the plaintiff failed to object to the verdict as inconsistent with the evidence prior to when the jury was discharged, and therefore waived his right to object on that basis. The appellate court elaborated that, regardless, the jury’s assessment that the defendants acted negligently but their negligence did not cause the collision was not against the weight of the evidence. Continue reading

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When rear-end collisions occur, it is presumed that the party that struck another motorist from behind is at fault. The second motorist can refute this presumption by producing evidence showing a non-negligent reason for the crash. If they cannot, however, judgment should be granted in favor of the plaintiff as a matter of law. The evidence needed to defeat a plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit arising out of a rear-end collision was the topic of a recent ruling issued by a New York court. If you were hurt in a crash caused by another driver, you might be owed damages, and it is advisable to meet with a Syracuse personal injury lawyer promptly.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was operating a scooter in the right lane of a highway and was followed by a bus driven by the defendant. As they approached an intersection, the plaintiff moved into the left lane of traffic, after which the defendant moved into the left lane as well and struck the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries in the crash and filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant. After discovery closed, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment. The defendant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion and granted the defendant’s, after which the plaintiff appealed.

Evidence Needed to Establish a Non-Negligent Reason for a Rear-End Collision

On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court order to the extent that it granted the defendant’s motion. The appellate court explained that under New York law, a rear-end crash with a vehicle that is stopped or stopping demonstrates a prima facie case of negligence on the part of the second driver. As such, the second driver must provide a non-negligent reason for the accident to rebut the inference of negligence. Continue reading

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Pursuant to New York’s no-fault insurance law, people can only file civil claims for damages if they sustain serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision. As such, regardless of whether a party caused a car crash, they will not be deemed liable for damages unless the plaintiff can meet the serious injury threshold. In a recent decision issued in a car accident case, a New York court described what evidence is needed to demonstrate that a plaintiff suffered a serious injury as defined by the statute. If you were involved in a collision, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer to examine whether you may be able to recover damages.

The Subject Accident

Allegedly, the defendant was driving in the rain when he approached an intersection. He stopped at the intersection for several seconds to ensure that he could safely make a left turn. As he removed his foot from the brake, his car rolled forward and struck the plaintiff, who was walking in the crosswalk at the intersection. The car stopped moving immediately after it hit the plaintiff.

Reportedly, the plaintiff was transported to the hospital, where x-rays did not reveal any fractures. She complained of extreme pain, however, and later reported that she was unable to complete any of her daily activities. She underwent extensive treatment for pain and reduced mobility in her back and neck as well. She ultimately filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting negligence claims. The defendant conceded liability but moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff had not demonstrated that she suffered a serious injury as required to recover damages under New York law. Continue reading

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When drivers do not leave adequate room between their vehicles and the cars in front of them, they run the risk of causing a rear-end collision. In some instances, rear-end collisions have chain effects, causing a multi-car pile-up. Typically, however, the driver of the middle vehicle in a three-car accident caused by a rear-end crash will not be liable for harm suffered by its passengers. This was demonstrated recently in a ruling issued by a New York court in a car accident case. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer to discuss what you must prove to recover damages.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sustained injuries in a collision that occurred when she was riding as an adult passenger on a school bus operated by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. The accident occurred when a person driving behind the bus struck the bus from behind, causing it to propel forward and strike the vehicle in front of it.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants alleging their negligence caused her injuries. The defendants moved for dismissal via summary judgment, and the trial court granted their motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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Technological advances generally make cars increasingly safer and easier to drive. When such technology fails, though, it can have disastrous consequences. When a vehicle’s anti-collision technology does not operate as the manufacturer indicated it should, it may provide a basis to pursue claims against the manufacturer. While some claims may be successful, it is unlikely that fraud is one of them, as illustrated in a recent New York opinion. If you were hurt in a collision caused by a defect with your vehicle, you should confer with a Syracuse car accident lawyer to establish what damages you may be owed.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was driving a vehicle manufactured by the defendant when he was involved in a collision. He suffered significant injuries and filed a lawsuit against the defendant asserting multiple causes of action, including fraud. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, via a dealer in a showroom and through its website, advised the plaintiff that the vehicle’s autopilot feature would allow him to take a hands-off approach to driving.

Reportedly, he was advised that it possessed automatic steering and braking capabilities and could detect cars in adjacent lanes. The autopilot feature failed to activate when a car cut the plaintiff’s vehicle off, however, and he swerved into another lane and struck a vehicle the autopilot feature failed to detect. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s fraud claims, arguing the plaintiff failed to set forth a viable claim. The court ultimately agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s fraud claim. Continue reading

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Typically, when a rear-end collision occurs, the second driver is deemed at fault. There are some exceptions, however, that would allow for the imposition of some degree of liability on the driver of the vehicle that was struck. One exception was recently discussed in an opinion issued by a New York court in a case in which the plaintiff sought summary judgment on the issue of comparative fault. If you were harmed in a collision, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a Syracuse car accident lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s vehicle was stopped at a red light when it was struck from behind by the defendant driver. Immediately after the impact, a vehicle driven by a police officer that worked for the defendant city struck the second car, causing it to again hit the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff, who suffered injuries in the collision, filed a lawsuit against the defendants. The defendant city asserted the affirmative defense of comparative negligence. The plaintiff then filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue of comparative fault. The trial court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Comparative Fault in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed. The appellate court explained that, under New York law, a driver approaching another car from behind has a duty to maintain a reasonably safe rate of speed and following distance, in consideration of the conditions present at that time, to avoid a collision. Accordingly, a rear-end collision with a vehicle that is stopping or stopped establishes, prima facie, the negligence of the operator of the second vehicle. As such, the second driver must rebut the inference of negligence by providing a non-negligent cause for the crash. Continue reading

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