Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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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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Car accidents are generally caused, at least in part, by negligent driving. Other factors may cause or contribute to bringing about collisions as well, though. For example, if a road suffers from an unsafe design, it may increase the likelihood of crashes or increase the severity of injuries suffered in a crash. Whether the party that designed a road can be held accountable for harm suffered in an accident depends on numerous factors, as discussed in a recent New York opinion issued in a case arising out of a fatal accident. If you lost a loved one in a car crash, it is advisable to confer with a trusted Syracuse car accident lawyer to assess what claims you may be able to assert in pursuit of damages.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent suffered fatal injuries when he was riding as a passenger in the defendant driver’s vehicle. The police report indicated that the deadly accident occurred when the defendant driver, who was intoxicated, struck the curb on an exit ramp, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle, hit a guard rail, and then crash into numerous storefronts. The plaintiff, who was the administrator of the decedent’s estate, commenced claims against the driver and the municipal entities that designed the ramp where the accident occurred. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged the municipal parties negligently planned and designed the ramp, which created a dangerous condition. The municipal entities moved for summary judgment, and the court granted the motion. The plaintiff appealed.

Liability for Negligently  Designed Roadways

Under New York law, municipalities owe a duty to the public to keep their streets in a relatively safe condition. In evaluating whether a municipality upholds this duty, the courts respect the planning and decision-making functions of a municipality. As such, the municipalities are granted qualified immunity from liability arising out of a highway planning decision. Continue reading

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New York is a no-fault insurance state. This means, in part, that a person hurt in a collision generally cannot recover damages from the party that caused the collision unless they demonstrate they suffered serious harm. In a recent New York ruling issued in a matter arising out of a collision, the court discussed what constitutes a serious injury and what evidence a plaintiff must offer to prove that such injury occurred. If you were hurt in a collision, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled Syracuse car accident lawyer to discuss your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff and defendant were involved in a collision in May 2018. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his left knee and shoulder, and spine due to the accident. He underwent surgery on his left should in February 2019 and on his left knee in August 2019. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for his injuries. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to show that he suffered a serious injury as required to proceed to trial pursuant to New York’s no-fault insurance law. The court ultimately denied the motion.

Serious Injuries in Car Accident Cases

The court explained that the New York no-fault insurance law provides, in relevant part, that in any action in which one covered party seeks compensation from another covered party for personal injuries arising out the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, there is no right of recovery for non-economic losses except in cases involving serious injuries. In turn, a serious injury is defined as one that causes a permanent consequential limitation of the use of a body part or organ, a substantial limitation of a bodily system or function, or a medically determined impairment or injury that prevents a person from performing the acts of daily life for at least ninety days during the six months following a collision. Continue reading

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Collisions frequently cause back and neck injuries and people hurt in crashes have the right to seek compensation for their harm from the parties that caused the accident via civil claims. A plaintiff must respect a defendant’s right to conduct discovery, though, which may include submitting to a medical examination. If they do not, it may adversely impact their right to recover damages, as illustrated in a recent opinion issued in a car accident case in which a New York court sanctioned the plaintiff for refusing to undergo an examination with the defendant’s expert. If you were injured in a car crash, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse car accident lawyer about your options for pursuing a just outcome.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff sustained injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine and right shoulder in a collision involving a car driven by the plaintiff. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, who then removed the matter to federal court. During discovery, the defendant obtained information indicating that the plaintiff suffered similar injuries in a previous accident and directed the plaintiff to appear for a medical examination prior to undergoing surgical repair of his injuries.

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent a discectomy without notifying the defendant or appearing for an examination. The defendant moved for sanctions arguing that the plaintiff engaged in spoliation by undergoing surgery prior to a medical exam. The plaintiff opposed the motion, but the magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation in favor of granting the motion. The court ultimately adopted the magistrate’s report and recommendation and imposed sanctions on the plaintiff. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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Car accidents occur regularly in New York, and many people injured in collisions will seek compensation from the driver they deem responsible for the accident. It is not uncommon for a defendant in a car crash case to argue that the plaintiff actually caused the accident, and therefore, the plaintiff’s claims should be denied. While comparative negligence is a valid defense, it is not grounds for dismissing a plaintiff’s claims at the pleading stage, as explained in an opinion recently issued by a New York court in a car accident case. If you were injured by a negligent driver, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse car accident lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was operating a motorbike when he was struck by a car driven by the defendant. The defendant driver was reportedly driving at an excessive speed in an attempt to complete her job duties for the day when she made a sudden left turn without using her signal, cutting off the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered critical injuries in the collision and subsequently filed a lawsuit in federal court asserting negligence claims against the defendant driver and her employer.

Allegedly, the defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing in part that he was comparatively negligent and, therefore, could not recover compensation. The motion was referred to a magistrate judge, who recommended it be denied. The defendants filed objections to the recommendation. Continue reading

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In many car accident cases, proving liability can be difficult.  In some collisions, though, it seems as if liability is clear. For example, in rear-often crashes, there is generally a presumption that the second driver is responsible. While that is generally true, it is not an irrefutable assumption, as demonstrated in a recent New York opinion issued in a case arising out of a rear-end collision. If you sustained harm in a car accident, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse car accident attorney to discuss your options for seeking damages.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, a commercial truck driver, was driving a truck for his employer on a New York highway. He was stopped in traffic when he was suddenly struck from behind by another commercial truck. He did not hear brakes or tires screeching prior to the impact. After the crash, he got out and spoke with the defendant driver, who was operating a commercial truck on behalf of the defendant company.

Allegedly, the defendant driver apologized and stated it was his first year driving commercial trucks. The plaintiff felt no pain initially, but subsequently developed pain in his back and neck. He subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging the defendant driver was negligent and the defendant company was vicariously liable for his negligence. After the parties completed depositions, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of the defendants’ negligence. Continue reading

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In many lawsuits that arise out of car accidents, the defendants’ liability appears to be clear. Even in cases in which it is evident that a defendant’s negligence caused a car accident, however, he or she is generally not precluded from arguing that the plaintiff is partially at fault as well. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling, in which an appellate court affirmed the denial of the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the defendant’s affirmative defense of comparative negligence. If you were harmed in a collision, it is smart to speak to a skillful Syracuse car accident lawyer regarding your potential claims.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered injuries when his car was struck by the defendant’s car. The accident occurred at an intersection that was controlled by a traffic light. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for his injuries in which he alleged the defendant was negligent.

Allegedly, in response, the defendant set forth an answer in which he asserted the affirmative defense of comparative negligence. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the affirmative defense. The trial court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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In lawsuits arising out of car accidents, plaintiffs typically have to demonstrate not only that the defendant caused the collision but also that they suffered damages as a result of the crash. In some cases, though, defendants will not dispute liability but will argue that the plaintiffs did not suffer damages as a result of the accident. The evidence needed to establish that a plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury in a car accident was the topic of a recent New York appellate opinion. If you were hurt in a collision, it is wise to confer with a knowledgeable Syracuse car accident lawyer about your possible causes of action.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving her car when she was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by the defendant. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim and arguing that she suffered serious injuries as defined by New York insurance law. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the trial court to dismiss the complaint. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Evidence Needed to Establish the Lack of a Serious Injury

On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. The court explained that the defendant argued that the plaintiff did not suffer a serious injury as a result of the accident and that any injuries the plaintiff had were pre-existing and were not causally related to the accident. In support of her motion, the defendant provided a report from a medical expert who opined that the plaintiff’s harm was degenerative in nature. Continue reading

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When catastrophic accidents cause multiple fatalities, it is not uncommon for surviving family members to seek to recover damages from the parties that caused or contributed to the accident. Simply showing that a tragedy occurred is not sufficient to establish fault, though. Instead, plaintiffs pursuing claims following deadly collisions must show that defendant owed the deceased parties a duty of care, and the breach of the duty is what lead to their deaths, as discussed in a recent New York opinion arising out of a fatal limousine crash. If you lost a loved one in a car accident, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney to discuss what you must prove to recover compensation.

The Facts of the Case

Reportedly, in October 2018, a tragic collision caused the death of twenty people. The accident occurred when the brake system of a stretch limousine failed, and the limousine crashed into the parking lot of a restaurant. The driver, seventeen passengers, and two people standing in the parking lot lost their lives. The plaintiffs, representatives of the estates of the deceased individuals, filed a lawsuit against multiple parties, including the chauffeur company that owned the limousine and the auto body shop that regularly performed repairs on it. The auto body shop moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims of negligence and grossly negligent conduct, arguing the plaintiffs could not establish it owed a duty to the decedents. Upon review, the court denied the auto body shop’s motion.

Establishing Liability for Negligence and Grossly Negligent Conduct

Pursuant to New York law, a court evaluating a defendant’s motion to dismiss must accept plaintiffs’ assertions as true and grant them every possible inference. The court’s duty is not to determine whether plaintiffs can ultimately prove their claims but instead whether they have stated a cause of action. Continue reading

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