Collisions involving bicyclists often cause catastrophic harm. In many cases arising out of bike accidents, defendants will often try to avoid liability by assigning fault to the plaintiff. Unless the evidence clearly demonstrates that a defendant bears no fault, however, the court will not rule in their favor as a matter of law, as illustrated in a recent New York ruling. If you or a loved one were involved in a bicycle-car collision, it is advisable to meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claims.
Factual and Procedural Setting
It is reported that the plaintiff, a minor, was involved in a bicycle accident when he attempted to cross a street. The accident occurred when the defendant driver collided with the plaintiff while operating a vehicle that belonged to the defendant owner. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting that their negligence caused the accident and his subsequent injuries. The defendants responded by moving for summary judgment, arguing that they were not at fault in the accident. The trial court denied the motion, and the defendants appealed.
Grounds for Summary Judgment in Car Accident Cases
On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it noted that a defendant seeking summary judgment in a negligence case must establish, prima facie, that they were not responsible for the accident. Moreover, the court emphasized that a driver with the right-of-way is entitled to assume that other drivers will adhere to traffic laws requiring them to yield. In cases where a driver with the right-of-way has only seconds to react to a vehicle that has failed to yield, they are not comparatively negligent for failing to avoid a collision. Continue Reading ›