New York’s Vehicle and Traffic laws are designed to ensure that people can safely travel the roads and highways throughout the state. When people fail to comply with these laws, it often leads to accidents, and it may constitute negligence per se or negligence as a matter of law. Recently, a New York court discussed negligence per se in the context of a motorcycle collision, in a matter in which it ultimately granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. If you were hurt in a collision caused by a negligent driver, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.
The Factual and Procedural Background of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff was operating his motorcycle on a New York road when the defendant, who was approaching from the other direction, made a sudden left turn into the plaintiff’s path of travel. The plaintiff and defendant collided, and the plaintiff suffered significant injuries in the accident. He filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, asserting that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident and his subsequent harm. He then filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability and asked the court to dismiss the defendant’s affirmative defenses. The court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Negligence Per Se in the Context of Car Accidents
On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling and granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. In doing so, it explained that a violation of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic laws constitutes negligence as a matter of law. In other words, a person driving a vehicle with the right of way is entitled to presume that a motorist approaching from the other direction will yield the right of way in accordance with the law. Continue reading