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New York Court Discusses Establishing Liability in Car Accident Cases

In many collisions, the negligence of multiple drivers will combine to set off a chain of events that ultimately cause the crash. Simply because a car accident involves multiple drivers does not mean that they are all at fault, however, as discussed in a recent New York ruling. If you were injured in a car accident, you may be owed compensation, and it is smart to meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts and Procedural History

It is alleged that the plaintiff sitting in the front seat of a vehicle driven by the defendant driver one and owned by the defendant owner when it collided with another vehicle operated by the defendant driver two at the intersection of North Delaware Avenue and East Hoffman Avenue in Lindenhurst. The plaintiff commenced an action against the defendants to recover damages for personal injuries resulting from the collision. Defendant driver one and defendant owner moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Establishing Liability in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that in New York, a violation of a traffic law constitutes negligence as a matter of law. This law mandates that a driver approaching a stop sign must stop and yield the right of way to any vehicle within or approaching the intersection.

The court explained that a driver with the right-of-way has the right to expect others to obey traffic laws requiring them to yield. Simultaneously, a driver with the right-of-way must exercise reasonable care to avoid a collision and use their senses effectively.

In the subject case, the defendant owner and defendant driver one established prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by showing that defendant driver two failed to yield the right-of-way, making his actions the sole proximate cause of the accident. The court emphasized that defendant driver one was entitled to assume that defendant driver two would obey traffic laws.

The court further explained that in opposition to the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact, and her contentions that defendant driver one could have avoided the accident were deemed speculative and unsupported by the record. Consequently, the court concluded that the trial court properly granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, dismissing the complaint as asserted against them.

Meet with a Seasoned Syracuse Personal Injury Attorney

Car accidents can cause devastating injuries, and in many cases, more than one party will ultimately be deemed liable. If you were harmed in a collision caused by another motorist, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney. The seasoned Syracuse personal injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers have the skills and resources needed to help you seek the maximum damages recoverable under the law. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a meeting.

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