Generally, a plaintiff seeking damages in a lawsuit arising out of a motor vehicle collision must demonstrate the defendant’s negligence in order to prevail. In some instances, though, other standards of care will apply. For example, a defendant that causes a crash while operating an authorized emergency vehicle will only be deemed liable if they acted with reckless disregard. The authorized emergency vehicle standard only applies in limited circumstances, however, as demonstrated in an opinion recently issued by a New York court. If you sustained injuries in a collision caused by someone else’s careless driving, you should speak to a Rochester personal injury attorney about your potential claims.
Factual Background of the Case
Allegedly, the plaintiff suffered injuries after his vehicle and the defendant’s vehicle collided. At the time of the crash, the defendant, who was a volunteer member of an ambulance squad, was responding to a call. The defendant was driving his personal vehicle behind the plaintiff’s vehicle and attempted to pass the plaintiff on the left at the same time the plaintiff attempted to make a left-hand turn.
Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that his negligence brought about the crash. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that he was driving an authorized emergency vehicle and, therefore, his conduct was measured under the reckless disregard standard. He further asserted that as he was not reckless as a matter of law, the claims against him should be dismissed. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading