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Articles Posted in Car Accident

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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

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People injured in car accidents will often pursue claims against the person that caused the collision. Pursuant to New York law, though, people involved in car crashes can only recover damages if they suffer serious harm. Recently, a New York court discussed the serious injury threshold in a matter in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. If you were harmed in a collision, you could be owed compensation, and you should consult a Rochester personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff and the defendant were involved in a car crash. Specifically, the defendant, who was driving a tractor-trailer, rear-ended the plaintiff, who was driving an SUV. The plaintiff reportedly sustained injuries in the accident and, therefore, filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant driver and his employer. Following discovery, the defendants moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint via summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff had not demonstrated that he suffered a serious injury as required to recover damages. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

New York’s Serious Injury Threshold in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that under New York’s no-fault insurance system, people hurt in car accidents can only recover compensation if they sustain serious injuries. Serious injuries, the court noted, include personal injuries that result in permanent consequential limitation of use of a body part or organ, substantial limitation of a system or bodily function, or a medically determined impairment or injury that is non-permanent but prevents a person from performing all of their normal activities for at least 90 of the 180 days after the accident. Continue reading

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While some collisions arise out of circumstances beyond anyone’s control, most are brought about by negligent driving. Even if it seems obvious that a person’s reckless driving caused an accident, however, issues of liability are rarely resolved by the courts before trial. For example, in a recent opinion issued in a case arising out of a rear-end collision, the court found that there were factual disputes in the matter that precluded summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. If you were injured in a car accident, you have the right to pursue claims against the responsible party, and it is smart to meet with a Rochester personal injury lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that in March 2015, the plaintiff suffered injuries in a rear-end collision involving the defendant. Specifically, the plaintiff asserted that he was stopped at a red light at an intersection when his vehicle was struck in the rear by a truck driven by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendants, arguing that their negligence caused him harm. After discovery ended, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability. The court denied his motion, and he appealed.

Summary Judgment on the Issue of Liability in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed but on different grounds than those relied upon by the lower court. The court explained that pursuant to New York law, a rear-end collision involving a stopped vehicle establishes negligence, prima facie, on the part of the driver of the second vehicle. As such, the second driver must rebut the inference of negligence by offering a nonnegligent reason for the crash. Continue reading

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New York law requires that motorists operate their vehicles in a safe manner and comply with traffic laws. Regardless, car accidents are common, and they usually occur because a person drove recklessly, in violation of the law. People hurt in collisions can pursue claims against the party responsible for their harm, but they must prove fault to recover damages. A defendant will rarely concede liability in a car accident case; on the contrary, many argue that they are not at fault and will ask the court to dismiss the case. In a recent New York ruling, a court explained what a defendant must establish to obtain judgment in their favor as a matter of law in a case arising out of a collision. If you sustained injuries in a car accident, you might be owed damages, and you should contact a Rochester personal injury attorney to discuss your case.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries in a car accident involving the defendant. The accident occurred when the plaintiff, who was making a U-turn from a bus lane, was struck by a vehicle owned by the defendant company and operated by the defendant driver. The defendants moved for dismissal via summary judgment dismissing the complaint. The court denied their motion, and they appealed.

Summary Judgment in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed. The court explained that a defendant moving for dismissal via summary judgment in a personal injury case must show, prima facie, that they were not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm. As there can be multiple proximate causes of an accident, a defendant asking for summary judgment in their favor must show that they are free from fault as a matter of law. Continue reading

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Police and other first responders have the authority to activate emergency lights and sirens and travel in excess of the speed limit in certain circumstances. They must nonetheless do so with care, however, to avoid causing inadvertent harm. If a police officer operates their vehicle recklessly and collides with another motorist, they may be liable for negligence. Recently, a New York court discussed the standard of liability for police officers involved in collisions in a case in which it ultimately determined that the factual issues must be resolved by a jury. If you were hurt in a collision involving a first responder, it is prudent to meet with a Rochester personal injury attorney to discuss your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was driving her vehicle when she was struck by a patrol car driven by the defendant sheriff, who was working on behalf of the defendant city. The defendant sheriff was in the process of responding to a dispatch regarding an armed robbery in progress at the time of the crash.

Reportedly, the defendant sheriff attempted to pass the plaintiff on the left when the plaintiff was making a left turn and hit the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff, who suffered injuries in the accident, filed negligence claims against the defendants. The defendants moved for summary judgment, but their motion was denied. They appealed. Continue reading

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Generally, in a lawsuit arising out of a car accident, the party named as a defendant will be the driver of a vehicle involved in the collision. In some cases, though, other parties may be deemed liable for harm arising out of a car accident. Specifically, as shown in a recent New York ruling issued in a car crash case, if a person drives with reckless disregard for the safety of others, they could be found liable for any harm that ensues, even if they were not involved in the crash. If you were injured in a collision, it is wise to consult a Rochester, personal injury attorney about your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that in November 2011, the plaintiffs, who were police officers, were driving in a police vehicle. They then witnessed a high-speed chase involving another police department and the defendant driver. The defendant driver and the other police vehicle were driving at approximately 100 mph through a high-traffic area when the defendant driver lost control of his vehicle and collided with the plaintiffs’ vehicle.

Allegedly, the plaintiffs both suffered injuries, after which they filed a lawsuit against the defendants. The defendant police officers filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that they could not be deemed liable for the collision as they were not involved in the collision. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiffs appealed. Continue reading

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