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New York Court Examines Fault for a Failure to Yield Accident

New York’s traffic laws are designed to minimize the risk of collisions by dictating when motorists must stop or yield to other drivers. Generally, if a driver traveling with the right of way is struck by another motorist, they will not be found at fault for the collision. There are exceptions to the general rule, though, as discussed in a recent ruling issued in a New York personal injury lawsuit. If you were hurt in a collision, you might be able to recover compensation, and you should speak to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer about your possible claims.

The Subject Accident

It is alleged that the plaintiff and the defendants were involved in a three-car collision. Specifically, the first defendant was operating a vehicle that collided with a car driven by the second defendant, which then crashed into a car driven by the plaintiff. The plaintiff, who suffered injuries in the accident, commenced a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants. After discovery ended, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that they were not at fault for the accident. The court denied the motion, and the defendants appealed.

Fault for a Failure to Yield Accident

In a car crash case, a defendant moving for summary judgment has the burden of proving, prima facie, that they were not at fault for the subject collision. Accidents can have more than one proximate cause, and, generally, it is for the trier of fact to resolve the issue of proximate cause.

In the subject case, the court noted that a driver that has the right of way has the right to assume that other motorists will abide by traffic laws requiring them to yield. It clarified, though, that a driver traveling with the right of way may still be found to have contributed to bringing about an accident if they did not exercise reasonable care to avoid a collision.

In other words, a driver will be found negligent if they fail to see that which a driver would have seen through the proper use of their senses. Here, the court found that the evidence submitted by the defendant failed to demonstrate, prima facie, that they were not at fault for the accident or did not contribute to the accident in some way. As such, they failed to demonstrate they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and the trial court properly dismissed their motion.

Meet with an Experienced Syracuse Personal Injury Lawyer

Car accidents are often the result of negligent driving, but in some instances, more than one factor will contribute to a collision, and people that drive recklessly may be held responsible for any losses that ensue. If you were hurt in a car crash, it is advisable to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Syracuse personal injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a good chance of a successful outcome. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a meeting.

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