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New York Court Examines Liability for Failing to Yield the Right of Way

All New York motorists have an obligation to abide by vehicle and traffic laws. Among other things, this includes the duty to yield to other motorists who have the right of way. If a driver fails to abide by a traffic law and subsequently causes a collision, they may be deemed negligent as a matter of law, as shown in a recent opinion issued in a New York car accident case. If you were hurt in a collision, it is wise to talk to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer about your possible causes of action.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was driving his motorcycle on a New York road when he approached an intersection. He observed that the traffic light he was approaching was green, and he did not see any cars in front of him. After he entered the intersection, he noticed the defendant driver begin to make a left-hand turn in front of him. Due to the abruptness of the turn, he did not have time to stop or divert his motorcycle to avoid colliding with the defendant.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for the injuries he sustained in the accident. Before depositions were taken or discovery was complete, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to rule in his favor on the issue of liability and seeking a dismissal of the defendant’s affirmative defense of comparative negligence. In support of his motion, he provided the police accident report and his affidavit. The trial court denied his motion, and he appealed.

Liability for Failing to Yield the Right of Way

On appeal, the court modified the trial court ruling to the extent that it denied the plaintiff’s motion on the issue of liability. The court explained that a plaintiff seeking summary judgment on the issue of liability in a negligence case must show, prima facie, that the defendant breached a duty it owed the plaintiff and that the defendant’s negligence proximately caused the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.

In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff showed, prima facie, his right to judgment in his favor by demonstrating that the defendant failed to yield the right of way. In response to the plaintiff’s motion, the defendant failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Thus, the court reversed the trial court ruling.

Contact an Experienced Syracuse Personal Injury Lawyer

Motorcyclists have the same rights as all motorists, but they are often overlooked by other drivers until it is too late to avoid a collision. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Syracuse personal injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at helping injured parties protect their interests, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a conference.

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