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New York Court Explains Grounds for Granting Summary Judgment in a Bike Accident Case

Bicycle accidents can cause catastrophic harm, and in most instances, they can are brought about by negligence. As such, people hurt in such crashes will often seek compensation from the person they deem responsible. While liability is obvious in some bike accident cases, in others, the issue of fault must be determined by a jury. This was illustrated in a recent New York ruling delivered in a bicycle accident case in which the court denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability. If you suffered harm in a bike accident, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney to determine your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sustained injuries in a bike accident when he collided with the open door of the defendant’s van. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he negligently caused the crash. The accounts of how the accident occurred differed. The plaintiff asserted that he was riding at a speed of five to seven miles per hour and that the defendant swung his door open seconds before the plaintiff struck it.

It is reported that the defendant stated that he checked the lane behind him and saw nothing for 200 feet and opened his door, and five seconds later, the plaintiff hit it. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability and for dismissal of the defendant’s affirmative defense of contributory negligence. The trial court granted the motion, and the defendant appealed.

Grounds for Granting Summary Judgment in a Bike Accident Case

The court reversed the trial court ruling on appeal. It explained that courts determining whether to grant a motion for summary judgment must assess the evidence in a light that is most favorable to the nonmoving party. In the subject case, in contrast to the plaintiff’s assertion, the court found that the parties’ divergent accounts of how the crash happened demonstrated that there were triable issues of fact, which barred an award of summary judgment to the plaintiff.

Specifically, while the plaintiff demonstrated his prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, the defendant, in response to the plaintiff’s motion, raised issues of fact as to whether the plaintiff contributed to the happening of the accident. Further, the court found that the defendant raised triable issues of fact as to whether the plaintiff proximately caused the accident, therefore precluding the defendant from being found at fault. Thus, the court reversed the trial court ruling.

Talk to an Experienced Syracuse Personal Injury Lawyer

Motorists that recklessly cause bicycle accidents should be held accountable for the harm they cause. If you were injured while riding a bicycle, it is advisable to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Syracuse personal injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at helping people injured by the negligence of others seek justice for their losses, and if you hire us, they will advocate aggressively on your behalf. You can reach us via our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a meeting.

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