Driving in New York, as with driving in any city, comes with certain risks that you’ll be involved in a truck accident. If you’re hit because a truck doesn’t yield after stopping at a stop sign, this type of crash can inflict substantial harm upon you. When this happens, it is important not only to get a favorable result but also to get one as efficiently as possible. In New York, under certain circumstances a party can expedite their case by requesting that the Court decide who is at fault by making a motion for summary judgment. In clear cases of liability the court may be able to decide in a party’s favor by reviewing motion papers. This may shorten your path to a damages award and save you the stress of a full trial. For one driver in that situation, the Appellate Division declared him entitled to a summary judgment, since his inability to avoid the crash did not make him partly at fault in the accident.
The origin of the case was an intersection accident in Queens. The plaintiff was driving westbound on 109th Avenue when, while traveling through the intersection with 205th Street, he was struck by a New York City sanitation truck, which had been traveling on 205th. At the intersection of 109th Avenue and 205th Street, 205th Street traffic has a stop sign. Traffic on 109th Avenue has no stop or traffic control signals of any type. This meant that traffic on 109th, including the plaintiff, had the right of way.
The plaintiff first filed a lawsuit against the City of New York. The plaintiff followed that up with a motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability. A success on that motion would mean that, based solely upon the two sides’ paper filings and without requiring a trial, the court would declare the city legally liable for the collision and the plaintiff entitled to damages. The injured driver’s argument was that the truck driver was the sole cause of the accident when he violated the law and failed to yield the right of way despite the stop sign. The city argued that the case should go to trial, since there was evidence that the injured driver was partly at fault by failing to do more to avoid the crash.
The trial judge in this case denied the plaintiff’s motion, but the Appellate Division ruled that this was incorrect and that the injured driver was entitled to a summary judgment declaring the city liable. Even if the truck driver did stop at the stop sign before pulling into the intersection, he still did not have the right of way. Drivers, like the plaintiff in this case, who have the right of way are “entitled to anticipate that a motorist will obey traffic laws which require him or her to yield.” The truck driver violated the traffic laws by failing to yield to the plaintiff’s car traveling through on 109th Avenue.
When you’re injured in a truck accident caused by another driver’s failure to obey the rules of the road, you may be entitled to an award of money damages. To learn more about your rights and methods for obtaining recovery, talk to the New York City truck accident attorneys at the law offices of Jacob Oresky. Our team has worked diligently on behalf of drivers and passengers injured in intersection accidents and other truck accidents throughout the New York metro area, including in Westchester County and on Long Island.
For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call our office at 718-993-9999. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Photo credit: Bidgee at Wikimedia Commons.