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Suing Both Drivers in an Intersection Accident Even If One Driver Violated New York Traffic Law

In some auto accident situations, there may be the possibility of obtaining a judgment against many different people and entities. It is very important to assess the evidence very carefully and make thoughtful trial strategy choices. If you leave off a viable defendant, it could cost you later in terms of getting full compensation. When it comes to making these and other essential decisions in your case, it is beneficial to avoid going it alone and instead to rely upon the knowledge and experience of a skilled New York City car accident attorney.

A recent case from the Hamptons provided an example of pursuing many defendants for one two-vehicle intersection crash. The facts of the case were as follows. Stephanie was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Valerie. At an intersection in East Hampton, Valerie’s vehicle collided with one driven by Arlene. At the time, Arlene was operating a vehicle owned by her employer. Valerie was headed east and had a stop sign. Arlene was traveling south, and she did not have a stop sign.

Stephanie sued Arlene, Arlene’s employer, Valerie, and the owner of Valerie’s vehicle. Arlene and her employer asked the trial court to dismiss the case against them. Their argument was that Valerie violated Section 1142(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law by failing to yield at the stop sign. Since Valerie’s failure to obey the stop sign was the sole cause of the accident, Stephanie could not be entitled to compensation from Arlene and her employer.

The trial judge agreed with Arlene and her employer, but the Appellate Division did not. The appeals court concluded that Stephanie could proceed against all of the defendants. Even if Valerie did conclusively violate Section 1142(a) and run the stop sign, that fact alone did not end the analysis into whether or not Arlene was also negligent and therefore liable to Stephanie.

Even though a “driver with the right-of-way is entitled to assume that other drivers will obey the traffic laws requiring them to yield,” that driver is still under a legal obligation to use due care in the operation of her vehicle. In other words, a driver with the right-of-way still must “keep a proper lookout and see what can be seen through the reasonable use of his or her senses to avoid colliding with other vehicles.”

If Stephanie could prove that Arlene did not keep an appropriate lookout and reasonably use her senses to avoid the collision with Valerie, she and her employer could, in addition to Valerie, conceivably be liable to Stephanie for the damages Stephanie suffered.

When you are hurt in an auto accident like a side-impact crash, it pays to have the advice and counsel of someone who has extensive experience navigating the system and getting results. For four decades, the experienced Queens car accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman have been helping injured people pursue the compensation they deserve. To put us to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

How An Injured Scooter Driver Used a New York Taxi Driver’s Own Words to Secure a Summary Judgment in His Intersection Accident Case, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 23, 2018

I’ve Been Hurt in a Chain-Reaction Accident in New York; What Should I Do Now?, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, April 25, 2018

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