During the winter months, many motor vehicle accidents occur on New York’s roadways because of the accumulation of snow, ice, slush and rain. Drivers are expected to operate their motor vehicles with full consideration of changing weather and road conditions.
Rear end collisions are common during inclimate weather. In New York, a rear end collision with a stationary vehicle creates the presumption that the driver of the offending vehicle was negligent, unless that driver can offer a non-negligent reason for the rear end collision. This point has been upheld in New York motor vehicle lawsuits, including cases where the rear end collision involved pick-up and other light trucks.
Recently, a decision in a lawsuit involving a rear-end collision between a pick–up truck and a stationary vehicle reaffirmed this point. The driver of the pick-up truck argued that he actually saw the second vehicle, stopped ahead of him, before the impact; however, the truck driver was unable to prevent the collision because braking caused his truck to skid on the wet roadway.
The Court hearing the case held that the existence of the wet roadway condition did not provide a non-negligent explanation for the rear end collision. The driver should have been in control of his truck, at all times regardless of weather conditions, and operating at a safe speed with enough space between himself and other vehicles. Like all motor vehicle operators, the truck driver should have been able to avoid collision with a car stopped ahead of him. For these reasons, the Court upheld a verdict in favor of the person injured in the stationary vehicle
People who are injured in accidents involving rear end collisions with trucks should contact a New York motor vehicle accident lawyer to fully assess the facts of their case.
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