The expert New York personal injury lawyers at Carro, Carro & Mitchell obtained a large settlement on behalf of a client injured in an intersection collision with a New York City Department of Parks and Recreation vehicle.
An Avoidable Accident
Our client, “Dorothy” was driving east across lower Manhattan. As she passed through an intersection with a green light, a City vehicle, which had been stopped in a westbound lane, suddenly turned left through the intersection, striking Dorothy’s vehicle. Dorothy fractured her collarbone, and injured her neck and back.
Rules of the Road
Most drivers know that a vehicle proceeding straight through an intersection has the right of way over an oncoming vehicle that makes a turn. The vehicle that is turning must yield, and wait until it is safe to proceed through the intersection. In Dorothy’s case, the driver of the City vehicle claimed that a long truck, stopped in the intersection, partially blocked his view of oncoming traffic. He testified that he waited patiently then slowly “crept” through the intersection, trying to peer past the truck. When it appeared clear, he decided to go, but then he struck Dorothy’s oncoming vehicle.
The City’s Defense
The City vigorously defended the case. They alleged that Dorothy was speeding, and that their driver was proceeding cautiously. The City claimed that he was not on an emergency call or urgent business, but was heading to a meeting and had no motive to rush. They also argued that he wasn’t responsible because the driver of the long truck which was sitting in the intersection had “waved him through”, indicating that it was safe to go. The City prepared a thorough defense, hiring several expert witnesses – an accident reconstruction expert to testify that the accident was Dorothy’s fault, doctors to testify about her injuries, and a vocational rehabilitation expert.
Our investigation revealed that the driver of the City vehicle was a relatively new employee. At the time the accident occurred, he was late for his first meeting with his high-ranking bosses. When we took his testimony, he admitted he did not have a clear view of on-coming traffic beyond the stopped truck, but “thought he could make it”. In settlement discussions, with lawyers for the City of New York, we showed that the reasonable conclusion a jury would reach at trial was that, under the pressure of being late for an important meeting, the driver didn’t wait until he could be sure that it was safe to go. He thought it was clear. He took a chance, a gamble. But he turned and struck Dorothy’s vehicle as it crossed the intersection. The fact that someone may have waived him through the intersection was no defense. The law holds the driver responsible for the operation of his vehicle and he cannot evade that responsibility by claiming he relied on someone else’s instructions or directions.
To show the effect of the accident on Dorothy at her trial, we were prepared to bring her treating doctors to testify about her injuries, as well as an expert economist to testify about her lost income. In settlement conferences in court on the eve of trial, with the guidance of the judge, we obtained a settlement offer of $1,250,000, which was very satisfactory to Dorothy.
Our New York personal injury lawyers are dedicated to getting justice for injured accident victims. Hard work, diligent investigation and a thorough knowledge of the law are essential for the preparation and successful resolution of your case, whether through a pre-trial settlement or jury verdict. Either way, we fight hard for maximum compensation for your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car, truck or bus accident, call us today for a FREE consultation at (212) 213-5005. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start to work investigating your case.