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Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Overturn Defense Verdict

Peter J. Weishaar
Oct 22, 2020
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Drivers have a duty to exercise “reasonable care” under the circumstances.  This includes a duty to see what could be seen through the proper use of their senses.  Earlier this year, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court set aside a defense verdict where the trial evidence established that the defendant driver violated these long-standing rules.

This case involved the all too common situation where the defendant driver turned left in front of the plaintiff motorcyclist.  The jury returned a verdict finding that defendant was not negligent, and the trial court denied plaintiff’s motion to set aside the verdict as contrary to the weight of the evidence.  The Appellate Division reversed the decision of the trial court and granted the injured motorcyclist a new trial.

The trial court instructed the jury that the defendant driver had a common-law duty to see that which he should have seen through the proper use of his senses.  In reversing the trial court, the Appellate Division made the following determination:

The evidence undisputedly established that the area of the accident did not have any obstructions and that defendant had a clear line of sight of oncoming traffic.  Inasmuch as defendant admitted at trial that he never saw plaintiff or his motorcycle prior to the accident, we conclude that the finding that defendant was not negligent could not have been reached on any fair interpretation of the evidence.

[Cramer v. Schruefer, 179 A.D.3d 1463 (4th Dep’t 2020)].

Motorcycle crashes often result in catastrophic injuries.  Often this is the result of the other driver making a left turn in front of a motorcyclist that the driver fails to see before it is too late.  If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, our motorcycle accident attorneys can work with you to get you the compensation you deserve.

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