New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Proving Negligence Where it was Possible for a Driver to Stop

Posted on Oct 25, 2014 in Car Accidents

To claim compensation for damages and injuries due to a car accident in New York, you may need to file a lawsuit. The other driver who is the defendant will try to present to the court that he was not negligent, since it was not possible for him to stop to avoid the crash. Suppose you are taking a left turn and your car is hit by another vehicle going straight. Even if you were taking an improper left turn, the other driver should have come to a stop in time. The defendant driver on the other hand claims that it was not possible for him to stop in time to avoid the crash.

Who is at Fault for the Accident?

Car accident

It is possible to prove negligence by the opposing party in car accident cases.

The other driver who was travelling straight should have seen you trying to take a left turn, should have slowed down, and he should have had enough time to step on the brakes to avoid the impact with your vehicle. However, when the other driver is claiming he did not have a chance, and there was no way he could have stopped his vehicle in time, your lawyer can question him to find out the facts.

Right Questions to Ask at the Deposition

Before the trial, your lawyer will get a chance to ask the other driver questions at the deposition. This is a question and answer session taking place under oath, and whatever is said by the defendant during this session can be presented during trail as evidence. For proving the negligence of the other driver, your lawyer will have to focus on three important aspects of speed, time, and distance, since they are critical in any motor vehicle accident case.

During questioning, the other driver reveals that when he saw your car taking the left turn, he was 50 yards from your car. Your lawyer will then ask him, how fast he was travelling when he saw your car 50 yards away. Suppose the driver says that he was travelling at 30 miles per hour, your lawyer should ask, how long did it take, from the time he saw your car until the time of impact. Now the driver will say that it took only a few seconds, as he has previously said that it was not possible for him to stop in time.

Arriving at the Facts by a Simple Calculation

The other driver has revealed the speed, distance, and time. These three important components can be put into a simple mathematical formula to see what he is claiming is true or inconsistent. If he was 50 yards away and travelling at 30 mph, the calculations will indicate that he would have sufficient time to come to a stop. This would suggest that he was not travelling at 30 mph but at a much higher speed and therefore could not come to a stop. Therefore, calculating the speed, time, and distance is crucial for verifying the truthfulness of the defendant’s statements, and proving negligence.

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