NEW YORK PERSONAL INJURY BLOG
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- WINNING AN ACCIDENT CASE WITH MOTION PRACTICE
WINNING AN ACCIDENT CASE WITH MOTION PRACTICE
Instead of merely hoping that a jury will render a favorable verdict, an experienced personal injury trial lawyer knows how to win the case first with the judge. A motion for summary judgment asks the court to issue an order finding the defendant at fault for the accident as a matter of law before the jury gets to decide. Experienced personal injury trial lawyers understand the importance of making these motions and how to win them.
When there is an auto accident involving a vehicle struck in the rear, a court can decide that the defendant is at fault as a matter of law for not keeping a safe distance, not properly applying the brakes, or not keeping a proper lookout. These motions can also be won when a driver fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, or a driver makes a left turn and fails to yield to oncoming traffic.
In one auto accident case BBNR won, our client was struck in the rear when stopped at a red light. We made our motion for summary judgment and the defendant opposed claiming her brakes did not work. We responded that the operator of a vehicle has a duty to properly maintain their brakes and if the brakes were not working, then this was her fault. The court agreed with us and granted our client summary judgment finding that the defendant was at fault as a matter of law.
Motions for summary judgment can also be won in construction accident cases when a person is injured due to the failure to provide proper safety devices in height related accidents. For example, if a construction worker fell from a scaffold and was not provided a safety harness, the court can find as a matter of law that the defendant building owner and general contractor for the site failed to provide proper safety devices. The failure to provide proper safety devices is a violation of the New York State Labor Law, Section 240.
In one construction accident case BBNR won, a Polish construction worker while working on a scaffold several stories high had asked to take a break to use the bathroom. His foreman told him there is no time to lower the scaffold and instead they would lower him down in a bucket meant for transporting materials because it would be quicker. As the worker was lowered down, he fell and landed on the concrete ground, fracturing his hip. The defendants opposed our motion for summary judgment arguing that it was the plaintiffs fault for agreeing to let himself be lowered in this manner. We replied stating that the fault of the worker in complying with an unsafe instruction by his supervisor is meaningless under the law. The court agreed and granted the plaintiff summary judgment, winning the case as a matter of law.
When a motion for summary judgment is won, interest accrues on any future jury award at 9 percent from the date of the judgment until the verdict and then continuing until payment. At BBNR, we have repeatedly made and won summary judgment motions in all types of cases including auto accidents and construction accident cases. Many of these winning decisions including the above mentioned are listed on our website. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, call BBNR, an experienced law firm of personal injury trial attorneys whom you can trust.