Attention To Detail Leads To Summary Judgment
In a recent case, our White Plains Lawyer, Michael Joseph won a summary judgment motion for a client who backed out of a parking spot and was hit by another vehicle. Summary judgment is used to expedite a case when there is no dispute as to the important facts of the case. When there are no issues of fact, it can be determined which party is entitled to judgment without having to proceed to trial. Michael Joseph is considered to be one of the most experienced car accident lawyers in Westchester and has won numerous summary judgment decisions in favor of those injured in car and truck accidents. Summary judgment is a vehicle by which our personal injury attorneys cut through the red tape and delay tactics that the insurance company lawyers use to try and deny justice to our clients. It is an expedited way for an accident victim to get a decision as to who is at fault and puts the insurance companies on their heels.
Our client and the Defendant were in a store parking lot and parked in spaces directly across from each other. Our client backed out, and then came to a complete stop to switch his car from reverse to drive. While our client was putting his car into gear the Defendant backed out of her spot and hit his car. The Defendant, in her affidavit, stated that she checked her mirrors and did not see any cars so she backed up until she felt the impact of her car hitting our client’s.
It could be argued that what the Defendant stated in her affidavit made her seem as though she is a cautious driver, however, this was not the prevailing argument and it was picked apart when Attorney Joseph exploited what the Defendant failed to do. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1211(a) provides that a driver “shall not back [a vehicle] unless such movement can be made safely.” To reverse a vehicle safely a driver must continually look in their mirrors while backing. Since the defendant failed to state that they were looking as they were reversing, they failed to overcome the Plaintiff’s proof that she was at fault.
This was the small detail establishing the Defendant’s negligence. Although the Defendant stated she did not see any cars behind her prior to reversing, Attorney Joseph argued the Defendant’s failure to continuously look in her mirrors as she was backing was negligent and in violation of New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws. This minor fact could not be disputed as it was evidenced by the Defendant’s admission that she only looked in her mirrors prior to backing out. Had the Defendant been looking in her mirrors while backing she would have seen our client and would not have caused the accident.
Based on Attorney Joseph’s motion papers, the Westchester Supreme Court agreed that there was no dispute as to the material facts of the case and held that our client was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.