Monday, May 9, 2016

Rear-end collisions and an inference of negligence.

Practice point:  A rear-end collision with a stopped vehicle creates a prima facie case of negligence against the operator of the moving vehicle, thereby requiring that operator to rebut the inference of negligence by providing a non-negligent explanation for the collision. Evidence that a vehicle was struck in the rear and propelled into the vehicle in front of it may provide a sufficient non-negligent explanation.

Student note:  Pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1129[a], "The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway."

Case:  Hartfield v. Seenarraine, NY Slip Op 03137 (2d Dep't 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  An award of attorneys' fees.