Appellate Court Finds in Favor of Bicyclist in New York Truck Accident

A New York appellate court recently issued a decision in a case stemming from an accident between a bicyclist and a truck driver. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging personal injury damages after being struck and run over by the truck driver. She alleged that she was approaching an intersection and stopped at the red light next to the defendant’s truck. The plaintiff explained that the truck did not have a turn signal on, and when the light turned green, she went straight, and the truck made a right turn into her.

At trial, the defendant contended that when he approached the light, he turned his right turn signal on for about one minute and that he checked his mirrors before making the turn. He denied seeing the plaintiff or running her over. The defendant further argued, and the court agreed, that he was not required to continuously activate his turn signal because he was effectively “parked” at the red light. The court instructed the jury that the truck driver was not required to activate his turn signal at least 100 feet before making a turn. As such, the jury found that the defendant was not negligent. The plaintiff appealed the ruling arguing that the court erred in its jury instruction.

Under Vehicle and Traffic Law §1163, a motorist must activate their intention to turn continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.” The appellate court explained that the statute does not make an exception for vehicles stopped at red lights. Thus, contrary to the lower court’s ruling, the defendant’s truck was not “parked,” and he was bound by § 1163 of the traffic code. The court stated that the statute provides a specific standard of care and a violation amounts to negligence per se. As such, the court reversed the lower court’s judgment and found in favor of the plaintiff.

As this case illustrates, New York bike accident cases require an in-depth understanding of complex procedural and statutory rules. Plaintiffs should retain an attorney to ensure that they meet all of the onerous burdens that the law imposes on accident victims. A failure to abide by these standards can result in a dismissal and inability to recover financial compensation.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a New York Accident?

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a New York motor vehicle accident because of another’s negligence, contact the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel. Our law firm is dedicated to providing clients with skilled, thoughtful, and effective representation in their personal injury claims. We handle various injury claims stemming from New York auto accidents, bike accidents, premises liability, defective products, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, and wrongful death. We work to ensure that our clients secure all available compensation for their losses. Compensation typically includes amounts for medical expenses, ongoing medical costs, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and similar losses. Contact our firm at 914-428-7386 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.