He said he was traveling at 50 mph.

I didn’t believe him.
It was a wide open area.
No other cars on the road.

It was a double lane highway.
Traffic in each direction.
It was a rural highway.

The speed limit was 50 mph.
There were traffic lights every few miles.

The accident happened at an intersection controlled by a traffic light.

It was just getting dark.
My client was a passenger in a friend’s car.
They were heading to work.

Her car was waiting to make a left hand turn.
The other driver was going straight.

In NY, if you are going straight, usually you have the right of way.

The driver making a left hand turn has to judge distance if oncoming cars are approaching.

She began her left hand turn.
Half-way through the turn, the speeding driver slammed into the passenger side of her car, injuring my client.

Who’s at fault here?

The driver going straight said he had the green light.
Well, that’s one point in his favor.

The driver who was making a left turn apparently misjudged the distance of approaching cars when she began her left turn.
That’s a point in our favor.

Even if the driver who was making the left turn was at fault for not yielding to the oncoming car, is the oncoming driver also at fault?

In order to answer that question, it’s critical to find out his speed at the time.

“Sir, how far away were you from the intersection when you first saw the car you had an impact with?”
“About 500 feet.”

“And did you see that car the entire time, from when you first noticed it until you made contact with the car?”

“There was nothing obstructing your view?”

“Did you maintain your speed the entire time from when you first saw that car till impact?” “Yes, up until I realized they were turning in front of me and then I slammed on my brakes.”

“How long did it take you to travel from the point you first noticed that car until you slammed on your brakes?”

“Maybe 10 seconds...”

“Did you change your speed at any time from when you first saw the other car until you slammed on your brakes?”

“What was your speed?”

“50 mph”
“What was the speed limit?” “50 mph”

“How far did you travel in that distance from when you first saw the other car until the impact at the intersection?

By getting the exact information about speed, time and distance from this driver, I was able to calculate, after his pre-trial testimony, exactly his speed right before the accident.

Turns out he was traveling at 65 mph in a 50 mph zone. As a result, he didn’t have enough time to avoid what was there to be seen right in front of him.

Since he was speeding, he was unable to avoid hitting the turning car.

Based upon the careless driver’s own testimony, I was able to show that his speed directly contributed to the happening of this car accident and that he was partially at fault.

To learn even more about how important speed, time and distance are in a car accident case here in NY, I invite you to watch the video below...



Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer