State Trooper

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Q: I am a State Trooper.  On the Thruway during a severe snow storm, I was sitting in the front seat of a marked patrol car.  It was parked on the shoulder of the highway.  Another patrol car was parked in front of mine.  We had activated our emergency flashers and rooftop-bar lights and had placed flares along the side of the roadway.

Unfortunately, as a motorist tried to drive around our vehicles, she went into a skid and struck my patrol car.  The motorist has admitted that she observed our patrol vehicles.  She has explained that she took her foot off the accelerator and tried to steer to the left.  Nevertheless, her vehicle did not respond to her steering efforts and instead went into a skid toward our police cars.

A: Evidence of skidding and leaving the traveled portion of the highway is evidence of negligence and is sufficient to create an issue of fact for the jury to resolve.  The mere happening of the collision outside of the motorist’s authorized lanes of travel creates an issue of fact, regardless of the persuasiveness of the motorist’s explanation.

In short, your case presents a legitimate factual issue is presented as to whether the motorist was negligent in operating her vehicle at a rate of speed that was excessive for the very poor conditions and in sliding off the side of the road.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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