The Busy Passenger
Q: On the expressway in the right lane, I was in the back seat of a taxi cab, busily changing a diaper. While trying to merge into our lane from a parked position, another vehicle collided with the cab. Can I sue the taxi driver, or his company?
A: Your driver had the right-of-way. He was entitled to anticipate that another motorist would obey traffic laws requiring her to yield. Presumably, your driver will testify that the other driver suddenly, without signaling, attempted to merge from the parking lane into your lane, and that he saw the other vehicle for only a second before the impact occurred.
Your classic line of rebuttal would be to prove that your driver was speeding. In the police accident report, suppose you find a statement from the other driver that yours was indeed speeding. One cannot expect that it will be squeaked-in as some kind of exception to the hearsay rule. For one thing, the statement is blatantly in the other driver’s interest.
It does not seem that you were paying attention at the time the impact occurred. So you personally cannot have been aware of the rate of speed that your driver was traveling. Absent actual evidence, it is mere speculation, and not acceptable, to contend that your driver was speeding. Given that he had only seconds to react, you will need very strong evidence if you want to prove that, nevertheless, his negligence contributed.
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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