A simple car accident does not make someone already negligent. Victims of injuries have the burden of demonstrating that the person who did or did not do something negligently was the cause of the accident. Sometimes, when there is not a specific proof to pinpoint that an individual is negligent or possibly criminal, the doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur” may be invoked. This means that if that individual has exclusive command over what led or caused the accident and injury is presumed to be negligent. This next case, as discussed by one of our senior experts, shows how a court decides and rules in favor of an injured person against a negligent company.
The incident transpired in May 1955 when a couple’s (the Plaintiffs) car was rear-ended by a Ford ‘Crown Victoria’ driven by the Defendant while they were stopped in an intersection. The Plaintiffs both suffered injuries as a result of the car crash. When the Defendant stated he didn’t stop because his brakes did not work during the time of the accident. According to his testimony, his Ford ‘Crown Victoria’ was bought only three days prior to the accident and that it was brand new when it was delivered to him by the McClure Motor Company. Incidentally, the Defendant was also working for the same company so he knew the history of the car that he bought. The Defendant and his wife also both stated in their testimonies that prior to the accident, the have not been involved in any car trouble using the Ford ‘Crown Victoria’ and that it was the first time that the brakes failed to work.
The Defendant driver claimed that when he saw the Plaintiffs’ car stopped at an intersection, he prepared for his approach by gently stepping on the brake pedal but it went straight down to the floor and didn’t feel the brakes’ effect. As he stepped on the pedal, he felt something on his leg which was later on found to be a part meant to secure the brake pedal. He also described the braking mechanism of the car wherein the pedal was connected by the bolt that broke to an arm, which at the time of the accident was no longer connected to the master cylinder, which rendered the brakes useless. The Defendant also stated that the McClure Company had not tampered the car in any way and that the only thing that the company could have done before delivering the car was to adjust the brakes, which did not require them to touch any of the broken parts of the brakes.
According to our source, the Defendant further testified that an agent of the Ford Motor Company, Defendant, came to take the broken bolts from the Defendant driver two-three weeks after the accident and that they were never seen again. Contrary to this, Ford Motor Company’s counsel allegedly sent the broken bolts to the Defendant driver’s counsel but they denied that this was the case because the last time he saw the broken bolts was when they agent took them. This is neither the Plaintiffs’ nor the Defendant driver’s fault. Since the Defendant driver testified in favor of the Plaintiffs, the couple relied on the same proofs to establish that Ford Motor Company was the one responsible for the accident. On the other hand, Ford Motor Company did not present any evidence to contradict this. Therefore, when the jury delivered the verdict, there was no course of action recommended for the Defendant driver but a verdict against Ford Motor Company was delivered in favor of the Plaintiffs.
The Ford Motor Company then appealed whether the Plaintiffs have enough evidence against them to pursue a trial. In other words, the motor company is asking if the Plaintiffs clearly made their case and if it was correctly submitted for trial. According to the jury, the case was based on concrete and reliable evidence and that the Plaintiffs did support their case against Ford Motor Company’s negligence with facts like the finding the bolt and proving that it was truly defective after the “brand new” car was delivered from Ford Motor Company. It was also found that it was reasonable to deduce from the evidences provided that the Defendant was negligent when it sent out a “brand new” car with broken bolts because a new car would not have had a broken bolt had Ford Motor Company exercised due care to inspect it.
In addition, evidences provided by Spencer, the Defendant driver ruled out that the vehicle was tampered by the McClure Motor Company. Our New York Car Crash Lawyer explained further that Ford Motor Company tried to counter this by providing evidence that although they assembled the cars; some parts were bought from outside suppliers. However, the jury still found the Defendant to be negligent because since they represented to the customers that they manufacture their automobiles, then they must exercise due diligence in inspecting and eliminating substandard parts that these motor part suppliers would have delivered to them to prevent the production of cars with substandard parts which will greatly put the public safety to risk. Therefore, according to the evidences presented by the Plaintiffs and the Defendant driver against the motor company, the jury deduced that Ford failed to practice reasonable care in manufacturing and inspecting the Ford ‘Crown Victoria’ that was in question. Moreover the doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur” need not be invoked since the evidences to prove negligence were already sufficient.
It was also decided that the primary cause of the accident and the Plaintiffs’ injuries is failed braking mechanism of the Ford ‘Crown Victoria’ that resulted from the breaking of the bolt. This makes Ford Motor Company liable to compensate the victims of injury and dismissal of their appeal. To clearly point out the case to the parties, several cases were cited to compare the case to other similar ones where Plaintiffs who have enough evidences to support their claim and go to trial were discussed thoroughly. Moreover, although Ford Motor Company tried to eliminate all remote possibilities that they have not been negligent in the manufacture and inspection of their automobiles, the fact still remains that they have failed to explain their methods of inspection and that there could not have been a car accident had the broken bolt been discovered prior to delivery.
Stephen Bilkis and Associates will help you find the right New York Car Accident Attorney to help you establish a clear case for your trial. If you are a victim of a car crash or you know someone who suffered from injuries, do not hesitate to contact us so you will know the right solution that is most appropriate for your case. Our expert NY Injury Lawyers will prepare your case in a well-organized manner that will definitely establish your claim against an individual who is responsible for your injuries. Choose a good lawyer to represent you so your rights won’t get sacrificed. In addition to injury cases, our team also assists people who need to defend themselves against opportunistic individuals who are only out there to get money out of your case. Credibility and experience are important to us and it is what we promise to offer. Call one of our offices now.