Green Light Law – Responsibility in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Wegner v. Derrico
DOCKET NO. A-4910-17T2
Submitted by New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
This case at first resembles a classic case of “who had the green light” turned into a question of what information can be brought to trial to prove the right of way. Defendant was heading south as Plaintiff was intending to turn north across the highway’s southbound lanes. The two vehicles collided, causing significant injuries to the parties involved. Each party claimed to have the right of way, but the real question of the case was whether Defendant could bring evidence of Plaintiff’s medical history without an expert to interpret it. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of Plaintiff after the previous court found that she was fifty percent responsible herself.
Both parties brought countless experts and third-party witnesses, all contradicting the other sides interpretation of the accident. The one argument that was entertained as being the outlier argument in a battle of contradicting evidence was Plaintiff’s medical history. Defendant brought the argument that Plaintiff entered the intersection against the light because she was suffering a seizure caused by a medical condition she failed to treat consistently. Plaintiff periodically had stress-induced seizures; however, she had not had a seizure in almost four years prior to the accident. Defendant’s counsel discussed this condition, stating that there was no evidence that it effected the accident, but it should be considered. The court also allowed evidence of Plaintiffs intake of prescriptions to cope with this condition to be heard by the jury.
The Supreme Court stated that Plaintiff’s last episode was not within a reasonable time proximity to warrant Defendant to suggest she suffered an episode immediately before the accident. The Court also examined that without an expert opinion and absent other relevant evidence, Defendant’s counsel should not have been permitted to suggest that Plaintiff was negatively affected by her condition. The Supreme Court reversed on the basis that this evidence was in error, and capable of producing an unjust result when shown to a jury.
At Hark & Hark we represent clients in civil matters who were involved with unduly prejudicial evidence being shown to a jury, effecting the outcome of a case. We vigorously defend our clients by fighting to make sure evidence of medical conditions shown in court are validly present and covered by expert testimony so that you are not unduly burdened by your oppositions interpretation. We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing any type of criminal charge, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties.