We are sometimes contacted by individuals who are waiting to enter traffic, and another motorist signals that it is safe for the driver to enter the roadway and waives them on. The individual then enters the roadway, based upon the gesture of the other driver that it is safe to enter the roadway, and is then struck by another vehicle and is injured. Can this individual collect money damages as a result of the actions of the other driver?
In one Superior Court case, an individual was about to make a left-hand turn when a vehicle driving in the far left lane waved this driver on to cross in front of his vehicle when he was struck by a vehicle driving in the far right-hand lane. The injured plaintiff sued her own insurance company for uninsured/underinsured motor vehicle coverage, alleging that the unidentified motorist signal indicated that it was safe for the plaintiff to execute her left-hand turn, which she did so to her harm and detriment.
The Superior Court judge, in her memorandum of decision for the defendant's motion to strike, indicated: the essential elements of a cause of action in negligence are well-established: duty, breach of duty, causation, and actual injury, citing the Connecticut Supreme Court case of Murdoch v. Croughwell.
In the case before the court, the plaintiff alleged that the unidentified motorist owed the plaintiff a legal duty as a result of the unidentified motorist stopping its vehicle to allow the plaintiff to complete her left-hand turn and failed to take steps to prevent the plaintiff from entering the road and therefore was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's accident because the plaintiff relied upon the unidentified motorist signal to her detriment.
The court, in this case, held, in general, there is no duty to aid or to protect third persons. The court indicated that there was no allegation in the plaintiff's complaint of a special relationship between the plaintiff and the unidentified motorist based upon their status as driver and passenger, or that the plaintiff was in the unidentified motorist's custody or control, which would give rise to a duty on the part of the unknown driver to aid the plaintiff to ensure that it was safe for her to complete the left-hand turn.
It is important that if you are involved in an accident, that you contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney at the earliest possible moment because there could be issues in your case that will give rise to matters that need to be investigated immediately to protect your rights and help to maximize the value of your case.
Our Connecticut injury lawyers take these cases on a contingency fee basis. We also advance the costs to develop your case. We are only paid our costs and fees if we recover money damages for you. If there is no recovery, there will be no costs and no legal fees. We take all of the risks so you can concentrate on what is most important, which is getting better as quickly as possible.
Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your important Connecticut injury case.
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