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Let’s See What This Baby Can Do

A brand new groom, with his bride in the passenger seat, lost control of a rented Ferrari 458 Spider and smashed into a friend’s house.
The car has a top speed of 210mph with the factory engine, and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in only three seconds. The groom states that his foot slipped on the mat and he pressed the accelerator instead of the break moments before the crash. He reportedly lost the $7,100 rental deposit and must pay an additional $28,000 in insurance costs.
The Ferrari 458 Spider retails for around $345,000.

Rented Vehicle Liability

Thanks to an obscure law known as the Graves Amendment, traditional third party liability may not apply in these cases. 49 U.S.C. 30106, which was enacted without prior hearings and with almost no floor debate, shield vehicle owners and their agents from liability if a vehicle renter negligently causes a car crash.
These wrecks occur rather frequently, either because the driver rents a high-performance sports car to “show it off” or a large moving truck that normally requires a commercial drivers’ license to operate.
This law was enacted after a large vehicle rental company ceased operations in several states following a multimillion dollar jury verdict. Although the Graves Amendment seems straightforward and ironclad, there are two very big loopholes.
First, according to Section (a)(1), the company must be in the “trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles” for the law to apply. This phrase is not defined in the law, but many U-Haul and other franchises do much more than rent vehicles. They may also sell moving supplies, operate storage facilities, and act as an employment agency for professional movers. As such, they are arguably moving companies and not vehicle rental companies.
A larger loophole is in Section (a)(2), which says that the owner or agent must not be otherwise negligent. When the Graves Amendment was passed, store clerks had no way to verify a drivers’ license beyond a visual inspection. But since technology has advanced, some courts impose a duty to electronically verify the license, and negative information can be evidence of negligence.
Despite the federal law, third party liability may still apply to rented vehicles. For a free consultation with attorneys who find ways to get you the compensation you deserve, contact our office. After hours and hospital visits are available.

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News Channel

Road Rage Incident

Mitchell Proner spoke in support of NYC motorcycle riders and called on NY lawmakers and police not to overreact to a highly publicized road rage incident or to let that incident cast all motorcyclists in a bad light.

News Channel

Hit and Run

Attorney Mitchell Proner was on hand when the motorist accused of hitting a female jogger on a road in Central Islip appeared in a New York courtroom to answer charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

News Channel

Ferry Disaster

Attorney Mitchell Proner, an expert on maritime law, spoke about the similarities between the Costa Concordia ferry disaster and the recent Indonesian ferry accident that killed at least 24 people.

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Mitchell Proner is an amazing and very experienced trial lawyer, who takes care of his clients. He represented me in a car accident case, kept me very informed during the lengthy legal process and got me the settlement that I expected. His friendly office staff was always willing to assist and answer any questions I had. I recommend Mitchell Proner to all my friends and family!

Besides being well versed and very knowledgeable about all aspects of my case it was simply a pleasure dealing with Mr. Proner and his colleagues at Proner and Proner. In a time of hardship Mr. Proner and the staff at Proner and Proner made it very easy for us to cope with all of the legal processes which we are not accustom to. I couldn't recommend a better group of people let alone an attorney as Mitchell Proner and the staff at Proner and Proner. Thank you again for all of your assistance.

Awesome experience, excellent service, very professional and fast resolving my case. My number one attorney - definitely recommended more than once. Thank you!