A driver lost control of his vehicle on the Long Island Expressway (LIE) in Manorville NY moments before smashing into two cars and killing six people.
Authorities speculate that 26-year-old Carmelo Pinales, of Hicksville, NY, was trying to avoid slower traffic ahead when he crossed from the eastbound to the westbound side of the LIE. According to reports, Pinales may have been driving over 100 mph and possibly over-braked in the moments preceding the fatal car crash. Three people inside his car were killed and two others were seriously injured. The other accident victims included 29-year-old Scott Martella, 81-year-old Isidore Adelson, and 71-year-old Helen Adelson. Additionally, two other people were seriously injured but are expected to survive.
Martella, the 29-year-old victim who died in the car accident, was a former aide to Governor Cuomo.
Car Crashes and Excessive Speed
Speed is a factor in about one-third of the fatal car wrecks in New York. The tortfeasor (negligent driver) does not need to be legally speeding in order to be negligent on this basis. For example, if visibility is limited because of darkness or if the roads are slick due to rain, drivers have a duty to slow down and adjust to the conditions. There are other special situations as well, like traveling through construction zones and school zones.
If the tortfeasor did violate the traffic code, as was possibly the case in fatal LIE accident, New York has a very generous negligence per se (negligence “as such”) procedure. This rule applies to any situation that involves the violation of a “safety statute,” like a criminal law or a moving violation traffic law. Normally, the plaintiff must prove that the tortfeasor owed the plaintiff a legal duty, the tortfeasor breached that duty, and that breach caused damages. But in negligence per se cases, the plaintiff need only prove that the tortfeasor violated a safety statute (a conviction is conclusive proof) and that the plaintiff suffered injury.
Damages in a speed-related regular or negligence per se case normally include compensation for both economic losses, like property damage, and noneconomic losses, like pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be available as well.
Negligence cases that involve a safety statute violation are often easier to prove than typical car accident cases. For a free consultation with assertive Manhattan personal injury attorneys, contact our office today. Proner & Proner is a firm with a small-town atmosphere and access to nationwide resources.