Have legal questions? Get a Call Back Within 25 Seconds

Proners Head

Firm Blog

Have you been injured?

Three Deaths in Fatal Car Crash in Upstate NY

A New York State Police 911 operator knew something went horribly wrong when, after a conversation with a disabled motorist that lasted several minutes, the operator heard a loud crash and the line suddenly went dead. The 911 operator immediately feared the worst: that the caller had been involved in a serious car accident.
Moments earlier, 29-year-old Jesenia Valentin, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, ran out of gas while driving her Volkswagen Passat on Interstate-84 near Wawayanda, New York. Valentin’s 9-year-old daughter, Angelina Rodriguez, and a second unidentified female passenger were also in the car at the time of the tragic auto accident.
Ruggiero, a 52-year-old truck driver from Sugar Loaf, Pennsylvania, was driving a semi-truck and hauling goods for Auto Zone when his tractor-trailer collided with the parked car on the side of the highway. All three people inside the Passat were killed almost instantly. Additionally, two dogs inside the parked car were also killed in the collision.
Tragically, Ruggiero may not have been able to see the disabled car prior to rear-ending it at almost full speed.
Third Party Liability for a Fatal Car Accident in New York
Since so many NY drivers are uninsured or under-insured, third party liability theories, like respondeat superior (“let the master answer”), often make a tremendous difference when determining the proper amount of compensation that victims should receive. That’s because an additional responsible party often means an additional source of recovery for car accident victims.
In New York State, as elsewhere, respondeat superior basically consists of two elements:

  • “Employed by”: In negligence cases, most courts use some variation of the common-law definition of this term, which is “suffer or permit to work.” So, in addition to statutory employees, independent contractors, owner-operators under contract with a third party, interns, and even unpaid volunteers can be considered “employees.”
  • “Course and Scope”: Here, interpretations differ. Some courts define the phrase narrowly, so delivery drivers that are on their normal delivery routes are considered to be acting within the course and scope of their employment. However, most courts interpret the phrase broadly, to encompass any activity that benefits the employer in any way. Under this interpretation, an injury in a company softball game could be considered to have occurred “during the course and scope of employment” because the employer benefits by having happy and healthy workers.

Other third party liability theories include the dram shop law, which holds bars, restaurants, and other commercial alcohol providers liable for some car crash injuries, and negligent entrustment, which refers to a person who allows a dangerous driver to use their vehicle.
Additionally, keep in mind that the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is not always the only person responsible for injuries sustained by another person in a car accident.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you need a qualified personal injury attorney on your side. For a free consultation with attorneys who know how the law works in New York, contact the experienced auto accident lawyers at Proner & Proner. We do not charge upfront legal fees in personal injury matters.

  • 01

  • 02

  • 03

More Press

In The

In The Press ThumbnailPlay Button

Press

In The

In The Press ThumbnailPlay Button

Press

In The

In The Press ThumbnailPlay Button

Press

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.

Award Image
Award Image
Award Image
Award Image
Award Image
Award Image

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!