New York Auto Accident Attorney Report: A car, driven by Charles Trainor, a Staten Island resident, crashed into the side of a house in Staten Island, seriously injuring a woman and her child who were sleeping in bed at the time of the incident. The accident occurred on November 14, 2012 at approximately 9:30 p.m. The woman and child, identified as Lisa Roman, 40 and her daughter Leonora, 5, were pulled out of the home by FDNY first responders after 20 minutes, and were removed from the scene via ambulance to Staten Island University Hospital. Mrs. Roman suffered from burns on the back and a fractured leg, while her daughter sustained arm burns, and fractured facial and leg bones. They were both listed in critical but stable condition.
Mr. Trainor, 22 years old, blew a 0.24 on a breathalyzer test at the scene of the accident, which is three times the legal limit. He was placed under arrest, charged with one count of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), and three other charges, including vehicular assault and reckless endangerment. Mr. Trainor claimed that it was not the alcohol or prescription drugs that he admitted ingesting prior to the accident, but that he had suffered a seizure right before the accident, which caused him to lose control of his vehicle, resulting in this crash. He claimed to have ingested prescription anti-seizure medication Keppra, and other medications. NYPD investigators are awaiting the results of blood toxicology tests to determine what substances were in Mr. Trainor’s blood at the time of the accident.
According to New York auto accident attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, who has handled many motor vehicle accident cases, the woman and her child very narrowly missed losing their lives in this horrific accident. Moreover, Mr. Reiter addressed the claims of Mr. Trainor as follows: “Mr. Trainor’s claim that he suffered a seizure prior to the accident does not automatically absolve him from liability for the victims’ injuries and damages. The law in New York is very clear on the claim of seizures, which falls under the general heading of medical emergencies. That is, if Mr. Trainor’s seizures were foreseeable, in that he had prior seizures, or he failed to take the proper seizure medication prior to driving the vehicle, or he took his medication but combined it with alcohol and other medications, thereby reducing the medication’s efficacy, then he could be held liable for this accident. Under these circumstances, Mr. Trainor was negligent in driving the vehicle, and the law would impart full liability on Mr. Trainor because his seizure was foreseeable. If, on the other hand, Mr. Trainor suffered a true medical emergency, in that his seizure was not foreseeable, then he could be absolved from liability. This is a question of fact for a jury to determine based on all the evidence available, including expert medical evidence.”
Based on Mr. Reiter’s 35 years of experience in handling car accident cases, he stated the following: “On the face of things, Mr. Trainor had a mixture of alcohol and prescription medications in his system at the time of this accident, which very likely combined to cause a very foreseeable situation wherein Mr. Trainor had the seizure. In that case, Mr. Trainor’s seizure and therefore, he is liable for this accident.”