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Know Your Rights

If you are looking for some more information regarding your rights after suffering a personal injury, please give us a call. You can also read our articles discussing New York state law and personal injuries resulting from car accidents, slip and fall accidents and premises liability cases. Some of our most read articles include:

As a Construction Worker Hit By a Car While Doing Road Work, What Are My Rights?

During the spring and summer months, road construction in the Capital Region is a common occurrence. From fixing potholes on local roads to repairing overpasses and bridges on major highways, DOT workers, town workers and construction workers in Albany, Schenectady, Troy and throughout the Capital District are hard at work alongside drivers on busy roads and highways.

Construction zones are carefully set up according to specific DOT regulations in order to protect both drivers and construction workers on the job. Still, construction zones are dangerous areas for workers, who are particularly exposed and vulnerable when working on the peripheral boundaries of a marked construction zone. Construction workers moving cones, setting up boundaries, shoveling pavement, directing traffic, crossing the road and performing other duties on road construction sites are at risk for catastrophic personal injury as cars and trucks are driven through the work area. (more…)

Experienced Lawyer Explains Liability Regarding Tired Driving Accidents

Statistics updated 2/25/15
One cause of catastrophic car accidents is driver fatigue. About one third of all adult drivers admitted to dozing off while driving in the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll. In 2013, driver fatigue was a factor in 1,228 automobile crashes in New York. In the United States it is estimated that every year 100,000 crashes occur in which driver fatigue is a factor. Of these accidents about 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries occur.

Drivers easily underestimate the risks driver fatigue has on the ability to safely drive an automobile. It slows reaction time, decreases situational awareness and impairs judgment. Accidents caused by driver fatigue are preventable if a driver follows a few simple rules, the simplest of which is to be well rested before getting behind the wheel. (more…)

I Was Injured When The Limo in Which I Was Riding Was Involved in an Accident: What Are My Rights?

When we hire a limousine company, we place our trust in the limo driver and company for which he works to protect us from physical harm. In fact, safety may be the last thing on our mind when hiring a limo—generally we are about to celebrate, planning for a business meeting or planning a funeral or wedding. However, in selecting a company to transport us, we are putting ourselves in the hands of these professionals to keep us safe while our minds are preoccupied with business or pleasure.

Unfortunately, sometimes limo drivers are not experienced, or may be experienced but exercise poor judgment in a situation, resulting in an accident and injury to one or more of the passengers. The accident may not involve negligence of the limo driver at all—the collision may result from the negligence or reckless conduct of another motorist; or a combination of carelessness on the part of the limo driver and the other motorist. Like other motorists, a limo driver has a duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances to avoid causing injury as a result of negligence in the operation of the vehicle. Even the most experienced drivers may become fatigued or “take their eye off the ball” when working long hours or on difficult drives. Being behind schedule, poor weather conditions and other factors may result in the driver failing to exercise reasonable care for the safety of his passengers. As long as the limo driver is acting within the scope of his employment when a motor vehicle accident occurs, the limo driver’s negligence will be imputed to the limo company—meaning that the latter will bear financial responsibility for the driver’s negligence. (more…)

Who is Liable Where I’m Injured as a Result of Reduced Visibility Due to Snow Banks?

Winter here in Albany continues to bring significant snowstorms resulting in high snowbanks. Whether created by city plows or residential snow shoveling or snow blowing, land owners are responsible for removing snow at the entrance to their property to make the area safe for pedestrians and motorists. The state, counties, towns and villages also share this responsibility for the roadways, public sidewalks and other public areas.

Particularly with city dwellers, the issue of where to put the snow removed from roads and sidewalks becomes problematic as winter wears on. Typically, the snow is pushed to the sides of the roads, forming snow banks. Sometimes the snow piles are temporary, as municipal trucks haul the snow to rivers or fields or other rural areas. Commercial plow services in malls generally pile snow in the center or on the sides of large parking lots. Unfortunately, these snowbanks become massive given the size of mall lots and mountains of dirty snow remain until Spring. (more…)

What Should I Do If I Fall and Am Injured on an Icy Sidewalk at a Store?

Commercial property owners are responsible for removing accumulations of snow and ice on their property, but they don’t always do so. This may cause a slip and fall accident resulting in serious personal injuries. If this happens, there are certain steps that the victim should take to make sure his rights are protected if a claim is brought to be compensated for personal injury.

First, and importantly, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help if a fall occurs. The first reaction may be to not seek help so that attention is not called to the fact that you fell, thinking that slipping and falling is solely due to your own carelessness. Appreciate that falls are very common and generally not the fault of the injured person. If you are injured, it’s important not to move, which could worsen the injury, and to seek emergency medical care. Ask people at the scene to help you. Request that 911 be called if you aren’t able to do it yourself. This will also help bring witnesses to the scene of your fall, who may be of assistance in documenting conditions at the scene as well as the pain you are experiencing. (more…)

What Are My Rights if I Slip and Fall and Am Injured While Texting?

Slip and fall accidents can be caused by a combination of many different factors. More often than not, they are not the result of one cause. In the winter months, dangerous accumulations of snow, ice or a combination of both could be the cause of a slip and fall accident. One of the factors may also be the conduct of the victim.

By way of illustration, assume the individual is simply walking on a sidewalk outside a mall. Snow fall ended several hours earlier, and while some maintenance work was undertaken to clear the sidewalks and parking lot, the maintenance crew missed failed to salt one particular area of sidewalks, resulting in the continued presence of ice on the surface. The individual who is walking from the parking lot, on the sidewalk, with the intent to use one of the mall entrances, decides to text his friend as he walks. While he occasionally glances down to see where he is walking, he fails to do so as he walks from the treated portion of the sidewalk to the untreated part, and as a result, slips and falls, sustaining injury. (more…)

If I Slip and Fall on Ice at Work, What Are My Rights?

Serious injuries as a result of a slip and fall can occur at anytime and anywhere, including while at work. During the winter, snow and ice creates added risk for individuals who have to work outside or frequently walk outside or drive. Injuries caused by slip and falls on snow and ice while in the scope of employment involve laws unique to the accident and which my impact the rights of the individual to obtain compensation for injury, pain and suffering.

What makes injuries at work unique is whether the slip and fall occurred while within the “course and scope” of employment. If the injuries are determined to have been sustained within the scope of employment, the laws comprising what is generally called “workers’ compensation” will come into play to pay the medical bills and certain lost wages incurred by the injured. Generally, the course and scope of employment is defined as commuting to work, walking into the place of employment, presence on the premises of the employer, and walking to one’s car or off of the employer’s premises at the end of the day. Additionally, it is also generally considered to be within the scope of employment if an employee is doing anything on behalf of the employer in direct furtherance of the employer’s business—such as walking and driving during the course of the work day to handle a business task, such as to make deliveries. (more…)

How Are My Medical Bills Paid After Falling on an Icy Sidewalk at The Mall?

When we visit the mall, we trust that the owner or groundskeepers will keep the property safe for us. This includes treating and removing dangerous accumulations of snow and ice on the sidewalks. Most of the time, the person or entity in charge properly does so. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the sidewalk or parking lot isn’t properly maintained, which can result in a slip and fall to the ground and serious personal injuries–from broken bones to a knee injury, dislocated shoulder, head injury or worse.

Slip and fall victims may be confronted with thousands of dollars in medical bills resulting from treatment of their injuries. These medical bills may result from emergency room visits, ambulance charges, orthopedic appointments, physical therapy, medications, and sometimes surgery. Frequently, slip and fall victims are lose time from work. How is the injured victim going to pay for his or her medical treatment? (more…)

Injured at The Gym? Know Your Rights

Virtually everyone has been a member of, or spent time at, a fitness club or gym to stay healthy or get fit by lifting weights, doing cardio or participating in a group fitness class. Some people go to help alleviate a health condition or rehabilitate an injury. Others go to strengthen their bodies for sports or for laborious employment such as construction. For others, going to the gym is simply a healthy way of life.

But sometimes the gym may be dangerous. Worn or misplaced rubber mats, fraying ropes or wires, broken equipment and dimly lit areas pose dangers to gym members. These dangerous conditions are premises liability issues and may result in serious personal injury. Injuries caused by an unsafe condition may occur while individuals are exercising or simply walking from one place to another within the building. (more…)

Another Driver Drove on a Flat Tire and Collided with My Car and I Was Injured: What Are My Rights

Under New York law, the owner and operator of a motor vehicle has a duty to use “reasonable care under the circumstances” to avoid causing injury as a result of the negligent operation of his or her vehicle. This duty extends not only to driving the vehicle, but also extends to the maintenance and inspection vehicle. Both New York statutory law (made by the legislature) and common law (made through court decisions) imposes this duty on all drivers.

The owner of a car or truck has a responsibility to maintain his or her vehicle in good working condition and free of defects. The operator of the vehicle, including someone who borrows it, has a duty to inspect the vehicle prior to use to ensure there are no visibly unsafe conditions and that it is in good operating order. Both the owner and the operator may be liable if the vehicle is driven and a motor vehicle accident results from an unsafe condition that could have been seen or of which the operator or owner should have been aware. (more…)