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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 at 785-4900. 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:

Driver Distracted by Passenger Crashed into My Car and I Was Injured. What Are My Rights?

Car crash caused by a distracted driverAll drivers in New York are held to a duty to exercise reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle. Should a driver breach this duty, you will be entitled to compensation if it can be proven that this breach was the cause of your injuries.

Passengers and the Duty of Reasonable Care in New York

The duty of reasonable care is extended to passengers of vehicles as well. Under New York law, a passenger may be held liable if he distracts the driver and an accident results, causing injury to others. Consider the following examples from cases decided in New York. (more…)

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

LimousineWhen 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.

Who is Liable For Limousine Accidents?

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…)

Is an Employer Liable for His Employee’s Negligence Causing a Car Accident and my Injuries?

Employee Driving Company Car NegligentlyAll motorists are required to use reasonable care while driving so as to prevent causing harm to others. If an employee is driving in the course of his employment, the question arises as to what legal liability, if any, his employer would have if an accident occurs and the employee negligently caused harm to another motorist.

Are Employers Responsible for Employee Negligence in a Car Accident?

The basic legal principle is that if an employee negligently injures a person while acting within the “course and scope” of employment, the worker’s employer will be held accountable for that conduct. The concept is known as the doctrine of “respondeat superior.” The concept reflects the social policy that when one is doing work for an employer, the employer profits from the benefit of the task. If he is to profit from the task, he should he be liable for any harm that is caused during the performance of the work.


My Car Was Rear-ended and I Was Injured. The Other Driver Claims His Brakes Failed: What Are My Rights?

Rear Ender Car AccidentIt is well-established that a driver owes other drivers, pedestrians or bicyclists on the roadway a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances in the operation of his vehicle. This duty is established by common law (law created through past court decisions) and by statutory law (by the legislature), and broadly speaking embodies principles of common sense and the use of one’s good judgment when driving.

When a motorist breaches this duty and causes injury to another, he faces being found to be negligent and may be liable for damages to fairly compensate the injured person.

Rear-Ender Car Accidents

One of the most common types of car accidents is the so-called “rear ender.” This involves the situation where one car strikes another car from behind, usually because the second driver was following too closely, traveling too fast, distracted or under the influence or alcohol or drugs. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1129 governs rear-end collisions, and provides that the driver “not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”  (more…)

Deep Water On the Road From a Broken Water Main Caused My Car to Hydroplane Into a Parked Car and I Was Injured. Do I Have a Personal Injury Case Against the City?

Flooded road caused by broken water mainMany times, when we hear about broken water mains on the news, we think of them as inconveniences that cause local traffic and water supply issues. Typically, we are not especially alarmed by water main breaks; most people don’t view them as particularly dangerous.

For drivers, however, a broken water main and the excess water covering roadways that sometimes results when this type of breakdown in infrastructure occurs could threaten our safety. Flooded roadways can result in accidents to unsuspecting motorists. A driver could lose control of his car when it hydroplanes or encounters several feet of water on a flooded street.

So what happens if you’re caught in this type of situation? What do you do if your vehicle hydroplanes or you lose control in deep water because of a water main break, causing you to swerve into a parked vehicle and sustain injury?

What are your legal rights in this situation? Can you make a claim against the municipality to recover for your injuries? (more…)

Another Driver Didn’t Look and Backed His Car into Mine and I Was Injured. What are My Rights?

Woman driving a car in reverseCommon sense requires that we look where we are going when we drive a motor vehicle. New York law places a legal duty of care on motorists to “see what there is to be seen.” When an individual doesn’t take the time to look and backs his or her motor vehicle into another vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist, he or she has breached this duty and is legally responsible for this New York car accident.

There are many locations where backing up without looking can result in serious injury to another individual. For example, in a grocery store parking lot there are pedestrians moving within the lanes behind parked cars, and sometimes between cars as they try to find their own or begin to position a cart to place groceries in their car. Failing to look before backing up, even at slow speed, can cause serious personal injury. (more…)

I Slipped, Fell and Was Injured at My Friend’s Apartment. Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?

Injury sustained at a friend's apartmentPicture this: You spend a casual weekend afternoon over at a friend’s apartment in Albany, catching up on what’s new and enjoying each other’s company. After a few hours together, you decide it’s time to go. You have errands to run and other items on your agenda for the day, so you need to get going.

After grabbing your jacket, assembling your things and saying goodbye to your friend, you head out the door. On your way out, you slip and fall and are seriously injured.

Now, a few months later, you’re still recovering from the accident. You’ve incurred significant medical expenses and missed time from work, which means you have more bills to pay but less income to cover them with.

Thinking back on the accident, you wonder if you might have a viable personal injury case and are entitled to some type of compensation. (more…)

My Child Was Injured While Boating. I Signed a Personal Injury Waiver. Am I Still Able to Bring a Personal Injury Claim on His Behalf?

Kids kayakingSpring will soon be here and with it will come the return to recreational activities that we enjoy in the Capital District, including water sports, such as boating, swimming, canoeing and kayaking in the beautiful waters of the Adirondacks and other lakes and streams in the region. When we join a club, or go on an organized boating adventure, we are often asked to sign a waiver before being allowed to participate in the activity. However, with adventure sometimes comes risk and on rare occasion, injury during the activity.

What is the legal impact to signing a waiver to your right to bring a legal claim in the event of injury during the activity? Do you give up all rights to do so once you sign the waiver?

Assume for the moment that your child is seriously injured during such an outing. What are your child’s rights, and your rights, to pursue a claim against the company or club that organized and managed the water activity when you believe that it was at fault in causing the accident that resulted in injury to your child? (more…)

I Fell on My Icy Apartment Sidewalk and Was Injured. What Are My Rights?

Icy sidewalk at an apartment complexProperty owners are responsible to maintain their premises to be in a “reasonably safe condition” so as to not cause harm to persons who come upon the property. This extends to the landlord of rented premises, whether it is a two story residential setting, or an apartment complex.

With respect to the existence of snow or ice on a private sidewalk, the landlord will not be liable if he did not have any duty to control the area, did not have the duty to maintain the area, or if he cannot be shown to have been negligent. But what about the situation where the landlord has contracted with an outside company to perform winter sidewalk and parking lot maintenance, can he escape liability then?

Sorting these issues out requires the expertise of an experienced Albany slip and fall lawyer to evaluate the facts of the accident and its circumstances, and analysis of the facts under New York law. (more…)

What are the Legal Consequences When a Driver Ignores a Yield Sign and an Accident Occurs?

Yield SignMany New York motor vehicle accidents occur when a driver completely ignores a yield sign, or slows down but fails to actually yield to allow the other driver the right-of-way. The basic principle is that a driver approaching the intersection must yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has already entered the intersection. When a driver causes a motor vehicle accident at an intersection by failing to do so, he faces legal liability for the accident. (more…)