Motorists must use reasonable care under the circumstances when driving on New York’s roadways. This is a legal responsibility based upon case law (decisions in the states’ courts), and statutory law (rules made by the legislature). Reasonable care governs all aspects of conduct related to driving. In addition to how the car or other vehicle is operated– how fast and how slow, use of directional signals, staying in one’s lane, etc. –is subject to this duty. Reasonable care also must be used in maintaining the vehicle in safe operating condition. This involves more than the actual maintenance of the vehicle, but how loads are secured on the vehicle or trailers are properly connected.
Many families strap suitcases, car top carriers, canoes or other vacation necessities onto the roof of their car. While most motorists are careful and thorough in doing so, this is not always the case. Sometimes there is carelessness involved, and if the load doesn’t stay on the vehicle and ends up on the highway of on the windshield of the car behind, an accident and serious injury can result. Experienced Albany motor vehicle accident attorneys know that if the offending motorist can be held liable for injuries and damages caused to other motorists or pedestrians as a result. (more…)
While the swimming season is almost at and end, you should know your rights if a lifeguard doesn’t live up to his or her duty to be there if a swimmer needs help. It is well-established under New York law that swimming pool owners, operators, and their staff owe a duty to provide reasonable supervision to bathers. This is particularly true when lifeguards are hired, trained, and signs are posted as to their presence. When an owner or operator fails to provide this supervision, they can be held accountable for resulting injuries.
Negligence under the law arises from any act or omission which falls below what a jury and judge determine is “reasonable” under the circumstances. To prove negligence in a lifeguard supervision case, the duty to provide such supervision must be shown, that this duty was breached by the lifeguard and that such breach caused injury must be shown. (more…)
The attorneys at Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany have again been named to the Super Lawyers list of the top lawyers in upstate New York.
This year Jeffrey K. Anderson, Peter J. Moschetti, Jr. and David J. Taffany each appear on the list for best attorneys for Personal Injury representing injured persons. This is a testament to their knowledge, experience and record setting verdicts and settlements. (more…)
Unlike car accidents, victims of boating accidents cannot rely on New York’s no-fault statute to have medical bills paid or receive some portion of wage loss reimbursed after the accident. However, victims of boating accidents who are employed on the water, such as employees or crew on cruises, barges, fishing boats or dining boats, are entitled to utilize a statute known as the Jones Act to recover compensation for their injuries. This includes injuries on the Hudson River, which is a major shipping lane with many large barges and tugboats plying its waters on a daily basis. Additionally, the Jones Act provides protection to employees on cruise ships or sightseeing vessels. Employees injured on fishing charters which travel off the coast of New York for sport fish would also be able to employ it, including deckhands, who have some of the most dangerous jobs in the United States.
The Jones Act is officially known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 and is a federal statute which allows injured crew or sailors to make claims and collect from their employers due to the negligence of the ship owner, the captain or any other fellow sailors or crew members. (more…)
During the summer, it is very common for families to visit amusement parks, “funplex” centers, fair grounds and carnivals. Many of the larger regional and national theme parks are located in upstate New York and attract families on vacations or day trips this time of year. Additionally, travelling carnivals come into towns for a few days to a week with games, rides and food. While most of the time these rides are safe and lots of fun, unfortunately accidents resulting injury do occur. There are many reports of amusement park accidents each year, some resulting in serious personal injury and even death.
The law places a responsibility upon the owner or manager of such an enterprise to ensure the safety of visitors. More specifically, New York law requires the owner or proprietor of a place of public amusement to use “reasonable care” to provide rides and premises upon which they are situated to be in reasonably safe condition. Further, the owner or proprietor must also inspect and supervise amusement equipment located on the grounds to ensure that it is properly assembled and in reasonably safe condition for its intended use. (more…)
New York law places a duty on all drivers to use reasonable care in the operation of their vehicles. This duty requires drivers to not only follow the rules under New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, enacted by the legislature, but also New York’s “common law”—the rules created through cases decided by the courts. A driver may be liable if he breaches these rules of conduct, and as result, causes injuries to another individual.
Car accidents at intersections are very common. This is because intersections by definition involve the interaction of multiple drivers, each making decisions about when to stop, go or yield to another driver. There are typically multiple ways into and out of an intersection, and multiple traffic control devices that may add to the complexity of the decision making process. Intersections are potentially more dangerous when they are controlled only by signs, rather than a traffic control light. Regardless of whether an intersection is controlled by a traffic light or one or more signs, courts have held that all motorists approaching an intersection must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances by exercising caution. (more…)
Property owners or those paid to maintain the property owe a duty of “reasonable care” to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for all who enter upon the land. This includes all foreseeable entrants, even trespassers. The duty extends to not allowing dangerous or hazardous conditions to exist. We recently wrote about some of these conditions, particularly when an owner creates a condition on the land which constitutes a “trap”.
This duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition requires that timely and adequate inspections are conducted to determine whether dangerous or hazardous conditions are present. What constitutes a “timely” and “adequate” inspection is up to a jury to decide, within the context of what is “reasonable” under the circumstances. (more…)
Court decisions and the legislature have shaped New York law, including laws governing the conduct of motorists. It is well established that motorists owe a duty to others in and around the roadway to use reasonable care under the circumstances in the operation of his vehicle. This duty extends beyond safe operation of a motor vehicle, to keeping the road free from dangerous objects and debris.
One problem many drivers encounter is debris on the road. Sometimes this debris is present as the result of natural events, such as fallen branches following a storm. However, sometimes the presence of debris or objects results from human action — particularly other motorists. Large objects, such as furniture, can pose an immediate and significant hazard to motorists who sometimes have only seconds to avoid a collision with the object. When this situation occurs and is the cause of injury following a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. (more…)
Landowners owe a duty of reasonable care to all visitors who come onto their land. The duty extends to the prevention of “foreseeable harm” to visitors, and includes not just landowners, but also to any person in possession of the land (e.g., renters or lessees), as well as those who maintain it (e.g., building managers). When a visitor is injured due to a dangerous condition about which the landowner knew or should have known, the visitor may be entitled to compensation for his injuries.
The duty of reasonable care includes the responsibility of the landowner not to create or maintain on his property hidden dangers, which a visitor would not see. Courts have also defined a “trap” as an artificially created, dangerous — but deceptively innocent instrumentality or condition on the land. The major distinction between a dangerous condition and a trap is that a trap is both deceptive in appearance and deliberately created or constructed by the landowner or his agent. For example, in Mayer v. Temple Properties, a landowner has found negligent and liable for injuries where a deep pit was covered with a flimsy material incapable of supporting the weight of a child, but which gave a deceptive appearance of safety. (more…)
It 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.
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, travelling 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.” We previously wrote about rear-end collisions, and invite you to learn more about this topic by reading this article. (more…)