Smiley & Smiley, LLP

New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Andrew Smiley to serve as organization President

Smiley & Smiley, LLP Attorneys at Law are proud to announce that partner Andrew J. Smiley has been elected to serve as the President of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. The Academy is a professional organization that brings together a cross-functional set of people committed to justice in the civil law system in the state of New York. The organization's mission is to "protect, preserve and enhance the civil justice system."

The group features attorneys who represent both plaintiffs and defendants as well as judges, goverment officials and law school professors. Law clerks, legal secretaries, paralegals and current law school students are also actively involved in the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Defensive driving techniques all drivers should know

Driving in New York can be a challenge. The traffic gets rather heavy and hazards are everywhere. Drivers can make things easier on themselves by learning defensive driving techniques. According to SafeMotorist.com, defensive driving is about keeping safe on the roads and being ready for anything that could happen. It is a proactive approach to driving. A person who drives defensively has been taught how to react better to issues and stay safe on the roads because they have learned to remain calm and make good driving decisions.

When being taught defensive driving techniques, a driver may learn about common causes of accidents, such as drunk driving. They may be taught how to keep themselves safe through wearing a seat belt. Drivers may study driving maneuvers that can help them get out of a sticky situation and learn what to do when they come into contact with an erratic or angry driver. They may also learn how to better handle road rage, stress and fatigue when driving.

What is product liability?

When you buy a product, you expect that it will work properly and pose no risks to you when you use it as directed. Sometimes, though, products are produced that are defective. When used as directed, they could pose a risk to you. Defective products fall under the category of product liability, which, according to the New York State Bar Association, is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure its product is safe for consumer use.

If you do buy a product that is defective, you can sue the manufacturer. You have to prove that it was not safe or something was wrong with it and that the company is at fault for any damages that occurred. You have three main options in court. You can sue for negligence, breach of warranty or strict products liability.

Common medical mistakes health care workers make

One reason why so many New Yorkers fear going to see their doctors is the growing number of medical malpractice claims they hear about every day. Health care professionals are expected to maintain and adhere to high standards to ensure they provide their patients with the quality of care they deserve. Instead, many of them are making mistakes that endanger their lives. According to HealthcareITNews.com, at least 400,000 people die from medical mistakes that health care professionals make. 

Patients can reduce their chances of becoming medical malpractice victims by learning about the common mistakes that are made. 

Shopping carts pose injury risk to kids

Most parents in New York consider the grocery store a relatively safe place for their kids. However, each year numerous children are injured by shopping carts, and these injuries can be severe in many cases. To this end, parents must remain vigilant to the risk, as well as be aware of the methods for preventing injuries from occurring in the first place.

According to HealthDay.com, safety standards for shopping carts were implemented in 2004, but these standards are voluntary and shopping cart manufacturers are not obligated to abide by them. Even in cases where the standards are followed, researchers posit they’ve done little to prevent injuries from occurring.

When to seek a second medical opinion

When you visit your doctor in New York, you probably trust that he or she has your best interests at heart, and that this professional will offer sound advice based on years of education and practice. Most of the time, there is little harm done in taking your physician at his or her word, but according to Fox News, about one in 20 Americans finds themselves subjected to medical diagnostic errors. At Smiley & Smiley LLP, we recognize how these medical errors may impact your life, and we have assisted numerous clients who were misdiagnosed, not diagnosed or otherwise subjected to medical errors at the hands of a physician.

Because mistakes do happen, and because doctors, too, are imperfect people, there are several situations where it may prove beneficial for you to obtain a second medical opinion. For example, every surgery offers some degree of risk, so if your doctor informs you that you need to go under the knife for a non-emergency procedure, it may prove wise to secure a second opinion. In many cases, alternative treatment methods are available that may be safer and less expensive in the long run.

Injuries from unseen dangers

When you work on a New York construction site, safety is a top priority. However, accidents can easily occur, and those which result from falling into a hole on the site can have serious ramifications. At Smiley and Smiley, LLP, we understand that these injuries can have a far-reaching effect on your life.

Construction sites can be hazardous places, even with the best safety regulations. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, your employer is responsible for ensuring that you have a safe work environment. This means that you should typically receive training about the kinds of hazards you might encounter on the job and that any known risks should be eliminated. You also should have a work environment which is clean, with access to the necessary safety equipment.

Why are older people more susceptible to slip-and-fall accidents?

As a senior living in New York, you face the risk of falling down every day. Granted, the same could be said for all state residents, but there are a number of age-related factors that place you at higher risk of a slip-and-fall-related injury than the general population.

Per AgingCare.com, you may be more likely to take multiple prescription medications as you get older, and some of these medications, such as certain sedatives and others designed to treat depression, can cause dizziness and related side effects. Mixing medications may intensify these effects, further enhancing your chances of tripping over something or otherwise losing your balance and taking a spill as a result.

What are the risks of driving at night?

After the sun sets in New York, many people are still on the road, running errands, traveling home from work or driving to meet with friends. You may not think about how your risk of being killed in a motor vehicle accident is significantly higher at night than it is during the day. According to the National Safety Council, people are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident while driving at night, as opposed to traveling during daylight hours. Researchers suggest several factors that contribute to this unfortunate occurrence.

The loss of natural light decreases your ability to see in the dark. Despite the use of bright headlights and street lamps, darkness limits your peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to detect hazards in the road. In fact, glaring headlights can actually cause temporary blindness in drivers who look directly into the brightness. At night, drivers often have difficulties judging the distance and speed of oncoming cars, and may be more likely to pull out or turn in front of a quickly approaching vehicle. This is especially true for drivers who have reduced vision.

Children and lead exposure is not a problem of the past

For numerous New Yorkers, concerns about residential lead exposure are rare or nonexistent. This may be because people believe that lead poisoning is an old problem that was rectified some time ago. However, the issue is still very real, and there are situations in which lead exists or is introduced into the home.

Undoubtedly, many homeowners and renters have heard about the hazards caused by old houses with lead-based paint. But, this is not the only way lead can make its way into a home. WNBC explains a situation in which the toxic metal may have unexpectedly put consumers’ health at risk. Home furnishing retailer Restoration Hardware recently initiated a safety recall when it was discovered that certain models of its dining tables might raise the lead levels in children's blood. The company dutifully stopped selling the products, but it was not before four children were reportedly affected by elevated amounts of lead in their systems.

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