INJURY LAW BLOG

Relevant & Important Information About Personal Injury Law So You Can Be In The Know

The New Smoking Age Limit Law - What You Need to Know

The New Smoking Age Limit Law - What You Need to Know

 

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the bill to pass a law that increases the legal age for tobacco sales from 18 to 21. The new law is expected to help America save thousands of lives. 

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I've Been Hurt, Who Can Help?

 

meeting with a Personal Injury Lawyer

 

Accidents and incidents happen at the drop of a hat, leaving you confused and unprepared. If you recently sustained an injury that was not your fault, consulting a lawyer can help. Indeed, a lawyer's job is to support and guide civilians through various legal processes. If you are looking for legal guidance after an injury, here are three ways an injury lawyer can help. 

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Injured By Flying Snow/Ice From A Vehicle?

Injured By Flying Snow/Ice From A Vehicle?

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Snow and Ice flying off other vehicles and causing injuries and death are more common than you think.  Just this week, according to the Boston Globe, a 40-year-old Newton man, was traveling northbound in a 2019 Dodge 1500 pickup truck on Route 3, south of Exit 26, in Burlington around 11:30 a.m. Thursday when ice hit his vehicle, slamming into his face, officials said. (Photo Courtesy of MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE)

Can It Happen Where I live?

If you are in an area that has snow and ice in the winter, you may see ice falling off of moving cars as people go about their daily business. Many people will just scrape enough ice off their cars to allow them to see through the windows, not bothering to clean the ice off the rest of their cars. This is especially common on larger trucks and buses, where reaching the roof to remove the snow and ice can be difficult.


The big chunks of ice left behind, especially on the roofs, will begin falling and they can end up hitting other cars on the road or pedestrians, causing property damage, injury, or even death.

What To Do If It Does Happen To You

If you are struck by flying ice, try to get the license plate number, or if it came from a large truck, the company name. Oftentimes, the driver is unaware that they have just caused this. If you can, try to get the driver’s attention, and exchange insurance information with them.


The next thing to do is call 911, even if your injuries do not seem that bad. This is important because it gives a detailed record of your injuries, and damage to your vehicle if you were driving. The police can also help track down the driver of the vehicle the ice came from if you were not able to flag them down. A police report is an important part of an insurance claim, or a personal injury lawsuit if it comes to that, so getting that even if you are not sure if it is really necessary, can be vital to any legal action you take.


Document everything with photos, all of your injuries, along with all of the damages to the car. If any witnesses stop, make sure to get their contact information for any insurance claims or if you end up suing the driver of the other car.

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We Are Here To Help

If you have suffered injury caused by flying snow and ice, and would like to seek legal advice, then please just click here to contact us.

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How Much Should A Good Attorney Cost: Factors that Affect the Price

writing a check

Hiring a lawyer is the best decision when you're facing a legal issue. But legal representation comes at a cost. Before you hire a lawyer at the onset of your case, you need to understand how much it will cost you. The truth is, there is no definite amount that lawyers charge. This is mainly because of several factors and special exceptions that dictate the cost of an attorney.

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Seeking Damages From an MTA Bus Accident?

Accidents on an MTA Bus

MTA Bus NYC

Non-collision bus customer accidents, which did not involve a collision, increased 11% from August 2018 according to the MTA and reported in the New York Post. Of the 494 accidents reported, 207 of them were the result of what was described as "throwing movements." 207 may not seem like a lot, but to the injured passenger, or their family if the passenger dies as a result of the accident, it is one too many. If it happens to you, you may be due compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income. To collect damages you must follow MTA rules and guidelines.

Is the MTA Liable?

This is the question MTA attorneys will ask. Even if the answer is "yes," their goal will be to minimize any compensation. Basically, for the MTA to be held liable, two critical elements must be satisfied:

  1. A Notice of Claim must be received within 90 days of the incident.
  2. The notice must show that either the MTA was negligent or the driver was negligent by not following MTA policy.

After receiving the Notice, the MTA has 30 days to respond. There will be a hearing. If the matter goes to court, the injured party has one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit. If the passenger died as a result of the injuries, the family has two years to file suit.

The Notice of Claim

It is always a good thing to remain at the scene of the accident and to ask for witnesses to support your claim. It may be difficult to prove a particular driver on a particular bus caused the injury, if you get off and walk away. Take detailed notes describing the facts of the matter, including the driver's id. The notice must include the following:

  • 1. Your full name and contact details.
  • 2. The deceased victim's details, if appropriate, and your relationship to the victim.
  • 3. Your attorney's contact details if you appropriate.
  • 4. Date, time, and location of the accident.
  • 5. Injuries and damages you suffered as a direct result of the accident.
  • 6. Other relevant circumstances surrounding the incident.
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Proving Your Claim

Nothing is simple or straightforward when it comes to matters of law. The MTA's attorney will be looking for missing information or anything unclear that can be used to your disadvantage. You must show that:

  • - The MTA had a duty to protect you as a passenger. (E.g. if the driver was off-duty, then he or she was not in the employ of the MTA at the time.)
  • - The MTA breached its duty in some way. (E.g. the driver had not completed their training, so should not have been driving.)
  • - Your injury was a direct result of the breach of duty, or
  • - Your injury was a direct result of the driver's negligent actions.
  • - Your injury resulted in your suffering damages (medical expenses, lost income, etc.) so you are entitled to compensation.
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Summary Comment

In a nutshell, you are entitled to damages if you suffer injury because either the MTA or a driver is at fault. To receive the damages you must meet MTA Notice of Claim standards, and you must have enough supporting evidence to prove your claim is fair. The MTA will be represented by an experienced attorney, so it makes sense that you are.

If you have suffered injury while getting on, traveling on, or getting off an MTA bus, and would like to seek legal advice, then please just click here to contact us.

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How to Handle a Valid Insurance Claim Denial

Insurance Claim Denial

Valid insurance claims can be denied for several reasons. You may have suffered injury caused by a traffic accident, being on an employer or other business's premises, or injured working on a construction site. Whatever the cause, you may be entitled to compensation and damages. There are basic procedures to follow when submitting a valid claim, and the insurance company must also follow certain procedures when they receive a claim. Despite everything, insurance claim denial happens, but you also have options.

Insurance Claim Denial

There are some obvious and sensible steps to take if you receive written notification that your insurance claim has been denied. Your initial response may be anything from anger to disappointment, or deciding to just "throw in the towel." The best thing to do is to study the denial and decide what practical steps to take.

  • - New York State has laws and standards in place that both you the claimant, and the insurance company must adhere to, so if your claim has been denied, the insurance company must give you a reason.
  • - Even though the insurance company hires professionals to handle claims, everyone is human, and humans can make mistakes. It is also possible, but unlikely, that the insurance company is acting in bad faith, and just hoping that a denial will make your claim disappear.
  • - Decide where you believe they are at fault in denying your claim.
  • - Contact the insurance company in writing, keep a record of all communications, explaining why you believe they are "mistaken." Submit as much supporting documentation as possible. Highlight pertinent parts of the material you send. If they missed something and denied your claim, make it easy for the insurance company to see its own error.
  • - If that fails to get your claim approved, consider appealing their decision to the New York State Insurance Commissioner.
  • - Inform the insurance company that you are filing an appeal. Your goal is to have your claim approved. If the company made an honest mistake or even if they attempted to pressure you by incorrectly denying your claim, the threat of appealing to the Commissioner may be enough to get them to reopen your claim.
  • - Decide if you should also file a lawsuit against the company for, for example, bad faith and/or violating New York's insurance code by not working to legal standards, or simple breach of contract.

 

If it is a Workers' Compensation Claim

If your workers' comp claim is denied, the company will issue a "notice of controversy" and file it with the Workers' Compensation Board for review. Either party may appeal the review decision, and it will go to a separate review panel for further consideration. If you disagree with the second review, you may decide to make an appeal to the Appellate Division of New York's Supreme Court.

The Takeaway

Injury claims may run smoothly or they may not. If you, the claimant, are dissatisfied with how your valid claim is handled, you have options. The legal standards are complex, but we hope these basic guidelines will help you understand the steps. While you may decide to handle everything yourself, you may also choose to seek legal advice on what to do and how to do it. Simply click here to contact us so we can arrange a free, initial discussion.

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Things to Know About Product Liability and Personal Injury

defective product liability burins outletEven if you haven't yet personally experienced an incident that would necessitate a product liability/personal injury case, knowing all there is to know about the particulars of such cases beforehand can be a critical lifesaver.  The following are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when it comes to personal injury and product liability cases in general.

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Talking to the Police Without a Lawyer Present

accident police

There are many occasions when you may be in a police officer's presence; pulled over while driving, stopped while walking along a street, or you may have been apprehended and are in custody. There are basic rules for talking with the police without a lawyer present. Let us discuss them in two categories:

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Hurt in Police Custody: Do You Have a Case & What Should You Do?

police custody

Overview

It is uncommon, but people can be hurt in police custody. People can suffer injuries:

  • On the street after being taken into custody.
  • In a police vehicle.
  • On police premises.

Those injuries may be sustained because of:

  • A simple accident - whether avoidable or not.
  • Your own actions - whether accidental or not.
  • Unlawful police action.

No matter how someone is injured, it is essential to know the law to decide if you have a case and, if so, what you should do. In this article we will focus on unlawful police action. Unlawful action resulting in injury violates a person's Constitutional rights.

The United States Department of Justice says: The Department "vigorously investigates and, where the evidence permits, prosecutes allegations of Constitutional violations by law enforcement officers. The Department's investigations most often involve alleged uses of excessive force."

 

Your Status at the Time of the Injury

 

Your status is critical. If you are under arrest or have been detained by an officer, or if you are in jail but not convicted of a crime, then it must be shown that the officer used excessive force. "Excessive force" means the officer used more force than was reasonably necessary either to protect that officer or others, or to restrain the injured party. It is an objective standard, not something that relies on an officer's personal opinion. Reasonableness is what a judge decides how a reasonable officer at the time would act. It may be assumed that a "reasonable officer" would follow police procedures and adhere to police standards. A reasonable officer would:

  • Know the standards.
  • Have been trained to work to those standards.
  • Know how to apply them in any given situation.

It is not for nothing that NYC police vehicles have on their doors, "Courtesy Professionalism Respect."

 

What You Should Do

 

Both the officer and the Department may be liable in a civil or criminal case. A civil case can result in financial compensation and restitution for constitutional rights being violated, physical injury, psychological trauma, loss of income, and other direct results of the injuries. Payment depends on the specific circumstances of the case as a whole. If the officer is convicted of using excessive force, then punitive damages may be awarded.

Winning any case, and especially a case against a police officer, takes expert knowledge of both the law and the best way to pursue the case in a court action. If you have been hurt and want advice on what to do and how to proceed, please click this link to contact us for a free initial consultation.

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The Do’s and Don’t When Getting Pulled Over By an Officer

pulled over by an officer

Do’s and Don’t When Getting Pulled Over

You often hear the stories friends tell about getting pulled over or maybe it was you telling the story. Many people have a general idea of what to do when they get pulled over by an officer, but they don't know what exactly to do. It's similar to as a child you had a general idea of how to drive but you don't know completely until someone teaches it to you. Here are the do's and don't of getting pulled over by an officer:.

DO: Acknowledge The Officer And Pull Over

No matter how tempting it may seem, ignoring the officer will put you in a precarious situation and can quickly escalate the situation. Turn on your emergency lights and pull over to a safe area. Compliance will provide a good image and this is beneficial to you.

DON'T: Panic

It's common to feel nervous about getting pulled over, but you shouldn't panic. Take deep and slow breaths. Unless you've done something out-rightly criminal, you have nothing to worry about. At most, you'll have to pay a fine and your insurance may go up a bit.

DO: Say "Sorry"

Cops are people too and sometimes they may write you off with only a warning if you are courteous enough. They aren't out to get you like they are commonly misconstrued.

DON'T: Expedite the Process

Don't expedite the process by giving your documents before the officer asks for it. They may be prepared to simply give you a warning, but your help can secure your ticket without even giving it a chance.

DO: Be Civil

Once again, officers are human too and being civil is simply common courtesy. Also, if the officer has to give a testament or report in the court, being civil would have helped your case.

DON'T: Argue

The side of the road isn't a place to argue about a charge. Arguing is done in the court in front of a judge.

DO: Sign the Citation

A citation isn't an admittance of guilt. It simply confirms that you received the citation and agree to either 1) pay a fine or 2) appear in court.

DON'T: Act Suspicious

Don't do any unnecessary movements. Officers are just as nervous as you are. If you have a gun, some states require that you inform the officer beforehand. Officers can feel threatened if you are constantly moving or reaching under your seat. Sudden movements are highly discouraged.

The Takeaway

Don't ignore the officer and treat the officer as if they were another human, which they are. Being courteous or polite is always beneficial regardless of whether you receive a citation or not and acting civil is also advantageous to you as well. In addition, don't expedite the process and wait until the officer asks for documentation. Unnecessary and sudden movements are highly discouraged. If you find yourself in need of a legal expert or are interested in more information about legal situations, contact us.

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