Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP by cjleclaire
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Bicycle Accidents in NYC Are on the Rise in 2019
by cjleclaire
Aug 16, 2019 | 1017 views | 0 0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

People Are Shocked by the Number of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents are prevalent this year. As of July 30, there have been 18 bicycle accident deaths in New York City.

The latest accident occurred in the Greenwood Heights area of Brooklyn. As a bicyclist swerved to avoid an opening car door, a tractor-trailer truck hit the bicyclist and killed her. According to a CBS New York report, the victim was 30 years old. The accident occurred in the morning at 35th Street and Third Avenue.

One bicyclist told the reporter that he had been doored four times while riding his bike in this area. According to bike advocates, Third Avenue has eight car lanes and no bike lane. It is a very dangerous area for bikers. This recent accident occurred only a few blocks away from where another bicyclist was struck and killed on January 1, 2019.

New York City’s Response to the Increase in Bicycle Accidents

Mayor De Blasio has a multi-million dollar cyclist safety plan, which would provide more protected bike lanes. It would also expand bike lanes in priority Brooklyn and Queens districts where accidents are prevalent. Furthermore, the plan would provide greater law enforcement in the most dangerous sections.

Plans also exist to expand Project Green Wave, which enables all traffic to pass from one green light to another. Zones in the Green Wave Project will have speed limits set to 15 miles per hour. Next year, the first corridors for the project will come online.

The Mayor revealed this plan after the 17th biker had died on July 23.

Bicycle Accidents from a Legal Perspective

To bring a lawsuit for serious injury or death in a bicycle accident, the attorney must prove that the driver was at fault. Opening a door without regard to bicycle traffic, violating the bicyclist’s right of way and other traffic infractions often point to negligence.

For serious accident injuries, it is wise to consult with an attorney and discuss your rights.

Our lawyers at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP have handled many bicycle accident cases over the years and have been successful in recovering compensation for clients.

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Pedestrian Killed in a Recent Hit and Run Accident in North Babylon
by cjleclaire
Aug 16, 2019 | 1015 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

How Can Lawyers Help Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents?

Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver causes an accident and flees from the accident scene. However, all drivers involved in an accident involving injury or death must stay at the scene of an accident, whether they caused the accident or not. Also, all drivers involved must file an accident report.

Under New York law, anyone who is party to an accident where injury or death occurs must immediately notify the police. It is a crime to leave the accident scene.

Hit and run accidents can involve an accident between vehicles; or between a vehicle and a bicyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian.

The Recent Hit-and-Run Accident in North Babylon

According to Newsday, an auto parts delivery van hit two pedestrians in the parking lot of an Auto Zone store on July 29. The store was located on Route 231, near Commack Avenue, and the accident occurred around 1:00 in the afternoon.

When the van struck them, one of the pedestrians got caught beneath the van. However, the driver did not stop, and the van dragged her for about three blocks. When the driver made a right turn, she dislodged from the van. Upon arriving at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, doctors pronounced the accident victim’s death. Doctors at the hospital also treated the other pedestrian struck by the van for minor non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators at the scene inspected skid marks but no other details about the accident were released. Police apprehended the van driver, charged him with hit-and-run and took him into custody.

What Can a Hit-and-Run Accident Victim or Their Family Members Do?

In addition to the criminal charges a hit-and-run driver faces, a lawyer can file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the injury victim. In the event of death, the attorney can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family.

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and suffer serious injuries, you may have legal grounds to pursue a case. New York hit-and-run accident attorneys can investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury and explain your rights to take legal action.

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Different Causes and Types of Bicycle Accidents in New York
by cjleclaire
Jul 23, 2019 | 4837 views | 0 0 comments | 981 981 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Some of the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Many different types of bicycle accidents occur in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County. These are heavily populated areas, and there are numerous bicycles, vehicles and pedestrians on the roads. Consequently, collisions are bound to happen. However, when serious injury results and another party was at fault, legal grounds may exist to pursue a lawsuit to hold the negligent parties accountable.

Despite the increasing numbers of bicyclists, the New York City DOT (Department of Transportation) claims that bicycling has grown dramatically safer. Even so, that does not mean that bike riders are free from danger.

Bicycle Accidents Causes

The following types of situations can cause bike accidents:

  • Dooring. “Dooring” describes a bike accident where drivers or passengers are exiting their cars and open the door into a bicyclist, who is passing by the vehicle. The unexpected door opening can strike riders, throw them off their bikes and cause bikes to crash or flip over. Being thrown into oncoming traffic is a serious concern. Also, if cyclists try to avoid the door, there is the danger they may swerve into oncoming traffic. A dooring accident can result in severe injuries or fatalities. The fault for the accident lies with the driver or passenger who failed to look before opening the door.
  • Failure to Yield the Right of Way. Who has the right of way  — the bicyclist or the vehicle or the pedestrian? It is crucial to understand right of way laws in New York. For example, in crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way. Bicyclists must use a bike lane or the right shoulder near the curb, but they may move farther left (three to four feet) to avoid hazards with parked cars. It is illegal for a car to stop or stand in a bike lane.
  • Road defects and potholes. Poor road conditions can make bicycle riding dangerous. Hitting a pothole can throw the bike and rider up into the air or cause the biker to lose control and suffer injury. Local governments are responsible for keeping the roads in good repair and making them safe for traffic.

Experienced NY Bicycle Accidents Attorneys

When determining whether grounds exist for a lawsuit, attorneys investigate to establish who was at fault for causing the bicycle accident. When injuries are serious or result in death, a bicycle accident lawyer can often help you recover compensation for damages.

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What Types of Swimming Pool Injuries and Accidents Can Occur?
by cjleclaire
Jul 10, 2019 | 6616 views | 0 0 comments | 1288 1288 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Avoiding Accidents at Swimming Pools

Swimming pool injuries most frequently occur when the weather is hot. During the summertime in particular, going for a swim has been a favorite pastime.

Although swimming is a lot of fun, safety is also an issue. One of the best preventions against accidents is understanding the risks involved with swimming pools.

Types of Swimming Pool Injuries and Accidents

Diving Injuries

When diving into a swimming pool, swimmers may not give a second thought to how deep the water is. Yet, diving into water that is too shallow can cause serious injuries. Diving into shallow water can cause brain, head or neck injuries. In serious cases, injuries can lead to brain damage or paralysis. In addition, if the diver is knocked unconscious, he or she could drown.

Whenever diving into a pool, it’s vital to notice the depth of the water beforehand.

Pool Drain Injuries

Swimming pools have drains as part of their filtering systems to keep the water clean. Many people, and in particular children, may not know to stay away from the drains. Swimming pool drain injuries can be severe and are not that uncommon. The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) reported that certain drains exert up to 300 pounds of pressure per square inch. While most drains have tightly fastened covers to secure them, an improperly covered drain is capable of causing serious injury or death.

The drain’s suction is so strong that it can tear organs from a body. Unfortunately, this has happened in drain accidents.

Some pools have a safety vacuum cutoff. If someone becomes trapped, then the suction is cut off. However, not all drains have this feature. Keeping adults and children away from pool drains, is a vitally important safety factor. This is also true for hot tubs.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Many pools have signs that say, “No Running.” Areas around the pool often get wet. Water drips off people’s bodies and swimming suits as they leave the pool. As a result, wet surfaces tend to be slippery, and running can increase the chances of slip and fall injuries.

Pool owners have the responsibility of making the areas around the pool as safe as possible. Posting signs to remind people to be careful is a safety precaution.

While a slip and fall accident may not sound serious, severe and even fatal injuries have occurred as a result of slips and falls. Common injuries include head injuries, fractured bones, spinal cord tears and back injuries, such as herniated discs.

If you are involved in a swimming pool accident and suffer serious injury, you may have legal grounds to pursue a case. New York swimming pool injury attorneys can review the circumstances surrounding your injury and discuss the prospects of taking legal action.

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What You Should Know About Pedestrian Accidents
by cjleclaire
Jul 02, 2019 | 9317 views | 0 0 comments | 1691 1691 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Traffic Codes that Protect Pedestrians’ Rights

Pedestrian accidents often occur because someone violates the right of way. New York State has traffic laws that establish pedestrians’ rights when walking on crosswalks and sidewalks and also for other traffic situations.

Were You Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? What Are Your Rights and Responsibilities?

Article 27 of NY Vehicle and Traffic Law explains your rights and duties as a pedestrian:

  • Traffic Signals. Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and cannot cross the street against a red light. When drivers make turns at traffic lights and pedestrians are crossing the intersection, the driver must yield the right of way to the pedestrian.
  • Crosswalks. When entering a designated crosswalk or unmarked intersection crosswalk, pedestrians have the right of way, even when no traffic signal is placed at the crossing. If one vehicle stops to allow a pedestrian to cross, other vehicles must also stop. If there is a tunnel or overpass for pedestrians, they should use those means of crossing. Pedestrians must not unexpectedly step off a curb onto the street and into the path of a vehicle. The vehicle would not have a reasonable amount of time to stop and yield.
  • Sidewalks. When a driver leaves an alley, driveway or street that crosses a sidewalk, pedestrians have the right of way. Drivers must yield to them before entering into traffic.
  • Roadways. When no crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk exists at an intersection, drivers have the right of way. Pedestrians must yield to drivers. It is against the law for a pedestrian to cross an intersection diagonally, unless a police officer or traffic control person is directing traffic and indicates the pedestrian should cross.

Experienced NY Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

Establishing who was at fault for causing a pedestrian accident is pivotal for pursuing a case. When injuries are serious or fatal, taking legal action can help you recover compensation for damages.

New York pedestrian accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to hold an at-fault driver accountable for your injuries. If you’re seriously injured, you should consult with a lawyer about the prospects of pursuing a case.

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Hazards Involved with Ladder and Scaffold Accidents
by cjleclaire
Jul 02, 2019 | 8133 views | 0 0 comments | 1518 1518 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Preventing Exposure to Ladder and Scaffold Accidents

Ladder and scaffold accidents are some of the most common accidents in the construction industry. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the majority of construction workers are involved in working from scaffolds (65%).

OSHA also indicates what the top hazards are that result in scaffold accidents.

Falls

OSHA lists the number one hazard for scaffold accidents as falls. The following hazards often result in falls:

  • Lack of guardrails
  • Improper guardrail installation
  • Failure to use personal fall arrest systems when indicated
  • Lack of proper access to the scaffold work platform

When a 24-inch vertical change to an upper or lower level exists, OSHA requires scaffold access such as secured ladders, stair towers, ramps, etc.

OSHA has established standards for the minimal level of protection. Even so, many general contracts require 100 percent fall protection for workers who are working at heights of six feet or higher or on scaffolds.

Scaffold Collapse

Scaffolds must be inspected daily to ensure they are secured and stable. However, the first step in preventing scaffold collapse is during initial scaffold construction. Vital factors to consider during scaffold construction are the weight of materials and workers and the scaffold weight itself. To ensure foundation stability, the scaffold plank placement, the scaffold’s distance to the work surface, and tie-in requirements are also crucial to consider.

Falling Materials

Being struck by materials falling from scaffolds is another serious hazard for workers. It is also a danger for pedestrians. Tools or materials can and do fall from platforms. Preventative measures include installing toe boards or netting on work platforms that can catch falling objects before they reach lower work areas or the ground. Another safety precaution is to erect barricades that physically prevent individuals from walking under work platforms. Caution of Danger tape can be useful as well, but sometimes people ignore or disregard it. The best methods are plastic mesh or barricades.

Whatever method is used, workers onsite must be aware that overhead work is in progress.

Electrocution

OSHA requires a 10 feet distance between scaffolds and electrical hazards. If this isn’t possible, then the options are either de-energizing the electrical source or having the power company properly insulate it.

New York Scaffolding Law Protection

Because of the inherent dangers in working with scaffolds and working at higher elevations, New York State passed the scaffolding law. As a result, NY workers are provided with greater legal protection in ladder and scaffolding accidents than workers in other states.

For more information, please see our Ladders and Scaffold Accidents page.

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What Are Distracted Driving Accidents?
by cjleclaire
Jun 19, 2019 | 8515 views | 0 0 comments | 980 980 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Manual, Visual and Cognitive Distraction

Distracted driving accidents are something you hear a lot about today. While technological advances have been wonderful for convenience, advanced technology has also resulted in a greater potential for distracting drivers.

Distracted driving accidents refer to accidents that are caused by drivers who do not have their complete attention on driving. In such instances, something else is taking their attention off the road. Distracted driving occurs often, and it occurs in greater or lesser degrees, but a few seconds of inattention is all that it takes to cause an accident.

Types of Distracted Driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are three main types of distracted driving:

  • Visual distraction. When you take your eyes off the road, visual distraction occurs. Examples of visual distraction include: reading a text, surfing the internet, looking at your phone to answer a call, turning around to yell at your kids, looking through a fast food bag to grab your burger, looking at a car accident or turning your attention away from the road to do sight seeing.
  • Manual distraction. Manual distraction refers to taking your hands off the driving wheel. Examples of manual distraction include rifling through your purse to grab your ringing cell phone, taking your hand off the wheel to sip a drink or eat, punching radio buttons, managing a CD changer or operating your GPS.
  • Cognitive distraction. When you take your mind off of driving, you’re engaged in cognitive distraction. While you may have a hands-free cell phone and be driving with your hands on the driving wheel, when you talk on the phone, your complete attention is not on the road. Perhaps you’re mentally mulling over a problem at work, thinking about vacation plans, simply daydreaming or mentally scheduling out your day. All of these mental activities are cognitive distractions to driving.

What Are the Risks for Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving?

The CDC warns that texting is the worst distraction of all because it involves all three types of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive. Texting generally lasts for 5 seconds, which if you’re traveling at 55 mph, is the length of a football field.

An estimated 25 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities result from distracted driving. Teenage drivers have the highest record of distracted driving reports. Distracted driving causes more than 58 percent of teen vehicle crashes.

When a distracted driver causes an accident and you suffer serious injury, you have a legal rights. New York car accident attorneys can pursue a case to recover compensation for damages.

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Tips to Prevent Bicycle Accidents in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island
by cjleclaire
May 20, 2019 | 6099 views | 0 0 comments | 874 874 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Safety Prevention for Bike Riding

New York City has numerous bicycles on the road, and as time goes along, the number continues to increase.

The DOH (Department of Health) reports that approximately 500,000 adult New Yorkers use a bike, at least once a month. Since 2006, the city has laid down more than 250 miles of bike lanes. While safety improves with more bikes on the road, there are guidelines bikers should follow to help prevent accidents.

Rules to Follow to Prevent Bike Accidents

Sometimes drivers are inattentive or careless, making accidents difficult to avoid. Even so, there are rules riders can follow that help them avoid bicycle accidents. Some safety guidelines recommended by bikerent.nyc include:

  • Wear helmets
  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Ride with traffic
  • Obey traffic signals and signs
  • Ride on streets (not sidewalks unless 12 years old or younger)
  • Use bike lanes and marked paths
  • Stay off expressways
  • Use bells, horns and reflectors
  • Be predictable
  • Make yourself visible and heard
  • Avoid driver’s blind spots in vehicles
  • Create extra room when biking around trucks, buses and parked cars
  • Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians when crossing intersections
  • Stay alert
  • Use hand signals if changing lanes or turning
  • Do not text or talk on the phone while riding
  • Do not drink and ride
  • Wear only one earphone, but preferably, no earphones at all

The Most Common Reasons that Motor Vehicles Cause Bicycle Accidents

The NYPD and NYC departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks and Recreation, and Transportation, did a study of crash-related bicycle accidents. The main reasons for bicycle crashes were:

  • Driver inattention (31%)
  • Unspecified human error (29&)
  • Failure to yield (9%)
  • Speeding (4%)
  • Disregarding traffic controls (4%)

As a bicycle rider, being aware of these causes and staying extra alert might help you avoid an accident.

When bike accident injuries are serious or result in death, it is wise to seek representation from experienced New York bike accident attorneys

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Preventing Swimming Pool Injuries
by cjleclaire
May 20, 2019 | 8054 views | 0 0 comments | 874 874 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
 

What Are the Risks for Swimming Pool Injuries?

As warmer weather arrives, swimming pools become a favorite form of recreation for people across the country. However, if pools are not properly maintained and supervised, they can also put people at risk for injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) swimming pool deaths occur at the rate of approximately 10 deaths per day. Twenty percent of people who die from drowning are children, who are age 14 and younger. For each child who dies, five children receive emergency care treatment for nonfatal submersion injuries. In fact, more than half of all drowning victims receive emergency department care, hospital care or further medical care.

What Kind of Injuries Can Result from Drowning?

Probably the worst type of lasting injury that can result from drowning is serious brain damage. Serious brain damage can create permanent disabilities including memory loss, learning disabilities and the inability to function normally and take care of daily needs.

What Safety Tips Can Help Prevent Swimming Pool Injuries?

The following safety precautions can help prevent swimming accidents and injuries:

  • Fence in the pool
  • Install alarms in the pool area
  • Secure and block pool or hot tub access
  • Caution swimmers to stay away from pool drains
  • Keep emergency equipment such as life saver rings, ropes and poles nearby
  • Have phone access when in the pool area
  • Teach children how to swim
  • Supervise the swimming
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
  • Do not drink alcohol

When Would a Swimming Pool Injury Become a Legal Issue?

When serious injury or death occurs as a result of a pool injury, and negligence was involved, grounds may exist to pursue a lawsuit. Examples of negligence could range from a failure to supervise swimming, to not fencing off a pool or not repairing broken pool equipment, such as a drain or ladder.

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we offer a free initial consultation to talk about serious pool injuries or wrongful death and determine whether there is a basis for legal action.

 

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Hit-and-Run Accidents in New York
by cjleclaire
Apr 30, 2019 | 11906 views | 0 0 comments | 202 202 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

What Should You Do If You Are the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident?

Hit and run accidents are on the rise across the nation and in New York City.

According to cars.com, hit and run accidents nationwide increased by 60 percent between 2009 and 2016. Citylimits.org reports that “New York City has suffered from a hit-and-run epidemic for years, and the NYPD is struggling to keep up.”

Unfortunately, this fact increases people’s chances of being a victim of a hit and run accident. In a hit and run accident, the party at fault has fled from the accident scene.

What Actions Should You Take if You Are Injured in a Hit and Run Accident?

The following are important actions to take whenever possible:

  • Remain at the accident scene. It is a crime in New York to leave the scene of an accident where serious injury or substantial car damage has occurred. Besides, if witnesses are present, you should take down their contact information, which may help you track down the hit and run driver.
  • Call 911. If you are injured, you should call 911 as soon as possible. Also report whether anyone else was hurt and provide your cell phone number. You will need to file a police report about the accident.
  • Make a note of all the details you can remember or gather. Ideally, you could write down the other driver’s complete license plate number, but if you can only remember a few numbers or the state or a logo on the plate, write down whatever you can. Note the vehicle’s make, color and model along with the vehicle’s year. Was it a four door or two door car? Did it have any other identifying features, such as decals or bumper stickers? Was it damaged, and if so, where and how large was the dent, cracked glass or other damage? Did the vehicle have identifying noises, such as a loud muffler sound? What did the driver look like — male or female, age, appearance and clothing? Were there other passengers, and if so, how many and what details can you remember about them?
  • Seek medical attention. If your injuries are serious or if you are injured at all, it is wise to seek medical attention right away. Adrenalin and shock can make you unaware of symptoms. A brain injury, internal bleeding or whiplash may not be readily apparent. Seeking medical attention may be more important than you realize.

When Should You Seek Legal Help?

If your injury is serious or vehicle damages are extensive, you should consult with an attorney. An experienced attorney can advise the best course of action.

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