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The Perecman Firm

New York, NY Personal Injury Blog

Construction sites can be dangerous for workers and pedestrians, know your rights

Construction worker was killed Tuesday after falling 13 floors from scaffolding at East 76th Street and First Avenue

Tuesday afternoon, another construction worker died when he fell 13 floors from a scaffold to a sidewalk shed at the Sherman Towers on East 76th Street and First Avenue around 4:00pm. Sources say the 30 year old was bleeding from his head and it is unknown if he was wearing a safety harness.  He was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

This incident is the second fatal construction accident within the last week.  A worker at Friedman Landis’ 400 Times Square fell four stories down an elevator shaft on August 25th.

With construction being a dangerous occupation and construction sites being hazardous to both workers and pedestrians, here a few frequently asked questions to help you stay informed if you ever find yourself, or someone you know, hurt as a result of a construction accident.

Q: We have some safety issues at my workplace, how do I take steps to assert my right to a safe workplace?

A: If your workplace isn’t safe, the first thing you should do is report the potential hazard to your boss or supervisor. Be sure to follow up with written notification of the hazard. If the issue isn’t addressed properly by your employer, you can file a complaint at your local OSHA office.

Q: I was injured on a construction site. Am I limited to just workers’ compensation benefits?

A: Workers’ compensation benefits are only applied to injuries you suffered at work that you employer is responsible for. If your injury was caused by another person or company, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the person or company who caused your injury.

Q: If a person is walking on a public sidewalk next to a construction site and is injured by construction materials, is the construction company

Settlements against NYPD reached an unprecedented $216.9 million in FY 2014

In 2014, NYPD, had a record in both the number of claims filed against it, 9,448, and the amount the city paid out, $216.9 million

New York City paid out $550.3 million in personal injury and property damage tort settlements and judgments in 2014, an increase of 11 percent from the $495.1 million paid out in 2013 according to the city comptroller’s report. Also noted was an increase in claims against the New York City Police Department.

In 2014, the city disbursed $65 per resident to cover the cost of tort claims. These tort claims included slip and falls, medical malpractice, police actions, and motor vehicle property damage claims.

“The city processed 28,877 new personal injury and property damage claims in the year ending June 30, 2014, compared to the 25,270 filed during the previous fiscal year” (New York Law Journal).

The large increase in payouts can be attributed mainly to two big cases being settled such as the Central Park Five and Republican National Convention which together totaled around $60 million.

The two city agencies that had the highest tort settlement and judgment pay outs were the New York City Police Department and the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC). The Department of Transportation (DOT) came in third with pay outs amounting to $70.3 million.  The NYPD, HHC and DOT together are responsible for an estimated 57 percent (16,601) of total tort claims filed and 74.6 percent ($410.3 million) of amounts paid in fiscal year 2014.

The NYPD, in 2014 hit a record high in both the number of claims filed against it, 9,448, and the amount the city paid out, $216.9 million. The claims filed against the NYPD were for false arrest/imprisonment, shooting of a suspect, excessive force, assault or failure to provide protection.  The report states that these claim costs were the highest ever recorded for one agency for any year.

The Health and Hospitals Corporation

What you should know if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident

One of the main reasons motorcyclists are killed in crashes is because the motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection in a crash

Motorcycle deaths account for five percent of all highway fatalities each year, yet motorcycles represent just two percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. One of the main reasons motorcyclists are killed in crashes is because there is no protection for the driver like there is for automobiles. For example, approximately 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, compared to 20 percent for automobiles.

Below are a few basic questions regarding motorcycle injury.

Q: I was hit by another vehicle while riding my motorcycle. What should I do?

A: First, seek medical attention. Motorcycle accidents can cause serious injuries and getting checked out as soon as possible after an accident can help you be sure that any injuries are identified and properly treated. Whether or not you are treated at the scene for any injuries, you want to make sure that the police are called to document the accident and to collect contact information for the responsible party and any witnesses.

Q: What can I receive for my injuries?

A: Compensation is a question on everyone’s mind after a motorcycle accident. Every case has to be evaluated based on the circumstances leading to the accident, the injuries involved, and the time you have missed from work. It is possible that you may be entitled to recover money from the person responsible for the accident for a variety of things, including: medical expenses, lost income or wages, future lost earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, and compensation for the impact the accident has had on your spousal and family relationships.

Q: Is compensation automatic?

A: No. Compensation in personal injury cases is not automatic. Our attorneys will help you understand what types of compensation are available to you, and will work to get

What to Expect in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Accident and injury lawsuits take many forms, but the basic stages of a personal injury case generally remain constant

Many personal injury clients want to know what to expect when they decide to hire an attorney and move forward with a personal injury lawsuit. While each case is different, the process of filing a lawsuit and moving a case through the civil court system is relatively standardized. It is important to note that the time that passes between each of the steps below can vary greatly, depending on the type of personal injury case you have, the number of cases a particular judge handles, and what delays (if any) your local courts are experiencing due to budget cuts, weather or other issues.

Step 1: Plaintiff files a Lawsuit.

Step 2:  Plaintiff serves the defendant(s) with a lawsuit.

Step 3:  Defendant(s) responds to the lawsuit.

Step 4:  Parties conduct formal discovery, including written interrogatories, depositions, inspections and medical exams.

Step 5:  Parties participate in settlement discussions, either informally or formally through mediation or settlement conferences.

Step 6:  Trial preparation begins; witnesses are subpoenaed and experts prepare opinions.

Step 7:  Trial begins; both sides present their evidence to support their theory of the case.

Step 8:  Verdict is reached.

Step 9:  Judgment is entered on the verdict.

Step 10:  Appeals can be filed, if appropriate.

It is important to remember that in order to successfully win a personal injury lawsuit, you (the plaintiff) have to prove that the person who caused your injury (the defendant) was negligent, and his or her negligence caused your injuries.

Negligence is a complicated legal term that is used to describe the process the courts use to determine whether or not someone is legally responsible for the injuries you have suffered. Negligence is broken down into 4 parts:

Duty of Care Breach of Duty of Care Causation Damages

Each part must be proven, in the order above,

Fired reporter fatally shoots former coworkers on live TV

Twenty-four-year-old WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live-TV broadcast

Disgruntled former WDBJ7 employee, 41 year old Vester Lee Flanagan II, also known by his broadcast name Bryce Williams, from the San Francisco Bay area is the man accused of shooting and killing fellow WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, 24 and cameraman Adam Ward, 27 on live television early Wednesday morning.

The shooting occurred around 6:45 am, in Moneta, Virginia, close to Roanoke while Parker and Ward were broadcasting a live interview with an official from the local chamber of commerce.  It appeared that Flanagan purposely orchestrated the attacks so that their deaths would be aired on live television.

The woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake regional chamber of commerce was also shot but she survived her attack.

After a four hour manhunt, Flanagan’s vehicle was spotted on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County by a state trooper, nearly 200 miles away from where the shooting took place in Moneta. After a short chase, Flanagan shot himself and died a few hours later at the hospital.

Flanagan who was fired from WDBJ7 earlier this year claimed he was a victim of homophobia and racism in the work place and that he was being attacked because he was a gay, black man. He detailed his feelings in a 23 page document he faxed to ABC News shortly after the shootings under his pseudonym Bryce Williams titled “A Suicide Note to Friends and Family.”

The document stated that his attack on his former coworkers was revenge for the Charleston, South Carolina church shootings that happened this past June.  These shootings were executed by 21 year old Dylann Roof. Roof went into a black sanctuary and massacred nine African Americans. Flanagan claimed that this attack is what pushed him over the edge and he bought a gun two days after the shootings.

Construction worker falls 30 feet down elevator shaft to his death

On 9th ave., between 41 & 42 st in Manhattan a construction worker fell down an elevator shaft 

Falls are the leading cause of work related deaths for construction workers.

On Tuesday afternoon, in Manhattan, a 30 year old construction worker who was working at 577 Ninth Avenue, between 41st and West 42nd streets fell 30 feet to his death when the platform he was standing on collapsed and he plummeted to the bottom of an elevator shaft.

Authorities arrived to the scene in midtown, around 12:40 pm where they found the man lying at the bottom of the elevator unconscious and unresponsive.

He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. His name has not yet been released.

It was reported that the worker was wearing a hard hat but he did not have on a safety harness while he worked and walked across the wooden boards which were four stories high.

Witnesses stated the boards gave way right above the elevator shaft causing the worker to plummet more than 30 feet down the elevator into over four feet of standing water in the basement.

Following the fall, the midtown construction site was shut down and the construction workers jobs in limbo while police and building inspectors investigate the death of the 30 year old construction worker.

How to deal with the wrongful death of a loved one

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult, especially when their death was caused by the negligence of someone else.

Regardless of the age of your lost loved one, suffering a death in a family can be devastating. The law, in an attempt to fairly address the loss of your loved, one looks at a number of factors in determining the value of a wrongful death case. One of those factors is the age of the person who has passed away. Age is an important consideration in a wrongful death case because one of the factors courts look at when evaluating cases is the economic impact a person had on their family, including the wages they earned.

Wrongful Death Cases Involving Children

When children die as a result of an accident or medical malpractice, evaluating the value of a wrongful death claim can be difficult.

Unborn Children

When an unborn child dies as a result of an accident or injury involving the mother, the law will often look at whether or not the child could have survived outside the protective environment of the mother’s womb. If the child would have survived outside of his or her mother’s womb, the parents may be able to bring a wrongful death claim.

Minor Children

When a minor child (someone under the age of 18) dies, income is not often an appropriate consideration because, most minors do not work and if they do, they are only earning a small amount while they attend high school and prepare for college. The courts will look at different ways the child contributed to the lives of his or her parents when determining the appropriate economic compensation for the parents.

Adult Children

When an adult child dies, the deceased person’s parents may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. The courts will look at whether or not the adult child was married at the time

Reasons behind New York Helmet Laws

Helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries in crashes

Head trauma is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.

The state of New York has had a universal motorcycle helmet law since 1967. This means that anyone operating or riding on a motorcycle in New York must wear a helmet. If you or your passengers are caught without a helmet, you can be ticketed and fined.

New York’s helmet laws were enacted to keep New Yorkers safer. Wearing a helmet can protect your head, and helmet use has been tied to higher rates of survival in motorcycle accidents and lower instances of serious brain injuries. Helmet use has also been tied to a decrease in open head injuries, which often cause devastating consequences and death.

Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet can negatively affect your personal injury case if you are injured in an accident. The state of New York considers the principle of comparative negligence when determining an award of damages. This principle establishes that if a person contributes to their own injuries, the compensation recovered from the other responsible parties will be limited to the extent that the injured party contributed to the situation.

In a motorcycle accident case, if you broke your leg when your bike fell over, failing to wear a helmet would not impact your recovery of damages for your broken leg. However, if you weren’t wearing a helmet and you were thrown from your motorcycle during an accident, hit your head and suffered an open head injury, your compensation would be limited based on your own negligence. If you had been wearing a helmet your injuries may not be as serious, and it will be the responsibility of the person who caused the accident to pay the difference in costs or damages, rather than the entire injury, when you aren’t following the law.

In situations involving head injuries and the failure to

What to Bring When You Are Preparing to Meet with Your Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident and need legal representation, there are several things you can do before you meet with your personal injury attorney. In order to make preparing for your meeting easier, we’ve developed a checklist of things you might have and should bring with you to your meeting. This information will help an attorney decide whether or not they can take your case.

Accident Information: It is easy to forget important details about how the accident happened as time goes on. Please be sure you bring:

A copy of any relevant insurance cards (car, motorcycle, RV) A copy of the police report Photographs – scene of the accident, vehicles involved, or injuries

Also, take a few minutes to write down:

Where the accident happened (address or other characteristics that describe the location) The road conditions at the time of the accident (was it dark or light?, wet or dry? etc.) Contact information for the person who caused the accident Contact information for any passengers or witnesses

Medical Records: If you have received any medical care for the injuries you’ve suffered, please get a copy of the medical records. These documents will go a long way in proving your claim, and it is often easier to get a copy of the documents as you go along, rather than waiting until you have finished all of your medical care. Medical records include:

Ambulance records Hospital records Doctors notes, charts and other records Radiology reports Diagnostic testing records Physical therapy records

Also, please be sure you bring any information you have about your health insurance and disability insurance. Your personal injury attorney can help explain how these benefits can be helpful after an accident.

Correspondence Relating to the Accident: If you have received letters from any insurance companies regarding the accident, your insurance benefits, or items that will be covered, be sure to bring that as well.


New York Scaffold Law Attorneys

In New York, there are special provisions for workers injured by or on scaffolds.

At The Perecman Firm, PLLC, we are scaffold law attorneys who are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights. We offer free case evaluations for anybody who has been involved in accident relating to construction. Call us today at (212) 977-7033.

Many people are injured every year in accidents involving scaffolding. Often, victims of these types of accidents are hit by falling objects or are walking on a plank that gives way. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving scaffolding, chances are one of the scaffold law attorneys at The Perecman Firm, PLLC can help.

We represent individuals who have been injured in scaffolding accidents that involve:

Loose objects falling from above onto people below Week or decayed supports that give way Scaffolds constructed with defective components or materials Faulty assembly or setup of the scaffolding Plummeting from a scaffold to the ground below

Unfortunately, there are many different ways to get hurt that involve scaffolding, therefore, if you’ve been injured, it’s important to retain a lawyer who understands the scaffold law.

New York labor law is designed to protect workers, bystanders and many other people who may be around scaffolding. There are specific instructions detailing how the scaffolding should be assembled and how much weight it should be able to bear. The law also includes rules regarding safety railings and the types of materials that can be included in scaffolding.

If the people involved in putting scaffolding together violate the law, they may be legally liable for any resulting injuries. The laws surrounding scaffolding are not simple; hiring a good attorney can help in holding people who have violated the law accountable.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) was founded back in 1970 to help protect workers from the hazards of their jobs and ensure employers create safe work environments. Sometimes, workers and supervisors