New York, NY Personal Injury Blog
The death of Eric Garner in New York City and the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, prompted a call for a number of New York Police Department officers to wear body cameras. These pager- sized gadgets would capture video footage of law enforcement’s interactions with the public. Proponents like City Public Advocate Letitia James say the devices would add a new level of accountability to police work, reported the Wall Street Journal (8.21.14).
“Body cameras could go a long was in restoring trust in police officers,” said Attorney at Law David Perecman. “A camera could have captured both Garner and Ferguson’s confrontations with the police. Without video, the public is left with conflicting accounts.”
In July, Garner was placed in an apparent chokehold by a NYPD officer after he resisted arrest on Staten Island. He died about an hour after the confrontation. Like Brown, Garner was unarmed. Both incidents attracted national attention.
The Wall Street Journal reported that two brands of cameras that cost between $400 and $900 each were being tested for use by the NYPD. Outfitting every patrol officer with a camera would cost approximately $32 million. Comparatively, New York City spends about $152 million on police misconduct settlements annually.
“Looking at the numbers, the cameras may actually save the NYPD money by protecting them against lawsuits,” said Perecman.
“Cameras can create a win-win situation,” Perecman added. “Not only can they be used to ferret out abusive officers, they can also save an officer from a false accusation of abuse or unprofessional behavior.”
In August 2012, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered the NYPD to test the use of use body cameras in the one precinct in each borough that had the highest number of stop-and-frisks, said the Wall Street Journal. The NYPD had not selected a camera vendor or started its pilot program.
“Of course, even with video,
“Manhole covers can pop up and you just really can’t predict that, but a construction site you can, so we try to avoid those…”
New York excites everyone, but many feel the best way to appreciate all of its nuances is by getting out there and walking around. While the city offers unlimited possibilities for discovery – no one wants to discover their own personal chaos by getting lost, or worse, getting hurt! Taking advantage of the services of a guided walking tour can be your best bet for educated travels. How do they make sure you’ll be safe?
Numerous guided walking tours are offered, and most can be found and reviewed online with a simple Google search. We caught up with one such popular tour, Free Tours By Foot, and spoke with Stephen Pickhardt there about how they protect their adventurous and curious pedestrian clientele.
Ann Bailey: Stephen, what it is that you all do specifically about the safety of the pedestrians, the walkers on the tours?
Stephen Pickhardt: In essence what we do is make them aware. For a lot of people, they’re not used to living in a city and if they come from say, Atlanta, they might be used to cars turning corners, but if they come from a place with not a lot of traffic, and they’re on vacation, they often forget.
We really don’t have a set plan for every single guide because each city is different, but generally the goal is to make people aware that we don’t want them rushing to catch up with us when they’re not paying attention. If they’re taking a picture, a selfie or a group selfie with each other and then they realize the group has moved on, our biggest concern is that they panic and then they rush and then they run to catch up.
So what we do is have each guide after they
Firefighters Suffer Electric Shock From Overhead Power Line While Helping With ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Electrocution continues to be a significant cause of occupational injuries and death. It is a leading cause of occupational injury death in the United States, and a hazard to anyone whose job brings them into close proximity to electrical sources.
Four firefighters suffered from electric shock when their fire truck’s ladder got too close to an overhead power line while helping with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Campbellsville, Kentucky. The firemen from the Campbellsville Fire and Rescue Department had finished dumping buckets of ice water on students in the Campbellsville University marching band. With two firefighters inside the bucket and two on the ground, the men then began moving back the ladder.
CNN News (8.22.14) reported that two firefighters were on the lift bucket of the truck when it “crossed the electric energy threshold of an overhead power line,” and caused an “electric arc to strike both firemen.” In other words, the firefighters did not actually touch the power line itself, but came within three to four feet of the lines, causing the electricity to jump.
Captain Tony Grider, 41, and firefighter Simon Quinn, 22, were inside the bucket. One man was reported to be in critical condition, while the other was fair. Two other firefighters, Captain Steve Marrs, 37, and Alex Johnson, 28, received electric shocks when they tried to lower the bucket and an electric current traveled down the extended ladder, reported CNN.
The incident was being investigated.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a social media campaign that aims to raise awareness and money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
Construction workers suffer more job-related electrocutions in this country that any other type of worker. In fact, electrocutions were the third leading cause of construction deaths causing 8.1% of the 806 construction worker deaths in 2012. A significant number of worker electrocution fatalities happen when workers or the equipment they are
David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm, was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.
Perecman’s expertise is in all matters personal injury related, including commercial and residential construction accidents, premises accidents, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice and wrongful death. Attorney at Law Perecman and his firm have won over $200 million in verdicts and settlements for clients.
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. To compile the current 21st edition of the annual publication, Best Lawyers conducted an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Nominees were reviewed on the basis of professional expertise, and underwent a confirmation process to make sure they were in good standing with their local Bar Associations.
Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
“I am honored to receive this recognition and would like to thank my peers who voted for me,” said Perecman. “I also want to thank all the attorneys and staff whose teamwork and outstanding skills have made The Perecman Firm a success.”
For more than 30 years, the personal injury lawyers at The Perecman Firm in New York have aggressively helped seriously injured people and their loved ones obtain the compensation they deserve following injury accidents in New York. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.
About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 30 years, the New York construction accident, medical malpractice, auto accident, personal injury, and civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled
A 2-year-old boy had two of his fingers severed in an escalator in Portland, Oregon. He was at the Washington Square Mall when he got his hand caught in the escalator near the mall’s food court. The boy was attempting to run up the down escalator at the time of the accident, reported NBC News (8.20.14).
When his mother pulled the toddler from the escalator, the finger injury was discovered. The escalator was taken apart by workers and the boy’s two fingers were retrieved and sent to the hospital for possible reattachment. The success of this operation was unreported.
Investigators who reviewed the security video saw that the toddler had been left unattended, NBC News reported.
Of interest to lawyers and others concerned about the safety of escalators, NBC reported that a safety switch failed on the mall escalator that severed the fingers of the 2-year-old. A state report from the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Affairs was said to have concluded that failure of the switch inside the escalator “did not contribute to this accident.”
Escalators depend on many electrical and mechanical components to function. If the escalator is not routinely inspected and maintained, mechanical failures can occur, leading to serious injuries.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there were approximately 11,000 escalator related injuries in 2007. Nearly a quarter of those injured were kids. Escalator accidents involving children are disproportionally represented by kids five years old and under.
More than 90 percent of escalator injuries were caused by falls, but 10 percent occurred when hands, feet or shoes were trapped in the mechanical stairs. Falls often cause more severe injuries and more deaths.
The CPSC offered ways to prevent escalator injuries.
- Adults should always hold children’s hands.
- Keep feet and clothing away from the sides of the escalator.
- Tie shoes before getting on the escalator.
Three relatives of Pope Francis died and a fourth was in serious condition after their car crashed in the pontiff’s homeland of Argentina, reported CNN News (8.19.14). The relatives who died were two of Pope Francis’ grandnephews and the boys’ mother. A nephew of the Pope, Emanuel Bergoglio, 38, was critically injured.
The car driven by Bergoglio had slammed into the back of a truck on a highway in Cordoba province, killing his sons — Jose Bergoglio, 8 months, and Antonio Bergoglio, 2 — and his wife, Valeria Carmona, 36.
Pope Francis was reported to be “deeply hurt” by news of the car accident, reported CNN News.
The cause of the accident was unreported. Many different factors can play a significant role in causing a motor vehicle accident. Some of the more common causes of car accidents include driver behavior, equipment failure, roadway design, weather conditions and poor roadway maintenance.
When a driver makes an error, it is most often the result of distracted driving. Driving while fatigued and speeding are also actions commonly linked to car accidents caused by driver error.
If a road is improperly maintained, a driver may not be able to maintain traction or to stop in time for a hazard. The same holds true for weather conditions. Snow, rain or other causes of moisture can make a roadway slippery. Weather can also impair visibility when conditions include fog, rain, or snow.
Mechanical problems that can cause of accidents include improperly maintained brakes or tires that may reduce a driver’s ability to stop a car in advance of a hazard. Mechanical issues may also reduce a driver’s ability to steer clear of a hazard on the roadway.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
DOT HS 811 856), the United States lost 33,561 people in crashes on roadways during 2012.An estimated 2.36 million people were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In New
More workers die in Texas than in any other state, according to an in-depth analysis of federal workplace data by The Dallas Morning News (8.16.14). The News’ finding revealed a Texas worker is, on average, 12 percent more likely to die on the job than a worker doing the same job in any other state, including New York. Texas’s construction sites were found to be 22 percent deadlier than the national average. According to The Dallas Morning News, the reasons behind these findings vary, but factors include the use of undocumented laborers; little investment in safety equipment, training and inspections; and a “Wild West culture.”
In several construction trades, the Lone Star State had the nation’s worst fatality rate. Falling was reported to be the most common cause of death. In Texas, many construction workers are treated as independent contractors instead of employees. This cuts payroll costs as there is then no minimum hourly wage, no overtime, no compensation for on-the-job injuries, and no required safety training or provided safety equipment.
In contrast, there are a number of Labor Law statutes in New York that specifically protect construction workers. New York imposes statutory liability on property owners and contractors for a number of accidents that occur on construction sites. Even when an injured employee ignores safety rules at a job site, the liability likely will fall to the contractor or owner.
New York Labor Law Section 200 requires construction employers to provide a safe work environment; Section 240, also known as the “Scaffold Law” relates to accidents involving falls and falling objects; and Section 241 outlines the requirements for how areas of construction should be controlled. These laws, which are sometimes referred to as the “safe place to work statutes,” apply to all workers on both union and non-union job sites. Even undocumented workers may be entitled to compensation when injured while working on a construction site.
Being attacked by an animal can be terrifying. An attack can leave a victim severely traumatized and injured, or even be fatal. In most cases, the owner of an animal is legally responsible for the actions of the animal and claims can be made against the owner and possibly a third party if their negligence can be linked to the injury.
To protect people from injuries caused by big cats, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that prohibits direct contact between people and lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cougars and other big cats at traveling animal shows and fairs. Animal exhibitors would face fines for each violation, reported MSN News(8.12.14).
The law was a response to the popular practice on Internet dating sites of posting “tiger selfies.” These photos showed potential dates, typically young men, with the dangerous felines.
Reasons for the ban also go beyond the photos. Wildlife advocates support the law saying “the trend is not only potentially hazardous to humans but encourages mistreatment of endangered animals that are often…poorly cared for and then neglected or discarded when they grow up.”
Recovering from an attack by an animal, whether it is a tiger or a dog, can be a long and painful process. Victims may be able to recover money damages to cover their past and future medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and more.
In the United States, dog bites are one of the most commonly reported animal bite injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year and half of these are children. Close to one in five of people who get bitten, about 885,000, require medical attention for their dog bite-related injuries. Many of the bites can be quite serious. In 2012, more than 27,000 people needed to undergo reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
In order to hold the
The Associated Press (AP) reported (8.10.14) that New York City’s double-decker sightseeing buses have no legal obligation to report accidents to the city agency that licenses them. Attorney at Law David Perecman urged the City to add legislation that would require the buses to report accidents.
“City law should require double-decker sightseeing bus companies to report accidents,” said Perecman, a lawyer in New York for over 30 years. “The public deserves to know how dangerous or safe these vehicles are on the roads and they have the right to know whether or not the buses are safe to ride. Without the numbers, there cannot be an accurate picture of the operational and safety history of the double-decker buses traveling around New York.”
“With reporting, it would also be easier to identify problems before they become costly catastrophes,” he added.
Troublesomely, since New York City does not require the information, the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs does not consider accidents when renewing a sightseeing company’s license, said AP.
The loophole was disclosed to AP by the Consumer Affairs Department, one of at least five entities involved in regulating the buses. Scrutiny of the tour bus industry intensified following a recent collision between two tour buses in Times Square on August 5, 2014. The accident, which injured 14 people, made international and national news reports, including Reuters.
“A bus accident can result in catastrophic injuries to passengers and others given their large size and weight. Additionally, bus passengers are usually not wearing seat belts,” said Perecman.
The legal loophole and the police’s imprecise records also leave companies without official numbers to back up their “claims of high safety and few accidents,” said AP.
There are now 263 double-decker buses on the streets of NYC, reported AP. This is a significant increase from the 57 buses of this type that were around only a decade ago. The government does track the accident
Hitting a pedestrian while driving is a horrible occurrence, but not uncommon. According to statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4743 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 76,000 were injured in crashes with motor vehicles in 2012.
A pedestrian just missed being hit by a tour bus carrying the Kings of Leon band. The band was en route to their hotel after a show in Boston when a pedestrian jumped in front of their tour bus, causing the bus to stop short, reported Rolling Stone magazine (8.10.14).
A passenger on the bus, Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, suffered broken ribs in the accident. No one else was injured.
The reason why the pedestrian jumped in front of the bus was unreported, but he or she was lucky not to have gotten hit. Hitting a pedestrian at a speed of only 10 miles per hour can severely disable a pedestrian in the event of a collision.
When a driver hits a pedestrian, one of the most important questions is often: Whose fault was the accident? Both drivers and pedestrians must follow the laws of the road and exercise reasonable care. The law of negligence determines who is at fault. The person, either the driver or the pedestrian, who failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances may be considered negligent. In some cases, both the driver and the pedestrian may be negligent. For example, a pedestrian illegally crossing the street is hit by a driver who is speeding.
If a driver is clearly at fault for the accident, the pedestrian will usually be able to recover compensation from the driver and-or the driver’s insurance company for injuries suffered. If the pedestrian is to blame for the accident, however, he or she will probably not be able to recover compensation for injuries. In addition, if the pedestrian is found to be at fault for the accident, the