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The Perecman Firm

New York, NY Personal Injury Blog

Teenage Driver in SUV Accident After Teenage Passenger Sets Driver’s Armpit Hair on Fire

Car accidents can happen in the most unexpected ways.

A teenager driver crashed his SUV in Idaho after one of the passengers used a lighter to set his armpit hair on fire, reported KTVB (9.18.14).  Five teenagers, including the driver, were in the Ford Bronco at the time of the accident.

The crash happened outside of Boise.   Eighteen-year-old Tristan Myers was driving when his front-seat passenger, a 16-year-old boy, ignited Myers’ armpit hair. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it rolled over.

None of the five teens in the SUV were wearing seat belts.  Two teenage girls in the backseat were thrown from the vehicle. Myers, his front-seat passenger, and a boy in the rear seat remained in the vehicle. Three of the teenagers suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to a local hospital.

Myers first told police that he had swerved to avoid an animal in the road.  Later, one of the boys admitted to lighting Myers’ armpit hair on fire.

Myers was citing for inattentive driving.   The passenger with the lighter was ticketed for interfering with the driver’s safe operation of a vehicle.

Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of death for U.S. teens, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Teenagers in the car with a teenager driver significantly multiply the risk of these vehicular accidents and the risk increases with the number of teen passengers.

Activities that take a teenage driver’s attention away from driving, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, playing with the radio and driver distraction are a number of other reasons why teen car accidents occur. Young drivers are also at risk for drowsy driving and reckless driving.

In 2010, about 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16–19 were killed and almost 282,000 were treated in emergency departments for motor-vehicle crash related injuries. According to the CDC, the easiest way to prevent

Doctors Keep Practicing Despite Multiple Medical Malpractice Payouts

CBS News (9.12.14) looked into the records of 25 doctors with the most malpractice payouts in Florida. Apparently, providing poor medical care did not stop any of them from practicing. Only four of them had actually lost their licenses. Three of those four doctors lost them after getting arrested and charged with either drug trafficking or billing fraud. The fourth doctor who lost his license had failed to comply with the terms of a less severe punishment.

The review of Florida records by CBS News revealed that one doctor, Dr. Ernest Rehnke, had 11 medical malpractice lawsuit payouts since 2000. He was tied for the most of any practicing physician in Florida. Yet, his license was never restricted by the Florida Board of Medicine, which has the responsibility for stopping doctors from practicing.

CBS News said he had settled at least one case for $250,000 which was the maximum his insurance policy would pay for a single claim.

Medical malpractice suits can send a message to healthcare providers that substandard care will not be tolerated. Providers may be motivated by these actions to deliver better care to patients to avoid future litigation. A malpractice payout can come as a result of a judgment or a settlement. Some juries have awarded plaintiffs millions of dollar in medical malpractice cases. However, most compensation comes from settlements.

Doctors are professionals who are supposed to help patients get better and-or provide relief in the event of an illness or disease. However, every year thousands of Americans are seriously injured or die as a result of avoidable medical mistakes. Medical malpractice may be defined as a failure by a medical professional to provide a standard level of care to a patient. This may occur when a doctor, hospital, or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes a patient to suffer a significant injury or death. Injuries suffered as a result of

Golfer Greg Norman Injured in Chainsaw Accident

No matter how careful a person may be with a power tool, accidents can sometimes happen. Unfortunately, when those accidents occur, the consequences can be severe. As golfer Greg Norman has said himself, he is lucky to still have his left hand after his chainsaw accident.

According to USAToday (9.14.14), Norman, the Hall of Fame golfer and entrepreneur, was in his South Florida home cutting back trees when the weight of a branch pulled his left hand toward the chain saw. He said the blade hit him just below the part of the wrist where a watch would sit. The blade was not running full speed, fortunately.

Norman suffered nerve damage, but no muscular damage. The accident could have been much worse. Doctors said the blade missed his artery by a fraction of an inch. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Chain saws are on any list of dangerous tools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments annually for injuries from using chain saws. While many people use chainsaws, it is best to have an operator who has training and experience in safe chain saw use and cutting techniques. However, even skilled employees who have been given proper safety training can be injured on the job when using a power tool as dangerous as a chainsaw. Any mistake with this tool can result in an unpredictable and even life-threatening accident.

New York workers compensation law allows workers to seek financial compensation to help cover lost wages and medical bills for a work-related injury or illness. Employees may receive workers’ compensation payment regardless of fault as long as the injury, illness or disability was related to work. With a workers’ compensation case, neither the employer, nor the employee is determined to be at fault.

Every state has different rules and stipulations for workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits.

First Lamborghini Huracán Crash Totals Car

Lamborghinis are fast and powerful cars.

The Lamborghini Huracán is a sleekly styled sports car that sells for around $240,000.  Powerful and fast, it can reach 60 mph in approximately three seconds and can exceed 200 mph. The car made its world debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and the first cars began reaching customers in the spring.

In September 2014, the first crash of this supercar was reported. According to Yahoo News (9.8.14), a Lamborghini Huracán crashed on the M7 motorway in Hungary.  The car appeared to have veered sharply off the highway, crashed through a guardrail, dropped down a roadside ditch, and caught fire. The fire burnt the car beyond recognition. The fire completely destroyed the exterior shell, leaving a few car parts to help identify the wreckage. Two men from the Czech Republic were in the car at the time of the crash and both were taken to the hospital.  Reportedly, one man suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident.

Police were investigating the cause of the accident, but it looked as if excessive speed was a likely factor in the crash, said Yahoo News.

People, even wealthy people, should drive on the street at legal speeds.  Slowing down and resisting the temptation to speed could decrease the number of accidents and the possibility of injuries to drivers and their passengers.   There are also safety benefits for other divers who share the road with these supercars.

Both occupants of the Lamborghini Huracán survived the accident, a testament to the safety of the vehicle. The chassis of the car is composed of a hybrid combination of aluminum and carbon fiber.  However, luckily this was a one-car accident.  The occupants of a vehicle hit by the Huracán going at high speed may not be so protected, or lucky.

Speeding limits are set to the maximum, and sometimes minimum, speed at which vehicles may legally travel

David Perecman Weighs In on Insurance Coverage Denied to 9/11 Responders with Rare Cancer

Mother Releases Video of Her Son’s Fatal Crash to Raise Awareness of Motorcycle Safety

A British mother released the helmet cam video of her son’s fatal motorcycle crash in an effort to get motorcyclists to slow down and get drivers to think about motorcycles on the road.

The video shows rider David Holmes, 38, traveling at close to 100 mph when he crashes into a car that crosses in front of him. He dies from his injuries but the video he filmed on his helmet camera was recovered intact. The driver of the Renault involved in the accident admitted to police he had not seen the motorcycle as he turned, reported the Dereham Times (9.5.14).

The accident happened in Honingham, England in June 2013.

The video includes an interview with David’s mother, Brenda Holmes.  She admits on the video that her son was speeding and just hopes “that somebody benefits from the warning; that people slow down and take time to look for bikes.”

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said, “The video is shocking and powerful enough to make riders and drivers think about their behaviour on the road.”

Viewers of the video are warned that the content of the video may be disturbing, but the footage does not show any graphic images of David Holmes or the other driver.

Unfortunately, speeding is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012. Another 93,000 motorcyclists were injured.  The riders who died accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities that year. Thirty-four percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had been speeding.

Motorcycles are already more dangerous than other vehicles, and when riders speed motorcycles are even more dangerous. On the road, motorcyclists are more at risk for fatal or serious accidents than drivers of most other vehicles. At high speeds, even small errors

Outrage at Ice Bucket “Prank” on an Autistic Teen

Hate crimes are not a joke.

In Ohio, a number of teens participated in a disturbing “prank” targeting a 15-year-old with autism. The teenage Ohio boy thought he was doing the popular Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS Awareness, but the other teens put human waste and cigarette butts inside the bucket instead.  The group of teens used the boy’s own phone to tape the horrendous act and then they put it up on Instagram, reported the New York Daily News (9.9.14).

In the video, the boy with autism is seen standing in the driveway of a home. He’s wearing only underwear as the bucket of fluid is poured from the roof of a garage.

The incident occurred in Bay Village, Ohio. Bay Village Police Chief Mark Spaetzel said five people involved in the fake Ice Bucket Challenge had been identified.

Since the video was released some advocacy groups across the country, such as the National Autism Association have begun a Twitter Trend with #justiceforautism to remind the public this is more than bullying, this is a hate crime.

The FBI defines a hate crime as ““criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”

The response to this act was strong across the Internet.  “These kids need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. If they are made an example of what not to do to another human being and one with special needs is even more of a reason,” said Examiner.com (9.6.14). A commentator on Cleveland.com wrote: “”I hope these heartless punks get the book thrown at them. In my opinion, they should be charged with a hate crime.”

Potential punishment won’t be known until the police investigation is complete.

The act may not qualify as a hate crime under current Ohio state law which includes hate crimes based on

Gargoyle Falls Off Church, Kills Woman in Chicago

Example of a gargoyle from Paris architecture.

Every year people in the United States are injured, and sometimes killed, by debris that falls from buildings. Objects accelerate as they fall, so even small things can cause serious injury if they fall from a significant height. Old buildings pose a danger when facades, concrete, bricks, or other materials break off and fall to the ground, injuring anyone below.

Recently, pieces of a gargoyle fell off a historic Chicago church and killed a mother-of-two who was walking along the street. According to the Chicago Tribune (9.5.14), a piece of decorative metal on the exterior of the Second Presbyterian Church gave way and dislodged a chunk of stone from a gargoyle sitting on a corner of one of the building’s towers.  The broken piece fell and struck Sarah Bean, 34, killing her almost instantly.

This tragic accident was likely preventable.  The church failed a string of inspections between 2007 and 2011 for violations including failing to remove obstruction from building exits and failing to maintain an interior stairway system in safe condition, the Chicago Tribune said. A citation record from February 2010 said: “All of the building’s outside walls had “fractures, washed out mortar at various locations, spalling (flaking) stone at various locations at (north, south, east and west) tower elevations.”

The Chicago Tribune reported that the church building failed an inspection in 2011for code violations that included failing to maintain exterior walls. The latter case was dismissed after repairs were made.

The building passed inspections in 2012 and 2013, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Protective scaffolding was erected around the church to prevent any more incidents. Police and city officials were investigating the fatal accident.

The Gothic revival church is one of the Chicago’s oldest and a national historic landmark. The church was built in 1873, two years after the Great Chicago Fire.

The majority of the traumatic injuries and deaths that result

Actress Molly Glynn Killed by Falling Tree During a Bike Ride

Molly Glynn, a Chicago theater actress who also played a recurring role on the TV series “Chicago Fire,” died in Evanston, Ill., after being struck by a tree that was toppled in a powerful storm.

Glynn, 46, was fatally injured as she and her husband were going for an afternoon ride on their bicycles on the Forest Preserve Trail in Erickson Woods. While riding, they were caught in a fast moving storm. A tree was uprooted by the wind and crashed into her and her bike, reported the New York Daily News (9.7.14).

“It was a freak accident and a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said family friend David Rice, as reported on MSN News (9.8.14).

Large trees can cause catastrophic injuries or even death. At issue in cases similar to this is whether the Forest Service has a responsibility to ensure that sites where people regularly go are adequately protected from a potentially dangerous tree.

In New York City, a number of tree lawsuits have been filed against the City and its Parks Department after tree branches or limbs caused injury or death.

Just a few tree related accidents that have occurred in New York include:

In July 2009 a 100-pound tree branch in Central Park fell from an oak tree, striking a 37-year-old Google engineer in the head. The victim suffered a fractured skull and spinal cord injuries.

In June 2010, a six-month-old baby was killed in her mother’s arms when a branch fell from an overhanging tree near the Central Park Zoo.

In August 2013, a woman sitting on a bench was killed when a giant tree came crashing down in Kissena Park in Flushing, Queens. Another woman was also injured when the tree fell.

A personal injury caused by a fallen tree is often preventable. Whether a fallen tree lawsuit can be filed and-or who the potential at-fault parties are

David Perecman Weighs in on Fatal Crash Caused by North Dakota Driver Using Facebook While Driving

A North Dakota woman was so distracted by Facebook photos on her cell phone that she rear-ended a SUV and killed Phyllis Gordon, 89. The North Dakota Highway Patrol determined that Abby Sletten, 20, was traveling at approximately 85 mph at the time of the accident and found no evidence that she had tried to brake.

Gordon was riding in the front seat of the SUV driven by her granddaughter, 34.  The granddaughter had slowed to make an unauthorized U-turn across the median.  Sletten’s SUV then crashed into their vehicle, killing Gordon and injuring her granddaughter and a great-granddaughter, reported USAToday (9.5.14).

The accident occurred in late May, 2014 on Interstate 29, between Fargo and Grand Forks, USAToday reported. Investigators also determined that Sletten had “sent and received several text messages since she departed from Fargo.”

The distracted driving accident in North Dakota occurred less than a week after another woman who was texting while driving hit a pole that went through her car and pierced her thigh and buttocks.  Distracted driver Christina Jahnz said she was going 20 mph and “looked down for only a split second,” reported USAToday (9.1.14).

“Distracted driving endangers lives and these types of injuries and property damage is unacceptable,” said Attorney at Law David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm.

The consequences of distracted driving can be devastating.  Accidents caused by drivers distracted by any another activity that takes their attention away from driving are preventable. Drivers must always exercise “reasonable care” while operating a vehicle.  If a driver is proven to have been texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, or otherwise acting negligently before an auto accident, the plaintiff may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and punitive damages.  Distracted driving may also result in criminal charges.

Types of distractions include eating, putting on makeup, reading, watching a video, texting, using a phone, and using