New York, NY Personal Injury Blog
President Obama signed an executive order on July 21, 2014 expanding the protections for federal workers from workplace discrimination based on gender identity, reported CNN News (7.21.14). Attorney at Law applauds the Obama Administration for its support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual people.
“This executive order marks another significant step towards equal rights for all workers,” said Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm and a civil rights violation lawyer for over 30 years. “President Obama is to be commended for his commitment to full equality for the LGBT community.”
The federal government has banned discrimination against gays and lesbians in federal employment since President Bill Clinton. Obama’s action expanded that protection to people whose gender identity and-or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth, including transsexuals, said CNN.
The order also bars businesses that receive federal contracts from engaging in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, reported CNN.
The executive order notably did not include new exemptions for religious organizations, CNN said.
Race, religion, gender and nationality are protected from discrimination in federal contractor hiring practices, in addition to sexual orientation and gender identity.
“All workers in America should be judged on the same terms, meaning on the basis of their experience, education, credentials and performance,” said Perecman.
For more than 30 years, the civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm in New York have aggressively helped victims of workplace discrimination and other employee rights violations in New York. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.
The CNN News story cited is “Obama bars federal contractors from LGBT discrimination.”
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 many workplace discrimination cases. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his
A British tourist was hospitalized after losing the fingertips on his right hand while riding on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney World in Florida. The man was treated at a local hospital after the ring and pinky fingers of his right hand were sliced.
The cause of the Thursday, July 10 incident was reported to be unclear and the ride opened after a brief shutdown. An inspection after the accident found nothing to be wrong with the ride said EOnline (7.11.14).
The Orlando Sentinel (7.11.14) said that the man had his hand outside of the boat at the time of the accident.
During the first few minutes of the ride, a verbal safety message is played warning guests to “keep your ruddy hands inboard.” There are also signs posted near where guests board the ride. Those say “For your safety remain seated with hand, arms, feet and legs inside vehicle.”
Often theme park accidents happen because people refuse to follow specific ride safety instructions, or deliberately break park rules. These rules are not there to diminish fun, but to keep people safe.
Of course, amusement park accidents may happen due to negligence on the part of the park, either by the ride operator or by maintenance. Additional causes for amusement park ride accidents include inappropriate supervision, defective design, mechanical failure, and missing or broken safety equipment. These accidents can result in serious injury or death to amusement park visitors or park workers.
According to the 2011 Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey* prepared for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), approximately 297 million guests visit amusement parks each year in the United States and take 1.7 billion safe rides. In 2011, an estimated 1204 people suffered ride-related injuries and 383 people died on rides. About 59 percent of the injuries occurred on family and adult rides, nearly 28 percent occurred on rollercoasters, and approximately
Most personal injury lawyers do not charge by the hour. Instead, they charge a contingency fee. In a contingency fee arrangement, a lawyer’s fees will be deducted from any settlements or judgments awarded in the cases that they accept. Most contingency fees are a percentage of the money the lawyer recovers for the client. This percentage can vary and some lawyers offer a sliding scale based on how far along the case is when it is settled. The typical contingency fee range is between 33 and 40%. This means that clients usually do not have to give the attorney money up front (a retainer fee) in order to hire the attorney. When personal injury lawyers lose a case for their client, they usually receive nothing.
Contingency fees are most likely charged in personal injury cases, accidental claims, property damage cases, or other cases where a large amount of money is in contention.
Most personal injury lawyers will deduct any expenses that were covered by the lawyer.
New York’s rules of professional conduct do not say how much a lawyer should charge for a case. The rules only say that a fee must not be excessive.
Rule 1.5(a) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct provides that a lawyer should not “make an agreement for, charge, or collect an excessive or illegal fee or expense.” A fee is considered excessive when a “reasonable” lawyer would consider it excessive after reviewing the facts. Rule 1.5(a) identifies eight factors to assess the reasonableness of the fee.The time and labor involved. This would take into consideration the “novelty and difficulty or questions involved” and the skill needed to properly perform the legal service. The likelihood that the acceptance of the job will preclude other employment by the lawyer. The typical fee charged for similar legal services in the same area. The amount involved and the results obtained The time limitations imposed
A worker at Asphalt Green suffered cuts and bruises after a piece of construction equipment became dislodged and flew through a fourth-floor window and shattered glass. The construction was taking place at the East 91st Marine Transfer Station nearby.
Capital New York (7.11.14) reported that the contractor on the project acknowledged that the accident was caused by “lax safety protocols.” The workers involved in the accident were blamed for taking a “shortcut instead of doing what they were instructed to do” and then “permanently” banned them from the site.
Construction stopped while the city investigated the accident.
Speed of construction can be the foe of safety. Many accidents occur when workers take shortcuts to cut costs or to meet deadlines, especially after weather or supplies cause an unwanted delay to a project.
Shortcuts taken during construction can lead to disaster for workers, for people around construction sites and even for the projects themselves. Taking shortcuts can result in a structure getting built in the wrong sequence, or a worker getting hurt after removing safety guards to save a few seconds. Shortcuts can cause long-term injuries.
Construction as a job is dangerous enough. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 4175 workers died in private industry in 2012. Of that number, 806 or 19.3% were in construction.
The incident occurred at the Asphalt Green Aqua Center on York Avenue at 91st Street.
The accident renewed fears among Asphalt Green officials over the dangers of the construction, as well as the eventual traffic that will flow directly next to the facility and its soccer field.
A piece of construction equipment from a city construction site on the Upper East Side flew up and crashed through a window of the Asphalt Green recreation center, injuring a woman who was exercising. According to CBS News (7.9.14), two construction workers were trying to lift a manhole cover using jack hammer chisels at the time of the accident. The incident was recorded on video.
Robin Cocking, the injured Asphalt Green employee, suffered minor cuts and bruises from the shattered glass, reported CBS News.
The construction was being done on a ramp leading to the Marine Transfer Station project, said CBS News. The accident added to the controversy over the construction of a garbage transfer station next to the center.
A number of local residents and officials have protested the location of the transfer station saying it will endanger children who use the sports and fitness complex. One main concern, said Attorney at Law David Perecman, is the truck ramp which leads to the station. It will cut through the fitness facility, between the recreational center and a soccer field.
“Concerns about safety are valid and necessary. We can never lose sight of the need to put the safety of children first, and building a truck ramp where children play is worrying,” said Perecman.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2012. More than one-fifth of the traffic deaths in the 14-and-younger age group were pedestrians. In the same year, an estimated 76,000 pedestrians were injured and 11,000 of them were 14 and younger.
“Drivers are going to have to be extremely careful to ensure that the safety of all pedestrians near the center is their number one concern,” added Perecman.
The incident occurred at the Asphalt Green Aqua Center on York Avenue at 91st Street.
The New York City Department of Design and Construction
When someone has been seriously injured, selecting the right personal injury lawyer is critical to a successful outcome. Medical bills and lost pay may accrue, and who is chosen to advocate for the well-being of a family from the very beginning of a claim is important. Hiring the best lawyer for a case will give it the best possible chance in court. There are a number of elements to be considered when choosing a lawyer.
1) Seek out a lawyer skilled in personal injury law.
Experienced law firms with a focus is on civil trial litigation and injury cases will have handled injury cases that may include auto accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation cases, and injuries caused by defective products.
2) Find a lawyer with experience. One of a lawyer’s most important assets is experience. Research the trial experience of a lawyer and look for a track record of success. The goal is to create a list of three or four prospective candidates. To find a lawyer with experience:
Check Biographical information, including whatever can be found on web sites for lawyers and law firms.
Ask for referrals. Referrals are a good source of information if the people who are asked are trusted and have experience in claims Check with family, friends, colleagues, and even lawyers used in the past. Another option is to use the referral service of a local bar association or respected legal organization.
Use search engines to find any articles, FAQ’s or other informational pieces the lawyer has done that provide a level of comfort.
Check which professional associations the lawyer is a member of.
Check with the state bar association to find out if the lawyer is in good standing.
Search online archives for any publicity about the lawyer or the cases that he or she has handled. Information on the lawyer’s large-settlement personal injury cases may appear.
Wrongful death lawsuits may occur as a result of auto accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, product liability and much more. The damages that can be compensated in a New York wrongful death lawsuit include medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, funeral costs and loss of inheritance.
Compensation can also include the reasonable value of earnings lost between the time of an initial injury to the deceased and the time of death. If a spouse remarries, this will not reduce the award. Children of the deceased may receive additional compensation for the loss of parental nurturing, guidance and education (New York City Bar).
There may also be damages available to those in the “zone of danger” of an accident. For example, if a family member is in the car accident that causes the death of a close relative, even if the survivor is not physically injured.
Lawyers experienced with wrongful death cases are often able to negotiate a settlement before wrongful death cases reach the trial level. Most wrongful death cases are settled out of court.
Each state has different laws surrounding the distribution of a settlement. In New York, damages that address pecuniary loss (financial loss) are distributed to immediate family members. Pecuniary loss is defined by NY Code – Part 4: Rights of Members of Family Resulting from Wrongful Act, Neglect or Default Causing Death of Decedent.
Damages are distributed to those eligible to recover under intestate law, in proportion to their financial loss, except that when there is a surviving spouse and parents, but no children or grandchildren, the parents will also recover in proportion to their pecuniary loss. (N.Y. Estate Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.4)
A surviving spouse and small children who were financially dependent on the deceased person will get a larger share than adult children who were financially independent.
The priority for the distribution of proceeds from a wrongful
Workers’ compensation laws protect people who are injured on the job. These laws are designed to ensure that employees who are injured or disabled on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. These laws also provide benefits for dependents of workers who are killed in work-related accidents or by work-related illnesses or diseases. There are, however, statutory limits on reporting and filing a claim, and there may be monetary limits on the workers’ comp benefits. The limits vary depending on the type of benefits.
In New York, an injured worker must notify his or her supervisor about the injury and the way in which it occurred in writing. This should be done as soon as possible. However, it MUST be done within 30 days after the date of the accident causing the injury. If the worker does not report the injury within 30 days he or she may lose the right to workers’ compensation benefits. In the case of occupational disease, notification should be given within two years after disablement, or within two years after the claimant knew or should have known that the disease was work-related, whichever is later.
There is also a statute of limitations on how long an injured worker can wait to file a claim with the workers’ compensation agency In the case of occupational disease, a claim must be filed with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board within two years after the injury or being disabled, or within two years after the worker knew or should have known that the occupational disease was due to the nature of the employment, whichever is later.
Time limits are different for claims filed for job-related hearing loss, as codified by New York Workers’ Compensation – Article 3-A Occupational Loss of Hearing. In the event of hearing loss due to occupational hazards, a worker must wait 90 days before he or she can file a claim. The
The Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) of the New York State Department of Health is responsible for investigating all complaints of misconduct against physicians, physician assistants and hospitals.The OPMC is also responsible for coordinating disciplinary hearings that may result from an investigation.
If a patient believes that a physician, physician assistant, specialist assistant, or hospital has acted improperly, he or she must file a written report. It is acceptable to mail a letter or send in a completed complaint form. The complaint form can be found at www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/opmc/main.htm. The complaint should include the full name and address of the licensee, when the problems occurred and all other relevant information. Send complaints to: New York State Department of Health, Office of Professional Medical Conduct, 433 River Street, Suite 1000, Troy, New York 12180- 2299. For a complaint form by mail or answers to questions, call OPMC’s toll- free number, 1- 800- 663- 6114.
Complaints about negligent care from other healthcare professionals, including dentists, nurses, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists and physical or occupational therapists, are the responsibility of the State Education Department. Complaints can be filed by contacting one of the regional offices of the Office of Professional Disciplines. The complaint hotline is 1-800-442-8106. Information about filing complaints and a complaint form to download can be found at http://www.op.nysed.gov/opd/complain.htm.
Medical jargon or a medical opinion is not needed to file a complaint. It is typically understood that the patients reporting medical mistakes are not doctors.
A charge of medical misconduct is serious and investigations are complex. It may take months to resolve complaints and issues that go to hearing typically take longer.
If the investigation substantiates the allegations of medical misconduct, the Department of Health or the Department of Education will issue a formal document that lists the deficiencies and preventable medical errors.
In terms of a dollar amount there is no such thing as an average personal injury settlement. Auto accidents differ and “reasonable” settlements depend on the unique facts of each case.
A personal injury settlement takes place when the person being sued (the defendant) agrees to pay the person suing (the plaintiff) money to end the case before it goes to court. Most personal injury cases end with a settlement.
Typically, settlements are determined by comparing the facts of the case with similar cases and by looking at what juries have awarded in the past. Then, unique circumstances of the current case get factored in.
An injured person is entitled to reimbursement from the person responsible for an accident for medical costs, repair expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering stemming from the accident.
Factors that are beneficial in a settlement include clear liability, clear injuries, no prior injuries or pre-existing conditions, and medical treatment with reasonable costs. Complicating factors include unclear liability or injuries, degenerative or congenital medical conditions, prior injuries, complicated medical issues that were a result of the car accident, and permanent pain caused by the accident.
An insurance company values claims by first looking to the types and amounts of damages suffered and then to percentage of fault. The contribution of each person/driver, if any, to the accident will figure in to the total settlement award. If the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident, the settlement may be lowered by a percentage that reflects that driver’s responsibility for the accident. If the other driver was completely at fault for the accident and his or her level of responsibility is not in dispute, the settlement will typically be 100% of all damages and any lost income that is negotiated.
New York is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, meaning a plaintiff must prove what percentage of the fault was the defendant’s versus what percentage was the plaintiff’s