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Katter Law Firm NYC Personal Injury Blog

Monday, September 30, 2013

3 Things Injured Big Apple Visitors Should Know

Are you or your friends, family, colleagues, among the approximately 50.9 million visitors that come to New York City every year for business or pleasure? Here are 3 things you and/or your visitors should know in case you are involved in an accident.

1. New York State law protects visitors.

New York City’s businesses, recreational facilities, and cultural sites attract millions of visitors for work and fun. People travel from all over the United States and foreign countries to spend their time here. Unfortunately some visitors are injured due to the carelessness of others.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 26, 2013

5 Tips That May Save a Life!

In April, the parents of a 22 year-old college student, who was killed, as a result of his texting and driving, released his final text. Despite his spotless driving record, he lost control of the car, swerved to avoid oncoming traffic, and drove off an embankment to his death. His all important last text?Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw"

 

Texting while driving is an alarming trend, and a national epidemic. It’s quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can safely text and drive, but the numbers don’t lie.

 

Texting While Driving Causes:

1. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

2. 330,000 injuries per year (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study)

3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts)


Read more . . .


Friday, August 9, 2013

I’ve Tripped and Fallen and Can’t Get Up...Do I Have a Case?

Most times, when someone is injured, it is usually not due to bad luck or their being careless, but because someone else has failed to eliminate a hazard or actually caused a dangerous situation themselves. So, if you’ve been hurt, how do you know whether you have a legal claim?

You must be injured--not almost injured.

First and foremost, you have to suffer an injury in order to have a legal claim. A close call with your not being hurt or merely experiencing the fear of your being hurt, in itself, isn’t enough to bring a legal claim.


Read more . . .


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Who’s at Fault with No-Fault? Part 2

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, the no-fault benefit pays for immediate medical care and lost wages for car injury victims, regardless of fault. However, while no-fault covers payment for those charges, it does not pay expenses for future medical expenses, lost wages, or for your disabilities or for pain and suffering. To recover money for these types of losses, you must start a lawsuit against the owner of the vehicle that caused your injury. However, your right to bring a lawsuit against the driver that caused your injuries can be severely limited, unless your injuries meet what’s called the no-fault law’s “serious injury” threshold. That threshold is injury specific, under the law, and is often a challenge to prove in court.


Read more . . .


Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer and New York Citi Bikers are here...Beware!

Now that summer’s here, it seems like there are more bikes on New York City’s streets than cabs. As you may know, the Big Apple has become more bike friendly. This may be due to the recent rollout of New York’s Citi Bike, the eagerly anticipated city bike-share program.

There are thousands of bikes now available for the public to ride. While New York City residents are certainly encouraged to participate, the program envisions that tourists and NYC visitors will be riding them even more. Mayor Bloomberg has installed bike lanes, dedicated to bikes only, and has even closed certain streets to cars to encourage safe bike riding all over the City.


Read more . . .


Monday, June 17, 2013

Who’s at Fault with No-Fault? - Part 1

What exactly is “no-fault”? In New York State, it is a law that makes sure anyone injured in a car accident has insurance coverage to pay their resulting medical bills and lost wages, no matter who is at fault. There is no need to show who is at fault before the insurance company pays.

 

New York requires every car owner to buy car insurance that includes no-fault benefits. That way anyone injured in a crash has an immediate right to the no-fault benefit--even passengers who don’t own cars or pedestrians who are injured (no-fault benefits are not available to motorcycle operators or their passengers).


Read more . . .


Friday, February 3, 2012

Nursing Home Residents Face Higher Risks From Surgery

Risk of Death from Surgery Much Higher for Nursing Home Residents

As if nursing home residents and their families didn’t already have enough difficult choices, a recent study raises yet another health care dilemma for them.  A study of Medicare patients, who resided in nursing homes, concluded that they had a much higher rate of death and complications following abdominal surgery, compared with Medicare patients who lived outside nursing facilities. The risks were as much as six times as great for certain procedures. The writer who summarized the study in the New York Times Blog, “The New Old Age,” , suggested that when surgery is recommended for a nursing home resident, that the resident and their families make a concerted effort to see whether alternative treatments are available. Although surgery may often be the “gold standard” treatment for many illnesses, the substantial risks of surgery may warrant non-surgical treatments for nursing home patients.    

 

 


Friday, November 11, 2011

Four things NOT to do after a car accident

What Not to Do After a Car Accident

There are many potential missteps after you have been involved in an auto accident. In the minutes, hours and days following a car wreck, it can be difficult to think clearly or to take note of important factors involving liability and compensation. Even if your injuries are minor and your vehicle is not damaged, you should follow these guidelines to protect yourself and preserve your right to compensation for your injuries, vehicle damage or lost income. Often times, your damages are more serious than they appear at first glance.

Don’t Apologize
Even if you think you are clearly at fault for the accident, don’t accept blame or apologize to anyone. The police and insurance adjusters will investigate the collision and determine where the fault lies. If it lies with you, you will most certainly be notified. But affirming your guilt before all the facts are discovered can only serve to undermine your personal injury claim or a potential defense if you are on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

Don’t Compare Notes
Avoid rehashing the accident with the other involved parties. You do not want to inadvertently admit fault for the accident, or make other statements that undermine a future legal claim. Additionally, swapping stories can cause confusion in your own mind regarding what happened immediately before and during the collision. Of course, you should give your statement to the police, if applicable. But further communications regarding the accident, your injuries, damage to your vehicle, or associated expenses for medical treatment or car repairs should be limited to your attorney.

Don’t Get into a Dispute with Other Drivers or Passengers
Tempers can sometimes flare. People may be hurt, property may be damaged. Nobody is getting to their destination, and everyone may be concerned regarding various obligations and future travel arrangements. If other parties become upset, agitated or violent, you should simply walk away. By refusing to engage in emotional dialogue – or worse, a physical confrontation – you avoid turning a routine fender bender into a major altercation which can result in its own legal ramifications.

Don’t Call the Insurance Company
If you think there is any reason why the insurance company may dispute your claim, you should speak with an attorney first. The attorney can advise you regarding what to say – and what not to say – to the insurance adjuster, or can communicate with the adjuster on your behalf. Insurance companies train their adjusters to ask specific questions designed to make your case look as weak as possible. Your insurance company should help you when you’ve been involved in an accident – that’s part of what you pay for – but ultimately the bottom line is of primary importance. The insurance business is far more profitable when the insurance companies do not have to pay out claims.
 

 

 


Monday, March 21, 2011

Your Legal Rights Are at Risk

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET ASSAULTS NEW YORKERS’ MEDICAL MALPRACTICE RIGHTS

A little noticed proposal in Governor Cuomo’s draft Budget (Proposal No. 131) would severely limit the rights of patients injured by medical error across New York and would endanger their safety. It would cap non-economic damages (legal awards for pain and suffering) in med. mal. cases at $250,000.

Proposal No. 131 would eviscerate fundamental rights of medical malpractice victims, even though it was prepared with no public discussion in a flawed process. It was drafted by hospital industry executives without input from any advocates for the civil justice system and few, if any, proponents of patient rights. It would deny due process and equal access to justice –vital legal rights– to all New Yorkers.

The $250,000 cap is completely arbitrary, has no basis in fact, and has no connection whatsoever to the size of a patient’s injury or how an injury affects their quality of life. It discriminates against the most vulnerable members of our society – injured women, children, the elderly the disabled, the poor and minorities. Since individuals in these groups often earn less money than other injured patients, their injuries are more likely to include non-economic damages. Generally they would have the most difficulty proving an economic (out-of-pocket) loss. 

A study published in the February 2011 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology showed that when a hospital focused on patient safety it eliminated all avoidable deaths and injuries and reduced malpractice payments by 90%. Proposal No. 131’s Draconian damages cap would increase medical costs by eliminating incentives that encourage doctors and hospitals to emphasize patient safety.

 I am proud that as Tort Section Chair, I assisted in having the New York County Lawyers' Association join with the NY State Bar in opposing this harmful measure. Click here to read the press release.

 Please follow click here for an easy way to write to your legislators to ask them to oppose this dangerous proposal.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brrrr…It’s Slippery Outside!: Who's Legally Responsible for Injuries from Slips and Falls on Icy Walkways?

New York’s recent snow storms and frozen temperatures have forced many of us to experience the hazards of walking on slick snow and ice covered sidewalks and steps. Unfortunately, too many of us have slipped and fallen on the frozen ground. 

Slips and falls on frozen surfaces often result in serious, disabling injuries, with broken wrists and ankles high on the list.   
If you’ve been hurt due to a fall on an icy walkway, what are your rights?

Generally, in New York City, a property owner is required to remove snow or ice from a sidewalk on or  abutting its property and make the sidewalk safe for pedestrians after a snow or ice storm has ended (of course, there are exceptions). If someone is injured as a result of the owner’s failure to clear the sidewalk, as legally required, the owner is required to pay money to the injured person. The measure of money damages may include payments to compensate the injured person for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.    

If you were injured after a trip and fall on a slippery, frozen, surface, an experienced personal injury attorney can help to evaluate the facts to determine whether you have a case. Here are some important questions that will be considered:   

  1. Did you slip and fall on snow or ice that remained on a sidewalk or step, after a previous storm?
  2. Did you suffer an injury as a result of that fall?
  3. Did the property owner fail to remove snow and ice and make the sidewalk safe, as the law requires?

Let's hope that the groundhog's forecast of an early spring is right.  Until then, please exercise caution while walking outside. If you do fall on snow or ice, know your rights. Call my office at 888-LAW-HELP (888-529-4357), if you have any questions.


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