Slips and Falls

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Each Time a Senior Suffers a Fall, It’s Harder & Harder to Get Back Up

{Read this article in 2.5 minutes}

A fall can really keep an active person down.

Six months ago, my good friend fell in her house and broke her hip. Although she’s in her 80s, until then she had been active, independent and really enjoyed travelling to visit friends and relatives. She slowly recovered from her injury, but even after she finished a course of physical rehabilitation, she was worried about having a second fall. As a result, she now limits her activities to staying close to home and visiting her doctors. She rarely travels for fun. Her fall has prematurely restricted her vigorous lifestyle and drawn her world closer than ever.

A recent Center for Disease Control report finds that the increasing rate of injuries and fatalities from falls for Americans over the age of 65, is itself a major health concern.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Anyone Who Trips, Slips or Falls, at 30,000 Feet: The Law Is on Your Side

Injured airline passengers can use an international treaty, known as the Montreal Convention, to seek money damages from airlines for in-flight injuries.

Unlike the burden to prove fault in many personal injury claims, once an injured airline passenger proves that they were hurt in an “accident” on an airplane or at an airline’s facility, the burden shifts to the airline to prove that it was not at fault.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The New Type of ER: “Exceptional Rooms” for Seniors

Appropriate emergency room care for seniors is a topic of critical concern. A recent New York Times article, Emergency Rooms Are No Place for the Elderly, discusses the challenges emergency care providers have balancing the extra care and attention older patients require with the need for speedy diagnosis and treatment.

Many seniors suffer from multiple, chronic medical conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. If these conditions are not treated regularly, serious and even life-threatening complications can occur. Unfortunately, too often, people put their health care on the the “back burner,” and otherwise treatable illnesses become too disabling to ignore. As a result, a hospital visit for emergency treatment may be necessary.

Read more . . .

Friday, March 21, 2014

For Careless Property Owners, No Notice May Be Good News

If you’ve been injured from a fall on a property defect, and want to bring a legal claim, the owner must have had known about the defect, before you fell.

It’s a common, but false assumption, that just because you’re injured on someone else’s poorly maintained property, you automatically have the right to sue them for causing your injuries. Instead, the law requires that in order to hold an owner responsible for your injuries, they must have either known or should have known about the danger that resulted in your being harmed. The legal term for this knowledge is notice.

Read more . . .

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Have You Been Injured on a Frozen Sidewalk this Winter? The Law May Provide Relief

With this winter’s heavy snow and extreme cold, slippery sidewalks are still a major safety concern for pedestrians.

After a snowfall, New York City law requires property owners to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks. If the property owners fail to do so within a certain period of time, injured parties may bring legal claims against the owners to recover damages - including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Read more . . .

Monday, January 27, 2014

Been Injured? The Legal Clock for Starting a Claim is Ticking. Don’t Delay!

“Last winter, I fell on an icy walkway in front of my apartment building and broke my elbow. Can I still file a claim against my landlord?”

“My mother’s in a nursing home and her hip was broken when she was transferred from her bed to a chair in 2010? Can she sue?”

“I haven’t been able to work since June when a garbage truck knocked me down in a crosswalk and I hurt both my knees. How much time do I have to sue?”

These are the types of questions people ask me when they think about starting a personal injury claim. One of the first things I have to determine is whether the legal deadline to bring a claim has passed. Once the deadline passes, all legal claims that might have been started are barred (prohibited) forever.

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 . . .

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, March 21, 2011

Your Legal Rights Are at Risk


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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