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When we think about accidents involving cars and pedestrians, we initially assume that the driver of the vehicle is most likely at fault. Although the pedestrian typically has the right of way, the pedestrian can actually be to blame in a pedestrian-car accident.

Pedestrian-car accident cases often hinge on the duty of care owed by those involved. Both motorists and pedestrians need to follow the rules of the road and exercise a reasonable duty of care. The care required for pedestrians needs to be proportionate to the danger to be avoided and reasonably anticipated consequences.

Several common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence include:

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Rides haring services, including Uber and Lyft, increase in popularity around the holidays, especially after parties or celebrations where alcohol was consumed. Riders may not be thinking about the safety of the vehicle the yare getting into, but they should be. Recent recalls have affected millions of vehicles in the U.S., but studies show that only about a quarter of the affected cars actually receive the necessary repairs. This means that your chances of getting into a recalled vehicle may be high.

Uber claims that they advise drivers to stay up-to-date on any recalls for their particular vehicle, but some drivers say they have never received any specific recall-related information from Uber. There also isn’t enough follow up, which can allow drivers to avoid turning their car in for repairs, and losing a source of income while they wait to get thei rvehicle back.

Except for the owner of the vehicle, it can be impossible to tell if the car has been maintained and had any necessary repairs made to ensure the safety of its passengers. There are other companies that are pushing to ensure that ride share vehicles are kept safe. Recall Masters is a San Francisco based company that helps fleet owners keep their cars up-to-dateon mandated repairs. According to Recall Masters President Chris Miller,the responsibility for fixing cars should fall on the drivers, as well as the ride share service company as well. Chris Miller also runs MotorSafety.org,which allows users to scan or enter the VIN number of a car to receive information about recalls. While it may be awkward to ask for this information or scan the VIN on the door frame of the car, doing so can allow you to make an informed decision.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Winter in New York means snow and ice, which can result in slip and fall accidents. These type of accidents occur at a higher rate during the winter season, but it can somewhat difficult to determine liability in these type of cases.

New York premises liability laws state that property owners and manager are legally obligated to uphold a reasonable duty of care to keep their property safe by reducing the risk of slip and fall accidents on their property. If a person suffers an injury on the property due to a preventable hazardous condition, such as failure to remove snow and ice from walkways,the property owner can be deemed negligent and be held liable for damages.

Keep in mind, winter slip and fall accidents can occur in various places. Location matter when determining liability.

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Falls constitute a large portion of workplace accidents and often result in lost productivity, lost wages, and lasting physical harm to the employees involved. They can result from wet floors, unkempt walkways, inadequate flooring, or any other inadequate structuring, cleanliness, or maintenance of areas intended for foot traffic. While they are common in the construction industry, they can happen in any place of work if conditions are not held to a high standard of cleanliness, organization, and overall safety.

Best Practices for Avoiding Workplace Injuries

While the possibility of a serious, life-changing workplace injury maybe daunting, such accidents are entirely avoidable. Workers in any industry can participate in keeping their environment safe by making an active commitment to good housekeeping in the workplace. Establishing the importance of deliberate maintenance often begins with those in leadership, but keeping the workplace safe requires the participation of employees at every level and can virtually eliminate the possibility of serious injury.

In order to prevent slips, trips, and falls in the workplace, the first step is to ensure that walkways are clear of clutter. This can be done through simple attention and initiative to do things like:

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Many occupations require employees to be on the road. From travelling salesmen to truck drivers, millions of people are required by their employers to travel and be accessible. When accessibility interferes with driving,accidents can happen and, when they do, it can create questions of who is at fault. Is it the employee or the employer?

In most cases, if a person is driving for work, becomes distracted, and causes an accident, the employer can be held liable. This includes circumstances in which accidents are caused when an employee is:

  • Texting, video chatting, or otherwise talking on the phone (Employers can be held liable even if the driver’s text or phone conversation was not work-related.)
  • Eating
  • Grooming or putting on makeup
  • Driving at especially late or early hours or drove for a significant amount of time after work

It may seem odd that an employer could be held liable for such behaviors,but the law requires all businesses and business owners to provide propersafety training and make sure their employees follow all laws and regulations,to which traffic laws are no exception. In any of the above circumstances,an employer could be held liable for counts of negligent supervision.However, an employer could also be charged with vicarious liability, whichoccurs when an employee is involved in a car accident as a result of work-related distractions. Negligent supervision and vicarious liability are the two primary legal pathways to holding an employer liable in a car accident caused by an employee.

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Doctors often prescribe opioid pain medications to alleviate patients’discomfort after an injury, surgery, or procedure. These medications are highly addictive and many patients have difficulty weaning themselves off these powerful drugs without outside assistance. For many patients who struggle with continued opioid use, it begins with a prescription,develops into a life-altering drug problem, and ultimately leads to death.In such cases the prescribing doctor(s) could be held liable for medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Building a Case for Negligence and Medical Malpractice

In order to successfully sue for the wrongful death of a loved one, you will have to prove that the opioid addiction and corresponding death resultedfrom medical malpractice. In other words, the court will require evidence that the prescribing doctor failed to demonstrate appropriate care for the patient, provided inappropriate or inadequate treatment, and that their negligence caused your loved one’s death.

The difficulty of proving negligence depends on the circumstances. If the person for whom a physician prescribes opioid pain medication is a recovering drug addict and does not disclose this information, the doctor is less likely to be considered negligent. However, if the doctor knew that thepatient was a current or recovering drug addict and prescribe opioids anyway, this is much more likely to be considered negligence. Medical malpractice could also be proven in cases in which the treatment was disproportion at the medical issue at hand.

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With the cold, winter months approaching, the days are getting shorter.When the sun comes up later and sets earlier, normal driving hours are growing progressively darker and more dangerous. According to the National Safety Council research, drivers’ risk of being involved in a deadly car crash triples when driving at night. That increased risk isn’tjust a matter of your own decreased capacity to safely operate a vehicle in dimly lit conditions, it’s a matter of getting on the road with other drivers who will be as impaired as you are, if not more. The top reasons for driver impairment at night include:

  • Fatigue: Lack on sunlight causes the body’s melatonin levels to rise, there by signaling the brain that it is time to sleep. Regardless of a driver’susual bedtime, darkness still creates a level of lethargy and tiredness that slows reaction time and puts drivers at risk of nodding off at the wheel.
  • Impaired Vision: Even if your eyesight is 20/20, your ability to see clearly is diminished in the dark. Vision also tends to dwindle as people age, but this doesn’t mean that only senior citizens are at risk of accidents while driving in the dark. All drivers are at an ever-increasing risk of nighttime car accidents as they age, which is why drivers of any age should have regular checkups with an optometrist to receive updated prescriptions for contacts and glasses.
  • Drunk Driving: This one has more to do with the time of day than the level of light, but the darkness certainly doesn’t help. Even if you are not driving drunk or driving while buzzed, there are people on the road who are, and your ability to identify and avoid a drunk driver is diminished in the dark.You can avoid deadly nighttime accidents involving drunk drivers by reducing your speed and maintaining greater distance between your vehicle and others’when driving at night.

Changing your schedule to avoid driving in the dark is probably not an option. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk and protect yourself from being another casualty of a deadly, nighttime accident or experiencing a serious injury. Make sure you are able to see properly on the road by checking and cleaning your headlights, wearing non-reflective glasses, maintaining clean windows and mirrors, and driving at a decreased speed.

If you have been involved in a nighttime car accident and have suffered significant personal harm, legal action could be thebest way forward. Our Greenwich personal injury lawyers at Ivey Barnum& O’Mara, LLC are ready and willing to be your advocates in court and help you obtain appropriate compensation. We are committed to helping you move forward.

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Motorcycle accidents, although not necessarily more frequent compared to other types of accidents, are more likely to result in serious injury or death. Unfortunately,collisions involving motorcycles and other vehicles account for 56 percent of motorcycle accident fatalities, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The most common types of motorcycle-vehicle crashes include head-on collisions,cars making left-hand turns, motorcycle lane splitting, and even driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Due to the alarming statistics,it is imperative for drivers of passenger vehicles to do whatever it takes to avoid these type of accidents.

Many of these solutions will be familiar since they involve the same type of safe driving techniques which should be used every time you operate your vehicle. However, the increased vulnerability of motorcyclists makes many of these preventative measures even more pertinent in order to help save lives.

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Recent reforms to medical malpractice laws may be putting patients’safety at risk. H.R. 1215, or “Protecting Access to Health Care Act 2017,” was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in June2017. The bill affects those who receive federally subsidized health care,and prevents them from holding medical providers, nursing homes, and pharmaceutical companies accountable for any harm they have caused due to negligence.

Additionally, the bill caps non economic damages at $250,000, while forbidd ingjuries from being informed of this limitation. The bill further outlines that payouts for these cases must be made over a considerable amount of time, rather than as a lump-sum payment. This can affect the ability of patients to pay for their medical debt without accruing further debt.It also can decrease the time individuals have to discover injuries and file a claim.

H.R. 1215 obviously puts companies before patients. Patients who are harmed by negligent medical care may not be able to receive the full compensation they are entitled to for the injury they sustained. Many patient claims can be worth far more than $250,000.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Most states’ laws regarding dog attacks and bites operate under either the strict liability doctrine or the one-bite rule, which does not designate a dog as dangerous until after its first known bite/attack. New York,on the other hand, combines both these rules.

According to New York Agriculture & Markets Code section 123, the owner of a “dangerous dog” is liable if the dog causes injuries to someone else, to livestock, or to another person’s companion animal. A dangerous dog is one that attacks and either injures or kills a person, farm animal, or pet without justification, or behaves in a manner which causes a reasonable individual to believe that the dog poses a “serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death.”

Under this statute, a dog owner is “strictly liable” for all medical expenses resulting from injuries caused by a dangerous dog. So if the dog is found to be dangerous, the dog’s owner must pay theinjured party’s medical bills, even if the dog’s owner had taken reasonable precautions to control or restrain the canine.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Teens are often excited to get their driver’s licenses and learn to drive, despite their parents’ worries. Parents have every right to be worried, however, since young drivers are often at an increased risk for a car accident. Here are some of the top reasons teen drivers get into accidents.

Inexperience

Young drivers haven’t had the years and years of experience on the road that older drivers have had. Even after Driver’s Ed and several driving lessons, teen drivers still have much to learn. Additionally, their reflexes to hazardous situations may not be as practiced as an older driver. Teen drivers also are learning how to react to hazards safely and control their vehicles. Make sure your teen gets regular driving practice,and continue to drive with them after they have their driver’s license to continue building good driving habits.

Distractions

Teen drivers are still developing mentally and emotionally, and they are more prone to distractions. They’re still learning to manage all the information they are takingin while driving, and adding distractions, such as cell phones, the radio, personal grooming, eating, and passengers, can be a recipe for disaster.Encourage your teen to keep both hands on the wheel and wait for all other activities until after they are safely parked. Try to limit the number of people they can take in their car, and ask that they turn off their cell phone while behind the wheel.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Road rage has been a significant problem in New York and the rest of the country. Sometimes these incidents even lead to personal injury or property damage.

When you are a victim of road rage, you may be wondering, “Can I sue the other driver who assaulted me in a road rage incident?” If you are able to identify the individual who assaulted you, you may be able to sue the driver for any persona linjuries or property damage to your vehicle, in addition to possible criminal charges.

In New York, criminal law prohibits varying forms of assault. The most basic charge would be assault in the third degree, then it goes up to assault in the second degree, and finally first-degree assault. Third-degree assault is known as simple assault, which means causing harm to someone else with the intent to do so, no matter how the severity of the injury in question. Harmful or offensive physical contact with the individual or with something near the person would establish liability for assault.Any of these instances below may be considered sufficient grounds for the other diver to be liable for assault.

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During the summertime, waterparks are an effective and fun way to beat the heat. However, they can also leave you with serious injuries.

Whether it is a slip-and-fall accident or a drowning, injuries and illnesses can occur at waterparks. So if you do suffer an injury at a waterpark,who can potentially be to blame?

The following are the common liable parties in waterpark injuries:

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Work Injuries a Leading Cause of Death and Injury in the United States

At Ivey Barnum & O’Mara, we have served more than a few victims of workplace accidents. As a result, we are well-acquainted with the pain and suffering they can cause. That’s why we’re spending thisyear’s National Safety Month honing in on workplace injuries and helping you avoid them.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, thousands of people die in workplace accidents every year. While not every workplace injury results in death, injuries on the job can result in lost production time, lost wages, and long-term physical, emotional,and financial harm to the employee, among other painful consequences.With so much at stake, you can’t afford to take the possibility of a workplace injury lightly. In order to help you keep yourself safe on the job, we’re here to help you better understand what workplace injuries are, how they happen, and how to handle them when they do happen.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

Most people think of work injuries only in the realm of deadly, catastrophic accidents like falling off of a ladder, chopping off a finger, or being run over by a service truck. While these do occur, the most common workplace injuries are varying degrees of cuts, sprained joints, physical pain and soreness. While these may not kill you, they can cause you a lot of suffering in the long run. These can result from any of the following:

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Posted on in Personal Injury

This summer, many people will be opting for long road trips on their vacations.If you plan on taking an extended drive this summer, make sure you’re prepared by taking these safety precautions so that you and your loved ones aren't faced with a serious car accident.

Maintenance Your Car

Upkeep whatever vehicle you will be taking on the road this summer. It’ll be hotter than normal, so you don’t want to be caught on the side of the highway in the heat. Take your car for regular oil changes, battery checks, tune-ups, and tire rotations. Also, ensure you invest in a good roadside assistance service in case your car requires a tow.

Check Your Car for Recalls

One thing your mechanic may not do if you’re not taking it to the dealership is to check for product recalls. However, you can look forany potential problems with your car by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) search tool to enter your vehicleidentification number (VIN). The website will identify any vehicle that has not been repaired as a part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.

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It’s no secret riding motorcycles is one of the most dangerous forms of transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles, based on 2014 crash data. Here are some of the most common reasons bikers get into so many accidents.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is what happens when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars. While in many states, this is illegal,in other states it is a widely recognized as a standard practice. However,accidents can occur because the bike is in such close proximity to cars,which are larger and can cause more damage. Likewise, being in between two cars reduces the space motorcyclists have in which to maneuver. So,if a car starts to change lanes without realizing a bike is next to it,the rider has less room in which to avoid the oncoming car. This is mostly the result of the fact that car driver’s don’t anticipate any vehicle or motorcycle will be passing them in slowed traffic.

Speeding

Speeding on a motorcycle can cause huge problems for the biker, particularly if they experience a sudden obstacle in the road and have no way to maneuver around it. For example, blind corners should always be taken more slowly because bikers can never see if there is a patch of oil, sand, or other debris in the road that could make their bike overturn. NHTSA statistics in 2015 showed 33% of all bikers involved in fatal crashes were speeding.

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Now that the weather is warming up, more and more people will be flocking to the water to cool off during the hot summer days. At the same time, hospitals around the country will see an increase in swimming-related accidents. More alarmingly, there will also be unintentional drowning,which is the 5th leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 2005 to2014, there were more than 3,000 unintentional drownings, and around 1in 5 people were children 14 years of age and younger.

Children are, of course, some of the most vulnerable to swimming accidents.If someone leaves a gate open near a pool, a curious toddler might venture out into the yard and accidentally fall into the water. Kids are also not particularly strong swimmers, especially the younger they are. Once they fall in, if no adult is there to take them out quickly enough, they could sustain permanent brain damage or even death from lack of oxygen.

Likewise, children are also small enough to be injured by uncovered pool drain suction. There have been several incidences of children sitting over a pool drain and being disemboweled or eviscerated by the suction.One case happened as recently as 2007 when a girl named Abigail Taylor suffered a dislodged and damaged liver and pancreas; additionally, several meters of her small intestine were forcefully pulled out of her body,which later led to her death.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Car accidents can be particularly disorienting and stressful. People never expect them to happen, and when they do, they may be completely blindsided by the events. Likewise, accidents can be dangerous and can also often cause our stress responses to increase. Our heart rates intensify, and our adrenaline levels rise, which is our bodies’ ways of preparing us for danger.That same response, however, can often numb us to the situation at hand.Without thinking about it, you could find yourself apologizing to another driver involved.

While this is a natural response, it may not do you any favors in the long run. You and the other driver might not know who caused the accident. In fact, both of you might have contributed some part to it. However, if other people witnessed the events and stopped to help you, all they might be seeing is you apologizing to the other driver. If a police officer later investigates the accident,he or she may take witness statements that place you at the scene apologizing to the other driver. The other driver’s insurance company may use this as evidence you actually were at fault in the incident.

Instead of apologizing, you should ask the driver about the state of their health. Are you okay? Are you hurt? Do you need me to call an ambulance?This, in its own way, demonstrates your compassion while preventing you from admitting to fault.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017,there was a total of 999 car accident fatalities in the state New York alone. In fact, car accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States.Part of the reason people carry car insurance is to avoid costly medical bills and car repairs in the event they do get into an auto accident.

All states require people to drive with car insurance to cover the cost of any injury and damages in case of an accident. New York is no different.If you’re caught driving without insurance in New York, it is considered a criminal offense. All New York drivers must have a policy with the following minimum coverage:

  • Property damage - $10,000 per accident
  • Basic personal injury protection - $50,000
  • Bodily injury - $25,000 per person up to $50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury - $25,000 per person up to $50,000per accident

Unlike other states that only require insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist coverage, New York actually compels drivers to take out insurance in the event they get into a collision with someone uninsured.

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Real-time ridesharing is a type of service that began being offered only a few short years ago.It’s a service that arranges one-time shared rides on short notice.Typically, this carpooling uses devices such as smartphones and GPS devices to find and take rides. Two of the most popular services include Uberand Lyft, which have both been growing in popularity.

While the process seems simple enough-picking a destination, ordering a ride, paying through the app, waiting for the driver-using a businesslike Uber and Lyft to find a ride presents its own complications. For example, if you were driving your own car, you would know that you are either insured or uninsured and know how much your policy limit is in case an accident occurs.

However, when getting into the car of a complete stranger, you trust that they meet all of the following criteria:

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