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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.


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.


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:


Posted on in Personal Injury

According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a kind of neck injury that results from a powerful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. It creates a motion like the crack of the whip. In the majority of cases, it’sthe result of a rear-end auto accident; however, it can also occur in the wake of a sports accident, physical violence, or other trauma.

Symptoms of the injury can include neck pain, stiffness, tenderness in the upper back, fatigue, and headaches. Less common symptoms include problems with concentration and memory, inability to sleep well, irritability,and ringing in the ears. Long term complications, however, can include chronic neck pain.

Normally, people who experience whiplash can expect to recover completely after a few months. In other cases, people might experience chronic pain as the result of the injury even long after the accident occurred. People rarely can predict the outcome of how whiplash will heal, but generally,chronic pain is more likely when the initial symptoms include rapid onset of pain, headaches, severe neck pain, and pain that radiates to the arms.


Posted on in Personal Injury

In the summer of 2005, the recently married Jennifer Hagel Smith was informed her husband, George Smith, was missing. They were on their honeymoon trip,a Royal Caribbean cruise in the Aegean Sea. The night before, both Jennifer and George were enjoying themselves on the ship casino, drinking and gambling until it closed. The next morning, 16-year-old Emilie Rausch discovered a bloodstain on the lifeboat canopy. George was partying the night before with three other men, who later became suspects in the investigation.

Jennifer, too, was under suspicion for the disappearance of her husband,though she claimed to have no memory of the night before. She was found at 4:30 in the morning passed out in the hallway, a blackout that could explain her memory loss.

George’s parents brought in Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC’s Michael Jones to help them investigate the case and to see if he could provide more answers. He immediately got to work perusing the ship documents and interviewing the 4 men last seen with George. Two of them plead the 5th, one had a foggy memory of the events, and the last was serving prison time in Florida for trafficking. The man in prison, Greg Rozenberg, was the most forthcoming out of any of the suspects. All of the men claimed to have ordered room service at the time of George’s disappearance,but the timeline of the events is still suspicious. They were the ones who supposedly put him to bed before going back to one of their rooms and ordering room service. However, neighbors of George heard a loud commotion in his cabin around that time, and the ship made no record of a large room service order by the 4 suspects.


On September 18, 1966, Valerie Percy was murdered in her parents’ home in Kenilworth, Illinois. The attack was brutal, her cause of death being a fractured skill and 14 stab wounds. She was also so badly beaten she was beyond recognition. The police ruled out burglary, as nothing was taken. They also determined her attacker knew her. The crime suggests personal investment, and the family dog didn’t bark or cause any other kind of alarm during the attack. Authorities investigated thousands of people and tracked leads across the United States with no success.No one has ever been accused of her murder.

John Q. Kelly, one of the esteemed attorneys at Ivey Barnum & O’Mara,was 13 at the time of Ms. Percy’s death. It was a case that had always puzzled him. This murder was the first recorded murder in Kenilworth,New York, and when the case was nearing its 50th anniversary, Kelly decided to investigate the case. However, all his requestsf or information were denied. In April 2016, Kelly filed a lawsuit alleging a violation of the Freedom of Information Act in Cook County Circuit Court.It was filed against various Illinois agencies for refusing to release records about the Percy murder. Mr. Kelly sued to release all records related to the 1966 investigation conducted by the Village of Kenilworth,the Illinois State Police, Cook County State’s Attorney’sOffice, the Chicago PD, and the Cook County medical examiner. Mr. Kellyfinds it odd that so little is known about such a nationally in famous case, and that he hadn’t received a single document 6 months after filing his request (unusual in a cold case).

In September of 2016, a Cook County Judge ordered the Kenilworth police chief to release a 12-page memorandum, which outlined thousands of pages of secret evidence from the case. Most of the memorandum was redacted,making it almost as useless as the forbidden records. The reason for the redaction and the reluctance to release more details is that allegedly the investigation is still active. Later in December, a judge finally ruled that the thousands of pages of police reports related to the case will remain under wraps while the crime remains active. According to the judge, the release of the documents would, “jeopardize the investigation. ”Mr. Kelly will likely appeal this decision.


Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC’s John Q. Kelly, widely known for representing the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Natalee Holloway, was featured in a 2013 article in Greenwich Magazine discussing his experiences as one of the most “sought-after wrongful death attorneys in the land.”

At the beginning of his career, Kelly worked for the Queens District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted major murders, rapes, and drug cases. He later decided to go into private practice and began defending the people he used to prosecute. Now, Kelly is best known for his victories in the civil trial that found O.J. Simpson liable for the 1997 deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman and for his role in the capture ofJoran van der Sloot.

A humble advocate, Kelly never forgets the weight of his cases and how important it is to provide fearless and tenacious legal representation to families in a time of crisis. “High profile, high stakes litigation is basically a blood sport,” he says, “You either win or lose,and losing’s not an option.”


Car accidents can be traumatic for anyone. Adrenaline runs high, and you might not notice an injury until much later, after your body and your adrenal system has calmed down. Likewise, even small fender benders can cause injuries, such as whiplash, which may not manifest until much later. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, what do you do if you don’t discover an injury until much later?

The first thing you should do is see a doctor for treatment. Even if you don’t notice until much later, you need to take care of the problem as soon as you become aware of it. Taking action to solve your medical problem might be the evidence an insurance company needs to prove you’re not just faking an injury to get paid. Doctor’s don’t treat symptoms that aren’t there. If you’re getting treatment, such as physical therapy or medication, this will be helpful in a court oflaw to prove you sought help as soon as you realized you had a problem.

If you try and file a claim, any insurance company will investigate why you had such a long delay between your accident and your treatment. Make sure to explain to your doctor that you were injured in an accident, and he or she may give testimony that some injuries don’t manifest right away. However, if an insurance company denies your claim on the basis that your injury wasn’t severe enough to require immediate treatment,you may need to hire an experienced Greenwich personal injury attorney.


Posted on in Personal Injury

Car accidents are some of the most common ways people sustain injuries. Yearly, more than 2 million people a year sustain injuries or disabilities from collisions in the United States alone. While cars are designed to be as safe as possible,they can’t protect you from everything. Here are a few of the most common kinds of injuries you could get in a car accident.

Head/ Brain Injuries

You could sustain severe brain damage or mild concussions depending on the circumstances of the crash. If your airbag deploys on time, the force of the inflating item could cause you significant injuries, though they wouldn’t be as severe if the airbag had not deployed. Airbags have been known to cause concussions, bruising, fractures, hearing loss, eyeinjury, and irritation to the throat and skin. If your airbag doesn’t deploy in time, or you strike your head on something other than the steering wheel, you could sustain skull fractures, cuts, bruises, or more severe traumatic brain injury.

Neck/ Spine Injuries

Even in the mildest fender bender, there is the possibility you will sustain whiplash. Whiplash is one of the most common types of car accident injuries.It happens when an abrupt backward and/ or forward jerking motion of thehead results in damage to the inter vertebral joints, discs, ligaments,cervical muscles, or nerve roots. In other words, your spine is strainedwhen your head continues to move, but the rest of your body has stopped,likely kept in place by the seatbelt across your chest. More severe spinal damage has occurred in more severe collisions. Any extreme blow to the spine or neck could cause significant spinal damage, which can prevent information from the brain from reaching the rest of the body. In particular cases,car accidents have caused paralysis in some individuals.


Posted on in Personal Injury

Driving is probably one of the most dangerous activities people do on aday-to-day basis. Almost 1.3 million people die in collisions every year across the world. In the United States, the number is around 37,000, and another 2.35 million are injured or disabled in the accident. Largely,this high number of collisions is due to driver errors, and many of them can be prevented by taking a few precautionary measures when driving.Here are a few of our top tips for staying safe on the dangerous road.

Tip 1: Pay Attention to Driving

Driver inattention is one of the primary causes of most car accidents. People are highly distractible, and anything that takes attention a way from driving has the potential to lead to disaster. While you can’t prevent anything outside your car from being distracting, you can stop yourself from playing with your phone, fiddling with your radio, or taking your eyes off the road to talk to one of your passengers. Even the smallest distraction could prevent you from stopping in time to avoid hitting something or someone in the middle of the road.

Tip 2: Drive Defensively

While you can account for your own habits and driving responsibilities, you can’t account for those of anyone else on the road. Not everyone follows driving laws, and aggressive drivers can cause, and do cause,many accidents by callously disregarding the safety of others on the road.The only thing you can do in response is be avidly aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react to any sudden changes in the environment around you. For example, if you notice someone tailgating another driver, the wise choice to make is to stay as far away from them as possible. If the driver being tailgated has to stop suddenly, that could be a fender bender waiting to happen. Likewise, you can’t necessarily see what’sahead of the car in front of you. If they brake, you want a good cushion of time between yourself and the stopping car, which will allow you to brake as well without the threat of striking the car ahead.


When an accident occurs and a victim is harmed due to someone else's negligence, it is always recommended that the victim contact legal representation right away. Sometimes there is documentation and evidence to be collected and diligent counsel can do this in preparation for an eventual injury claim. However, it is not always recommended that the victim pursue a claim as quickly as possible.

This is because it is critical that the injury victim reach a status known as maximum medical improvement (or MMI) before filing suit. A patient reaches MMI when doctors determine that they can no further improve from their accident injuries. Sometimes this means that they have made a full recovery. Other times, when victims have sustained catastrophic injurieslike brain damage or spinal cord injuries, it means that their recoveryhas plateaued and that more improvement is not reasonably foreseeable.

Why is MMI important?

Establishing MMI is important because it allows plaintiff counsel to proceed with full scope of the client's accident-related expenses. Health matters are not always predictable and filing before MMI is determined can mean that medical expenses that should have been covered in the injury suit are left for the victim to pay for.


There are many myths out there about personal injury claims, and many oft hese are patently false. In this blog, our New York personal injury attorneys discuss five of the most common and least accurate myths. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us today for experienced counsel.

Have you been injured in New York? Call our firm today for your free case evaluation.

1. Payouts for Personal Injury Claims Are Virtually Guaranteed

Many people think that personal injury suits are easy to win, and thata big payout can be expected in nearly every case. This couldn’tbe further from reality. Insurance companies will typically fight back against your claim, and fight back hard. With the help of a skilled New York personal injury lawyer, however, you can build a strong and effective case.


In a tragic case, the family of 55-year-old Bettie Jones, who was shot and killed by police, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago. This is the second wrongful death suit filed against the city in the wake of the shooting, which also claimed the lifeof 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier.

If someone you love has been killed by the reckless or intentional acts of another, call 203-661-6000 today to pursue justice.

A Tragic Incident

The incident in question began when LeGrier’s father, Antonio, called the police after his son threatened him. He called Jones to ask her to open the door for the officers. When they arrived, however, police claim that LeGrier was running down the stairs with a baseball bat. The officers began firing, and ultimately took the lives of both LeGrier and Jones.


Posted on in Personal Injury

Are dangerous criminals recently released from prison being permitted tolive in locations that are consistent with their sentencing guidelines and parole restrictions. Are the most dangerous of those released criminals, Level 3 Sex Offenders, being properly monitored to assure compliance with treatment and work related obligations.

New York City just determined that, according to the Sex Offender Registry,eleven (11) Level 3 Sex Offenders, were residing at the Bellevue Men’sShelter in Kip’s Bay, despite the fact that the shelter is located within 1,000 feet of a school. A spokesman for the Mayor stated that the information on the Sex Offender Registry was not correct and blamed the offenders for failing to notify the state when their address changed.As a result, the addresses of six men were updated on the website and warrants were issued for 3 sex offenders whose whereabouts are unknown.

Is enough being done to protect the citizens of New York City and Westchester County from the known recidivist risks associated with recently released offenders? 1 to 3 percent of all arrests in White Plains are of residents of the Volunteers of America - Grasslands Reservation Shelter, who arebused into the City of White Plains each morning from Valhalla, New York.


Posted on in Personal Injury

Recognizing the potentially intrusive, and irrelevant, aspects of an individuals’posting on social media accounts, New York’s highest court will decide whether these accounts are off-limits in personal injury lawsuits.

Common sense would dictate that any postings by an individual that is directly related to that litigant’s claims (i.e. photos/messages regarding the rock-climbing experience from someone claiming a permanent head or back injury) should be produced, but other, unrelated postings on social media accounts should not have to be produced for the opposing counsel.

Insurance companies, and insurance defense counsel, are increasingly submitting broad ranging requests to gain access to all postings by an individual on social media outlets, irrespective of the potential relevance to that particular case. Implied in those requests is the hope that there maybe personal, delicate information that a claimant may not want in the public realm, and thus discourage claimants from proceeding with their claims, even though the sensitive information requested has absolutely nothing to do with the lawsuit.


When pursuing a New York personal injury claim, you will likely hear the term “damages” being tossed around. In a lawsuit, these damages do not directly refer to the actual injuries you’ve suffered or damage to your property, but instead refer to the monetary award you are pursuing.

Have you been hurt in New York? Call Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLCto pursue justice. Get your free case evaluation today!

Understanding Damages

In a lawsuit, there are essentially two basic types of damages -compensatory, or “actual” damages, as well as punitive damages.


The family of Kathleen Durst recently filed a $100 million dollar lawsuit against Robert Durst claiming he murdered his wife thirty-three years ago, hid the body and deprived them of their right to bury her. With New York State’s two-year statute of limitations on wrongful-death claims,how can her family sue after all these years?


Kathleen Durst disappeared on January 31, 1982. She was pronounced dead on March 21, 1988 after being missing for over six years. Her body was never discovered and the killer was never caught. It was not until thirty-three years after her disappearance that her family filed a multi-million dollar civil action against Kathleen’s husband, billionaire eccentric Robert Durst.


A 20-year old Brooklyn man was killed at about 1 PM on Monday when a contractor hired by the Parks Department failed to close off a path running through Red Hook’s Coffey Park when pruning and removing trees as part of post-Hurricane Sandy clean up.


Jim Liu, a neighborhood fixture described as “hard-working”and “friendly”, was riding his bicycle through the popular path in Coffey Park to deliver food to a customer when he was struck by a falling tree. Mr. Liu was transported to Methodist Hospital where here mained in critical condition before his untimely death. It is unclear whether the contractor who was responsible for the incident attempted to stop Mr. Liu from riding down the path however what does appear clear is that the paved path was not closed for traffic despite the dangerous activities in progress.


Posted on in Personal Injury

As we finish up our Thanksgiving Day preparations and pack up the family to attend the New York Macy's parade, we would like to give thanks to all of our clients and their families.

Handling wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases requires our team to be zealous legal advocates. An equally important task is to provide emotional support and day-to-day guidance for the family members who are tasked with picking up the pieces.

When we get retained, our clients have generally just gone through the worst day of their lives. They have sustained very serious and permanent injuries, or worse, and the financial realities associated with same hit home very quickly.

When we look back on all of the people we have helped throughout the years,we are proud of our accomplishments. We appreciate and give thanks to the relationships built with our clients and their families.

Posted on in Personal Injury

A 75-year-old grandmother was killed on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Sunday by a cab driver who admitted to working an illegal shift.

Salifu Abubkar admitted that he had worked an illegal 16-hour shift as a cab driver when he hit and killed a 75-year-old woman as she crossed the street on the corner of Columbus Avenue and West 109th Street. She was in the crosswalk and had the light.

The cab driver, a resident of the Bronx, passed a Breathalyzer test, but admitted to working a 16-hour shift, four hours longer than the legal12-hour limit imposed by the City of New York on livery drivers. Mr. Abubkar worked as a cab driver for over 20 years and routinely worked over 16hours per day to make a living.

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