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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.


An elderly woman was killed by an MTA bus when she crossed the street in Brooklyn and the bus driver cannot face criminal charges because of adeal reached by the Union and the City of the New York.

Hit and Run bus Driver with Criminal Past

Carol Bell, 70 years old, was crossing the street in broad daylight when she was hit by an MTA bus, pinned under the vehicle’s rear wheel and literally torn apart. Her mangled, lifeless body was left in the middleof the street as the bus driver simply drove away.


In a heart breaking case which has recently come to a close, the New York Superior Court has determined that the City of White Plains is liable for the death of Concetta Russo Carriero, a woman who was abducted and murdered in a Westchester County parking garage. While the case is tragic,our firm is proud to have been able to hold the City responsible for their negligence and recover damages on behalf of Mrs. Carriero’s estate.

A Tragic Case

The plaintiffs in this case, our clients, were the executor of Mrs. Carriero’sestate, as well as her family members. She was killed in the Lexington/Grove Garage East, a parking garage which was owned and operated by the City of White Plains. A homeless man living at the Westchester County AirportHomeless Shelter confessed to the crime, was convicted, and is currently serving twenty-five years to life in prison.

Our firm was able to successfully argue that the City failed to make the garage reasonably safe, and failed to take reasonable precautionary measures to provide adequate security. The City fought back, essentially claiming that they did not assume any duty to make the garage reasonably safe.However, the Court ultimately found that the City was acting in a proprietary or ownership capacity, rather than a governmental capacity. Therefore,they would be subject to the same requirements any other landlord would have.


Insurance is a business like any other, and insurance adjustors are employed to deny and reduce the value of claims that come across their desks. With this in mind, it’s not uncommon for many car accident insurance claims to be wrongfully denied for a variety of reasons. In this blog, our New York car accident attorneys discuss four of the most common reasons why insurance companies deny claims.

1. The Other Driver Has an Expired Insurance Policy

While getting another driver’s insurance information is always the right thing to do in a New York car accident, it may do you no good if their policy is expired. You may be able to pursue a civil claim against the driver, but your ability to recover sufficient damages for your injuries can be limited. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have uninsured motorist coverage.

2. The Other Driver Has Insufficient Coverage

Some drivers have no insurance or an expired insurance policy, but others simply have insufficient coverage to pay for your injuries. On the surface,these cases are relatively straightforward - the insurance company should pay you the full amount covered by the policy, and you can file a lawsuit against the driver to cover the balance. However, insurance providers often wrongfully deny these claims simply because the amount was too high for them to cover. Your attorney can help you pursue fair compensation in these cases, but they are a reminder of the importance of under nsured motorist coverage.


After a jury awarded $12 million dollars to a 78-year-old woman whose right foot was left hanging by a flap of skin after a steam-pipe explosion in Midtown Manhattan, the Judge decreased the award by $8 million dollars after the woman asked for $7.5 million dollars more in damages for past pain and suffering.

On July 18, 2007, the plaintiff was standing on the corner of 40th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, waiting to cross the street when she was suddenly catapulted into the air by an underground explosion.Upon landing, bricks, stones and boiling water fell on her. Lying on the ground, covered by debris for 45 minutes, she was finally rescued by the New York City Fire Department. Flaps of skin kept her right foot from detaching from her leg.

The plaintiff was taken to a nearby hospital where she underwent multiple,excruciating surgeries to save her right foot. Skin and muscle were removed from plaintiff’s chest and stomach to reattach her ankle and foot and fill-in any gaps. The muscle was exposed in places because she did not have enough excess skin to cover it. Her right toe developed gangrene and was amputated. She suffered from constant diarrhea and infection.She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.


The circumstances of an accident that results in an injury are not always clear cut. When most people think of a personal injury suit, they imagine one injured party seeking compensation from one defendant--the negligent party-- who is completely at fault. However, what happens if the actions of multiple parties contributed to a dangerous accident?Or if the injured party had a hand in the circumstances that harmed them?

In these more complicated cases, New York's comparative fault law isused to properly assign fault to all involved parties. Under comparative fault, responsible parties who are contesting their role in an accident are assigned a percentage of fault decided by a jury. That percentage of fault is then subtracted from any awarded compensation.

To demonstrate how comparative fault works, the following hypothetical car accident case involved three injured drivers. A jury awarded each of the drivers $10,000 for their injuries and damages but also found that fault was shared between them.


In the world of personal injury law, proving that another party was negligent is a critical component of nearly any claim. Although many people understand the dictionary definition of negligence, it can be far more complex a sa legal theory. In this blog, our New York personal injury attorneys discuss the elements of negligence as it applies to car accident cases.

How is Negligence Defined?

When another driver is negligent behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle, they have essentially acted in a way which is careless or reckless. Typically, this will include any action that should not have been taken, such as speeding excessively, as well as actions which were not taken but should have been, such as stopping at marked intersection. Drivers in New York have a responsibility to use reasonable care or caution while driving, and failure to act in this way can potentially be negligence.

How is Negligence Proven?

While negligence is a fairly easy concept to understand, proving that another driver acted negligently in court is an entirely different issue. There are four basic elements of proving a negligence claim:


Kiersten Cerveny was a married dermatologist and mother of three children.On October 5th, she was found dead in Manhattan apartment building lobby. The apparent cause of death was an acute overdose of cocaine and alcohol intoxication.

After a late night of drinking and partying with friends on the Lower East Side, Cerveny arrived at an apartment in Chelsea. Along with two other men, one purported to be Cerveny’s boyfriend, she used cocaine while at the apartment. Shortly after, she became ill, and the two men tried to carry her out of the apartment and to a taxi. She collapsed, and when emergency medical services arrived, was found in the apartment lobby.

The investigation is still ongoing, but there are many elements of this situation that allude to an incident of wrongful death. According to police reports and witness statements, there seems to bean extended period of time in which the 9-1-1 could have been called,but was not. Had swift action been taken upon immediately recognizing something was wrong, things may have turned out differently for Cerveny.


New York • Greenwich • New Canaan

A 21-year-old woman faces distracted driving charges after she allegedly struck another vehicle head-on while driving on the Easton Turnpike on June 18, 2012. While it is fortunate that the there were no fatalities resulting from the crash, the car accident illustrates the dangers of distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Accident

The driver accused of causing the accident was traveling northbound on Easton Turnpike in a Jeep on the afternoon of the accident. Authorities allege she was sending and receiving text messages, drifted out of her lane into oncoming traffic and struck a sedan head-on. The force of the impact knocked the sedan back 61 feet and the road was closed for an hourafter the accident while crews cleared the scene.

The 67-year-old driver of the sedan went to the hospital where medical personnel treated her for non-life-threatening injuries. Both cars sustained severe front-end damage as a result of the collision.


While distracted driving does not appear to have reached the same levels of concern for truckers as it has for regular motorists, it is still drawing attention from national agencies. Federal agencies have launched campaigns to encourage commercial truck drivers to lower the number of truck accidents occurring in Fairfield County and elsewhere.

In 2009, tractor trailers were involved in 2,466 accidents according to the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Out of these accidents,472 involved injuries and 13 were fatal. It is unknown how many of these accidents were caused by a truck driver who was distracted by something.

Are truck drivers becoming more distracted?

Recently, a truck driver caused a four-vehicle collision when he became distracted according to the CT Post. Thankfully, while the drivers of the other cars suffered injuries, they were not severe and no one was killed. It is unknown what caused the trucker's attention to be drawn away from the road.

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