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Personal Injury

Staying Safe in the Snow: Most Common Winter Personal Injury Claims

There are always risks as we go about our days, but winter provides a wealth of additional opportunities for accidental injury. With icy sidewalks, treacherous roads, falling ice, and more, we must be aware of the potential dangers. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the most common personal injury claims that occur in the winter.

Slip and fall accidents

Slip and falls aren’t always just a painful and embarrassing accident – they can be extremely dangerous. Many falls occur in the winter due to business owners that don’t clear snow thoroughly, or at all. Property owners must shovel snow from public walkways within a “reasonable” timeframe. They are not required to have a completely clear sidewalk while a storm is still in progress, but once the storm is ended, they must make a safe pathway for shoppers and passersby. If business owners don’t shovel properly and prevent ice from building up, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur.

Icy roads and auto accidents

Winter storms also lead to icy roads, which cause thousands of accidents each year. When the roads are slippery, every driver has a duty of care to drive as cautiously as possible. Drivers must adjust their speed, brake carefully, and leave plenty of room between their car and the car in front of them. If possible, you should avoid driving in icy conditions altogether unless it is absolutely necessary. We’ve all seen the one driver who is completely ignoring the icy roads and zooms around everyone else. This is how injuries happen. Unfortunately, here in New York this is all too common.

Construction site accidents

Falls are among the most common causes of injuries for construction workers. Once you’ve added snow and ice into an already dangerous job site, you have a recipe for potential disaster. The heights workers must reach on job sites make falls that much more hazardous. This can lead to head injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Even simple snow removal, if it is on an unsteady surface such as decks, scaffolding, or a rooftop, can be an opportunity for serious injury. Job sites must provide their workers with appropriate safety equipment, including additional materials to adapt to snowy conditions. If they fail to provide adequate equipment for construction workers, they can be held accountable for any injuries that result.

Take precautions in the winter

To the best of your ability, take extra care during the winter months. Check your local news station for weekly weather reports and consider checking a convenient app, like the one Weather.com offers, for day-to-day updates. When shoveling your sidewalk, be sure to thoroughly salt so that you don’t allow ice to build up. If you are elderly or have physical limitations, don’t risk it. Paying someone else to do it is a far better solution than suffering a severe injury. Finally, be sure to wear quality winter boots that will protect you from frostbite, slush, and ice.

Contact a New York Attorney

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are well versed in winter accidents and are ready to review your case. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 to speak with a member of our team.

Child Dies of Severe Head Injury at New York Daycare

A New York toddler died earlier this month after sustaining a severe head injury at an in-home daycare, according to People Magazine.

According to authorities, the 24-year-old caregiver allegedly hit the child’s head against the edge of a table. It has not been confirmed whether she hit his head intentionally or not, but she was charged with first-degree manslaughter and is awaiting trial.

The injured toddler, 23-month-old Lennox Santiago, was rushed to a local hospital after the caregiver called 911. Santiago underwent brain surgery for his severe head injury but died two days later.

Tragedies like this one do not happen often in daycare facilities, but unfortunately, they do occur occasionally. While taking legal action will not heal your family’s emotional pain, it could provide a path to compensation for medical bills and for seeking justice against the person who injured your child.

There are a number of different types of daycare facilities in the U.S., but each one is expected to provide a certain duty of care to the children they are entrusted with. Whether it is a childcare center in a church, a preschool, after-school care, or family childcare in the provider’s own home, the caregivers who are running the facility are expected to provide a clean, safe environment for the children. When this trust is breached and tragedy occurs, the parents will likely want to take legal action.

Steps to Take if Your Child Is Injured at Daycare

If your child was injured at a daycare, there are a few basic things you should do immediately following the injury.

First, seek medical attention, especially if the injury is life-threatening. Personal injury lawyers recommend consulting a doctor so they can officially document your child’s injuries. This written report could be useful later on if you choose to take further legal action or go to court.

Next, be sure the daycare provider fills out an official report documenting what happened. If needed, file a police report as well, because this will add extra documentation to your case.

Should you choose to take legal action against the daycare provider, you will need to prove that they were liable for the accident. A New York personal injury attorney can help build your case and guide you through this process. It is likely that the daycare facility will have some sort of insurance policy designed to protect them in case a child is injured on their watch. An experienced personal injury lawyer can negotiate firmly on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve.

Your legal team will need to prove:

  • The daycare provider had a duty to protect your child from injury
  • The daycare facility violated this duty
  • The breach caused your child’s injuries
  • The injury must have been foreseeable by daycare staff or management
  • The nature of your child’s damages and the approximate cost of treatment (estimated medical bills, past and future)

Contact a New York Daycare Accident Attorney

If your child suffered a severe injury at their daycare, you might want to take legal action against the provider who was negligent toward your child. Call the attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP today for a free consultation. Our caring team has years of experience handling daycare injury cases and wants to help you, too. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out online to discuss your legal options today.

Types of Paralysis

ParalysisThere are 33 vertebrae in the human vertebral column, and paralysis often stems from spinal cord injuries to particular regions. In general, injuries to the cervical vertebrae (C1-C7) are far more likely to cause paralysis than injuries to other spinal cord regions.

High-cervical nerve (C1-C4) injuries often cause paralysis in the arms, hands, or legs, but they can also cause difficulty breathing or controlling bowel or bladder movements. Low-cervical nerve (C5-C7) injuries could affect a person’s ability to control their arms and hands.

Thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12) injuries to the vertebrae in the upper back (T1-T5) can result in people possibly being confined to wheelchairs. Still, most injuries to the middle of the back (T6-T12) allow people to retain the use of hands and arms and possibly walk again with braces. Lumbar Vertebrae (L1-L5) injuries may also result in wheelchairs in a limited number of cases, but most victims can walk again with braces.

Paralysis is often the result of a complete spinal cord injury, which is a complete severance of the spinal cord. Complete spinal cord injuries include:

  • paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and the lower half of the body)
  • tetraplegia or quadriplegia (paralysis of all limbs)
  • triplegia (paralysis of one arm and both legs)
  • hemiplegia (paralysis of one arm and one leg on the same side of the body)
  • monoplegia (paralysis of one arm or one leg)

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation estimates that high tetraplegia (C1-C4) injuries carry average costs of $1,064,716 for the first year and $184,891 each subsequent year, low tetraplegia (C5-C8) injuries carry average costs of $769,351 for the first year and $113,423 each subsequent year, and paraplegia injuries carry average costs of $518,904 for the first year and $68,739 each subsequent year.

Contact a New York Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Did you or a loved one become paralyzed due to someone else’s negligence in New York? If so, you have the right to hold the responsible party accountable for the impact your injuries will have on your life. Your ability to work and support yourself, as well as the ability to enjoy life as you once did, might be permanently affected by this accident, and you deserve justice and fair compensation.

The New York spinal cord injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP will be committed to doing everything we can to get you justice. You can have us answer all of your legal questions when you call (212) 779-0057 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.

The New York class action lawsuit legal process

If you have been injured by a defective product, harmful drug, or another unexpected incident that has likely affected others in the same way, it may be in your best interest to band together with other victims to file a class-action lawsuit. 

What are the benefits of filing a class action lawsuit?

In many instances, filing an individual lawsuit against a defendant will not put enough pressure on them to make a real change. Class action lawsuits are the most effective tool to force real change and mold the future for those who come after you. For example, Brown v. Board of Education was a class action lawsuit. Without it, it may have taken years longer to catalyze the movement and secure the rights of millions of Americans. 

Who can file a class-action lawsuit?

Anyone who has been injured because of someone else can file a class-action lawsuit if they have already gathered at least a few dozen other people who suffered in a similar way.

What does the process look like?

Generally, this is how the class action lawsuit will proceed:

  1. The lead plaintiffs will file a “class action complaint” that has been drafted by their lawyer. The complaint will describe the events that led to the plaintiffs’ injuries and demand compensation for both the plaintiffs and for all other participants in the class action.
  2. A judge will review the plaintiffs’ claims and determine whether the case can proceed as a class-action suit. When reviewing the complaint, the judge will determine:
    1. Whether enough people have been injured to qualify for a class action suit, or if it would be better for them to file individually
    2. Whether the members of the class have all suffered the same injury
    3. Whether the lead plaintiffs’ injuries are significantly worse than the other plaintiffs
    4. Whether the attorneys representing the lead plaintiffs are qualified to handle complex litigation 
  3. If the judge approves the case to be classified as a class action, then all potential plaintiffs are notified. For example, if the case pertains to a defective drug, then all of a pharmacy’s customers who are taking that drug must be notified in writing that a class action lawsuit is being filed against the pharmaceutical company. This gives all potential plaintiffs a chance to join and win compensation. 
  4. Class action suits are usually settled out of court and the plaintiffs are notified of their compensation and how to claim it. 

Contact a New York Class Action Lawyer Today

If you are thinking about filing or joining a class action, you need expert legal representation on your side. The New York class-action attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, are dedicated to helping individuals take action against the parties that have wronged them and are ready to fight for you. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 today.

Signs and symptoms of CRPS

CRPSComplex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is a type of chronic pain that can develop after someone gets injured, undergoes surgery, experiences a heart attack, or a stroke. This type of pain is relatively uncommon and still not well-understood by physicians. Usually, it is diagnosed simply by ruling out other types of chronic pain. CRPS/RSD occurs in an arm or leg and is proportionally much more painful than the severity of the original injury.

What are the symptoms of CRPS/RSD?

The symptoms of this condition might not manifest until months after the initial injury and can change over time. People who suffer from this chronic pain report feeling:

  • Persistent burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
  • Unusual cold or touch sensitivity
  • Swelling around the painful region
  • Skin temperature alternates between sweaty and cold
  • Skin changes color, ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
  • The skin on the painful affected area might become tender, thin or shiny
  • Changes in hair and nail growth
  • Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness atrophy
  • Decreased ability to move the affected hand, foot, arm, or leg

Can I take legal action if I have been diagnosed with CRPS/RSD?

If you have been diagnosed with this chronic pain condition and believe that it originated from an injury you sustained because of someone else’s ignorance, you might have a case. Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible will increase your chance of winning compensation. Personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of two years, so you must file your claim within two years of getting diagnosed with this condition.

Contact a New York CRPS injury lawyer

If you have developed CRPS/RSD as a result of an injury you sustained, you might be entitled to compensation for the harm you’ve suffered and enduring pain you’ve been forced to endure. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your rights and options. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 or reach out online today.

What are the most common mistakes people make after an injury?

It is important to know what steps to take — and what mistakes to avoid — after sustaining an injury if you plan on pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Some mistakes could make it more difficult for you to claim compensation down the road, and knowing how to avoid these legal pitfalls will give you a leg-up from the defense. Help your personal injury attorney by helping yourself and avoiding these common mistakes that many people make right after sustaining an injury. 

Not visiting your doctor

Regardless of your pain level or the apparent severity of your injury, visit your doctor right after getting injured. This will establish a medical record that can be used as evidence later if it turns out that your injuries become severe. Many people skip the doctor’s appointment after a car crash or slip and fall accident because they don’t feel a lot of immediate pain. But sometimes, this pain can manifest weeks or months later. Not only is it important to get medical treatment for your injuries, but having evidence of an expert’s opinion might improve your chances of winning compensation in court. 

Not reporting your accident to a supervisor

This is especially important if you want to claim workers’ compensation benefits for an injury suffered on the job. If you fail to report your injury as soon as it happens, your employer will be less likely to believe you if you start complaining of pain a couple of months after the fact. Making a report, no matter how minor the accident, will create a record of the event that can be leaned on as evidence in court. Employers must have some documented report of your accident on file to award workers’ compensation. 

Oversharing on social media

Insurance companies will investigate your injury claim in an attempt to award you as little money as possible. If you discuss your injury or legal case on social media, chances are that the insurance company will see it and find a way to delegitimize your case. Set all of your accounts to private and avoid posting about fun vacations, trips to the park, etc. — anything that would suggest your injury isn’t legitimate. 

Contact a New York personal injury attorney

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make after an injury is not immediately consulting a personal injury lawyer. The experienced injury attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will work with you to ensure that your employers and insurance adjusters aren’t coercing you to sign statements that will hurt your case for compensation. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 or reach out online to schedule your free consultation today.

How much is my personal injury case worth?

Oftentimes, when you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, money is not the only thing you wish to get out of a settlement. You also want peace of mind, a sense of justice, and for the defendant to correct or alter their behavior in the future. But money is a big part of the settlement because it can compensate for lost wages, medical bills, emotional pain and suffering, and more. This article will tell you how to calculate how much your personal injury case may be worth. 

When calculating how much money you may receive in a settlement, you must consider “damages.” Damages describe what your injuries have cost you monetarily, physically, and mentally. 

Compensatory damages

Compensatory damage refers to the money the defendant pays you to compensate for what was lost because of your injury. This refers to lost wages and medical bills, which can easily be calculated, as well as emotional and physical pain and suffering, which is harder to determine. 

If you win your case, a personal injury award will always include compensation for your medical bills for treatment you’ve already undergone and for future treatments related to that injury. There is not a set formula that a judge uses to calculate how much money to award for pain and suffering. Usually, they will instruct the jury to use their best judgment to decide how much to award the plaintiff. 

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are awarded on top of compensatory damages. They come straight from the defendant’s pocketbook, so their purpose is to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions or behavior was especially malicious. If the defendant was simply negligent or careless, they will probably not have to pay punitive damages.

It’s recommended that you calculate how much money you may win in a settlement before you pursue a claim. If the monetary and emotional cost of hiring a lawyer and navigating the legal process is more than what you might win, then perhaps pursuing a claim wouldn’t be financially sound. 

Contact a New York personal injury lawyer

If you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, the trial attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will be ready to help you. We understand how emotionally and mentally taxing a legal battle can be, so we’ll handle all the legwork while you focus on getting better. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 to discuss your legal options today.

Common types of class action lawsuits

A class-action lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought by at least one person to represent hundreds or thousands of other plaintiffs who all have a similar case against a common defendant. Class action lawsuits could be brought against the manufacturer of a defective product, an employer who exploits their workers, or factory owners who polluted large swaths of land or rivers. Keep reading to learn more about the most common types of class action lawsuits and what the legal process looks like. 

Class-Action Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

In each of the examples listed below, filing a class action suit along with a number of other plaintiffs can strengthen your case even more and may lead to real change on the part of the defendant. Filing a civil lawsuit as an individual will likely lead to a quiet settlement out of court, but a class action lawsuit may attract more attention to the issue and force the defending institution to make changes on the systemic level. 

  • Environmental lawsuits can take many forms, but one example is when a group of property or homeowners files a class action suit against a business whose production is polluting their land and damaging their property’s value. 
  • Employment lawsuits usually relate to unfair wages, such as when an employee is denied time and a half for overtime work, workplace discrimination, and sexual harassment. 
  • Defective drugs and products likely harmed more people than just you or your family. You could bring a class action suit against a pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing company, though these cases are usually handled as “mass torts” since each individual’s injuries vary.
  • Civil rights class action lawsuits are especially useful in taking down big corporations and forcing change on a larger scale. According to the Center for Justice and Democracy, companies such as Kodak, Walgreens, Coca-Cola, Marriott, and Home Depot have all paid settlements to workers who filed class action lawsuits against them and won.

Contact a Class-Action Attorney in New York

If you are thinking about filing a class action lawsuit, the New York class action lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP are ready to assist you. Our attorneys have years of experience handling class action lawsuits, especially employment-related and environment-related cases. Call our office at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your legal options today. 

Filing a personal injury claim against the New York government

Filing a personal injuryIf you were injured due to the negligence or reckless actions of a government employee or on New York government property, you have the right to sue the government the same way you would sue a private individual. 

The New York Court of Claims Act states that the government “waives its immunity from liability and action” and consents to be sued in court in the same manner as an individual. So, individuals who suffered injuries at the hands of the government can file a claim for basically anything that an individual could be sued for. This includes auto accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, medical negligence in a state facility, and more.

As of 2011, people can sue New York municipal governments if they can prove that the municipality had a “special duty” to the injured individual. To prove “special duty,” the plaintiff must prove that at least one of the following occurred:

  • The municipality violated a statutory duty enacted to protect a particular group of people, and the injured person was in that group
  • The municipality assumed “positive direction and control” in the face of a “known, blatant, and dangerous” safety violation
  • The municipality voluntarily took on a duty and communicated this by actions or promises to the injured individual, who relied on those actions or promises

Statute of limitations

Whereas most New York personal injury claims have a statute of limitations of up to three years, claims against the government abide by a different timeline. 

  • For personal injury or injury to property, you have 90 days to file a claim
  • For breach of contract, you have 6 months
  • For claims of state appropriation of land, you have 3 years

Contact a New York injury lawyer

If you were injured as a result of negligence on the part of a New York government entity, know that you may have a right to compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have the experience and determination needed to help you take on government entities and win. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 or reach out to us online to schedule your free consultation today.

Who is responsible if my child was injured at school?

During the school year, children spend about a third of their time at school or doing school-promoted activities. Parents should reasonably believe that their children will be safe in the hands of their teachers and school administrators. However, if a child is hurt while at school or at a school-related event, parents often wonder who should be held liable. 

Besides sustaining injuries on playground equipment, school children may also get injured by participating in school sports, being exposed to food-borne illnesses, or from the result of negligent teachers and administrators. It is estimated that a quarter of the 14 million child injuries that occur in the U.S. each year happen at school. 

Who is liable?

To determine who is liable for your child’s injury, first, you must find out whether the act was intentional or due to negligence. An intentional injury could be caused by an abusive teacher or fellow student, such as bullying. If a teacher intentionally caused harm to a student, then the school district would be held liable for not conducting a substantial background check and for hiring an irresponsible and harmful educator. If your child is being bullied, then the parents of the bully may be liable. 

A school is expected to provide a certain level of care and attention to its students, so if it fails to meet that standard, that could be considered an act of negligence, thus making the school itself liable. Examples of negligence at schools are:

  • Inadequate supervision by school staff, including teachers and administrators
  • Inappropriate food handling by cafeteria workers that led to foodborne illness
  • Inadequate emergency planning in the event of a natural disaster

Contact a New York child injury attorney

If your child was injured at school due to the negligence of teachers, administrators, or others, you could be eligible to seek justice and fair compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our team will fight for you and your loved ones. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 to discuss your legal options today.

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