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Bill seeking higher penalties for abandoning a hit and run scene passes New York Senate

The New York State Senate has passed a bill that allows greater fines and penalties to be meted out to people who will leave the scene of a vehicular accident.

The bill introduced by Ken LaValle increases prison time for a hit and run to a maximum of 15 years in prison by changing the offense to a Class C felony. Fines, too, will also automatically increase.

The current law puts hit and run offenses under a Class A misdemeanor for first-time offenders, meaning they can be charged with up to a maximum of one year imprisonment. On the other hand, if the perpetrator of a vehicular accident chooses to remain at the scene but is found to be impaired by alcohol or narcotics, the offense will automatically be upgraded to a Class E misdemeanor, meaning the suspect can get up to a maximum of four years of imprisonment.

Suffering through the repercussions of a hit and run accident can be difficult, and our legal team at Hach & Rose, LLP, can help you through this. Learn more about obtaining compensation after going through such an accident by calling (212) 779-0057.


When the “Last Best Offer” Isn’t the Best

We often hear from clients that they have had personal injury claims in the past where an attorney has told them “this is the best we can do.” Insurance companies and the lawyers that work for them are in the business of making money. This means they want to pay as little money as possible to resolve a personal injury lawsuit. In determining how much money a claim is worth, an insurance company must weigh how much money a plaintiff’s attorney will recommend to their client. A major factor in this evaluation is whether the law firm representing the plaintiff is willing to go to trial. Many firms will accept what they believe to be the “last best offer” from the insurance company prior to proceeding forward with the expenses and risks of a trial. Insurance companies are very aware of which law firms will take the case to trial to obtain the best possible result for their clients and which law firms look to settle claims before trial.

Recently our law firm was asked by an injured construction worker to take over a case after receiving a settlement offer of less than one hundred thousand dollars, which his attorney recommended he accept. After our firm took over the case, it was resolved two years later for two million dollars. Our firm was involved in another similar situation this year where an insurance company was willing to pay one hundred thousand dollars immediately prior to trial. While many attorneys would have recommended this settlement amount to their client, our law firm proceeded to trial, which resulted in a jury verdict in the amount of four hundred thousand dollars. This return of four times the “last best offer” demonstrates to insurance companies that at Hach & Rose, LLP, trials will occur when their “last best offer” is not in the best interest of the client.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, we pride ourselves in obtaining the best possible result for our clients, not the result which is the “last best offer” from an insurance company.


New York appeals court declares workers’ compensation ruling final

In a 4-1 decision, the New York Court of Appeals decided last week that a workers’ compensation ruling in a personal injury case is binding, saying “findings of fact that are necessary for an administrative agency to reach are entitled to such effect.” This means that the plaintiff will not be allowed to litigate an issue in a personal injury lawsuit that had already been decided on in a previous workers’ compensation case proceeding.

The decision stemmed from a personal injury lawsuit filed by Jose Verdugo, which sought compensation from damages sustained in a 2003 construction site accident after no longer qualifying as a disabled person in a 2006 workers’ compensation hearing.

When you’ve sustained harm as a result of a construction accident, whether caused by your employer’s negligence or not, call an accident attorney from Hach & Rose, LLP, today. By calling (212) 779-0057, you can discuss how you may be able to pursue compensation against the party responsible for your losses.


Numerous People Injured in Early Morning New York Ferry Crash

Early Wednesday morning, at least 50 people were injured when a ferry, operated by Seastreak, crashed into a dock. At least one of these people, all of whom were traveling from New Jersey to New York Pier 11, was injured critically.

As of midday Wednesday, the exact cause of the accident was still not known; however, the National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the accident and passenger Elizabeth Banta stated that, “there was a large jolt.”

Bystanders and other passengers have said that many people were seen being taken off the ferry with head wounds and bandages. Videos show many people being removed from the scene on stretchers in ambulances to be taken to nearby hospitals. Currently, it appears as if all injured passengers have been removed from the ferry, but emergency teams are still on the scene of the accident.

 


Construction Accidents, Municipalities, and Notices of Claim

The construction and repair of roads, buildings, and bridges will always be needed as they make up the very infrastructure of modern society. At times, though, working on such projects can be hazardous to those on the job site due to the negligence of others. When, in New York, a construction worker is injured due to the negligence of a municipality, there is a requirement that the injured worker file a notice of claim within ninety (90) days of the accident in order to proceed with a possible suit.

An example of the notice of claim requirement is embodied, in relevant part, in General Municipal Law § 50-e: A notice of claim is required to be filed “within ninety days after the claim arises . . . and shall set forth . . . (2) the nature of the claim; (3) the time when, the place where and the manner in which the claim arose; and (4) the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained so far as then practicable . . . .”

Quite often there are circumstances where construction workers are injured on municipal property during the construction of municipal buildings, schools, and roadways. In many circumstances when workers are not aware of the notice of claim requirement and fail to contact an attorney within ninety (90) days of the accident, their claims are not preserved and their ability to file a lawsuit can be relinquished forever. Failure to file a notice of claim can prevent a person from recovering lost wages, benefits, past and future medical expenses, and pain and suffering damages.

If you are hurt in a construction accident and it may be due to the negligence of a municipality, it is important to file a notice of claim within ninety (90) days of the accident.

Our firm has achieved jury verdicts and settlements for injured individuals in the amounts of $13 million, $8 million, and $6 million, in addition to many others.

If you need legal help following a construction accident, contact the New York personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, today.


Motorcycles and No Fault Insurance

Traveling in New York can be a daily struggle for individuals attempting to commute to work, school, social gatherings, and other events. Thus, many people turn to motorcycles for transportation. Riding a motorcycle is commonly considered the fastest and easiest method of traveling through traffic, moving around buses and trucks, and avoiding other obstacles on the road. Unfortunately, however, motorcyclists are often injured as a result of the fast pace that these bikes can travel and the lack of protection they provide to riders.

Auto insurance typically covers the damages resulting from motorcycle accidents. However, sometimes long and costly lawsuits are brought to court to determine the party at fault in these incidents. In an attempt to reduce the number of these court battles, many states, including New York, have adopted “no-fault” insurance systems. Under no-fault auto insurance programs, it does not matter who caused the accident. Instead, this law requires the insurance companies of the parties involved to pay up to $50,000 for the various damages one faces as a result of the accident, such as lost wages and medical expenses.

It is important to note, however, that no-fault auto insurance specifically excludes drivers and passengers who commute via motorcycle.

Our firm has much experience representing clients involved in personal injury claims arising from motorcycle accidents in New York. In a case where the passenger of a motorcycle was hit by the door of a limousine, we successfully reached a settlement for $1.7 million. In another case where the passenger of a motorcycle was struck by an oncoming vehicle, a New York jury determined that $8 million dollars was to be paid to the injured passenger.

If you need legal help following a motorcycle accident, contact the New York personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, today.


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