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Tesla Driver Hits and Injures Cyclist, Police Do Nothing

On Thursday morning, a New York City bicyclist was hit and seriously injured by the driver of a Tesla on Second Avenue, according to Streetsblog. A Streetsblog reporter witnessed the crash and the subsequent police response and recorded what he saw in his article.

First responders transported the injured cyclist to a nearby hospital while police officers spoke with the Tesla driver. After speaking with the driver and a witness to the accident, officers decided not to issue the driver a failure-to-yield ticket. NYPD Officer McCloud told the Streetsblog reporter that the crash was an accident, and that is why he did not issue a ticket to the driver.

The accident occurred at about 10 a.m. on Second Ave. near the 59th St. Bridge. A group of commuting cyclists, including the one riding an electric Citi bike who was later hit, was using the designated bike lane. A car was illegally parked in a “No Parking” spot right next to the bike lane, just before the entrance to a parking garage. As the cyclists passed the illegally parked car and the garage entrance, the white Tesla turned left into the garage entrance, hitting the Citi bike rider. The illegally parked car had blocked her view of the cyclists.

According to the Streetsblog reporter, the injured cyclist rolled over the Tesla’s hood and landed in the street. He screamed in pain and told witnesses he felt extreme pain in his back and lungs. Four minutes later, EMTs were loading him up into the back of an ambulance, taking him away before the police arrived.

NYPD Officer McCloud spoke at length with the Tesla driver but did not speak with the victim. After McCloud determined the timeline and the chain of events, he decided not to issue the driver a ticket for failure to yield, and the driver left.

According to Streetsblog, NYPD officers issued 63,955 failure-to-yield tickets to drivers between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1 of last year. This year, that number has dropped by more than 50%, suggesting that police officers are taking less initiative to discipline reckless drivers in the city. Every day in New York City, there are about 120 injury car crashes like the one that happened on Thursday. It is more likely than not that drivers who failed to yield to bicyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers regularly get away without even a ticket.

Contact a New York Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a bicycling accident in New York City, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. You do not need to navigate the legal process of claiming your full compensation alone. Don’t hesitate to contact the New York traffic accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP to inquire how much your case could be worth. Our number is (212) 779-0057.

Personal Electric Scooters Are Legal in New York City

New York City is about to see a surge in electric scooters on its streets. On Nov. 23, a recent New York law that lifted the ban on all personal electric scooters went into effect.

However, this does not mean that shared scooter companies like Lime and Bird will be able to operate in New York City, just yet. The lift on the ban only applies to personal scooters, not ones you can rent through an app. According to the New York Times, a pilot program testing the safety of shared scooter programs will launch in May of 2021 but will exclude Manhattan. Until then, shared scooter companies are essentially banished from operating in city limits.

Worries About Safety

Electric scooters began gaining popularity in the past two or three years after shared riding companies like Lime and Bird put down roots (and scooters) in big cities across the U.S. But with the new mode of transportation came new worries about safety. The scooters proved to be dangerous to both riders and to pedestrians. Emergency room doctors saw a dramatic uptick in scooter-related injuries sustained by riders. Scooter injuries could range from cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries and even death.

Ride-sharing moped companies like Revel saw a similar uptick in injuries, too. At the end of the summer, New York completely banned Revel mopeds from the city after two New York City Revel riders died in accidents. Electric mopeds put pedestrians at risk, as well. One elderly woman was struck by a 23-year-old Revel moped rider in Columbus Circle on Sep. 29. The 82-year-old woman sustained serious injuries. While Revel mopeds were temporarily banned from the city following the two deaths, Revel resumed business after implementing new safety measures. 

How to Enforce Safety Rules

Between 2018 and 2019, scooter-related injuries doubled. However, doctors generally agree that traumatic scooter-related injuries and deaths can be prevented by wearing a helmet. Bird and Lime both recommend that riders wear helmets, but wearing one is not a requirement to rent the scooter. When it comes to mopeds, each rented Revel moped comes with two helmets for the rider and a passenger, but many riders choose not to wear them. Because electric scooter and moped companies face challenges enforcing safety rules, they continue to see rising scooter-related injuries being attributed to their products.

And for New York City lawmakers, finding ways to enforce safety measures on electric scooters has proven to be a setback in legalizing their use. Most of the riders who get into accidents while riding electric scooters are inexperienced and not wearing safety gear. Finding ways to enforce safety precautions and provide training programs for new riders will be scooter companies’ and lawmakers’ next priority.

Contact a New York Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a scooter accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Scooter-related injuries are on the rise, and it is not uncommon for clients, both riders and pedestrians, to win compensation after an accident. Please do not hesitate to contact the New York accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP to inquire how much your case could be worth. Our number is (212) 779-0057.

New Must Know Info: How Do I Pay A Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?

A new post has been added to our Must Know Info: How Do I Pay A Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?

We discuss why worries about paying for a New York City injury attorney should never hold you back from hiring one. This is because injury lawyers don’t take any payment unless they win a recovery in your case. To learn more, click here.

Governor Cuomo Announces Statewide Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign

The governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, launched the “Buckle Up New York, Click It or Ticket” campaign to enforce and encourage the use of seat belts. According to a statement from the governor’s office, this campaign runs through Nov. 29. During and after this campaign, police officers throughout the state will be checking vehicles to ensure that everyone is wearing their seat belt, especially children in the backseat, who may need to be restrained in car seats.

In 2019, New York police issued 26,432 citations for improper or nonexistent seat belt use. However, the governor’s public statement regarding seat belt use looks on the bright side of that number. Data from the Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College found that seat belt compliance reached a record high of 94% in 2019. The goal of Gov. Cuomo’s campaign is to reduce the number of citations and car accident-related injuries that could have been prevented by wearing a seat belt.

Gov. Cuomo signed legislation in August that requires every occupant of the vehicle to wear a seat belt, updating and tightening existing legislation. New York police officers are now able to issue citations or tickets to anyone who is not wearing a seat belt. This also applies to restraining children properly in a booster or car safety seat.

The overarching reason for implementing this new update to the seat belt law is to ensure that everyone on New York’s roads is safer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts are crucial to reducing the risk of injury and death in the event of a car accident. In their Policy Impact report from January 2011, the CDC found that seat belts can reduce the chance of sustaining a serious injury by 50%. If you are wearing a seat belt at the time of a crash, the chance of dying in that accident is reduced by 45%. The report outlined overwhelming evidence in support of the widespread enforcement of seat belt wearing for each occupant in a vehicle, as seat belts are shown to save lives.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that of the 37,133 people killed in car accidents in 2017, 2,549 could have been saved if they had properly worn a seat belt. New York’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign hopes to cut this number of deaths to zero.

Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney

Were you injured in a car accident in New York? Even if you were partially at fault, you still may have a right to financial compensation. You should not have to struggle with paying medical bills or the stress of losing income if your injury temporarily puts you out of work.

The New York car accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have decades of collective experience handling cases like yours. Let us do the legal legwork so you can focus on healing. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 for a free case review.

Injury Data Reveals Infrastructure Need for E-Scooter Riders in NY

The uptick in electric scooter riding in New York City has come with a slew of complications, including a rising number of scooter-related injuries. New York City leaders and scooter company officials alike are weighing their options for creating a safer transit environment for these e-scooters. One recent report suggests that the most promising option is to create more third-lane, or bike lane, options for electric scooters.

This report, compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), found that most people who are injured in scooter accidents were riding on a sidewalk at the time of their accident. Their research suggests that scooter riders often do not feel safe enough to share the road with cars, so they opt for using sidewalks when bike lanes are not available. While this may keep scooter riders safe from colliding with vehicles, it puts pedestrians who use sidewalks at a greater risk.

The data show that three out of every five scooter riders who were injured sustained their injuries while riding on a sidewalk. Conversely, only one out of five of the injured riders was hurt while riding in a bike lane. About a quarter of riders who were injured were in a traffic lane with cars when they were injured. These injuries tend to be more serious compared to the bike lane or sidewalk injuries.

Electric scooter injuries can include broken bones, cuts and bruises, and even traumatic brain injuries. This is exacerbated by the fact that many people use electric scooters for fun, not for commuting to work. This means that numerous riders fail to wear helmets while operating the scooter. Some riders have died from their injuries, which necessitated a temporary pause on Revel scooters in the city this summer.

Designing a Safer City for E-Scooters

The IIHS report on scooter injuries reveals a gap in city infrastructure that, until addressed, will continue to cause scooter injuries and even deaths. More scooter riders are using sidewalks because they do not have adequate access to bike lanes, which in turn results in more accidents. This also puts pedestrians at a higher risk of being hit.

Scooter companies such as Link, Bird, and Lime all agree that adding third lanes to city infrastructure would be greatly beneficial to scooter riders. A spokesman for Lime said, “Adding street space for vulnerable road users like scooter riders, cyclists, and pedestrians at the expense of cars is the number one way to make streets safer for all users.”

Contact a New York Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a scooter accident, you may be entitled to compensation, even if you were partly at fault. The New York accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have the experience and determination it takes to win the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 to speak with an attorney.

Bicycle Helmet Laws in New York

Riding a bicycle in the city is one of the best ways to get around. It’s free, it’s good exercise, and it gives you a close-up look at your surroundings. However, the lack of a protective barrier usually provided by a car necessitates some extra safety precautions.

In New York State, everyone under the age of 14 is required by law to wear a helmet while riding on a bicycle, even as a passenger. Children younger than one year of age are not allowed to ride as passengers on a bicycle. There are no explicit laws requiring adults to wear helmets while riding a bike in New York State, but some counties like Rockland and Erie counties have passed laws requiring anyone riding within the county to wear a helmet.

Even though there is no law specifically requiring adults to wear a helmet while bike riding, a helmet could be the difference between life and death in a serious accident. According to a report from CBS 2, helmets reduce the risk of serious injury in a bicycle accident by up to 85%. Likewise, a report from 2008 found that 91% of bike riders killed in accidents that year were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. There is no state in America that requires adults over the age of 17 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, but it’s clearly important to wear one for public safety.  

According to the New York Police Department, 693 cyclists were injured in New York City in September 2020, and six cyclists died. Experts suggest that wearing a helmet could save your life in the event of a collision.

Still, children under the age of 14 are required by state law to wear a helmet any time they are riding on a bike. Parents could be fined up to $50 if their child is riding without one. Helmets can reduce the risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury by 88% in the event of an accident.

Selecting a Bicycle Helmet

When shopping for a helmet, there are a few factors to take into consideration. The New York Health Department recommends looking for the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) sticker on the helmet. This ensures that the helmet meets safety standards. The helmet should sit on your head evenly and snugly, not tipping forward or backward. There should be about two finger widths distance between the front of the helmet and your eyebrows. Always keep the helmet buckled under your chin while riding.

Contact a New York Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation, even if you were partly at fault. The New York accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can build your case and help you win maximum compensation for your injuries. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 to schedule your free consultation.

Court Rules That Workers’ Compensation Principles Should Be Applied to At-Home Workers

In a recent decision from New York State’s Third Department of their Appellate Division, workers’ compensation claims from employees working from home must be decided using the long-standing definitions of what constitutes a “short break” or what is “work-related” or personal. The decision came from the recent case, In the Matter of the Claim of Christopher Capraro, Appellant, versus Matrix Absence Management et al., Respondents. Workers’ Compensation Board, Respondent.

In 2016, the claimant, Christopher Capraro, ordered office furniture to use in a home office for his new job. His employer informed Capraro that the company would not reimburse him for the furniture as they had already provided him with the necessary computer equipment for the role. When the unassembled furniture was delivered in boxes on June 13, 2016, Capraro attempted to haul them into his home. In the process, he injured himself. In 2017, Capraro filed for workers’ compensation benefits, claiming the injury sustained in carrying the boxes of furniture caused him to stop working.

The Workers’ Compensation Law Judge assigned to his claim denied it, finding that his injuries did not arise from a sufficiently work-related activity. Capraro appealed the decision to a panel of the Workers’ Compensation Board, which upheld the Law Judge’s decision, despite one board member’s dissent.

Capraro then appealed to the full Workers’ Compensation Board, which upheld the previous decision. Capraro appealed a third time to the New York Appellate Division, Third Department. In a ruling published by the Appellate Division on Oct. 22, 2020, the appeals division determined that the previous denials for workers’ compensation benefits were based on a new, overly strict set of standards.

Home Residence as a Place of Employment

According to the appeals division’s statement, “a ‘regular pattern of work at home’ renders the employee’s residence ‘a place of employment’ as much as any traditional workplace maintained by the employer.” Therefore, Capraro was injured during his regular work shift at his workplace and should be considered for workers’ compensation based on the traditional set of standards.

As a result, the appeals court remitted the decision back to the Workers’ Compensation Board to assess Capraro’s claim using the long-established standard. In remitting the decision back to the Workers’ Compensation Board, the appeals court recommended that the Board accept that a “short break or some similar ‘momentary deviation from the work routine for a customary and accepted purpose’ does not constitute an interruption in employment sufficient to bar a claim for benefits.” Therefore, Capraro did not sufficiently interrupt his work time when moving the boxes.

Contact a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you were injured while working from home, you may be wondering whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Our attorneys can help you develop a compelling case and secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Call the New York City workers’ compensation attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP to see how much your case might be worth. Our number is (212) 779-0057.

Car Accidents Are a Real Danger for Those with Undiagnosed Focal Epilepsy

For people with undiagnosed focal epilepsy, the possibility of having a subtle seizure while driving is a very real and dangerous one. These seizures could happen at any time and are characterized by intense moments of déjà vu or hallucinations, according to MedPage Today. But because these seizures are not similar to those experienced by other epileptics, those suffering from subtle seizures may not realize they have epilepsy. Because of this, focal epilepsy sometimes takes years to diagnose. Doctors believe that in that gap between the first seizure and diagnosis, the potential for serious car accidents occurring is a danger for the whole community.

Johns Hopkins calls focal epilepsy a brain condition that only affects one half of the brain at a time. It can affect the frontal, temporal, parietal, or occipital lobe. The intensity and consequences of the seizure depend on which lobe exhibits it. However, subtle seizures are not as noticeably and physically disruptive as motor seizures. For people who experience subtle seizures, the time between their first seizure and diagnosis averages to about 600 days. For those who suffer from motor seizures, that gap closes to about 60 days.

Subtle seizures are dangerous because they can affect a person’s ability to operate a moving vehicle. People suffering from focal epilepsy may or may not lose consciousness during one of these seizures. Symptoms of a subtle seizure with impaired awareness are:

  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Being unresponsive to your environment
  • Staring into space
  • Performing repetitive movements such as walking in circles, chewing, swallowing

Symptoms of a subtle seizure without a loss of consciousness include:

  • Involuntarily jerking a body part
  • Experiencing spontaneous tingling, seeing flashing lights, or feeling dizzy
  • Experiencing a change in taste, smell, or sound

Losing consciousness, being unable to respond appropriately and quickly to your surroundings, staring into space, or making movements involuntarily are all dangerous when driving a car. But if a person does not have the other standard hallmarks of epilepsy, it could be mistaken for a number of other illnesses.

Treatment for epilepsy varies depending on the severity of a person’s condition, but doctors will often start by prescribing anticonvulsant medications to reduce the severity of these episodes. It is considered a medical emergency if a seizure lasts more than five minutes. If you stop breathing, have a high fever, experience heat exhaustion, or are pregnant during a seizure, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Contact a New York Injury Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the New York City car accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP to see how much your case might be worth. Our number is (212) 779-0057.

Attorney Spotlight: Hillary Nappi

Hach & Rose, LLP attorney Hillary Nappi gives insight into why she became a lawyer and who she is.

What inspired you to become an attorney?

I decided to be an attorney when I was six years old. My parents had gone out to dinner and left me with a babysitter. While they were gone I accidentally broke a lamp and, afraid to get in trouble, I quickly glued it back together. When my parents came home and saw the lamp, which was obviously a mess, they asked me what happened. I lied and spun a story blaming my dog. My parents were not fooled, and I was grounded. I made a list of reasons why I should be let off punishment in a marble notebook and presented it to my parents over dinner. They laughed and told me I was still punished for lying. I hounded them every day for the whole week. Finally, they let me off punishment two days early. For my perseverance they told me that I would probably make a good lawyer. After my dad explained to me what a lawyer was, I decided right then and there that it would be my future.

What practice areas do you focus on?

I work on complex corporate litigation, corporate governance, and sexual abuse and assault cases.

Tell us about one of your most interesting cases.

I have two cases which mean the world to me. The first case was litigated last year. I represented a 17-year-old high school student in a case involving bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination. My client is gay and when he came out to his classmates he was brutally bullied and harassed. He fought back, and instead of dealing with the bullies, his school suspended him. When he returned to school, he was assaulted on the campus. Again, the school punished him instead of his attackers, and moved to have him expelled. The administration’s response to his sexuality made me realize how many kids are being marginalized every day and how many children need protection. We were able to arrange for him to finish his education with home schooling, and we also settled the case so that he had money to compensate him for his injuries. Most importantly, the outcome of this case gave him the freedom to start his new life, seeking out people and places that would let him feel respected and accepted.

The second case is a Child Victims Act (CVA) case. My client was repeatedly raped and abused by her brother in law when she was a child. When she contacted me, no other firm would take her case. We were successfully able to bring awareness of her allegations to the community she grew up in (and fled). When her case settled, she told me that it was the first day of the rest of her life. She has repeatedly called me a “life-saver.” Though I’m honored that she feels that way, I don’t necessarily think that’s true. However, her case made me feel like a “gladiator in a suit” (a quote from one of my favorite shows, Scandal).

These two cases helped me to realize that even though representing survivors of sexual assault can be incredibly draining, cases like these are why I do it. I helped to change the lives of these two people, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.

What are you most proud of?

My ability to remain real. I’m honest with my clients; I listen to their stories, offer them sympathy, and never over or underestimate what I can do for them. In my life, my friends and family know that I’m someone they can trust. No matter what happens, I never want to lose that quality.

Do you have any hidden talents, hobbies, or a fun fact?

Recently I’ve gotten into cooking! There wasn’t too much else to do during quarantine, so I figured it would be a good time to brush up on my skills. I am now an expert at making fried rice.

What is your favorite quote?

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” by Martin Luther King, Jr. It was my high school yearbook quote and it still resonates with me. It’s the truest thing I’ve ever read.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Trucks

Self-driving cars have been in the headlines for the past few years as companies have begun testing autonomous vehicles. A self-driving vehicle uses sensors, radar, cameras, and GPS systems to navigate the road and other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles around them. Now, those same self-driving car companies are expanding their reach with self-driving trucks. What will this mean for the future of autonomous vehicles and for the safety of everyone else who shares the road?

Right now, as companies like Waymo and Tesla are testing their machines, human drivers sit in the cab as a backup, in case the software malfunctions. But the goal is to put trucks on the road that can change lanes and speed up or slow down without a human operator. Since Google first started testing its driverless trucks in 2011, there have been 20 accidents involving their vehicles. Of those 20 accidents, the self-driving truck was at fault for only one of them.

Will Autonomous Technology Save Lives?

According to the National Safety Council, 38,800 people in the United States lost their lives in car accidents in 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission reported that 4,678 people died in accidents involving large trucks in 2019. Companies developing self-driving vehicles say that their autonomous technology could help save lives. One such company, Embark, said cutting the driver out of the equation will also cut out human errors such as driver fatigue and distracted driving.

Additionally, trucking companies are seeing a shortage of drivers. There is currently a shortage of about 100,000 truck drivers in America, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. As more current drivers retire over the next several years, this number will only increase.

However, there are still plenty of safety concerns when it comes to driverless vehicles sharing the roads with other drivers. In general, Americans do not trust self-driving cars. Nearly 50% of people surveyed by Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) said they “would never get in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle that was self-driving.” There has not been enough testing done yet to convince drivers that automated vehicles are safer than human-operated vehicles.

Moreover, it is generally accepted that semi-trucks are naturally more difficult to operate because of their length and immense weight. If people are wary of human truck drivers on the highway, it may be a long time before we trust a computer to do the job.

Contact a New York City Truck Accident Attorney

If you were injured in an accident involving a self-driving vehicle, contact the New York City truck accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. Our experienced team will navigate the complex legal process that follows an accident of this nature so you can focus on healing. Call us today at (212) 779-0057.

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