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Hach & Rose Attorneys Return Top 2012 Construction Accident Verdict in State of New York

Joseph P. Carfora and Michael A. Rose from Hach & Rose, LLP, secured the highest construction accident verdict in the state of New York last year for their clients Elvia Munoz and Victor Munoz.

Victor Munoz was working as an engineer’s assistant at a hotel on June 16, 2007 when he fell from the ladder he was standing on, suffering injuries to his head / brain, ribs, shoulder, and spine. Munoz sued several parties, including the hotel’s operator and that corporation’s franchisor, alleging that they violated New York’s Labor Laws. Munoz claimed that he was not provided with the proper safety equipment he needed to safely perform his job and that he was not provided with a way to safely secure the ladder on which he was working.

The jury in the case found in favor of the defendants and awarded damages totaling $13,020,856.69, for past and future medical costs, past and future loss of services, past and future lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. This verdict was the 11th overall highest verdict for the year in the state of New York.

Your Construction Accident Case Needs to Stand Up in the Appellate Courts

Very often we handle cases where we know the success or failure of the case falls into a “gray area” in the law. What this means is that the lower court or as we call it in the State of New York, the Supreme Court’s, decision on the interpretation of the Labor Law could be appealed to the Appellate Division which is a panel of Judges who decide whether the Supreme Court’s decision was correct. Over the last two months alone, our firm has been successful on two appeals that have dealt with interpretation of the New York Labor Law — THE STATUTE THAT EXISTS TO PROTECT CONSTRUCTION WORKERS.

One decision was granting summary judgement to a construction worker who slipped on a construction site and the Supreme Court found the defendant responsible. An award of summary judgment on a Labor Law 241-6 case is rare and one we are very proud of. The second decision was in favor of a worker who fell through a ceiling and had not been provided with proper fall protection. Both favorable decisions were due to great preparation and an eye toward the potential appellate decision. It is very important that lawyers make sure they are prepared to win cases at the Supreme Court level and in the appellate courts as well!!!

“I may lose my job if I report my construction accident” So I’m just going to forget about it!

Too often I hear from construction workers that they ‘did not file a report at the time of the accident because…’ they were in fear of losing their job. Of course, it’s the workers that we don’t hear about that scare us the most. Often the worker’s injury worsens to the point of disability and having not filed an accident report at the time of the incident makes the case difficult, if not impossible, to prove.

If you were involved in an accident on the job, on a construction site or elsewhere in the course of your employment, I cannot stress enough the importance of, at the very least, speaking confidentially to an attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP. If you have family that depends on you for financial support, it is even more critical that you speak with an attorney; even if you feel you are not too badly injured at the time of the accident. If your injury worsens (such as a herniated disc that eventually required surgery) and you hadn’t filed for benefits or a third party suit if one is possible, you are doing your family a grave disservice financially.

Clients that call us well after their statute of limitations had run out call to see if something can be done because their injury had disabled them from working. These are sad situations because the only people that client is helping is the insurance carrier that was gritting his or her teeth waiting for the statute of limitations to expire; once it had, they are in the clear in some instances for millions of dollars. It happens EVERY DAY!

If you are concerned that your employer might somehow find out that you spoke with an attorney and are in fear of losing your job as a consequence, let me stop you right there. You are often safer job-wise if you do in fact file for workers ‘compensation benefits, because the workers’ compensation system has an anti-discrimination statute disallowing your employer to discriminate against you based on the filing of a workers’ compensation claim. Hach & Rose, LLP, is a law firm for you; we are incredibly experienced at litigating construction site accidents and have achieved great success for our clients and we are respected as one of the top law firms for personal injury in New York. We understand the issues you face in the reality of the workplace and often can anticipate, based on prior experience with various employers, how your employer will react. We do not have a crystal ball, but we do have experience with many of the employers in New York and can counsel you as to whether it would be worth it for you to proceed and at the very least can tell you how to protect yourself should your injury worsen in the future. Even if it turns out that you do not have a case, everything we discuss is completely confidential. Confidentiality is something we take very seriously at Hach & Rose, LLP, so please, rest assured that you cannot be hurt in any way for finding out what your rights are, whether you have a viable case, and whether that case is worthwhile for you to pursue. Furthermore, if it turns out, as it has so many times in the past, that you do have a case and you had not done anything at the time of the accident to warrant fear of reprisal, we can work with you to determine whether you still have time to obtain financial compensation. Always err on the side of caution and speak with a Hach & Rose attorney; it cannot hurt you in any way to do so.

Legal Options Available to Injured School Firemen

Far too many school firemen do not realize that there are legal options available to them outside of workers’ compensation if they are injured because of unsafe working conditions. Learn more about these options here.

If you have additional questions about pursuing compensation after a work-related injury, contact Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057.

Injured? What you need to know in the event of an on-the-job injury.

As we all know, construction work by its nature is inherently dangerous. Although union construction workers have an advantage with training and safety measures fought for by their unions, accidents do still occur, and when they do, they can be both physically and financially catastrophic to both the member and his or her family. Dangerous situations are often avoidable on the sites where members work, but it is the responsibility of property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, machine & equipment manufacturers as well as equipment suppliers to provide not only a safe place to work but also to provide safe equipment to perform your work in order to make that site safer.

The New York State Labor Laws, fought for by your union leadership, protects workers when injured on construction sites. Section 240 of the Labor Law holds property owners and general contractors responsible if there is a gravity-related injury; meaning if a worker falls from a height or an object falls striking a worker, that worker can recover against a third party on or affiliated with the construction site. Sections 241 and 200 of the Labor Law hold owners and contractors responsible if sections of the Industrial Code of the State of New York is violated or if a worker is not provided with a safe place to work.

If injured on the job there are certain steps that should be taken immediately to protect your rights:

  • Always seek Medical Attention First: Even if the injury is seemingly minor, it is important that the injury is documented early so that in the event it worsens over time, the injured worker will not be in a position to have to explain why he or she did not treat when they were first injured. The longer you wait to treat, the more difficult it will be to claim the injuries resulted from the subject accident.
  • Report the accident immediately: If you wait too long to report the accident, the responsible party may argue that the accident did not occur on the job.
  • Take photographs or video: Too often, construction sites change and often dangerous conditions are fixed before they are documented. In the modern era almost everyone on a site has the ability to use a cell phone to record a dangerous condition; it is important this is done as close to the time of the accident as possible.
  • Get the names and contact information of all witnesses: People move to different jobs or work for different companies, it’s a fact of life, but the ability to contact and find witnesses is vital and should not be overlooked.
  • Do not speak with anyone from an insurance company or investigators: Insurance companies for responsible parties often attempt to record statements from injured members before they hire their own attorney. They do this to obtain information that will diminish the value of a claim or ruin the claim altogether. The insurance carrier representative may sound as though they are trying to help you; in fact many will even go so far as to tell you they are there to help when their ONLY job is to decrease the amount of money you should rightfully receive.
  • Hire a competent attorney that specializes in construction accident cases: There are many nuances and pitfalls that can mean the difference between success and failure of a member’s lawsuit. Although there are some excellent attorneys out there, there are many more that simply advertise for these cases without knowing the details and practice pitfalls under the NYS Labor Laws. Such lawyers do their clients, as well as other members and lawyers who practice in this area, a huge disservice by ultimately decreasing the case value for injuries similar to yours.

Hach & Rose is one of the top construction accident law firms in New York State and has the results and pedigree to back it up. Hach & Rose aggressively protects the rights of Union members and has unique experience handling complex construction accident cases for Union members who have been injured. Hach & Rose is never afraid to go to trial, the insurance companies know it and it’s that willingness to go to trial that ultimately increases the amounts insurance companies are willing to pay to our clients. They are a one-stop-shop that coordinates your workers’ compensation and social security disability benefits as well. If a member has been injured in a work related accident contact Hach & Rose toll free at (866) LAWS-USA (866-529-7872) or at (212) 779-0057 or visit them on the web at unionlawfirm.com to discuss any legal issues you may have.

Bayer IUD cases consolidated and transferred to New York

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington ruled on Monday, April 8 that, due to overarching similarities in more than 40 personal injury lawsuits filed in several federal courts across the country against Bayer AG’s Mirena intrauterine contraceptive, consolidation of said cases will be granted.

Resistance of Bayer to the proposal of case consolidation was dismissed by the panel, with the U.S. district court in White Plains, New York being given full jurisdiction over the consolidated lawsuits. Bayer’s response to the case consolidation was that it would “vigorously defend itself against these claims regarding Mirena.”

Unfortunately, many defective pharmaceutical products, such as Bayer’s IUD, are released to unsuspecting consumers, causing them undue harm in the long-run. If this has happened to you, call (212) 779-0057. The lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP, may be able to help you pursue civil litigation against the responsible manufacturer or distributor.

11 people injured in early morning Brooklyn van accident

Two vehicles, a “dollar van” and a taxicab, collided with each other Thursday morning, causing eleven people to suffer both minor and major injuries.

The accident, which occurred at 9:15 a.m., took place at the intersection of Lefferts Avenue and Rogers Avenue in East Flatbrush, as reported by a FDNY spokesperson. Five people sustained severe injuries and were immediately taken to four various hospitals – Kings County Hospital, Downstate Medical Center, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, and New York Methodist Hospital. An additional six people were treated by responders at the scene of the accident for minor injuries.

The cause of the accident was still under investigation hours after it occurred.

Unfortunately, car wrecks such as this one all too often cause devastating harm to unsuspecting people, leaving them suffering physically, emotionally, and financially. However, at Hach & Rose, LLP, our lawyers work diligently to help those who have been unduly victimized by such an accident. Call (212) 779-0057 today to find out how we may be able to help you pursue financial compensation if you’ve been through a car accident caused by someone else’s actions.

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.

Hit-and-run on Northway injures two

In late February, two people that were pulled over to assess a problem with their car were slightly injured after a car passed by them out on the Northway in Malta, hitting their automobile.

New York State Police Sgt. John Phelps said 26-year-old Ashley Shell and Cody Thivierge of Ballston Lake and Corinth, respectively, had pulled over on the curb between exits 11 and 12 of the Northway at around 6 p.m. when a vehicle sideswiped them. It was not known exactly whether they were in or outside the vehicle, Phelps added.

They were brought to the Saratoga Hospital for immediate treatment of their minor wounds.

Ballston Spa resident Patricia LaRosa, 42, reported to the police that she was the driver who sideswiped the victims’ vehicle, albeit only after reaching her destination. According to Phelps, LaRosa claimed that she was sneezing and, as a result, failed to notice that she already struck a vehicle.

Many people throughout the country sustain both minor and major injuries in accidents caused by distracted drivers like LaRosa. If this has happened to you, call (212) 779-0057 today to discuss pursuing financial restitution for the undue harm you’ve endured. A lawyer from Hach & Rose, LLP, may be able to get you the justice and compensation you need.

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