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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.


Subway Severs NY Man’s Legs

In one of a string of recent accidents on New York’s subway system, a middle-aged man who had fallen onto the tracks at the 161 Street-Yankee Stadium subway stop suffered the loss of both of his legs when they were crushed and severed by an oncoming train. Remarkably, emergency rescuers were able to take the man to Lincoln Hospital, and the injuries did not result in fatality.

This is one of a number of different accidents and fatalities which have occurred in New York’s subways in 2013. A rash of accidents and injuries occurred earlier in the year, particularly in February, where three fatalities occurred within a single week. The incidents have been enough to cause Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to suggest possible improvements to subway safety in order to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies.

If you have suffered an injury in New York’s subways or any other public locations, contact Hach & Rose, LLP, at (212) 779-0057 today.


Union Pacific Ordered to Compensate and Reinstate Fired Worker

Union Pacific has been ordered to pay $350,000 to, and reinstate, a worker who was allegedly fired after reporting a work-related injury. After reporting his injury in December of 2010, the employee was charged by Union Pacific with misuse of a company vehicle, a charge which eventually resulted in his firing. However, regulators are treating the employee as a whistleblower.

According to regulators, the injured worker had worked for Union Pacific for more than 30 years and was a “top performer” who received awards for his performance. The awarded $350,000 is intended to help cover the costs resulting from the employee’s injuries and lost wages.

Injuries resulting from railroad accidents can be devastating, taking a serious toll on a worker’s physical and financial well-being. If you’ve been injured in a railroad accident that you believe falls under FELA guidelines, contact the legal team at Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057 and learn more about what our experienced legal team can do to help you.


If Injured On a Construction Site: Why Hach & Rose should Be Your Labor Law Attorneys

The New York State Labor Law generally refers to §200, §240, and §241 of the Consolidated Laws of New York. These provisions hold contractors, leaseholders, owners, and agents liable in the event an employee is injured on the job. Section 200 codifies general negligence principles, 241 analyzes violations of the Industrial Code, and 240 is a strict liability statute applying to gravity-related injuries such as a worker falling from a height (ie. a scaffold or ladder), or an object falling and striking a worker, known as falling object cases. Although these guidelines seem fairly straightforward, these three sections of the law are subject to a great deal of interpretation by the Courts.

Partner Gregory Hach routinely lectures at labor unions speaking on topics such as workplace safety. Partner Michael Rose teaches lawyers at the bar association of New York how to handle these cases. Because success or failure of a case can hinge on a small detail, choosing the right attorney is vital. Results obtained by Hach & Rose, LLP, include $13M for a painter/operating engineer who fell from a ladder; $2.1M for a laborer struck by a Bobcat; $3.475 for a carpenter who fell from a temporary roof; $2.5M for an engineer who fell because of a poorly constructed permanent ladder; $1.625M for a carpenter who tripped and fell on a piece of debris; $2.5M for a sheet metal worker, $3.5M for a mason tender, and $3.525M for a construction supervisor.

If you have been injured in any manner in your workplace, give Hach & Rose, LLP, a call at (212) 779-0057 or visit them on the web at www.unionlawfirm.com.


New York Man Accused of Nursing Home Abuse

A certified nurse aide at the Park Ridge Living Center in Greece, NY has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, a felony crime. The charges stem from an assault which occurred on November 5, 2012, when the aide, Groven Glenn, became angry with an 83-year-old resident, throwing a chicken bone at her and slamming the wheelchair in which she was seated into a doorframe, resulting in physical injury to the victim.

If convicted of the charges, Glenn faces up to 4 years in prison for his actions. The state’s evidence is based on surveillance video footage, and Glenn has himself partially acknowledged his wrongdoing during interrogation.

If your loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse in any form, we want to help you pursue justice. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP, today at (212) 779-0057 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team about what we can do for you.


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.


New York City Bus Accident Leaves 11 People Injured

With over 8.2 million people living in New York City, traffic accidents are a daily occurrence across the city. Last week was no exception. Eleven people were sent to the hospital after a bus, a sports utility vehicle, and limousine crashed into each other.

The for-hire limousine, also known as a livery cab, attempted a U-turn at Broadway and 135th street the morning of Feb. 13 when it struck the SUV in the Harlem section of Manhattan.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the driver of the SUV then lost control of the vehicle and struck a parked bus head on. Witnesses claimed a couple people in front of the bus “went flying.”

Fortunately, the 11 people hurt in the accident were all taken to local hospitals but did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. Of the 11 injured, five were serious injuries and the other six were only minor.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident caused by another party’s negligence, we want to help. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057 and learn more about what we can do.

 


Back Injuries and What You and Your Attorney Should Know

By far, the most common injuries suffered by our clients are back injuries. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that lower back pain affects as much as 70% of the population of the United States, making this a highly relevant topic. As personal injury attorneys, it is vitally important for us to recognize and to fully understand the nature of various injuries, including of course, those to the spine. Injuries to the spine, generally referred to as ‘back injuries,’ encompass an enormous variety of conditions and ailments, including injuries to the neck, middle back, and lower back.

In a nutshell, the spine is divided into three parts: 1) ‘Cervical’, commonly referred to as the neck; 2) ‘Thoracic,’ which refers to the middle of your spine; and 3) ‘Lumbar,’ which refers to the lower portion of your spine ending at your coccyx, or tailbone. Within these three areas of the spine, the areas are divided further and referred to by numbers associated with specific vertebra (Cervical C1, C2; Thoracic T1, T2; Lumbar L1, L2, etc.). Because the spine is required to constantly move and bend in all directions, it cannot be one single, immobile piece of bone. Instead, the spine is comprised of individual bones similar in size and general shape to a tiny can of cat food. Between these bones (vertebra) are ‘discs,’ which I like to explain as being similar to a small balloon partially filled with fluid and surrounded by nerves. Now that you have a general picture of how the spine is constructed, it is easier to explain common forms of injuries associated with the spine.

What happens when the liquid filled ‘balloon-like’ disc is punctured? The rupturing of a disc is called a ‘herniation.’ Herniated discs are a common form of injury and can lead to a variety of immediate and future medical problems. Often, herniations are caused by a sudden trauma, or rapidly applied specific pressure to the discs or the vertebra immediately above and below that specific disc. It is important to note that when a trauma to the spine occurs, the pain is not always immediately felt. In fact, it is well-documented that pain from herniated discs may not be felt for days, weeks, and even months after the initial trauma.

Lets say, for example, that you were involved in a motor vehicle accident or a fall on a construction site and you herniated a lumbar disk. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and cannot believe your luck; you feel a little shaken, but not too bad. In the weeks following your accident, you begin to feel progressively worsening pain in your lower back. You may even feel numbness or tingling in your leg or legs (often described as the sensation of your leg ‘falling asleep’). The mechanics behind your progressively worsening condition is that once your disc is ruptured, it takes time for the fluid to leak out of your disc. Because your disc acts as a cushion between two bones (your vertebra), coupled with the fact that the disc is surrounded by nerve endings, as the fluid is depleted from your disc you will feel the bones rubbing or ‘impinging’ upon the nerves. This impingement of the nerves is what causes pain and often necessitates treatment.

An attorney who has a strong grasp of the medical issues involved with a back injury is a key to success for our clients. We have obtained a 3.5 million dollar settlement for a construction worker who was injured and had a spinal cord stimulator implanted in his spine, 1.45 million dollars for a woman who slipped and fell and required a surgical procedure known as a balloon kyphoplasty, 3.525 million dollars for a person who underwent a lumbar fusion, 3.475 million dollars for another client who had lumbar surgery, and a jury verdict of 2.1 million dollars for a person who aggravated a preexisting back injury as a result of an automobile accident.

The importance of not only understanding the current effects of your injury, but even more, understanding how that injury will affect you in the future, is a point that cannot be stressed enough. If you are represented by an attorney who does not understand the medical aspects of your injury and ensures only that you are compensated for your current condition as opposed to its long-term effects, you are not being adequately represented. It is crucial for your attorney to understand the impact and foreseeable consequences you will endure after your lawsuit is concluded.

If you or someone you love has suffered a back injury because of the negligence of another person or entity, contact the experienced attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057.


Union Pacific Ordered to Pay Injured Worker $1 Million

A worker for Union Pacific whose 20 year career with the company led to the development considerable damage to his spinal discs, eventually requiring surgery, has been awarded $1 million in damages by an Illinois jury for his injury. The injuries occurred as a result of the many long hours he had put in as a track welder, bending over in awkward positions for long periods of time. Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, he was able to successfully pursue compensation.

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a critical tool for helping injured railway workers to get the compensation they need for their losses. Unlike workers’ compensation plans, it allows workers to sue their employers for negligent actions which allow injuries to occur. If you are a railroad worker who has suffered an on the job injury, contact the FELA attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, today at (212) 779-0057 to learn more about how we can help you in your pursuit of compensation.


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