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Motorcycle Accident Liability

Many people think that motorcycles are very dangerous. In fact, regardless of who is at fault, if a person is injured in a motorcycle accident, many think the injured party should not be compensated because they assume the risk of injury when they get on the bike. I DISAGREE! People have the legal right to drive motorcycles and if injured due to the negligence of someone else on the road, that person should be held responsible.

The rules of the road apply to all and motorcycle drivers should be protected. Importantly, in New York motorcyclists are not entitled to no fault benefits for their medical expenses and lost wages. This makes a personal injury claim all the more important. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we have achieved a jury verdict of over 8 million dollars for a woman injured on a motorcycle. We have achieved a settlement of 1.7 million dollars for a motorcyclist injured in an accident. We fight for those injured on motorcycles due to the negligent conduct of others.


Because Your Initial Injuries Don’t Seem to Meet the Serious Injury Threshold, It Doesn’t Mean that You Will Not Ultimately Have A Valuable Personal Injury Claim

Chapter 51 of New York State’s Insurance Law, otherwise referred to as the ‘NYS No Fault Insurance Law,’ limits the ability of a motor vehicle accident victim to bring a lawsuit for injuries. If the victim is not ‘seriously injured’ as defined under the law, then the victim will be limited to the benefits provided under New York State No-Fault; $50,000 aggregated for medical expenses and lost wages. The intent of the law is to alleviate the strain on the court system by disallowing minor motor vehicle disputes from seeing the inside of a courtroom. The flip-side for the victim is that regardless of fault, an automobile insurance company pays the benefits for medical benefits and a portion of lost wages. The threshold for determining what constitutes a ‘serious injury’ in New York State is fairly simple. The victim must meet one of eight of the following criteria in order to pursue a claim for personal injuries in the NYS Courts:

  1. Personal injury which results in death;
  2. Dismemberment or significant disfigurement;
  3. Loss of a fetus;
  4. Fracture;
  5. Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
  6. Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
  7. Significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or
  8. A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

Sections 1 through 4 are clearly defined; however 5 through 8 are open for interpretation and are constantly and intensely litigated by both plaintiffs and defendants alike. Defining these criteria to determine whether the client meets the serious injury threshold is continuously defined by motion practice, trials, and appeals.

We get phone calls all the time from people with injuries where an attorney has told them they do not have a case, or they do not have a valuable case due to the threshold law. On countless occasions, people have come to us with what looks like a threshold case and later on as their injuries fail to heal, and the case later has values of hundreds of thousands of dollars or even over a million dollars. Patience is the key here! Many lawyers often look to settle these cases early or outright reject them. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we understand that many of these cases take time to understand the full injury picture. Your personal injury case should be treated like a valuable asset, and a poorly timed decision can make an enormous impact on the ultimate result.


New York ferry crash results in 37 personal injury claims

A total of 37 personal injury claims were filed against ferry commuter service line SeaStreak LLC in the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey between January and May 23, which was the deadline for claims to be filed, regarding the January 9th crash that injured 83 passengers. Many of them sustained head trauma and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the crash.

According to the Ashbury Park Press, the vessel hit the Pier 11 dock; however, details surrounding the crash are still vague and the National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the case.

Reports gathered about the accident revealed that the ferry captain lost control of the engines at the time of the crash, a fact that the captain readily admitted.

Our lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP, are committed to helping victims of other people’s negligence seek compensation through personal injury claims. Get in touch with us today at (212) 779-0057 if you’ve been harmed in an accident caused by someone else’s careless actions.


Commuter Trains Collided in Bridgeport Connecticut – Dozens Injured, Many Critically

Two trains, headed in opposite directions collided tonight in Bridgeport, Connecticut at 6:15pm.  Early reports suggest dozens of people have been injured, many critically, as a result of the crash. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this horrible accident.

Hach & Rose, LLP, has helped many individuals and families deal with the aftermath of injuries and deaths related to railroad accidents. Attorney Mark Sokoloff has over 25 years helping those who have been injured in train accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in this accident, please contact us to discuss your legal options.


About Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy or causalgia, can be a debilitating condition that can cause a person permanent disability. It is one of the most painful conditions a person can have. It usually affects an arm or leg and can spread throughout the body. Unfortunately, it is difficult to diagnose.

In addition to pain, symptoms can include hair and nail growth, temperature change of the skin, extreme sensitivity, and color changes in the skin. Treatment options can include medications, injections and/or a spinal cord stimulator. Due to the difficulty in diagnosing this condition, defendants in personal injury cases or insurance companies often take the position that the injured party is “faking” their symptoms or that symptoms are being “exaggerated.” Doctors who are hired by the people defending the lawsuit or the responsible insurance company often take the position that the condition is misdiagnosed or that the injury is something less severe that could easily be cured if the treating doctor was giving the correct medical treatment.

It is very important that the lawyer representing a complex regional pain/RSD victim is intimately familiar with the symptoms associated with this horrible condition. An attorney well versed in the medicine involving complex regional pain syndrome/RSD can mean the difference between success and failure in a personal injury case. To learn more, or for the experienced representation you need if you are suffering from complex regional pain syndrome, contact the experienced legal team at Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057.


Common Defenses in a Back Injury Case

Very often we have clients who injure their back in an accident. When they are sent for a diagnostic test such as an MRI, the radiologist who reads the films states that the person has a condition such as degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis. These are conditions that develop over the course of time.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN OUR CLIENT DID NOT INJURE THEIR BACK IN THE ACCIDENT IN QUESTION!!!

People who defend lawsuits or the insurance companies that evaluate them will then defend the case by stating that the injured person has an injury that predated the accident. This is not the case.

People who have degenerative condtions in their spine are often injured more seriously when they are subjected to trauma. Often, people can have no symptoms but a degenerative condition that becomes symptomatic after a trauma. If you have had this type of problem, don’t hesitate to call the lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP, at (212) 779-0057. We have a long history of achieving significant results for people with degenerative conditions in their spine, so do not hesitate to contact us today.


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.


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