Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP by cjleclaire
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Pedestrian Accident with an MTA Bus Results in Death
by cjleclaire
Nov 20, 2019 | 5014 views | 0 0 comments | 411 411 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Legal Factors Involved with the Accident

In September, a pedestrian accident occurred when an MTA bus hit a pedestrian around 2:30 a.m. in the Kingsbridge area of the Bronx close to West 231st street and Kingsbridge Avenue.

NY CBS Local reported that the pedestrian who died in the accident was Luis Inoa, age 23. He was riding in a livery cab and had asked the driver to stop. The cab had been traveling westbound on West 231st Street. As Inoa exited the cab, he began acting erratically while crossing the road.

The MTA bus driver tried to avoid hitting Inoa but couldn’t stop in time. Both the livery cab driver and bus driver remained at the accident scene. Inoa suffered severe trauma and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation into the accident was being conducted.

Legal Aspects of the Accident

Several legal factors are apparent in relation to the accident.

  • The head of the New York Federation of Taxi Drivers wanted to prosecute the livery cab driver for not being licensed. He also wanted to take legal action against licensed livery owners who have leased cars to unlicensed drivers.
  • Inoa’s erratic behavior possibly indicated that he was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  • While it was illegal for the driver to be unlicensed, in order to hold him responsible for causing the accident an attorney would have to prove that the driver’s negligence was the proximate cause of the accident.

When a pedestrian accident results in serious injury or death, and another party appears to be at fault, the injured party or surviving family should consult with an experienced accident attorney. There may be a legal basis to pursue a lawsuit and recover compensation for damages if the accident occurred due to another person’s negligence.

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Elevator Accident: New York Premises Liability Law
by cjleclaire
Sep 12, 2019 | 11092 views | 0 0 comments | 374 374 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Tragic Elevator Accident from a Legal Perspective

A fatal elevator accident occurred at a 23-story Manhattan apartment building near the end of August. The elevator malfunction killed a 30-year old man.

Elevator Accident Details

The New York Post reported that Sam Waisbren died when trying to exit the elevator. One person had left the elevator and Sam was right behind him when the elevator fell. Waisbren grabbed the elevator doorframe with his hand and tried to put his leg onto part of the lobby floor, but the force of the falling elevator prevented him from being able to exit. He was crushed between the elevator shaft wall and elevator car.

Five other people got trapped in the elevator as it plummeted downward to the basement. Firefighters had to rescue the remaining people from the car.

Department of Buildings Investigation

The city’s Department of Buildings Investigation reported that this particular elevator had not been subject to complaints. However, the building’s other elevator had safety issues reported months ago that had resulted in it being shut down. A report about that elevator indicated a safety device, called a door zone restrictor, showed evidence of tampering.

Elevators have controllers/computers that prevent motion when the inside elevator door or outside elevator door is open. The inspector said that for the computer to fail, it would require numerous mechanical and electrical failures happening at the same time. The odds were extremely unlikely that this would happen without human interference.

It is important to note that there was another elevator accident, which occurred in 2011, killing a female executive in a Midtown building. That accident was attributed to a bypassed safety circuit.

Legal Perspective of the Accident

There are often grounds to pursue a premises liability lawsuit when safety hazards exist and a building owner or manager has not displayed a warning or dealt with the matter in a timely manner. An attorney handling a premises liability case would file a lawsuit on behalf of the injured individual or in the case of wrongful death, on behalf of the family. This type of lawsuit would hold a building management company accountable for damages. If it can be proven that the accident was preventable and safety features had been tampered with, making the elevator a safety hazard, grounds would exist for taking legal action.

Our lawyers at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP have successfully handled many different types of personal injury accidents, and our firm has more than 65 years of experience.

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Falls from Ladders Can Result in Serious Injury or Death
by cjleclaire
Sep 12, 2019 | 10948 views | 0 0 comments | 1220 1220 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Safety Tips from OSHA to Avoid Falling from a Ladder

Falls from ladders are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.

In fact, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), close to one-third of construction site deaths result from falls from ladders.

Furthermore, it is the employer’s responsibility to train workers and provide a safe work environment for them.

Safety Precautions: Knowing When and When Not to Use a Ladder

Ladders and stepladders are not always the best option for work. Using a ladder is not a good idea when:

  • Holding onto heavy items
  • Working from the height for a long time
  • Elevation for work would make a long ladder unstable
  • You have to stand sideways on the ladder to do the job

Under these circumstances, a scissor lift or a platform stepladder (platform with handrail barricades on the side) would be safer than a ladder.

Other Safety Tips to Avoid Falls from Ladders

Here are some other safety guidelines to follow:

  • Make sure the ladder is high enough to reach the area. (Do not stand on the top ladder rung.)
  • Extend the ladder and secure it three feet above the landing point of the next level for a safe handhold.
  • Secure the base of the ladder.
  • Wear non-slip, flat boots or shoes.
  • Place the ladder on even, stable ground.
  • Ensure full extension of the ladder before working.
  • Put barriers or cones around the ladder to prevent passersby from walking near or under the ladder.
  • Do not carry tools or materials while climbing the ladder.
  • Keep your weight centered between side rails and do not lean out from the ladder while working.
  • If using a ladder near a doorway, ensure you lock the door.

Whenever falls from ladders cause serious injury, it is wise to consult with an accident attorney to find out about recovering compensation. The State of New York has stringent laws that can protect your rights in a construction accident case.

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Bicycle Accidents in NYC Are on the Rise in 2019
by cjleclaire
Aug 16, 2019 | 11310 views | 0 0 comments | 2317 2317 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

People Are Shocked by the Number of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents are prevalent this year. As of July 30, there have been 18 bicycle accident deaths in New York City.

The latest accident occurred in the Greenwood Heights area of Brooklyn. As a bicyclist swerved to avoid an opening car door, a tractor-trailer truck hit the bicyclist and killed her. According to a CBS New York report, the victim was 30 years old. The accident occurred in the morning at 35th Street and Third Avenue.

One bicyclist told the reporter that he had been doored four times while riding his bike in this area. According to bike advocates, Third Avenue has eight car lanes and no bike lane. It is a very dangerous area for bikers. This recent accident occurred only a few blocks away from where another bicyclist was struck and killed on January 1, 2019.

New York City’s Response to the Increase in Bicycle Accidents

Mayor De Blasio has a multi-million dollar cyclist safety plan, which would provide more protected bike lanes. It would also expand bike lanes in priority Brooklyn and Queens districts where accidents are prevalent. Furthermore, the plan would provide greater law enforcement in the most dangerous sections.

Plans also exist to expand Project Green Wave, which enables all traffic to pass from one green light to another. Zones in the Green Wave Project will have speed limits set to 15 miles per hour. Next year, the first corridors for the project will come online.

The Mayor revealed this plan after the 17th biker had died on July 23.

Bicycle Accidents from a Legal Perspective

To bring a lawsuit for serious injury or death in a bicycle accident, the attorney must prove that the driver was at fault. Opening a door without regard to bicycle traffic, violating the bicyclist’s right of way and other traffic infractions often point to negligence.

For serious accident injuries, it is wise to consult with an attorney and discuss your rights.

Our lawyers at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP have handled many bicycle accident cases over the years and have been successful in recovering compensation for clients.

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Pedestrian Killed in a Recent Hit and Run Accident in North Babylon
by cjleclaire
Aug 16, 2019 | 10180 views | 0 0 comments | 2104 2104 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

How Can Lawyers Help Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents?

Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver causes an accident and flees from the accident scene. However, all drivers involved in an accident involving injury or death must stay at the scene of an accident, whether they caused the accident or not. Also, all drivers involved must file an accident report.

Under New York law, anyone who is party to an accident where injury or death occurs must immediately notify the police. It is a crime to leave the accident scene.

Hit and run accidents can involve an accident between vehicles; or between a vehicle and a bicyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian.

The Recent Hit-and-Run Accident in North Babylon

According to Newsday, an auto parts delivery van hit two pedestrians in the parking lot of an Auto Zone store on July 29. The store was located on Route 231, near Commack Avenue, and the accident occurred around 1:00 in the afternoon.

When the van struck them, one of the pedestrians got caught beneath the van. However, the driver did not stop, and the van dragged her for about three blocks. When the driver made a right turn, she dislodged from the van. Upon arriving at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, doctors pronounced the accident victim’s death. Doctors at the hospital also treated the other pedestrian struck by the van for minor non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators at the scene inspected skid marks but no other details about the accident were released. Police apprehended the van driver, charged him with hit-and-run and took him into custody.

What Can a Hit-and-Run Accident Victim or Their Family Members Do?

In addition to the criminal charges a hit-and-run driver faces, a lawyer can file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the injury victim. In the event of death, the attorney can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family.

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and suffer serious injuries, you may have legal grounds to pursue a case. New York hit-and-run accident attorneys can investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury and explain your rights to take legal action.

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Different Causes and Types of Bicycle Accidents in New York
by cjleclaire
Jul 23, 2019 | 9884 views | 0 0 comments | 1150 1150 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Some of the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Many different types of bicycle accidents occur in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County. These are heavily populated areas, and there are numerous bicycles, vehicles and pedestrians on the roads. Consequently, collisions are bound to happen. However, when serious injury results and another party was at fault, legal grounds may exist to pursue a lawsuit to hold the negligent parties accountable.

Despite the increasing numbers of bicyclists, the New York City DOT (Department of Transportation) claims that bicycling has grown dramatically safer. Even so, that does not mean that bike riders are free from danger.

Bicycle Accidents Causes

The following types of situations can cause bike accidents:

  • Dooring. “Dooring” describes a bike accident where drivers or passengers are exiting their cars and open the door into a bicyclist, who is passing by the vehicle. The unexpected door opening can strike riders, throw them off their bikes and cause bikes to crash or flip over. Being thrown into oncoming traffic is a serious concern. Also, if cyclists try to avoid the door, there is the danger they may swerve into oncoming traffic. A dooring accident can result in severe injuries or fatalities. The fault for the accident lies with the driver or passenger who failed to look before opening the door.
  • Failure to Yield the Right of Way. Who has the right of way  — the bicyclist or the vehicle or the pedestrian? It is crucial to understand right of way laws in New York. For example, in crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way. Bicyclists must use a bike lane or the right shoulder near the curb, but they may move farther left (three to four feet) to avoid hazards with parked cars. It is illegal for a car to stop or stand in a bike lane.
  • Road defects and potholes. Poor road conditions can make bicycle riding dangerous. Hitting a pothole can throw the bike and rider up into the air or cause the biker to lose control and suffer injury. Local governments are responsible for keeping the roads in good repair and making them safe for traffic.

Experienced NY Bicycle Accidents Attorneys

When determining whether grounds exist for a lawsuit, attorneys investigate to establish who was at fault for causing the bicycle accident. When injuries are serious or result in death, a bicycle accident lawyer can often help you recover compensation for damages.

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What Types of Swimming Pool Injuries and Accidents Can Occur?
by cjleclaire
Jul 10, 2019 | 12049 views | 0 0 comments | 1481 1481 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Avoiding Accidents at Swimming Pools

Swimming pool injuries most frequently occur when the weather is hot. During the summertime in particular, going for a swim has been a favorite pastime.

Although swimming is a lot of fun, safety is also an issue. One of the best preventions against accidents is understanding the risks involved with swimming pools.

Types of Swimming Pool Injuries and Accidents

Diving Injuries

When diving into a swimming pool, swimmers may not give a second thought to how deep the water is. Yet, diving into water that is too shallow can cause serious injuries. Diving into shallow water can cause brain, head or neck injuries. In serious cases, injuries can lead to brain damage or paralysis. In addition, if the diver is knocked unconscious, he or she could drown.

Whenever diving into a pool, it’s vital to notice the depth of the water beforehand.

Pool Drain Injuries

Swimming pools have drains as part of their filtering systems to keep the water clean. Many people, and in particular children, may not know to stay away from the drains. Swimming pool drain injuries can be severe and are not that uncommon. The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) reported that certain drains exert up to 300 pounds of pressure per square inch. While most drains have tightly fastened covers to secure them, an improperly covered drain is capable of causing serious injury or death.

The drain’s suction is so strong that it can tear organs from a body. Unfortunately, this has happened in drain accidents.

Some pools have a safety vacuum cutoff. If someone becomes trapped, then the suction is cut off. However, not all drains have this feature. Keeping adults and children away from pool drains, is a vitally important safety factor. This is also true for hot tubs.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Many pools have signs that say, “No Running.” Areas around the pool often get wet. Water drips off people’s bodies and swimming suits as they leave the pool. As a result, wet surfaces tend to be slippery, and running can increase the chances of slip and fall injuries.

Pool owners have the responsibility of making the areas around the pool as safe as possible. Posting signs to remind people to be careful is a safety precaution.

While a slip and fall accident may not sound serious, severe and even fatal injuries have occurred as a result of slips and falls. Common injuries include head injuries, fractured bones, spinal cord tears and back injuries, such as herniated discs.

If you are involved in a swimming pool accident and suffer serious injury, you may have legal grounds to pursue a case. New York swimming pool injury attorneys can review the circumstances surrounding your injury and discuss the prospects of taking legal action.

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What You Should Know About Pedestrian Accidents
by cjleclaire
Jul 02, 2019 | 14752 views | 0 0 comments | 1894 1894 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Traffic Codes that Protect Pedestrians’ Rights

Pedestrian accidents often occur because someone violates the right of way. New York State has traffic laws that establish pedestrians’ rights when walking on crosswalks and sidewalks and also for other traffic situations.

Were You Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? What Are Your Rights and Responsibilities?

Article 27 of NY Vehicle and Traffic Law explains your rights and duties as a pedestrian:

  • Traffic Signals. Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and cannot cross the street against a red light. When drivers make turns at traffic lights and pedestrians are crossing the intersection, the driver must yield the right of way to the pedestrian.
  • Crosswalks. When entering a designated crosswalk or unmarked intersection crosswalk, pedestrians have the right of way, even when no traffic signal is placed at the crossing. If one vehicle stops to allow a pedestrian to cross, other vehicles must also stop. If there is a tunnel or overpass for pedestrians, they should use those means of crossing. Pedestrians must not unexpectedly step off a curb onto the street and into the path of a vehicle. The vehicle would not have a reasonable amount of time to stop and yield.
  • Sidewalks. When a driver leaves an alley, driveway or street that crosses a sidewalk, pedestrians have the right of way. Drivers must yield to them before entering into traffic.
  • Roadways. When no crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk exists at an intersection, drivers have the right of way. Pedestrians must yield to drivers. It is against the law for a pedestrian to cross an intersection diagonally, unless a police officer or traffic control person is directing traffic and indicates the pedestrian should cross.

Experienced NY Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

Establishing who was at fault for causing a pedestrian accident is pivotal for pursuing a case. When injuries are serious or fatal, taking legal action can help you recover compensation for damages.

New York pedestrian accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to hold an at-fault driver accountable for your injuries. If you’re seriously injured, you should consult with a lawyer about the prospects of pursuing a case.

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Hazards Involved with Ladder and Scaffold Accidents
by cjleclaire
Jul 02, 2019 | 13549 views | 0 0 comments | 1719 1719 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Preventing Exposure to Ladder and Scaffold Accidents

Ladder and scaffold accidents are some of the most common accidents in the construction industry. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the majority of construction workers are involved in working from scaffolds (65%).

OSHA also indicates what the top hazards are that result in scaffold accidents.

Falls

OSHA lists the number one hazard for scaffold accidents as falls. The following hazards often result in falls:

  • Lack of guardrails
  • Improper guardrail installation
  • Failure to use personal fall arrest systems when indicated
  • Lack of proper access to the scaffold work platform

When a 24-inch vertical change to an upper or lower level exists, OSHA requires scaffold access such as secured ladders, stair towers, ramps, etc.

OSHA has established standards for the minimal level of protection. Even so, many general contracts require 100 percent fall protection for workers who are working at heights of six feet or higher or on scaffolds.

Scaffold Collapse

Scaffolds must be inspected daily to ensure they are secured and stable. However, the first step in preventing scaffold collapse is during initial scaffold construction. Vital factors to consider during scaffold construction are the weight of materials and workers and the scaffold weight itself. To ensure foundation stability, the scaffold plank placement, the scaffold’s distance to the work surface, and tie-in requirements are also crucial to consider.

Falling Materials

Being struck by materials falling from scaffolds is another serious hazard for workers. It is also a danger for pedestrians. Tools or materials can and do fall from platforms. Preventative measures include installing toe boards or netting on work platforms that can catch falling objects before they reach lower work areas or the ground. Another safety precaution is to erect barricades that physically prevent individuals from walking under work platforms. Caution of Danger tape can be useful as well, but sometimes people ignore or disregard it. The best methods are plastic mesh or barricades.

Whatever method is used, workers onsite must be aware that overhead work is in progress.

Electrocution

OSHA requires a 10 feet distance between scaffolds and electrical hazards. If this isn’t possible, then the options are either de-energizing the electrical source or having the power company properly insulate it.

New York Scaffolding Law Protection

Because of the inherent dangers in working with scaffolds and working at higher elevations, New York State passed the scaffolding law. As a result, NY workers are provided with greater legal protection in ladder and scaffolding accidents than workers in other states.

For more information, please see our Ladders and Scaffold Accidents page.

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What Are Distracted Driving Accidents?
by cjleclaire
Jun 19, 2019 | 13088 views | 0 0 comments | 1160 1160 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Manual, Visual and Cognitive Distraction

Distracted driving accidents are something you hear a lot about today. While technological advances have been wonderful for convenience, advanced technology has also resulted in a greater potential for distracting drivers.

Distracted driving accidents refer to accidents that are caused by drivers who do not have their complete attention on driving. In such instances, something else is taking their attention off the road. Distracted driving occurs often, and it occurs in greater or lesser degrees, but a few seconds of inattention is all that it takes to cause an accident.

Types of Distracted Driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are three main types of distracted driving:

  • Visual distraction. When you take your eyes off the road, visual distraction occurs. Examples of visual distraction include: reading a text, surfing the internet, looking at your phone to answer a call, turning around to yell at your kids, looking through a fast food bag to grab your burger, looking at a car accident or turning your attention away from the road to do sight seeing.
  • Manual distraction. Manual distraction refers to taking your hands off the driving wheel. Examples of manual distraction include rifling through your purse to grab your ringing cell phone, taking your hand off the wheel to sip a drink or eat, punching radio buttons, managing a CD changer or operating your GPS.
  • Cognitive distraction. When you take your mind off of driving, you’re engaged in cognitive distraction. While you may have a hands-free cell phone and be driving with your hands on the driving wheel, when you talk on the phone, your complete attention is not on the road. Perhaps you’re mentally mulling over a problem at work, thinking about vacation plans, simply daydreaming or mentally scheduling out your day. All of these mental activities are cognitive distractions to driving.

What Are the Risks for Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving?

The CDC warns that texting is the worst distraction of all because it involves all three types of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive. Texting generally lasts for 5 seconds, which if you’re traveling at 55 mph, is the length of a football field.

An estimated 25 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities result from distracted driving. Teenage drivers have the highest record of distracted driving reports. Distracted driving causes more than 58 percent of teen vehicle crashes.

When a distracted driver causes an accident and you suffer serious injury, you have a legal rights. New York car accident attorneys can pursue a case to recover compensation for damages.

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