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In any civil lawsuit case, there are many extremely important decisions that must be made. It is important to recognize that, with each vital choice, there are two equally important aspects – making the right decision and making it at the right time. Summary judgment may be the correct procedure to get you the victory you need, but not if you file your motion for summary judgment prematurely. To help you be sure that your timing is right, be sure you have an experienced New York City injury attorney on your side.

A couple of recent auto accident cases reflect how this summary judgment process can work or fail. L.M. was a driver who was allegedly injured in Brooklyn when he was rear-ended at a T-intersection. L.M. had asserted in his case that he had stopped at a red light and initiated his right-turn signal, then was hit in the rear just as soon as the light turned green.

L.M. moved for summary judgment. The defendant argued that L.M.’s motion was premature. The trial court decided that it was not, and ruled for L.M. (The Appellate Division later affirmed that outcome.) In order for the defendant to have had any possibility of having a case, he needed some something that refuted what L.M. had asserted and that provided some sort of non-negligent explanation for having rear-ended L.M.

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When you’re injured in a construction accident, and you seek to obtain a summary judgment on the issue of a defendant’s (or defendants’) liability, there are several things that you need to do. One of those likely things is providing your own statement on the record about exactly what happened and how you were injured. Additionally, if you have any co-workers who saw the accident and can back up your version of events, then it is important to identify them and to get their testimony on the record, too, so this proof can also bolster your case. Whether it is seeking evidence through discovery, getting statements on the record (through depositions, affidavits or otherwise) or compiling your evidence into a winning summary judgment motion, a skilled New York construction injury attorney can help you navigate the process and do the things necessary to achieve a positive result.

One Brooklyn construction worker’s injury case was an example in completing these processes properly. In the fall of 2012, a worker named R.P. and his co-workers were disassembling a grid of posts and girders that held plywood sheets in place. While doing his job, R.P. was struck in the head by a plywood sheet that fell down from the first floor ceiling. The sheet that crashed into R.P.’s head measured 4’ by 8’ and caused the worker to suffer significant injuries.

In R.P.’s case, he and his legal team did the things necessary to earn a summary judgment. R.P. gave a deposition describing the accident. He obtained an affidavit from a co-worker who saw the accident happen. The co-worker’s affidavit was particularly helpful for R.P., as that co-worker stated that he saw another worker remove a vertical post 20-30 minutes before the accident, which left a 4-by-8 piece of plywood unsecured in the ceiling. The co-worker also stated that there was no caution tape put up in the area where R.P. was walking when he was hit. (This evidence was a potential aid in defeating any possible defense argument that R.P. was somewhere he shouldn’t have been when the accident took place.)

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Sometimes, the explanation – and blame – for an accident can be fairly clear. Perhaps the driver who hit you was intoxicated, was asleep, was texting or otherwise distracted by a phone, was speeding or violated the rules of the road. Other times, though, none of those things are true about the accident that injured you. Just because your accident’s facts fit into the latter category, that does not automatically mean, however, that you cannot pursue the driver who hit you successfully. There may still be other valid bases for finding that driver negligent and getting the compensation you need. For skillful advice about how to handle your accident case, be sure to obtain representation for an experienced New York injury attorney.

In February, a tragic accident involving a well-known figure in New York sports made headlines, including a report by ESPN. A long-time college basketball coach was driving along an interstate highway late one night when he struck a man who was in the road on foot. The impact inflicted fatal injuries upon the man.

At the conclusion of the police’s investigation into the accident, authorities decided that the state would bring no criminal charges against the coach. The coach was not speeding and was not driving recklessly. Additionally, he was very helpful and cooperative at the scene, including submitting to a blood-alcohol content analysis that yielded a result of 0.00, a report stated.

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When you are injured while engaged in certain types of work, the array of legal bases upon which you can pursue compensation in New York may vary. For some tasks, a workplace injury may open the door to seek an award of damages under one or both of two New York Labor Law statutes: Sections 240(1) and 241(6). These laws are very important for protecting workers who suffer construction accidents due to falls, falling objects or a failure to follow the state’s safety regulations. Even if you weren’t a “hard hat” moving 1,000-pound steel I-beams, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your work isn’t covered by these laws. And, even if you were the only witness to your accident, that also doesn’t mean you cannot achieve a successful result. To find out more about your options for seeking compensation, reach out to an experienced New York construction injury attorney.

Here’s an example from Manhattan that was decided by the Appellate Division last summer. B.C. was a man whose work duties included maintenance of the sprinklers of a building in Chelsea. One day, while working on the sprinklers, B.C. fell off a six-foot A-frame ladder, suffering substantial injuries in the fall. B.C. asserted that he was tightening a bolt when the ladder shifted, and that was what caused his fall.

B.C. sued the building’s owner under Section 240(1). This is a law that says that workers are entitled to adequate safeguards to protect them from falls and from being struck by falling objects. (It’s also sometimes called the “Scaffold Law.”) The building owner, as a key part of its defense, tried to persuade the court that the work that B.C. was doing wasn’t covered by the statute. The law says that it covers erection, demolition, repairs, alterations, painting and cleaning of a building or structure.

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A major auto insurance company has a series of television commercials in which it touts the value of its experience. Each commercial presents a scenario where a customer encountered damage as a result of some particularly bizarre set of facts. At the end, the actor-spokesman states that the customer was covered and that, at the insurance company, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”

Personal injury law can be a bit like that. You want to be sure that you have experienced New York auto accident counsel on your side to give yourself the best chance of success. You want a legal team that has seen “a thing or two” in court and, therefore, knows “a thing or two” about getting you the recovery you deserve, no matter how odd the cause of your injury.

H.F. was a driver who experienced such an unusual injury in his case. H.F. was behind the wheel of a stopped car in Manhattan. All of a sudden, H.F. found himself a situation that would startle many of us. A tow truck that was in front of him began moving backward and heading directly for him. The tow truck eventually slammed into H.F.’s car, causing him to suffer substantial injuries. What made H.F.’s case especially unique was that there was no one behind the wheel of the truck when it crashed into H.F.’s car.

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For any construction worker injured on the job, but especially for those facing major damages, it is vital to be sure that you go about pursuing your court case the right way. It is essential that you file on time, that you include all of the legal claims allowed, and that you name as defendants all of the entities and people who might be liable and owe you compensation. Make a mistake on any of these and you may cost yourself a portion of the compensation you deserve–or you may cost yourself your case entirely.

It is also important to take advantage of the legal tools at your disposal. One of the key ones is summary judgment. A summary judgment decision that finds a defendant liable means that you have won on the question of liability without having to have a full trial on that issue, which can save you time, money and stress. For reliable aid in using these and other tools in navigating the legal process, be sure to retain the services of a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney.

For an example of successful navigation of a construction law case, there’s the lawsuit filed by L.S., who was a sheet metal worker working on a project in Manhattan. While working on the building’s sixth floor, L.S. fell through a hole in the floor and crashed all the way down to the fifth floor. The worker’s injuries were considerable, having hurt his spine, ribs, back, left thumb, left elbow, neck, teeth, both feet, both ankles and both shoulders.

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No one wants to imagine being rear-ended in an auto accident. However, whether it is due to a driver under-appreciating how slick or slippery roads are, a driver falling victim to distractions like cell phones, or some other cause, these accidents happen all too often. When it happens to you, you probably know that the rear driver is typically at fault and that you may be entitled to compensation in court. But would you know how to go about getting that much-needed compensation? And, more precisely, would you know the best way to do it? For answers to these and other questions, be sure to retain the services of a skilled New York City injury attorney.

Many people probably know that they can sue the driver who rear-ended them. But there’s more to it than that. A full trial on the issue of the accident’s causation and the other driver’s liability can possibly be very time consuming and stressful–and there may be a way to avoid it. That method for avoiding a full trial on the issue of liability is called “summary judgment,” and was a key to success for a pair of injured drivers in their recent cases.

Summary judgment means that the judge has decided that, of the factual disputes that may exist between you and the other driver, there are none that would alter the outcome of the case. Even if every factual dispute was resolved in your opponent’s favor, the law would still dictate that you win. When that happens, you win on liability and the case moves on to a trial–albeit only on the issue of how much your damages award should be.

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As a construction worker, you are often called upon to perform a variety of tasks where reaching the area upon which you must work is complicated. Traditional devices like lifts or scaffolds may not fit in the space available. When that happens, you may be forced to “get creative.” However, what happens when the improvised device you set up fails, you fall and suffer injuries? Does the fact that you put together your own improvised device necessarily mean that you are out of luck when it comes to obtaining compensation? As one recent case from upstate shows, the answer is “no!” Never just give up; instead, always consult a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney about your situation.

In the case referenced above, D.C. was a construction worker whom D.D. hired to install siding on a rental property that D.D. owned. The siding that the property owner wanted installed was to go above a staircase that ran along the side of the building. The owner agreed to rent a lift that D.C. could use for the job, but lifts were too big to fit in the area where D.C. would be working. There was also a “ladder jack” device, but it was in use elsewhere and, in addition, it (like the lift) wouldn’t have fit in the tight space. The owner did not provide D.C. with a conventional scaffold.

Faced with this difficulty, the worker created his own device. D.C. set up his A-frame ladder and then took a scaffolding plank and ran that plank from a rung of the ladder over to the top of the staircase. Neither the ladder nor the plank was anchored to anything. As a result, when D.C. began pushing siding into place, the improvised device slid out from beneath the worker and he fell, breaking his ankle.

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If you’ve heard people discuss the circumstances of a person injured in an auto accident, you’ve probably heard the advice that the injured driver/passenger/pedestrian should call an experienced New York City injury attorney right away. You may have heard this exhortation in a television or radio commercial or you could’ve read that advice in this blog. This advice comes up so frequently because it’s generally solid advice and it’s really important if your injury incident eventually requires you to take legal action. That’s because, while this is hopefully your first time dealing with a personal injury legal situation, it is definitely not your skilled injury attorney’s first. Your attorney knows what steps to take and knows what to do immediately

Why do these things matter so much? Here’s a recent real-life case that provides a useful example. M.O. was operating his vehicle in Manhattan when he slowed to make a right-hand turn. The vehicle behind him didn’t slow down fast enough and rear-ended M.O. M.O. suffered substantial injuries in the accident.

Would you know who to sue if you were M.O.? You might know, on your own, that you can bring a legal action against the rear driver. However, your skilled attorney can help you “dig deeper.” For example, if the owner of the rear vehicle was someone other than the rear driver, then the law may allow you to sue both the driver and the vehicle owner. Furthermore, if the driver was engaged in some activity advancing the interests of his employer, you may be able to include the employer as a defendant in your case.

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When you get hurt working a construction job in New York, the law provides certain opportunities for compensation in various situations. These situations can include, among others, falls or blows from falling objects. To achieve a successful outcome, you’ll need more than just evidence of your fall or the falling object. You’ll need proof that the work you were doing was of a type that is covered by the Labor Law statutes. Sometimes, the classification of the work you were doing can make all the difference between success and failure. To make sure you are providing the court the proof you need to get the compensation you deserve, retain a skilled New York construction injury attorney to handle your case.

An example of a lawsuit that turned upon this “type of work” issue was the case of T.M.’s accident. T.M. was a worker performing activities outside a hospital in the Bronx. In the summer, the hospital was cooled by a chiller unit, which the facility rented. That chiller sat atop a trailer situated on 173rd Street, utilizing hoses that sat on some scaffolding that was also situated on 173rd Street.

In early December 2012, T.M. and some co-workers were tasked with disconnecting the rented chiller. A co-worker experienced problems getting some wood free from underneath the trailer. As the men worked, a chain holding the chiller snapped and the eight-ton chiller slid off the trailer and onto T.M. The impact crushed and killed the worker.

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