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stop signWhen you have a fairly strong case, there are various avenues to reach a successful outcome. While any of those avenues can potentially provide you with the compensation you need, some may be even more optimal than others. For example, if you can persuade the trial court that it should award you summary judgment in your case, then that means that the defendants will be held liable, and you will have gotten that judgment of liability without having to undergo the stress and potential uncertainty of a full trial on the question of fault. In order to make sure you are taking the best approach to get the compensation you need, make sure you consult and retain a knowledgeable New York injury attorney.

One situation that can lend itself to achieving a successful summary judgment motion in an auto accident case is when there is a clear-cut case of one party’s having wrongfully failed to yield the right of way. As an example, take the case arising from an intersection accident in Dutchess County. A.M.’s vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by B.R. B.R.’s vehicle was owned by another person, M.G. B.R. was traveling along a street that had stop sign. A.M.’s street had no traffic signal or sign.

A.M. sued both the other driver and the owner of the vehicle. The central thrust of A.M.’s case was fairly straightforward: B.R. negligently ran the stop sign and caused the crash. This meant that B.R. improperly failed to yield the right of way in violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, was liable for A.M.’s injuries and owed her damages, according to the complaint.

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construction lawNew York City is currently in the midst of a construction boom. In many ways, this is very good news. New construction can mean new housing options, new employment options and new opportunities of various types. For construction workers, it should mean a wealth of new job prospects and a steady stream of work. Unfortunately, it has also meant something else: a substantial uptick in the number of construction workers injured and killed on the job. It shouldn’t have to be this way, but that is the reality. Fortunately for workers and their families, New York law has an avenue for recovering an award of damages when a worker is hurt or killed due to inadequate safety on the job. If you’ve been hurt in an accident while working a New York City construction job, be sure you have the legal representation you need from a skilled New York injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve.

At the beginning of September, the New York Post published an article entitled “Construction accidents soar amid NYC building boom.” That article shared some depressing statistics. During the first seven months of 2018, twice as many construction workers died on the job in New York City as died in the first seven months of 2017. A total of nearly 500 men and women were injured in more than 450 construction accidents occurring from January to July 2018. These injury numbers represented a 17% uptick from the number of construction accident injuries occurring in the city from January to July 2017. (The Post obtained this information from the city’s Buildings Department.)

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes what’s called the “fatal four,” which are the four leading causes of fatal construction accidents. These are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and “caught in-betweens,” which are accidents where a worker is pinned or trapped and becomes caught, crushed or compressed.

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car accidentIn many rear-end accident scenarios, the driver of the rear vehicle is often the one determined to be legally liable and the driver of the lead vehicle may be the person who seeks compensation for his injuries. In some specific circumstances, though, you may be entitled to a judgment finding the other driver negligent and liable, and yourself entitled to an award of damages, even if you were the driver of the rear vehicle. There are various situations in which a rear driver can be mostly or even completely free of negligence in causing the rear-end accident. Before you assume you have no case because you were the rear driver, be sure you have first consulted with an experienced New York injury attorney.

A recent case that involved this type of scenario happened in Duchess County. The fact pattern was familiar. Vehicle A came to a stop. Vehicle B didn’t, and thus rear-ended Vehicle A. The accident caused one of the drivers to suffer injuries. The person who was hurt and sued was H.M., the driver of the rear vehicle. The driver of the front vehicle, R.A., asserted that she had intended to make a left turn and, in order to do so, had gradually come to a complete stop and had turned on her blinker as she waited for traffic to clear. H.M. asserted that R.A. didn’t signal and that she stopped very abruptly.

In a case like this, one of the important hurdles for you to clear is to defeat the defense’s request for summary judgment, which would result in your case being thrown out before you even make it to trial. In this case, the Appellate Division determined that H.M. had enough to take his case to trial. The state route along which R.A. and H.M. were traveling was one in which drivers “could reasonably expect that traffic would continue unimpeded.” When you’re in those conditions and the car in front of you stops so abruptly that you can’t avoid a collision, even utilizing a safe following distance and keeping a proper lookout, then you may be entitled to a ruling that holds the lead driver liable.

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Legal News GavelIf you are involved in an auto accident in New York and suffer injuries as a result, there are certain factual things that have the potential to make your case more challenging. If you were driving the rear vehicle in a rear-end collision, that has the potential to work against you. If you were in a collision with a vehicle that was performing work on a road at the time of the accident, this can also possibly weaken your case. None of these things are, by themselves, automatically fatal to your case, however. You still have options for achieving a successful outcome. Be sure to talk to a knowledgeable New York injury attorney about your case.

As an example, look at the case of P.C. P.C., while on his way to church one February morning. encountered a most unexpected sight. As he crested over a hill, he found a snow plow in his lane, driving in reverse. P.C. braked but could not avoid colliding with the plow. The snow plow driver continued backing up for 3-4 seconds after the crash before he realized he’d hit someone.

P.C. sued the plow driver and the town for whom the driver was working. P.C.’s case offers a couple of important elements of New York law related to auto accident injuries. Generally, in a situation where two vehicles collide with the rear of the front vehicle impacting the front of the rear vehicle, then the rear driver is the person who will be determined to be legally at fault in causing the accident. There are, however, certain situations in which a rear driver will not be liable in this type of accident. If the rear driver proves that he encountered an unexpected event or that the front driver engaged in negligent driving, and that the rear driver did everything he could to avoid the accident, then the rear driver may be free from liability. Recently, the New York courts ruled in favor of a rear driver who crashed into the back of a truck that had struck an overpass and had, as a result, stopped abruptly in the middle of a highway. In P.C.’s case, the front vehicle was driving in reverse in a travel lane, and P.C. had evidence that he did everything he could to avoid the crash.

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If you’ve been hurt while working at a construction job, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The group of people or entities whom you can properly sue for that compensation may depend on the specific facts of your case. While the law allows you to seek compensation from the owner of the property and the general contractor on the job, the law may also allow you to pursue others if you can prove that the other person or entity legally qualified as an “agent” of the owner or the contractor. Talk to a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney to learn more about your rights and your options.Legal News Gavel

An example of this issue of an “agent” was the New York City case of F.S. F.S.’ construction injury unfortunately occurred as far too many do; he fell from a scaffold. F.S. was working on a job at what was to be a mixed-use hotel and condo building. The building was owned by multiple companies. When you are injured at your construction job, especially if it is a larger job, the chances are high that there are numerous entities involved. Giving yourself the best chance of getting a full and fair recovery, then, means identifying all of the entities that are potentially liable to you and including them in your lawsuit. It also means identifying the ones that are not liable under the law and making sure that you don’t include them in your legal action.

At F.S.’ worksite, one firm served as the construction manager, and that company hired a different entity to serve as the safety consultant on the project. The safety consultant was one of the entities that the worker named in his Scaffold Law action. The safety consultant tried to get the court to dismiss it from the case, but it was not successful. The law allows injured construction workers to go after three groups of people under the Labor Law. One is the owners of the site. Another is the general contractor. A third is any entity that is an “agent” of either of the first two.

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rear end accidentRear-end accidents are a somewhat unique type of auto accident case in that the law creates certain legal presumptions about which driver was to blame for a rear-end accident. These presumptions can be very helpful if you are the injured driver of the vehicle that was rear-ended. In some situations, you may be entitled to a judgment holding the other driver liable without even having to undergo a trial on the issue of liability. An experienced New York accident injury attorney can help guide you through the legal processes of obtaining compensation for your rear-end accident damages.

To understand how these cases work, here’s a recent case that offers a real-life illustration. N.H. was a driver injured in a crash in Westchester County. In her case, N.H. testified that she had approached a red traffic signal and stopped. Five seconds later, another driver rear-ended her.

If you are injured because someone crashes into you from behind, that fact is potentially very helpful. New York law says that merely offering proof that you were rear-ended while stopped or stopping “establishes a prima facie case of negligence on the part of the” rear driver.

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Legal News GavelMany people might think that the laws that potentially provide for compensation for construction site injuries only apply to people employed as construction workers. These laws, however, can apply to an array of different individuals. Many of them are construction workers, but not all are. If you have been injured at a construction site, even if you’re not a construction worker, it is worth your while to explore your options. Talk to a knowledgeable New York construction injury attorney to learn more about your potential case.

An example of this was the case of D., who was the owner of property on Long Island that included a single-family home. One June day in 2014, D. was at the property to inspect the work being performed by the construction firm he had retained to do some excavation work on the property (that was necessary prior to adding a room onto the home). D., while walking around the property, slipped and fell, suffering significant injuries.

D. sued the excavation company. His lawsuit alleged that his slip-and-fall was the result of oil that had leaked from a faulty hydraulic line of a backhoe that the excavating company had brought on the property.

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pedestrian with bicycleThere are several different important thresholds in your personal injury case. One of these is when your opponent asks the court to award summary judgment in its favor. If you lose, then your case is over and you receive zero compensation. If you win, then you can continue proceeding with your case, giving you the opportunity to secure a favorable verdict or, alternately, a fair settlement. Clearing this threshold means, in part, understanding what is required for a summary judgment and knowing how to argue persuasively to the court that your opportunity is not entitled to that judgment. For the legal advice and strategies your case needs, make sure you contact a skilled New York injury attorney about your accident.

For an example, there’s the case of M., a bicyclist who was walking alongside her bike on a street that was beneath an overpass. A vehicle driven by J. hit M., running over her foot. M. suffered a broken foot and sued J. for her damages. In his defense, J. argued that the “Sole proximate cause” was M.’s negligence. That, he asserted, meant that he was entitled to summary judgment in his favor and the case against him should be thrown out. The trial judge agreed with J. and issued an order granting summary judgment in favor of the driver, thereby ending the bicyclist’s case.

M. appealed and she won. The ruling from the Appellate Division highlights just how high a hurdle it was that J. was trying to clear. To win, he had to have enough evidence to demonstrate to the court that there was not possible interpretation of the facts that would allow a reasonable jury (or judge in a non-jury trial) to concluded that J. was in any way negligent at all.

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Legal News GavelIf you are injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, there are several potential pitfalls that may ensnare your case on the way to an award of compensation. The property owner may argue that it did not know, and could not reasonably have known, about the hazard. Alternatively, the facts in your case may lead the defense to argue that the hazard that allegedly felled you was too trivial to allow for a judgment of liability and award of compensation. Overcoming these and other arguments requires a careful knowledge of the law and an in-depth understanding regarding the evidence needed in a premises liability case. To make sure you have a strong case, make sure you contact a skilled New York premises liability attorney about your accident.

Two different recent rulings highlight what it takes to overcome an argument about the size of the defect that harmed you. In the first case, Nancy was a customer headed inside a convenience store on Long Island. Nancy allegedly suffered substantial injuries when she tripped and fell on a defect in the store’s parking lot. The store asked the court to throw out the case, arguing that the parking lot defect was “trivial as a matter of law.”

New York law is very clear that property owners are not liable for injuries caused by trivial defects. The law does not, however, have a specific definition of what makes a defect trivial as opposed to non-trivial. The court in Nancy’s case explained that there “is no ‘minimal dimension test’ or per se rule that a defect must be of a certain minimum height or depth.” The law requires courts to look at all of the evidence. In other words, a relatively small defect might be non-trivial and allow for an award of compensation if it had certain other things that would potentially make it comparatively dangerous. This included things like “a jagged edge; a rough, irregular surface; the presence of other defects in the vicinity; poor lighting; or a location—such as a parking lot, premises entrance/exit, or heavily traveled walkway—where pedestrians are naturally distracted from looking down at their feet.”

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Legal News GavelThere are many ways that construction sites can be unsafe. Many times, when one thinks about construction site safety, one might think about safe scaffolding, proper fall protection, appropriate eyewear and head covering, or machinery and equipment that has been properly kept up and maintained. Sometimes, though, a workplace can be made unsafe simply by a failure to pick up debris and small supplies. When that happens, and you are injured as a result, you may have just as strong a case as if you fell from a defective scaffold. To learn more about your ability to recover compensation, talk to a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney right away.

A case from the Bronx provides an example of how this can work. Derek was working at a job that required him to install sheetrock in a stairwell. While working, Derek tripped over an extension cord and fell down the stairs. He suffered substantial injuries and sued.

The injured worker advanced his case using a particular statute, Section 240(1), which is sometimes called the “Scaffold Law.” This law, however, lets injured workers sue in a variety of situations, beyond just circumstances that involve scaffolds. Generally, if you are a worker required to work on an elevated surface that is your only means of access to your work space, and you suffer injuries in a fall, you have the potential to pursue a lawsuit under this statute.

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