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5 Top Safety Tips for New Motorcycle Owners

Now that June is here and spring is finally upon us, most people are eager to get outdoors. If your summer plans include buying a new motorcycle or jumping on one for the first time, it’s important to educate yourself about the risks of riding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 34 times more likely to die in a collision than someone behind the wheel of a car. In honor of a long-overdue spring and motorcycle safety awareness month, let’s take a minute to review the top five safety tips for new motorcyclists.

Staying Safe on the Open Road

Whether you’re a novice rider or an experienced motorcyclist riding again after the winter months, it’s important to stay safe.

  1. Buy the Right Bike for You

Like cars, not all motorcycles work for everyone. Depending on your lifestyle and your body type, a large bike might not suit you. Similarly, heavier bikes work well for people who can handle them. Test drive several different models and work with a knowledgeable sales representative who can (literally) steer you in the right direction. If you have your heart set on a particular style or brand, remember that you will enjoy yourself more if you’re comfortable and in control of your bike. You will also stay safer.

  1. Wear Protective Gear

The leather gear you see in motorcycle dealerships and shops might help you look the part, but it’s really designed to serve a more practical purpose: safety. Road rash accounts for some of the most horrendous injuries suffered by motorcyclists in car crashes. It’s not uncommon for riders to require amputations after skidding against concrete during a collision. Long sleeves, over-the-ankle pants, gloves, and sturdy shoes should be standard regardless of the weather.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice (Riding)

Riding a motorcycle is not like driving a car – or riding a bike. Before you drive anywhere, your first stop should be at a motorcycle instruction course. Experience will give you confidence, which will improve your reaction time if you encounter a close-call on the road. Check your local Department of Motor Vehicles for class offerings. Many motorcycle manufacturers also offer classes led by certified teachers.

  1. Don’t Skip the Helmet

In New York State, motorcyclists (and their passengers) are required to wear helmets and protective eyewear. More importantly, motorcycle helmets save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve cyclists without helmets.

  1. Keep an Eye on the Weather

Avoid inclement weather whenever possible. Rain is especially dangerous for motorcyclists. In addition to reducing your visibility, wet pavement makes it difficult for your tires to grip the road, compromising your ability to make sudden maneuvers and quick turns.

Motorcycle Personal Injury Lawyers

At Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, we help accident victims receive fair compensation for their injuries. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, call our experienced attorneys today at 212-240-0365 for a free consultation about your case.

This website has been prepared by Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, LLP for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Police brutality claims in New York

Recently, there have been a couple of publicized cases involving police brutality in New York. The first involved a million-dollar award made to a Syracuse man who received injuries at the hands of a state trooper in 2001.

The second case is more recent. A Queens judge is alleging that he is the victim of police brutality in New York City when a police officer struck him in the throat. The judge said he witnessed the officers beating a homeless man who was wielding a pipe. The homeless man has also lodged a police brutality complaint over the incident, which took place in Elmhurst in June of this year.

What do these two cases show about police brutality?

These seem to be two very different cases, and they are. But they prove a couple of things to be true regarding police brutality in New York.

The first is that it might take a long time to settle your case. Eleven years to settle the case of the man in the first example. Tenacity pays off. Most lawyers will take your case on contingency, so you won’t be out any money upfront. (More about contingency fees here.)

Secondly, anyone can be the victim of police brutality, from the person being arrested to a bystander. The judge was a witness who says he was trying to keep the crowd that had gathered from encroaching on the officers when one of them mistook him for a vocal protester. This does not, however, excuse the police officer or justify his action.

What to do if you think you have a case

If you feel you have just cause to bring a case against a policeman or state trooper, the best thing to do is to consult with an experienced police brutality attorney in New York to discuss your case and the next steps in recovering damages.

Filing a Personal Injury Protection or No Fault claim after an auto accident

Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage is mandatory in New York for every auto insurance policy. PIP is also known as no-fault insurance claim and can be filed regardless of whether or not you were responsible.

People sometimes hesitate to file No Fault claims for fear that their insurance company will raise their rates or terminate their policy. This is not the case at all. It is illegal for insurance companies to raise rates or terminate coverage based on a claim. Furthermore, the at-fault driver’s insurance company usually reimburses your insurance company for any medical bills paid under your PIP coverage.

What does No Fault pay for?

This type of insurance covers a variety of expenses for you if you are injured in a car accident. It will also cover any passengers in your vehicle who have sustained injuries.

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Co-pays
  • Out-of-pocket prescription costs
  • Lost wages

If you have been hurt and your No Fault claims are denied, a personal injury attorney can help you understand all of your options. If you’ve recently been involved in an automobile accident, you should discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney in New York. Doing so could ensure a more favorable outcome.

Concussion lawsuits getting in the game

If you’ve been following football recently, you know that concussions have become a big story this year. With more than 2,400 retired players joining in a lawsuit against the National Football League for allegedly hiding the knowledge that repeated concussions could lead to short and long-term brain damage, they represent one of the most significant personal injury class action lawsuits in recent history.

While you might never have suited-up for the Giants, Jets or other NFL franchise, you too have the right to protect yourself and your family if you’ve received a concussion due to someone else’s negligence.

Whether it’s by a car accident, slip and fall or other means, proving negligence or carelessness on another’s behalf could entitle you to compensatory damages. Future medical bills, lost wages, damages due to pain and suffering could all be covered.

Potential concussion symptoms such as headaches, seizures, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, loss of short-term memory and confusion can be long-term and result in monumental financial and physical burdens.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed or expect you might have suffered from a concussion due to an accident through no fault of your own, you should discuss your case with an experienced New York personal injury attorney. Doing so could ensure a more favorable outcome.

Follow through in personal injury cases

Generally, in New York, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit expires after three years. However, it is general consensus that filing earlier produces better results.  In some cases, the statute of limitations will even expire after just one year making it important to contact an attorney quickly after an injury. Filing early also gives you the opportunity to:

  • Speak to possible witnesses
  • Note conversations related to the incident
  • Gather more physical evidence to support your case

While filing early does help your lawyer prepare your case, it’s important to realize that much of the responsibility still lies with you. Following through with court orders and suggestions from your lawyer can be just as crucial to your success.

Take this case for instance…

On August 3, 2012, a judge threw out the case of a woman who sustained allegedly “serious injuries” in a 2009 taxi cab accident, after which she sued both the driver of the other car and her cab driver for her injuries.

After failing to appear at any of the three court-ordered independent medical evaluations and failing to notify the courts of her plans, the plaintiff underwent elective spinal surgery, which the judge concluded effectively destroyed evidence of any pre-existing conditions as a result of the accident.

Due to her own lack of follow through, and her decision to undergo surgery, the plaintiff missed out on the opportunity to receive compensation for everything from medical bills and lost wages to pain and suffering, disability and even future losses as a result of the accident.

When filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s always important to follow court orders and the advice of your attorney. It can often make a difference in determining the outcome of your case or settlement. Hiring a personal injury attorney in New York with a proven track record can assure more favorable result in your case.

Accidents happen

Construction sites have a reputation for being hazardous places to work. Let’s face it, when heavy equipment, loud machinery and high-powered tools are a part of your everyday work environment, the potential for accidents to happen is forever looming. Construction accidents account for 20 percent of all workplace fatalities despite the industry making up approximately six percent of the workforce.

Major and minor accidents happen on a daily basis, leaving people injured or unable to take care of themselves and their families. These events serve as reminders to us all that terrible mistakes can happen when rules and safety regulations aren’t followed.

While there are regulations and laws in place to protect construction workers and citizens interacting with these sites, the proper procedures aren’t always followed. In New York City earlier this year, a construction worker was killed while working on the Columbia University expansion project. The contractor had been cited on multiple occasions prior to this fatal accident.

What to do if you’re injured on the job

The state of New York has unique laws in place to protect the safety of construction workers. If proper safety precautions or negligent maintenance and inspection regulations aren’t followed, the construction company should be held responsible. If an accident was caused by defective equipment, the manufacturer may even be at fault. With falls from scaffolding being the most common accidents, it is important to consult an attorney immediately after a fall to ensure you are represented fairly.

If you or someone you know has incurred injuries around a construction site, you’re entitled to medical expenses and lost wages, not to mention possibly substantial insurance settlements from the at fault company. Hiring a professional construction accident lawyer in New York can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Death of Alzheimer’s patient may point to neglect

Earlier this week, the Kansas City Star reported that a nursing home resident had gone missing. That was approximately noon on Sunday. The man’s body was found at 9 p.m. a mile and a half away. Temperatures soared to over 100 degrees that day, and although autopsy results are not available, it’s safe to say that a 75-year-old nursing home patient should not have been wandering around.

Although he was wearing an ankle monitor, the device did not connect to a central tracking location monitored by employees. It only sounds an alarm from the bracelet. It was not the first time he had wandered away.

The memory loss, dementia and confusion associated with the disease require the staff to be on their collective toes at all times while Alzheimer’s patients are in their care.

Warning signs of negligence

Residents wandering unattended is one of the big telltale signs of negligence. If you have a loved one in a senior facility, you should know and be on the lookout for other indications.

  • Messy living conditions
  • Lack of basic hygiene
  • Lack of care for medical problems
  • Unexplained death of a resident
  • Injuries or explanations that don’t make sense
  • Frequent “illnesses”
  • Suddenly withdrawn or non-communicative
  • Unusual or unexplained behavior
  • Resident becomes emotional or agitated easily
  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Bed Sores

What to do if you suspect nursing home neglect

If you suspect that a nursing home is being negligent, the best thing you can do is hire experienced legal representation. If litigation is necessary, the facility will have lawyers who will do everything possible to mitigate liability. You will need an experienced nursing home negligence law firm that will advocate for

What is Municipal Liability?

Municipal liability deals exclusively with the rights and responsibilities of municipalities, including cities, states, towns or counties. According to municipal liability laws, city, town and state officials and workers are responsible for ensuring that residents and visitors are kept safe while using public property including

  • Streets
  • Highways
  • Sidewalks
  • Public transportation
  • Public parks
  • Swimming pools
  • Government buildings
  • Schools

Other types of municipal liability cases

Because it is the responsibility of the municipality to keep roadways safe, some car accidents fall under municipal liability. Potholes, inadequate guard rails, fallen trees and defective traffic signals can be the cause of such accidents and you can make a municipal liability claim.

If you are injured due to unnecessary use of force by police, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and punitive damages. By the same token, if you are in the care of government-operated paramedics or EMS and receive further injuries during that time, you may be in a position to pursue a municipal liability case.

Hiring a municipal liability attorney

Any time people are injured while on public property, they may choose to file a lawsuit against the municipality for negligence. While you have up to three years to pursue most personal injury lawsuits in New York,  you typically only have one year and 90 days to file a personal injury lawsuit against a municipality.  Furthermore, before you file a lawsuit, you must first file a Notice of Claim against the municipality within 90 days of the occurrence.

Because the time is limited to only 90 days, if you’ve been injured on public property, you should seek the counsel of an experienced New York municipal liability attorney who, through experience, can help you determine if you have a valid municipal liability case and act quickly and decisively on your behalf.

Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney

For the most part, compared to other states,New York’s Estate Powers and Trust Law is more narrow in the damages it allows for in wrongful death cases. An experienced wrongful death attorney in New York will understand the limitations of the law and the extent to which the family can sue for compensation.

What is “wrongful death”?

Wrongful death is defined as a death that is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another and that serves as the basis for a civil action for damages on behalf of the decedent’s heirs. Examples of wrongful death can include car accidents, work-related accidents and medical malpractice, just to name a few.

What you’re entitled to

The untimely death of a loved one affects a family in many ways. Dealing with loss and family issues should be the priority. That being said, there are always financial issues that come into play. Even though you may have a life insurance policy, the party responsible should be held accountable. This includes providing full compensation to the victim’s family for

  • Loss of financial support
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Court fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Any other expenses related to the case

In cases of recklessness and/or depravity, punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant, are allowed. In other states, the interpretation is much broader and beneficiaries can sue for loss of affection, companionship and support.

Hiring an attorney

The process of a civil liability case associated with wrongful death is complicated not only by the statutes put forward by the state, but also because of the emotional factors involved. An attorney will help you navigate the law, keeping your family’s best interest at heart, and will work to achieve the desired outcome.

State of New York Explores Ways to Expedite Medical Malpractice Cases

There are more medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the state ofNew York than any other state in the country. This creates a backlog of cases. In some instances, it will take years for the case to go to trial.

New York also leads the country in the amount paid in claims. On average, a medical malpractice claim in the state paid more than $454,000, compared with the national average of $334,000.

The view of the court is that moving cases through the courts more quickly will be a winning proposition for all parties concerned. For the courts, it will reduce the backlog of cases. The reputation of the defendant will most likely suffer some damage with having a pending malpractice lawsuit, but moving the case through limits that damage. For the plaintiff, speeding up the process eliminates the worry of whether they will receive compensation for lost wages, bills and pain and suffering.

The court’s push to settle

For the most part, the state is placing emphasis on settling during the pretrial stages of the case. Several options are being explored, all involving an emphasis on settling before litigation. For obvious reasons, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation has pushed for early settlement of cases for years. They would like to see a judge-directed approach implemented where an experienced judge works with the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys to effect a settlement as early as possible in the pretrial stages. The organization has indicated that it can result in savings both from reduced litigation costs and from lower settlement amounts.

What this means for defendants

As the emphasis is placed on settling in pre-trial stages by the courts and influential lobbies for hospitals and doctors, hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney in New York will be even more important. Experienced attorneys will be working to limit the liability of hospitals and doctors; you should have one as equally experienced working to help you get the compensation you deserve. Negotiation skills and the ability to obtain the most favorable outcome during pretrial stages will become more important.