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Bedsores are a preventable condition

Do not be lulled into thinking that bedsores are not a serious threat to a person’s health.  Bedsores, pressure sores and decubitus ulcers are most often a sign that a patient is being neglected.  And where there is neglect, there’s a good chance that a hospital, nursing home or home care nurse is guilty of medical malpractice.

Because some facilities are understaffed, performing preventative care for bedsores, which can be as simple as just rotating a patient’s body, may not take place in a timely fashion. Sustained pressure on a person’s body cuts off circulation resulting in tissue being damaged.  That damage can be further compounded by a patient lying in soiled linens and clothes if they are not able to care for themselves.

This weakens the skin even more, and if left long enough, results in the affected tissue dying which produces ulcerated sores.  Unfortunately, if left untreated, bedsores can grow worse and may even lead to death in some cases.

The first step after you notice bedsores on a loved one is to seek immediate treatment.  This means confronting the facility where your family member is receiving care.  You may or may not get the response you’re seeking, but you should not be deterred.  In some instances, people are too intimidated to confront medical staff, and if that’s the case, you should bring a lawyer on board to represent your interests as soon as possible.

Experts agree that bedsores are completely preventable and under no circumstances should they be allowed to fester.  When neglect takes place that leads to bedsores, a patient, and their family has every right to seek legal recourse to compensate them for the negligence they’ve experienced.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

Determining who is at fault in an elevator accident

One of the great tools of making New York a thriving city is the use of a simple invention known as an elevator.  It has enabled the city to go vertical and turned the Big Apple into a great modern day metropolis.

People who use elevators on a daily basis probably don’t think twice about stepping on and off of one.  That’s because they trust that building managers and maintenance companies have done their job to keep the elevators safe and in good working order.

In addition, elevators (and escalators) are strictly regulated by city and state officials.  Owners must abide by highly detailed and regulated codes and inspections designed to protect the public before they can put an elevator into use.

However, despite this level of regulation, sometimes elevator accidents do take place.  They can include falls, stoppages in between floors, being stuck in an elevator, electrocutions and falling debris.  When that happens, and you have sustained injuries, no matter how minor, you should contact a lawyer to discuss possible legal action.

Elevator accidents are guided by premises liability laws which hold building owners and related parties responsible when accidents take place.  But in most cases, because elevators are found in larger buildings, it is rarely a simple thing to point the finger at a single party.  While property owners may be easy to blame, they can then point the finger at maintenance contractors.  Contractors can also justify placing blame on manufacturers, creating an almost endless game of who is at fault.

That’s why it’s critical to hire an experienced premises liability lawyer. They can stop the merry-go-round of blame and drill down to the facts of a case, speeding up a settlement to you and helping in your recovery.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

In a city of walkers, sidewalk accidents are bound to occur

In blistering cold weather or harsh heat, New Yorkers are a hardy lot, preferring to walk to many of their destinations, beating traffic jams and getting a good dose of exercise.

Unfortunately, because New York is a city that continues to age, infrastructure in general, and sidewalks, in particular, continue to require ongoing maintenance.  Sometimes that happens in a timely manner.  And sometimes it does not.

Despite all this wear and tear, municipal government and private property owners have a duty to provide walkers with safe and well-maintained sidewalks and walkways.  When this doesn’t happen, and people trip or slip and fall, they may be entitled to seek compensation.

More than just a matter of maintenance, liability for sidewalk accidents can be the result of:

  • Uncleared snow and ice that creates a slipping hazard
  • Debris that clutters up a clear passage
  • Faulty construction that may include an improper slope, use of poor or inadequate materials
  • Tripping hazards due to grates, sidewalk vaults or other similar infrastructure items
  • Poorly lit areas that make it difficult to see obstacles and hazards

An attorney may represent a client and file a lawsuit under premises liability laws which hold property owners and landlords accountable for not only sidewalk accidents, but for all kinds of accidents taking place on their private property.

It’s best not to delay either because there are statutes of limitations under New York law.  For example, a person has 90 days to file a claim if the sidewalk in question is owned by a city or a town.

Premises liability laws can be complex, and most property owners, especially commercial property owners, will have an experienced legal team representing their interests.  To make sure you are fairly compensated for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages, it’s essential to make sure you also are well represented from the outset of your claim.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

 

Who is liable in a bus accident?

Millions of people ride Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) buses in New York City every year. And for the most part, these trips are safe and comfortable journeys with well-trained drivers behind the wheel.

But because New York City is so crowded with all types of commuters, sometimes bus accidents happen due to sudden stops, pedestrians in the roadway, bicyclists or poor vehicle drivers.

In general, buses are considered common carriers, defined as an entity or a business with the job of transporting people or goods from point A to point B for compensation.  This includes municipal buses, school buses, commercial buses, taxi cabs and some kinds of trucks.

Because common carriers are responsible for the lives of several people, they are required to show a high degree of safety when it comes to transporting them.  This includes obeying all traffic laws, and not making any risky or hazardous maneuvers.  But when this doesn’t happen, and accidents take place due to their negligence, riders, other vehicle drivers, or pedestrians can be compensated for damages.

The key to winning a bus accident case is to determine who is actually liable.  This may sound easy on the surface, but in reality, it can be a complicated matter.  Several parties, ranging from the bus driver to the owners of the bus, or even a passenger that distracts a driver, can all be held accountable for contributory negligence if it can be proven they are at least partially at fault.

Sorting all of these issues out is not an easy task and can be challenging to an attorney who will also be going up against firms with substantial legal resources and a goal to pay out as little as possible.  While it will take some time to sort out the details, it’s important to be as accommodating as possible to ensure you get full compensation forexisting medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

 

Special standards apply in motorcycle accidents

Riding a motorcycle in New York City carries with it a certain amount of benefits and several downsides as well.

New York City traffic congestion is legendary, and in many cases, riding a motorcycle is the most efficient way to get from one part of the city to another.  However, that has to be offset by the fact that with so much congestion and with so many drivers, there is an increased possibility of getting into an accident.  Studies have shown that when a person is involved in a motorcycle accident, they may be as much as 30 times more likely to die than if they were riding in a car.

While motorcycle drivers are much safer on the roads than an average driver, they must still share the road with car and truck drivers who are nowhere near as cognizant about safety.  Add in the fact that weather and road conditions can play anunfavorable part in a motorcycle rider’s experience, and it’s easy to understand why cycle accidents take place with alarming regularity.

Although in the eyes of the law, motorcycle accidents share many similarities, there are many other things that are different.

When an attorney argues a case in front of a judge and jury, courts take into consideration the added risks of riding a motorcycle.  They hold car drivers to a different standard when a motorcycle is involved.

When looking at thepossible negligence of car drivers, courts will also find more favorability toward a motorcycle rider because they are required to have specialized skills to ride.  Courts also consider that motorcycle drivers face increased vulnerability to road hazards including road debris, less protection and other related factors.  That can tip the scales in a big way when it comes to seeking compensation.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

 

Premises liability laws hold property owners accountable for slip and fall accidents

From the moment you step outside of your front door, you are at the mercy of the outside world when it comes to being involved in an accident.  Nowhere is it more prevalent than in New York City, where there are hazards every step of the way.

One of the more common types of accidents is a slip and fall.  While you may think that something like this can only happen on wet or icy pavement in the bleak months of winter, the truth is, a slip and fall accident can take place 24-hours-a-day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Aside from a slip on icy pavement, a few other examples of a slip and fall accident might be:

  • Stepping on debris on a sidewalk or a walkway
  • Taking a fall on a wet or greasy floor in a restaurant or a bathroom
  • Slipping on any number of unseen items due to poor or no lighting

When your slip and fall is the result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you have the right to seek damages for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, among other things.

An experienced slip and fall lawyer will utilize a full range of legal avenues related to premises liability laws to make sure you receive the best settlement possible.  The key involves making sure the property owner knew the hazard existed, and they had an opportunity to correct the situation.

Premises laws are very clear in that a property owner has a legal responsibility to make sure that they maintain a reasonable standard of care on their property, not only when it comes to physical elements, but to be able to accommodate any activities that might occur onsite as well.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

Proving negligence is the key in a trip and fall lawsuit

Walk enough steps and sooner or later, you will stumble, trip and maybe even take a tumble.  It happens all the time, no matter how much care we take and in many instances through no fault of our own.

In a place like New York City, where walking is often the preferred mode of transportation, the likelihood that a person will have a trip and fall accident increase significantly.  And these types of accidents can happen anywhere, from a sidewalk to a stairway, stepping off a curb, inside a commercial or an apartment building, at any time, day or night.

Sometimes, it is just the result of carelessness on our part.  But at other times, it’s due to poorly maintained sidewalks, a stairway or storefront that’s not lit well after dark, or an uneven bump in a sidewalk that poses a hazard to all pedestrians.  When a property owner does not maintain their premises in an appropriate condition, the victim of a trip and fall accident may have a legal recourse to recover damages that they suffer in a trip and fall accident.

Accidents such as this, fall under the broad umbrella of premises liability law.  When a lawyer takes on this type of a case, they not only must be able to prove that the dangerous condition existed, but that the responsible property owner was aware of the condition and had enough time to take corrective measures.  When an owner does not do this, they can be held liable for negligence, which is the cornerstone for most all premises liability cases.

Because so many trip and fall accidents also take place in the public right-of-way, many times a plaintiff will seek compensation against the city.  It’s a fairly common occurrence, given all that New York City officials are responsible for.  The key in a situation like this is to remember that there is a very short statute of limitations for filing a claim against the city.  In New York City, a claim must be filed within 90 days after the accident takes place.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

Nursing home neglect can take many forms

Placing a loved one in a nursing home is already tough decision, but if you discover that they have been the victim of abuse or neglect, it can turn things into an even more emotionally charged situation.

Stories abound about elderly nursing home patients being abused, robbed, neglected or otherwise mistreated, despite family members doing extensive research and investing thousands of dollars to ensure something like that does not happen.  In fact, it’s estimated that more than 2 million seniors are victims of nursing home abuse each year.

Abuse can take many forms.  Some of them include:

  • Bruises, cuts and other unexplained injuries
  • Clothing that has blood on it or that is torn
  • Bed sores or ulcerating skins lesions
  • Complaints from the patient of humiliation or intimidation by yelling or by threats
  • Mocking a patient
  • Ignoring or isolating a patient
  • Improperly administering medications
  • Unsanitary living conditions including a lack of bathing or dirty clothes
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Financial abuse, including stealing money from a patient’s account, identity theft, or forged signatures

When you suspect that an elderly relative has been mistreated, you should contact local authorities and report the situation, followed by a call to an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer.

Pursuing a claim against a nursing home operator can provide compensation for abuse, as well as serving notice to the operator that they and their employee’s actions are being monitored.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

 

A primer on New York’s no-fault auto insurance

At the very least, auto accidents are a major inconvenience, and at worst, they can be life changing events.  If you’re involved in a car accident, the best thing you can do is accept it and take the necessary steps to put it behind you.

New York laws require that if someone is injured or killed in a car accident, all drivers are required to stay and attempt to render reasonable assistance.  Not doing so means a driver can be charged with hit-and-run and face severe penalties, including fines, jail time and loss of driver license.

Many accidents are caused by one or more drivers being negligent, defective auto parts or when roads are not well maintained.  Regardless of who is at fault, New York is one of 12 states that have enacted no-fault auto insurance.  This ensures that an insurance company will pay for medical expenses, lost earnings and related costs, no matter who is at fault in an accident.  Enacted in the 1970s, the goal of the law is to speed up compensation and avoid drawn-out litigation to determine who is at fault.  In New York, every driver is required to maintaina minimum liability insurance of:

  • $25,000/$50,000 for injuries
  • $50,000/$100,000 for deaths
  • $10,000 for property damage caused by one accident

Drivers are covered by this blanket coverage, assuming they were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol or engaged in any criminal activities at the time of the accident.

This means drivers do not have to sue other drivers who were at fault in an accident.  They must simply file a claim with their own insurance provider within 30 days of the accident.  It is important to note that no-fault insurance does not cover damage to your own vehicle, it only covers damage to the other driver’s vehicle and personal property.

While you can file a no fault claim, one thing it does not cover is compensation for pain and suffering.  To pursue a claim for these damages, you’ll need to retain a car accident lawyer and file a separate suit.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.

Determining who is liable is the key in a construction accident lawsuit

Construction projects in New York City present some additional challenges that go over and above the same type of projects in other cities.  Projects almost always have a vertical component to them intensifying the level of danger for construction workers.  And unfortunately, each year, countless workers are injured on the job due to accidents such as falls, electrocutions, being crushed or struck by any number of objects on a job site.

Virtually every accident is due to negligence in some shape or form.  Workers who suffer injuries or are killed on jobsites may haverecourse to seek damages by filing workers’ compensation claims against several parties, which allows them to be reimbursed for medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses.  They may be able to file a separate lawsuit for pain and suffering as well.

The biggest challenge a lawyer may face when dealing with a construction accident is trying to prove who is liable.  On the surface, this may seem like a simple task, but on a big construction project, there are many people who may share liability.  Determining which entity to hold responsible can be difficult.

Property owners – sometimes property owners turn over control of a job site to a general contractor. Other times, they retain control.  This is a good place for an attorney to start.

A general contractor – If control of a site is ceded to a general contractor, they may or may not retain control.  In some instances, they may turn over partial control to any number of sub-contractors.

Sub-contractors – Electricians, plumbers, glaziers, or ironworkers may create an unsafe environment for their particular part of the job, making them the responsible party if an accident takes place.

Engineers – Sometimes, safety flaws begin in the design process, which can be traced all the way back to architects and engineers.

Equipment manufacturers – Construction accidents involving cranes seem to make headlines on a regular basis in New York City.  This is a classic example of an equipment manufacturer who may have brought defective equipment to a job site, or it may be a case of the general contractor allowing the use of the crane during a time when it was not safe to do so, maybe due to high winds or in heavy rain or snow.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.