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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.

Slips and Falls: Serious Injuries Can Result in Serious Claims

In snowy climates, the risk of slipping on icy steps and sidewalks is an everyday part of life. Just because these accidents are common, however, does not mean they don’t have the potential to cause serious injuries. Each winter, thousands of people slip on dangerously icy and snowy walkways.

Accidents can also occur due to uneven sidewalks, poor lighting, and slippery pavement. In many cases, these injuries could have been avoided if the home or business owner had taken time to properly maintain his property or warn others about potential hazards.

In the legal sense, slip and fall accidents usually refer to a scenario in which an individual injures himself on another person’s property due to an unsafe condition. These cases are also grouped under the legal heading known as “premises liability.”

The Property Owner’s Negligence

Premises liability cases are handled under the legal theory that the property owner was negligent in some way. To prove “negligence”, the person who fell must show that the property owner owed visitors a duty of care and subsequently failed to live up to this duty. Additionally, the injured party must prove that he was indeed injured and that the owner’s breach of the duty of care caused the injuries. Together, all these elements make up negligence, which must be present for an injured party to recoup damages in a slip and fall case.

In general, the law imposes a “reasonable person” standard on property owners. This means that home and business owners must care for their property as a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. Because what is reasonable varies from person to person, New York courts consider previous cases to determine how property owners generally behave. Additionally, they examine standard business practices in the area. For example, if the majority of store owners in a shopping plaza salt their sidewalks in the winter, the court will most likely hold all property owners in the plaza to the same standard of care.

Common Accidents

You don’t need subzero temperatures or snowstorms for a slip and fall accident to happen. These mishaps can occur in a variety of places in an array of conditions. Many people have fallen in grocery stores after workers cleaned a spill without sufficiently marking the area. Similarly, restaurant patrons have been injured after tripping over napkins, utensils, and food left on dining room floors. There have also been cases reported of people sustaining serious injuries after falling down uneven or defective stairs. Poorly maintained or installed sidewalks, such as ones with raised slabs or cracks, are also common causes of serious trip and fall injuries.

In all these scenarios, the property owner failed to properly repair or maintain a dangerous condition.

How Do You Know if You Have a Case?

There are several scenarios that lend themselves to a potential slip and fall or trip and fall claim. If the owner failed to maintain his property, you might have a case. Additionally, if the owner should have known about a dangerous condition and neglected to fix it before someone got hurt, you might be able to recover damages for your injury.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a slip and fall or a trip and fall on someone else’s property, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you of your options.

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.

Hiring an Attorney after a Car Accident

No one needs to tell you that New York has a lot of traffic. The sheer number of cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles and cabs on the road account for thousands of injuries to motorists, passengers and pedestrians alike.

If you’re injured in an accident, it goes without saying that the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. If you have been injured, the best thing you can do is to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney in New York specializing in automobile accidents.

If you have sustained injuries, you have the right to recover medical expenses and lost wages, and you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. You will probably be approached by an attorney or adjuster from the insurance company for the person at fault. That person’s goal is not to settle the case and help you recover lost wages and pay for medical expenses. Their goal is to limit their client’s liability.

Said another way, the attorney or adjuster’s goal is to get their client a settlement that doesn’t cost a lot. They do this by offering you a settlement. It may look good on the surface; after all, you’re getting some money.

The problem is that you’re signing away any future considerations. Part of the settlement agreement will be that you will waive your right to bring a lawsuit against the other party in the future. If you develop a medical condition two or three years (or even longer!) down the road, you would not be able to pursue any legal action.

Anyone involved in a car accident is also entitled to No Fault benefits which will entitle them to lost wages and medical insurance relating to the injuries sustained in the accident.  They should be aware that they only have 30 days to file the No Fault application and should therefore speak to an attorney immediately so that their time to file it does not expire.

If you’re offered a settlement, do not sign it unless and until you’re advised to do so by a reputable and experienced car accident attorney.

Once you make the decision to seek council, your attorney will

·Examine the settlement offer by the other driver or insurance company

·Help you determine how much your claim is worth

· Determine a legal course of action against the opposing driver

· File a bodily injury claim, if necessary

· Negotiate with insurance companies

Most will take your case on contingency, so you will not have to spend money upfront for legal representation. You should have an attorney to help navigate through the red tape and negotiate a fair settlement for yourself. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney improves your chances for a favorable outcome.

Premises Liability in New York

The owner or person responsible for maintaining any premise is legally liable for injuries sustained on their property due to negligence. Any person on the property legally can and should expect for the property to be maintained so as to protect their personal safety.

Trip and falls and slip and falls account for the lion’s share of premises liability cases. More than eight million people are treated in emergency rooms every year due to falls, according to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention.

No matter who was responsible for a spill that caused someone to slip and fall, be it an employee or a customer, it is still the responsibility of the property owner to perform clean up and maintenance in a timely fashion and to warn customers of the dangers present. Snow and ice removal from sidewalks constitute another type of slip and fall accident.

Premises liability cases, however, are not limited to incidents caused by falls. Cases involving animal bites and accidental poisoning are common. Elevator accidents account for a large number of premises liability cases inNew York. Although the state does have strict guidelines regarding elevator maintenance and inspection, accidents are not uncommon due to the sheer numbers serving buildings inNew York.

Premises liability cases are extremely complicated because the state has unique and evolving regulations. The owners or their insurance company will have legal representation fighting to limit their liability for injuries. You should have an attorney on your side advocating for recovery of medical payments, lost wages and future considerations when a property owner is liable for an accident. If you feel you have cause to sue, hiring an experienced premises liability attorney in New York improves your chances for a favorable outcome.

Slip and Fall Lawyer New York

How Contingency Fees Work in Personal Injury Cases

Many, if not most, personal injury attorneys work for their clients based on an agreement known as a contingency fee. It allows a person who has been injured to have legal representation even if they do not have the money to pay a lawyer at the beginning of the case.

There are no up-front fees. Instead the plaintiff pays the attorney a percentage of their settlement if they win the case. If the plaintiff loses, the attorney does not collect any fee for the work done on the case. That being said, the plaintiff may have to pay for the costs of the case, including costs for filing with the court, depositions and copies of medical reports, etc. Check with your attorney so that you have a full understanding of the costs you will have to pay in the event that you lose your case.

The basic premise of a contingency agreement is that you, as the plaintiff, will be out little or no upfront expenses. Clients do not pay legal fees unless they win and the lawyer receives a percentage of the award or settlement. Contingency fees are commonly used in cases when a plaintiff is seeking damages for a personal injury received in an accident or on the job. However, lawyers will not always accept a contingency fee arrangement; perhaps if they feel the case is not very strong or if there is some limit placed on the amount of the award by the state (such as a worker’s compensation case).

In some cases, the plaintiff may be able to negotiate a lower fee, but personal injury lawyers usually will not negotiate fees on a contingency case. Many states place limits on the amount of fees a law firm can collect. (InNew York, that amount is 1/3 of the settlement awarded.) Depending upon the contingency agreement, the plaintiff may or may not have to pay fees from the settlement.

Again, it is best to have full understanding of that from your attorney prior to signing the agreement. Before you sign a contingency fee agreement, ask questions to alleviate any concerns you may have. Your attorney will be happy to answer any questions and make you feel comfortable during the entire process. Make sure that you are comfortable with the firm and the attorneys who will be working on your case. As always, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney affords you the opportunity for a more favorable outcome.

Why Retaining Aggressive Personal Injury Lawyers is So Important

Under New York Law, attorneys for the plaintiff (the injured party) and defendant have the option of making a motion for summary judgment at any time during the course of the case. Summary judgment in negligence actions are appropriate where “no genuine issue of material fact exists.” In other words, where everyone involved in the accident agrees on the facts of the case, a judge may decide the case as a matter of law without the case going to trial.

When either party makes a motion for summary judgment, the court may deny the motion or grant the motion. If the defendant moves for summary judgment, and the court grants the motion, the entire case is dismissed. On the other hand, when a plaintiff moves for summary judgment and the court grant’s the motion, the plaintiff in essence, wins the case. The only issue then remaining is how much money the personal injury plaintiff is entitled to. If the case is not settled beforehand, a jury will decide how much money to award the plaintiff.

There are many reasons why NY Personal Injury Lawyers should take advantage of this great opportunity. By winning the case via motion for summary judgment:

  • The plaintiff and his or her attorney will save the time and expense of preparing for trial;
  • They will no longer risk losing the case at trial;
  • A jury will not be able to attribute any negligence to the plaintiff, who will therefore get the full amount of damages awarded; and
  • Whatever amount the jury awards the plaintiff at the trial on damages, he/she will receive an additional 9% interest of that award from the date that the summary judgment motion was granted and entered. (For example, if the trial takes place one year later, then for every $100,000 that the jury awards the plaintiff, an additional $9,000 will be added to that number.

Too often, New York Personal Injury Attorneys do not take advantage of this great weapon. Aggressive personal injury lawyers are necessary to get the most compensation for those who have been injured.

Today, the law firm of Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, LLP received a decision on one of their cases from the Supreme Court, Suffolk County which granted their motion for summary judgment. There, a 59 year old woman was shopping for groceries in the defendant’s supermarket, when she was struck by a U-boat carrying cases of merchandise that were stacked 6 feet high. In their motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff’s attorneys convinced the court that the defendant’s employee was using the U-boat improperly. They argued that had the defendant’s employee pulled the U-boat as he was trained to do, as opposed to blindly pushing it, this accident would not have occurred. The court agreed and granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment.

This decision now puts a lot of pressure on the defendant. Their choices are to either offer the plaintiff a settlement that would fully compensate her for the injuries and pain and suffering she sustained as a result of their negligence or take the case to trial knowing they will lose, the only question being, how much.

If you were involved in an accident, it is important to hire not only experienced legal counsel, but a law firm with aggressive attorneys who will do everything possible to get their clients top dollar. Make sure you have aggressive personal injury lawyers on your side.