Defendants Are Not Bad But Just Negligent.

Car accidents are a result of negligence.  That is, there’s no mens rea – no intent. Negligence in essence is the failure to take proper care in doing something.  It’s being careless. In personal injury cases, the wrongdoing is usually negligence or carelessness.  Another way of broadly looking at negligence is when something occurs when one person acts or fails to act carelessly, which somehow (either directly or indirectly) causes some type of injury or harm [...]

NEW YORK’S HIGHEST COURT EXPOUNDS AND RE-DEFINES PROXIMATE CAUSE

NEW YORK’S HIGHEST COURT EXPOUNDS AND RE-DEFINES PROXIMATE CAUSE The Court of Appeals of New York in Hain v. Jamison, 28 NY3d 524 (Dec 22, 2016) engaged in a hornbook exposition of proximate cause and defined the law on this issue.  The Court of Appeals unanimously revered the Appellate Division and rendered its opinion. The Opinion of the Court of Appeals: I. Decedent, the wife of plaintiff, was struck and killed by a vehicle driven [...]

NEW YORK’S HIGHEST COURT DEFINES THE BURDEN OF PROOF BETWEEN THE PARTIES REGARDING A LATE NOTICE OF CLAIM FILING (RESOLVING THE SPLIT OF AUTHORITY AMONG THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENTS).

NEW YORK’S HIGHEST COURT DEFINES THE BURDEN OF PROOF BETWEEN THE PARTIES REGARDING A LATE NOTICE OF CLAIM FILING (RESOLVING THE SPLIT OF AUTHORITY AMONG THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENTS). The Court of Appeals of New York State in Matter of Newcomb v Middle Country Central School District, 28 NY3d 455 (Dec. 22, 2016) clarified the respective burdens of the parties in demonstrating substantial prejudice (or lack thereof) suffered by a public corporation as a result of [...]

Sidewalk Laws in New York City

Sidewalk Laws in New York City New York City has about 13,000 miles of sidewalks, which are heavily travelled upon by pedestrians.  It is therefore important that the sidewalks are safe and free of defect or dangerous conditions that would cause fall and injury.  Sidewalks are subject to wear and tear and to the effects of the environment and climate.  Sidewalks crack, buckle, collapse; sidewalks slope with downward depressions or upward elevations; sidewalk cracks or holes [...]

Do I Need a Lawyer After an Accident?

Do I Need a Lawyer After an Accident?   Absolutely yes, period. If you’ve been injured in an accident, no buts or ifs, you need a lawyer, an experienced personal injury lawyer. You need to understand the fundamental concept here.  Insurance companies are in the business of making money.  The purpose of the insurance business is to maximize its profits – to make tons of money.  Insurance companies are not in the charitable or benevolence business [...]

PEDESTRIANS – WALK ALERT AND ATTENTIVE!

PEDESTRIANS – WALK ALERT AND ATTENTIVE! Recent studies find an increase in pedestrian fatalities. The spike in pedestrian deaths and injuries is attributable a few factors.  Distraction by cell phones and electronic devices seems to be a prevailing cause.  Interestingly, it is not only the vehicle drivers distracted by cell phone use while driving but also the pedestrians who engage in the use of cell phones and electronic devices while walking! Pedestrians cannot assume because they [...]

A Bifurcated Trial – What it Means for Your Personal Injury Case?

A Bifurcated Trial - What it Means for Your Personal Injury Case? In a personal injury case, depending in which county your case is brought in New York State, your action may have to be tried in two trials.  That is called a bifurcated trial.  Michael Manoussos & Co PLLC, a New York City personal injury law firm understands the ramifications of bifurcated trials and have the experience to maximize your recovery. In a bifurcated [...]

Litigation Coordinating Panel

Litigation Coordinating Panel In certain circumstances, multiple cases that arise from the same occurrence and suited separately, may be consolidated under the ambit of what's is usually termed a Litigation Coordinating Panel.  The Litigation Coordinating Panel of the Unified Court System of the State of New York receives and resolves applications for the coordination of litigation that is pending in more than one judicial district of the State.  The coordination of multiple lawsuits from a [...]

Innocent Victims of Fraud

Innocent Victims of Fraud Insurance fraud is a serious offense and the consequences can be severe, including jail time and fines.  There is not much debate about whether individuals who commit insurance fraud should be punished.  Insurance fraud is a two-way street; that is, individuals who seek to defraud insurance companies and insurance carriers who seek to defraud the consumers and insureds through bad faith or improper practices. Let's take, however,  the example of a [...]

Reimbursement Claim for No-Fault Paid to Health Insurer Not Permitted

Reimbursement Claim for No-Fault Paid to Health Insurer Is Not Permitted The issue before the Court of Appeals of New York, in Aetna Health Plans v. Hanover Ins. Co., 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 04658 (N.Y. June 14, 2016) was whether a health insurer that paid for medical treatment that arguably should have been covered by the insured's no-fault automobile insurance carrier could maintain a reimbursement claim against the no-fault insurer within the framework of the New York [...]

Permanent Scarring from a Motor Vehicle Accident

Permanent Scarring from a Motor Vehicle Accident Section 5102 of the Insurance Law defines one category of "serious injury" as "significant disfigurement".  The Courts have further defined "significant disfigurement" as "a condition which is unattractive, objectionable, or the object of pity and scorn."  In practice, this "serious injury" often is the result of scarring, frequently caused by broken glass or the seat belt suddenly tightening upon vehicle impact. Although it is unclear exactly how large [...]

Landlord’s Duty To Prevent Assaults

Landlord's Duty To Prevent Assaults If you were assaulted by a third party in your apartment building, you of course can sue the perpetrator, but the landlord may also be liable to you to compensate for your injuries and pain and suffering.  Landlords have a duty to take minimal precautions to protect tenants from the reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct of third parties and are liable to an injured tenant if the landlord's conduct caused the [...]

Extent and Intensity of Medical Treatment

Extent and Intensity of Medical Treatment In a personal injury case, medical documentation is the most important evidence of pain and suffering.  High quality medical records will state the nature of your injuries, recommendations for specialist referrals, and the treatment provided to you by the doctor, amongst other important facts.  Medical treatment for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can vary from home exercises all the way to surgery and everything in between, such [...]

One “Serious Injury” = All Injuries Compensable

One "Serious Injury" = All Injuries Compensable We discussed in a previous post that not all injuries from a motor vehicle accident are compensable; only "serious" injuries are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.  The term "serious injury" is defined in the Insurance Law and the Courts have further defined "serious injury" in numerous appellate cases.  What if there are several injuries and some are "serious", but some are not?  In this scenario, the [...]

Worker’s Third Party Action

Worker’s Third Party Action For the most part, the Workers' Compensation Law prohibits an employee from maintaining a lawsuit for personal injuries against his or her employer. However, the victim of an on-the-job accident is permitted to sue a "third party" for pain and suffering compensation if that third party caused or contributed to the accident or the injuries.  This applies to various work scenarios from construction-site workers to delivery persons to building workers to [...]

Insect Infestation in Dwelling

Insect Infestation in Dwelling In a city this large and crowded, it is inevitable that we share our city with millions of rodents, insects, and other pests.  We've all seen a rat on thesubway tracks at some point.  What if you have an infestation in your apartment?  The Multiple Dwelling Law requires the owner of every multiple dwelling to keep their building "clean and free from vermin, dirt, filth, garbage or other thing or matter [...]

Liability Physical Examination

Liability Physical Examination After the deposition in a personal injury action, the defense is entitled to have a physician or multiple physicians, depending on the nature of your injuries, examine you. While this may seem intrusive, the law is that when one claims personal injuries, their physical condition is relevant and the defense is entitled to have an expert or experts of their choosing assess your physical condition. Since the purpose of this examination is [...]

Red Light Cameras

Red Light Cameras Motor vehicle accidents arising from a collision at an intersection often revolve around the issue of who had the right of way and frequently become an issue of "he said, she said" regarding the color of the traffic lights. Many people (including attorneys) wonder why the video footage used to catch people running red lights is not used in motor vehicle cases.  Without addressing whether red light cameras are a good thing [...]

MVAIC

MVAIC - Hit & Run Accident Hit-and-run accidents, often involving pedestrians, happen at an alarming frequency.  It would be inherently unfair to the victim of a hit-and-run if compensation was unavailable simply because a negligent driver decided to flee the scene of the accident rather than stop.  The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation ("MVAIC") was created to address this issue.  MVAIC is available to the victims of hit-and-run accidents who do not have any other [...]

Summary Judgment and No Comparative

Summary Judgment and No Comparative The New York State Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Department in Rodriguez v City of New York (2016 NY Slip Op 05943, Decided on September 1, 2016), revisited “a vexing issue regarding comparative fault: whether a plaintiff seeking summary judgment on the issue of liability must establish, as a matter of law, that he or she is free from comparative fault. This issue has spawned conflicting [...]

Court of Claims

What Is the Court of Claims? The Court of Claims is a separate and special court system set up specifically for cases against the State of New York and its various branches and divisions. For example, if you are struck by a New York State police vehicle, you are not permitted to sue in the regular state court system. The case must be brought in the Court of Claims. There are a number of procedural [...]

Reckless Endangerment Standard

Reckless Endangerment Standard The law recognizes that when a police officer is responding to an emergency, the officer cannot be expected to obey all of the traffic laws in the way that a normal driver would under normal conditions.  Hence, the Vehicle and Traffic Law specifically permits police officers to disregard a number of traffic laws, including stop signs, red lights, speed limits, turning lanes, and one-way streets.  There are limits, however.  The officer must [...]

De Minimis Defect

What Is De Minimis Defect? Often in trip and fall cases, the party responsible for maintaining the property where an injury occurred will claim that the defect is "de minimis".  The courts consider a defective condition to be "de minimis", and hence not actionable, if the defect is "trivial", "insignificant", or "insubstantial".  Essentially, the argument is that although there may be a defect (such as an elevated sidewall flag), if the defect is very minor or [...]

NORTH CAROLINA VOTING REQUIREMENTS

NORTH CAROLINA VOTING REQUIREMENTS A federal appeals court for the fourth circuit had decisively struck down North Carolina’s voter identification law, holding that its provisions deliberately “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision” in an effort to depress black turnout at the polls. The United States Supreme Court now turned away, by a 4-4 vote, an emergency appeal from North Carolina which was hoping to reinstate new voting rules that were struck down. In NORTH CAROLINA, [...]

Selecting A Good Lawyer

How do you select a good lawyer and what do you look for in a good lawyer? Selecting a good lawyer (just like selecting a good doctor) must be what’s best for you.  You know yourself just like you know your case, its particulars and the pain and suffering you have experienced. As a starting point, if you've been injured, you need a personal injury lawyer. Period.  Not a real estate or divorce lawyer who [...]