Jaroslawicz & Jaros PLLC
Call or email to schedule a free consultation.
212-227-2780 800-269-2780
Free transportation can be provided.
Jaroslawicz & Jaros PLLC
Call or email to schedule a free consultation.
212-227-2780 800-269-2780
Free transportation can be provided.
Jaroslawicz & Jaros PLLC
212-227-2780

Beware of Hit and Run Drivers In New York City

What can I do if I am injured by a hit and run driver?

Under a law that took effect in July 2016, the New York Police Department is required to compile statistics of hit and run accidents. This is part of the Mayor's "Vision Zero" initiative aimed at making the city streets safer. Thus far, the results are not very promising: less than half of the motorists who fled deadly crashes this year have been arrested. In particular, there were 38 fatal hit and runs, but only 13 arrests.  In 22 other hit and run accidents involving serious personal injuries, only 14 offenders were arrested. The real shocker is the number of arrests in cases with minor injuries: 5,006 accidents led to merely 423 arrests, or 8 percent.

New York Nursing Home Elder Abuse and Invasion of Privacy

Q: Do nursing home residents have a right to privacy?

It's never easy to place a loved one in an assisted living or nursing home facility, even if the elder is in agreement with the move. There will always be some suspicion about what really goes on behind closed doors and whether the care being provided is sufficient. Are our loved ones truly safe from nursing home accidents such as dangerous falls or painful bedsores that may come from a negligent or neglectful staff? Is there something even more sinister going on? Allegations of elder abuse and invasion of privacy by caregivers are rampant in nursing homes -including two separate nursing homes both located in Oswego, New York. It's not uncommon to hear about worried family members sneaking hidden video cameras in to try to capture any abuse on camera. But sometimes those involved may implicate themselves. Remarkably, there's is a new "low" in elder abuse and privacy invasion these days. It's bad enough that staff subjects the residents to physical or emotional abuse or humiliating violations of their right to privacy, but they seemingly lack the basic intelligence, decency, and restraint to know not to compound their unconscionable actions by sharing their incriminating pictures and videos with others directly or through social media. Residents might be photographed going to the bathroom, lying in bed exposed, or engaging in embarrassing behaviors. Sometimes video may be taken of residents being taunted and abused by staff. Then photos and videos are shared where they are discovered and reported by co-workers, family, friends, or strangers. Depending on the situation and the rules of the facility, the workers involved may be counseled, disciplined, fired, and even prosecuted. Recently, four former aides at two separate Oswego nursing homes were the subjects of such allegations. They were charged with felonies and misdemeanors surrounding alleged pictures of residents in "undignified poses" and videos of the staff abusing and taunting residents, including endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and willful violation of the public health law. Most nursing homes, including the two in question, have policies in effect prohibiting the use of cell phones and/or picture-taking in areas where residents are to avoid any intentional or unintentional invasion of their privacy. If you or your loved one has been the victim of a nursing home accident or has suffered a personal  injury as a result of the negligence of another, contact the New York City law firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 800-269-2780 for a free consultation.

The High Price of a Pot House Blast

Q: Who is responsible for injuries caused by a dangerous condition like a gas leak or house explosion?

The legal doctrine of premises liability provides that a homeowner or a person in possession of the premises, such as a tenant, is legally responsible to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for people who are on the property. Failure to do so will result in them being held liable for injuries that occur as a result of dangerous conditions they knew or should have known existed at the premises. While some premises liability cases can be straightforward, many are not as clear cut. In those cases, an investigation will ensue to determine, among other things, what dangerous condition caused the injury, who was responsible for the condition, who knew or should have known that the condition existed, and more. When a tenant is in possession of the premises, rather than the owner, the question of responsibility can be more complicated. Take the recent Bronx, New York house explosion that tragically killed one beloved NYC firefighter and injured 20 other fire fighters, police officers, and civilians. The house was rented to tenants who allegedly operated a marijuana growing operation on the premises. Apparently there was a foul odor, possibly a gas leak, reported shortly before the explosion. Many of the injured were hit by flying debris, including bricks, wood, roof shingles, and pot plants. It was not immediately known whether the explosion was due to a gas leak, the alleged pot operation, or another factor. The homeowner denied knowing the tenants or about any "weed operation" at the premises. An investigation by the NYPD arson and explosion squad followed. While not specified in the above case, fire and burn injuries are also common in cities like New York where multiple occupancy apartments and the negligence of a landlord or scores of tenants can impact the lives of other renters or visitors in the building. There are issues of properly working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire safety doors, numbers of clearly marked and accessible building exits, and more, to consider when determining who is at fault for fire and burn injuries. If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed in any kind of accident that was the fault of someone else, you should seek the advice of a skilled personal injury and wrongful death attorney. Each case is different, but you may be entitled to monetary damages for medical bills, future medical bills and treatment, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Of course, nothing will bring back a loved one, but getting the compensation you deserve will relieve the financial burden and help you begin to put the pieces of your life back together. The New York personal injury firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros will to work diligently for you. Someone is available 24/7 so call (212) 227-2780 today to schedule your free initial consultation or contact us here.

Family Boat Outing Ends in Tragedy in Lake George

Q: Can I recover damages for injuries in a boating accident?

Although boaters are subject to a different set of laws than automobile drivers, there are similarities in the rules and expectations of both types of vehicle operators. When there is a boating accident, it's crucial to have an experienced boating accident attorney on the case as soon as possible in order to maximize your chance of being compensated for your injuries or losses. The post-accident investigation is critically important. Among other things, an attorney can help ensure you get proper medical treatment, prevent you from making damaging statements, obtain eyewitness' statements before they forget important details, and safeguard evidence before it disappears. The outcome of the investigation will determine not only what criminal charges may be assessed, but also whether an injured party will be able to pursue a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to recover monetary damages from the person and/or third party who caused the accident. To recover for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and in some cases pain and suffering, you must prove your injuries resulted from the negligent or reckless actions of another. One final evening cruise on the lake for a California family visiting relatives in Lake George turned deadly when a 21-foot powerboat reportedly hit and went right over the family's 28-foot boat--and then just kept going. A nine-year old girl was killed instantly and her mother was injured in the hit-run boat accident. The powerboat was operated by a 24-year old man who was out boating with four friends. The group did not stop to render aid or exchange information, but rather continued on and docked the boat, disembarked, and went home without reporting the incident. The group reportedly attended the raucous Log Bay Day annual party earlier in the day where dozens of young revelers were arrested for drunken boating and other similar offenses. The four passengers were charged with offenses related to filing false statements and hindering prosecution, but the operator was charged with a felony, leaving the scene of an accident and not reporting it, as well as other charges. The crash was also reportedly caught on video which has been sealed. According to preliminary toxicology reports three drugs were found in the operator's system, one of which was allegedly illegal. Upgraded criminal charges-- as well as a personal injury suit from the injured mother and a wrongful death suit by the child's parents--are possible outcomes as the investigation continues. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, or any other accident that was not your fault, the New York City personal injury law firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros can help. Our extensive experience in boating accident cases includes an $800,000 Staten Island Ferry crash verdict. Contact us here or at (800) 269-2780.

A Primer on Whiplash

Can I recover damages for a whiplash injury?

Many individuals know that a rear-end car accident can result in whiplash, an injury that arises from a sudden impact causing the head to snap back and forth or sideways. These injuries can also occur as the result of a sports accident, physical abuse or other act of violence. In any case, this forceful motion can stretch or tear the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck, causing pain, stiffness and headaches. While most people can be treated with pain medication and physical therapy and recover within a few months, others may suffer chronic neck pain and other complications. By pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, however, these individuals can obtain financial compensation.

Distracted Driving and Other Perils on the Road

What are the leading causes of car accidents?

Texting while driving has become a hot button issue lately, and for good reason: distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that texting and talking on cell phones is the reason for 25 percent of car crashes. Moreover, drivers are becoming increasingly distracted by technological devices in automobiles such as GPS systems. Even tuning that old fashioned radio can also be perilous.

Policing the Integrity of Workers' Comp Insurance

Q: Is your company's Workers' Compensation insurance legitimate? In New York, Workers Compensation, also known as Workers' Comp, is mandated insurance taken out by employers to cover the medical and lost wages claims of employees who are injured on the job. In general, it was designed to eliminate lawsuits against employers by injured workers, and also to streamline the employee's access to medical care and ease the financial burden that lost wages would place on the injured worker and his or her family during their treatment and recovery period. Any injured worker is entitled to workers comp--even those who are illegal immigrants, "off-the-books" workers, and even those whose employers don't carry workers' comp insurance. In the latter case, a worker can either sue their employer or collect from a workers' comp pool fund designed to protect workers from their uninsured employers (and the workers' comp organization that paid out will then seek to recover from the employer who failed to purchase the mandated insurance). Particularly in a rough economic climate, employers often feel squeezed by the rising costs of both mandatory and discretionary employee benefits programs. It's no surprise employers may seek the least expensive options for these benefits. Unfortunately, not all policies may be what they seem. On September 9, 2016, Breakaway Courier Corp., a bicycle courier company, sued Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. in Manhattan Supreme Court, accusing it of "siphoning premiums" paid on workers' comp insurance policies to unlicensed, out-of-state insurers by funneling the premiums through illegal shell companies. Without a license, you are prohibited from collecting insurance premiums. In addition, Breakaway believed it was buying an affordable, profit sharing- based workers' comp insurance policy that would reward it if its claims for loss were low. Instead, the company claims it actually purchased a misleadingly-labeled reinsurance policy that was not only costly, but was allegedly part of a "reverse Ponzi scheme" that required Breakaway to cover the losses of other companies--a position of great financial risk to the unsuspecting courier company. Plaintiffs deny any wrongdoing. In addition to $18M in damages, the Manhattan suit seeks to have the reinsurance participation agreements declared void and against public policy. Some similar workers' comp policies have been banned in other states. In addition to protecting their injured employees, allegations like those leveled by Breakaway are a reminder for employers to protect themselves as well when purchasing workers' comp policies. Have any questions regarding Workers' Compensation? Contact Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212-227-2780, or toll free in New York 1-800-269-2780, or online here. The initial consultation is free of charge.

Construction Site Workers Not Always Limited to Workers' Comp in Accidents

Q: I got hurt on a construction job. Do I need a Workers' Comp attorney or a construction accident attorney? Generally, claims for damages related to an on-the-job injury in New York State are governed by the Workers' Compensation Law. Under Workers' Compensation, also known as "Workers' Comp", an employee can't sue his or her employer for damages, but rather is entitled to compensation for lost wages and medical bills related to the accident through the Workers' Comp claim process. These benefits are available even if the worker is an illegal immigrant, was at fault (provided s/he was not intoxicated or impaired by drugs), or even if the employer didn't carry Workers' Comp insurance. Workers' Comp was instituted was to streamline the process for an injured worker to get access to and payment for medical treatment, so s/he can heal quicker and hopefully return to work faster. While the employee is recovering, the Workers' Comp system provides for a portion of his or her salary to continue to be paid by the employer pursuant to a formula which factors in the body part injured, the percentage of loss of use of that body part, and the expected time it will take to regain its full use, if ever. Designed to bypass a traditional court proceeding, the Workers' Comp system is mandatory for employees making claims against their employers. It's beneficial in that it results in streamlined access to medical treatment and avoids a complete disruption of the injured worker's income. But a big negative is the general inability to sue your employer for other damages, like pain and suffering, or future income losses and medical bills. There are exceptions to those Workers' Comp claims limitations for workers who perform dangerous work, such as construction workers. Construction worker accidents can result from a wide variety of dangerous activities including but not limited to using defective machinery, being hit by falling debris, falling off ladders or into trenches, etc. If the workplace injury is the fault of a third-party other than the employer, the worker can sue that third party. In the case of a defective tool or piece of machinery, an injured construction worker may sue not only the manufacturer, but also the owner of the land on which the work site accident happened. And the scope of the damages sought can be broader than the Workers' Comp claim against the employer would be, covering damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of potential future wages. Recently, a construction worker was critically injured on a job site in Brooklyn when a cinderblock fell from a height of about five feet and hit him in the head. A skilled construction accident attorney would investigate the possibility of third-party liability in order to maximize the compensation for the injured worker. For over forty years, the New York City Law Firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros have successfully brought many Workers' Comp cases as well as cases for persons injured in various types of construction site accidents and even obtained a $44 million dollar record-breaking verdict in one such case. If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site and are looking for an experienced firm with a proven track record, contact us here or call (800) 269-2780

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