Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Recently, Edward R. Averbuch, an attorney here at Leav & Steinberg LLP, was successful in helping a client file a lawsuit against his auto insurance provider after they attempted to dismiss his claim.

Ed was representing a war veteran who was rear-ended by a truck while stopped at a light. Although the truck driver admitted that he was at fault to the police, the defendant’s insurance company contested our client’s injuries and moved to dismiss the case by arguing that our client did not sustain a serious injury as required by law.
A police motorcycle parked behind a car accident, representing the personal injury services of Leav & Steinberg LLP in New York, NY

There were two challenges that we faced in this case. First, the injuries sustained by our client are not typically associated with auto accidents. Our client suffered an aggravation of a urethral sling that required cystoscopy and the transurethral removal of mesh inside of his body. Second, our client had complications related to the urethral sling that required surgical intervention on two occasions before the accident.

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The streets of New York City are practically always busy with car and bike traffic. There are several bicycle paths and bike lanes in the city to help ensure the safety of riders. To help ensure your safety and the safety of those around you while riding your bike, you should stay to the right side of the road and follow all traffic laws. Still, even when you’re being as safe as possible, an accident with a car can still happen. If a driver hit you while you were riding your bike, you may be entitled to compensation.

Driver’s Fault

Bike accident and a boyYou can sue a driver if they were negligent or may have crossed into the cyclists’ path. Negligence on the part of the driver may be established based on contributory factors to the accident. A driver owes a duty of care to other road users, including cyclists. Drivers are expected to drive with care and observe all the traffic rules while on the road. You should consult a lawyer who is conversant with bike accident cases to help you seek compensation for injuries sustained.

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Beginning in 2020, all of us here at Leav & Steinberg, LLP made a promise to our clients: With excellent lawyering and exceptional customer service, Leav & Steinberg will continue to be one of the premier firms in New York. While many firm in New York and across the country, find January to be particularly slow, our firm has continued where we left off in 2019; always prepared to go to trial and only when the  provides complete justice for our clients.

Here are just a few highlights of matters resolved this month:

$1,435,000 for a man who had to undergo spinal surgery after a car accident- the defendant challenged whether his injuries were related or serious

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Getting rear-ended is a startling event that will leave anyone feeling unsettled. While worrying about your own safety, there’s a lot to think about after the accident occurs. Understanding who to contact and what steps to take immediately following the accident will make the process go much more smoothly.

Seek Medical Attention If Injured

A woman talking on the phone while standing near a car accident

The first thing you should do if you’re rear-ended is to check for injuries. Seek medical attention right away for anyone in the car who’s in pain. Even if the injuries are minor or you aren’t sure if you’re hurt, it’s still a wise idea to get a second opinion from a medical professional. Some injuries, such as those involving the neck or back, aren’t present until many days after the accident. Additionally, you will want a physician’s notes on file for showing proof of injuries.

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After going through a potentially traumatic car accident, the last thing anyone wants to do is negotiate with an insurance company. Unfortunately, it’s important for all parties that the paperwork is handled as soon as possible. During the ensuing back and forth, there are some important negotiation tactics to keep in mind.

Preparation

Stacks of insurance policy papers underneath a pair of glasses

First, report your car accident right away. Many insurance companies have policies requiring prompt reporting. After that, start with what is referred to as a demand letter. This letter encapsulates your desired outcomes for the insurance company including the settlement amount sought. When drafting, make sure to have both a high-end number and a minimum amount that would be acceptable in mind. Of course, do not reveal this range to the adjuster. After deciding on an appropriate settlement amount, you can start the negotiation.

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Car accidents occur frequently in New York, but especially for those who have never been involved in one, the process can be scary and confusing. Taking a few important steps can ensure that the situation is handled as quickly and effectively as possible.

Stop Immediately

A silver car crashed in the front
No matter who caused the car accident, it’s important that both parties stop immediately. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and can lead to license revocation, fines, and/or a jail sentence. Once you’ve stopped, check with each passenger in your vehicle for injuries before making contact with the other driver to determine their condition and exchange information, including name and address, insurance information, vehicle registration, license plate number, and driver’s license number.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of a vehicle accident is a driver turning left at an intersection. These types of accidents are associated with increased risk of injury or death due to the crossing of oncoming traffic, which is typically traveling at a greater speed than the turning driver. However, determining who is at fault in a left turn collision can be difficult, and drivers need to know what to do if it occurs.

Who Has the Right of Way When Making a Left Turn?

A person turning the steering wheel of a vehicle upside down

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1141 states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection…shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.” Additionally, § 1163 of the Traffic Laws of the City of New York emphasizes that no turns should be made at an intersection unless they “can be made with reasonable safety.”

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Associate, Edward A. Averbuch took a verdict in Supreme Court, New York County in late August 2019 in a case where Leav & Steinberg represented plaintiff, a 43 year old male, who suffered injuries in an automobile accident that took place in early 2014.

It was plaintiff’s position at trial that his injuries raised to the level of “serious injuries”, as that term is defined by the Insurance Law, because he suffered tears to the tendons of the shoulder, including the rotator cuff, as well as derangement and impingement syndromes to the shoulder–all of which required surgical intervention to repair in August 2015. The surgeon opined as to the following intra operative findings: detached tear of the labrum, grade I chondromalacia of the central portion of the glenoid and partial thickness tearing of the rotator cuff on the bursal side of the joint. In addition, plaintiff also sustained a herniated disc in the lumbar spine and two herniated discs in the thoracic spine. The injuries to the spine were withdrawn prior to trial as plaintiff suffered similar injuries in a prior accident.

The trial commenced on the issue of damages only. Earlier in the litigation, plaintiff filed a motion seeking summary judgment on the issue of liability, which was granted as against the defendant in October 2018.

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Two separate fatal accidents occurred within hours of each other this past weekend in New York City.

On Saturday, December 1, at 6:30 p.m., a 65-year-old Staten Island man, who was changing his tire on East 28th Street near Shore Parkway in Brooklyn, was fatally struck by a white minivan. The driver of the minivan then fled the scene and abandoned his vehicle a few blocks away from the accident. The vehicle, which had Pennsylvania plates, was later found by police at Emmons Avenue and Bragg Street. Medics rushed the victim to the hospital, but unfortunately, he passed away. The driver has not yet been located and there is currently no description of the driver. An investigation by NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad is currently underway.

Earlier in the day, an 89-year-old woman was killed while walking across Riverdale Ave., near West 263rd Street in the Bronx. The victim was crossing the street when she was struck by an SUV making a left-hand turn. She was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. The driver, who tested negative for alcohol, did not leave the scene of the accident.  The local news agency, Bronx 12 News reported on the story.  Click here for the link.

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On July 10th, 2018, Trial Attorney, Ricardo J. Martinez, obtained a $287,000 verdict on behalf of one of our clients who sustained minor injuries to his lower back as a result of an arrest gone wrong.  On June 25th, 2014, one of our clients was arrested for jumping a subway turnstile in Manhattan.  Undercover NYPD officers witnessed the infraction and arrested our client. They placed him in the back of a police van and violated a very basic safety rule, they failed to place a seat belt on our client.  During transport, the van come to a sudden stop causing our client to be thrown into a metal partition.  He was taking to a hospital where he complained of shoulder pain.  Several weeks later, his back started to hurt and he sought medical treatment.  He was diagnosed with a lower back disc bulge. He had minimal treatment before discontinuing physical therapy because he had to go back to work.  Several years later, he had 2 epidural injections in his lower back.

Prior to trial, the defendants, The City of New York, offered $35,000 to settle the case. We advised our client to reject the offer, which he did.  During trial, the defendants’ attorneys argued that our client was in fact seat belted and that even if he wasn’t, his injuries were minor and had resolved by the time the trial was held.  Mr. Martinez successfully convinced the jury that our client was not seat belted and that his injuries were indeed significant and he would live with them the rest of his life.  The jury compensated our client $287,000 for his pain and suffering, which was a direct result of the defendants’ negligence.

This case highlights the importance of hiring the right attorneys that aren’t scared to go to trial if the defendants’ are not willing to make a fair offer.