According to Reuters, New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, announced on October 31st that the city would pay $2.25 million to resolve a wrongful death claim brought against them by Alma Murdough regarding the death of her son. Murdough filed a wrongful death claim after her son Jerome, a Marine Corps veteran, was found dead in his jail cell on Rikers Island eight days after being initially arrested for criminal trespassing.

Alma Murdough filed her lawsuit after details began to emerge of her son’s death on February 15th. In the lawsuit, Ms. Murdough claimed that her son’s cell was 103 degrees Fahrenheit and that his body was also 103 degrees hours after being discovered. According to the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner stated that Murdough’s death had been the result of “hypothermia due to environmental exposure of heat.” Following Murdough’s death, Stringer released a series of statements regarding the safety, or apparent lack thereof, of inmates at Rikers. Stringer claimed that the penitentiary was “broken” and in need of reform. Consequently, Murdough’s death appeared to be a glaring case of negligence by prison officials, leading to the multimillion dollar settlement.

While the death of Jerome Murdough was a fairly clear-cut case of negligence on the city’s behalf, most wrongful death cases aren’t nearly as obvious. Wrongful death cases can be extremely complex that require a number of factors to be true in order to have a claim. To have a valid wrongful death claim, the loved ones of the victim must be able to prove that the death occurred due to the negligence of another individual or entity. Additionally, they must be able to demonstrate that they suffered either significant financial or emotional suffering due to their loved one’s death. Examples of financial or emotional suffering could be the loss of an essential income, funeral costs, the cost of medical bills incurred prior to death, the economic loss that can be attributed to the loss of a parent, and pain and suffering before the victim’s death.

Considering the complexity of wrongful death cases, individuals who have lost a loved one due to unnatural causes should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. An attorney will review all aspects of what lead to their loved one’s life including interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, file the lawsuit, and when necessary representing victim’s families at trial.

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Bono, the lead singer of the popular band U2, suffered major injuries resulting from a bicycle accident in Central Park on Sunday. According to Rolling Stone, Dean Lorich, the orthopedic surgeon who operated on the singer, released a statement stating that Bono sustained a number of major injuries, including three fractures in his left shoulder blade, a fracture in his left humerous bone, a broken pinky finger, and a facial injury involving the orbit of his eye.

The accident occurred while Bono was riding his bike through Central Park. Bono attempted to avoid another rider before crashing in what doctors call a “high energy bicycle accident.” After crashing, the singer was rushed to the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Emergency Department where he underwent several X-rays and CAT scans. Following the test, Bono went under the knife for surgery for five hours. Bono’s elbow was so badly damaged that it required the insertion of three metal plates and 18 screws. The singer underwent surgery a second time the next day to repair a fractured pinky finger. While the injuries were severe and will require “intensive and progressive therapy,” the U2 lead singer is expected to make a full-recovery.

Bono’s injury should be a cautionary tale for any who frequently ride their bikes in Central Park or around New York City. In 2013 alone, 4,045 cyclists suffered injuries and 10 died from bicycling accidents in New York City. While some accidents may be the fault of the injured cyclists, many are the result of another party’s negligence. In these instances, many cyclists fail to understand their legal rights and don’t realize they can receive compensation for their losses.

When cyclists are in an accident and suffer major injuries, they may be able to receive compensation for any financial losses by filing a lawsuit. Cyclists may have grounds for compensation if their injury was caused due to another individual or entity’s negligence. For instance, a cyclist might have grounds for a claim if they were biking through central park and hit an unpaved crack on the bike path that led to a major injury, due to the fact that it’s the city’s job to ensure the bike path is properly maintained. While negligence is essential for a lawsuit, injured cyclists must also be able to prove that the negligence involved was directly responsible for their accident and injury. Consequently, individuals who have suffered financial harm following a bicycle accident should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney who can help them identify their legal options.

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On Thursday November 6, a New York City-bound bus crashed into a disabled car and a tractor-trailer on I-81 outside of Syracuse. The crash left 27 passengers injured, including the driver of the bus, who is currently in critical condition. According to Newsday, none of the injuries sustained in the crash were fatal.

The bus, owned by Pine Hill Trailways, was traveling toward New York City from Toronto when it crashed into a recently wrecked car at 2:30 am. The car had just hit a guard rail when the bus crashed into it. Upon hitting the car, the bus then crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that had pulled over after its driver decided to assist the car that had hit the guard rail. The bus then drifted to a stop in the left lane.

Following the crash, emergency crews arrived on the scene to assist injured passengers and the bus driver. Reportedly, it took two hours for emergency personnel to extricate the bus driver, Kelvin Sharpe Sr., from the crushed front end of the bus; Mr. Sharpe is reportedly in critical condition at Syracuse hospital. While no other fatalities were reported, the 26 injured passengers of the bus reported numerous lower extremity, chest, back, and facial injuries. Due to the large amount of individuals injured in the crash, authorities have deemed it a “Mass Casualty Incident.”

Police have reported that the driver of the disabled car, 36-year-old Robert Tarbell, was intoxicated at the time of the incident. Mr. Tarbell was arrested and charged for driving while intoxicated; he is currently being held in the Onondaga County Jail on $15,000 bail. The presence of alcohol in the crash presents an interesting legal precedent as injured passengers may be able to file personal injury claims against more than one party.

Passengers who were injured in the bus crash may have grounds to file lawsuits against the intoxicated driver whose disabled car led to the crash. In order to have grounds to receive compensation from the drunk driver, injured passengers must be able to prove that they suffered either financial or emotional hardships resulting from the accident. Additionally, injured passengers must be able to prove that their injury occurred as a direct result of the intoxicated driver’s negligence.

The passengers injured in the bus crash may also be able to file a claim against the bus company. To have a case against the bus company the injured individual must be able to prove that negligence on behalf of the driver or the company itself led to the crash and their subsequent injury. For instance, if there is evidence that driver inattention, driver error, defective parts, or mechanical error led to the accident, injured passengers may have grounds for a lawsuit. As with above paragraph, however, the injured passenger must be able to prove that they suffered a serious financial or emotional hardship and that the negligence of the driver or busing company led directly to their injury. For instance, if the bus had a defect, but the defect did not cause the accident and subsequent injury to the passenger, they’d likely not have grounds to file a claim.

Individuals who have suffered injuries in bus accidents often don’t immediately file a claim as they don’t understand their legal rights or the constraints imposed by the statute of limitations (a legal statute which governs the amount of time following an injury that a victim can seek compensation for their suffering).  Many times these passengers will realize long after the fact that they’ve suffered an injury that impedes their everyday life, but due to their delay in pursuing legal action, they cannot receive compensation for their losses. As a result, individuals who have suffered an injury in a bus accident should seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

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What is Negligence?

by on June 25, 2014

The word “negligence” is one of the most often used words in the field of personal injury law. When one of our clients (known as a plaintiff) is injured, he/she usually is aware that one of the most important things we do at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool is carefully set forth the evidence necessary to support our clients’ claim that one or more persons or entities (called defendants) are legally responsible for the happening of the accident.
Negligence is generally defined as being the failure to use that degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. A simple way to think about it is to compare the conduct or “carefulness” of the defendant to how careful one might think a reasonably careful person (ie; a “prudent” person) would have acted, if that person was in the same situation.

HOW DO WE PROVE NEGLIGENCE?

Proving negligence is not always as easy as it sounds. The facts may involve an act, or failure to act, that occurred at the moment that your serious accident occurred. For example, perhaps you were involved in a car accident and the Defendant failed to make proper observations of a traffic light, stop sign, or some other traffic signal, or made an improper lane change, causing your accident. Such instances are common and may sound simple, but in order to best represent the injured victim’s interests, we often find it critical to hire engineers and accident reconstruction experts in order to expose the truth in the face of Defendants who do not want to take responsibility for their negligent acts. Our decades of experience has shown us that employing an expert to testify regarding the relationship between the vehicles in the roadway, and assessing speed, time, and distance of all the vehicles involved in an accident, is commonly a crucial part of proving your case and of ensuring the best possible outcome that we can obtain for a client.
On the other hand, proving negligence often involves assessing the degree of care that a particular defendant exercised well before the time that an accident occurred. For example, in the instance of a trip or slip and fall accident, a defective condition may have evolved over time, and the issue of negligence may hinge on whether a defendant used reasonable care in allowing a dangerous condition to exist or in allowing a defective condition to develop over a period of months or years, and assessing what if anything the person or entity did to correct the condition. Similarly, in a construction accident, the issue of negligence often involves what steps a company or its’ employees took to create a safe work environment prior to the time the accident occurred (such as by providing for example proper and non-defective fall protection equipment).

NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS VERSUS STATUTORY CLAIMS

Negligence is known as a “common law” claim, which simply means that it is law that evolved over a period of time from the decisions of courts and judges. Negligence claims, such as some of the examples described above, are the most frequent and common of the types of claims that are brought on behalf of seriously injured victims. However, there also are claims known as “statutory claims” or statutory “causes of action”, which are simply claims that are grounded or based upon special or specific laws enacted by the legislature. Sometimes statutory claims exist to protect a group of persons who are at particular risk of serious injury. For example, special statutory claims exist in the state of New York exist to protect construction workers (these are known in New York as Labor Laws). A more general type of statutory claim is known as a dram shop claim. Dram shop laws are special statutory laws that protect the general public by imposing liability against bars and taverns for serious injuries caused by serving alcohol to already intoxicated persons.

EXPERIENCED NEGLIGENCE LAWYERS

All of the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are extremely experienced and well versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. Whether your particular serious injury involves a “negligence” claim or a “statutory claim”, we are here to help, to answer your questions, and bring any and all claims on your behalf that best suit your needs as a seriously injured plaintiff. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to the future of yourself and your family. To us, there is no “simple” negligence case. There is almost always something more that can be done, or something performed differently or extraordinarily, that can help improve the ultimate outcome of your case.

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We Represent Families Whose Infants Have Suffered Severe Neurological Injuries

One of the most exciting times in a family’s life is the birth of a new baby. That excitement quickly turns to tragedy and heartbreak when the baby is not born healthy.

Such is the case for a couple we recently represented who were upset and devastated when their baby was born with cerebral palsy.

The mother had indicated to the doctors that she was in a lot of pain. In fact, she was suffering from a medical condition known as placental abruption. In this pregnancy complication, the placenta separates from the uterus; this typically occurs with late bleeding pregnancies.

Placental abruption has effects on both the baby and the mother. For the mother, the severity of the abruption blood clotting or hemorrhaging can lead to extreme pain and even death. For the baby, the severe shock of the condition can cause the child to be stillborn, have trouble breathing and eating or suffer brain damage due to lack of oxygen getting to the brain.

The signs that this mother was in distress were clear. Fetal monitoring strips suggested an issue. Even her own complaints of pain were brushed off as normal labor issues. While thoroughly investigating the medical records for their case, it was shown that the hospital failed to deliver our client’s baby correctly and in a timely manner to prevent these issues. As a result, the child will suffer developmental delays, seizures and neurological issues their entire life.

Sadly, medical negligence occurring before, during, or shortly after birth is far too common. Too often families are forced to face a future where their new loved one is severely disabled. As a result, parents of infants who have suffered birth injuries may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the delivering doctor, attending nurse(s), and hospital where the injury occurred. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, families can recover compensation for any economic or non-economic. Additionally the injured infant’s parents may be able to have their child enrolled in the MIF (Medical Indemnity Fund).

Did you recently give birth to an injured infant? If so, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our birth injury lawyers, fill out our online review form or call us at (212) 406-1700. We welcome your call.

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Once you’ve met with an experienced accident attorney you may be wondering exactly how your case can be proven.

We do this by fully investigating your accident scene so we can try to determine exactly what happened and who is at fault.

Our car accident lawyers gather all the information available, such as where the accident occurred, what the weather was like, which drivers were involved, where each driver stated they were at the time of the accident and what the drivers were doing when the accident occurred.

If you took a photograph at the time of the accident, you will be better off than most. Having a picture of the damage that occurred to both vehicles and the surrounding area can go a long way toward proving your case. The environment around your accident is just as vital as any other picture. It can help tell the story as well.

After your accident, we review the police report. A police report can give us a lot of answers as to how the accident occurred and provide vital information regarding the other driver. We will want to view their licenses and previous issues reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. A police report also gives us the most accurate and current insurance information for the driver so that we can bring a lawsuit against them.

This allows us to put the other driver and their insurance company on notice that we’re looking for compensation for the accident, that we believe the other driver is at fault, and as such should be responsible for the costs you’ve incurred because of the wreck. Accident victims can recover compensation such as lost wages, hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drug costs, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and any other economic loss.

For more information regarding your legal options, fill out our case review form http://www.quellerfisher.com/contact/ . If you have legal questions, I want you to call me at (212) 406-1700. I welcome your call.

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There are a lot of different aspects to the litigation process that you will get to experience and understand if you file a personal injury lawsuit.

One of the most known aspects of the process is cross-examination. Cross-examination is an opportunity for each attorney to ask questions of the witnesses brought forth by the other side during trial.

You see this interaction a lot in both movies and television as these cross-examinations play out into dramatic moments full of surprises. In real life it’s not as dramatic but can be remarkably revealing.

Cross-examinations begin with asking each witness about how they are related to the case. They could be an eyewitness to the scene of the accident, painting the picture of how your injuries occurred. Or they could be an expert witness here to testify on your behalf regarding your medical health and how your injuries affect you now and into the future.

With each of these witnesses, the attorneys are using their testimony to present your case and prove their side is right. In car accident cases, attorneys must prove that the fault of the accident and subsequent injury was likely caused by the other driver. By asking each witness questions, we’re able to go step by step through the accident case, your injuries, and how your future will look.

Getting information out of witnesses during a cross-examination can be a difficult task. Most people do not want to admit fault or that they had any part in causing or contributing to your injuries. But as experienced attorneys, we’re looking to prove your case and do so by asking tough questions that fully cover the extent of your accident. This allows us to probe for the truth in how you were harmed so that you can win your personal injury lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve.

For more information, visit our educational website at. If you have legal questions, I want you to call me at (212) 406-1700 or fill out our online case review form. I welcome your call.

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A Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx early Sunday morning. The accident left over 70 people injured and another four dead.  The train had been headed toward Grand Central terminal when it careened at high speed around a sharp turn next to the Hudson River and derailed. The crash was the deadliest New York City train derailment in over two decades. Sadly, it appears the accident may have been avoidable if not for human error.

According to the New York Times, the train was traveling far too fast as it approached the turn where the accident occurred. The curve where the derailment occurred is known to be one of the sharpest in the region and has a maximum speed limit of 30 m.p.h. Despite the danger posed by the sharp turn, the train approached the curve at a speed of 82 m.p.h. While the National Transportation Safety Board—who are leading the investigation into the accident—initially cautioned that they had not yet determined whether the accident was caused by human error, evidence has emerged that operator error may have been the cause. According to CNN, the engineer of the train, William Rockefeller, told investigators that he had been in a daze moments before the train derailed. Due to the combination of the train’s high speed at the time of derailment and Mr. Rockefeller’s statement to investigators, the MTA could be facing a number of lawsuits relating to the crash.

Engineers are required by law to act in a safe and responsible manner when operating trains. When a train’s engineer acts negligently, they may be liable for any injuries that

Train Derails in Bronxresult. Should the investigation definitively show that the accident occurred due to Mr. Rockefeller’s negligence, Metro-North may be liable for any injuries that occurred. In a lawsuit, individuals who suffered serious injuries in the crash may be able to receive compensation for any financial damages incurred, such as medical bills or lost wages. Furthermore, crash victims may be able to recover compensation for any emotional trauma caused by the derailment. As a result, victims should not hesitate to seek the counsel of a skilled vehicle accident lawyer.

Due to the complexities of train accident lawsuits, the benefit of retaining a successful personal injury lawyer cannot be overstated. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our vehicle accident attorneys understand the difficulties in proving liability following a train crash. As a result, we handle all aspects of the legal process. Our lawyers will interview witnesses, hire investigators to examine the scene of the accident, file the lawsuit, negotiate settlements where appropriate, and pursue maximum compensation in court. Our process for handling accident cases has led to numerous verdicts and settlements, many of which greater than $1 million.

If you or someone you love was injured in the Metro-North train derailment, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.  For a free, no-obligation consultation with Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, call 212-406-1700 or contact us online.

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A tragic car accident occurred on the Hutchinson River Parkway around 7a.m. on Saturday morning, leaving cab driver Ata Noorzi and Wells Fargo banker Patrick Sheehan dead.

According to the Daily News, Noorzi had picked up Sheehan earlier that morning at his home in Larchmont, NY. The cab had been traveling toward LaGuardia International Airport as Sheehan was planning to leave town on business for Wells Fargo. The accident occurred when a Black SUV heading north skidded out of control and crashed into the highway’s median. Contact with the median caused the SUV to become airborne. The SUV crashed into the livery cab being driven by Noorzi, tearing off the roof and killing both men inside. After hitting Noorzi’s cab’s roof, the SUV crashed into a white SUV before coming to a stop on its roof. The driver of the black SUV was later rushed to the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. As a result, the police have asked for a court order to obtain a blood sample from the driver to determine if he was drunk or high at the time of the accident.

While the families of Noorzi and Sheehan have yet to take any legal action, both may have grounds for lawsuits. Both families may be able to bring a wrongful death action against the driver of the black SUV. In a wrongful death suit, the Noorzi and Sheehan families can recover compensation for any lost essential income caused by Ata and Patrick’s deaths, funeral costs, and any pain and suffering the family is forced to endure. Additionally, the Sheehan family may be able to file a wrongful death action against Noorzi’s cab company, should details emerge showing that Noorzi had some fault in the accident.

Fatal Car Accident

 

If someone you love has been involved in a fatal car accident, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the crash. As a result, it is important that you retain an attorney with experience in these types of cases. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our New York car accident lawyers have successfully handled many wrongful death lawsuits following a fatal crash. Our attorneys understand the financial and emotional hardships that families can face following the loss of a loved one. As a result, we handle all aspects of the legal process, including interviewing witnesses, filing the lawsuit, hiring accident reconstruction experts to testify on our client’s behalf, negotiating settlements where appropriate, and pursuing maximum compensation in court. Our process has led to numerous favorable verdicts and settlements, many of which have been worth over $1 million.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, call 212-406-1700 or contact us online.

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According to the Daily News, New York City’s Citi Bike program may be facing its first round of personal injury lawsuits. Lashonne Shelton, Howard Orlick, and Diane Mathes have all filed notice of claims against the city alleging that the placement of the Citi Bike docking stations are health hazards. All three plaintiffs have alleged that the placement of the bicycle racks caused them to trip, fall, and suffer injuries. All three plaintiffs have stated in their claims that they were injured due to a “trap-like” condition created by the structure of the bike racks.

Citi Bike LawsuitWhile all three injuries were caused by tripping over the bicycle rack, the amount of money being sought by each plaintiff varies dramatically. Ms. Shelton is seeking just over $1 million following her trip and fall in lower Manhattan. Mr. Orlick is seeking $500 to cover his medical expenses following his injury near Union Square, where he claimed the bike rack created an optical illusion of the street and sidewalk. Ms. Mathes is seeking $5 million after suffering her injury on the East 20th Street racks, claiming she suffered physical and psychological damages. Additionally, Ms. Mathes’ husband plans to sue the city for $250,000 claiming that he suffered a “loss of services” from his wife due to her injury.

In order for the plaintiffs to have a valid case, they must be able to prove that the city acted negligently in their placement of the bike racks. Furthermore, the plaintiffs must show that their injuries caused them to suffer either economic or non-economic damages.  Economic damages are any financial loss caused by the injury, such as lost wages or medical bills that are uncovered by insurance. Non-economic damages are any kind of serious physical or emotional suffering caused by the injury.

Lawsuits against the city or property owners in trip and fall cases can be complex. As a result, it is important that injured individuals retain a skilled New York slip-and-fall lawyer. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our premises liability lawyers have been defending the rights of injured individuals for over 50 years. Our attorneys understand the complexities of premises liability lawsuits and will handle all aspects of the legal process.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with our personal injury lawyers, call 212-406-1700 or contact us online.

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