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Canandaigua Personal Injury Law Blog

What does New York alternative dispute resolution mean?

The New York State Unified Court System provides plaintiffs and defendants, insurance companies, injured persons and other parties with some options in lieu of trial. These creative out-of-court solutions can sometimes help to resolve conflicts and aid in reaching settlement agreements in personal injury cases such as motor vehicle or pedestrian accidents.

Known as alternative dispute resolution, this option can be chosen voluntarily. An experienced review of the circumstances with legal counsel will help determine its likelihood to succeed. Often when settlement negotiations don't work and a lawsuit is filed, a court will order ADR is tried first.

Is a lawyer necessary to file a lawsuit in New York?

Many New Yorkers find themselves faced with personal injury, the loss of a loved one or extensive property damage that happened as a result of someone's negligence or deliberate action. Sometimes, criminal charges are filed against the at-fault person. Other times, it is strictly a civil matter, and insurance companies are responsible to pay for losses. The most serious occurrences often end up as wrongful death claims that eventually lead to trial.

A question often on the minds of injured parties is whether or not they need an attorney if they want to file a lawsuit. The simple answer is no, it isn't required by the New York judiciary. Without legal counsel representing a claimant, he or she is known as self-represented or pro se. What a person might wish to consider, however, is exactly what is involved, and what is at stake for the family.

Safety and semi truck driver wages: Are they related?

Goods transported by tractor-trailers keep New York businesses working. Because they are so integrated into our daily lives, safety is always something that car drivers, law enforcement and government regulators continually wish to improve. An accident involving a big rig is usually quite serious. This is understandable when you compare the size of the semi truck to the size of a car or motorcycle. Often it isn't the truck driver who suffers serious injury.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government entity that oversees the trucking industry. Its guidelines and rules are designed to protect everyone involved. One regulation in particular, the allowable time a driver may be on the road without rest, remains a focus of the agency, drivers and owners alike. Officials have advised they are considering a relevant question, the answer to which may affect New York trucking companies if it leads to further regulation. They are currently soliciting comments and will do an analysis as to whether there is a relationship between safety and driver pay. Generally, drivers are paid by the mile and may not be compensated for wait time. With limits set by law as to how many hours they may be on the road, are drivers forced into unsafe practices in order to make a living?

Motorcycle accidents: basic knowledge for victims

Other than the obvious dangers, New York residents may not realize that seeking compensation for victims of motorcycle accidents can require a depth of knowledge and experience that exceeds that which is successful regarding other accidents. Many fatalities occur, but riders often suffer catastrophic injuries that leave them disabled in some way. For these victims, seeking the best possible financial settlements or jury awards is critical to their survival.

One of the most important things to remember is that talking to an insurance company without the benefit of legal advice can be a mistake. It's not that an agent will be deceptive or antagonizing, but rather, it helps to understand the motives of the insurer. The company's goal is to minimize losses to the greatest extent possible.

1 drunk driver to blame in 7 Canandaigua accidents

It's not unusual for Canandaigua residents to hear news reports about car accidents caused by drunk drivers. On Aug. 27, however, the news was pretty unusual. Reports are that chaos ensued when seven accidents happened within 12 minutes – all allegedly caused by a single drunk driver.

The accident investigation will keep officials busy for some time. Once completed, however, the victims will be in a position to decide whether seeking compensation for injuries or property damage is appropriate. With multiple insurance companies involved, it's also likely that skilled negotiation techniques will be helpful to their recoveries.

Better access to history may help New York personal injury cases

Motor vehicle accidents happen everywhere. Fender-benders and catastrophic multi-vehicle crashes, whether caused by negligence or a distracted driver, result in damage to property, injuries or fatalities. Investigators reconstruct the car accident, and do their best to determine who is at fault. Prosecutors take that information and make a determination as to whether or not criminal charges are appropriate. In the past, they could only consider previous convictions in their evaluations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced several months ago that the Department of Motor Vehicles will make additional driving history available to prosecutors. In addition to conviction records, traffic tickets issued in the previous 10 years can be accessed by District Attorneys, investigators and paralegals working under their supervision. Often charges filed against a driver are reduced in a plea agreement. The goal of this new access is to help officials make more informed decisions regarding lesser charges. Potentially dangerous drivers may be less likely to fall through the cracks of the system if a pattern of behavior is observed.

New York race crash investigation: Will recklessness be a factor?

Most people in Canandaigua or Ontario County are aware of the tragic motor vehicle accident on Aug. 9 wherein a NASCAR driver was hit and killed by another racecar. Investigators are reportedly questioning witnesses and undertaking accident reconstruction to compile the facts. It may be that Tony Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion and team owner, will face charges if the investigation supports it.

Whether or not prosecutors choose to file charges in a fatal pedestrian accident, the family of the victim has the option of bringing a civil suit against the party or parties responsible. Evaluating the legal issues involved will help in determining what, if any, legal remedy may be helpful.

Lightning strike fatality is basis for wrongful death lawsuit

Promoters and organizations that run sporting events, concerts and other entertainment gatherings have a responsibility to provide for the safe participation of attendees to the extent it's possible to do so. While it might be true that folks can't control the weather, if more careful management of an outdoor event could have prevented a fatality, negligence in a wrongful death is a legitimate question.

Car racing fans in Canandaigua may be aware of a tragedy at a NASCAR race in 2012. On August 5 of that year, a severe storm warning was issued for an area of a nearby state that included the racetrack where a lightning strike killed one man and injured several others. Two recent lawsuits allege that the defendant race officials ignored the warning until it was clear the race had to be stopped, and they only used social media to inform the fans. According to the wrongful death complaint, the deceased victim didn't have access to social media.

New York bus involved in pedestrian accident

In Manhattan and other New York cities, there are numerous ways of getting around. Transportation options include individual vehicles, trains, subways, cabs, buses, bicycling and, of course, going on foot. In busy cities and other areas, choosing to be a pedestrian does have some risks. Pedestrians must watch other traffic and follow crosswalks and signs when entering roadways.

At the same time, drivers in such areas must be aware of pedestrians and take action to avoid pedestrian accidents. This is true of all drivers including bus drivers.

Car chase leads to 2 deaths and injuries in New York

A car chase in New York has led to a pair of deaths and left a girl of just eleven years old with injuries after a crash. The accident itself was out on State Route 86, and it happened right around two in the afternoon. It took place near the Curtis Lumber building.

Police reports indicate that a man was driving an F-150 pickup in the town of Lake Placid when he was part of a more minor accident there. However, that quickly turned into a hit-and-run when he fled the scene. This caused the Lake Placid Police Department to contact the State Police as they searched for the truck.