MELVILLE, N.Y. –School is out and the road conditions are clear. It’s the perfect time to learn how to drive but each summer teens are behind dangerous car crashes, and they continue to be the most at-risk age group.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a thousand teens are killed in car crashes during June, July and August alone. Statistically speaking, it makes summer the riskiest season for driving.
“Car crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers on Long Island,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Each year, thousands of families lose a loved one in a crash involving a teenage driver and many more suffer life-changing injuries.”
Those under the age of 24 represent just 14-percent of the driver population but they’re responsible for almost a third of all the costs associated with car crash injuries.
“New York is a relatively safe state for drivers of all ages because there’s been a strong focus on driver’s education and strict traffic law enforcement,” Cellino said. “Unfortunately education and laws aren’t enough to prevent every crash and teens continue to be the most at-risk drivers across the Empire State.”
Other states have it worse. Much worse.
South Dakota, for example, has the highest number of teen DUIs in the nation and there are few laws in place that promote Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), a program many states use to educate teens.
The data used to generate the rankings were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the FBI, and several other statistical resources. The authors of the study hope their findings can improve driver safety in every state, especially those that scored low.
If you’ve been injured by a teen driver, Cellino & Barnes has the experience to help you and your family obtain the best result possible. Recognized by Best Lawyers, our Long Island car accident attorneys have helped crash victims recover more than $1.5 billion.
Contact our attorneys today for free consultation.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The sun is shining and it’s a great time to get outside. This time of year, the trampoline is a popular place for kids to spend time and lots of energy but it can also be a dangerous place.
Doctors and safety advocates are now warning parents of the dangers trampolines pose, if used incorrectly. According to one recent study in Ireland, 40-percent of children who suffered a trampoline injury needed surgery.
A Rochester personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says when injuries do occur in back yards, bounce houses or at trampoline parks, they’re often very serious.
“Trampoline use has become very common and injuries are skyrocketing as more trampoline parks open across Rochester,” personal injury lawyer Ross Cellino said. “In almost every case we see, the injuries are entirely preventable.”
According to the Irish study conducted this year, 35-percent of trampoline-related injuries were directly related to the presence of others on the bouncing structure.
In nearly half of the cases, there was no adult supervision.
Safety advocates are growing increasingly concerned over the boom of indoor trampoline parks across America. According to recent estimates, there are more than 350 parks in North America; with hundreds of new ones opening every year.
In many cases, children have been seriously injured at these parks and safety can sometimes be neglected.
“Trampolines can be very dangerous if they are not properly cared for or if they’re being used in unsafe ways,” Cellino said. “It’s our goal to reduce these injuries by making sure everyone is being as safe as possible while at the same time, having fun.”
Doctors and safety advocates advise parents to supervise children when using a trampoline and to follow these general guidelines:
Only one child at a time on the trampoline
Surround the trampoline with appropriate safety netting
Supervise children under the age of 18
Regularly inspect trampolines for rips, tears or possible flaws
Never use trampolines while under the influence of alcohol or prescription medications
As huge supporters of Central and Western New York communities, Cellino & Barnes hopes to make our neighborhoods safe for everyone. If your family member has been injured by someone else’s negligence, contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation.
A foodborne illness attorney at Cellino & Barnes says thousands of people become seriously ill after eating contaminated food and many of these incidents occur during the summer.
“People are throwing parties and having cookouts and more families are out visiting restaurants in Rochester,” foodborne illness lawyer Ross Cellino said. “The warmer weather also creates ideal conditions for some bacteria and it’s not uncommon for companies or businesses to mishandle their products.”
Food suppliers are mandated by federal regulations to include a Safe Handling Label which includes the following suggestions:
Keep refrigerated or frozen
Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods.
Wash working surfaces, utensils and hands after touching raw meat or poultry
Refrigerate leftovers immediately
This label has gone unchanged for more than 20 years and throughout that period, it has often been criticized.
A study published in 1998 found that consumers couldn’t read the small type on the instructions. Researchers concluded that foodborne illnesses could be reduced by improving the label and including more detailed instructions… but nothing changed.
According to the Safe Food Coalition, the current label is not good enough and many people still become ill, even if the instructions are followed to the letter.
Stoves, grills and microwaves vary. Foods often cook faster or more slowly in different appliances. In many cases, bacteria can survive the high temperatures and make its way into your body; potentially making you very ill.
“Many cooks simply read the directions and they assume the food is cooked thoroughly,” Cellino said. “In some cases, it’s not and that can have dangerous consequences.”
The Safe Food Coalition wants safe handling labels to be updated to include recommended internal temperatures – and rest time requirements that allow bacteria to die off after cooking. The petition also asks for instruction labels on all raw fish products.
The request is backed up by years of research on cooking behaviors and lab studies that analyzed survival rates of bacteria and pathogens at specific temperatures. Food safety advocates believe more specific labels and the widespread use of thermometers would help reduce the number of foodborne illnesses.
“Using a thermometer to verify internal temperatures of food is one of the easiest ways to avoid foodborne illnesses,” Cellino said. “Unfortunately, many cooks don’t do this and it raises the risk of undercooked food in both commercial and social settings.”
Among its suggestions, the Safe Food Coalition is calling for more specific information on safe handling labels including:
An end-point temperature for raw foods and “rest-time” requirement
Instructions to use a thermometer
Handling, storage, and temperature control information
Updated graphics featured on the www.foodsafety.gov website, instead of the graphics currently displayed
A web address on the package for additional information on meat, poultry and catfish cooking recommendations
If you or a loved one has fallen ill due to a foodborne pathogen, the Rochester foodborne illness lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have helped many families obtain the best result possible. Contact a lawyer today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – You may have used a simple silicate mineral for years without knowing it could cause cancer. Silicon, magnesium and oxygen together form talc, which in its powder form is a popular product often used on babies and heavily marketed to women.
The verdict follows a similar order in February, which awarded an Alabama family $72-million in damages after a woman who used talcum powder as a “bathroom staple for decades.” That woman, Jackie Fox, passed away in October 2015 at the age of 62, more than two years after her diagnosis.
A talcum powder attorney at Cellino & Barnes said thousands of women claim they’ve developed cancer after using talc and many companies have refused to warn consumers about the potential dangers associated with their products.
“For decades, scientists and doctors have urged companies to warn consumers of the risks but the billion-dollar pharmaceutical giants never did that,” talcum powder lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Instead of warning their customers of the cancer risks, companies heavily marketed talcum powder as a safe product for both babies and women.”
Manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson have argued that regulatory reviews “have determined that talc is safe” for cosmetic use and that current labeling practices are adequate.
Several juries have disagreed with that assessment and the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson are piling-up. More than 1,200 women have pending litigation against Johnson, claiming its talcum powder had devastating effects on their health.
At Fox’s trial, an internal memo from a Johnson & Johnson consultant was submitted as evidence. The memo suggested that the link between talc and ovarian cancer is as obvious as the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer; if the company refused to acknowledge the risks, it was “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
Johnson eventually eliminated some probable carcinogens like formaldehyde from its baby and personal care products in 2015. However, it took years of petitions and a boycott threat for the company to agree to the change.
In its natural form, talc contains deadly asbestos fibers. If inhaled, natural talc products could cause another cancer, mesothelioma. Talcum products used in American homes have been asbestos-free since the early 1970s but there are still concerns over their safety.
In many cases, doctors have found talc particles inside cancerous ovarian tissue. Talc has also been identified in pelvic lymph nodes, which indicates that it can migrate all the way out of the fallopian tubes and into a woman’s abdomen.
Talcum powder attorneys say big pharma companies have continued to deny the risks despite strong evidence that there is indeed a link between talc and ovarian cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you suspect talc was a factor, contact a talcum powder attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for free case evaluation.
For the latest information on talcum powder lawsuits and public safety, visit Cellino & Barnes on Facebook.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – The word “concussion” is commonly associated with sports and in many cases, parents are taking their children off the playing field out of concern for their safety. According to a new report, concussions are occurring more often – not just on the gridiron or on the skating rink but in your own backyard.
A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that traumatic brain injuries are steadily rising in frequency among children and most of the concussions resulted from playground injuries.
Researchers poured over data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 2001 to 2013 and found that roughly 21,000 children under the age of 14 suffered brain injuries each year.
“Splinters on those old wooden playgrounds used to be a parent’s biggest concern but we’re learning more about concussions every day in Long Island,” personal injury attorney Ross Cellino said. “Many parents believe their child has a high risk of getting a concussion by playing contact sports but playgrounds can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous and children often require active supervision.”
The study’s authors said playground developers and municipalities need to rethink strategies and redesign play areas to reduce the number of injuries and the severity of those injuries at playgrounds.
“These may include improved adult supervision, methods to reduce child risk behavior, regular equipment maintenance, and improvements in playground surfaces and environments,” researchers wrote.
The statistics found that only 3 percent of the children injured were hospitalized or taken somewhere for additional treatment. Most of the children were simply sent home after treatment in the ER and safety advocates suspect that many more injuries go unreported.
“Playgrounds have a lot of solid, low-hanging objects and it can be easy for a child to take a heavy blow to the head,” Cellino said. “Although they may seem fine after a few minutes, concussions can have long-term negative side effects and it’s important to get children checked-out by a doctor if you even suspect they may have suffered a concussion.”
Long Island personal injury lawyers say traumatic brain injuries can happen almost anywhere and children are often more susceptible to such an injury. In some cases, your family may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injury.
Cellino & Barnes has been recognized by Best Lawyers, you can easily find a Long Island personal injury lawyer near you for a free consultation.
NEW YORK – All kinds of accidents happen every day – from car crashes to slip and fall injuries, the world can be a dangerous place. But have you ever wondered what day is the most dangerous day of the week? Someone at LiveScience figured it out.
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, writers at the science news source determined there were nearly 40 million recorded deaths between 1999 and 2014. They said the breakdown was ‘fairly equivocal’ at first glance but it was much different when they broke down the data into different categories.
“Many drivers for example, can be more reckless on Saturdays and Sundays in Manhattan,” personal injury lawyer Ross Cellino said. “It’s no secret that bars are busier on the weekends and some will choose to drive when they’re intoxicated. This behavior puts everyone at risk.”
Accident-related incidents like car crashes spiked on Saturdays, according the LiveScience’s research. Since 1999, more than 42,000 people have been killed in car accidents on Saturdays and another 40,000 deaths happened on Sundays.
“Almost every type of accident spikes over the weekend,” Cellino said. “People are simply out of the house and the office more.”
From firearm deaths to ‘venomous plant or animal” accidents, Manhattan personal injury lawyers say Saturdays are consistently more dangerous than most other days of the week with one exception:
LiveScience said more than 685,000 heart attacks occurred on the first two work days each week. According to the CDC, nearly 350,000 heart attacks happened on Mondays over the last 15 years.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The future of vehicle safety is already on display. Fully autonomous vehicles are on test roads but you’ll see some cars, fit with an array of sensors and cameras, are already making an impact on real-world roads.
Recently, one driver uploaded a video showcasing how this relatively new technology can prevent an accident. The video, which was recorded in April 2016, shows a Tesla Model S automatically swerving to avoid a merging truck.
A Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says although the video shows promising improvements in road safety, it also shows the need for drivers to stay sharp behind the wheel.
“Merging vehicles are often very dangerous and it’s important for drivers to remain aware of their surroundings while maneuvering in traffic in a city like Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Although some cars can now automatically move out of the way, the entire incident could have been avoided.”
Clearly, the driver of the Model S depicted in the video was grateful the car suddenly changed its direction. The video’s description reads:
“Tesla Model S autopilot saved the car autonomously from a side collision from a boom lift truck. I was driving down the interstate and you can see the boom lift truck in question on the left side of the screen on a joining interstate road. Once the roads merged, the truck tried to get to the exit ramp on the right and never saw my Tesla. I actually wasn’t watching that direction and Tessy (the name of my car) was on duty with autopilot engaged. I became aware of the danger when Tessy alerted me with the “immediately take over” warning chime and the car swerving to the right to avoid the side collision.
You can see where I took over when there’s a little bit of blip in the steering. Tessy had already moved to the right to avoid the collision. I was not able to slow down even more due to the heavy traffic (cars were behind me). Once I got behind him I slowly added more room between us until he exited. I was not tail gating after the incident.
It was a mistake on the other driver’s part. He did not even know I was there until I honked my horn. There was a group of women in the black sedan to my left and they went nuts about the guy and what he did (all kinds of gesturing in their car). Once I was beside the truck as it slowed down on the ramp, the guy gestured a “sorry!” I gave him, “it’s okay” wave.
Tessy did great. I have done a lot of testing with the sensors in the car and the software capabilities. I have always been impressed with the car, but I had not tested the car’s side collision avoidance. I am VERY impressed. Excellent job Elon!”
Although it’s not fully autonomous, Tesla’s Autopilot feature allows the vehicle to steer itself in emergencies and warn the driver of a pending side collision. In practice, the system has successfully shown that it can automatically adjust to avoid a crash.
Many safety advocates welcome the safety improvements but warn about the dangers of relying on them.
“It’s encouraging to see that companies are using technology to help prevent accidents.” Barnes said. “But electronic systems can fail so it’s always going to be important to have a deep understanding of how operate a vehicle.”
Tesla’s crash avoidance features were also recorded in action in November when a semi-truck was close to colliding with a different Model S.
Buffalo car accident attorneys say the features are a promising glimpse into the future of vehicle safety but there is no substitute for a safe driver.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – This time of year can be dangerous for anyone who uses the road. Pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers are at all at risk because of the sun.
During the spring and fall, the sun can cause what’s called “sun blindness,” or sun glare – and it can be incredibly dangerous for those who behind the wheel.
A Buffalo car accident attorney at Cellino and Barnes says this condition spikes because of an astronomical event that only occurs twice in a year.
“Drivers are most at risk of sun glare during the fall and spring because that’s when the sun directly rises in the east and sets to the west of Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Sunrise and sunset times also coincide with rush hour times and that can make the roads a dangerous place.”
Making matters worse, most cities are constructed on what’s called a “grid.” This means the roads, for the most part, run east to west and north to south.
According to one British study, sun glare causes roughly 3,000 accidents each year – and due to the fact that the U.S. boasts more drivers, the number of accidents could be much greater in America.
The bright sunlight could be affecting drivers differently depending on their age, a recent federal study suggested. Older drivers were found to be more likely to cause a crash if their vision was obstructed by a glare. The study also notes that other bright objects, like billboards and headlights, can also cause vision impairments for the elderly.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 38.5 percent of the drivers who reported a glare-related crash were over the age of 45.
“Glare can be a difficult problem to address – especially on bright spring days but there are many steps drivers can take to prevent an accident,” Barnes said. “So, while a glare can be a factor; it’s not an excuse and drivers need to take responsibility for their actions if someone gets injured in a crash.”
Buffalo car accident lawyers suggest putting sunglasses in your vehicle, just in case. Many sunglasses can minimize sun glare – and most cars have a convenient compartment to hold your shades.
A clean windshield can also improve a driver’s ability to see through a glare, Barnes said. Dirt and grime can sometimes refract and reflect light but keeping a clean windshield can minimize the stress on your eyes.
Safety advocates also suggest considering alternate routes during your morning and evening commutes. Using north-and-south roads should allow you to avoid sun glare – or you can do a little research and plan your commute well before or after sunrise and sunset.
Finally, attorneys say if you are getting blinded by the light, slow down. Speed is also a factor in many glare-related accidents. Slowing down could save a life.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – You may have been in this awkward position before: you’re driving. Your phone rings from your pocket or your purse on the passenger seat. Did you answer it? Be honest.
Many drivers choose to take that call or text and too often, it causes a crash.
In fact, some studies say you’re 23-times more likely to cause a crash if you’re texting behind the wheel.
Both doctors and lawyers have seen their share of distracted drivers. Unfortunately, it’s usually after the fact. A Long Island car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says victims of distracted drivers often go through emergency rooms.
“We’ve seen how heartbreaking and devastating car crashes can be – and most of those crashes are caused by a distracted driver in Long Island,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Distractions are now the leading cause of all personal injury collisions.”
Researchers say distracted driving is comparable to being drunk. Studies have shown that texting and driving is roughly the same as having a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, which is twice the legal limit in New York.
With all this new information coming to light, police are ramping up enforcement.
Recently, law enforcement agencies have begun a “crackdown” on distracted driving in New York and other states. The Washington State Patrol reported officers pulled over more than 18,000 drivers last year for talking on a hand-held cellular device. Another 4,000 drivers were ticketed for texting – but police believe that’s just a small fraction.
“This is huge problem,” Cellino said. “Even if you’re a safe and responsible driver, your life can be at risk because another driver isn’t paying attention.”
If you’ve been injured because of a negligent or distracted driver, the Long Island car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have experience achieving justice and they can help you and your family get the best result possible from a claim.
Contact a Long Island car accident attorney today for a free consultation.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – If you’re stressed or exhausted, a vacation might be just what the doctor ordered. Many health professionals believe some R & R can be healthy and re-energizing. However a spring break trip also poses some unfamiliar dangers for travelers.
A Buffalo personal injury attorney at Cellino & Barnes says spring break injuries are actually common: from slip and fall injuries, to car accidents and binge drinking; your vacation can be dangerous if you’re not prepared.
“When you’re on vacation, you’re likely in an unfamiliar area and that can raise your risk of having an accident,” Buffalo personal injury attorney Steve Barnes said. “We strongly urge anyone who is traveling to carefully plan their vacations and learn about the areas they’ll be visiting.”
Here are six of the most common dangers travelers encounter while on spring break:
6. Lack of Emergency Treatment/Services
If you’re on spring break, there’s no doubt you may want to try new things and explore new places. Unfortunately, as Buffalo personal injury attorneys pointed out, new places can be risky. Depending on your destination, emergency services may be few and far between.
According to a recent travel risk analysis, some nations were found to have little to no modern medical facilities that could help travelers, if needed.
5. Norovirus on Cruises
Norovirus is an extremely contagious illness. A person can get infected from food, water, contaminated surfaces, or even another person. Sparing you the graphic details, norovirus can cause severe stomach pain and nausea.
Cruises can increase your risk of being infected with norovirus because it thrives in small, confined areas. The CDC has reported several recent outbreaks on cruises and in some cases, cruise ships have been investigated by the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.
4. Animal/Bug Bites
Snakes. Spiders. And bees, oh my! Some vacation hotspots have their shares of venomous and dangerous wildlife. Some critters can cause allergic reactions which can sometimes be fatal.
Even those at home should be on alert for dangerous species. In 2014, a British family was evacuated when they found hundreds of deadly spiders hiding out in bananas.
Obviously, the risk is greater if you’re visiting that creature’s home territory. According to the World Health Organization, more than 400,000 people are permanently disabled or disfigured due to wild animal bites each year.
3. Food Poisoning
Plan on trying new foods in exotic places? Buffalo personal injury attorneys are urging travelers to be cautious of what they eat because food poisoning can happen to anyone, anywhere.
“Nearly every day, we hear of new cases of food poisoning or e. coli breakouts at restaurants locally and abroad,” Barnes said. “Every establishment in America has standards to adhere to and they can be found legally responsible for your illness but when you’re traveling abroad, those standards could be different.”
The CDC estimates 48 million Americans get sick from bad food each year. According to CDC statistics, another 3,000 people die from foodborne diseases.
Water is the most common source of food poisoning; followed by beef, poultry, leafy greens, eggs, and tuna.
2. Irregular sleep patterns
You’ve heard of jetlag but most Americans don’t consider how it affects your health.
According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, jetlag can cause impaired brain functions including forgetfulness and decreased alertness. Most commonly however, jetlag is known to contribute to drowsiness, which can be extremely dangerous when operating heavy machinery or a motor vehicle.
1. Binge Drinking
The most common accidents that occur on spring break involve alcohol. Each year, thousands of college students take a break from the books and open the booze. Unfortunately, binge drinking can be dangerous and deadly in several ways.
Not only does binge drinking increase your risk of car accidents and slip and fall accidents; drinkers can fall victim to alcohol poisoning.
Buffalo personal injury attorneys urge everyone on spring break to use their best judgements and know your limits.
I would like to thank your firm for representing our family on behalf of my late husband. This whole process was, at times, difficult for us and sometimes painful. But, we were always in good hands as Brian and Maria are two of the hardest working and sincerest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job.