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The Most Common Holiday Disasters

/ Slip and Fall /

The Most Common Holiday DisastersNEW YORK – Most of us have witnessed and perhaps even experienced how painful the holidays can be. And these accidents are often highlighted in many movies our friends and neighbors watch on a yearly basis.

The two burglars from Home Alone suffered immense injuries: stepping on broken ornaments, grabbing a red-hot door handle and getting whacked in the head with a shovel. Somehow, Harry and Marv lived to torment Kevin in a sequel.

I can’t even begin to describe the many accidents Clark Griswold endures in Christmas Vacation. Aside from crashing his car into a snow bank, Clark found himself in several other painful predicaments.

Although these films are dramatized, holiday accidents are often real – and really painful. A New York slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes says there are many ways things can go wrong during the holidays – and we now have statistics to show for it.

“Aside from car crashes, thousands of people can break a bone or get a concussion by falling on ice – and there’s plenty of ice this time of year in Manhattan,” slip and fall lawyer Ross Cellino said. “It’s the most common type of injury during the holidays.”

The Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps track of most of these injuries in an effort to prevent them from happening more frequently. Some of the most common holiday-related accidents are not unlike those your favorite characters encounter in the movies either; aside from car crashes and falls, these yuletide accidents include:

  • Lacerations
  • Hit with something
  • Decorating/Wrapping injuries
  • Choking
  • Food poisoning
  • Electrocution
  • Burns

Children are also at risk during the holiday season. Many young children simply love sticking things in their mouths – including Christmas lights, ornaments and other decorations. In total, it is estimated that more than 90 children will visit emergency rooms this time of year for injuries that can be traced back to the holiday spirit.

However, the most at-risk age group are middle-aged Americans – and many of them are injured doing Clark Griswold-esque activities. The CPSC described more than 130 incidents of people between 45 and 65 suffering foot fractures, shoulder injuries, back injuries, and concussions from falling off ladders or getting electrocuted while trying to break a world-record for most Christmas lights drawing power from a single plug.

The Manhattan slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say it’s important for holiday cheermeisters to keep safety first this season:

  • Make sure sidewalks and steps are clear of snow and ice
  • Keep children away from breakable or sharp objects
  • Use a ladder on steady and even ground
  • Keep your home tidy to avoid tripping on loose decorations
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets
  • Read directions for toys and kitchenware
  • And drink responsibly

According to the CPSC, many of the holiday-related accidents are also fueled by alcohol.

The Manhattan slip and fall attorneys at Cellino & Barnes urge any accident victim to seek immediate medical attention. In many cases, those who have been injured may also be entitled to compensation. If you’ve been hurt by someone else’s negligence, call an experienced attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

How to Avoid an Injury This Winter

/ Slip and Fall /

How to Avoid an Injury This WinterROCHESTER, N.Y. – Many of us start our day by putting on our boots, grabbing the shovel and heading outside to clear our driveways and sidewalks.

At least, you’re supposed to clear your sidewalk. In many cases, your neighbors might let it go but a Rochester slip and fall lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says neglecting to shovel your sidewalk could leave you on the hook if anyone is injured.

“Everyone knows they’re supposed to clear their sidewalks but every year, we see a spike in the number of accidents in Rochester,” slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “When the snow is packed down due to foot traffic, it can form ice and we all know how dangerous that can be – and how difficult it can be to remove ice. So, it’s always a good idea to clear a path before it’s too late.”

Shovelers also need to take care of their own health. Rochester slip and fall lawyers say shoveling or firing-up the snow blower seems like a simple activity but they’re more dangerous than homeowners are willing to admit.

A recent study found that more than 11,000 people are hospitalized every year for injuries suffered while moving snow. Thousands more likely tweak a muscled and don’t visit the doctor for weeks or months – by that time they may have forgotten how they got injured in the first place.

Before you head outside in the morning, doctors recommend three important health tips to make sure you get rid of the snow efficiently and safely:

1. Lift with your knees, not your back – using your back muscles are a sure way to pull a muscle

2. Dress for the weather – it goes without saying: it’s cold outside. Muscles tend to operate more efficiently when they’re warm and the best way to stay warm when it’s below freezing is to wear layers and keep your extremities covered.

3. STOP if you’re feeling tired. The most common reason for hospitalization is exhaustion

If you experience any chest pain or have shortness of breath, it’s important to stop immediately and if it persists, contact a doctor. In many cases, these symptoms can be related to heart disease.

When you aren’t physically able to remove the snow, it’s still not an excuse to let the white stuff pile up. Rochester slip and fall attorneys say homeowners are usually granted a 24-hour “grace period,” so the second the snow stops falling, the clock is ticking!

If you don’t remove the snow in time, you could face a $150 fine or worse – someone gets hurt trying to traverse your Siberian-styled sidewalks.

Rochester slip and fall lawyers recommend calling a snow removal service in your area if you cannot physically remove the snow yourself. In many cases, you and your neighbors can rely on these services 24/7 and save someone else from a visit to the emergency room.

Unfortunately, many of your neighbors forego this responsibility and thousands of people get injured attempting to walk a slippery sidewalk. If you are one of those victims, Cellino & Barnes has helped countless others like you get the best result possible. Contact a Rochester slip and fall lawyer today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

How to Avoid the Worst of Winter

/ Slip and Fall /

How to Avoid the Worst of WinterROCHESTER, N.Y. – Like it or not, the cold temperatures are here and when the mercury dips below freezing, there’s a chance you can get injured – or be on the other end of a personal injury claim.

Each year, millions of people slip on ice. Not only can a fall like that be painful – it can be costly too. Slips on ice account for over 30 percent of all slip work-injury claims, an analysis by the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America found.

Generally, slip and fall victims are awarded significant compensation when their attorney can prove that an employer or a property owner did not supply a reasonably safe environment for their workers, customers, tenants or others. So, the best way to avoid being liable for a slip and fall injury is to prevent one from happening this winter.

A Rochester slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes says there are several precautions property owners can take to make sure they’re doing everything they can to avoid an accident – but many people neglect these safety measures.

“Snow and ice removal can be a frustrating chore but it’s one we’ve come to expect living in Rochester,” slip and fall lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Luckily, it’s not a difficult job and there are many ways property owners can safeguard themselves – and others – from a devastating accident.”

  • Look for leaks. When the temperatures drop, water forms ice. The best (and easiest) way to avoid an ice problem is to eliminate any leaks that could form an icy patch. If some of these leaks cannot immediately be fixed, close off the area.
  • Check for ice. This seems obvious but many injuries happen in places that property owners don’t look. Regularly check pathways (both high and low traffic areas) for ice build-up.
  • Signage. It’s always a good idea to invest in some signs to warn people entering or exiting a building that certain areas may be icy or slippery. These signs should be clearly visible and noticeable by anyone who could be walking in the area. Simply alerting people that a floor may be slick tells them to walk a little slower and more carefully.
  • Melt the ice. There are several cost-effective solutions you can find at hardware stores to avoid the build-up of ice. Simple rugs can be placed at entrances inside a home or business. Outside, the old shovel and scrape is the best technique as it eliminates ice and snow.

Sidewalk salt can be used but it comes with some issues: Ice takes a while to melt and as it turns into water, it can make the area even more slippery.

Many of these ‘tricks’ are simple and can improve safety rather quickly but a Rochester slip and fall attorney says many people, unfortunately, neglect their responsibilities as a property owner and eventually, someone can get hurt.

If you’ve been injured after slipping and falling on ice, the Rochester slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help you get the best result possible. As one of the most recognizable personal injury firms in Western and Central New York, many of your friends and neighbors have trusted Cellino & Barnes to help them get compensation for their injuries. The firm’s ‘No Fee Promise’ guarantees injured victims that their lawyer will always put the clients’ interests first. Contact one of their Rochester slip and fall attorneys now for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

One Misstep

/ Slip and Fall /

One MisstepBUFFALO, N.Y. – Slipping on a wet floor or tripping on loose carpet sounds like a simple misstep but these falls can put a person in the hospital – at any age.

Falls are now the leading cause of death among seniors and one of the leading causes of hospitalization among those younger than 65, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to federal data, falls can be very deadly too. The number of fatal falls nearly doubled from 2000 to 2013 among those 65 and older.

A Buffalo slip and fall lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says almost every fall is preventable and many accidents occur in public areas like shopping centers and parking lots.

“Think about all the times you’ve seen a wet floor in a supermarket or black ice on a sidewalk in Buffalo,” slip and fall attorney Steve Barnes said. “Negligent property owners that don’t address these hazards put people’s lives at risk and sometimes someone gets injured as a result.”

It’s estimated that one-third of those who fall will suffer an injury that will require treatments. Researchers found that most people who fall don’t address the incident at all, which can often detrimental to their overall health.

According to several studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a prior fall is the top predictor of another fall. Buffalo slip and fall lawyers said even if a person’s injuries seem mild, the damage could spark another accident.

“All it takes is one misstep to lay the groundwork for future injuries,” Barnes said. “In many cases, what may seem like ‘minor’ damage can actually cause a person to fall again and the injuries the second time around can be much more severe.”

Doctors suggest getting a check-up immediately and some treatments can help minimize the risk of repeated fall.

When a person does get hurt, the bills don’t stop coming in the mail. The Buffalo slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have helped Western New Yorkers recover millions to help pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. In many cases, a legal claim can also spark impactful changes that will help your friends and neighbors.

These changes could include the installation of railings around steps, swift removal of obstacles like ice or standing water, or adding lighting in dark areas.

There are many preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of falls but many public areas Western New Yorkers frequent every day lack these vital safety improvements.

Find more studies and the newest safety information by following Cellino & Barnes of Facebook.

If you’ve been injured, call a Buffalo slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes today. 800-888-8888.

Study: Falls are More Dangerous than Car Crashes

/ Slip and Fall /

Study: Falls are More Dangerous than Car CrashesROCHESTER, N.Y. – If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve fallen at least a few times in your life. Usually you can simply pick yourself up and continue your day but sometimes a fall can cause catastrophic injuries; and as one recent study found, falls can be deadlier than car crashes.

According to an annual report in the Australian state of Victoria, more than 450 people over the age of 64 died after falling from heights of less than three feet in just the past year. In comparison, just over 300 people were killed in car accidents during the study’s time frame.

A Rochester slip and fall lawyer says the statistics mirror the data assembled in the United States.

“Falls are surprisingly common but we rarely hear about them because some victims believe their fall was ‘embarrassing’ even though it’s often not their fault in Rochester,” slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “Almost all of our clients’ injuries were preventable.”

An estimated 2.5 million Americans over the age of 65 are treated in emergency rooms for falls every year. Most often, they suffer head injuries or a hip fracture but falls can also result in wrist injuries, spinal cord injuries and ankle sprains.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said falls, above car crashes, are the most common cause behind concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. It is estimated that falls cost Americans over $34 billion in direct medical costs each year.

The Australian trauma report, released in July, noted a significant rise in serious injuries and fatalities among older men, falling from ladders and falls contributed to a significant number of work-related deaths and injuries.

“Construction workers, for example, are at a high risk for fall-related injuries,” Cellino said. “Thousands of workers are hurt on the job every year after falling down stairs or falling from a height and many times, our investigation finds that companies aren’t implementing sound safety plans to prevent these injuries.”

It’s estimated that around 40 percent of fatal construction accidents occur as a result of a slip or fall. The newest information found that home builders and painters face the greatest risk of falling.

Cellino & Barnes is a proud supporter of the Rochester, Central New York and Western New York communities. Our lawyers are honored to help their neighbors obtain justice and recover from a variety of personal injuries.

If you’ve been injured, a Rochester slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes could help you obtain the best result possible.

The Real-Life Effects of Pokémon Go

/ Slip and Fall /

The Real-Life Effects of Pokémon GoNEW YORK – You probably have the app on your phone even though it has only been around for a week. Pokémon Go is already the most popular app on Android and iOS and it will soon have more daily users than Twitter. Although it’s just a game, we’re already seeing some real-world affects.

The new augmented reality game uses GPS to send players on an adventure through their cities, towns and countrysides on a quest to find Pokémon – creatures created by the popular Nintendo games in the 1990’s.

The game encourages players to get outside and visit local landmarks or historical markers to restock on valuable in-game items; but a New York slip and fall lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says exploration is often paired with risk.

“Players have their eyes locked on their smartphones and we’ve already seen tragic incidents occur since the game was released in New York,” slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “People are suffering real-world injuries simply walking down the sidewalk because they’re so fixated on the game.”

One person claimed on Reddit that they slipped and fell down a ditch, leaving them with a 6-8 week recovery period. Other reports suggest the handheld game played a factor in car crashes and other accidents.

The game has also been linked to violent crime, in at least one case. According to the O’Fallon Police Department in Missouri, robbery suspects the app’s geolocation feature to target and lure players into a secluded trap. The suspects were later apprehended by police officers but only after nearly a dozen teenagers were robbed.

Other incidents can be startling. For example, a Wyoming teen stumbled across a dead body near the banks of the Big Wind River.

“I was trying to get a water Pokémon,” the teen told CNN.

With the game’s popularity reaching new highs every day, the New York slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes urge players to use caution – both inside and outside their vehicles.

“No one should be playing any type of distracting game while behind the wheel but even outside the car, there’s a real risk of danger,” Cellino said. “We see these all the time; uneven sidewalks, slippery floors and stairways – they’re already dangerous areas but they’re even more hazardous when a person is not paying attention to where they are going.”

Some aspects of reality games can be beneficial: they promote physical activity and can create social connections but the safety aspect is often neglected.

Cellino & Barnes has offices across New York State, including three in the Greater New York Metro Area. For office locations and more information about our New York slip and fall lawyers, find us on LinkedIn.

Forecast: Hot! The Best Ways to Stay Cool

/ Slip and Fall /

Forecast: Hot! The Best Ways to Stay CoolROCHESTER, N.Y. – Temperatures tickled 90-degrees this week and there isn’t much relief in the forecast. According to the latest 10-day charts, the mercury will rise into the upper 80’s and low 90’s next week too.

The hot temperatures forced city officials to declare a “Cool Sweep Heat Emergency” in Rochester on Tuesday. The declaration allows the city to extend hours at public pools and beaches, 13 WHAM reported. In some areas, firefighters will release water from hydrants. The Cool Sweep is likely to extend into next week.

With the hot temperatures, many families will be trying to cool off but when you’re around water, there are always hazards, a Rochester slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes said.

“We’re urging all parents to keep a close eye on their children, especially when they’re at the pool or near an open fire hydrant in Rochester,” slip and fall lawyer Ross Cellino said. “It’s important to stay cool and cold water is certainly a great way to do that but it’s also important to stay safe.”

Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common reasons for hospitalization in America and standing water is often the culprit.

“Parents often tell their children not to run around the pool because they know how easy it can be to slip and fall on a small patch of water,” Cellino said. “The same idea applies almost everywhere during this extreme heat.”

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, more than 8 million hospitalizations are due to falls. It’s the number one reason people are sent to the Emergency Room, making up 21.3 percent of all visits and half of all accidental deaths at home are caused by a fall.

Leaky air conditioners, melting ice near a cooler, and footwear with poor traction (sandals) can all be hazardous in the summertime. Many of these slip and fall incidents occur in stores or in public areas with few warnings.

“Most businesses have a responsibility to warn people about a slippery floor but that responsibility is often neglected,” Cellino said. “We’ve seen so many injuries that could have been prevented if the person was at least warned about a wet floor.”

Rochester slip and fall lawyers say the proper footwear could also prevent an injury. Sandals are “in” during the summer but many brands don’t have nearly enough traction to avoid a slip and fall. Cellino suggests wearing shoes or sneakers when around water or slippery areas, if possible.

With offices across Western and Central New York, Cellino & Barnes is a proud supporter of the Rochester community. Promoting health and safety, the attorneys at Cellino & Barnes hope to make New York State a better place to live and work for everyone. For more information and summertime tips, visit Cellino & Barnes on Facebook.

The #1 Injury Behind School Struggles

/ Slip and Fall /

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – High school and college students who suffered concussions are more likely to struggle learning new subjects in school. Many doctors say that can sometimes cThe #1 Injury Behind School Strugglesause students to drop-out.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill surveyed dozens of students who went to emergency rooms for concussion treatments and many others who suffered other injuries, like broken legs or a sprained wrist.

Students diagnosed with a concussion took an average of 5.4 days to return to classes while other students only took off 2.8 days, on average.

Concussions, commonly associated with sports, can be attributed to a number of accidents. A Rochester slip and fall lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says it’s very common for a person to suffer a concussion off the playing field.

“Nearly half of all concussions are caused by falls,” Rochester slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “Many of our clients have tripped on a sidewalk or fell on a slippery floor and the most common injury is a concussion.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.5 million Americans visit emergency rooms each year after suffering traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions. In fact, TBIs contributed to more than 50,000 deaths.

For doctors, what is most concerning is that rates of TBI-related hospital visits have increased by more than 70-percent since 2001.

“Concussions affect everyone and they could have long-term effects, especially in children,” Cellino said. “Whether a person has been injured in a slip and fall or a car crash, it is important to talk to a doctor and seek legal advice because concussions can be tricky and that person may never truly recover from it.”

Researchers found that nearly half of all students who suffered a concussion needed academic help, like tutoring weeks after the injury occurred.

Lead author Erin Wasserman said the concussion causes an energy crisis in the brain and it takes a while to fully heal. Wasserman says that’s why many people experience headaches, dizziness and they often have trouble sleeping.

“Many of the symptoms associated with concussions can cause problems of their own,” Cellino said. “It’s very difficult for a person who can’t sleep or is constantly under the pressure of a headache to operate at full-capacity and that can translate into problems at school or work.”

Health professionals say students often encounter problems with their vision or eye movements following a concussion, which can also impact a child’s or young adult’s capability to learn.

Doctors and researchers have yet to determine what exactly triggers the learning difficulties or how to prevent them following a concussion but in many cases, a person can be compensated for their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion, a Rochester slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes could help obtain the maximum amount available.

Our Rochester slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have represented clients across Central and Western New York with high success rates. Contact an attorney today for a free case evaluation.

Winter Slip & Fall Warning

/ Slip and Fall /

Winter Slip & Fall WarningROCHESTER, N.Y. – Caution: Falling can hurt your head. Yes, you already knew that but sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a wet floor from a dry one or ice from concrete (see black ice). That’s why a Rochester personal injury firm is urging people to be cautious after this recent winter blast.

As another winter storm punched Western New York, it created some hazardous conditions – not just for drivers but for those who use their feet to get around. Slip and fall accidents can become daily risks when winter weather strikes. In some cases, you can suffer catastrophic injuries as a result of a fall.

A Rochester slip and fall lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says most property owners have a responsibility to clear sidewalks and make walkways safe for the public to use.

“When the snow piles up on a sidewalk and owner neglects to clear that snow, it can become a hazardous situation for anyone using these walkways in Rochester,” slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “We are urging landlords and homeowners to clear their sidewalks and use melting salt to make sure these areas are safe for people to use because if they aren’t, you could be held liable for any injuries.”

In most areas, homeowners are required by law to clear sidewalks within hours after a storm.

Businesses with tile floors are also hot spots for slip and fall injuries after a winter storm. Snow, slush and ice can build up along the entryways and exits, making the tiles very slick. If these areas are not cleared, the wet floors can cause someone to slip.

Rochester slip and fall attorneys at Cellino & Barnes handle many of these cases each winter. They say the best way to avoid an injury is to be proactive and to be careful.

“As we urge businesses and homeowners to clear their walkways, we also want the people who use these walkways to be extra cautious,” Cellino said. “Be prepared for black ice and wear slip-resistant boots, if possible.”

Attorneys say businesses should always be prepared with sand or melting salt during the winter months, especially when forecasters expect a storm. Just a little traction can prevent a fall… and an injury.

If a property owner neglected to clear a path and you’ve slipped as a result, contact Cellino & Barnes today for a free consultation.

Clear A Path!

/ Slip and Fall /

Clear A Path!NEW YORK – It only takes one misstep for you to slip, fall and end up in the hospital. It happens to millions of Americans every year and it costs us a lot of money.

That’s why many cities have laws that are designed to keep walkways safe – and clear of snow, ice and debris. Unfortunately, many New Yorkers ignore this law and someone can get seriously injured.

A Brooklyn slip and fall lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says property owners have up to 14 hours to clear public pathways after it snows – but following a recent snow storm, many paths weren’t cleared for days.

“New Yorkers are required to clear snow from their sidewalks and use melting mixtures to get rid of any ice,” Brooklyn slip and fall attorney Steve Barnes said. “If someone slips and falls on your sidewalk, that person can call our firm – and we could hold you responsible for their injuries.”

Over the past year, the city has received nearly 3,000 complaints from pedestrians who called 311 to report snow or ice on a public pathway.slip

According to RentHop.com, most of those complaints were generated in Brooklyn. Specifically, neighborhoods like Park Slope and Prospect Heights had over 50 complaints per square mile. A data analysis shows that the complaints consistently mark these neighborhoods as repeat offenders when it comes to disobeying the snow-removal law.

“It’s dangerous for anyone who uses the sidewalk,” Barnes said. “Unfortunately, our clients get injured because some property owners neglect their responsibility to make their public pathways safe.”

Since 2013, Brooklyn has constantly received more complaints about snow and ice than any other borough. Queens consistently places second.

For an depth look at the data in your neighborhood, click here.

If you or a loved one has been injured from a slip and fall accident, contact one of our Brooklyn personal injury attorneys at (800) 888-8888.

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