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Study: 92% of Drivers Use a Phone While Driving

/ Car Accident /

Study: 92% of Drivers Use a Phone While DrivingNEW YORK – You’ve probably seen it before: a driver cruising down the street with a cell phone in their hand.

Whether they’re talking on the phone, or texting, the activity has been shown to be distracting, dangerous, and in New York, it’s illegal. But drivers don’t seem to care. According to a new Safe Driving Report by Everdrive, almost everyone has broken the law at least once in the last month.

The study estimates that 92-percent of the U.S. drivers with a cell phone have used it behind the wheel in the past 30 days. Using data collected on nearly 3-million vehicle trips and over 200 miles driven, the company used motion sensors and other factors to determine how dangerous some drivers can be.

A Brooklyn car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says distractions are the top cause of crashes on New York streets and highways, and these incidents often involve cell phones.

“When you first hear that almost everyone has held a cell phone while driving in just the last month, you might think the numbers have to be off, but it’s a serious issue in Brooklyn,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Take a look around at the cars on your street and you’ll almost always find someone trying to multitask while in traffic.”

According to Everdrive’s statistics, 38-percent of all drivers on the road are using a phone at any given moment.

What’s even more concerning is that 36-percent of all traffic could also be speeding. Brooklyn car accident lawyers say many accidents can be attributed to a combination of the two offenses.

“Most car accidents have multiple factors,” Barnes said. “Distractions alone can increase the chance of a crash by up to four times, but when the driver is also speeding, merging lanes, or turning, the risk exponentially increases.”

It’s now estimated that roughly half of all car crashes involve a distracted driver. That equates to roughly 1.2 million crashes each year, and safety advocates believe distractions could be behind even more accidents.

If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle crash, the Brooklyn car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have years of experience fighting for victims’ rights, and they’ve helped New Yorkers obtain over $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.

Contact them for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Distractions: Slowing Down Isn’t Enough

/ Car Accident /

Distractions: Slowing Down Isn’t EnoughROCHESTER, N.Y. – Everyone knows texting and driving is dangerous – even illegal in most states; but that doesn’t stop millions of drivers from being distracted behind the wheel every day.

Researchers studying the bad habit have found that many drivers try to ‘compensate’ for their distractions, usually by slowing down. But new research has found that those drivers who slow down to use their smartphone actually increase the risk of being involved in an on-road conflict.

Reducing your mph might sound like a safe idea, but a drastic drop in speed could have serious consequences, especially when the driver is distracted.

According to the newest research on the subject, traveling just 5mph slower than free-flowing traffic increases your risk of nose-to-tail crashes as a result of sudden stopping. It can also be frustrating for other drivers you share the road with. A Rochester car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says many people have likely experienced this while on Western New York roads.

“Many of us have probably seen a distracted driver, either on their cell phone or glancing down at their lap to text while on the highways around Rochester,” car accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “It’s frustrating to the safe driver, and it can often take their attention away from the road too.”

Study authors argued that distracted drivers traveling slower than the speed of traffic also add to traffic congestion.

Clearly, nothing has successfully addressed this issue yet. Rochester car accident lawyers say distracted driving is now at an all-time high, despite strict traffic laws and public awareness. It’s estimated that distractions are a factor in roughly half of all car crashes.

Safety experts believe the only way to solve the problem is to improve the technology itself, and change the way smartphones work.

“If smartphones could power themselves off when they’re in the driver’s seat, we wouldn’t have as many crashes,” Cellino said. “It’s really heartbreaking that most of these incidents could be prevented with a responsible driver behind the wheel.”

Offenders are not only susceptible to getting a ticket for operating a handheld device; they can also be held responsible for someone else’s injuries, if their distractions caused a crash.

The Rochester car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say non-fatal car crashes cost an average of around $25,000, but victims could be entitled to more compensation, depending on their unique situation.

When someone is injured by a distracted driver, obtaining the right evidence can help victims maximize their compensation. At Cellino & Barnes, their attorneys have experience investigating in-vehicle distractions, and with their team of trial-tested lawyers, the firm has helped many families get the best result possible from an injury claim.

If you or a family member believes injuries were caused by a distracted driver, get in touch with an experienced Rochester car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes – For Free.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Dog Bites Spike in WNY

/ Dog Bites /

Dog Bites Spike in WNYBUFFALO, N.Y. – Imagine punching into work, wondering if today will be the day you’re attacked by a dog. That’s what postal workers face every week when they’re out on their mail routes.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) reports nearly 7,000 postal workers were attacked by dogs last year, and almost a hundred of these incidents happened in Western New York.

In Buffalo alone, nearly 30 mail carriers were attacked by dogs in the last 12 months, placing the city in the top 25 for dog attacks.

A Buffalo dog bite attorney at Cellino & Barnes says dog attacks are happening more frequently, but almost every incident is preventable.

“Postal workers have put in place several safety measures to help mail carriers avoid an attack, but the number of dog bites increased this year by almost 5-percent nationwide, and more in places like Buffalo,” dog bite lawyer Steve Barnes said. “It’s up to dog owners to make sure their pet is trained and leashed when they’re outside, or the owner could be held responsible for any dog bite injuries.”

In some cases, postal workers were hospitalized after a mauling. Buffalo dog bite lawyers say these attacks can be vicious, and often leave permanent injuries; both physically and mentally.

Children are most often the victims of these attacks, but adults in certain occupations can frequently encounter dangerous dogs. These occupations could include:

  • Utility workers
  • Delivery service employees
  • Parcel carriers
  • Home maintenance contractors
  • Real estate agents
  • Cable installers
  • Home health providers

“Aggressive dogs are always a concern for workers in some of these industries,” Barnes said. “The injuries can sometimes be severe, and the legal process of getting compensation can be complicated, especially for dog bites in Buffalo.”

If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog, the details of the incident are crucial in New York State. The Buffalo dog bite attorneys at Cellino & Barnes suggest giving them a call to discuss these details with an experienced legal advocate. The consultation is free, and with the firm’s No Fee Guarantee™, dog bite victims won’t owe any legal fees unless Cellino & Barnes wins their case.

Contact a lawyer with a track record of winning dog bite cases today for a free case evaluation and a step-by-step explanation of the legal process ahead.

Cellino & Barnes (800)888-8888

Getting a Second Opinion

/ Medical Malpractice /

Getting a Second OpinionBUFFALO, N.Y. – When you’re injured or sick, your first diagnosis from your primary care doctor is often incomplete or just plain wrong, a newly published study has found.

Diagnostic error is one of the most common causes of injury in American hospitals today, and the new research conducted by health experts at the Mayo Clinic estimated that more than 20-percent of those who get a second opinion from another doctor find out their original diagnosis was wrong.

The new information is similar to other research on diagnostic errors in hospitals, but it gives safety advocates more evidence that there’s a fundamental flaw in the health care system, and there’s room for improvement.

A Buffalo medical malpractice lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says misdiagnosis is extremely common, and many patients can receive the wrong treatment and become seriously ill or injured.

“Almost everyone will receive a late diagnosis or one that’s completely incorrect at least once in their lives,” Buffalo medical malpractice attorney Steve Barnes said. “These errors can have traumatizing effects on a patient, and in some cases they have even resulted in death.”

According to the National Academy of Medicine, at least 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year. Researchers believe these incidents are also under-reported, so the true number of those impacted by incorrect medical opinions could be far greater.

Traditionally, diagnostic errors in hospitals have been a factor in roughly 10-percent of patient deaths, and they could account for nearly 20-percent of all adverse events in hospitals.

“Inaccurate medical opinions can have a wide range of negative effects on a patient,” Barnes said. “Not only is the patient not feeling better, but they could be prescribed drugs they don’t need, or risky surgeries that aren’t necessary.”

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic looked at nearly 300 patients who had recently seen their primary care doctors. In 62 cases, the second diagnosis was “distinctly different” from the original medical opinion. Only 12-percent of the diagnoses were the same. Doctors partially disagreed with each other’s opinions in the remaining 188 cases.

Buffalo medical malpractice lawyers say a second opinion can be valuable whenever a patient has a serious condition or requires a high-risk operation. In the end, that second opinion could save a lot time, money and heartache.

Unfortunately, mistakes continue to harm patients around the country. Some of the Buffalo medical malpractice attorneys at Cellino & Barnes are former doctors, and well-versed in modern medical procedures and illnesses. They’ve also helped many victims get compensation from an injury suffered as a result of medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a misdiagnosis, botched operation, or other type of medical malpractice, contact Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Spread the Word to Save a Biker

/ Motorcycle Accidents /

Spread the Word to Save a BikerLOS ANGELES – Bikers are in a dangerous position. Without a seat belt, and few protections between them and other vehicles, they still take to the road every day.

But before other motorists hound motorcycle fans for putting themselves in such a precarious position, hear what the Hurt Report has to say.

Published in 1981, many safety experts still consider this study to be the most comprehensive investigation on motorcycle accidents… ever. Named after its lead author and safety engineer, Harry Hurt, the report uncovered the biggest problem motorcyclists face on the road today: cars.

According to this 36-year-old study:

  • Failure to see motorcycles was the most common cause of crashes
  • Intersections were the most common place for motorcycle crashes; with other, larger, vehicles violating the motorcycle’s right-of-way
  • 66% of collisions violated motorcycle right-of-way
  • 75% of all motorcycle accidents involved another vehicle

A Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says over the last three decades, many safety improvements have been made to both motorcycles and passenger vehicles to reduce the risk of everyone on the road, but these statistics remain accurate today.

“Many studies follow-up on recent data, but cars and trucks continue to be the top cause of severe injury or death among bikers in Los Angeles,” motorcycle accident lawyer John Sheehan said. “The likelihood of injury is extremely high when an accident involves a motorcycle, so it’s crucial for drivers to pay attention, slow down and be mindful of those who share the road.”

According to recent statistics, nearly 90,000 motorcyclists were either injured or killed on U.S. roadways in 2015. Although it can be difficult to determine the exact total number of motorcycle crashes, it is estimated that 98-percent of bikers who are involved in an accident suffer some type of injury.

New studies have estimated that up to half of all drivers on the road are distracted in some form, usually by smartphones. Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers believe it’s clear that drivers must be more vigilant when on the roadways, particularly in the spring and summer months when motorcycles are more prevalent.

“Expect motorcycles to be on the road,” Sheehan said. “Give them as much space as a car, and be alert when approaching intersections.”

Los Angeles car accident attorneys say the last thing any responsible driver wants is an accident, particularly one involving serious injury.

Even if an accident appears minor, injuries can be nagging and have long-term effects that get worse over time, and a negligent driver can be held responsible for a motorcyclist’s injuries.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I’VE BEEN HIT BY A CAR?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation that can help pay for medical costs, lost wages, transportation, rehabilitation, and more.

Motorcyclists are granted many of the same freedoms and burdened with the same responsibilities as drivers of passenger vehicles or trucks. If your family has suffered an injury, know that you have rights and the Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have a track record for getting the best result possible.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

A Need For Speed

/ Car Accident /

A Need For SpeedNEW YORK – If you’ve ever watched the cars whiz by you in the Big Apple, you might conclude that many of them are speeding well above the speed limit.

We now have data to confirm your suspicions, and it’s estimated that 60-percent of New York’s drivers are traveling faster than the law allows.

The data, put together by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, surveyed drivers in an attempt to tap into their driving habits. The survey not only found that most of the city has a need for speed; it also found that roughly one-fifth of its motorists are texting and driving.

These aren’t minor offenses either – speeding was defined as “driving at least 10 miles above the speed limit.”

  • 64% said they sometimes sped
  • 13% said they sped “often”
  • 19% reported they were distracted; either by texting or emailing while driving

The report also found that as age increased, the prevalence of texting or emailing while driving went down, from an astounding 34-percent among drivers under 24 years-old to just 3-percent of drivers over 65.

A Manhattan car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says distractions and speed are often major factors in crashes, and many victims have taken offenders to court for their bad habits.

“Speeding and texting are two of the deadliest habits drivers have while on the streets in Manhattan,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “When our team investigates a crash, we often try to find if either of these bad habits were a factor because that evidence could help injured victims maximize their compensation.”

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET HIT BY ANOTHER DRIVER

City officials tout that these numbers are still below national averages, but the statistics are eye-opening. Another shocking statistic: more than 160,000 people are injured in car crashes every year in New York alone.

The unfortunate reality is that car crashes happen in the city every day, and there’s almost always an innocent victim.

If you or a family member has been injured, the medical costs, lost work and the pain can be overwhelming, but the Manhattan car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped New Yorkers get compensation after these devastating crashes.

When you or a loved one is injured, count on the law firm that has helped thousands of victims get the best result possible. Call the Manhattan car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800)888-8888

1 in 4 Drivers Were Using a Phone Before Crashing

/ Car Accident /

1 in 4 Drivers Were Using a Phone Before CrashingLOS ANGELES – The decisions made in the moments before a car crash can be the difference between life, death or serious injury. The problem is, almost one in four drivers were using their phone in those moments before a crash, a new study found.

According to research from Cambridge Mobile Telematics, distracted driving is a BIG problem. The company, which makes apps for car insurance providers, found that drivers were not paying attention to the road in more than half of the trips that ended in a car crash.

CMT’s apps watch for violations such as phone use while driving, speeding, hard braking or sudden acceleration, and how much time a driver spends behind the wheel. The apps then relay the information to insurance companies, so that they can better understand driving behavior.

On drives that involved a crash, the driver was distracted for an average of 135 seconds – that’s more than two minutes! And drivers were found to be glued to their phones for at least two minutes on more than 20-percent of all trips, many of which occurred at high speeds.

…BUT THERE ARE LAWS

Road fatalities have skyrocketed over the past few years, and nearly every state now has laws banning smartphone use, specifically, texting. Despite these laws, and the heavy fines violators could face, drivers continue to speed ahead with their smartphone in-hand. In fact, researchers believe drivers are more distracted than ever.

According to CMT’s newest data, states with anti-texting laws only experienced a slight safety improvement. Researchers found these were the average times a driver was distracted by their phone in a given state:

  • States banning ALL handheld devices: 3.17 minutes
  • States with partial bans (under 18 only): 3.25 minutes
  • States with no bans: 3.82 minutes

Clearly, many drivers simply ignore the law.

SHARING THE ROAD WITH UNSAFE DRIVERS

Texting and driving is more prominent than ever, and being a safe driver doesn’t necessarily put you out of harm’s way. In many cases, a distracted driver isn’t just risking their own life – they’re risking the lives of everyone they share the road with.

Many drivers feel they can get away with texting and driving by hiding their phone out of sight, but this notion is rapidly changing. Police and crash investigators now have the ability to get phone and data records from drivers involved in a crash.

If a distracted driver injures or kills someone else, these records can help victims and their families get the best result possible from an injury claim.

The Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have helped many innocent victims obtain compensation from a crash involving a distracted driver. As one of the largest personal injury law firms in the nation, their Los Angeles car accident attorneys can independently investigate a claim, and find any information that could improve the value of a case.

If you believe your family has been negatively impacted by a distracted driver, a Los Angeles car accident lawyer could help.

Contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Perilous Parkways

/ Car Accident /

Perilous ParkwaysGARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Since 1927, the Southern State Parkway has been a fixture in Long Island. For the most part, it’s also remained unchanged, and according to several legislators and safety officials, that’s a big problem.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the New York State Department of Transportation, more than 10,000 traffic collisions happened on the Southern State Parkway over the past five years. These crashes included more than 3,000 that resulted in serious injuries and nearly three dozen fatal accidents.

A Long Island car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says many of those crashes can be attributed to outdated road design and crumbling infrastructure. In some cases, even the signs can be outdated.

“The Southern State Parkways is one of the most dangerous roadways on Long Island,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “It has short entrance ramps, and the aging design of the road doesn’t always give drivers the time and distance they need to safely merge into traffic, which could be going 55 miles-per-hour, or faster.”

The roadway is notoriously dangerous. In fact, it has the attention of several lawmakers who recently introduced bills in both the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. If passed, the bills would establish a study to evaluate the configuration of the Southern State Parkway, including its entrance ramps, exit ramps, signage, and whether other safety measures are needed.

The act would also help traffic safety officials obtain federal funds that could pave the way for safety improvements.

“New York State can sometimes be held partially responsible for an accident that occurs on a problematic roadway,” Barnes said. “In many cases, the Department of Transportation has known about technical flaws that present safety hazards for drivers, but it often takes a devastating accident to get these issues ironed out.”

Unfortunately, any plans for a redesigned parkway could be months, or even years away. But statistics have shown that a deadly accident occurs every other month on Southern State Parkway.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent or speeding driver on this dangerous stretch of roadway, the Long Island car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help. They’ve obtained more than $2 billion for their clients, and their experience could help you get the best result possible from an injury claim.

Contact one of our Long Island car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Workplace Safety Tops To-Do List

/ Construction Accidents /

Workplace Safety Tops To-Do ListNEW YORK – Lawmakers in every state are introducing new bills this year that aim to improve workplace safety. These changes could be important in many places, as construction booms and increased traffic have caused a spike in the number of accidents.

In Kansas, lawmakers are considering a plan that would put workplace safety enforcement in the hands of the state’s Department of Labor. Traditionally, enforcement has been the duty of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but Kansas legislators argue that OSHA has been taxed by recent cuts, and the state could do a better job of making sure all construction sites and businesses maintain a safe working environment.

In Kentucky, coal is king. It’s also a risky business, but with the proper safety regulations in place, state lawmakers believe the number of accidents can be reduced. The state increased the number and frequency of mine inspections a few years ago and now, many lawmakers hope to keep inspectors busy – and some are looking to increase the number of inspections.

And in New York, the city is planning to spend billions of dollars to redesign streets and begin working on several construction safety projects. The new road designs aim to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe from the city’s buzzing traffic. Many of those who will benefit from these updated streets are construction workers who use city sidewalks and bike lanes to commute to work.

Construction workers in the Big Apple have been fighting a battle of their own. City Council introduced a package of 21 bills that would promote safety on work sites. This “Construction Safety Act” was developed as a direct response to the spike in construction accidents in New York over the past few years.

With any type of legislation, there are pros and cons – but the focus remains the same: preventing another construction accident in New York, and other respective states.

Unfortunately, accidents are common in these jobs – even when safety is a top priority. If you’ve been injured in an accident, the New York construction accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help.

Trusted with personal injury cases for over 50 years, a New York construction accident attorney can help hard working New Yorkers get the best result possible from an injury claim. At Cellino & Barnes, their experienced New York construction accident attorneys are focused on helping their clients maximize their results.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Enforcing the Law

/ Car Accident /

Enforcing the LawLOS ANGELES – Anyone who’s been behind the wheel of a vehicle knows how dangerous texting and driving can be. It takes your eyes off the road, and it pulls your mind away from the task at hand.

This deadly combination of decreased reaction time and distraction can be linked to millions of car accidents each year. Many states, including California, have enacted laws to make texting and driving illegal, but there’s a problem.

Enforcing these laws can be challenging.

In the past, California drivers found a loophole in the law which prohibited drivers from using a handheld device to “write, send, or read a text-based communication” while behind the wheel. Since the wording was very specific, officers couldn’t cite many distracted offenders who were browsing the internet or using GPS on their phones.

This year, police have more authority after the ban was amended to prohibit drivers from “holding and operating” any handheld device while driving.

This small revision now gives police more authority, but enforcing this law is still a difficult challenge. Spotting a texting driver isn’t easy – it takes a trained eye, and police say many violators have become ‘sneaky’ about it, hiding their phones out of sight from potential law officers.

However, texting and driving is dangerous, and if a distracted driver causes a car crash, authorities can dive into your phone records and determine whether or not your smartphone was being used at the time of the accident. If it was, a driver can face hefty fines – and even jail time.

Perhaps one day, the law won’t need enforcement. Maybe someday soon, your smartphone simply won’t operate while in the driver’s seat. Yes, there’s already a patent for that.

IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT BY A DISTRACTED DRIVER

According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use has been linked to over 1.5 million crashes each year. Many of these accidents hurt or kill innocent drivers and passengers. Sadly, these injuries and fatalities could have been prevented.

If you or a loved one was involved in a car crash, and you suspect the other driver may have been distracted, the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can launch a complete investigation and request mobile records for handheld devices.

In many cases, proving a driver was distracted can help maximize the value of a personal injury claim, and our Los Angeles car accident attorneys aim to get their clients the best result possible.

When your family has been impacted by a distracted driver, the pain and heartache is bad enough. Adding insult to injury, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with accidents can be costly, but an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you recover these costs, and bring distracted drivers to justice.

Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Client Thanks

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.

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