BUFFALO, N.Y. – More than half of Americans plan to be Irish this weekend, spending an estimated $5.3 billion St. Patrick’s Day outfits, food and drinks. But the luck o’ the Irish only goes so far.
In Western New York, it’s a must-see event as thousands of people flood Delaware Avenue for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. While most of these parade-goers are responsible with their alcohol consumption, there are some who are not.
“People know the risks of driving drunk, and dozens of others pay the price every year in Buffalo,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “They can get pulled over and receive a DWI, or even worse: cause a car crash that takes someone else’s life.”
In 2015, nearly three dozen people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over St. Paddy’s Day weekend, WalletHub reports. That adds up to a deadly crash every 72 minutes. Roughly three-quarters of these crashes involved a driver who consumed twice the legal limit.
During the St. Patrick’s Day week alone, New York State Police made roughly 500 alcohol-related arrests last year, according to state records. Most of those arrests occurred on the holiday itself, but since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, safety advocates fear the problem could get worse.
“Since many people don’t have to work the next day, they could be staying at the bar later into the evening, and that’s when things can get out of hand,” Barnes said. “Not only are they consuming more alcohol, they’re also losing daylight, and nighttime driving is more dangerous for everyone – even the designated driver.”
The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes urge everyone to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day responsibly. That means planning ahead and getting a designated driver, if you plan on enjoying a green beverage or two.
If the worst-case scenario happens to you or your family, trust the firm that has helped Western New Yorkers get the best result possible from a drunk driving crash. Contact the Buffalo car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – Most school-aged children use the bus to get to and from their classes each day, and it’s generally thought of as one of the safest modes of transportation. But safety advocates are urging parents and drivers to rethink safety – both on and off the school bus.
According to federal statistics, most accidents happen before or after a child has stepped off the bus. A Bronx bus accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said these moments are some of the most dangerous times for children.
“Some drivers either don’t notice the flashing lights of a school bus, or they ignore them completely,” Bronx bus accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “It’s a growing problem across the country, and it’s putting many children at risk.”
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) recently conducted a survey of 878 bus drivers that reported being passed 727 times in one day.
When applied to the more than 50,000 school buses on the road in New York State, drivers illegally passed yellow buses over 41,000 times each day.
It’s not just a problem in New York, either. Other states are also reporting a rise in the number of accidents involving school buses and passing vehicles. In Tampa, Florida, there’s an average of 486 accidents that result in 302 injuries and two deaths every year, WFTS reported. In some areas, accident rates have gone up 65-percent over the last five years. In DeKalb County, Georgia, bus drivers now average about 1.2 accidents each day, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“School bus safety needs to be a priority for every single person that drives a vehicle,” Barnes said. “Passing a school bus with its lights on is illegal, and it’s unacceptable, because there are young lives at stake.”
Some school districts are considering attaching red-light cameras to their vehicles to catch negligent drivers in the act. In fact, North Carolina lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow counties to adopt ordinances that would assess civil penalties to violators who pass a stopped school bus.
In many cases, these incidents result in close-calls that go unpunished, but some incidents end with heartache and frustration. If your child has been injured, the Bronx school bus accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have worked on similar cases in all 50 states, and this experience has helped many families get significant compensation after an accident.
When a negligent driver ignores the flashing lights and injures your child, the Bronx bus accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes can protect your rights and help your family get the best result possible from an injury claim.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Every parent has a short list of ‘must-have’ items: a crib, a stroller, toys, and a baby carrier. Although these are basic items for any growing family, a new study is warning parents about how dangerous some of these products can be.
More than 66,000 children are sent to emergency rooms each year, after getting injured in an accident related to nursery products. That’s an average of 128 hospitalized infants each day.
According to a new Nationwide Children’s Hospital study, most of these accidents resulted in concussions or other head injuries. In fact, research has found that the majority of the incidents involved a child, usually an infant, falling out of a stroller, carrier or crib.
These basic nursery items are also on the recall list more than any other children’s product or toy. A Buffalo defective product attorney at Cellino & Barnes says parents and expecting parents should at least be aware of these accidents when shopping for their nursery.
“These accidents are more common than most people think, and they’ve happened right here in Buffalo,” defective product lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Parents should be doing their research to make sure they’re looking for products that meet the latest safety standards, and the items they’ve already purchased should be checked for recalls on a regular basis.”
Recalls as a result of defective cribs, strollers and carriers can be found on Recalls.gov, a resource which lists almost all federal consumer product recalls. Buffalo defective product lawyers say parents should also check with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on a regular basis to make sure the products they’ve purchased for their child meet the latest safety standards.
Doctors noted that many of the children’s’ injuries were a result of improper installation, and parents must carefully read directions for many nursery products before putting them together, or setting them up.
Unfortunately, many other injuries are caused by defects in nursery products. These defects can include broken parts, choking or strangulation risks, poor durability, or an overall lack of safety testing.
If your child has been injured as a result of a faulty nursery crib, carrier or stroller, the injuries can be very serious, often impacting a child’s learning ability or progress. Any defective product is unacceptable in today’s safety-focused society – and the products that can injure a child should be immediately pulled off the shelves to save other children and parents the heartache and pain that goes with one of these accidents.
The Buffalo defective product attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped many families get compensation for these injuries by holding the manufacturers responsible for negligently marketing unsafe nursery furniture, transports and toys.
Trusted with personal injury matters for over 50 years, Cellino & Barnes has taken many of the nation’s biggest manufacturers to court to make sure safety is the industry’s number-one priority. To find out how our team can help with your situation, contact a Buffalo defective product attorney for a free case evaluation.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – One of the victims of a 2015 work site accident will receive a $5 million settlement that will help cover the costs of medical treatments, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other daily expenses.
The victim was working on a flatbed truck delivering steel I-beams to a Western New York construction site in April, 2015. Operators were using a boom crane to unload the cargo when the tall crane came into contact with high-power wires above.
The contact with the power lines caused the victims’ truck to energize, and it sent more than 7,000 volts of electricity through the workers’ bodies.
In comparison, the electric chair only carried 2,000 volts.
The accident killed one worker, and injured two others. One of the survivors of that accident, an Ontario County man represented by Cellino & Barnes, has accepted the settlement after nearly two years of negotiations.
A Rochester construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says no sum of money will ever restore this man’s life to the way it was before the incident, but the settlement will allow the victim and his family to afford the care and treatment he will likely need for the remainder of his life.
“It’s heartbreaking when accidents like this happen, and it can be overwhelming to an entire family,” Rochester construction accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “This man will have to live with devastating injuries and burns the rest of his life, and these frustrations are amplified because incidents like these can be prevented.”
According to public records, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation revealed that many provisions were not in place before this accident. Investigators later issued citations and penalties to the victims’ employer.
Rochester construction accident attorneys say these citations are far too common on work sites – and the solutions are often simple, like training programs or oversight to ensure workers are taking the proper safety precautions.
“This incident reemphasizes the need for safe work site practices across the nation,” Rochester personal injury attorney Kerby Wright said. “When safety procedures are in place, it ensures that other workers will be able to return home to their families every evening without harm.”
The National Safety Council reports that nearly 5 million people are injured on the job every year – and almost 4,000 workers are killed, as the result of a preventable accident.
Construction sites or jobs involving transportation or warehousing are the most accident-prone industries, but safety advocates said injuries have been reported in every type of career – even those that are not labor intensive.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a work site, the law offices of Cellino & Barnes can help. Their Rochester construction accident lawyers have helped many people across the nation get compensation for their injuries, and their clients have received more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.
When a job-related accident puts you in the hospital, trust the firm that has helped other hard-working families get the compensation they deserved. Contact Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – When you drive distracted and cause an accident, it’s no shock to see your insurance premiums spike. But even those who are not at fault could end up paying more for coverage, a consumer report found.
The Consumer Federation of America did some research on the insurance industry and obtained price quotes from a handful of the largest auto insurers in 10 cities, including Queens. The study found that drivers in New York City tend to fork over the most cash after getting into accidents they didn’t cause.
The consequences add to the costs of auto insurance, and in New York, that can be a steep penalty for doing nothing wrong.
In Queens, the average premium hike was $401 for those who were not-at-fault.
“These charges are in addition to the medical bills, lost wages and other costs associated with personal injuries that can happen as a result of a car crash in Queens,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Many of these victims suffer real injuries, and to be hit with an insurance increase can be another unexpected punishment.”
Two states have already banned such penalties – California and Oklahoma – but that leaves the majority of the nation’s drivers exposed to significant rate hikes if another driver crashes into them.
The report also found that some insurers were more unfair than others. One insurance company applied additional charges to every quote except in cities where rate hikes were prohibited by state law. These surcharges sometimes raised quoted rates by 10 percent or more.
Other insurance companies occasionally charged innocent drivers, and only one insurer never increased rates for those who had not-at-fault accidents.
Insurance groups argue that the report is overly simplistic – and it’s missing several key factors insurance companies use to generate the true cost of a driver’s auto premiums.
The report, whether it’s accurate or not, raise several questions:
WHY ARE SOME SAFE DRIVERS FACING HIGHER PREMIUMS?
According to the insurance companies, it’s often not clear to them who is at fault.
In some cases, the driver who hit you may not have insurance at all – forcing your insurance company to raise your rates. In other instances, your insurance company could incur costs while trying to get a payment from the other driver’s insurer.
HOW CAN A SAFE DRIVER KEEP THEIR PREMIUM LOW?
Shop. Shop. Shop.
Any driver should be able to find the best rate by shopping around. If your insurer slaps you with an unexpected rate hike, chances are some other insurance company will jump at the opportunity to sign you up at with a better deal.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I’M INJURED?
Car accidents are not only costly – they’re dangerous too. Even when drivers follow all the rules of the road and practice safe driving habits, one bad driver can change everything.
Although the insurance company will likely offer to pay certain medical expenses, it is a business for them – and a Queens car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says insurance companies don’t often provide crash victims with fair compensation.
Obtaining an experienced attorney is the easiest way to ensure that you and your family obtain the best result possible from an injury claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, contact the Queens car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – More than 700,000 people regularly ride their bicycles on city streets, and that number is growing, making cycling more popular than ever in the Big Apple. But crashes involving bicyclists are also on the rise.
According to the Department of Transportation, more than 4,000 cyclists were injured on city streets in 2015. That’s nearly a ten percent spike from the previous year.
Now, more than ever, safety matters in the cycling community – and other cities around the globe are taking notice. A new report on cycling safety in a Canadian city came to the common-sense conclusion that those who wear helmets and travel on protected bike lanes are less likely to be involved in an accident.
The report reads, “the two most important interventions available to improve cyclist safety are cycling safety devices (helmets, lights and bells), and cycling infrastructure.”
The report was conducted to back a potential mandatory-use helmet law in the city of Winnipeg, but it doesn’t make any recommendations to city officials who are about to enact new regulations or enforce existing safety laws. However, the report notes that helmets have been proven to significantly reduce head injuries in accidents with an impact of 15 miles per hour or less.
Most cyclists in New York can travel at speeds of up to 10 mph, so helmets could be a life-saving piece of equipment. Unfortunately, few cars are traveling slower than 20 mph. At these speeds, studies have shown that bicycle helmets have almost no safety benefit.
Still, safety advocates urge bicyclists to wear a helmet because it does decrease a rider’s risk of serious injury. The more important aspect to bicycle safety is keeping cyclists away from cars. Dedicated bike lanes and infrastructure built on low traffic streets was found to be associated with a reduced risk of accident.
In New York, work has already begun on many city streets. Since 2007, the DOT has implemented protected bike lanes on more than 72 miles of roadways. Still, the number of accidents involving bicycles continues to rise, mostly due to the growing popularity of two-wheeled transportation.
WHAT TO DO IF I’M INJURED IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT
For many New York families, the progress is not happening fast enough. More than dozen cyclists are killed in traffic collisions each year, and thousands more taken to city hospitals.
These accidents not only cause families grief and heartache, they are also costly. The average bicycle crash can cost a family nearly $60,000 in medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. These accidents can also cause a victim to lose quality of life, and although it’s difficult to monetize, it raises the overall cost of an accident even higher.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Brooklyn bicycle accident, know you are not alone. Thousands of other New Yorkers have had similar experiences, and many of these victims have relied on the Brooklyn bicycle accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes for help.
With decades of experience, our Brooklyn bicycle accident lawyers have tried cases in court – and they’ve won. Cellino & Barnes has recovered over $2 billion for injured clients, and they will use their network of resources to help victims get the best result possible.
When a negligent driver crashes into a bicyclist, the injuries can be catastrophic. Trust the team that has helped many other New Yorkers receive compensation after an accident. Contact a Brooklyn bicycle accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – As we age, we become more susceptible to injuries. Those over the age of 75 are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in a car crash than any other age group. But one study has found ways to improve their chances on the road.
These safe driving courses honed-in on several high risk driving situations, including:
Driving at night
Driving in the rain
Driving in peak traffic hours
Driving on highways
Driving in school zones
Following the courses, researchers attached GPS devices in their cars to collect data on their driving behavior. The study found that the older drivers who took the safe driving program were more likely to regulate their driving patterns, and avoid the times and areas that were considered risky for their age.
Those who were subjected to the intervention also reported a strong willingness to change how they drive.
Researchers are now continuing their study to find out specifically how age impacts a person’s driving habits.
YOU’RE A SAFE DRIVER – OTHERS MAY NOT BE
One of the key issues study authors wanted to avoid was isolating seniors from their communities. Obviously, seniors may not be able to – or want to – completely avoid driving at night, or in the rain where eye sight and reaction times are critical skills for drivers to have.
The study points out that simply knowing how risky these driving situations are can significantly change a person’s driving behavior. Unfortunately, not everyone will be putting safety first when they’re behind the wheel at night.
Almost every car accident can be prevented with safe driving practices. When a negligent driver is distracted, speeding, or drunk, they can cause serious harm to themselves or others. The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes know just how prevalent these drivers can be.
In Erie County alone, more than 49,000 people received speeding tickets, and another 7,000 were cited for cell phone use, or texting while driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, our Buffalo car accident attorneys can help. We’ve obtained more than $2 billion for our clients, and all of our lawyers have trial experience, so you can be confident we will do whatever it takes to win your case.
When a car accident impacts your family, contact a Buffalo car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
MELVILLE, N.Y. – For the second straight year, motor vehicle fatalities spiked on U.S. roads and the number is estimated to reach over 40,000, which would be the most in nearly 10 years. The accident rate is skyrocketing despite many safety improvements and campaigns that are supposed to reduce the risk to drivers and passengers.
Experts say Americans are simply driving more. We even set a new record for most miles driven in a single year: 3.2 trillion miles. But new data suggests something else may be at play, since the ratio of accidents to miles driven also rose.
Drivers have some nasty habits.
Distracted driving is considered an “epidemic” by many highway safety advocates, and what’s worse: most drivers know it’s dangerous, but many still text or browse the internet while they’re behind the wheel.
Smartphones aside, drivers have many other bad habits that fall into the category of ‘distracted driving.’ According to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences, nearly 40 percent of all crashes would have been avoided if the driver wasn’t distracted.
Aside from drinking and driving, researchers pinpointed five other extremely risky scenarios that often cause car crashes:
Reaching for an object. This is usually the first mistake drivers make before they blatantly ignore the law and begin texting or surfing the web while they have their foot on the gas. But reaching for an object is a distraction itself – and many times, drivers are reaching for something other than their handheld devices. Reaching for something in your car increases the odds of a crash by up to 9 times.
Using touch-screens. Many cars are now equipped with touch-screen menus and navigation. According to the study, drivers using these built-in devices increase their crash risk more than 4 times. Some drivers have become pros at using those touch-screens, but researchers warn that adds to the problem: in this case, practice doesn’t make perfect – it only creates a false sense of security.
Operating the radio. This is one of the oldest distractions in the book. A driver toying with the radio dial doubles their crash risk. The odds get even greater when there’s an MP3 player present, like an iPod or the music player on your smartphone.
Texting. There’s a reason most states have banned this action. We all know it’s dangerous, but around 40 percent of drivers ignore texting and driving laws, according to polls. It increases a driver’s crash risk by over 6 times, but surprisingly, it’s not the worst thing drivers have been guilty of.
Dialing a number. Simply inputting numbers to make a call is the most disorienting form of distraction, researchers found. Dialing the 10 or more digits on any phone increases a driver’s crash risk by over 12 times. Many cars today have hands-free technology, but experts discovered this “safety” feature makes very little impact. Whether hand-held or hands-free, cell phone use was a factor in 26 percent of all car accidents in 2014.
WHEN DISTRACTIONS IMPACT FAMILIES
A distracted driver is not only a risk to themselves – they’re also a risk to every other driver on the road. Distractions are at play in millions of car crashes every year, many of which occur on Long Island roads.
When victims are injured by a negligent driver, proving a distraction was a factor can be difficult. With a strong legal team in your corner, a legal investigation can help uncover some of these facts and potentially maximize the value of a personal injury claim.
The Long Island car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have decades of combined experience gathering the facts, and preparing cases for trial. While other law firms may be hoping for a quick settlement, an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer understands that going to court can help victims get the best result possible.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, the Long Island car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help. Call one of our experienced attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – We all know how dangerous smartphones can be in the hands of drivers, but new research has discovered handheld devices are even hurting drivers who put them away while they’re at the wheel.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average insurance premium rose to $926 last year. That’s a 16-percent spike over the last five years.
Insurance companies argue the raised premiums are required to cover an increasing number of claims, many of which are caused by distracted drivers. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission recently conducted a new study, which found that smartphone use increases a driver’s accident risk by 23 times, and it’s already the most common form of distraction on the road.
Other polls have estimated that more than 40 percent of Americans text and drive, so it’s no surprise that accidents are on the rise. Although only a portion of fatal accidents have been attributed to distracted driving, car crashes in general have skyrocketed. These include small fender-benders, often caused by inattention at the wheel.
A Rochester car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes estimates that distractions are a factor in as many as three out of every four crashes today.
“We work with personal injuries of all types, from minor sprains to life-changing injuries, we’ve seen all types of traffic collisions in Rochester,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a spike in the number of distracted drivers, and it’s a huge factor that we look at in almost every case we handle.”
Insurers see the trend too.
Looking at all types of accidents, they’ve determined that distractions play a major role; and these accidents are costly. So costly, that you could see your insurance premium go up – even if you turn your smartphone off while you’re driving.
Rochester car accident attorneys say the premiums could be slowed down, and in many cases, you could avoid getting slapped with a personal injury claim by putting the cell phone down in the car.
Unfortunately, not everyone will follow this suggestion, and it creates many dangerous situations on the roads.
NEW YORK – A new analysis of hospital statistics found that over 200,000 people die each year in hospitals; and their deaths were preventable, if they were properly treated by doctors and hospital staff.
According to their research, medical campuses often have the knowledge to prevent accidents, but they tend to cut corners in the financial books.
The report calls on hospitals around the globe to invest more into patient safety, which could include mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios, which have been linked to fewer cases of medication errors, pressure sores, and falls.
Study authors admitted that their data does have a slight flaw, as the statistics included older and sicker patients, but researchers argued that the 200,000 preventable deaths may be an underestimate. That’s because their research didn’t include diagnostic errors, which are some of the most common slip-ups in the medical community.
“Advocates are not calling to prevent problems for which solutions are not known, but calling to implement known solutions to prevent all too common problems,” the report says. “What ties the occurrence of preventable adverse events and mortality together is the willingness and determination of facilities to adopt a culture of safety and to invest in patient safety.”
Researchers noted that the numbers add-up to over 5 preventable deaths each year, per hospital in the U.S., or one every five weeks. In addition, researchers believe that figure could be doubled or tripled if their data accounted for diagnostic errors.
Lead author, Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh wrote in the journal, “In what other industry would such a record be tolerated, let alone defended?”
WHAT CAN VICTIMS DO?
Medical errors are very common in the United States, and many families have felt hopeless when they tried addressing the issue with the doctors directly.
At Cellino & Barnes, our New York medical malpractice lawyers have helped many families get justice after an accident in a hospital. They understand how difficult it can be to get fair compensation for a medical incident, but our lawyers are trial-tested, and they’ve helped our clients obtain over $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of someone else’s mistake, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Contact a New York medical malpractice attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
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