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The Dangerous Ending of the Summer

/ Car Accident /

Dangerous Ending of the SummerBUFFALO, N.Y. – With Labor Day fast approaching, it means another summer is coming to a close. It’s also one of the most dangerous times to drive. Families are hitting the road to sneak in a last-minute road trip and at the same time, school buses are back on the street running new routes. On top of that, new teenage drivers are hoping to show off some new wheels on their way to school in the fall.

These late summer days have the ingredients for disaster on Western New York roadways. In fact, the deadliest month for drivers is August. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are nearly 4,000 traffic fatalities in August alone. Statistics show car crashes peak in the late summer days leading up to Labor Day.

The holiday can be one of the deadliest, according to a car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes. Research has shown the number of drunk driving incidents spike over the holiday weekend.

“It’s the last long weekend of the summer and some people will be out celebrating in Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Unfortunately, not everyone celebrates the holiday responsibly and every year, police report a spike in the number of intoxicated drivers.”

Roughly one-third of all fatal car crashes involved a drunk driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 32,719 people were killed in car wrecks in 2013. More than 10,000 of these deaths involved an impaired driver.

“Almost all of these crashes are preventable,” Cellino said. “A responsible driver is more likely to make better decisions behind the wheel and that can save thousands of families a lot of pain and suffering.”

As the summer comes to a close, the car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes are telling motorists to drive responsibly because a drunk driver could face an expensive civil suit on top of the costs associated with DUI fines.

The Level of Pain

/ Slip and Fall /

Level of PainROCHESTER, N.Y. – Take a guess at how many adults regularly deal with chronic or severe back pain… Think you got a good number? It’s 50 million. Yes, 50 million Americans are constantly suffering from pain, according to a study from the Nation Institutes of Health.

Researchers crunched data from nearly 10,000 people and found that about 56 percent reported having some level of pain in the past three months. An estimated 14.4 million people reported the most intense pain- chronic pain.

“Many of these people suffer from lower back pain and wrist pain as a result of injuries they suffered from an accident that happened right here in Rochester,” slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “These injuries result in thousands of dollars in immediate medical bills – that doesn’t include any future treatments or surgeries a person may need.”

Rochester slip and fall attorneys at the Law Offices of Cellino and Barnes say injuries as a result of these accidents are costly and the pain can last a life time. Off the job injuries alone cost the nation at least $280 billion in 2012, according to the National Safety Council. According to a workplace safety index measured by a national insurance company, the annual direct cost of workplace injuries due to slips, trips and falls is over $11 billion.

Slips, trips and falls also send 9 million people to the hospital each year and this type of accident is the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims.

“These accidents are rarely thought of as severe, life-changing incidents but clearly, the statistics show they can be,” Cellino said. “One trip can lead to a broken wrist which can leave a victim battling chronic pain for years.”

More than 95 million workdays each year are lost due to slips, trips and falls. So, is it a surprise that so many Americans battle severe and chronic pain? Rochester slip and fall lawyers say it’s important to keep the future in mind. An experienced attorney can help negotiate a settlement that will help cover the future costs associated with an injury.

With chronic pain on the rise, a lawyer can play a major role in securing funds for future operations to help minimize the pain.

Is Your City Safe for Bicycles?

/ Bicycle Accidents /

City Safe for BicyclesNEW YORK – The popularity of bike-riding is exploding across America and it’s grabbing headlines – both good ones and bad ones. Few places have seen a larger bike boom than New York; but recently, there have been a number of reported crashes involving bicycles, begging the question: is the Big Apple safe for bicycles?

This week, witnesses told a New York news station that a bike rider slammed into a two year-old toddler ‘at a high rate of speed,’ apologized then left.

Last November, a bicycle crash involving U2 frontman Bono grabbed global headlines. The incident happened in Central Park and the award-winning singer had to undergo surgery. Bono had feared he ‘may never play guitar again.’

These are just the incidents that don’t involve vehicles, a Manhattan car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes said. There are many more incidents each day off the bike paths and on the streets.

“Bicyclists and pedestrians are getting hurt more often in New York,” car accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Most bicyclists don’t even think of insurance to cover these costs; and when they’re at fault in an accident, it can make an already painful situation worse.”

When comparing monthly statistics, cycling in New York City is more dangerous today than it was just three years ago. Injuries stemming from bike accidents have increased by over 25 percent, reaching nearly 570 incidents last month.

In the same time frame, injuries to pedestrians and motorists have dropped as the city continues to implement its Vision Zero plan.

“Preventing injuries needs community involvement,” Cellino said. “Each person can make slight changes to the way they drive, bike and walk – these slight changes can improve the health and safety of everyone around you.”

Car accident attorneys say motorists should be aware of their surroundings and courteous to bicyclists sharing the road. At the same time, bicyclists must be mindful too. It is often required by law to use roadways, not sidewalks, when operating a bike. Bicyclists are also required to obey the same rules motorists do on the streets.

If everyone takes small steps to improve safety, car accident attorneys hope injuries can be prevented.

Dog Bites: A Growing Problem

/ Dog Bites /

Dog Bites: A Growing ProblemBUFFALO, N.Y. – Millions of American households claim they own at least one dog. Some homes host several dogs ranging in breed and size. While many dogs are friendly, it’s not a surprise that dog bite incidents are on the rise because there are millions of different dogs trained by many different owners. Dog bites however, can be prevented in almost every scenario.

Buffalo dog bite attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say every pet owner should take several precautions when introducing an animal to a new person.

“Educating pet owners is the key to preventing a tragedy in any city, including Buffalo,” dog bite attorney Ross Cellino said. “Simply having an adult present around animals and children can make the difference.”

Earlier this month, a Florida woman discovered a dog attacking an infant child. There were no adults nearby. The attacking boxer, a family pet, recently had puppies.

Not all cases can simply be prevented with adult supervision.

Recently, an Australian girl was bit on the face by a dog as she was leaving school. The six year-old was hospitalized with puncture wounds on her face, reportedly dealt by a German shepherd.

In this case, an adult was present but the child still suffered severe injuries.

“Spaying and neutering your pets can decrease their aggression but not all families go through with this procedure,” Cellino said. “These pet owners should know they’re taking a huge risk because they can be responsible for their pet’s actions.”

The vast majority of dog bite cases involve pit bulls and other similar breeds but experts believe every dog is equally capable of delivering a nasty bite.

A three country study conducted in 2005 found Jack Russell Terriers, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers were actually the breeds most frequently reported for aggression but the study added breed alone was not predictive of aggressive behavior. Perhaps, this is due to the popularity of these breeds.

Context of the incident is the most telling factor.

Isolated and unsocialized dogs can also have violent tendencies and Buffalo dog bite attorneys say it’s important for every pet owner to properly train and care for their animals, especially dogs.

With a focus on education and pet care, lawyers hope more bites can be prevented.


Your Neighborhood War Zone

/ Car Accident /

Your Neighborhood War ZoneBUFFALO, N.Y. – There’s a battle being waged in your neighborhood. There’s no general or army but this war has claimed thousands of lives. Skirmishes arise every day but they aren’t fought with gun powder or well-sharpened blades. Instead, they’re fought with vehicles and insurance adjusters.

There’s a struggle for supremacy on your street. In some places, the battle line is drawn in an area called a crosswalk.

Buffalo car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say it’s a dangerous area for any traveler.

“More and more pedestrians are getting hurt or killed each year in Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “The rising number of incidents have cities across the country rethinking their road designs.”

An experiment in Kalamazoo, Michigan aims to make crosswalks safer for other cities, too. New signs were insalled at nearly a dozen different crosswalks throughout the area as part of the joint research project being studied by the state’s department of transportation and Western Michigan University.

The crosswalk signs were not only placed along the edge of the roadway but they also appear in the lane lines and centerline. A DOT project manager said preliminary data is promising.

“Governments are rethinking how to design their roads,” Cellino said. “Thinner lanes, for example, can force drivers to slow down and bright signs can catch a driver’s attention to make them aware of crossing pedestrians.”

Unfortunately, not every city has retooled its roadways. Many streets in Buffalo remain unchanged although the city is beginning to restripe roads.

The signs in Michigan have their flaws as well. When it snows, the pedestrian crossing signs will have to be removed by mid-November.

The results of this study are expected to be published early next year.

Buffalo car accident lawyers hope the results can shape roadways in cities like Buffalo and make its streets safer for all modes of transportation.

Get the Facts: Motorcycles

/ Motorcycle Accidents /

Get the Facts: MotorcyclesROCHESTER, N.Y. – The average tractor trailer can weigh over 70,000 pounds, the average car weighs in at 4,000 pounds and your motorcycle comes in at just 700 pounds. In traffic collisions, weight can mean all the difference and riders are almost always at a severe disadvantage.

Motorcycles are some of the most dangerous and deadliest motor vehicles on the road. That’s because they are less stable and less visible than cars. Riders usually lack the protections provided to drivers of your standard sedan. With only a helmet (and sometimes less than that), millions of motorcyclists continue to ride the roads.

Rochester motorcycle accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say bikers take a huge risk when they leave home but other drivers- those operating cars and trucks- need to be extra careful with motorcycles on the road.

“When a car crashes into another car, there’s a reasonable chance that all passengers can walk away from an accident like that in Rochester,” motorcycle accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “When a car collides with a motorcycle, even at low speeds, the rider can suffer serious injuries.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times the number in cars.

Since 1995, motorcycle deaths have more than doubled and claimed almost 4,500 lives in 2013.

“In the 1970’s motorcycle accidents were a serious issue and many states began implementing laws requiring riders to wear a helmet,” Cellino said. “Fatalities were cut in half by the 1990’s but today we’re seeing a record-number of motorcycle crashes.”

Of all the traffic deaths in America last year, motorcycles were involved in almost 15 percent of the crashes. Most of these fatalities involved men over the age of 50.

The IIHS reported the most dangerous month for motorcyclists was August, recording more than 600 deaths each year.

“Although these deadly crashes are on the rise, it is still extremely important for riders to wear a helmet because it’s been proven to increase your chance of surviving a crash,” Cellino said. “Just as important, drivers of cars and trucks must be aware of these motorcyclists and give them space so these deadly accidents can be avoided.”

Rochester motorcycle accident attorneys said riders are awarded about $16 billion each year because the injuries are often severe or deadly.

Traffic: A Public Health Issue

/ Car Accident /

Traffic: A Public Health IssueNEW YORK – Millions of cars crowd American streets and highways every morning, resulting in miles of traffic jams, rising stress levels and sometimes crashes. More and more Americans are opting out of the gridlock in exchange for a pair of wheels: a bicycle.

Physical activity, including bicycling, can clearly benefit your health and lifestyle. Depending on your traffic situation, bicycling can also reduce your daily commute. Think about it: you don’t have to sit in traffic and you aren’t restricted to the major highways and roads. Finding a place to park is no longer a frustrating task. Is it convincing yet?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traffic is a public health risk for the nation’s growing number of bicyclists. The federal agency made several suggestions to make bicycling safer in its newest report, including changes current to roadway infrastructure and speed limits.

Manhattan car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say for some, bicycling to work can be easier and healthier but it also carries more risk.

“Hundreds of people opt to pedal to work rather than drive in Manhattan,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “On a per-trip basis however, bicyclists are twice as likely to be killed as a person riding in a car.”

Bicycle deaths have rapidly declined since 1975 but researcher at the CDC determined the steepest decline was among children under 15 years-old. This can be attributed to a rise in the use of bike helmets. However, the CDC is concerned with other age groups.

The number of bicyclist deaths among adults over 35 years-old has increased. In fact, the mortality rate has almost tripled for this age group, which includes cyclists who commute to work.

“More people are choosing to walk and bike to work on a regular basis,” Barnes said. “These people are most vulnerable in any type of car crash because they don’t have the same safety protection as a driver in a car.”

Cars have seat belts, air bags and ‘crunch zones’ to protect the drivers and passengers. Bicyclists may have a helmet and some knee pads and pedestrians may not have any protection at all.

After analyzing 37 years of data, the CDC determined U.S. cities need to improve safety for these growing modes of transportation. Researchers recommended “multifaceted, integrated approaches to bicycling that address safety while also promoting cycling.”

After all, cycling is the healthiest option when faced with the choice of walking or driving.

Some cities have already begun implementing bike-friendly transportation plans that include separated bike lanes, traffic calming and lowered speed limits.

“Speeding is a factor in a great number of injury cases,” Barnes said. “Cities are just now discovering that minor changes – like restriping can influence drivers to slow down.”

Manhattan car accident attorneys say bicyclists must take a proactive approach to safety as well. That includes abiding by all the rules of the road and wearing a helmet, even when it is not required by law.

When Big Trucks Cause Big Wrecks

/ Truck Accident /

When Big Trucks Cause Big WrecksBUFFALO, N.Y. – Tractor trailers are vital for today’s commercial trade. Unfortunately, these big rigs are also deadly machines carrying up to 80,000 pounds of goods. That’s more than 20 times the weight of a standard passenger car.

Big truck collisions are also on the rise in America. Since 2011, the number of crashes involving a tractor trailer has increased by over 7 percent.

Truck accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say these crashes almost always affect people in passenger cars due to the extreme weight difference.

“Trucks can take much longer to brake and because of the area’s extreme weather, these crashes can be very serious in Buffalo,” truck accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Truckers must be aware of the road conditions and slow down when there’s rain or ice.”

About 1 in every 10 highway deaths happens in a crash involving a large truck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That’s thousands of families impacted by truck crashes each year.

Recently in Chicago, a mother was walking with her 2-year-old daughter inside a stroller when they were struck by a semi-truck while at a crosswalk. Both were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Police said the truck driver didn’t yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk and failed to reduce speed.

In Portland, Oregon, a garbage truck collided with a car early in the morning, killing the driver.

In Virginia, a 64-year-old woman was killed after a truck hauling wood and debris crossed a double-yellow line on a curvy road, crashing into the woman’s vehicle just after noon.

“These trucks are dangerous at all times of the day or night,” Cellino said. “It’s important for any driver to give these big trucks space but unfortunately, that doesn’t always prevent a crash.”

Buffalo truck accident lawyers say most truck crashes are preventable with the proper training and handling of a tractor-trailer. Victims of these crashes may be entitled to compensation for any injuries suffered as a result of one of these collisions.


Summer Slips

/ Slip and Fall /

Summer SlipsBUFFALO, N.Y. – It’s a nice hot day in August. People are cooling off poolside, getting their cars washed and having an ice cream cone. Then, you hear someone scream: “oww!” They’ve slipped, breaking a bone or two in the process. The person may have even hit their head, causing brain injuries.

Buffalo slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say accidents happen frequently and it doesn’t take much water (or other substance) to create a slippery situation.

“Soapy water from car washes, melting ice cream or a slippery deck by the water are known to cause serious injuries in Buffalo,” slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “Summertime slip and fall cases are quite common.”

Recently, a Kentucky woman filed a negligence suit against Trump National Doral Miami. The woman is asking for more than $15,000 after falling on wet marble near the resort’s pool area.

Another case was filed against Norwegian Cruise Line after a woman slipped on the pool deck, fracturing her wrist.

In Canada, a woman and her daughter are seeking $1.1 million after they both slipped trying to flee a malfunctioning waterslide in an Alberta mall.

“Falls send over 8 million people to emergency rooms each year,” Cellino said. “It’s the number one reason people go to the hospital, so it can be a very common but expensive accident.”

Injuries due to falls cost an estimated $15 million per year in the U.S. and costs are rising. After any accident, Buffalo slip and fall attorneys suggest exploring your legal options to determine whether you can be compensated for your injuries.

Defective Products and the Painful, Permanent Injuries

/ Defective Products /

Defective Products and the Painful, Permanent InjuriesROCHESTER, N.Y. – Hundreds of defective products can lead to thousands of injuries each year. Federal courts are currently reviewing tens of thousands of injury claims, each blaming a defective product for harm or complications. One such product is transvaginal mesh.

The product is a net-like implant used to keep internal organs from slipping forward or down. However, the product’s design and implantation techniques may lead to serious and painful complications to internal organs.

Rochester defective product attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say, in many cases, the victims weren’t warned about the possible complications.

“Some of these manufacturers may have known that their mesh was causing serious side-effects that negatively impacted the lives of many women in Rochester,” defective product attorney Ross Cellino said. “Some of these injuries are permanent and some women will need surgery to minimize the damage.”

Currently, there are more than 28,000 cases pending against Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Each of these cases blame the company’s pelvic repair systems for serious, ongoing and painful injuries suffered by thousands of women.

Due to the ongoing pain and, in some cases, disability, many cases cite a ‘profound loss of quality of life.’ Ethicon’s vaginal mesh is not the only product facing scrutiny at the federal level. A number of manufacturers face pending litigation.

In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers, informing women of the possible complications, which the FDA said ‘were not rare.’

Last year, the FDA issued proposals to address the risks associated with surgical mesh. The proposals would require manufacturers to provide premarket clinical data to demonstrate a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for surgical mesh.

Hundreds lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers since the FDA’s warning. Nearly every case claims the companies failed to tell women about the potential complications they could have and the seriousness of their injuries.

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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