NEW YORK – If you think the traffic is getting worse and your commute is getting dicey, you’re right. America’s roads and highways suffered a deadly year in 2015 and the trend hasn’t slowed down much.
A newly released government report shed a sobering reminder of how dangerous driving a vehicle can be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 35,000 people were killed in traffic accidents last year. That’s a 7.2 percent spike over 2014.
A New York truck accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes said the last time the nation experienced such a large single-year increase was 50 years ago and addressing the problem will take teamwork.
“Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a gradual decline in the number of car crashes but that all ended last year,” New York truck accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Even though today’s cars are equipped with the newest safety technology, drivers are more distracted than ever and infrastructure in many areas can be considered outdated or inefficient, so we all have to work together to make our roads as safe as they can be.”
A recent change in infrastructure could be behind a major crash that happened in Binghamton last week. The city released dashcam video of a 10-car pileup that happened on Highway 17 near Interstate 81, according to ABC News.
The video shows a tractor-trailer plow through afternoon traffic on Highway 17, less than a mile before the highway sharply merges into I-81.
Police said the truck driver was ticketed for faulty brakes and they are considered a contributing factor in the crash.
“Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and when it’s traveling at 50 miles per hour or more, the brakes had better be in good operating condition or the truck driver risks a disastrous crash,” Cellino said. “Luckily no one was killed in the Binghamton crash but several drivers may have suffered injuries to the head, neck or back; and recovering from these accidents has certain challenges.”
Many victims of truck crashes not only suffer severe injuries, they also face the burden of having to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and time away from work. However, the experienced team of New York truck accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes has helped many victims get compensation after a truck crash.
Since 2009, companies have been putting more and more large trucks on the roads and as a result, deadly truck crashes have increased by nearly 15 percent over that time period. Last year alone, truck crashes spiked by over 4 percent.
If you’ve been injured in a large truck crash, the New York truck accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes will investigate all of the factors, including truck maintenance issues, driver distractions, driver fatigue, road conditions, and problems with infrastructure.
Call 800-888-8888 for a free consultation with a truck crash attorney.
NEW YORK – No one enjoys the morning commute – it takes time and effort and, in almost every case, it costs money. In New York, we have more options. Not only can you drive to work, millions of New Yorkers choose to walk. If your job isn’t within walking distance, there’s the train, the subway, the ferry, or the typical New York cab.
One of the fastest growing trends however is to commute via bicycle.
Whatever way you choose to commute, it can be a hassle. But few have a more difficult time than bicyclists. A Brooklyn bicycle accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the infrastructure is already in place for most commuters but bicyclists don’t always have an avenue for their wheels.
“Pedestrians have sidewalks, cars have roads and trains have tracks in Brooklyn,” bicycle accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Although we’ve seen some improvements, there are big sections of Brooklyn that don’t have any bike lanes.”
Bike lanes, or the lack of them, could have a real impact on road safety too. The number of cyclists killed by New York traffic in 2016 already matches the total number of deaths from 2015, according to the New York Times. And we’re just wrapping-up the eighth month of the year. With four more months to go, Brooklyn bicycle accident lawyers are urging drivers to be careful – especially roads without marked bike lanes.
“Bike lanes can be great for New York and they’re driving-up the number of bicyclists on city streets,” Barnes said. “It becomes a problem when cyclists get on a street that doesn’t have bike lanes – they’re entitled to use the road but they’re much more vulnerable than a driver so motorists must learn to share the road so we can avoid future tragedies.”
One such tragedy occurred this week on Graham Avenue near Scholes Street in Williamsburg. The New York Daily News reports a bicyclist is fighting for his life after an accident on Graham Ave., one of the many streets without a bike lane in Brooklyn.
The 33-year-old bicyclist flipped off his bike when a driver opened the door of their parked car on Graham Ave. The bicyclist was then run over by another vehicle, which remained on scene until first responders arrived in Williamsburg.
“Bicyclists who are struck by a vehicle could have a long and difficult recovery ahead,” Barnes said. “Our firm helps them and their families get the best result possible.
“We can help bicyclists get the medical attention they need and the best follow-up care. We also fully investigate the accident which includes just about everything: driving records of the motorists involved, road conditions, whether the street had a protected bike lane or not, we make sure we look at every aspect so that our clients get the recovery they need.”
The Brooklyn bicycle accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes also help crash victims recover lost wages, missing time from work, child care, transportation issues, and compensation for pain and suffering.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The automotive world is getting amped for robotic drivers. Almost every carmaker has begun testing concept cars that can drive without a human driver actively engaged at the wheel. The technology promises to eliminate human error, the cause of nearly every crash.
But to achieve these goals, driverless cars need to improve in many areas.
The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes recently conducted an analysis of motor vehicle incidents and crashes involving automated or partially automated vehicles. They found that computers continue to struggle in several key areas.
Some vehicles, like the Tesla Model S, have already introduced an ‘autopilot’ mode but the computers aren’t perfect. Tesla’s Autopilot failed to identify “the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky.” The error resulted in a deadly crash.
Lighting conditions have always been hazardous for humans too. Roughly half of all crashes occur at night despite there being significantly less traffic on the roads.
Most driverless cars rely on cameras and sensors which often don’t have the same accuracy or depth perception as humans, so nighttime travel has been a challenge for robotic carmakers; but there have been promising safety developments.
While LiDAR can assist computerized cars at night, it struggles to identify the environment in inclement weather conditions. When there’s rain or snow on the pavement, LiDAR struggles to identify important safety markers, signs and even the traffic lanes on the roadway.
“Driverless cars continue to struggle in snowy environments and that should be concerning for anyone who lives in Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Even though most drivers have experienced these conditions before, snow can be challenging for the most experienced drivers and its unpredictable nature could be a major safety hurdle for carmakers as they develop and improve upon driverless vehicles.”
Once again, Ford successfully tested its automated prototype in the snow. To accomplish this, programmers created 3D maps that allow the car to identify topography or landmarks such as buildings and signs when lane markings aren’t visible.
Black ice poses an even greater problem. Barnes said humans can rarely identify it; and it might be nearly impossible for cameras or sensors to recognize black ice on the roadway.
One of the most important pieces of technology in any automated vehicle is GPS. But if you’ve ever tried using GPS in Times Square, you could have issues. Tall buildings and other sources of interference can make it difficult for a vehicle to receive a GPS signal and in a concrete jungle like New York people have reported drop-outs.
There are other issues in cities too: there’s increased foot traffic, continual construction, potholes, litter, the list can go on.
With the current technology, automated vehicles can struggle to distinguish the differences between a plastic bag and a puppy.
Bridges seem fairly simple. Almost all of them are straight and predictable. Still, driverless cars are having a rough go.
Uber recently told Bloomberg that its new driverless fleet in Pittsburgh (supervised by humans of course) is having a tough time going over bridges. That’s because the sensors don’t have the ‘hints’ that they’re used to having – things like buildings, signs and objects don’t appear on bridges so it’s harder for the computers to figure out where they are.
Adding to the problem, many suspension bridges are designed to ‘sway’ during earthquakes or high winds. The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes said drivers rarely notice the sway but a computer may recognize that its GPS is slightly off.
Human drivers have to know the fundamentals of operating a car: the meanings behind road signs, speed limits, and the consequences. Equally important however is the ability to communicate with other drivers.
Driverless vehicles don’t have that ability yet.
“When two cars approach a stop sign, a driver can wave to the other driver as if to say, ‘you go first,’” Barnes said. “Drivers are constantly communicating with other people around them to avoid potential accidents.”
Earlier this year, Google reported its first accident where the crash was the car’s fault. Safety advocates said it likely could have been avoided with simple human communication.
NEW YORK – The city started painting more lines on its streets – not to increase traffic flow but to improve safety for bicyclists. While many reports say bike lanes are certainly safer, they aren’t fool proof.
According to new research on bicycle lanes, one in five bicycle injuries occur in marked bike lanes. Almost every time, the bicyclist is hit by a car.
A Manhattan bicycle accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said many drivers continue to be distracted on the roads and they fail to spot a bicyclist – even if the cyclist is using a proper bike lane.
“Crashes involving bicyclists usually happen when a car is turning and has to cross over a bike path in Manhattan,” bicycle accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “It’s a driver’s responsibility to pay attention and use caution when making turns but many drivers are too distracted to be aware of their surroundings.”
Nearly 200 bicyclists who spent at least one night in the hospital agreed to take part in the recent survey which was published in Accident Analysis and Prevention.
Half of all bike lane crashes occurred when a car and a bicyclist were traveling toward each other from opposite directions. In these cases, cyclists reported that the vehicle cut in front of them while making a left-hand turn.
One-third of the accidents happened when a bicyclist and a driver were traveling next to each other, going in the same direction.
“Drivers making right-hand turns often keep looking straight ahead instead of looking to their right, where they intend on going,” Cellino said. “It’s important to slow down and check your side-view mirrors for bicyclists and pedestrians before making any turns.”
The researchers who conducted the study stressed that their findings should not be an indicator that bike lanes are dangerous. In fact, they stated that streets with bike lanes still had lower crash risks than those without them.
For that reason, cities like New York continue adding new bike lanes every year in an effort to make the streets safer for bicyclists, who have long advocated the addition of bike lanes to city infrastructure.
Manhattan bicycle accident lawyers say bike lanes also attract more riders than roads without markings and cyclists feel safer when traveling in a marked lane. Researchers said the high number of bicyclists using bike lanes likely factored into the sudden spike in crashes. However, there’s hope that the trend will slow down and perhaps future studies will show that bike lanes really do make the roads safer for cyclists in New York.
In many cases, a bicyclist could receive compensation for their injuries if they’ve been hit by a car. Manhattan bicycle accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say distracted motorists are most often to blame for bike accidents and a driver can be held liable for a cyclist’s injuries.
Cellino & Barnes is highly rated by clients on Martindale for quality of service and value of the settlement or verdict. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, call one of their attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
BUFFALO, 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.
“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.
NEW YORK – Another amusement park accident injured six people at Ocean Beach Park in New London, Connecticut. It’s the latest in a wave of serious incidents stemming from amusement rides in just the last month.
According to New London Police, the six people who were injured suffered an electrical shock on a ride known as the ‘Scrambler.’ The incident sparked temporary ride closures at Ocean Beach Park. At least one person suffered contact burns on their hands and all six were treated at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London.
The Scrambler is a popular attraction that can be found around the country. It’s also not the first time it’s been linked to injuries, a New York roller coaster injury attorney said.
“Many roller coasters and rides have been operating for decades with little or no maintenance, so there are many things that can go wrong,” New York roller coaster injury lawyer Steve Barnes said. “As attorneys and safety advocates, we pour over maintenance records and find a lot of rides have mechanical issues, electrical issues, and overall safety issues that were never addressed.”
The recent electrocution of six riders comes just days after Caleb Schwab, 10, was killed on a Kansas water slide. According to the New York Daily News, the water slide hadn’t been inspected since it debuted in July 2014 despite the Kansas Amusement Ride Act which requires yearly inspections. Caleb Schwab suffered a fatal neck injury as he went down the 169-foot slide in Kansas City.
“Amusement park rides have the potential to cause serious injuries that can get worse over time,” Barnes said. “Rides like the Scrambler can jolt people around while it’s twirling from a center pivot and those sudden spins and turns can give riders head and neck injuries not unlike whiplash suffered in car crashes.”
Even ‘gentle’ carnival rides can be chaotic. Just last week, three girls fell 45 feet out of a Georgia Ferris Wheel. Briley Reynolds, 6, was hospitalized after she fell out of a Ferris Wheel basket at the Greene County Fair. Briley’s 10-year-old sister, Kayla Reynolds, was also injured in the fall.
Kayla Reynolds told ABC News that the sisters were trying to hold onto things as the basket tipped.
“We were probably sitting there with it tilted for maybe not even a minute,” Kayla said in the ABC interview. “[I was] hoping it would turn back and then we just started falling.”
Kayla Reynolds suffered a broken arm but her sister Briley Reynolds was hospitalized for days after suffering a traumatic brain injury.
Safety inspectors blamed the incident on mechanical failure.
“Carnival rides can be packed-up, moved and rebuilt in the matter of days,” Barnes said. “Without regular and thorough safety inspections, parts can go missing amidst the constant relocation or the mechanics can malfunction, adding to the safety concern.”
The New York roller coaster injury lawyers at Cellino & Barneshave helped many families across America obtain compensation for their injuries. They have proven results and have won cases in all 50 states and Canada.
For more information or to receive a free case evaluation, call 800-888-8888 or Contact an attorney today.
NEW YORK – Authorities in Newark say a second person, a passenger, has died after two New Jersey Transit buses crashed in Newark Friday morning. In addition to the passenger, a bus driver was also killed in the wreck and nearly two dozen people were sent to local hospitals.
According to transit officials, Barthelus was driving the No. 59 bus, heading west, when it t-boned the No. 13 bus at the corner of Raymond Boulevard and Broad Street in Newark. As of Friday afternoon, the crash caused 2 deaths and at least 18 injuries. Officials said at least one other person remains in critical condition at University Hospital.
A New York bus accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says many of the victims in this crash could receive compensation for their injuries and a crash investigation will determine exactly what happened.
“Many families are in a state of shock with their loved ones in the hospital and they want to know ‘why?’” New York bus accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Every driver is required to have a physical exam at least every two years and an accident investigation will look into all the possibilities including whether the driver had a medical issue or if exhaustion was at play.”
An NJ Transit spokesperson told reporters at nj.com that both drivers were in good standing. Barthelus had been driving for 27 years. The other driver, who survived the crash, was identified as James Roberts and NJ Transit said he had been driving for 35 years.
Witnesses described the Newark bus crash as a “nightmare.” Several people rushed into the intersection to help passengers who were injured during the collision. According to several witnesses who were immediately on scene, one of the buses was empty and was likely going through the intersection at a high speed.
Newark Mayor Ras Barkaka said at a press conference that preliminary data suggested that one of the bus drivers may have run a red light.
While speed and inattention could likely be a factor, New York bus accident lawyers said there many other aspects to look at.
“Buses can have mechanical malfunctions or visual obstructions, preventing the driver from being able to do their job,” Barnes said. “The investigation will also look into road conditions and whether or not the traffic lights were functioning properly.”
The intersection of Raymond and Broad can be particularly dangerous because it’s a five-corner intersection, lawyers said. Not only does Raymond Boulevard cross six lanes of Broad Street, Park Place stems from the intersection as well.
Officials estimated that seven passengers on the bus suffered catastrophic injuries and were taken to University Hospital in Newark, Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Michael’s Hospital, and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth.
“Those who are in the hospital recuperating from the crash could have a difficult recovery ahead. Our firm has handled many bus accident cases and most of the victims and their families are looking for help.” Barnes stated.
“First, medical help so that they get the best immediate treatment and then the best follow up care.
“Then they want help answering why or how this accident happened. The state investigation and any private investigations of videos, driving records, bus inspection records, road design, road surface components, traffic light timing and positioning, intersection accident history and witness statements will be critical.
“The victims will also want help with loss wages, transportation issues, child care, missing time from work, and pain and suffering compensation.”
Barnes also said that every victim wants to make sure that this type of New Jersey bus accident doesn’t happen again.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – You want the best for your children, so you buy the best strollers and the best car carriers for them. What many parents don’t realize is how many baby products aren’t safe. Many of them can be defective – but you’d never know until it’s too late.
“Parents do a lot of research when they’re spending money on a stroller for their child and they expect it will be a safe and secure way to transport their baby around Rochester,” defective product lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Unfortunately, many companies fail to meet our expectations as parents and there are dozens of strollers and carriers that have been recalled due to some dangerous incidents.”
Just last month, 217.000 of these jogging strollers were recalled after more than 200 children suffered injuries. In most of those incidents, the front when could pop off or become loose, causing the stroller to become unstable and fall.
Rochester defective product lawyers say that’s clearly a safety concern and toddlers can easily fall out.
“Children under the age of five can easily suffer severe injuries when a carrier or stroller malfunctions or falls apart,” Cellino said. “When this happens, the most common injury we see are head-related injuries and those are often some of the most serious injuries too, especially for young children.”
The newest research analyzed a national database for stroller or carrier-related injuries between 1990 and 2010. Researchers discovered a total of 360,937 children were treated in emergency rooms and that may be a conservative estimate. Children treated at home or by a private pediatrician were not included in the numbers. Among the cases analyzed however, about a third of the children suffered concussions.
Researchers said even a minor concussion can impair a child’s development, behavior and their learning ability.
Rochester defective product attorneys say many parents can immediately recognize something is wrong with their carrier or stroller. Belt clips may not work properly, or a wheel could be loose. In many cases, the manufacturer can be held liable for selling a potentially dangerous item.
“We recommend checking every aspect of your carriers and strollers,” Cellino said. “If anything is loose or broken, don’t use it and notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
Safety oversights are not only catching the attention of parents; the federal government has stepped in as well. New mandatory safety standards were recently issued for strollers and carriers and, as of September 2015, all manufacturers must comply with the new standards.
An official at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said newer is better. The new standards address many of the most common injuries children suffer after a carrier or stroller accident and many of the products that meet these standards are now on store shelves.
If your child has suffered an injury, the manufacturer may owe your family compensation. And as one of the largest personal injury firms in Western New York, Cellino & Barnes has attorneys who focus on defective product liability. Contact a Rochester defective product lawyer today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – When you’re a parent, you aren’t just making decision for yourself (what to wear, what to eat), you’re also trying to make the best decisions for your child. One of the decisions parents have to make is choosing the right car seat. In some cases, it can make the difference.
A Queens car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says car crashes are the top cause of serious injury to children under the age of four and a properly installed car seat could help reduce your child’s risk.
“Parents never expect an accident to happen to them but every year, hundreds of children are hurt in Queens,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “These car crashes aren’t the child’s fault but they can suffer devastating injuries as a result of a collision and for most toddlers, a rear-facing car seat offers the most protection.”
The most common injuries children suffer in crashes stem from spine and neck trauma. In many cases, this is the result of whiplash; when a child’s head is suddenly jolted forward due to the impact of a car crash.
A rear-facing car seat minimizes that sudden movement, protecting a toddler’s undeveloped muscles and bones.
“Rear-facing car seats do a great job of distributing the force of a crash,” Cellino said. “Depending on the severity of the collision, a child could still be injured but the right car seat can certainly make a difference.”
Here’s how much of a difference it can make: according to a study published in 2007, toddlers under 2 years old are 75 percent less likely to be severely injured in a crash if they’re in a properly installed rear-facing car seat.
Many other nations are taking notice of the statistics.
“In other countries, children remain in rear-facing car seats until they’re four or even five years old,” Cellino said. “In fact, some of those countries don’t even sell forward-facing car seats for toddlers.”
Take Sweden for example; according to the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group, 144 Swedes were killed in car accidents in 2013. Only two percent of those fatalities were young children. In the US, over 6 percent of the passengers killed in auto wrecks were children under the age of 9.
Queens car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say some of the blame falls into the hands of manufacturers who know about these statistics but continue marketing forward-facing car seats to new parents. Safety advocates say the battle however, starts at home: if parents didn’t only bought rear-facing seats, there wouldn’t be a market for forward-facing ones.
Any new mom or dad can look at the numbers and come to the right decision: a rear-facing car seat is the way to go, as long as your child fits.
Of course, injuries are never 100 percent preventable in a car crash, depending on the severity of it. If your child has been injured in a collision, contact the Queens car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – More seniors are sharing homes than ever before. It’s estimated that 1.5 million people are now living in nursing homes and in many cases, sharing rooms with other adults with severe mental illnesses, including dementia.
Published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, a new study found that residents suffering from dementia or other mental illnesses were more likely to be abusive; not just to staff but toward other residents as well.
“Resident aggression and abuse in assisted living facilities is prevalent and warrants greater attention from policy makers, researchers and long-term care providers,” the researchers said.
A New York nursing home abuse attorney at Cellino & Barnes says almost every bed in America is now full – and due to the demand for care, nursing home are no longer exclusive to older adults.
“Younger generations between the ages of 31 and 64 now make up more than 14 percent of the nursing home population in New York,” nursing home abuse lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Many of these people are suffering from mental illnesses and they can be aggressive at times – but we get concerned when nursing homes ignore that aggression.”
The study, published last month, compiled data from federal surveys in which nursing home staff members were asked about aggressive behaviors, which can include physical, verbal and sexual abuse.
Researchers concluded that roughly 8 percent of residents had engaged in physical altercations or abuse toward other residents or staff in just the last month. Verbal abuse was slightly more prevalent at 9 percent.
Of the residents identified to be ‘aggressive,’ those with dementia were five times more likely to abuse others and those with a severe mental illness were three times more likely to be involved in a verbal or physical altercation.
Researchers also noted that their estimates could even be low because some resident aggression could have occurred without the staff members’ knowledge.
“Many nursing homes have identified residents and staff members that are prone to aggression but facility managers do little to prevent future incidents,” Barnes said. “Moving a loved one to a nursing home is a difficult decision and while there are some amazing facilities in New York, others could be a nightmare and that’s why we created Parent Care.”
Parent Care is an app created by Cellino & Barnes to help families make the best decision when choosing a nursing home for their loved ones. The app allows users to locate all of the nursing homes in their area and provides ratings for each facility, as determined by federal inspectors.
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