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OSHA Investigates Passaic County Fall | New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers

/ Construction Accidents, News, Uncategorized /

PASSAIC COUNTY, N.J. – A Woodland Park construction worker died Tuesday morning after falling off a roof at a work site in Paterson, New Jersey. Authorities said Joseph Perillo, 56, of Woodland Park was working on the roof at 138 Michigan Avenue when he fell off the building.

Joseph Perillo was taken to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, first responders said. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), investigators were called to the Passaic County accident scene to determine what happened, and if there were any workplace violations.

According to New Jersey construction accident lawyers, OSHA requires employers to provide workers with fall protection systems, such as guardrails and safety nets, when working on a surface above 6-feet. Authorities said there’s no evidence of foul play, and it is unclear if any fall protection systems were in place at time of Joseph Perillo’s accident.

In general, falls are the top cause of construction accidents. Safety experts say they’re almost always preventable with the proper equipment and safeguards in place. That’s why it’s important to conduct a complete legal investigation of an accident; it can help workers and their families find out what went wrong, and why.

Remember, it’s the employer’s responsibility to provide workers with enough training and the right safety equipment before placing them at a dangerous construction site. Unfortunately, not all employers follow these mandates.

In many cases, families have called on a New Jersey construction accident lawyer to investigate an accident, and help get them compensation for any of the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Physical assistance
  • Future treatments
  • Wrongful death
  • Pain & Suffering
  • And More

If you or a family member has recently been injured on a construction site, you can count on Cellino & Barnes to be on your side. If you decide to contact our team, we’ll put our best New Jersey construction accident lawyers on your case, and they’ll customize a legal claim for your specific needs. For a free consultation, call us at (800) 888-8888.

 

Avoid A Halloween Nightmare | Preventing The Most Common Halloween Injuries

/ Personal Injury, Uncategorized /

NEW YORK – Late October is one of the most common times of the year for holiday-related injuries. And we have Halloween to blame. In fact, it’s the fourth-most common time for children to visit area emergency rooms. In recent years, Halloween has become so dangerous that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that nearly 5,000 people will get injured over Halloween week. One of our best New York personal injury lawyers believes that could be an underestimate because it doesn’t include car accidents, and other injuries loosely related to the holiday.

It can be a nightmare if you aren’t careful.

The Most Common Halloween Injuries

From car accidents to slips, trips and falls while trick-or-treating, there are a lot of things that can go wrong this Halloween. New York personal injury lawyers say the best way to avoid an accident is to be aware of the dangers:

  • Pumpkin/Carving Injuries – by far, the most common injury this time of year, the CPSC found that 41% of all fall time injuries stem from the giant orange vegetable. According to doctors, Halloween is the fourth busiest holiday for hand injuries.
    • PRO TIP: Use pumpkin-specific carving knives, and carve from the top-down.
  • Costume Injuries – they come in all shapes and sizes, and costumes can be a real pain if you’re not careful. A third of all Halloween-related injuries can be blamed on costumes and decorations.
    • PRO TIP: Make sure the costumes fit correctly. Over-sized costumes can easily become a tripping hazard.
  • Car Accidents – kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Wearing dark-colored costumes that require masks make trick-or-treating extra dangerous.
    • PRO TIP: Carry glowsticks and flashlights when out at night. It would also be wise to wear reflective costumes to make drivers aware of you on the street.
  • Food Poisoning – the Halloween season is capped off by a night of trick-or-treating. But with so many foods recalled due to health concerns, it’s important to check labels and “best by” dates.
    • PRO TIP: Check all candy labels for allergens. If you or your child has an allergy to peanuts, for example, it’s best to avoid many types of candy.
  • Other Injuries – any number of things can go wrong on All Hallow’s Eve. “Haunted Houses” can be wrought with dangers (both real and fake), and in some cases, Halloween games have been known to get out of hand. However, the best practice is to be prepared.
    • PRO TIP: Always have a phone nearby in case of an emergency

What To Do After An Accident on Halloween

It might not be possible to 100% remove risks from Halloween. Whether you’re looking after children or just yourself, the best we can do is follow the best Halloween safety tips and try to enjoy yourself.

However, if an accident does happen, don’t panic. Get immediate medical attention, and contact Cellino & Barnes. Whether you were hurt in a car crash or a trick-or-treating slip and fall, we can put our best New York personal injury lawyers on your case, and help you get the best result possible.

Don’t let the insurance companies drag you down! Cellino & Barnes is on your side, and we’ve helped thousands of New York families recover over $2 billion after their accidents. Contact us for a FREE case evaluation:

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

 

 

How Soon After a Car Accident Should I See a Doctor?

/ Car Accident, Uncategorized /

NEW YORK — Car accidents sent nearly 7,000 people to the emergency room each day of 2012. Although not every collision leads to injuries that require medical attention, our best car accident lawyers in the Bronx say the only way to make sure that you’re free of any hazards is to receive an evaluation from a physician.

It’s essential to seek a physical after a car accident to help you secure fair compensation. In fact, insurance companies may legally deny your claim for failing to receive medical attention promptly. When is the ideal time to see a doctor after a car accident? Let’s take a look.

When Should I See the Doctor After a Car Crash in the Bronx?

One of the biggest mistakes people make after an accident is waiting too long to see the doctor. Failing to see the doctor can put your health in jeopardy as well as reduce your potential claim value. Consider this — insurance companies use computer programs to help them determine the value of car accident claims. Claims adjusters feed the program’s information from a claimant’s records. The program generates a final settlement amount based on the data available.

Our best car accident lawyers in the Bronx have determined that one of the first pieces of data insurance adjusters enter into the program is information regarding whether or not the claimant has seen a doctor within 72 hours of the accident. Those who have not sought medical care may not have a basis to recover compensation, as it may be assumed that they did not suffer any injuries.

How Can I Schedule an Urgent Doctor’s Appointment?

Insurance companies consider 72 hours a “reasonable” amount of time in which to see a physician following a car accident. If you have just experienced a car crash, you may find it difficult to get an appointment with your family physician that is just days away. If your regular doctor can’t see you, there are other options:

  • Call your family doctor but state you have been in a car accident to communicate the urgency of your situation.
  • Go to your local urgent care center.
  • See a chiropractor. Most insurance companies consider them physicians. You will only need one visit in which they will review your medical history, conduct a physical, and possibly X-rays.
  • Visit your local ER.

Delaying medical care after a car crash in the Bronx is never a good idea. You can fail to receive the compensation you need should troublesome symptoms arise further down the road, and you can fail to identify signs of a serious injury.

At Cellino & Barnes, our best car accident lawyers in the Bronx can help victims fight for the resources they need to get back on their feet. We offer free personal injury consultations for car accident victims. Call us or get in touch online.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Tips for Preventing Pedestrian Injury Accidents in Brooklyn

/ Car Accident /

NEW YORK — Whether you’re walking on or below the Brooklyn Bridge, a risk you take on as a New Yorker on-the-go is being struck by one of the countless taxis, Ubers, commercial vans, trucks, and other moving cars. According to Cellino & Barnes’ best car accident lawyers in Brooklyn, the city of New York reduced all speed limits to 25 from 30 miles per hour as part of their Vision Zero initiative. Still, accidents happen daily, many of which could be avoided if pedestrians took proactive measures to remain unscathed.

Tips for Safe Walking in Brooklyn

Put the Phone Down

These days, it’s almost impossible to look over at a driver or pedestrian and see someone who is not glued to his phone. Something as simple as putting the phone away until you reach your destination can make all the difference between arriving in one piece or taking a detour to a local hospital. An alert pedestrian can ensure it is safe to cross a street. You need your reflexes to act quickly when you see a car coming toward you.

Be Visible at All Times

The majority of pedestrian accidents happen after sundown. In a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2014 about Pedestrian Traffic Safety Facts, the highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities (26%) occurred between 6 and 8:59 p.m. while the second-highest percentage took place between 9 and 11:59 p.m. The lowest total percentage of pedestrian accidents — 5% — happened between 9 a.m. and 11:59 a.m.

Navigate Sober

Sadly, drivers aren’t the only ones prone to instigating car crashes because of irresponsible drinking and driving. About 34% of pedestrians killed in fatal pedestrian crashes had a BAC of 0.08% or higher, according to the NHTSA’s 2014 report.

Stay in Pedestrian-Designated Areas

Drivers are less likely to injure pedestrians when they see them where they expect to see them. Always stay on the sidewalk and cross the street at the crosswalk. Avoid jaywalking to save a few steps. If a sidewalk is closed for construction, exercise caution when traversing to where the path opens up again.

Call a Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer

No amount of precautions can ever protect you from another’s complete disregard for your well-being. Experiencing a serious car accident is often a traumatic experience that can leave you with many questions and few answers. At Cellino & Barnes, our best car accident lawyers in Brooklyn can provide you with answers to your most pressing concerns so that you can focus on making a full recovery.

Call us for a free consultation with one of our best car accident lawyers in Brooklyn.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

How To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

/ Motorcycle Accidents /

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The majority of motorcycle accidents in the United States result in injury or death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80% of all motorcycle crashes send at least one person to the hospital. So, it makes sense to put safety firsts and learn How To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents.

A motorcycle accident attorney in Buffalo says the odds are stacked against motorcycle riders. However, there are several useful tips you can follow to drastically improve your odds of getting to your destination safely.

How To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

  1. Wear A Helmet. Serious head injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
  2. Be Aware. You just can’t trust other drivers. Always be aware of your surroundings, and communicate with other riders and drivers sharing the road with you.
  3. Stick to the Speed Limit. Speed kills. Simply riding above the speed limit increases the probability of a crash by nearly 50%.
  4. Be Seen. Motorcycles are the smallest motor vehicles on the road. They can easily be hidden in a larger vehicle’s blind spot. Other drivers can also lose sight of motorcyclists, and going unnoticed is not a good thing. Try to wear reflective clothing and bright colors, and always turn on your lights at night.
  5. Use Caution at Intersections. Half of all motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. Most of these are due to other motorists turning left, so communicate and use extra caution!
  6. Avoid Bad Weather. No one wants to take the chopper out in the middle of a rain storm. Not only will you get soaked, the risk of a crash also increases as water hits the pavement.

Almost all motorcycle accidents can be prevented. Unfortunately for bikers, they must also rely on other drivers to keep them safe. Even if you follow the tips above, there’s always a risk that you’ll be involved in an accident.

What To Do If I’m In A Motorcycle Crash

If you’ve been injured by another motorist, it’s important to act fast. Your health and safety should be the top priority. Unfortunately, medical bills, lost time at work and the countless other costs associated with motorcycle accidents can add up quickly.

The good news is, you could be compensated for most of these burdens. An experienced Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get the best result possible by investigating your accident and filing a personal injury claim.

At Cellino & Barnes, our team of trial lawyers has helped thousands of New Yorkers recover over $2-billion in compensation after an accident. When you contact us, we’ll put our best Buffalo motorcycle accident attorneys on your case, because your case is just as important to us as it is to you and your family.

It’s not expensive to get the best either! Our team doesn’t get paid until the big insurance companies pay you what you rightfully deserve. Call us today for a FREE case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Hit By A Car While Riding A Bicycle In Brooklyn | What To Do

/ Bicycle Accidents /

NEW YORK – More than 4,000 cyclists have been injured riding around the city in just the last year. That adds-up to about 12 people every day. Many of these victims were hit by a car while riding a bicycle in Brooklyn, and don’t know what to do.

The rules of the road can be complicated, and getting compensated for your injuries can be even more complex. That’s why Brooklyn bicycle accident lawyers say it’s important to follow these steps after any bike accident:

What To Do After A Bicycle Accident

Every bike accident has is unique, and deserves special attention. However, the steps you take after an accident should be the same. Whether you were injured on a Brooklyn street, or on a bike path, follow these steps immediately after an accident:

  1. Get Medical Attention. Your health is the top priority. Even if the accident was minor, it’s always good to have a doctor take a look because you could have a serious injury – even if you’re not experiencing much pain.
  2. Don’t Let Drivers Leave The Scene. If you’ve been hit by a vehicle, it’s common for drivers to stop and make sure you’re okay. If you seem fine to them, they may want to leave the accident scene. Even if you don’t have any symptoms of an injury, it’s not a good idea to let them leave without first getting their contact and insurance information, plate number(s), and a statement.
  3. Call Police. If you were hit by a car, a police report should be filed. If you’ve been seriously injured, make sure police will be at the accident scene to help get the information you need!
  4. Document the Accident. Take pictures, talk to witnesses, and write it all down! Be sure to include contact information for everyone you talk with.
  5. Contact a Bike Accident Lawyer. In most cases, those who try to handle claims on their own are severely shortchanged by the big insurance companies. Don’t let this happen to you! There are qualified bicycle accident lawyers in Brooklyn who can work with you to help you get the best result possible.

Hit By A Car While Riding A Bicycle In Brooklyn

A number of factors need to be analyzed after a bicycle accident in Brooklyn. Here are some of the most common factors our Brooklyn bike accident lawyers will investigate:

  • Driver Error
  • Unsafe Streets
  • Illegal Parking/Blocking Bike Lanes
  • Unlicensed Driver
  • The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • The driver was distracted

All of these can be serious hazards for bicyclists. If you want the best result possible, it’s important to fully investigate your claim. In many cases, injured cyclists didn’t even know the driver who hit them was distracted, or doing something illegal!

Doored While Riding A Bike In Brooklyn

If you’re an avid cyclist, you know how dangerous parked cars can be. “Getting doored” is a serious concern, and many bicyclists have stories about dooring accidents or close calls.

Sometimes, a driver or vehicle passenger will be quick to blame you for the accident. But, know that it wasn’t your fault. Everyone has a duty to pay attention to their surroundings and avoid an accident, if possible. Too many times, this duty is neglected. If you’ve been doored by a driver or passenger, follow the steps above and contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Brooklyn.

At Cellino & Barnes, our Brooklyn bike accident lawyers are passionate about the people we help, because we’re bicyclists ourselves! We understand the challenges cyclists across the New York Metro Area face on a daily basis, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you get justice.

As proud supporters and members of the New York cycling community, we’re not only going to help you get compensation for your injuries; we’ll also do everything in our power to make sure your daily challenges are addressed. We know the city needs more protected bike lanes and laws that will help keep cyclists safe.

If you’ve been injured, we’ll put our best bicycle accident lawyers in Brooklyn on your case. Call us anytime – day or night – for a FREE consultation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

How Much is a Slip-and-Fall Settlement?

/ Slip and Fall /

NEW YORK — If you’ve been hurt on the premises of a retail store, government office or other property you may be wondering if you have a personal injury case and how much it might be worth. Bronx personal injury lawyers say the truth is that slip-and-fall accident settlements can vary widely due to a number of factors about your situation. However, a few damages are present in most cases. Before accepting just any settlement, be sure to talk to a slip-and-fall attorney in the Bronx to evaluate your case.

What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Slip-and-Fall in the Bronx

Business owners, landlords, and even private property owners have a duty to keep their property free from hazards for their guests. Property owners must repair hazards and warn their guests of potential dangers on their property. When they ignore that duty and allow their property to pose a potential threat to visitors, they can be held liable for the consequences of their negligence.

These accidents occur frequently in grocery stores, clothing stores, construction sites, and even just outside on a wet day. Most slips are not threatening, and many people do get back on their feet. When they become hurt, they need medical attention and legal representation.

Determining the Value of Your Accident Case

It’s impossible to estimate the value of your accident accurately without seeking legal guidance from a Bronx slip-and-fall lawyer. Still, most slip-and-fall settlements take into account the following damages:

  • Medical Bills: The sum of all past and future medical bills will be one of the main values when calculating your injury damages. Your settlement should cover all accident-related medical expenses.
  • Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: Many slip-and-fall victims miss a great deal of time from work physically recovering from their injuries. Those who are severely hurt might lose the ability to do the same type of work when they return to their jobs.

Those who miss time from work may be eligible to recover lost wages from the at-fault party. Additionally, those who cannot return to the same level of employment may receive additional compensation to train in a different field or a lump sum for their lost ability to earn a living.

  • Pain and Suffering: This is the most abstract item for which a victim may receive compensation in a slip-and-fall case is pain and suffering. Figuring out the sum for this value starts with the sum of the medical bills. A person whose injuries have had a larger impact on his or her daily life stands to gain more for pain and suffering than someone who makes a quick and full recovery.

Additional damages may be available to victim’s family members in a wrongful death slip-and-fall case.

For detailed information about the options you have available to you after an accident, it’s best to speak with a personal injury lawyer near you. The distinguished team of slip-and-fall accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes is ready to discuss your case at no cost to you. Contact us at any time for a consultation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Most Common Fall Injuries In Brooklyn

/ Slip and Fall /

NEW YORK – Slips and falls are responsible for 9-million visits to the E.R. every year in America. We all know how expensive hospital visits can be; and that’s just the tip of the ice berg. A Brooklyn slip and fall lawyer says in addition to your E.R. bill, victims of falls and slips may also need extended medical care, time off of work, and costly rehabilitation. Even if you get successful treatments for a fall injury in Brooklyn, your bank account could be hurting for years.

The bottom line is, what you do after tripping in a store is important – for both your health and your financial future. Here, we’ll go over some of the most common fall injuries in Brooklyn, and what should be done.

Most Common Fall Injuries In Brooklyn

Slips, trips, and falls happen to everyone. The hope is that these accidents are never serious, but too often that isn’t the case. Many of these injuries come with long-lasting aches, pains, and frustration:

  • Head Injuries – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the most common cause of concussions and other brain injuries. Once thought to be minor, doctors have developed a different view on concussions. They’re now treated as serious injuries because over time, minor brain damage can become a long-term problem for patients.
    • Average Lifetime Treatment Cost: $100,000
  • Injured Wrists – when a person trips, slips or falls, it’s just natural to use your hands to try to break your fall. Unfortunately, this often ends with hand and wrist injuries. In many cases, doctors can never fully correct these injuries and patients must live the rest of their lives with aches, pains or a decreased range of motion.
    • Average Lifetime Treatment Cost: $15,000
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries – of all the injuries that can happen as a result of a fall, back injuries are some of the costliest. A sudden impact can fracture vertebrae or cause herniated discs. Most of these injuries require surgery. In some cases, a severe injury to the spinal cord can result in temporary or permanent paralysis.
    • Average Lifetime Treatment Cost: $300,000
  • Ankle Injuries – We never realize how important our knees and ankles are until something bad happens to them. Broken bones can keep a person off their feet for months, and both joints have vital ligaments and muscles that can be torn or sprained after tripping and falling. When these joints are damaged, surgery may be unavoidable.
    • Average Lifetime Treatment Cost: $15,500
  • Hip Injuries – nearly all hip fractures stem from trips, slips, and falls. These injuries typically impact older adults and often require surgery. In addition, lengthy hospital stays and rehabilitation are common for those who’ve suffered a broken hip. In many cases, the patient may require an artificial implant to regain their range of motion.
    • Average Lifetime Treatment Cost: $70,000
  • Shoulder Injuries – those who have suffered a dislocated shoulder may tell you it’s one of the most painful experiences. Although shoulder dislocations don’t always require surgery, a brachial plexus injury could cause some serious issues. These injuries impact a network of nerves connecting the spinal cord to a person’s arms and hands. If you’ve suffered a brachial plexus injury, you’ll likely need surgery and physical therapy.
    • Average Lifetime Treatment Cost: $7,000

What To Do After Tripping, Falling in Brooklyn

Whether you tripped on uneven pavement, slipped on a wet floor at a grocery store, or fell in your apartment building, those responsible should be held accountable. We understand how costly and destructive slips, trips, and falls can be. And we’ve helped thousands of New Yorkers get the best results possible from a slip and fall claim.

When you contact Cellino & Barnes, we’ll put our best personal injury lawyers in Brooklyn on your case. We’ll walk you through the legal process, and explain how we’re going to get the insurance companies to compensate you for your injuries. Call Cellino & Barnes any time — day or night — for a FREE case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

 

 

Safe Biking in NYC and Bronx

/ Bicycle Accidents /

NEW YORK – Thinking about cycling to get around in the Bronx? You’re not alone. The NY Department of Transportation estimates 25% of adult New Yorkers bike the city for transportation or exercise. Of these, a Bronx bike accident lawyer says about three-quarters of a million ride a bike several times a month. Since 2006, the city has laid over 250 miles of new bike lanes, making cycling more accessible to the masses.

With so many people eager to hop on a bike in NYC, it’s becoming one of the safest cities to navigate on a bicycle. By following a few safety tips, you’ll be able to conquer your fears of riding in the Bronx and enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with it.

Tips for Cycling Safely in Bronx, NY

Watch Out for Pedestrians

First and foremost, NYC is a pedestrian city, which means you always have to yield to them. According to a Bronx bike accident lawyer, it doesn’t matter if they have the right-of-way or not; you must always be aware of pedestrians and where they are headed. Even if they seem aloof, hiding their faces behind their phones.

Follow All Car and Bike Road Rules

Road rules exist to make people’s movements predictable and keep commuters safe. As a cyclist, you take on the tricky role of a commuter who is not a motorist, but not quite a pedestrian, either. In some ways, this can make your journey more precarious. By following all the rules of the road as if you are a driver, you reduce the risk of being struck by a vehicle.

Cyclists also need to adhere to rules designed specifically for them. Be sure to wear reflective clothing at night, and have functioning lights on your bike. Also be sure to use the appropriate hand signals when turning. To view a complete list of NYC traffic rules and regulations, click here.

Watch Out for Car Doors

Getting “doored” is a real threat in the city that never sleeps. Much of the city’s parking is available streetside, meaning that — even if you’re using a designated bike lane — you run the risk of being slammed with a car door if the driver parks too close to the lane or opens a door without looking. The more you can predict the people around you’s movements, the greater your ability to remain bruise-free will be.

Wear a Helmet

In New York City, children between the ages of 5 and 14 (but excluding 14-year-olds) must wear a helmet by law. Adult cyclists in the Bronx should always wear a helmet, especially when commuting on congested roads.

Stay Off the Sidewalk

NYC traffic laws forbid riding a bike on sidewalks unless signs indicate otherwise. Sidewalks are reserved for pedestrians only. If you must hop on a sidewalk with a bike, walk the bike until the next street.

In the event of a bike accident which results in serious injuries, cyclists may turn to a trustworthy Bronx bike accident lawyer to help you pursue an insurance claim for damages. Severe injuries may lead to steep medical bills and other hardships, including lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress.

At Cellino & Barnes, our experienced Bronx bicycle accident attorneys can help you understand your options for financial recovery after a crash. Call our law office for a free consultation or contact us online.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

What Caused A Deadly Upstate New York Limousine Accident?

/ News, Uncategorized /

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. – Investigators are calling it the nation’s deadliest accident in nearly a decade. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said a limousine carrying 18 people to an Upstate New York birthday party blew past a stop sign, crashing into a parked car and two pedestrians near Albany on Saturday.

In total, 20 people were killed, including:

  • Erin Vertucci McGowan
  • Shane McGowan
  • Amanda Halse
  • Patrick Cushing
  • Mary Dyson
  • Rob Dyson
  • Allison King
  • Abigail Jackson
  • Adam Jackson
  • Amy Steenburg
  • Axel Steenburg
  • Rich Steenburg
  • Matthew Coons
  • Savannah Bursese
  • Amanda Rivenburg

At the time this article was published, the NTSB had not released an official list of victims, but family members have confirmed that Erin McGowan, Shane McGowan, Amanda Halse, Patrick Cushing, Mary Dyson, Rob Dyson, Allison King, Abby Jackson, Adam Jackson, Amy Steenburg, Axel Steenburg, Rich Steenburg, Matthew Coons, Savannah Bursese, and Amanda Rivenburg were all friends or family members.

The group, including two newlyweds (Erin and Shane McGowan) had rented the limousine to celebrate Amy Steenburg’s 30th birthday. According to several media reports, the party of 17 were taking the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine to an upstate New York brewery in Cooperstown. Officials said the trip was tragically cut short when the limo missed a stop sign at a dangerous intersection in Schoharie, New York, about 40 miles west of Albany.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators with the federal agency are working to determine what caused the crash, the worst in the U.S. since 2009.

“It’s important to figure out what happened and why it happened to prevent things like this from happening in the future,” Sumwalt said during a news conference Sunday.

Limousine Safety Called Into Question

The crash may be the deadliest accident in the U.S. this decade, but there has been a deadly limo accident every year since at least 2000. Those crashes are blamed for 68 deaths.

“This does need to be a wake-up call,” Sumwalt told CNN over the weekend. “Here we have 20 lives that have been lost tragically. We do need to learn from this.”

Stretch limos, which are chopped up vehicles then extended in length, are not subject to any regulatory agency. As a result, experts say safety is often overlooked.

Most states do not require seat belts to be worn in limousines, and many limos don’t even feature seat belts.

Sumwalt told reporters that none of the passengers in the limo were wearing seat belts, and it’s unclear at this point whether seat belts would’ve made a difference in this crash However, it is a factor investigators are looking at.

Investigating A New York Limo Accident

An extensive investigation should be able to determine what exactly caused this heartbreaking limo crash in Schoharie, New York. Investigators have already released some of the facts, but families still have many unanswered questions:

  • Was the driver paying attention?
  • How many hours did the driver work?
  • Was the vehicle safe to drive?
  • Was the stop sign clearly visible?
  • Was the limo traveling too fast for road conditions?
  • Was the driver well-trained?
  • Could there have been a malfunction?

These are just some of the questions a full investigation should be able to answer.

Prestige Limousine, the company which owned and operated the limo, had its fleet of vehicles inspected five times in the past five years. Over that time, four vehicles were removed from service, public records show.

It is not yet clear whether the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine had any mechanical issues that could’ve contributed to the limo accident in Schoharie. However, New York limousine accident lawyers say it’s important to gather all the facts, and as much evidence as possible.

The evidence gathered by federal investigators, local police departments and private investigations will be very important for the families of the victims when choosing to file any wrongful death claim. In many cases, limo accident victims and their families choose to file wrongful death claims to hold those responsible for the accident accountable, and get compensation for their injury or loss of a loved one. An experienced NY limo accident lawyer understands how to help the families answer their questions and recover compensation for the loss of financial support from a victim of a tragic limo accident.

A successful limo accident claim can also help make meaningful changes in our communities that can improve limousine safety in New York, and across the nation. Whether it’s adding seat belts, mandating their use, or improved training of limousine drivers, a claim can make a difference.

The goal is to make sure that accidents like the one that killed Erin McGowan, Shane McGowan, Amanda Halse, Patrick Cushing, Mary Dyson, Rob Dyson, Allison King, Abby Jackson, Adam Jackson, Amy Steenburg, Axel Steenburg, Rich Steenburg, Matthew Coons, Savannah Bursese, Amanda Rivenburg and several others can be avoided in the future.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a limousine accident, you may want to contact an experienced New York limo accident attorney to help you get the best result possible.

If you decide to contact our team, our best limo accident attorneys will be immediately available to assist you and your family. For a free consultation, call us at (800) 888-8888.

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Buffalo
Grider Street Office
451 Grider Street
Buffalo, NY 14215
(716) 888-8888
(800) 888-8888
Map & Directions

Garden City
600 Old Country Rd
Suite 412
Garden City, NY 11530
(800) 888-8888
Map & Directions

Manhattan
420 Lexington Ave
21st Floor
New York, NY 10170
(800) 888-8888
Maps & Directions

Melville
532 Broad Hollow Road
Melville, NY
11747
(800) 888-8888
Map & Directions

Rochester
16 W. Main Street
Powers Building, Suite 600
Rochester, NY 14614
(585) 888-8888
(800) 888-8888
Map & Directions

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