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When Is A Car Accident Considered A Crime?

/ Car Accident /

When is a car accident a crime? Allow our Manhattan car accident lawyer explain...NEW YORK — After any car accident on Manhattan’s busy streets, there’s probably a police officer on-scene. Sometimes, a car crash could be considered a crime. You may be wondering, when is a car accident considered a crime? Rest assured that — in most cases — car crashes in New York are civil concerns, but a Manhattan car accident lawyer says there are exceptions!

How a Car Crash Can Become a Crime

Most car accidents are civil matters in which the party whom the police officer determines to be at fault receives a citation. The accident is usually the result of driver error, such as failing to correctly interpret a traffic signal. Sometimes, drivers in a hurry rush to catch a light or fail to make a complete stop. These actions can prompt a collision, but are rarely done with the intent to cause harm.

In some cases, a car crash may be the result of a more serious offense. Drivers may face criminal charges for reckless actions that can put others’ lives in danger. This recklessness shows such extreme disregard for the well-being of others that New York State Law deems it appropriate to file criminal charges against the perpetrators.

Drivers in New York may face criminal charges for the following:

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of any substance which can impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely is a serious offense. Most people assume a DUI occurs when a driver has had too much to drink; however, drivers have also been charged with DUI for driving under the influence of drugs such as marijuana or prescription medications.

Between 2003 and 2012 3,752 people were killed in crashes involving a driver under the influence in New York. When a DUI leads to a fatality, a person may be charged with a more serious offense, such as vehicular manslaughter.

Hit-and-Run

Either party in a car accident — the at-fault driver or the other driver — may face a criminal hit-and-run charge when he or she strikes an object, another vehicle, or a pedestrian or cyclist and fails to identify him or herself and render aid to the injured party. A hit-and-run may be a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the outcome of the accident. Penalties may include fines and incarceration.

Reckless Driving

Traffic laws in all fifty states address reckless driving. Reckless driving is a broad offense that encompasses any driving behavior which endangers others. In New York, reckless driving involves using a motor vehicle in a manner which “unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.” A person may lose their driver’s license temporarily or permanently and face fines and jail time for reckless driving.

Other Notable Crimes

There are many other offenses that could get police more involved in a car crash. These offenses can range from driving without a license to illegally possessing a firearm. In some cases, there might be warrants out for a driver’s arrest.

The bottom-line is, you don’t know the driver who hit you. Even if you think you caused an accident, there are a number of reasons police could find the other driver at-fault. That’s why the Manhattan car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes tell their clients to only state the facts about a crash, and never admit fault.

Manhattan Car Accident Lawyers Help You Recover from Negligence

At Cellino & Barnes, our team of attorneys have helped thousands of New Yorkers recover from injuries caused by the negligent and reckless actions of other drivers. Our team aims to help you recover the maximum compensation you’re owed, which can help to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, lost work opportunities, and more after the crash.

We do this by fully investigating the accident that left you injured. We’ll collect every piece of evidence that will help support your claim so that you can be confident that you’ll get the best result possible.

Call our firm at any time of day or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Taxi Hits Toddler Walking With Grandmother In Queens

/ Car Accident /

A Queens car accident lawyer can help if you've been involved in a hit-and-run accidentNEW YORK — A toddler crossing the street with his grandmother was hit by a taxi that then fled the accident scene in Queens, police said. The toddler, Mason Castillo, was walking to a daycare facility in Long Island City when the accident sent him to the hospital.

Family members told reporters that Mason Castillo was taken to New York Presbyterian-Will Cornell Medical Center with a broken leg and several broken bones in his skull. Over the weekend, the 2-year-old underwent surgery, and will likely need months of rehabilitation.

According to NYPD data, there were over 46,000 hit-and-run accidents on New York streets last year. That’s up nearly 30% since 2013. More than 5,000 of those accidents resulted in injuries to an innocent party.

Officers tracked down the vehicle and arrested the suspected driver, Ramanpreet Singh, 20,  who is now charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield, and failure to use due care while operating a motor vehicle.

According to reports, Singh recently received his TLC license in March.

What To Do After A Hit-And-Run Accident

If someone you know has recently been the victim of a hit-and-run, these can be trying and difficult times. Many hit-and-run crashes go unsolved, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get compensation for any injuries sustained in the crash.

Of course, it’s important to back-up your story with as much evidence as possible. The Queens car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes explain what you should do after this type of accident:

  1. Get as much information as possible about the car and driver. This information includes:
    1. The license plate number
    2. Make, model and color of the car
    3. The location and time of the accident
  2. Take pictures! It may be hard to photograph the vehicle if it sped away, but there are plenty of other pictures that could be useful, including:
    1. Pictures of any property damage (damage to your own vehicle)
    2. Photos of your injuries. Some injuries can heal over time, so it’s important to document their severity as soon as possible.
  3. Talk to witnesses. Especially on the busy streets of New York City, there were likely witnesses nearby. Speak to them and get their contact information. Most people are more than willing to help your cause!
  4. File A Claim. Even if you don’t know who hit you, it could be possible to get compensation under another insurance coverage.

Thousands of New Yorkers of all ages are injured by hit-and-run drivers every year, and a Queens car accident lawyer could help you and your family get the best result possible. An experienced car accident lawyer in Queens will fully investigate your claim, and assemble the evidence you need to be able to get compensation for the injuries a person has suffered as a result of this kind of accident.

If you choose to contact Cellino & Barnes, our team of trial lawyers will help investigate your claim and explain your options so that you can make the best decision for your family.

Contact us online or call us any time for a FREE case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

8 Tips for Sharing the Road with Trucks and Buses

/ Uncategorized /

If you've been injured in a bus crash or truck accident, a New York bus accident lawyer can help! Call us for a FREE case evaluationNEW YORK — Buses and trucks provide essential services, but many drivers view them as nuisances on the road; perhaps for good reasons! These vehicular behemoths move relatively slowly, require much more distance to stop, and pose a very real threat to drivers and passengers of smaller cars. A New York bus accident lawyer says it’s not just other drivers who get concerned when these massive vehicles are on the road – bus passengers face very real risks as well.

While we can’t completely avoid trucks and buses in our daily lives, we can do more to ensure we drive safely alongside them.

Driving Safely Alongside Buses and Trucks

Stay Out of Blind Spots

Large buses and trucks have large blind spots on all four sides. These blind spots are often called “no zones” because they are areas next to, behind, or in front of a commercial vehicle you should stay away from. Driving in these areas often instigates truck-on-car collisions because truck drivers simply can’t see what is in these zones.

Be sure to stay away from the truck’s right-hand side and the area immediately behind the truck. Smaller blind spots also exist on the left-hand side and directly in front of the cab. As a general rule, you are in a safe position when you can see the truck or bus driver.

Give Trucks and Buses More Distance

Commercial tractor-trailers and buses require significantly more room to come to a complete stop. In fact, according to cvsa.org, a semi-truck and trailer weighing 80,000 pounds traveling at 55 miles per hour in ideal road conditions would need 91% more stopping distance than a passenger vehicle would need. Ensuring you give truck and bus drivers more room is essential to driving safely alongside them, especially in poor weather conditions.

Hold in the Urge to Cut Them Off

Rushing past a large truck or bus trying to get into your lane will do nothing but increase your risk of a collision. This ties into the fact that they need a lot more time to stop. If they’re in the process of changing lanes, they can’t suddenly swerve back into their lane to let you pass. Wait until the truck is fully in your lane before passing the truck on the left.

Don’t Tailgate Buses and Trucks

Tailgating a bus or truck puts you in one of their more severe blind spots. The driver of the bus or truck will not be able to detect a vehicle immediately behind him. Accidents in which smaller vehicles slide or get pushed underneath the truck’s trailer occur when the truck must make a sudden stop. These accidents often result in fatalities or severe injuries.

Watch for Wide Turns

It’s likely you have seen the warning sign on the back of a truck trailer or bus that cautions “This Vehicle Makes Wide Right Turns.” What this means is that, due to their length, buses and trucks need extra turning room. If you’re next to a truck or bus, allow it enough space to make a wide turn and let the driver complete the turn before making your own. If you don’t, you could get sideswiped. Also, be sure to look out for the bus or truck trailer when you are to the left or right of a bus turning right or left as it may briefly brush your lane.

Pay Attention to School Buses

School buses make frequent stops on their way to pick up and drop off students. If you see a school bus in your lane, pay attention to what it’s about to do. The bus needs extra room to safely deposit its cargo (children). You should also be prepared to make a sudden stop. Getting around a stopped school bus is a serious traffic violation for which you can face a hefty fine.

Stay Alert

Reducing distractions when you are driving, especially when encountering trucks and buses, can sharpen your focus on the road. Most accidents can be avoided by simply paying attention to the road conditions and anticipating the moves of other drivers.

Call a New York Bus Accident Lawyer

When you’ve followed all the rules of the road and still end up hurt after a collision, turn to established bus accident lawyers in New York for help. They’re on your side, and they’ll fight to make sure you’re getting fair compensation when the insurance industry is doing what it can to save themselves money.

Attorneys with Cellino & Barnes are part of Super Lawyers’ Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and have over 60 years of trust. Our No Fee Promise guarantees that you will not pay a dime until we win your case. Complete our contact form for a free consultation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Brake Issue Causes Injuries, Citi Bike Removes E-Bikes

/ Bicycle Accidents /

Connect with an experienced e-bike accident lawyer in New York after any Citi Bike accidentNEW YORK — Citi Bike has pulled e-bikes from service after several people suffered injuries, a New York bicycle accident lawyer said. According to reports, the e-bikes had a “stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel,” causing some riders to be launched over the bike’s handlebars.

The company announced the recall in mid-April. Approximately 1,000 electric bicycles were taken off New York streets. Lyft, Citi Bike’s parent company, stated that an engineering firm is investigating the cause of the malfunctions, and many other e-bikes were pulled from service in other cities around the country.

Many riders took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the sudden service suspension. Some E-bikers were disappointed with the removal of the bicycles while others said they experienced braking problems first-hand:

The sudden removal of all e-bikes caught many avid users off-guard. Last summer, the company announced that a “vast majority” of its bikes would be electric, and recently added that a $2 surcharge on all e-bike rentals would be in effect as of April 27th.

As of this week, there were only about 9,000 bikes available in New York City, which is far less than the 12,000 bikes that Citi Bike claims it has in its fleet.

A New York bike accident attorney said many riders who were injured on these faulty e-bikes may be entitled to compensation, if they choose to file a claim. Already, several riders have filed an e-bike lawsuit against Citi Bike since the company expanded its pedal-assist fleet last summer.

E-Bike Injuries

E-bike riders can suffer a number of injuries if the e-bike they were riding suddenly malfunctions. Some of these injuries include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (Concussions)
  • Broken Bones & Fractures
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Eye Injuries
  • And More

What To Do If You Were Injured On An E-Bike

If you’ve been injured due to an e-bike malfunction, it’s critical to act fast! The following steps should be taken right away:

  • Get Medical Attention. Studies have shown that the faster a patient gets treatment, the more likely they are to make a full recovery. This initial visit with the doctor also ensures that your injuries are well-documented.
  • Take Pictures. Make sure to photograph the bike, the area you were riding, and take pictures of your injuries too! Some injuries may heal in a few months, and it could be more difficult to prove that you suffered serious injuries as a result of the defective bike.
  • Report Everything. You need to make Citi Bike (or other bike share providers) aware that there’s been an accident. You can report an accident with Citi Bike here. If you’ve gone over the handlebars because of faulty brakes, there’s a good chance someone saw it, and hopefully they were quick to help you out! It’s important to talk with these witnesses and get their contact information, as their statements could be useful to your case later on.
  • Finally, contact an E-bike Attorney at Cellino & Barnes. Our team of e-bike lawyers in Manhattan have decades of experience prosecuting personal injury claims. We aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with the big insurance companies to make sure you get fair compensation for your injuries.

These are all important to steps to take after any bicycle accident in New York City. In addition to these steps, you’ll also want to make sure you’re not hurting your case by not following doctor’s orders, or by posting to social media about your accident. The defending party is certainly going to be following your social accounts, and they’ll be looking for any posts they can use against you in court!

Who Do I Contact After An E-Bike Accident?

After any accident, you’ll want to get the best representation you can find. An experienced e-bike accident lawyer in New York will have years of personal injury experience, and just as importantly, trial experience.

At Cellino & Barnes, we’ve carefully chosen all of our e-bike accident lawyers in New York for their track records of settlements and verdicts. Each member of our legal team has been trial-tested, and they’ve helped hundreds of accident victims get compensated for their injuries.

If you’ve been injured while riding an e-bike in New York City, you can count on Cellino & Barnes to guide you through the legal process and help you achieve the best result possible.

Connect with us online or call us for a FREE consultation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

How Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accidents

/ Car Accident /

How are car accidents investigated? Only a Buffalo car accident lawyer will have your back against the insurance companies!BUFFALO, N.Y. — One of the first steps a person might take after being involved in a car accident is to call their insurance company to report the accident and file a claim. In most cases, an insurance companies are responsible for covering the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, and more.

Unfortunately, many insurance companies fail to properly reimburse their policyholders. After filing an accident claim, an insurance representative will typically contact you to try to get more information. They’ll often ask you about some of the details of your claim, such as medical records and any evidence that you lost wages because of the accident. The insurance adjuster will then review your policy to determine available coverage. As this person investigates your claim using the information you provided, their primary objective is to save the insurance company as much money as possible.

Why Does My Insurance Company Need to Investigate My Accident?

Insurance companies conduct investigations of accident claims to find and opportunity to deny your claim. These corporations have a financial incentive for refusing to pay the claims of their policyholders. In some cases, these companies may even reward insurance adjusters for finding ways of denying legitimate claims for compensation. This is how many of the country’s top insurance companies maximize their profits — denying their loyal policyholders the funds they need to recover from a car crash for which they were not at fault.

It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to come up with illogical reasons to deny your claim. To prevent such manipulation, it’s a good idea to get a Buffalo car accident attorney involved in your case, even before you speak with an insurance agent.

The Insurance Company Approach to Accident Investigations

Most insurance companies employ investigators whose entire job is to detect and deter insurance fraud. These individuals typically have law enforcement experience and extensive knowledge of New York State insurance laws.

These investigators begin by receiving a short summary of the incident. The summary includes information like:

  • The date of the accident
  • The type of collision
  • The time of the accident
  • The location of the accident
  • A brief description of the accident

The insurance investigator may receive the following bits of information:

  • The other driver’s contact information
  • Photos of the accident, including your vehicle
  • Medical bills, if necessary
  • Statements from witnesses or passengers

The insurance investigator may also ask you for permission to inspect your car for damage, physical evidence such as damaged property, and a copy of the police report.

Getting Investigators to Work for You

Insurance investigators work with the interests of the insurance companies in mind. Therefore, they’ll likely do what they can to discredit any evidence you present to them showing the true extent of your losses and injuries.

When you work with a team of resourceful car accident attorneys in Buffalo, they’ll also investigate your accident; but with your interests in mind. Our car accident lawyers will look to preserve any evidence that supports your claim. Using this evidence, a car accident lawyer in Buffalo can put together a strong case so that you can walk away with the best result possible.

Call us, or contact our experienced team at Cellino & Barnes for quality representation. We have over 60 years of experience obtaining successful settlements for clients throughout New York, and we’d be honored to work for you.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

What Are The Symptoms Of Mesothelioma?

/ Mesothelioma /

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — If you’ve been exposed to asbestos at any point in your life, there’s a chance that you could be diagnosed with mesothelioma. Even if your exposure happened decades ago, it often takes time to notice the symptoms of cancer. So, what are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

For many patients, their medical teams may not recognize the symptoms until it’s too late. A Rochester mesothelioma lawyer says it can take up to 50 years for symptoms to become prevalent. Since the disease is so rare, doctors don’t often suspect it.

However, some of the best doctors in the world have found that some ailments can be considered a warning sign. Whether it’s mesothelioma, lung cancer, or some other disease causing these symptoms, it’s always important to discuss your concerns with a medical professional.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma can invade many different organs in the body. However, it’s most typically associated with the lungs. Therefore, some of the initial symptoms of mesothelioma involve breathing problems:

  • Inability to take a deep breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Consistent pain

Early in the course of the disease, patients may complain about pain in the lower part of their ribs, extending to the sides and back. As the cancer progresses, other symptoms may develop, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Fluid accumulation

Many of these symptoms are not unlike the flu. Most patients initially complain of a cough, feeling tired, and shortness of breath. It’s important to note that these symptoms don’t go away over time, and no over-the-counter medications can help. You must see a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma.

How Is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Typically, doctors will look at the most common diseases that may cause a person’s symptoms. However, mesothelioma is extremely rare. Less than 5,000 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. If the doctor doesn’t ask about a person’s history with asbestos, they probably won’t consider mesothelioma as the cause of the health problems.

A Rochester mesothelioma lawyer says that if you were exposed to asbestos at any point in your life, you should discuss it with your doctor and make it part of your medical record.

In all cases, patients must rely on a doctor to positively diagnose mesothelioma. This diagnosis involves several tests, including a complete blood count (CBC), and eventually a biopsy. Some of the signs your healthcare team will be looking for include:

  • Elevated white cell counts
  • Elevated platelet counts
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)

On top of these tests, you might need chest X-rays and CT scans to determine what’s changing your organs. If these scans reveal fluid accumulating in your lungs or other organs, the doctor may require a sample of the fluid to confirm the presence of mesothelioma cancer cells.

As with all cancers, doctors require a confirmed diagnosis before the patient even considers a treatment plan.

Getting The Best Medical Care

Once a patient has a confirmed case of mesothelioma, getting the best care should be your top priority. An experienced mesothelioma attorney in Rochester will know the best doctors to help build your treatment plan, and it may not be as expensive as you think.

The Rochester mesothelioma attorneys at Cellino & Barnes will fully investigate your history with asbestos, and hold the companies responsible for your disease accountable for their negligent actions.

Throughout the 20th century, many products contained asbestos. The companies that manufactured these products knew they were dangerous for both workers and consumers. Yet, they ignored this knowledge and put profits above peoples’ health. For that reason, our team is proud to fight the big asbestos companies and help victims get the care they need to live out their lives as comfortably as possible.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos-related disease, call a Rochester mesothelioma lawyer for a FREE case evaluation.

We’d be honored to help.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Choosing Between the ER and Urgent Care after an Accident

/ Personal Injury /

Wooden gavel, personal injury caseNEW YORK — Accidents happen. It’s a fact of life, but it’s the decisions you make after your accident that can define the rest of your life. Of course, it’s important to get medical care after an injury. The question is, what kind of medical care should you seek? Should you go to the local emergency room or an urgent care center near you? A Brooklyn personal injury lawyer says it all depends on your injuries.

Should I Visit The Emergency Room After An Accident?

After a forceful car crash, you’re probably a bit shaken up. While you may certainly receive proper care at your local ER, it might be easier to get care at a less-populated urgent care clinic. The best place for medical treatment after an accident all depends on your condition.

The emergency room provides life-saving treatment for life-threatening injuries. Emergency rooms in New York are best-equipped to respond to severe situations such as:

Every second counts when treating the injuries above. At an ER, the doctors will see you ahead of other patients with less serious trauma if your condition is truly dire.

Benefits Of Visiting An Urgent Care Center After A Car Crash

Urgent care centers are readily available in most neighborhoods and focus on treating minor injuries. An urgent care center is the perfect middle-ground between waiting weeks to possibly months to see a primary care physician and crowding the ER with a non-emergency matter.

You’ll see a medical doctor or nurse practitioner the same day at your local urgent care clinic, and you’ll likely have less of a wait than you would at the ER. At an urgent care clinic, medical professionals will let you know what injuries you’ve suffered and guide you on the next steps should they require further treatment.

Following an accident, Brooklyn personal injury lawyers say it’s crucial to visit your doctor, an ER or urgent care as soon as possible to establish a medical record of any injuries you suffered. This record will help you obtain compensation should you wish to seek compensation through an accident claim or lawsuit.

Seeking Legal Help After Medical Treatment

The team of compassionate and experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorneys at Cellino & Barnes can help you understand what to do after an injury disrupts your life. We’ve provided counsel to personal injury victims for over 60 years, and we don’t take a fee until we win your case. We’ve also been recognized as some of the Best Lawyers in America.

Contact us at any time of day or night for a FREE consultation about your claim.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

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