NEW YORK – You are a good person, trapped in a bad situation. As New York personal injury lawyers, we see this scenario all the time; and one of the most common questions we hear is: What Should I Settle For In A Car Accident?
Unfortunately, that bad situation can quickly get out of hand without the right help on your side.
The insurance industry has made the claims process so convoluted that it’s nearly impossible for the average person to understand. In some cases, they’ve even used ethically questionable techniques to gain an upper-hand on accident victims, who are just trying to get what’s fair.
What Should I Settle For In A Car Accident?
Even before you start negotiating a settlement, gather all the information you can get about your accident. Where did it occur? Who’s at fault? Do you have an accident report? Did you get medical attention? Answering these questions and others will help you get the best result possible. It will also help you calculate a reasonable amount of compensation owed to you.
So, how do you settle a claim without getting screwed by the insurance company? Here are some tips anyone who’s been involved in an accident can follow:
Get Immediate Medical Attention. NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS ABOUT IT. Not seeking medical treatments and failing to follow-up with your doctor tells the insurance adjuster that you’re not really injured. If you really were hurt in an accident (even if it’s minor), see a doctor right away and document everything.
Get Your Information Together. Take pictures of the crash scene. Get statements from witnesses and other the driver(s) involved. WRITE IT DOWN. Grab a copy of the accident report, too!
NEVER EVER Speak To An Adjuster. Why is the at-fault party’s insurance company calling you? They’re checking-up on you, and writing things like this: “Well, they didn’t seem injured when I talked to them,” or “They told me they didn’t get medical attention, so the injury must be minor.” They have the whole conversation recorded.
Get Legal Representation. Although anyone can file a claim, insurance is so complicated now that you might need a law degree to understand it. Your first call after an accident should be for medical attention. Your second call should have you dialing a phone number of an experienced, local legal team.
At Cellino & Barnes, a New York personal injury lawyer will walk you through your case from day one, and help you achieve the best result possible. Our team approach has been successful in all 50 states, and we’ve helped our clients obtain over $2 Billion in settlements and verdicts.
If you have any questions about the claims process, or if you want file an accident claim, call us! The call is FREE – and our experienced New York personal injury attorneys are happy to help.
NEW YORK – There are roughly 3-million car accidents in the United States every year. Being involved in one can be hectic and stressful, so it’s important to know what you should do if you’re involved in an accident.
Here’s a checklist:
Put Yourself First – Check yourself for injuries like broken bones, cuts or bruises.
Check Your Passengers – If you have others in your vehicle, check them for similar injuries. If anyone in your vehicle is injured, immediately call for medical assistance.
Do Not Move Your Vehicle Unless Instructed By Authorities – If anyone was moderately or severely injured, police will likely need to reconstruct your crash. This process is much easier if the vehicles are not moved. Even if other drivers insist on moving your vehicle, refuse until the police have arrived.
Contact Authorities – If anyone is injured, call 911. This service will direct the proper authorities to your crash scene. This could include police, the fire department and an ambulance service.
Assess the Damage – NEVER leave the scene of an accident for any reasons. NEVER admit fault for an accident. Even if you believe you are responsible, there may be other factors that contributed to your accident; the other driver may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or the traffic light may have malfunctioned. There are many variables that must be assessed before determining who is at fault.
It is also important to write down the license plate numbers of all other drivers involved. If for any reason a driver decides to flee from the accident scene, you will have vital information that can help police locate the other driver.
If possible, immediately take pictures of the accident scene before other drivers move their vehicles. Be sure to take photos from multiple angles and include pictures of the intersection or roadway markers. These photographs could be helpful later.
Exchange Information With Other Drivers – Gather all the information you can. Get the names of every driver involved, and every passenger too.
Take Notes – While you’re waiting for authorities to arrive, write down everything you can remember about the accident.
Where were you going?
What time was it?
What are the weather conditions?
Where did the incident happen?
Were there any injuries? If so, what were they?
You may need to answer these questions later, and relying on your memories of an accident can be difficult, and they’re often incomplete. A written record of what you saw and what you heard is the most accurate way of recalling these events.
WHEN TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
If you or any of your passengers were injured in a crash, contact a Long Island car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes. Our consultations are FREE and our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
Drivers: If you were injured in a car crash and you believe the accident was not entirely your fault, our Long Island car accident lawyers can provide you with a FREE case evaluation. Hiring an attorney ensures that your legal rights will be protected.
Passengers: Regardless of who was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries incurred as the result of a car crash. The Long Island car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes can protect your rights as a passenger and ensure that you are getting the best result possible.
Contact a Long Island car accident attorney today to find out what your case is worth.
NEW YORK – Winter has wrapped up (about time) and the temperatures are starting to rise, but some places already have amazing weather. It’s time for a spring vacation! But before you leave the city for a Gulf-coast beach, be prepared – and make sure your spring break isn’t wrecked by serious injuries, or complicated legal matters.
Some of the first types of injuries we think about during spring break are often alcohol related. Binge drinking is dangerous without combining other activities, but each year there are a handful of spring breakers – usually college students – who are hospitalized, or even killed, after drinking way too much.
However, many accidents happen to innocent victims who are completely sober, and trying to make the most of their vacation.
Some of the most common spring break injuries include:
Assault and other criminal injuries – Sadly, some of our favorite tourist destinations are also troubled by high crime rates. Criminals often target tourists knowing that out-of-towners often carry cash or valuables with them. If you are ever attacked while on vacation, it is important to file a police report immediately. In many cases, victims of violent crimes may also be entitled to compensation from the convicted criminal, property owners, or others. In 2012, a college student filed a lawsuit against a spring break party sponsor after he was beaten and stabbed at a Texas beach party.
Property negligence – these injuries can happen anywhere; from nightclubs to hotel lobbies, or even walking along a boulevard sidewalk. If you slip, trip or fall due to someone else’s negligence, a New York slip and fall lawyer at Cellino & Barnes can help you get the best result possible from a claim. Property negligence is broad, and it can also include injuries sustained as a result of falling objects, dangerous or sharp items, and others. If you believe a property owner was negligent in providing customers like yourself a safe vacationing environment, speak with a New York slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
Bus accidents – While visiting popular vacation destinations, you may want to take a tour bus to see the sights, but we’ve all heard of recent heartbreaking tour bus accidents in the news. While it’s easy to say that ‘accidents happen,’ the truth is, almost all bus crashes can be prevented. A New York bus accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says it is the tour company’s responsibility to provide safe transportation to all customers. In 2015, several lawsuits were filed against an amphibious tour bus in Seattle after it lost a wheel and crashed into another bus.
Cruise ship injuries – Cruises are extremely popular spring break retreats. A cruise ship injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says these massive boats may also be responsible for thousands of injuries each year. Unlike your typical land-based resort, cruise ships are always moving (even when they’re docked). Some of the most common injuries stem from slippery decks, falling objects and contaminated food on a cruise. In 2015, an Illinois vacationer received a $21.5 million award from a federal court, because he was hit in the head by a sliding glass door while on a cruise.
Airplane injuries – Wherever you go for spring break, you’ll probably want to fly there. Every spring, the TSA screens over 65.1 million travelers. Most of these vacationers get to their destination without incident, but some may suffer serious injuries in-flight. While crashes are rare in the airline industry, accidents are not. It’s estimated that thousands of airline passengers are hospitalized each year after being struck by falling luggage. A New York airline injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says there are many other things that can go wrong on a flight, including burns from spilled hot beverages, tripping in the aisle, falling from sudden jostles, service cart injuries, and more. Recently, an airline passenger suffered a concussion and a broken nose after he was violently dragged off an overbooked flight.
Spring break is a great way to get away from the city and all its worries, but accidents can happen anywhere. At Cellino & Barnes, our attorneys have won cases in all 50 states, and internationally. If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a spring break accident, the New York personal injury attorneys at Cellino & Barnes can explain your unique path to potential compensation, for free.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – As we age, we become more susceptible to injuries. Those over the age of 75 are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in a car crash than any other age group. But one study has found ways to improve their chances on the road.
These safe driving courses honed-in on several high risk driving situations, including:
Driving at night
Driving in the rain
Driving in peak traffic hours
Driving on highways
Driving in school zones
Following the courses, researchers attached GPS devices in their cars to collect data on their driving behavior. The study found that the older drivers who took the safe driving program were more likely to regulate their driving patterns, and avoid the times and areas that were considered risky for their age.
Those who were subjected to the intervention also reported a strong willingness to change how they drive.
Researchers are now continuing their study to find out specifically how age impacts a person’s driving habits.
YOU’RE A SAFE DRIVER – OTHERS MAY NOT BE
One of the key issues study authors wanted to avoid was isolating seniors from their communities. Obviously, seniors may not be able to – or want to – completely avoid driving at night, or in the rain where eye sight and reaction times are critical skills for drivers to have.
The study points out that simply knowing how risky these driving situations are can significantly change a person’s driving behavior. Unfortunately, not everyone will be putting safety first when they’re behind the wheel at night.
Almost every car accident can be prevented with safe driving practices. When a negligent driver is distracted, speeding, or drunk, they can cause serious harm to themselves or others. The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes know just how prevalent these drivers can be.
In Erie County alone, more than 49,000 people received speeding tickets, and another 7,000 were cited for cell phone use, or texting while driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, our Buffalo car accident attorneys can help. We’ve obtained more than $2 billion for our clients, and all of our lawyers have trial experience, so you can be confident we will do whatever it takes to win your case.
When a car accident impacts your family, contact a Buffalo car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it’s often a wise decision to talk with a lawyer who focuses on personal injury law.
Personal injury claims are often complex and cover a variety of different accidents including slip and falls, medical malpractice, car accidents, defective products, construction injuries, and more. Since these injuries are often severe, you may need financial compensation to cover the costs associated with these accidents.
A successful personal injury claim can compensate victims for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of work, and other monetary damages.
The fact is, not every lawyer focuses on personal injury litigation – many law firms cover a variety of legal matters. But in most cases, the insurance companies will have their own legal team; one that is completely knowledgeable in personal injury law.
That’s why it’s important for anyone who has been injured to call an attorney who focuses on personal injury, and someone who is just as knowledgeable and experienced as the insurance company’s lawyer.
According to a Buffalo personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes, a strong legal team will also have a variety of resources to help injured victims and their families get the best results possible from a claim.
As one of the largest personal injury firms in the nation, Cellino & Barnes has access to medical experts and other professionals who can help strengthen a case. The firm’s Buffalo personal injury lawyers are also trial-tested and have proven track records of success; both in negotiating settlements and putting together cases for trial.
A personal injury attorney is also convenient for victims and their families. When you file a claim, there are stacks of paperwork that go with it. Your lawyer can help complete the necessary forms, file motions, gather statements from witnesses and experts, and handle your entire case from open to close.
Every injury claim is unique but the most experienced personal injury attorneys are likely to have worked with victims who suffered similar injuries in similar accidents. When contacting a personal injury lawyer, it’s always a good idea to ask questions:
Do you focus on personal injury law?
Have you handled a case like mine before?
Have you tried any of those cases in court?
What should I expect in the coming weeks and months?
The Buffalo personal injury lawyers at Cellino & Barnes will make sure that you are treated fairly by the insurance companies and the negligent parties that may be responsible for your injuries or loss. They can make sure your claim is filed properly and on time; and they won’t take a fee unless they win your case, so you can be assured that you and your family can obtain the best result possible.
If you’ve been injured, contact a Buffalo personal injury attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
MELVILLE, N.Y. – As colder temperatures moved across the state this week, it came with some snow. And whenever the snow falls, kids are ready to hop on their sleds and find the nearest slope to slide down but doctors and Long Island personal injury lawyers are urging parents – and property owners – to put safety first.
A new medical study by Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare found that almost a third of the children who were taken to the emergency room after a sledding accident suffered head injuries. In many cases, the injuries were very similar to those seen in skiing and snowboarding falls.
The results have doctors and researchers alerting parents to put helmets on their children when they’re heading out to enjoy the slopes, in any form.
Their rule of thumb is: if the sled, skis, or snowboard can go faster than you can run, wearing a helmet is a wise precaution. A Long Island personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says property owners should also take precautions to make sure an accident doesn’t happen under their watch.
“It’s now estimated that more than 20,000 kids are injured while sledding every year and over past few years, we’ve seen many serious accidents in Long Island,” personal injury attorney Ross Cellino said. “It’s important to make sure these sledding areas are safe for children and that they’re in prime condition for sledding.”
Long Island personal injury attorneys say many sledding injuries are related to the condition of the property where the accident occurred. Investigators often find dangerous hazards that sledders aren’t warned about before sliding down the hill.
In 2014, for example, a teen suffered severe injuries after hitting a chain-link fence while sledding at a Nebraska school. The school district settled the case out of court.
Whether a sledding injury occurs on public property, private property, with a helmet, or without a helmet, it is always wise to have a professional legal investigator take a look at the circumstances surrounding a sledding accident.
Cellino & Barnes has been trusted by New Yorkers for over 50 years, and with offices across the Empire State, our attorneys have experience handling many types of injuries related to winter-weather and winter sports. If you or your child has been injured while sledding, contact an experienced Long Island personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – For millions of active Americans an injury can feel like a death sentence. Exercise is a vital part of an active and healthy lifestyle but an injury can change all of that in an instant.
For those who enjoy physical activity, having to ‘sit-it-out’ can trigger weight gain, depression, anxiety, and even suicidal tendencies a Princeton study found. Some people may never truly recover from an injury because of its devastating effects on personal exercise habits.
If your goal is to live a healthy and long life, you need to find ways to manage your injuries or overcome them. While that sounds like a tall task, a Brooklyn personal injury attorney at Cellino & Barnes says it’s not impossible.
“If you’ve ever suffered an injury, you know physical rehabilitation can be expensive in Brooklyn,” personal injury lawyer Steve Barnes said. “It’s our job to help our clients get the compensation they need to be able to afford rehab and medical treatments so they can live the happy and healthy lifestyle that they want – and used to have.”
Aside from physical rehab, how do you stay active while injured?
The answer is often complex and it depends on your injury.
For lower body injuries, it’s often crucial to ease back into physical activity. Activities like rowing are common recommendations until the lower body is ready for activity again.
For upper body injuries, doctors recommend exercises that reduce stress on joints. Activities in the water or stationary bikes can sometimes reduce upper-body use while still providing the exercise you’re looking for.
Those with back injuries are in a tough spot: rehab experts say almost any physical activity could cause detrimental complications but according to new research, there are some activities that allow even those who have suffered the most serious injuries to burn some calories.
It’s called nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT for short). Basically, they’re small, simple exercises that can burn calories. Researchers believe these activities explain why two people on identical diets have different experiences with weight loss.
According to researchers, some NEAT ‘exercises’ include:
And other small tasks
Doctors have concluded that these simple activities add up. In some cases, NEAT movements can burn up to 2,000 calories per day.
“Just moving around can be beneficial for the mind and body and that’s one of the reasons why we’ll find the best doctors and rehabilitation experts for our clients,” Barnes said. “Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience working with all types of accidents and injuries so we know how devastating it is to be off your feet for a while – but we’ve also seen many people overcome their injuries to be healthy and active again.”
In every case, Brooklyn personal injury lawyers say patients should consult with their doctors before beginning a new workout regimen. But don’t assume that you can’t burn calories just because you can’t run or lift weights.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident, know that the Brooklyn personal injury attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped their clients receive over $2 billion in compensation – and with their ‘No Fee Promise,’ you won’t be charged for their legal representation unless they win your case.
Call a Brooklyn personal injury lawyer today for a free case evaluation.
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 – You may have this thought when you spot a terrible driver; and all you have to do is look at the license plate.
“No wonder, they’re from that state,” you might think.
Your suppositions may now be backed-up by a new study… but you could be wrong, too. In fact, your state could boast the worst drivers.
According to the research compiled by the financial and investment firm SmartAsset, the worst drivers in the nation most often hail from the southeast. Specifically, Florida.
Four of the top 10 states the study identified are located in the southeast but Florida wears the crown for the state with the worst drivers, researchers said. According to their research, Floridians Google the terms “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets” more than any other state.
Florida also has one of the lowest rates of insured drivers in the nation. A New York car accident attorney said that fact should concern anyone planning their next spring break in the Sunshine State.
“There are thousands of people that are driving right now without motor vehicle insurance and it’s illegal – both in Florida and in New York,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “If you’re ever injured by an uninsured driver, it can create a difficult situation for you and your family and you should contact a skilled attorney to go over your options.”
Only three states do not require car insurance: New Hampshire, Virginia and Mississippi, the last of which also made it into SmartAsset’s Top 10 States with the Worst Drivers. Ranked just behind Florida, Mississippi has a high rate of fatal car crashes. Despite its smaller population, Mississippi had more motor vehicle deaths than 45 other states – and only 77 percent of drivers have insurance.
However, you don’t need to take a vacation to the southern U.S. to find bad drivers. Just take the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey. With the second-highest rate of deadly car crashes, New Jersey ranked fourth on SmartAsset’s list. Only Oklahoma, Mississippi and Florida boasted worse driving records.
The Garden State also happens to boast some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation. Coincidence? Florida also has pricey insurance rates.
Unlike the southern states, safety advocates said New Jersey’s problem is most often associated with traffic congestion, which leads to aggression and distraction.
Although there are plenty of reasons to be concerned on the New Jersey turnpike, the state did score high in one category: the percentage of drivers with car insurance.
NEW YORK – Remember the 2010 Winter Olympics? The biggest fear then was arriving in Vancouver during a burst of swine flu cases. Research teams rushed to the British Columbia city to study the outbreak. It was a unique opportunity for doctors with the goal of finding better treatments… but the swine flu stayed dormant.
Over the next few weeks, doctors will have a second opportunity to study illnesses as Olympians face a new pandemic: Zika.
The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to hundreds of birth defects and paralysis.
A New York personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said travelers should be aware of Zika’s heavy presence in South America as the 2016 Summer Games begin.
“Whether it’s an airborne illness, foodborne illness or it’s transmitted by mosquitoes, a sickness or disease can quickly turn the vacation of a lifetime into a nightmare,” New York personal injury attorney Ross Cellino said.
More than 200 physicians and researchers signed a letter demanding that the Olympic Games be postponed or moved from Rio de Janeiro due to concerns over the spread of Zika virus.
Despite those concerns and a high number of cases in Brazil, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently wrote there is little risk of causing new outbreaks at this year’s Olympic Games. New York personal injury lawyers however urge travelers to use caution.
“Anytime there’s a large gathering of people from around the globe, there’s an increased risk of contracting a serious illness,” Cellino said. “Zika is particularly dangerous because doctors have yet to develop a treatment or vaccine that could minimize or eliminate the virus’ effects.”
Many health officials still predict that some athletes and spectators will contract the Zika virus. Health and safety advocates point out that the CDC’s report simply assessed the risk of spreading the outbreak to countries or areas that are not currently at risk for Zika.
The CDC currently has travel advisories for more than 50 nations. The agency said Zika is already circulating around the globe and many of the athletes and spectators that will be in Rio this week arrived from countries that are already affected by Zika, so the risk of spreading the disease further is minimal.
Even the United States is not immune to the Zika’s global reach. At least 15 people are believed to have acquired the virus from local mosquito populations near Miami.
Brazilian authorities have also been proactive by stomping-out any mosquito breeding grounds and fumigating the Olympic venues where mosquito populations tend to thrive. While most people are attending the Olympics in support of their home nations, doctors and scientists are attending for humanitarian reasons; and it’s not just Zika they’re watching.
The World Health Organization will be watching for other viruses, including dengue and yellow fever, food poisoning and the flu, which can have radically different strains circulating in the southern hemisphere.
I would like to thank your firm for representing our family on behalf of my late husband. This whole process was, at times, difficult for us and sometimes painful. But, we were always in good hands as Brian and Maria are two of the hardest working and sincerest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job.