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Blizzard Causes Pileup Accident On Thruway: Getting Compensation

/ Car Accident, Truck Accident, Winter Hazards /

BUFFALO, N.Y. – New York State Police have confirmed that one man was killed, and several others injured in a massive pileup accident on the New York State Thruway near Buffalo.

At least 20 vehicles were involved in the chain-reaction crash as a blizzard created white-out conditions in the area Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say as many as 75 vehicles may have been damaged in the massive pile-up in Cheektowaga, a suburb of Buffalo.

A Buffalo car accident lawyer says many drivers and passengers may be entitled to significant compensation if they were injured or killed in the pileup accident. This compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more.

In accidents like this one, which closed the NYS Thruway for hours, having a personal injury firm in your corner is crucial. The law offices of Cellino & Barnes, for example, often obtain settlements and verdicts for their clients that are worth significantly more than what insurance companies offer victims without representation.

Some of the injuries reported in the pileup are considered ‘minor,’ but a Buffalo car accident attorney says an aching neck could be a sign of more severe damage, and it should not go unaddressed. A Buffalo car accident lawyer suggests every ache and pain – minor or severe – be documented and analyzed by a doctor.

Unfortunately, accidents like these also come with more severe injuries — and even death. According to State Police, Edward Torres, 64, of Elba died in the pileup accident, and another traveler was seriously injured.

Police said Edward Torres was unable to stop on the slick roads, and his vehicle crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer.

Other drivers had similar experiences, as dozens of cars became ensnared in the weather conditions and the accident scene. Current reports suggest Edward Torres was the only fatality in the massive pile-up but dozens of other drivers and passengers suffered injuries.

Whether you are a victim or a family member, a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced personal injury lawyer could help determine the proper course of legal action after an accident.

At Cellino & Barnes, Buffalo car accident attorneys will provide victims of any type of accident with a FREE CASE EVALUATION; information which could be extremely valuable for those injured in a car crash. If you or a family member has suffered a sudden injury or accidental death, call an experienced Buffalo car accident attorney now:

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Clear off Your Vehicle

/ Truck Accident /

Clear off Your VehicleROCHESTER, N.Y. – It happens every winter: as the snow piles-up on cars, negligent drivers take-off without brushing the snow off the roof. Their windshield may be clear, but these drivers are creating hazardous conditions for others using the roads.

Driving in winter weather is dangerous enough without having to dodge snow or ice falling off another person’s vehicle. According to State Police, several people suffered eye injuries last week when chunks of ice fell off one vehicle and smashed the windshield of another.

A Rochester truck accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says drivers who don’t clear off their cars can even be considered a traffic violation in some states, and if it causes an accident, negligent drivers could be held responsible for any injuries.

“Many of us have been in that situation: stuck behind a vehicle with snow and ice flying off the roof in Rochester,” truck accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “It’s downright dangerous and it has been known to cause serious accidents, but it’s really simple to avoid.”

Rochester truck accident lawyers suggest using common sense; and there are some tricks to help drivers get the snow and ice off their cars in a hurry:

  1. Use some de-icing spray on your windows before turning on your windshield wipers
  2. Have a broom or shovel handy to clear those hard-to-reach areas of your car’s roof
  3. Work from the top down. Start with the roof. Sometimes, it can dislodge ice over windows
  4. Park your car facing east. When the sun rises in the morning, it gives you a head-start
  5. NEVER use hot water to melt ice. You’re doing more harm – not only can this damage your car, hot water can also freeze faster in cold conditions!

These tips go for truck drivers too. In a recent poll, more than half (54%) of truckers reported they ‘rarely or never’ remove snow and ice from their trucks and trailers, AAA reported.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a car or truck covered in snow and ice, you could receive significant compensation for your injuries. The Rochester truck accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have extensive experience handling these types of matters, and they’re focused on getting clients the best result possible.

For a free case evaluation, call Cellino & Barnes anytime – 24/7

Cellino & Barnes (800)888-8888


Electrical Truck Runs Over Woman in Manhattan

/ Truck Accident /

Electrical Truck Runs Over Woman in ManhattanNEW YORK – More than 100 pedestrians and bicyclists have been run over on city streets this year, a 12-percent jump from 2015.

Another incident happened on Monday as Nuesa Marques-Diniz, 68, was struck and killed by an electrical truck while crossing 42nd Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue.

According to the New York Daily News, Nuesa Marques-Diniz was a Brazilian national who had recently left a nearby McDonald’s when the truck, owned by Hugh O’Kane Electrical Co. struck her at around 8pm Monday night.

Police told the Daily News that Nuesa Marques-Diniz died at the scene.

A Manhattan truck accident lawyer says truck drivers have a responsibility to drive and operate their trucks as safely as possible but there are many more factors that need to be scrutinized – including safety concerns with the roadway itself.

Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in truck crashes that are traced back to driver fatigue. A thorough legal investigation will look into a truck driver’s record and the number of hours the driver has spent behind the wheel and working.

In addition to driving records, an extensive legal investigation will look at other factors that could help maximize the compensation for a victim and their family. These factors can include:

  • Truck maintenance records
  • Surveillance video
  • Dashcam video from the truck itself or other drivers in the area
  • Road striping
  • Traffic signals
  • Overall road safety

Dozens of other pedestrians have been struck by trucks on Manhattan streets this year and many victims have been killed as a result. Victims and their families may be entitled to receive significant compensation for an injury or a loss of a loved one. This compensation can help cover:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of protection or care
  • Loss of financial support from the victim
  • Expenses from hospitalization
  • Funeral costs
  • Pain and suffering

A successful claim could also help improve safety for others in New York City so accidents like the one that claimed the life of Nuesa Marques-Diniz can be prevented in the future.

Seneca County Truck Crash Investigated

/ Truck Accident /

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A tragic Seneca County truck crash is under investigation after one person was killed and two others were hospitalized.

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said the truck accident happened on West River Road near Knauss Road. According to NYup.com, a 1994 GMC big rig was pulling out of a bean field onto West River Road, causing a 2009 Dodge Caliber to crash into it.

Floyd Jones, 87, Catherine Olmstead, 55, and Samuel Santiago, 33, were in the Dodge as the crash occurred, NYup.com reported.

The driver, Floyd Jones, and backseat passenger, Samuel Santiago, were both taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester to be treated for their injuries. Tragically, Catherine Olmstead was killed on impact.

Floyd Jones, Catherine Olmstead and Samuel Santiago all resided in Seneca Falls.

A Rochester truck accident lawyer said there are many factors that need to be analyzed in every truck crash and a legal investigation should be conducted to make sure every piece of evidence is collected.

  • This evidence can include:
  • Truck maintenance records
  • Driving records/accident records
  • Possible dashcam video or recording devices from the truck
  • Driver’s cell phone records
  • Truck driver rest logs (fatigue)

In addition to investigating the truck driver and truck maintenance, an intensive legal investigation will also look into the potential dangers of West River Road itself. There are many factors that could warn drivers of potential hazards on the road, including trucks entering the highway. An experienced truck crash lawyer knows how valuable this evidence can be, including:

  • Warning signs (trucks entering highway)
  • Proper lighting
  • Road striping
  • Potential need for traffic signals/stop signs

Victims of truck crashes can often receive significant compensation for their injuries but when a person is killed by a negligent truck driver, their families often need knowledgeable and persistent representation to help them get the best result possible.

Bicyclist Struck By Truck in Brooklyn

/ News, Truck Accident /

indeBicyclist Struck By Truck in BrooklynNEW YORK – A tractor-trailer cruising through downtown Brooklyn mowed over a bicyclist Tuesday morning.

Brian Ricci, 35, of Boerum Hill was the bicyclist struck. According to the Daily News report, Brian Ricci suffered severe head trauma and was rushed to New York Methodist Hospital in critical condition.

The New York Daily News reports the truck, which is owned by Mountain Man Sand & Gravel in Huntingon, L.I., was making a right-hand turn onto Tillary Street from Jay Street when the crash occurred.

Ricci wasn’t the first person to get hurt at this dangerous intersection.

According to city crash data, three other bicyclists have suffered injuries in crashes at the corner of Tillary Street and Jay Street.

A Brooklyn truck accident lawyer says truck drivers have a responsibility to operate their tractor-trailers safely but there are many more factors that should be examined – including safety concerns with the roadway itself.

A thorough legal investigation will into a driver’s record and rest log. The number of hours truck drivers can be on the road has a limit – and for good reason: every year, thousands of people are injured in truck crashes that can be linked to driver fatigue.

In addition to driving records, an intensive legal investigation will look at other factors that could help a victim and their family get the best result possible from their claim. These factors could include:

  • Truck maintenance records
  • Surveillance video
  • Dashcam video from the truck itself or other drivers in the area
  • Road striping
  • Traffic signals
  • Overall road safety

Several other cyclists have been injured in crashes near Jay Street and Tillary Street. A successful claim could spur changes to improve safety for other cyclists in the downtown Brooklyn area.

Since Brian Ricci’s accident, the New York community has come together to support him and his family; including his husband Frank and their son, Rocco. Family and friends set-up a fundraiser to help Frank and Brian Ricci afford the expenses associated with such a tragic crash.

A Brooklyn truck accident lawyer says there are many expenses associated with a truck or bike crash. Since the injuries are often severe, medical costs can pile-up. On top of the hospital bills, families still have to cover their day-to-day expenses, lost income, child care, pet care, additional transportation, and temporary lodging.

These costs can add-up quickly. However, an experienced Brooklyn truck accident lawyer can help families cover these expenses in addition to getting compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering.

Although neighbors and witnesses were quick to blame the incident on “rampant development” in downtown Brooklyn, police told Daily News reporters that the crash involving Brian Ricci is still under investigation.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, contact a Cellino & Barnes Brooklyn injury attorney at (800) 888-8888.

Authorities: Truck Behind I-90 Crash in Chautauqua

/ News, Truck Accident /

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Authorities investigating a deadly rollover crash say the incident was caused by a truck driver after a tractor-trailer rear-ended a vehicle on I-90 in Chautauqua County, south of Buffalo.

According to WGRZ-TV, Volodymyr Haperin, 41, of Ontario was driving a tractor-trailer between Exit 59 and Exit 58 in Chautauqua County on Wednesday when he struck the back of a Chevy Silverado pick-up truck. Police told reporters that Rush Addair, 81, of Indianapolis, Indiana was driving the pick-up with Iesha Lampton, 21, as a passenger.

As a result of the collision, Rush Addair lost control of the truck and was ejected. Iesha Lampton suffered minor injuries and the truck driver, Haperin, was not injured in the crash.

A Buffalo truck accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says truck accidents like these continue to plague local roads and highways.

“Truck crashes have been on the rise since 2009 and those in passenger vehicles often suffer the most devastating injuries,” truck accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Victims of truck crashes and their families can have a lot of questions. Who’s responsible? What about the loss of wages? How can I pay the medical bills or the funeral costs? An experienced lawyer can often help answer these questions.”

The Buffalo truck accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have been investigating truck crashes for over 50 years and Barnes says a thorough investigation is imperative.

“Truck drivers can travel thousands of miles each and can put in over 65 hours behind the wheel each week” Barnes said. “Exhaustion can be a real concern and it has been a factor in many truck crashes. We also know that truck drivers are more distracted today than ever before and these factors need to be looked at as possible crash causes.”

Barnes said there are other factors that he looks at every time he investigates a truck crash. Truck maintenance of both the cab and the trailer, accident history, the driver’s log books, the weight and distribution of the load, speed for the road conditions, pickup and drop off points, planned route information, was the driver behind schedule, last refueling point and discussions with witnesses can each reveal critical information. Poor truck maintenance can cause a truck’s brakes to fail and other vital systems can malfunction if the driver or company doesn’t conduct regular maintenance.

Recently, a Pennsylvania truck driver was ticketed for operating an out of service vehicle after his truck crashed into multiple vehicles in Binghamton. Officials said the tractor-trailer was carrying heavy stone blocks and inadequate brakes were a contributing factor in the crash.

The truck accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes look at every possible factor when they’re investigating a truck crash because it can help maximize a victim’s compensation, Barnes said.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck crash, Cellino & Barnes can help you obtain the best result possible. Call one of their experienced truck accident lawyers today and they will review your case for free.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Crisis on the Road

/ Truck Accident /

Crisis on the RoadNEW YORK – If you think the traffic is getting worse and your commute is getting dicey, you’re right. America’s roads and highways suffered a deadly year in 2015 and the trend hasn’t slowed down much.

A newly released government report shed a sobering reminder of how dangerous driving a vehicle can be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 35,000 people were killed in traffic accidents last year. That’s a 7.2 percent spike over 2014.

A New York truck accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes said the last time the nation experienced such a large single-year increase was 50 years ago and addressing the problem will take teamwork.

“Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a gradual decline in the number of car crashes but that all ended last year,” New York truck accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Even though today’s cars are equipped with the newest safety technology, drivers are more distracted than ever and infrastructure in many areas can be considered outdated or inefficient, so we all have to work together to make our roads as safe as they can be.”

A recent change in infrastructure could be behind a major crash that happened in Binghamton last week. The city released dashcam video of a 10-car pileup that happened on Highway 17 near Interstate 81, according to ABC News.

The video shows a tractor-trailer plow through afternoon traffic on Highway 17, less than a mile before the highway sharply merges into I-81.

The area has been under road construction, which could impact traffic. According to the New York State Department of Transportation, the construction includes lane closures, slow moving traffic and sudden stops.

Police said the truck driver was ticketed for faulty brakes and they are considered a contributing factor in the crash.

“Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and when it’s traveling at 50 miles per hour or more, the brakes had better be in good operating condition or the truck driver risks a disastrous crash,” Cellino said. “Luckily no one was killed in the Binghamton crash but several drivers may have suffered injuries to the head, neck or back; and recovering from these accidents has certain challenges.”

Many victims of truck crashes not only suffer severe injuries, they also face the burden of having to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and time away from work. However, the experienced team of New York truck accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes has helped many victims get compensation after a truck crash.

About 10 percent of all deadly highway crashes involved a large truck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Part of the reason there were more fatalities on the road in 2015 is also due to more truck congestion.

Since 2009, companies have been putting more and more large trucks on the roads and as a result, deadly truck crashes have increased by nearly 15 percent over that time period. Last year alone, truck crashes spiked by over 4 percent.

If you’ve been injured in a large truck crash, the New York truck accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes will investigate all of the factors, including truck maintenance issues, driver distractions, driver fatigue, road conditions, and problems with infrastructure.

Call 800-888-8888 for a free consultation with a truck crash attorney.

For more legal information or safety tips, follow Cellino & Barnes on Twitter.

Road Debris Behind 200,000 Crashes

/ Truck Accident /

Road Debris Behind 200,000 CrashesROCHESTER, N.Y. – You’ve probably seen some dangerous things scattered across the highway. Maybe you’ve encountered plastic bags or even furniture in the roadway. For obvious reasons, these hazards are dangerous and in some cases, deadly.

According to a new study conducted by the AAA Foundation, debris has been a factor in more than 200,000 crashes on U.S. roadways over the last four years. Researchers said the crashes caused more than 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths since 2011.

A Rochester truck accident lawyer says drivers have to make sure they’re properly securing any load they’re hauling.

“Debris can be some of the most dangerous hazards on the roadway and drivers who fail to secure a load can face severe legal consequences in Rochester,” truck accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Not only can a driver get a ticket for an unsecured load; they can also be held liable if that debris causes an accident.”

When debris falls off a car or truck, the driver (or the driver’s employer) can be held liable for any damages that debris causes, the Rochester truck accident lawyer said. Commercial drivers are required to inspect their trucks before every trip and examine them for potential hazards.

Some falling debris can cause serious accidents like this one that occurred this summer in Minnesota when a motorcyclist crashed into an item that fell off a boat being towed by an SUV. Luckily, the motorcyclist survived but others aren’t so lucky when they hit debris.

When debris fell off a semitrailer in Northern California this summer, it caused a woman to veer off the road. Hours later, the driver was pronounced dead at the hospital. California Highway Patrol Officers then launched a massive search for the truck driver, who did not remain on scene.

According to AAA, two-thirds of all the crashes that involve highway debris are the result of objects falling off a car or truck and around 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes occurred when the driver tried swerving to avoid an object in the roadway.

Safety advocates say swerving is one of the worst things a driver can do, although it’s often reactionary. If possible, drivers should slow down and maintain control of their vehicle, even if that means striking the object in front of them.

Rochester truck accident lawyers say in most cases, the driver responsible for the debris is also responsible for your damages.

With offices across New York State, Cellino & Barnes offers free consultations to those who have been injured by highway debris. For contact information and office locations, find Cellino & Barnes on Best Lawyers.

Introducing: The Robot 18-wheeler

/ Truck Accident /

Introducing: The Robot 18-wheelerMELVILLE, N.Y. – Big rigs today are loaded with up to 80,000 pounds of cargo barreling down the highway at speeds over 55mph. Now image that same truck without a driver.

A group of engineers wants to make the self-driving truck a reality.

The group, made of 40 former employees of self-driving giants like Google, Apple, Tesla, and others formed a new company called Otto with the goal of transforming the commercial trucking industry.

Before the fear (or gratitude) sets in, a Long Island truck accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says initially, all self-driving vehicles should still have a driver at the wheel.

“Self-driving technology is so new, we don’t really know what would happen if we set a truck in motion with just the computer at the wheel,” Long Island truck accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Autonomous 18-wheelers could make the roads safer but tech companies won’t know until they try it with a veteran driver behind the wheel.”

Otto plans to attach sensors, cameras and lasers to big rigs that will eventually navigate more than 220,000 miles of US highways with little assistance from a driver. Currently, the plan will only put the machines in control on the highways. A driver would still need to be present when entering city streets.

Long Island truck accident lawyers say the most dangerous truck accidents occur in heavily populated areas or on small country roads.

“Trucks have very large blind spots, making them extremely dangerous,” Cellino said. “Truck drivers must be trained to spot smaller vehicles or people and avoid accidents with them, which can take months of driving lessons.”

Attorneys say trucks equipped with sensors and blind spot cameras are already on the roads – but the technologies attached to these big rigs are tools to help the driver avoid a crash. Leaving the truck in the hands of the machine could have catastrophic consequences.

“Without a trained driver at the wheel, there’s no knowing what would happen if any component fails or malfunctions on an 18-wheeler,” Cellino said. “Although the intention is to make roads safer, millions of drivers may feel better knowing there’s a trained human at the helm.”

Otto is currently eyeing the market for 1,000 truckers to volunteer their vehicles which would have self-driving kits installed in the cabs. Otto said the volunteers would still be expected to take the wheel in emergencies and monitor the truck to make sure it is following local driving laws.

If the company gets to see its ultimate goal, more than 5 million trucks could be equipped with driverless technology in the coming decades.

On one end, it would solve a truck driver shortage the nation is currently facing but on the other hand, are drivers willing to trust the machine?

Long Island truck accident attorneys say there are currently 3,500 deadly big rig crashes every year and many of the crashes are linked to driver fatigue. If you’ve been injured in a big truck accident, the Long Island truck accident lawyers can help you obtain the best result possible.

Contact a lawyer today or visit the Cellino & Barnes LinkedIn page to learn more about how Cellino & Barnes has helped thousands of clients get the compensation they needed.

New Bill Could Relax Safety Restrictions on Truck Drivers

/ Truck Accident /

New Bill Could Relax Safety Restrictions on Truck DriversNEW YORK – Some U.S. Senators have slipped new language into a transportation spending bill that could allow truck drivers to work longer weeks. The Senate Appropriations Committee released the updated text of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill that passed with a 30-0 vote on Thursday.

The bill fixes a drafting error made in last year’s spending bill but it could also allow truck drivers to spend up to 73 hours behind the wheel each week.

A Brooklyn truck accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says many truck drivers are already battling fatigue and upping the limits could put lives at risk.

“Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of big rig crashes in Brooklyn,” truck accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Trucks are very dangerous vehicles and they must have an alert driver behind the wheel.”

Currently, truckers are restricted to 70 hours of drive-time each week. If the bill passes as it is drafted, truckers would be allowed on the roads for an additional 156 hours every year. In a press release, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) blasted the bill’s passage through the senate committee.

“Before today is over, 11 people will die in large truck crashes and 275 more will be injured,” AHAS Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Cathy Chase said. “[Thursday’s] ‘markup’ of the THUD bill lacked any actual ‘marking up’ of the bill, any discussion of the anti-safety provision in the bill, and any debate on how the bill will impact the American public.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Forbes both consider truck driving one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America today.

Brooklyn truck accident lawyers say truck drivers already have some of the most relaxed laws regarding fatigue in the transportation business.

“Airplane pilots are limited to about nine hours of fly-time in a single stretch and they must have at least 30 consecutive hours off each week,” Barnes said. “Truckers can currently work up to 11-hours per day and many of them drive seven days per week.”

Chase and other highway safety advocates believe the trucking industry lobbied for the new provision despite several high-profile truck crashes in the last 12 months.

“This closed door backroom politicking is a prime example of why the American public distrusts the process,” Chase said. “Unfortunately, the change made to the HOS Rule does nothing to address the serious problem of cumulative fatigue.”

Chase, frustrated with the rewritten bill, is now urging Congress to add language to the bill that would make sure truck drivers get more rest time and reduce fatigue.

For the latest information on truck safety and news reports, follow Cellino & Barnes on Twitter.

Client Thanks

I would like to thank your firm for representing our family on behalf of my late husband. This whole process was, at times, difficult for us and sometimes painful. But, we were always in good hands as Brian and Maria are two of the hardest working and sincerest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job.

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