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According to Syracuse.com, two women who lived close to the East Village blast site are filing lawsuits for suffering injuries and “severe” emotional trauma resulting from the explosion. The suit is being filed against ConEd, 121 Second Avenue landlord Maria Hrynenko, a contractor named Dilber Kukic, and Hyenol Kim, the owner of Sushi Park.

Lucie Bauermeister, 23, and Anna Ramotowska, 26, allege in their suit that the blast which occurred next door to their apartment—129 Second Avenue—caused them significant injuries, as well as serious emotional and psychological harm; both women have stated that they will seek counseling to get over the experience. Despite the pair’s injury claim, it appears that any injuries suffered were minor. Ramotowska claimed she suffered “Like five or six scratches…it’s nothing deep.” Despite the lack of serious injury, their attorney, Robert Vilensky, claims that their lawsuit is valid as they’ll fear experiencing a similar event the rest of their lives. Several media outlets have claimed Bauermeister and Ramotowska are seeking upwards of $40 million in their suit.

It should be noted, that despite the claim from some media outlets that the roommates are seeking $40 million, this is not technically true. Compensation in a lawsuit isn’t determined based on what the victim(s) asks for. The amount of monetary damages is typically determined by either a jury at trial or in a settlement between the plaintiff and defendant. Additionally, compensation is usually calculated by the jury based on the combined economic value of the victim’s injury and emotional trauma. In a lawsuit, such as the one filed by Bauermeister and Ramotowska, where the victims suffered no major injury or personal loss, it is unlikely that any verdict or settlement would return anywhere near the $40 million figure that has been put out there by the media. In fact, if the case were to settle or reach a verdict, it’s unlikely that the compensation would even reach six figures.

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Contrary to what some believe, a personal injury lawsuit is a long and complex process. A case isn’t as simple as an injured individual filing a lawsuit against someone they believe caused their injury and getting money back. In this post, we’ll endeavor to explain the lawsuit process from start to finish.

Following an injury, to begin a case, a Summons & Complaint must be filed in court and served upon the defendant (the party being sued). Due to the fact that the Summons & Complaint must list the basic facts of the case, this process may take several months. The next phase of a lawsuit is preparing a Bill of Particulars. A Bill of Particulars describes the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries, how the defendant may have acted negligently, and an itemization of the plaintiff’s damages.

After the Bill of Particulars is served to all of the defense counsel, our attorneys will schedule a deposition for our clients. A deposition is an out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is converted to writing so that it may be used in court at a later point. A deposition will typically take place in an attorney’s office; although they can occasionally be held at the courthouse. During the deposition, a court reporter will be assigned to write down all of the questions posed and their corresponding answers. Clients need not be nervous heading into a deposition as our attorneys will prepare them in advance for the type of questions they will face from the defense counsel.

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Early last month, an MTA bus struck and seriously injured a 15-year-old girl. Following the accident, the bus driver, Francisco de Jesus, was charged with a criminal misdemeanor. The NYPD were able to file charges in conjunction with Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero traffic law that was passed last summer. The MTA is outraged that de Jesus has been criminally charged believe that due to the sheer volume of buses in New York City, it’s impossible for their drivers to have entirely spotless records.

Vision Zero was a somewhat controversial law passed last summer that allows the NYPD to criminally charge bus drivers who either kill or severely injure pedestrians. So far the law has come under fire from the MTA Union who feel that it unnecessarily puts their drivers at risk. “We support all the efforts and goals of Vision Zero but we would prefer our bus operators not be arrested,” said Darryl Irick, the vice president of MTA buses, to the Daily News. Irick also pointed out that the MTA’s drivers go through extensive training and the MTA also does their own investigations of all accidents involving their vehicles. According to Transport Workers Union Local 100, MTA operators drove 152 million combined miles last year. As a result, the union believes it is unfair for the city government to act as if drivers should be perfect; especially since they believe many drivers are being treated as criminals for accidents where they did not commit any offense such as speeding, ignoring traffic signals, or texting while driving.

Whether Vision Zero is a just law poses some interesting questions regarding liability in bus accident cases. While it’s a good thing that the City of New York is concerned with holding bus drivers responsible for accidents, it may not be right to hold them to a higher standard of care than other drivers. This is especially true considering the threat of lawsuits should be enough to hold drivers and the MTA responsible for their actions. In New York passengers and drivers of other vehicles may have grounds to file a lawsuit if they suffered any injuries in a bus accident that caused them economic damage or property damage to their vehicles. As a result, the MTA is, to some extent already being held responsible for their actions

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We see and hear a lot of things about lawsuits and trials every day as we watch movies and television. While these stories are often dramatic, they may not be providing you with the correct picture of how your litigation process will actually work. A trial following a serious injury is complex and requires your lawyer to prove that the party that caused your injury acted negligently. As such, you may see that your expert witnesses and lawyer are using visual aids to explain to the jury different aspects of your accident and how you were injured.

These visual aids are called demonstrative evidence, and they can be a huge factor in your personal injury case. Demonstrative evidence is pretty much anything used to prove negligence that isn’t spoken testimony. Demonstrative evidence can be either illustrative or physical:

Illustrative evidence: This type of evidence can include photographs of your accident scene or graphs showing the intersection where you were hit, even which way the cars were heading. If you’re involved in a medical malpractice case, this evidence can include charts of your health progress, blown up pictures of injuries and specially designed illustrations showing how your surgeries were performed. These pictures basically tell your story to the jury. We want them to know what happened to you and how it affected your life. This will also allow them to understand what an expert witness is talking about when they discuss either medical or other types of information. Being able to visually see your story is a strong motivator in getting the jury to know you and understand your struggles.

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An MTA bus was in a major accident around 3:55 PM on Wednesday, leaving 23 injured. According to the Daily News, the bus crash was part of a three car pileup that took place on Utica Ave and Clarendon Road in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. While charges have yet to be filed, police are still investigating the causes of the accident.

According to police, the crash occurred when a BMW heading south on Utica Avenue struck a Nissan Altima exiting a parking lot. After striking the Altima, the BMW careened into the path of an oncoming B46 bus. The two crashes left the front end of the BMW a crumpled wreck. The accident caused injuries to 23 individuals, 16 of which were treated at the scene of the accident, and three—all passengers in the BMW—are reportedly “clinging to life” in critical condition. While charges have yet to be filed by police, numerous legal actions could quickly follow from the injured individuals.

This accident presents a unique legal situation as injuries were sustained by individuals in each vehicle. Anyone injured in this accident may have grounds to file a lawsuit to recoup any monetary damages suffered in the accident. In order to have grounds for a claim however, the injured individual must be able to prove that the driver(s) who caused the crash acted negligently and was directly responsible for their injury. Additionally, the injured party must also be able to prove that the accident was directly responsible for any economic or non-economic damages they may have suffered. Due to the fact that the accident involved three cars, who each passenger may be able to recoup compensation from may depend on which vehicle they were driving in:

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According to Slate, the New York State Legislature may be on the verge of passing a bill that would provide physicians more legal cover in instances where they have acted negligently. Currently, a doctor is considered negligent if they act in a manner that “deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community.” Recently, a bill was unanimously passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature that prohibits the state’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct from investigating claims of medical misconduct where the negligence in question took place during the course of a treatment that is not universally accepted by the medical profession. The issue raised by Slate, is that few medical practices are “universally accepted” in medicine. Consequently, this bill would effectively be protecting doctors who practice non-universally accepted treatments from being disciplined. Slate’s Brian Palmer believes the bill is an attempt to promote acceptance of chronic Lyme disease.

“Chronic” Lyme disease is believed by many doctors to be a fictitious ailment. In the vast majority of cases where Lyme disease “persists” after treatment, there is no evidence that the sick patient was ever infected with Borrelia burdorferi; the Lyme disease-causing bacterium carried by some deer ticks. Doctors who believe in Chronic Lyme disease tend to prescribe long-term intravenous antibiotic therapy. This therapy has been known to cause serious side effects and can lead to the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistance bacteria. The overwhelming majority of physicians disagree with intravenous antibiotic therapy as a path of treatment and have trouble believing that Chronic Lyme disease actually exists. Due to the fact that Chronic Lyme disease is not universally accepted—and thus subsequent treatments are not universally accepted–should this new bill become law, it would prevent New York’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct from investigating claims where a doctor’s negligence led to a patient’s injury. Essentially, the passage of this bill could result in doctors not being held legally accountable for their actions in many instances where they’re unnecessarily causing their patients physical harm.

Despite the bill being ethically questionable, it won’t have an impact on an injured patient’s ability to collect compensation for a doctor’s medical negligence. While the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct investigates and levels charges against doctors for egregious negligence or criminal behavior, they play no role in medical malpractice lawsuits. In order to have a valid lawsuit, an injured patient needs to show that their doctors acted negligently which subsequently led to their injury and monetary damages. Patients who have suffered an injury due to a doctor’s negligence, should ignore the new bill regarding deviation from the accepted standard of care and contact an attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases at their earliest convenience.

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Last Tuesday, a Grand Jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Ferguson, Missouri resident Michael Brown. The response to the decision has widely varied. Some Ferguson residents protested and rioted in the streets after the decision was announced. The St. Louis County Prosecutor, Robert McCulloch vigorously defended the outcome in his press conference, blaming the media for presenting misinformation to the public. In light of the decision, any hope Michael Brown’s family and Ferguson residents had of seeing criminal charges brought against Officer Darren Wilson has been extinguished at the state level. Despite the Grand Jury’s ruling, however, the Browns may still be able to take legal action in the form of a lawsuit.

Despite the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Wilson, the family of Michael Brown may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Ferguson and the police department. The failure to criminally prosecute or convict a party doesn’t absolve them of civil liability. The OJ Simpson case is a prime example of a victim’s family receiving compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit despite the absolution of guilt in criminal court. Simpson was acquitted in the murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman but there was a civil jury verdict over $30 million in damages to the Goldmans and Browns after being found liable for their deaths in a lawsuit. To be able to successfully obtain compensation for Michael Brown’s death, his family would have to prove that based on his actions, Officer Wilson was legally liable under standards of proof applicable to Missouri’s civil, not criminal, justice system.

While the laws in Missouri may differ, under New York and/or federal law, the Browns may be able to obtain monetary compensation if it could be proven Officer Wilson did any of the following:

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On Thursday November 6, a New York City-bound bus crashed into a disabled car and a tractor-trailer on I-81 outside of Syracuse. The crash left 27 passengers injured, including the driver of the bus, who is currently in critical condition. According to Newsday, none of the injuries sustained in the crash were fatal.

The bus, owned by Pine Hill Trailways, was traveling toward New York City from Toronto when it crashed into a recently wrecked car at 2:30 am. The car had just hit a guard rail when the bus crashed into it. Upon hitting the car, the bus then crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that had pulled over after its driver decided to assist the car that had hit the guard rail. The bus then drifted to a stop in the left lane.

Following the crash, emergency crews arrived on the scene to assist injured passengers and the bus driver. Reportedly, it took two hours for emergency personnel to extricate the bus driver, Kelvin Sharpe Sr., from the crushed front end of the bus; Mr. Sharpe is reportedly in critical condition at Syracuse hospital. While no other fatalities were reported, the 26 injured passengers of the bus reported numerous lower extremity, chest, back, and facial injuries. Due to the large amount of individuals injured in the crash, authorities have deemed it a “Mass Casualty Incident.”

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The word “negligence” is one of the most often used words in the field of personal injury law. When one of our clients (known as a plaintiff) is injured, he/she usually is aware that one of the most important things we do at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool is carefully set forth the evidence necessary to support our clients’ claim that one or more persons or entities (called defendants) are legally responsible for the happening of the accident.

Negligence is generally defined as being the failure to use that degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. A simple way to think about it is to compare the conduct or “carefulness” of the defendant to how careful one might think a reasonably careful person (ie; a “prudent” person) would have acted, if that person was in the same situation.

HOW DO WE PROVE NEGLIGENCE?

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We Represent Families Whose Infants Have Suffered Severe Neurological Injuries

One of the most exciting times in a family’s life is the birth of a new baby. That excitement quickly turns to tragedy and heartbreak when the baby is not born healthy.

Such is the case for a couple we recently represented who were upset and devastated when their baby was born with cerebral palsy.

The mother had indicated to the doctors that she was in a lot of pain. In fact, she was suffering from a medical condition known as placental abruption. In this pregnancy complication, the placenta separates from the uterus; this typically occurs with late bleeding pregnancies.