What to Do if You’ve Been Wrongfully Convicted

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Civil Rights

justice engraved on a courthouse

In 2016, 166 wrongfully convicted individuals were exonerated in the United States. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, this figure represents the highest number of exonerees in more than three decades of record-keeping.

The causes of wrongful convictions in New York State have been thoroughly documented by the Innocence Project, which recently found that New York outpaces nearly every other state in the number of wrongful convictions reversed by modern DNA testing.

There are many factors that can lead to a wrongful conviction, from police misconduct and false accusations to erroneous witness identification.

Legal help after a wrongful conviction in New York

Civil rights attorneys at the NYC law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green work tirelessly to get wrongfully convicted clients the justice – and compensation — they desperately deserve.

When your basic human rights are violated by law enforcement, investigators, prosecutors or the courts, legal remedies are available. Whether you were convicted of a crime or a loved one is currently behind bars for an offense they did not commit, our experienced lawyers may be able to help you recover money damages in a civil lawsuit.

Considering the long-term financial, emotional and social ramifications of a wrongful conviction, it is imperative that victims seek accomplished legal counsel to remedy the injustices suffered.

New York statutes: how wrongfully convicted are compensated

New York has laws in place that are intended to compensate individuals who were wrongfully convicted and/or imprisoned through no fault of their own. Under these statutes, one or more of the following criteria must be present to be eligible for compensation:

  • Served at least part of the sentence for a misdemeanor or felony conviction
  • Did not bring about the conviction through his or her own conduct
  • Did not commit the offense in question
  • Was pardoned on the grounds of innocence
  • The conviction was vacated or reversed
  • If the conviction was vacated, it was based on grounds that: the judgment was secured under duress or misrepresentation; fraud by the court or a prosecutor; no jurisdiction; the defendant was not capable of understanding the proceedings; false material evidence; discovery of new evidence, or DNA evidence proves the claimant is innocent

Wrongful conviction compensation

To qualify for exoneree compensation in New York, one must file a claim within two years of his or her pardon of innocence.

Overturned convictions can result in substantial compensatory awards for victims. Unlike many other states, New York has no cap on how much money an exoneree may be awarded.

One of the most publicized instances of wrongful conviction compensation in New York took place in 2014, when the City awarded five men, known as the “Central Park Five” a whopping $41 million. The young men – four African American and one Hispanic –were wrongly convicted of raping and beating a female jogger in Central Park back in 1989. The men later sued claiming racial profiling and discrimination along with malicious prosecution. The payout was meant to reimburse each man $1 million apiece for every year they spent behind bars.

Seek the justice you deserve by calling Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green for a free case evaluation with a dedicated wrongful conviction lawyer in New York.

Additional Resources:

  1. CBS News, How the wrongfully convicted are compensated for years lost https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-the-wrongfully-convicted-are-compensated/
  2. Innocence Project, New York Leads Most States in Number of Wrongful Convictions, Must Enact Reforms to Prevent Them, Innocence Project Report Finds https://www.innocenceproject.org/new-york-leads-most-states-in-number-of-wrongful-convictions-must-enact-reforms-to-prevent-them-innocence-project-report-finds/
  3. ProPublica.org, New York State to Pay Millions in Wrongful Conviction Case https://www.propublica.org/article/state-to-pay-millions-in-wrongful-conviction-case
  4. Washington Post, Wrongful convictions have stolen at least 20,000 years from innocent defendants https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/10/report-wrongful-convictions-have-stolen-at-least-20000-years-from-innocent-defendants/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a5728b9f8485
  5. New York Consolidated Laws, Court of Claims Act – CTC § 8-b. Claims for unjust conviction and imprisonment https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/court-of-claims-act/ctc-sect-8-b.html

Safety Tips for Driving at Night in NYC

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

42nd Street is crowded with the busy night lights of crosstown traffic through Midtown Manhattan in New York City NYC

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 50 percent of traffic accident fatalities for passenger vehicle occupants happen at nighttime. Given the fact that a quarter of all travel occurs during evening hours, the fatality rate for motorists (per mile traveled) is roughly three times greater at night compared to daylight hours.

Nighttime driving is inherently more dangerous, particularly in dense urban areas like New York City where bicyclists and pedestrians can seemingly pop out of nowhere. Driving in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs has its own set of challenges, but there are few things motorists can do to help reduce the risk of getting in a car accident at night.

Safety tips for night driving in NYC

The majority of visitors to New York City rely on public transportation to get around town, and a large percentage of local residents opt to forego personal vehicles entirely. If, however, you are driving after sunset in the city, consider the following tips:

  • Check your headlights – New York City has specific laws regarding use of headlights to combat limited visibility during evening hours. All drivers are required to turn on their headlights 30 minutes after sunset, and if you’re driving into the early morning hours, they must remain on until half an hour before sunrise. It’s a good idea to make sure your headlights (and brake lights) are in working order, and their angle is properly adjusted so as not to blind oncoming drivers.
  • Drive defensively – Be extra cautious behind the wheel once the sun has set, as statistics indicate that risks of drunk driving accidents increase four-fold at night. If you suspect another driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, call 911 and keep your distance.
  • Avoid distractions – Keep your full attention on the road and distractions at bay. Don’t risk your own life and those of others by fiddling with the stereo, texting or eating while driving.
  • Watch for pedestrians – New York City is filled with pedestrians and bikers, so whether you’re at an intersection or a crosswalk, be alert for people and potential jaywalkers.
  • Reduce your speed and increase distance – Slow down and adjust your speed to take into account limited visibility and/or weather conditions like rain, sleet and snow. Avoid tail gaiting, and increase the distance between your own vehicle and that in front to avoid a rear-end collision. You need roughly 200 feet to safely stop if you are traveling at 40 mph.
  • Adjust where you look – The headlights from oncoming vehicles can seriously impair your night vision when directly stared at. Try and avert your gaze downward to the right shoulder as a vehicle passes.
  • Don’t drive when fatigued – Studies have shown that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, and there are more accidents involving fatigued drivers between midnight and sunrise. Get off the road if you find yourself nodding off, and be on high alert for drowsy drivers, who can veer off course and cause a serious accident.
  • Use high beams correctly – High beams are useful in rural, dark areas and for spotting the reflective eyes of wildlife. However, low beams should be used when you are directly behind another car or within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle.

Car accident attorneys serving New York City

The law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green provide effective legal representation and have the experience and resources to help clients secure just compensation against negligent parties. If you were in a car accident in downtown New York and have questions about your rights, we invite you to reach out for a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources:

  1. NHTSA, Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities by Day and Night – A Contrast https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/810637
  2. IDriveSafely.org, Night Driving Tips: What You Need to Know https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/trending/night-driving-tips-what-you-need-know
  3. GEICO, 12 Safety Tips For Driving At Night https://www.geico.com/more/driving/auto/car-safety-insurance/driving-at-night/

How A Civil Rights Lawyer Can Help

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Civil Rights

U.S. laws protect citizens from unjust discrimination based on race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, religion, and disability. Civil rights include the right to free speech, religion, and assembly, as well as the right to petition the government, the right to procedural due process, the right to innocence until proven guilty, and the right to remain silent. People file civil rights lawsuits for unreasonable searches and seizures, cruel and unusual punishment, loss of employment or promotion due to discrimination, abuse by a public official, police brutality, or any discrimination based on superficial qualities or beliefs. While these freedoms are clearly spelled out in United States law, Americans may need the help of a civil rights lawyer to enforce the law and protect these interests in court.

Do You Need A Civil Rights Lawyer?

Technically, you can file a lawsuit as a self-represented litigant. Every year, millions of plaintiffs file on their own, without a lawyer. However, it’s not recommended for a number of reasons. Here’s why you need a civil rights attorney:

  1. Your opponent has a lawyer.

If you’re suing an employer, retail business, police department, college, or other entity, rest assured they’ve got legal counsel protecting their assets. Their legal counsel is helping them exploit every possible loophole in the system. They’re taking a fine-tooth comb to your story to find ways to get a summary judgement to throw out the case without a hearing. With enough resources, the opposition can hire professionals you’ve never met to call your credibility into question and disparage your reputation. On the other hand, if you hire a lawyer, you’ll be on an even playing field to fight these accusations and wage war of your own.

  • A lawyer makes the difference between winning and losing.

In some types of cases, not having legal counsel can make a dramatic difference. For instance, in New York City housing disputes, 90% of the landlords are represented by law firms, whereas 90% of tenants are not. The end result is that self-represented tenants are evicted nearly 50 percent of the time. With a lawyer, they win compensation 90 percent of the time.

  • The paperwork and protocol are overwhelming!

Even the most seemingly straightforward legal matters require dozens of steps. In one study, researchers identified 200 discrete tasks that self-represented litigants must perform in civil cases, including finding the right court, filing motions, compiling evidence, and negotiating a settlement.

  • Tasks may require specialized knowledge of the law and the court system in general.

There are eight major civil rights laws in the United States, enacted in 1866, 1871, 1875, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1991. On top of that, each state has its own civil code of laws and penalties for breaking them. Some judges and jurors are more sympathetic to civil rights cases than others. The success of a civil rights case often involves constructing the right legal argument, so you need to know all the subtle intricacies and every possible grounds to sue. Sometimes you can succeed on multiple levels, but you have to know which angles are most likely to prevail.

  • You need to actually show up to represent your interests.

Self-represented litigation involves numerous appearances, which means time away from work and the need to secure childcare. You’ll need reliable transportation to and from the courthouse. If you do not speak English as a first language, you’ll need access to a translator. Missing one step, deadline, or appearance could mean you have to start the whole process over again or may result in case dismissal without option to refile. A law firm can send representatives to meetings and courthouses on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about it.     

What Can You Expect from Your Civil Rights Lawyer?

Working with a civil rights attorney begins with a case review, which is offered free of charge at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green. From there, your lawyer will decide whether or not to represent your case, and you can decide if you feel comfortable enough with the legal team to take the next step.

Once you’ve retained a civil rights attorney, your lawyer will:

  • Cover the cost of filing the lawsuit and all other related fees during the litigation.
  • Interview you, witnesses, the defendant, and any other parties involved in the case.
  • Prepare depositions to use as testimonial evidence.
  • Handle correspondence with the opposition, speaking professionally on your behalf.
  • File motions, briefs, documents, and discovery plans with the court.
  • Hire experts to testify and lend credibility to your case.
  • Engage the other side in settlement negotiations outside the court room.
  • Present your case before judge and jury if necessary.
  • Advise you whether to accept a fair settlement or hold out for greater compensation.

Are You Worried You Can’t Afford a Lawyer for Your Civil Rights Case?

People who have had their civil rights violated may suffer heavy losses due to medical bills, lost employment, disability, wrongful death of a family breadwinner, or emotional pain. That is why we offer FREE CASE REVIEWS and legal representation on a contingency basis with NO UPFRONT LEGAL FEES. If we fail to win your case, you owe us nothing. If we are successful, we take the industry standard legal fee, a previously agreed-upon percentage of your settlement or award. Hiring an attorney is more likely to result in maximum compensation, so you walk away with more in your pocket than you would have attempting to navigate the legal maze alone. Contact a New York civil rights lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb and Green to explore your legal options today. Most cases are subject to deadlines called “statutes of limitations,” so don’t delay.

Additional resources:

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Can self-represented litigants win a civil rights lawsuit? Do you need a civil rights lawyer in New York City? Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green discusses the advantages of legal counsel and how much it costs.

Your Spring Motorcycle Safety Check

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

motorcycle driving on road

After a long winter and a cool, rainy spring, you may be anxious to get your motorcycle out of storage and onto the road for your first warm weather outing. Prior to your first ride, the motorcycle accident injury attorneys at New York’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green recommend that you perform a spring safety check on both your ride and its systems. A thorough safety check will help keep you and your bike on the road throughout the entire riding season.

Inspect the Bike’s Battery and Electrical System

If you do not have a multimeter or you are not familiar with your bike’s electrical connections, ask your mechanic to check its battery, electrical connections, and harnesses. A dead battery can strand you far away from your destination. Change your battery if it is more than a few years old, and install a battery tender to give you a self-contained jump if your battery runs down due to a system short or some other electrical fault. Wires and connections that run under seats and through other stress points can become frayed or corroded. Replace any worn wiring and verify that headlamps and turn signals are fully operational.

The Bike’s Tires and Brakes are Crucial Control Elements

Worn tires and brakes increase a bike’s stopping distance. Our motorcycle accident lawyers have seen multiple bike crashes where a quicker stop could have prevented serious injuries. Replace your bike’s tires if they are worn or have uneven tread wear. Check all parts of your braking system, including hand levers, cables, and pads. Take a close look at your wheels. Small nicks and dents in the rims can lead to low tire pressure. Verify that the bike’s throttle, clutch, steering, and suspension are fully operational.

Add Fresh Grease and Check the Bike’s Fluid Systems

Fuel lines and fittings will degrade over time, even if you drained all the fuel from your bike when you put it away for the winter. Make sure your bike isn’t leaking fuel. Add fresh grease to all bushings and bearings to assure top-notch performance. Get a grease gun and use the proper type of grease that works best with your bike’s swing arms and suspension pivots. Consider installing an oil cooler if your bike does not already have one to increase the lifespan of its lubricants

Take a Good Look at Your Riding Gear

Start with your helmet. New York State requires riders to wear helmets, but the State’s laws say nothing about how often those helmets should be replaced. Over time, solar radiation, road dirt, and general age will reduce the protection that a helmet provides. If more than seven years have elapsed since your helmet was manufactured or if you have been using the same helmet for more than five years, get a new one. Have it professionally fitted to ensure your comfort during longer rides. Replace any riding jackets and pants that are worn or that no longer fit properly. Clothing that limits your mobility or flexibility on a bike can be a safety hindrance. Focus on your comfort over style or your image.

Make Sure That Your Bike Is Still the Right Bike for You

If your bike puts you into a forward or aggressive riding position, make sure you are still comfortable in that position and that you will not experience back pain or any other fatigue on longer rides. Even if you are comfortable, pay attention to other elements that might cause fatigue, particularly your grips. If your hands get tired or your seat is too stiff, replace them with more comfortable upgrades. Verify that your rear-view mirrors reflect the full scope of traffic behind you. More than one rider has been rear ended on a motorcycle where the rider’s mirrors were improperly positioned or did not give the rider enough information about rapidly approaching vehicles. 

Do an Honest Assessment of Your Riding Skills

The rider is always the most important safety system on every bike. All riders can benefit from regular coaching and safety instructions. Some instructors, for example, are now cautioning riders not to rely on loud pipes and bright clothing to make them visible to motorists, but are instead training bikers in new defensive riding styles. Bikers who take their own safety seriously can enjoy thousands of miles on their rides by focusing on their own skills and riding abilities first.

Call Friedman Levy When You Suffer Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident in New York

Regardless of your riding and safety skills, when you are riding you will always face the risks of encounters with distracted and negligent motorists. If you have suffered losses and injuries in motorcycle crash, call a NY motorcycle accident lawyer at New York’s Friedman Levy Goldfarb & Green. We will fight to get you the maximum damages that you deserve and need, and we will help to get you back on your bike as soon as you recover from your injuries.

NY Truck Accident Statistics

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Truck Accident

red modern big rig semi truck with semi trailer move with cargo on the highway

In the aftermath of a truck crash, it’s only natural to wonder what happened in those moments before the crash, and what could have been done to prevent it. Finding the answers to these questions is crucial to your mental and emotional recovery after such an impactful event.

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the latest truck accident statistics, so you can see which common factors lead to injuries and fatalities in New York State crashes.   

Do You Need a NY Truck Accident Lawyer?

According to a summary released by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV), nearly 83 percent of all truck crashes in 2014 were attributable to human error. The most recent version of NYS DMV’s “Summary of Large Truck Crashes” report summarized some of the human errors responsible for truck crashes. The most common cause of crashes included:

  • Driver inattention/distraction (18.4%)
  • Following too closely (15%)
  • Failure to yield right-of-way (10.9%)
  • Unsafe lane changing (10.5%)
  • Passing or improper lane use (10.2%)

Injuries were linked to:

  • Following too closely (732)
  • Driver inattention/distraction (654)
  • Failure to yield right-of-way (425)
  • Unsafe speed (420), and
  • Unsafe lane changing (320)

The largest number of fatalities were caused by:

  • Unsafe speed (17)
  • Failure to keep right (12)
  • Failure to yield right-of-way (12)
  • Pedestrian or bicyclist confusion (9)
  • Driver inattention/distraction (7) 

When a trucking accident was, at least in part, caused by human negligence or recklessness, the services of a New York truck accident lawyer can help you recover compensation from your losses. Damages related to truck accident injuries include medical expenses, lost wages, disability-related expenses, and undue emotional suffering.

When you have lost a loved one, a lawsuit can compensate for medical bills, funeral and burial costs, the loss of companionship and support, and emotional distress suffered by surviving family members.

In truck accident cases, liability may extend beyond the truck driver to include the trucker’s employer, maintenance personnel, cargo shipping vendors, and others. Sometimes the government is liable for failure to maintain the roadways. Hiring a NY personal injury attorney with the resources to fully investigate the crash can help you get to the bottom of what happened and determine whether or not you have a valid claim.

All services are provided free of charge. Plaintiffs only pay for their lawyers upon successful resolution of the case.

New York Truck Crash Statistics

According to the National Highway Transportation Safely Administration, there were 121 fatalities involving a large truck in New York State in 2017, up from 106 in 2016.

While the state is vast, most fatal trucking accidents were centered in and around the New York City metro area. Counties with the highest number of truck accident fatalities included:

  • New York County (11)
  • Kings County (9)
  • Bronx County (9)
  • Queens County (7)
  • Genesee County (6)
  • Nassau County (6)
  • Oswego County (6)
  • Westchester County (5).

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s most recent 2017 data provides a clearer picture of what’s happening with big truck crashes across the country, which mirrors what we’re experiencing locally.

  • Volume: There were 4,889 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes – an increase of 10% from 2016. This is 42% higher than the 2009 low, but 7% lower than the 2005 peak. The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased 5%.
  • Number of Vehicles: 63% of large truck crashes involved one other vehicle.
  • Type of Vehicle: Single trailers accounted for 59% of accidents; 2% were doubles and 0.3% triples.
  • Victims: 82% of fatalities were passengers in the other vehicle. In 91% of crashes, there is one victim.
  • Drivers: Most drivers in fatal accidents were middle-aged; 6% were under 25, and 6% were over 66.
  • Location: 57% of fatal truck crashes occur in rural areas and 27% occur on highways. Nearly a third of work zone fatalities (and 12% of work zone injuries) involved at least one big truck.
  • Timing: 35% of fatal truck crashes and 22% of injury crashes occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. The vast majority of crashes (83% of fatal, 88% non-fatal) happen on a weekday.
  • Drug Use: In 2017, 252 of the 4,600 large truck drivers in fatal accidents (5%) tested positive for at least one drug. Another 59% refused testing or simply were not tested.

Get Help After A Truck Crash

A NY truck accident lawyerfrom Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green will lend comprehensive support as you recover from your physical injuries. We can refer you to the best medical care providers, investigate the crash, file paperwork, and represent you in court as you recuperate.

If you have lost a loved one to a truck accident, our New York attorneys provide more than just a shoulder to cry on – we also provide the investigative muscle for establishing liability, the legal grounds to hold negligent parties accountable and prevent future harm, and the support in securing compensation to help your family recover financially from your tremendous loss.

Additional resources:

  1. NYS DMV – 2014 Large Truck Crash Summary, https://dmv.ny.gov/statistic/2014-largetruckcrashsummary.pdf
  2. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2017
  3. National Highway Transportation and Safety, Performance Measures for New York State, https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest

Understanding Police Liability for Injuries

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Civil Rights

police car lights

The New York City Police have enormous responsibilities, but in some instances, they cause injury to those they were sworn to protect and serve. When the police hurt someone as a result of careless or reckless conduct – intentional or not – it is a breach of the officer’s duty. In some cases, it may be possible to pursue a claim for compensation, but the laws and procedures are very strict when it comes to making a police brutality or misconduct claim. This is an area that calls for the help of an experienced attorney.

When are the police liable for injuries?

Like others in society, the police are bound by the duty to perform their jobs properly. When they act careless or abuse their power, they may be legally liable for resulting damages. However, the circumstances of the case will determine whether the liability arises as a tort (the legal term for a civil wrong arising from a breach of duty that leads to someone’s injury) or as a civil rights violation.

When the police are carrying out their duties properly, they are immune from lawsuits. But in some cases, like when the police are abusing their authority in a way that deprives another of his or her rights, it can be a violation of constitutional rights.

Instances of injuries caused by police

Some of the actions by police that can lead to injuries include excessive force and car crashes during police chases.

The amount of force that an officer is permitted to use depends on the circumstances of the case. A degree of force that is excessive in one scenario may be reasonable in another. Even if the arrest is warranted, the amount of force must not exceed that which is reasonably necessary for that situation. The intentions of the officer are not the deciding factor; the officer may have an improper motivation, but that does not render otherwise appropriate force as excessive. And even if the officer meant well, it does not make excessive force acceptable.

Sometimes innocent bystanders are injured as a result of high-speed car chases. Like excessive force cases, whether the police are liable depends on reasonableness under the circumstances. Police officers and other first responders are generally immune from liability for accidents. However, when they act in such a reckless manner that they put bystanders at risk, the immunity disappears.

People can be injured by other actions of the police as well. For example, the officers may neglect to give someone in custody their necessary medication, leading to injury or death. Again, the continuing theme is that each case depends on an evaluation of reasonableness under the circumstances. It is therefore critically important to speak with an experienced attorney about any potential claims.

Pursuing a claim against the police for injuries

Because of the complex relationship between governmental immunity for the police and the city, state, and federal laws, claims for injury against government agencies need to be filed first against the entity. In New York, a claimant needs to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident. It is important to speak with a police brutality lawyer as quickly as possible after a police-related injury. 

The civil rights lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green invite those who have unfairly suffered because of NYC police actions to call to schedule a confidential consultation. From our Manhattan office, we serve clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, and also Long Island.

Additional Resources:

  1. New York City Bar, The Failure of Civil Damages to Modify Police Practices and Recommendations for Change, https://www.nycbar.org/member-and-career-services/committees/reports-listing/reports/detail/the-failure-of-civil-damages-claims-to-modify-police-practices-and-recommendations-for-change
  2. City of New York, File a Claim, https://comptroller.nyc.gov/services/for-the-public/claims/file-a-claim/

Early Action Can Minimize Pain After a Car Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

Auto accidents are an everyday reality in the greater New York City area – within the city alone, there were more than 228,000 car crashes 2018. Not every accident causes personal injuries, but more than 44,000 were reported in 2018.

Sometimes the injuries are immediately obvious, like broken bones, cuts, or paralysis. Other times, the injuries may not be apparent until days or weeks after the accident. In either case, the pain after a car accident may linger far longer than expected. It is important to take these facts into consideration when assessing injuries, and also when negotiating a personal injury settlement.

Assessing injuries after a car accident

Too often, accident victims refuse medical attention at the scene. Sometimes they do not realize they are injured at all, and sometimes they just wrongly assume that the injuries are not that serious. Unfortunately, many injuries can become more obvious later on as pain and inflammation increase.

Waiting to see a doctor can cause a few problems. First, it prevents early treatment that could lessen the pain in the long run. Second, it can give the false impression that the injuries and accompanying pain are exaggerated or otherwise not honest. The best course is to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if it does not seem that bad. It also helps to speak with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and responsibilities going forward.

Common latent injuries

Due to changes in velocity that occur during a crash, even a low-speed impact can cause damage. Often the result is soft tissue injuries – injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, such as sprains and strains. Sometimes these heal on their own. Sometimes they need treatment in order to lessen the severity and duration of suffering.

After a car accident, neck pain may indicate a condition like whiplash, which is one of the most common injuries following a rear-end collision. Surprisingly, most cases of whiplash occur in low impact crashes. Whiplash can lead to long-term dizziness, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Some of these conditions may be improved with physical therapy.

After a car accident, back pain may be a sign of strains or sprains in the spine, herniated discs, or even fractured vertebrae. Many of these injuries can cause serious, even permanent, impairment, yet go undetected for days or weeks after the accident. Seeking medical attention early on can limit the long-term damage.

Settling a car accident claim over lingering pain

Insurance adjusters strive to close files as quickly as possible, limiting the amount their companies pay on claims. If you have been injured and the crash was someone else’s fault, you can bet that the other driver’s insurance company will call quickly and offer you a low amount to settle quickly. Unfortunately, insurance settlements include releases of liability – you cannot go back to ask for more money later if the injury turns out to be more serious.

Before even thinking of entering a settlement, see a doctor and speak with a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will advocate for you to see that any settlement accounts for the costs of treatment and any suffering that your doctors reasonably anticipate in the future.

Speak with a NY car accident attorney

The first days after an accident can impact the coming years of your life. If you have been injured, promptly seek medical care and discuss your situation with a car accident lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green. From our Manhattan office, we passionately advocate on behalf of injured clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, all five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island. Call today to set up a free, confidential consultation.

Potential Liable Parties in a Car Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

When a quick errand run turns treacherous because of another driver’s inattention, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. After any type of traffic collision where property damage and physical harm occurs, establishing liability is one of the most critical steps needed when it comes to securing damages for your claim.  

Various factors will ultimately determine which individual (or parties) is liable for the accident. For example, a driver is seriously hurt after another motorist cuts in front of her without signaling the move. The victim may be held partially responsible for the collision if it can be proven that she made an illegal lane change or was speeding at the time of the crash.

It can be challenging to prove fault in an accident, especially when who caused the accident is disputed. Proving fault requires hard evidence, ranging from police reports, eyewitness testimony and photos of the accident scene.

Determining accident liability and filing insurance claims in New York City’s five boroughs can be especially complex. For this reason, it’s crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer will answer questions about your eligibility for legal recourse and begin a proper investigation into potential liable parties.

Who may be held accountable for car accident injuries?

While reckless or negligent driving behavior is a common allegation in car accident claims, there are other situations where liability may fall elsewhere. Take for instance an auto part manufacturer that distributes a defective ignition switch which causes a motorist to lose control of their vehicle and crash. Or, consider an SUV that is equipped with a faulty airbag that deploys randomly, causing severe injury.

Unfortunately, there are millions of cars and vehicle parts that have been recalled for defects and safety concerns over the years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle defects were a factor in nearly 50,000 accidents last year.

Automobile manufacturers and makers of vehicle parts have a duty to design and manufacture products that are reasonably safe for their intended purpose. Depending on the unique circumstances of the accident, a product liability claim may be filed against the manufacturer of a faulty vehicle part, the automobile manufacturer or even the company that distributed the vehicle.

Discuss your case with NYC car accident lawyers

The law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green has successfully taken on complex accident cases stemming from negligent driving, cell phone use, vehicle defects, equipment malfunction, and driver impairment, among other factors. Our veteran attorneys have a reputation for pursuing maximum compensation and achieving outstanding results for our clients. Determining fault in a motor vehicle collision requires in-depth investigations, supporting evidence and a thorough understanding of negligence and product liability laws. Establishing liability is not always cut and dry, particularly in multiple-vehicle crashes, where victims can benefit immeasurably from a trusted legal advocate.

Most personal injury cases arising from auto accidents in New York are resolved out-of-court, but a skilled car accident lawyer will protect your interests and take the case to trial if a settlement falls short. Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green P.C. today to arrange a free case evaluation.

When Is a Lawsuit Against Pediatrician Necessary?

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Parents and other caregivers understandably become invested in the well-being of the children in their care. When one of those children is harmed by a doctor who was supposed to make them well, the regret can feel overwhelming.

The New York City medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green often answer questions from parents who suspect pediatric malpractice as the cause of their child’s condition. Here are some of most common concerns.

How common is pediatric malpractice?

Compared to other areas of medical practice, pediatricians are less likely to be accused of malpractice. Despite this, a study by a major national malpractice carrier found that their malpractice payments are among the largest. This is a testament to the long-term effects that a breach in medical care can have on a child.

What constitutes pediatric malpractice?

Like other types of medical malpractice, pediatric malpractice occurs when a pediatrician or other health care provider acts negligently this means the treatment did not meet the standard of care that similarly-situated doctors would have provided – and that the negligence caused harm.

There are a number of ways a medical professional can commit malpractice. In pediatrics, the most common ways are:

  • Failure to diagnose a condition – meningitis tops the list of most common missed diagnoses, with appendicitis coming in second
  • Medication errors, whether caused by the wrong dose, mistakes in administration, problems in ordering, or something else

How is malpractice proved?

The practice of medicine is outside the scope of knowledge of the average juror. To bring a lawsuit, a plaintiff needs to provide expert testimony. An absolute necessity is an expert witness to explain what a reasonable doctor would have done in the same situation and how the defendant’s actions fell short. Other experts may be offered as well, including medical experts to explain the long-term impact of the injury, financial experts to illustrate the costs associated with care, or other experts that may be helpful for the specifics of the case.

How to file a pediatric malpractice case in New York

There are some requirements to meet in order to file a malpractice lawsuit in New York. As mentioned, a plaintiff must have an expert witness ready to state how the doctor’s treatment was negligent. In addition, the case must be filed within the statute of limitations period.

In general, the NY statute of limitations for malpractice is 2.5 years (30 months). However, it can be extended in certain cases including when the victim is a minor. Guessing when the statute of limitations runs can be disastrous so it is important to speak with an experienced NYC malpractice attorney.

If you suspect your child has been harmed by a doctor’s negligence, it is important to speak with a pediatric malpractice attorney who can help investigate the claim to determine whether it is viable. He or she will also formulate a legal strategy and oversee the litigation process.

The attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green know the process of malpractice claims inside and out and we handle them with seriousness and compassion. If your child has been injured by a medical professional, call one of our attorneys today. From our Manhattan office, we can take care of your legal needs, whether you are in the Bronx, Brooklyn, or elsewhere in NYC or Long Island.

Additional NY pediatric malpractice resources:

  1. NCBI, Pediatrics: Malpractice Risk Among US Pediatricians, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3666113/
  2. New York State Senate, Civil Practice Laws & Rules, Section 214-Ahttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/214-A, https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/214-A

I Fell in a Parking Lot. Who Pays my Medical Bills?

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By one estimate, approximately 11,000 pedestrians are injured in parking lots every year. Many of those injuries are the result of automobile collisions, but others happen due to unsafe conditions that cause pedestrians to fall. The slip and fall lawyers at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. help accident victims to recover payments for medical bills when a parking lot owner’s negligence creates dangerous conditions that lead to injuries from falling.

Determine who owns or manages the parking lot.

This can be a difficult task for parking lots at commercial shopping centers that serve many different tenants. These lots are generally managed by a contractor or property manager that will be responsible for repairing potholes, clearing ice and snow, and removing dangerous debris. Parking facilities owned by state or local governments pose a different challenge. If you fall in a public lot, you may be required to provide a prompt and preliminary notice to the appropriate government entity as a condition to filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical expenses. An experienced slip and fall attorney is best able to analyze your accident and to determine which party is responsible for eliminating the dangerous parking lot conditions where you fell.

Record all information about the conditions that caused the parking lot fall.

Take pictures of the conditions that caused you to trip. If your fall occurred in the evening, check if all outdoor lighting is working properly. Note the exact location of your fall and how far you were from your destination when you fell. That information can be used as evidence to allocate responsibility to the party that will be responsible for your medical bills.

Get a prompt medical exam after your fall, even if you are not sure of who will pay the medical bills.

A prompt medical exam after you have fallen in a parking lot will establish an objective record of your injuries. If you wait several days or weeks to have a medical exam, the party that is ultimately responsible to pay compensation for your injuries might argue that intervening causes (e.g. other falls or accidents) are responsible for those injuries.

If you were on the job when you fell, you may have a worker’s compensation claim.

Your employer’s workers compensation insurance will cover medical expenses for injuries that you incur while you are on the job and performing work-related tasks.  If you are on the job when you fall in a parking lot, take careful note of what tasks you are handling and verify that those tasks are job-related.

Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. To Recover Damages for Injuries from Parking Lot Falls in New York

The accident lawyers in the Manhattan offices of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, and Green will fight for the compensation you need to pay your medical bills after a parking lot fall and to cover for lost wages when you are unable to work, among other expenses. We represent individuals that have suffered injuries in slip and fall accidents in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and throughout NYC and Long Island. Please us today to schedule a no-cost case review with one of our knowledgeable and experienced slip and fall accident attorneys.