Ernest Holzberg & Associates Blog

New York City Personal Injury Lawyers

Ernest Holzberg & Associates FAQ

New York City Personal Injury Lawyers

Elevator Injuries

Many of us use elevators on a daily basis. They provide a quick and convenient way to go up or down many floors. Most of us don’t think about safety issues when riding in elevators. However, 27 people die each year as the result of elevator accidents and 10,200 more are injured. These numbers include both passengers on elevators, and those who work on them.

Injuries from elevators may include broken or sprained bones, as well as damage to the nerves, spinal cord, brain or back. They may be caused a few different ways such as from falling into the elevator shaft, or between the shaft and the doors; a sudden plummet; or doors closing on a limb or clothing. An elevator may also be the location of a slip and fall accident if there is liquid or moisture on the floor, from food, drink, or weather.

Injuries can result from negligence on the part of the premise owner if they failed to make a necessary repair or properly maintain the elevator. If a premise owner knew of a condition that was in need of repair, but failed to repair it, they could be held liable for negligence. A premise owner has a duty of reasonable care to ensure the safety of those who enter. Negligence arises when this duty is breached. Injuries can also be caused by a manufacturing defect in the elevator. Malfunctions may arise due to defects in the pulley system, springs, wiring, or doors.

Construction workers also face a special risk of elevator injury due to the hazards inherent in installing or maintaining elevators. Between 1992 and 2003, nearly half of construction worker deaths nationwide related to elevators were caused by falls into the shaft. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires specific safety equipment for construction workers who are working with elevators, such as the use of a fall restraint, to avoid such tragedies.

If you have been injured in an elevator accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal remedies. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering. Call Ernest Holzberg & Associates at (212) 391-1139.


The Risk of Tanning Salons

Many people enjoy having a summery, bronzy glow year round.  To accomplish this, people often head to tanning salons where they will undergo basking in a UV light emulating the sun’s rays.  However, using a tanning bed is not safer than tanning outside.  It still presents health hazards, including increasing the risk of melanoma, skin cancer, wrinkles, and the potential for blindness if eye protection is not worn.  According to a study conducted by JAMA Dermatology, tanning beds are responsible for 419,000 new skin cancer cases each year.

In April, the New York State attorney general filed a lawsuit against two tanning salon chains on the grounds that they deceptively promoted tanning as having health benefits, failed to warn about the potential to cause cancer, and downplayed the risks associated with it.  In fact, certain countries have banned tanning salons entirely and others have placed strict age restrictions on it.

In addition to its potential to cause cancer, there are other risks associated with tanning beds.  JAMA has reported that 3,234 people visit emergency rooms annually for injuries caused by tanning beds.  The most commonly complained of injuries included burns, fainting, and eye injuries.  Severe burns constituted 80% of the injuries treated.  If a timer malfunctions, causing a person to remain in the tanning bed longer than is safe, permanent skin damage could occur.

Besides burns and eye injuries, a visit to the tanning salon can also result in infection due to contact with bacteria from unclean tanning beds.  It is necessary that the beds be cleaned with proper chemicals in order to avoid contamination.

Legally, a tanning salon must warn its customers of the risks associated with using tanning beds.  If you have visited a tanning salon and have suffered injuries due to employee negligence or malfunctioning equipment, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.  Such compensation may include covering the costs associated with medical care, loss of work due to the injury, in addition to pain and suffering.  Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal remedies.  Call Ernest Holzberg & Associates at (212) 391-1139.


Nine Bills Introduced Aimed at Police Reform

The New York City Council recently introduced nine bills aimed at police department reform.  The bills are targeted at police behavior and would criminalize chokeholds, which have been banned as a practice by the police department since 1993.  The new legislation, if adopted, would make the use of a chokehold a misdemeanor.

Additionally, some of the changes the legislation calls for include increasing transparency in the police department; ensuring that officers use no more force than is required by the threat they are facing; and requiring officers to identify themselves as police upon request.  Police officers would also be required to inform the person whom they stopped regarding their right to refuse a search, if it is not based on probable cause.

Those in opposition of the proposed legislation argue that the police department can regulate itself and does not need outside interference, fearing that streets will become more dangerous if stringent regulations are placed on the officers.

The call for police department reform, which sparked the onset of these bills, resulted in response to the recent news coverage of police misconduct.  Police misconduct can occur in many forms including false arrests; illegal search and seizures; use of excessive force; assault; and malicious prosecution.  Title 42, Section 1983 of The United States Code protects the Constitutional rights of citizens during police encounters.

It can be an extremely frightening experience to have an encounter with a police officer who oversteps the bounds of their authority.  Many victims of police misconduct are unlawfully detained, and even injured.  If you have been subjected to police misconduct, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to avoid the statute of limitations barring your claim.  Contact Ernest Holzberg & Associates at (212) 391-1139.


BBQ Safety Precautions

During the warm summer months, many people enjoy barbequing.  In fact, three out of five households own grills.  However, it is important to exercise safety precautions to ensure that your summertime festivities don’t require a trip to the emergency room.  In 2012, nearly 17,000 individuals were brought to hospitals for emergency treatment due to grill injuries.  Additionally, the National Fire Protection Agency estimates that 8,800 home fires occur each year due to grill use.

Injuries from a grill can be serious and include burns of various degrees, blisters, eye injuries, and smoke inhalation.  Whether you are using a gas grill, or a charcoal grill, it is important that you know how to operate it properly.  Some safety precautions to take when using a grill:

  • Only use your grill outside
  • Do not allow children and pets near the grill
  • Make sure the grill is in working order before use
  • Clean the grill after each use
  • Do not leave the grill while it is in operation
  • Keep flammable objects away from the grill
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in the event of an emergency

Injuries can also arise if the grill itself was defective.  A defective grill can cause explosions, fires, over smoking, melting, and gas leaks.  A number of grills have been recalled for defects in the last decade.  Before you begin grilling this summer, check to make sure yours was not one of them, as many consumers are often unaware of recalled products.

If you have suffered a BBQ grill burn resulting from a defective grill, or someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your legal remedies.  Call The Law Office of Ernest Holzberg & Associates today at (212) 391-1139 to schedule your free consultation.