Ernest Holzberg & Associates Blog

New York City Personal Injury Lawyers

Ernest Holzberg & Associates FAQ

New York City Personal Injury Lawyers

New York Legislation Aims to Ban Cell Phone Use While Operating a Bicycle

According to law enforcement data, bicyclists in Central Park have struck pedestrians at least 35 times in 2014, killing two and fracturing the skulls of three others.   Just recently in September of 2014, Jill Tarlov was struck and killed by a bicyclist while she was walking in Central Park.

In response to high numbers of bicycle-pedestrian accidents in New York City, Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger introduced a new piece of legislation on Thursday, November 13, 2014. If adopted, the legislation would effectively prohibit bicyclists from using their cellphones while riding in New York City.

According to the legislation, a first offense where there were no injuries or property damage would only require the bicyclist to take a safety course. However, subsequent offenses within a year would bring fines ranging from $50 to $200.

The new legislation would provide, however, that bicyclists, like motorists, would be able to talk on their cellphones if they use a hands-free device. Already, the proposed legislation is reported to have the backing of the City Council’s transportation committee chairman.

However, advocates of bicycle and pedestrian rights have mixed opinions about the legislative proposal. Indeed, some argue that legislators should concentrate on motorists. Regardless, the data suggests that some measures should be taken to address bicyclist-caused accidents and injuries.

If the legislation is adopted, the Department of Transportation would be required to consult with the NYPD to create bicycle safety courses. Currently, Chicago has a similar ban enacted. Moreover, California has considered implementing similar measures.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for you medical bills, pain & suffering, lost wages, and much more. For more information about recovering compensation for your injuries, contact our experienced New York Personal Injury attorneys at The Law Office of Ernest Holzberg & Associates.


Woman Hit by a Bicyclist in Central Park Dies

A 58-year-old woman walking in New York City’s Central Park has died a week after being struck by a bicyclist on September 8, 2014.

According to police reports, the bicyclist was traveling south on West Drive when he swerved to avoid pedestrians and struck the unsuspecting woman. Other sources, the New York Post to be specific, reported that the cyclist was in the car lane yelling for pedestrians to get out of his way.

The cyclist was taken to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital, where he was treated for injuries to his shoulder and hand and was released. The victim was taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical where she remained in critical condition until she passed away about a week later. No arrests have been made and it appears the bicyclist who hit her will not been charged with any crime.

Last month, in an effort to crackdown on bicyclist violations, the NYPD targeted bicycles in what was referred to as Operation Safe Cycle. In that short time frame, police issued more than 4,000 citations for a number of different cyclist infractions, including failing to stop at red lights, disobeying traffic signals, riding in the wrong direction, speeding, riding on the sidewalk, and failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

According to a 2011 study conducted by Hunter College, in New York State, more than 1,000 pedestrian-cyclist accidents occur each year and require some level of hospitalization. Furthermore, nearly half of those accidents take place in New York City.

The Hunter College research reached a simple conclusion:  accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians are more common than previously thought and the need for the enforcement of existing cyclist traffic laws is necessary for the safety of the citizens of New York.  In fact, as bicycling increase in popularity, as an alternative form of transportation, the number of annual bike accidents will likely increase.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a pedestrian-bicyclist accident, contact our experienced New York City personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Ernest Holzberg and Associates. Securing effective legal counsel can result in the award of damages to compensate victims for medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering, and lost future earnings.


What is the Scaffold Law?

The Scaffold law (NY Labor Law Section 240) was enacted in New York in 1885, to protect workers from unsafe conditions. Essentially, the law holds that general contractors and property owners are 100% liable for any gravity-related (falling) accident in which they are at least somewhat at fault.  This means that employers need to proactively protect employees with adequate safety procedures, equipment, and training.

Despite what the term “scaffold” may seem to imply, a gravity-related accident is not just limited to a fall from a scaffold. It can also include falls from ladder, hoists, lings, hangers, pulleys, ropes, and many other similar devices. Furthermore, scaffolding laws encompass accidents as a result of falling objects.

In most states, workers who are injured on the job receive only worker’s compensation benefits, which bars them from suing their employers for an accident or injury that may have been the result of the employers’ negligence.  This can be problematic because the amount an injured worker may receive via workers compensation benefits is often limited by state law, and could result in an insufficient amount of money to cover the full spectrum of effects that can result from a workplace accident.

In New York, however, courts generally hold that contractors and some property owners are strictly liable when a worker is injured in a preventable accident such as a fall or by a falling object. Unlike other claims for personal injury, the injured worker’s own negligence, unless it is was the immediate and only cause of the injury, will not typically prevent the worker from recovering damages.

Construction is a dangerous industry which carries many risks for workers. Despite the prevalence of federal, state and local rules designed to safeguard the industry, the unfortunate fact is that thousands of workers every year are injured or killed in construction site accidents.

According to a study conducted by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) many of these unfortunate deaths could have been prevented if the employer made the worksite safer and regulatory inspectors better enforced its health and safety regulations.

Gravity-related construction accidents are often serious and can be life-threatening as well as life-altering. If you or a loved one have been the victim of an injury at a construction site, contact a skilled construction injury attorney immediately.  The New York accident attorneys at Ernest Holzberg & Associates will help you to get compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 212-391-1139 for a free consultation.


Pregnant Victim of Slip and Fall Accident Receives $1.3 Million from Walmart

A Georgia jury recently awarded $1.3 million to a young woman who claimed she suffered a permanent and painful back injury from a slip and fall accident in a Walmart store.

According to the report, at the time of the accident (August 2010), the victim was walking down an aisle between clothing and frozen foods when she fell. At the time, the 22-year-old victim was eight months pregnant with her second child.

The young victim did not seek treatment immediately after the fall. However, once she left the store’s premises and returned to her home, her back pain worsened and she began having contractions. After visiting the emergency room, the victim was able carry the baby to term without complications.  However, her she continued to experience consistent back pain.

The victim stated that her fall was caused by a wet, slippery, slick area on the floor that resembled oil. Her complaint against the popular mega-store, alleged that Walmart was negligent for failing to keep its premises safe as well as to properly maintain and inspect the area.

Doctors diagnosed her with an annular fissure, a spinal disc injury. Generally, such injuries cannot be surgically repaired and cause intense pain. To help reduce her need for pain medications, doctors implanted a device called a spinal cord stimulator. The stimulator sends electrical signals to the brain to block pain signals. Due to complications from the first procedure, a second procedure was required to implant the device.

As a result of the injury, the victim’s medical bills totaled $171,000, with future medical expenses speculated to reach $730,000 if she were to retain the implanted stimulator.

Slip and fall injuries can occur anywhere at any time. The result of these unexpected occurrences can have a significant impact on your daily life and health. If you have been the victim of a slip and fall injury, due to someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced New York accident attorney at Ernest Holzberg and Associates. A skilled attorney can secure damages for medical bills, lost earnings, future lost earnings, and much more.