How Does The Emergency Doctrine Work In Negligence Cases?

How Does The Emergency Doctrine Work In Negligence Cases? By Stavros E. Sitinas {Time to read: 3:25 mins} The emergency doctrine is a defense that, if allowed by a judge, may be asserted in a personal injury negligence case to absolve a negligent driver of all civil liability. The defense may be used if it can be shown that the defendant driver is faced with a sudden and unexpected circumstance, which is not of his or her own making and leaves little or no time for thought, deliberation or consideration.

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What New Yorkers Need to Know About No-Fault Insurance Law

What New Yorkers Need to Know About No-Fault Insurance Law By  Stavros E. Sitinas, Esq.{2:13 minutes to read} New York State has a no-fault insurance law regime in place that applies to all people who are injured in motor vehicle accidents. What it means is this: Regardless of which driver is at fault in an accident, the medical bills for each occupant will be paid for by the insurance company of the vehicle that the injured occupant was traveling in at the time.

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Mediation: A Cost Effective Alternative to Trial

Mediation: A Cost Effective Alternative To Trial By Stavros SitinasIn representing personal injury clients, I always prepare each case with the intention that they will eventually be tried in front of a jury. However, there are reasons that this is not always the best option for my clients.

  • Jury trials can be extremely expensive. Often, expert witnesses are necessary, and sometimes more than one is needed. Each of these experts can cost up to $15,000 for just a day or even a half day of testimony.
  • Jury trials are risky and sometimes fail to provide fair and appropriate justice. Even if you have a deserving case, some jurors may have been hiding biases that will not allow them to render an impartial verdict.

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Injured at Work… Who Can You Sue?

Injured at Work… Who Can You Sue?  By Stavros SitinasWhat happens if you’re injured on the job due to negligence?

In New York State, if you are injured due to the negligence of your employer, you are not allowed to sue. Your only remedy is Worker’s Compensation. Worker’s Compensation provides financial assistance to injured people for their medical bills, as well as a portion of their wages – however, an employee is permitted to sue third parties who are not their employer.

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Preparing for Winter: How to Avoid Being Sued – Part 1

Preparing for Winter: How to Avoid Being Sued - Part 1 By Stavros E. Sitinas EdqWith winter just around the corner, landowners and homeowners have to be careful about how they handle potentially hazardous sidewalk conditions.

A property owner will not be held liable for accidents occurring on his or her property as a result of snow and ice until a reasonable period of time has passed since the end of a storm.

How long is a reasonable period of time? That is typically a question for a jury to determine. That being said, some courts will take the initiative to dismiss certain cases that they feel should never even get to a jurycases in which, as a matter of law, the defendant-owner did not have a reasonable period of time within which to rectify the unsafe conditions. Continue reading

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The Element of Damages Most Feared by the Defense? Economic Damages

The Element of Damages Most Feared by the Defense? Economic Damages By Stavros Sitinas Economic damages include all damages other than those awarded for pain and suffering and emotional distress.

These include lost:

  • Wages
  • Bonuses

  • Overtime pay

  • Expected raises
  • Benefits and pension

Note: Union members typically enjoy generous benefit packages, all of which can be affected if they are injured and unable to work again in their chosen profession.

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Battle of Medical Experts: Who’s Telling the Truth?

Battle of Medical Experts: Who’s Telling the Truth By Stavros E. Sitinas, Esq.In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff asks to receive fair and reasonable compensation for the injuries inflicted upon him or her due to the negligence of the defendant.

During the course of litigation:

  1. The plaintiff testifies as to what injuries were caused by the accident and submits the medical records of his doctors to substantiate those injuries.
  2. The plaintiff’s medical records are examined by both sides.

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Can Your Family Collect for Wrongful Death?

Can Your Family Collect for Wrongful Death? By Stavros E. SitinasMany people would be surprised to learn that in New York, family members are not entitled to monetary damages for the emotional loss they experience when a family member is killed through wrongful death. Instead, their damages are limited to the economic damages directly stemming from the decedent’s death, as well as any conscious pain and suffering or fear of impending death suffered by the decedent.   Continue reading

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All Dogs in New York Get “One Free Bite”

All Dogs in New York Get “One Free Bite”  By Stavros E. Sitinas, Esq.People get attacked by dogs often, and these attacks can be quite serious.

It is always a good idea to be careful around animals you are unfamiliar with. But sometimes even the most cautious person can be the victim of a vicious or poorly-trained animal.

Here are some things you should know in case you or a loved one are attacked by an aggressive dog:

  • New York allows all dogs “one free bite”: In order to succeed in a lawsuit, a plaintiff must be able to show that the dog’s owner knew, or should have known, of the animal’s violent propensities. This is known as the “one free bite” rule, because the first time the owner sees the dog bite someone, he or she is put on notice of the behavior and is legally responsible if another instance occurs.

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What Did GM Know, and When Did They Know It?

What Did GM Know, and When Did They Know It? By Stavros E. SitinasIf someone on the street sells you a dangerous product that ends up killing you, he or she would likely face prosecution and even jail time. Yet big businesses always seem to get off with a slap on the wrist for selling products that they knew, or had reason to know, were dangerous enough to cause injuries and deaths.

The latest example of this involves General Motors (GM).

Over the last 11 years, federal safety officials received more than 260 complaints about GM vehicles, which would suddenly shut off, disabling vital elements of the car, including power brakes and airbags, and most importantly, the loss of power steering. These malfunctions resulted in many, many accidents nationwide.

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