Driving In The Snow

car driving during snowNot everyone is lucky enough to live in a sunny state where it does not snow. In fact, most states have annual snow fall each winter with some states experiencing more than others. Whenever you drive in the snow, you need to be even more cautious while driving. When it’s snowing, road conditions are more dangerous and can cause serious accidents when you’re not prudent. 

Severe Car Accidents and Pile Ups 

Whenever you turn on the news during a snowstorm, you’re bound to find news regarding a pile up on the highway. With the slipping and sliding caused by frost and snow, it’s easy to lose control of a car. Furthermore, it is difficult to stop in time when you’re driving at high speeds on the highway. Your visibility and traction are worsened, and it is always best to avoid driving in the midst of a snowfall. 

Accidents have happened due to sliding, running red lights because a driver can’t stop in time, and even not seeing a car in front. Whenever you find yourself in an unfortunate vehicle crash situation, the first thing to remember is to remain calm and stay in your vehicle. Contact the local authorities and wait for them to arrive. You never know if there will be another car driving that won’t see you and it’s best to use your car as a “temporary shelter” that will keep you safe while waiting. 

Tips For Driving In The Snow 

Many times, people cannot avoid driving in the snow. Whether it’s your job, school, or other obligation, you can’t always stay at home all winter. When you do have to go out in the snow, always remember to: 

  • Have a well-maintained car with functioning brakes 
  • Have properly inflated snow tires 
  • Avoid surfaces that could be extra slippery 
  • Drive slower when the visibility is low 
  • Wear your seatbelt 
  • Have blankets and warm clothes in case of an emergency 
  • Ensure that all your car lights are in working order so other drivers can see you 
  • Keep your phone charged and have a backup charger so you are never stranded 

Contacting An Attorney 

After the authorities are called, the first thing you need to do is contact an attorney. If you were not at fault, an insurance company will likely try to settle a case with you for less than you deserve. This is when you need an attorney in your corner to review all the details of your case and help you receive adequate compensation. A car accident is a stressful time in anyone’s life, but personal injury attorneys will make sure that you are not taken advantage of. 

Contact Us 

The holidays have begun, and snow has started falling. Many sources have named New York as one of the harshest states to live and drive in during the cold, snowy winter. If you or a family member is ever injured in a car accident, you should contact our experienced attorneys at the O’Brien law firm, so we can help you. We offer everyone free initial consultations with no obligations or charges until you win your case. Contact us today at (716) 907-7777.

Off-Road Trucking Accidents Precautions 

off-road truck stuck at snowOff-roading and overlanding have become increasingly popular these past few years. Many people enjoy going out onto trails and roads that not everyone gets to ride on.

Major car companies have caught on to this new hobby and are manufacturing vehicles built for these roads that are still available to use as daily drivers. In particular, the demand for high-powered off-road trucks has grown in popularity.

While you’ll want to go out and have fun with your recreational truck, there are serious accidents that can happen, so you always have to be cautious. 

Being Stranded Or Stuck 

One of the biggest concerns for most off-roaders is being stranded. Oftentimes, these trails don’t have cell service. Not many authorities are there to help either. If something is to happen to your off-road camping vehicle such as getting stuck in the mud, running out of gas, or simply breaking down, you’re going to need to have planned ahead for the worse, just in case. 

When you are driving on the trails, you’re bound to come across puddles. While puddles aren’t big deals on maintained gravel roads, that is not the case when you’re out on trails and have no way of knowing how deep a puddle is. Water puddles can be a few inches deep, but they could also be much deeper and cause damage to your recreational truck. Additionally, mud causes vehicles to slide and tires to lose traction. You can easily get stuck or slide in mud and require someone to pull you out. 

Animals 

You might think that you are alone out in the wilderness, but you have to remember that there are animals living around you. Depending on your location, you might have to watch out for deer, bears, and other predators in the woods that may jump out of nowhere into the middle of your path. Heavier trucks are more difficult to reach to a full stop so large animals can not only damage your truck, but also cause serious injuries from swerving into a tree or hitting the animal. 

Incoming Vehicles 

While you’re on trails, it’s easy not to realize that you are out on a public road because there are often not many people out there. However, you have to recognize that there can be other people near you driving their recreational vehicles. There are often no speed limits set out on these trails or no authorities to enforce them, so it is easier to inadvertently speed. Driving at a reasonable speed in case another person drives out in front of you from a connected or hidden path will allow you to stop in time. 

Precautions 

Each time you go out on trails, you have to make sure that you take precautions beforehand. It’s always a good idea to have: 

  • Off-road insurance 
  • The proper equipment, such as a wench and tow straps 
  • A full tank of gas 
  • Satellite radio 
  • GPS Chargers 
  • Food and water 
  • Friends and/or family that know where you are 

Whether you’re with friends, family, or a group of fellow off-roaders, you should recognize that there are dangers out on the seemingly peaceful wilderness. It’s better to be overly cautious than caught off guard in a bad situation. 

Contact Us 

If you or a close family member is involved in any kind of truck accident, The O’Brien Law Firm can help. When you pursue a personal injury claim, you need professionals that will be there for you. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Who Can Sue For Premise Liability 

Private Property, No Trespassing SignHave you ever had children trespass on your property and felt like an unfriendly neighbor for telling them they can no longer ride their bikes or ATVs there? While you might think you’re nagging them, you are actually protecting yourself from liability because if one of them falls and gets injured on your property, you could potentially be sued. Property ownership requires some upkeep and, in some cases, even routine inspections to make sure the premises are safe. 

Invitees 

People who are considered to have invitee status in premise liability are typically people visiting business locations such as restaurants, grocery stores, or department stores. Invitees are usually on the property for the property owner’s financial gain rather than a friendly social visit. They can also be people in public places such as parks and sidewalks because of their implied invitation to lawfully be there. 

Owners that invite people onto their business premises owe people the duty of care to maintain the premises so that they are safe and additionally repair any hazardous conditions. Whether an invitee slips and falls on a food item at a grocery store or is injured by broken equipment in a park, these lawsuits entail figuring out how reasonable it would have been for the owner to foresee the harm and whether he or she knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. 

Licensees 

Licensees are people invited to visit a location for social purposes. These people include friends or family that visit someone’s home for a party or holiday gathering. Property owners owe licensees a duty of care to inform them about any known dangers on the premises that are not obvious to the licensee. For example, lawsuits involving this liability can arise when a homeowner knows about a condition on their property that could potentially be dangerous to his or her guests and does not warn about it. 

Trespassers 

Trespassers are people who are on another’s property uninvited and/or no longer welcomed. The least amount of duty of care is owed to trespassers. However, property owners are always prohibited from setting up dangerous traps that could injure or kill someone by trespassing onto their property. While it is more difficult for a trespasser to successfully sue (as opposed to someone who was lawfully on the property), there have been some successful cases.  

Traditionally, homeowners do not need to warn trespassers of dangerous conditions. However, once a homeowner discovers a trespasser and fails to ask him or her to leave, a higher duty of care will be owed. Furthermore, a property owner can likely be held liable if a child is injured by a dangerous condition on the property, whether or not the child was invited. This “attractive nuisance doctrine” protects children and could include a slippery artificially rocked pond that a reasonable adult would know is dangerous, but a child would not. 

Contact Us 

If you are injured on someone else’s property or need advice about someone injured on your own property, call The O’Brien Law Firm so we can confidentially discuss what happened. We are one call away and ready to help at (716) 907-7777. 

Dangers Of Distracted Driving

Using of Mobile Phone While DrivingWhen you’re driving, you should always have your full attention on the road.

Car accidents are far too common and can cause property damage, bodily injuries, and death.

In our fast-paced world, we are always trying to multitask and get as much done in the shortest amount of time, but driving is one of the only tasks that always requires your exclusive attention. 

Phones 

Practically everyone owns a cell phone these days, but when you’re driving, you should always put it away. The problem of texting and driving has caused thousands of deaths. States have now passed laws banning the use of phones altogether while driving in efforts to stop this. With new cars having Bluetooth capabilities that allow hands-free talking when you really need to speak to someone, there is no reason to use your phone while driving. 

Phones can also be distracting with their multiple applications allowing people to listen to music and use maps. However, only a few seconds of looking away from the road invites the chance of an accident. Likewise, checking your email or social media is as dangerous. While you’re driving, anything can wait for you to pull over and park or reach your destination before endangering your life among other drivers on the road.  

Eating 

Surprisingly, people eating while driving has caused multiple accidents. First of all, if you decide to eat while driving, you’ll have to hold the steering wheel with one hand and partially focus on your food which limits your driving capabilities and focus. Then, if you spill, your mind will immediately focus on that. People have tried cleaning up a spill in mid-drive. Even if you wait until you are at a red light to clean up a spill, if you accidentally lift your foot off the brake pedal causing your car to go forward. 

Eating while driving has become so dangerous throughout the years that there are lists that include the most dangerous food items to eat while driving. This list includes burgers, tacos, donuts, and beverages. In fact, coffee has been listed as the number one dangerous food item inside a car. Although eating behind the wheel seems innocent enough, that is far from the truth. 

Mental State 

Your mental state can also impair and distract you from driving. Clearly, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can alter your mental state while driving. Furthermore, if you are too tired, you could start dozing off. Only a few seconds of shutting your eyes could lead to a crash.  Even driving while you’re dealing with heavy emotions such as anger or sadness can cause you to be preoccupied with your feelings instead of driving. Whenever you feel as though your emotions are too strong, it is best to pull over. You always have other options such as taxis and the increasingly popular Uber and Lyft services. There is no excuse. 

Contact Us 

If you are injured in a car accident, you need a personal injury attorney, so you can receive compensation. Our attorneys have years of experience specialized in all types of vehicle accidents. Call us today: (716) 907-7777. 

Work-Related Truck Accidents

Truck AccidentTruck accidents can often be more devastating than a typical car accident because of how big and heavy trucks are.

Trucks have caused massive spills on the road requiring long and tedious clean ups in addition to deadly highway pileups.

In addition to road accidents, there are many accidents that happen off the road, such as when employees are required to work with trucks in their line of work. No one should feel unsafe at work.

If a work-related injury happens to you, our attorneys know how to help. 

Many jobs require being familiar with big trucks including industrial, towing, and dump trucks. According to the United States Department of Labor, there are costly work-related accidents involving trucks multiple times every month. Depending on the job, accidents include electrocution, being crushed and killed, and having amputated limbs. Whichever situation you or your close family member is in, you can sue for workers’ compensation when an injury happens at work. 

Employer Safety Measures 

If you are the owner of a business that requires work trucks, you owe it to your employees to have your premises, equipment, and trucks in safe and working order. Oftentimes, these work-related accidents are preventable. To prevent one of your employees getting hurt at work and furthermore suing your business, you can: 

  • Make sure that each employee is aware of the dangers and severity of injuries trucks can cause 
  • Conduct quarterly safety meetings with your employees to remind them of the importance of being careful 
  • Consistently conduct safety checks on a regular basis and maintain the trucks 
  • Allow your employees to take sufficient breaks throughout the day to avoid burning out and making careless errors 
  • Enforce policies and guidelines when around trucks and discipline employees for not following them 

Employee Safety Measures 

As an employee, you also need to be additionally careful around trucks to avoid severe to fatal injuries to yourself and others. Always remember to: 

  • Be aware of your surroundings, blind spots, and make sure to use all necessary signals 
  • Wear the proper safety gear required for the work area you are in 
  • Follow each rule and pay attention to updates and notifications 
  • Take breaks so that your mind stays clear and sharp 
  • Immediately consult with a supervisor or owner when you notice something malfunctioning 

What To Do 

If a work-related accident occurs, the first thing to do is contact the authorities. Medical attention may be needed. After, you should always speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Write down exactly what happened so that you can refresh your memory in the future if you ever need to. After considering all your options, an attorney will then be able to take the following steps on his or her part to pursue a lawsuit if you decide to sue. 

Contact Us 

If you are involved in a work-related truck accident, you can always count on the diligent attorneys at The O’Brien Law Firm to help you figure out what to do next. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free consultation so we can discuss all your options. We look forward to talking with you. 

Contacting An Attorney After Being Personally Injured 

Personal injury claim note pinned on the bulletin boardWhether someone intentionally hurt you or you were involved in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you should receive compensation for your current and future medical expenses.

Personal injury attorneys can help you file suit for injuries including: 

  • Vehicle accidents 
  • Product liability 
  • Medical malpractice 
  • Workers’ compensation 
  • Premise liability 
  • Wrongful death 

While it is understandable to want to move on, you should not let a blameworthy person remain unaccountable for his or her actions. Additionally, you should not have to pay out of your own savings for your medical expenses. At O’Brien, we always give free initial consultations and we won’t charge you a thing unless you win. Therefore, you have absolutely nothing to lose by simply talking to us to see what we can do for you. While vehicle accidents are the most common personal injury suit, it is only among one of the many reasons to sue. 

Products Liability 

If a product you purchase is defective, you can sue the whole chain of distribution that released the product out onto the market. Assuming you used the product in the way it was intended to be used, you shouldn’t be harmed by any product that passed safety tests. If you are injured, an attorney will be able to look up exactly who to sue and help you with the process. 

Medical Malpractice 

When you go to see your doctor, you shouldn’t end up with an additional unrelated injury caused by a doctor or other medical employees. If you believe you were injured because of the negligence of medical personnel, you could have a case. Medical practitioners are there to help you get better, not worse. 

Workers’ Compensation 

You need to work every day but you should expect your safety to be a priority to your employer. When there is a hazardous condition at work resulting in injuries, you might be able to receive compensation for the medical bills that will pile up. No one should be afraid of injuries in their day-to-day work activities. 

Premise Liability 

Whether you were on someone else’s property for a business or social visit, each property owners owes certain duties to you for your safety. If you are injured, you shouldn’t have to pay for those injuries when the property owner or his or her employees are at fault. Oftentimes, a property owner will have insurance to cover your medical expenses, so you shouldn’t think twice about at the very least consulting an attorney about your options. 

Wrongful Death 

If a close family member passes away due to the fault of someone else, you can still do something about it. Whether you’ve lost the companionship, support, or suffer from hardship because of the death of that loved one our attorneys can help you receive compensation on behalf of him or her. While this is always a sensitive suit, you can rest assured that our attorneys can be strong for you when you’re going through this hard time.  

Contact Us 

No matter the injury, if it falls within the realm of personal injury, we can help. O’Brien Law has skilled attorneys with years of experience to help you receive compensation. Call us today at (716) 907-7777We’re here to help. 

Dealing With Rental Car Accidents

rented car crashed to a tree

 

Many people go on vacation and believe it’s better to rent a car rather than driving to their destination. That’s very understandable and in many cases, much more convenient.

If you decide to rent a car, what if you get into a car accident? Who has to pay the costs? What are the repercussions? Most people don’t take these questions into consideration until they’re forced to. 

 

First Steps 

First and foremost, you need to make sure that everyone involved in the accident is alright. Health and safety should always come first. Secondly, you’re going to need to exchange each parties’ contact information. If you can, take photos to document what happened so you have proof of what happened. You will then need to contact your insurance company and the rental car company. One of the most important steps, however, is to contact your attorney. 

Depending on the rental company, you’ll be able to review their rules and procedures for dealing with accidents. While it is an inconvenience for you, keep in mind that these companies have dealt with car accidents for quite some time. They can figure out what to do, but remember that their main interests involve saving as much money as possible for the companies they work for. On the other hand, an attorney that works for you will have your best interests in mind. They know how to speak to other companies for you so that you don’t have to. 

The most important precaution is to make sure that you do not publicly post anything that can be used against you. Anything you say can be misconstrued or taken the wrong way. Even a simple Facebook post about your accident could harm your case. An attorney will be well-equipped to provide you with the aid and guidance you need when you have any questions. 

Liability 

Depending on which options you chose, you may have gotten additional insurance through the rental company. This additional coverage could be a beneficial investment for you and your family. All of this depends on the cost, accident, and injuries. Each accident is different. An attorney will be able to look over your insurance and rental car policy to explain exactly what the legalese means because you may be entitled to additional compensation. Deciphering this alone could lead to long hours of confusion and a headache to top it off. 

Moving Forward 

If you are injured in a rental car accident, you still have options. Whether it was the rental car company that failed to service the car they rented to you or someone else was at fault in an unpredictable accident, an attorney can determine your best options moving forward. A car accident is never a welcomed occurrence, especially not on vacation. Attorneys understand this and can help have you move past it while receiving compensation for injuries that you have suffered. 

Contact Us 

If you are involved in a rental car accident, O’Brien can help you. We can advise you on who is at fault and how to receive deserved compensation. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 so that we can figure out what we can do for you. 

How To Deal With Trucking Accidents

Big truck that burned on side of road after accidentTruck accidents have caused pile-ups on the highway as well as fatal accidents that would have been minor if it was a regular sedan.

Trucks are much larger and heavier than regular cars, so when a truck accident takes place, it is likely that multiple people and vehicles will be involved.

Due to the potential travesty that a truck accident can cause, additional expertise is required to operate one and truck drivers are required to be licensed to drive any kind of commercial truck. 

What Truck Drivers Deal With 

Driving for hours and hours can be exhausting. Truck drivers have to put up with: 

  • The sun causing eye strain 
  • The same monotonous scenery of trees, roads, and cars 
  • Driving for hours at a time 
  • Meeting pressing deadlines 
  • Lack of communication and companionship with friends and family 
  • Not having much downtime 
  • Maneuvering a large and heavy vehicle 
  • Finding places to eat that might need to meet their dietary restrictions 
  • Traffic jams, detours, and road construction 
  • Other drivers and their errors 

Taking all of this into consideration, it is understandable that truck drivers tend to be tired, stressed, and even depressed. Regardless of their state of mind, they are still required to meet their deadlines while driving responsibly with additional care and precision. 

How Truck Drivers Can Prevent Accidents 

Even though a truck driver may need to meet a deadline, everyone needs a break. Studies have shown that people can get back to work and be even more effective after taking a break to rest their minds. It would be unreasonable for a truck driver to also never take breaks. At rest stops, hotels, and restaurants, it is important for truck drivers alike to: 

  • Stretch 
  • Call, FaceTime, or text friends and family 
  • Play a relaxing game on their phone 
  • Eat a balanced meal 
  • Take a nap 

While driving, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and new music are all good choices to stay awake and focused, presuming drivers can play audio without handling a phone as this could require taking their eyes off the road. 

How Other Drivers Can Prevent Accidents 

Often, truck accidents are caused by other drivers on the road. Sometimes, such accidents could have been prevented if other drivers were more careful. Even if you’re not driving a huge vehicle, always remember to: 

  • Be aware of your blind spots and those of others 
  • Allow trucks room to turn, brake, and change lanes 
  • Stay focused and refrain from distractions such as texting and eating 
  • Continue to be informed about accident prevention 
  • Look up exactly where you have to go and whether you may run into traffic 
  • Do not drive while emotional 
  • Keep your car well-maintained to avoid mechanical failures 

If An Accident Occurs 

If you are involved in a truck accident, you should always contact an attorney. You should not speak with an insurance company until you consult with an attorney because insurance companies may try to settle your claim for less than you deserve. If a family member passes away due to a trucking accident, you may also be able to recover in their place. 

Contact Us Today 

If you are injured in a truck accident, our experienced attorneys at O’Brien can help you receive compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free consultation and we can discuss your possible remedies. 

Should You Sue For Food Poisoning?

Woman suffering from food poisoning with doctor next to herFood poisoning is a common ailment caused by contaminated, old, or poorly-stored foods. Bacteria and viruses including E. Coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Norovirus can be found in produce, meat, fish, dairy, or prepared meals.

This year, the FDA has issued recalls for certain brands of romaine lettuce, eggs, cut melon, along with several snack foods (only to name a few) for potentially being laced with such bacteria and viruses. Without refreshing the FDA’s recall list every day, it can be easy to overlook a new food recall. 

Symptoms are usually simply an inconvenience but can also be severe leading to hospitalization and in rare cases, death. Symptoms can be more severe for younger children and the elderly due to their weak immune systems. While you should always see a doctor if you believe that you have been food poisoned, there are certain considerations to take into account before filing suit. 

Extent Of Damages 

Minor food poisoning can entail multiple trips to the restroom and discomfort. With food poisoning being so common, these minor symptoms may not merit the time and expenses of a costly lawsuit. If you only feel minor discomfort, you should probably wait for the symptoms to pass with time. 

On the other hand, severe food poisoning can require professional medical care, overnight stays at the hospital, pain, and loss of income from not being able to work. Serious symptoms can include excessive vomiting, blood, extreme cramps, fever, cold sweats, dehydration, weakness, and blurry vision.

If you experience the more serious symptoms, that’s when you should see a doctor immediately and furthermore consider suing for the damages that you endured. In the case your family member passes away due to food poisoning, you can also file a wrongful death suit on behalf of them. 

Proof 

Likely the biggest obstacle that you will have to overcome is proving where the food poisoning originated from. You may not start feeling any symptoms until several hours or a few days have passed. Within that time, you will likely have eaten something else as well as eaten food before the meal you believe poisoned you.

Therefore, the food-provider will argue that the other food could have caused you to be poisoned, rather than the food you ate from him or her. 

Even if you have the food in your possession with the possibility of it being tested at a laboratory, a defendant can contend that you were the one negligent in storing the food or contaminating it with other food.

Typically, it will be several days that have gone by since the food was sold to you, so within that time, there can be multiple opportunities for food to be contaminated at home. The best ways you can prove the food poisoning was caused by a food-provider is if there was a product recall from the FDA or multiple other people were food poisoned after consuming the same food as you. 

Contact Us 

If you have been severely food poisoned and can prove that someone else is to blame for it, you should contact our team of experienced attorneys at The O’Brien Law Firm. The more time that passes without taking action will lessen your chances of receiving compensation, so contact us at (716) 907-7777 today so we can evaluate your case immediately. 

Contacting A Personal Injury Attorney After Sexual Abuse

Scared woman with hands over her ears and mouthBeing a victim of sexual and domestic abuse can naturally be traumatizing and can result in physical injuries as well as emotional distress.

Although you may be scared, feel violated, or embarrassed following sexual abuse, you should still speak to medical and legal professionals to protect yourself and receive compensation.

Each professional will most likely be understanding and help you fight back for your rights. 

Criminal V. Civil

Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between criminal and civil cases. Criminal cases are prosecuted by the state and may include jail or prison time, fines, and probation. On the other hand, civil cases are initiated from private individuals for actions such as assault and battery, breach of contract, or defamation (to name a few) so that a plaintiff can be compensated for expenses, reliance, and/or other damages. 

Specifically, sexual assault is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted. However, whether or not the defendant was found guilty or not, you can still file your own civil suit for your pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and future medical expenses.

There have been civil sexual abuse cases regarding medical professionals acting beyond the scope of the reason for the visit, domestic family-related abuse, and assault from random strangers. Whichever the situation, personal injury attorneys are capable to handle your sexual abuse case and will be there for you every step of the way. 

In a criminal case, the prosecution will have to prove a high burden that the defendant was guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt). This is because criminal cases entail incarceration among heightened fines.

However, civil cases have a lessened burden and victims will be more likely to prevail. An attorney will be able to discuss the different burdens to you and provide you with the support and counseling that you need to prevail. 

Moving Forward

As difficult as it seems, if you are a victim of sexual abuse, you need to stand up for yourself and receive the help necessary to achieve your goal. It is normal to be afraid or want to move past and forget the conflict so you can try to live your life free from abuse.

However, no one should feel ashamed for something that they did not bring about. As a victim, you are not at fault. On the contrary, the person who is guilty of causing you harm needs to be held responsible for your injuries. Pursuing your lawsuit will not only compensate you but may also prevent future harm to other victims. 

An attorney that you hire will be on your side and do everything in his or her power to make sure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for the harm that was caused to you.

Additionally, you may want to file a restraining order or need monetary help to relocate away from the person who abused you. Attorneys can provide all that help and support and advise you on how to move forward. 

Contact Us

The O’Brien Law Firm understands that this is a difficult time for you and will be compassionate to help you overcome this situation. Our team will also be strong and fight for you because we believe you need to be compensated. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free consultation.