Most Common Personal Injury Claims

Injured man and his wife meet with a personal injury lawyer.There are many claims that fall under personal injury law.

Vehicle accidents, slip and falls, workers compensation, products liability, and wrongful death are all possible claims that you can recover compensation for within the field of personal injury law.

Hiring an attorney to review the facts behind your injury will give you the possibility to recover monetarily.

Vehicle Accidents

Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are one of the most common reasons why people need personal injury attorneys. Accidents not only happen every day but can also happen to any driver or passenger on the road. In addition to dealing with the grief of potential vehicle damage and insurance companies, you may also need medical attention for your injuries. The entire situation can oftentimes be very costly, but you deserve to be compensated for the costs that you incur due to the negligence of other people.

Workers Compensation

Employers may be liable for injuries that happen to you while you are working. Whether you now have a medical condition obtained during your course of business or your employer was negligent in maintaining the work area, you may be able to receive compensation through insurance. Furthermore, if you were driving while working, a workers compensation claim can allow you to recover financially. Many jurisdictions require all employers to have workers compensation insurance, so you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, injuries, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Slip and Falls

Slip and falls happen in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, it is not your fault, but rather the fault of the owner of the premises. Whether you slipped from a puddle that should have been cleared or because of a condition that an owner should have properly maintained, you may have the possibility to sue for your injuries caused by such conditions in another’s owned property. Successful slip and fall accident cases have included puddles, poorly maintained areas, and artificial conditions that owners should have been aware of the dangers.

Products Liability

If you are injured because of a defect in a product, you can also sue the business that you purchased the product from along with the manufacturer. Product design defects, manufacturing defects, and lack of sufficient warnings or instructions are all examples of reasons to sue for product liability after you are injured by using such a product. Everyone in the chain of distribution can be liable following an injury involving a problem with a product, so an attorney will be able to determine who should be sued and advise you on which decisions to make.

Wrongful Death

If your close family member passes away due to the negligence of someone else, you still have the ability to sue in his or her place. If you were relying on this family member or have lost the close companionship of that loved family member, you have remedies available to you. The grief of a family member’s passing can be a difficult time to go through, but attorneys will be understanding and take away most of that stress involved in a wrongful death claim.

Contact Us

If you have been personally injured, you may have a successful claim against the party that is liable. The first thing to do is contact our experienced attorneys to review your case and see what we can do. Please contact us at (716) 907-7777 at your earliest convenience.

Preventing A Car Accident

Traffic Accident Resulting in a Crushed CarWhether you are living in a big city or a small town, if you drive a car, there is a chance that you might be involved in a car accident.

While car accidents are certain to occur every day, there are preventative measures to lower the chances of one happening to you.

Here are some tips that you should try to implement in your everyday life.  

Plan Ahead 

You should always plan ahead when you decide to drive. Planning includes: 

  • Looking at a map to determine your route  
  • Determining what time is best to drive to avoid traffic 
  • If you know you are going to be driving, do not drink or take drugs 
  • Know how long it will take you to arrive at your destination without speeding 
  • Answer any important text or call before driving so you can put your phone away  
  • Give yourself extra time and leave early because you never know when you may come across unplanned traffic 
  • Be mindful of the weather conditions and possible setbacks 

Purchasing Safe Cars 

Today, vehicle technology has greatly advanced. Several cars have blind spot monitors that will alert you when another car is in your blind spot. Furthermore, newer cars can also alert you when you start driving over the road line. Lastly, most cars now have back-up mirrors that project exactly what is behind you as you are reversing. If you decide to purchase a new car, you should certainly do your homework about what the safest cars are out there and ensure that the airbags, safety belts, and quality of the car are up to par.  

Control Road Rage 

A common way for a car accident to happen is road rage. Whether you are cut off on the road or run into someone having a bad day, you should always take a deep breath and not react. At the end of the day, retaliation will not be worth the injuries, stress, and time required following a car accident. Maintain your anger and keep in mind that some people will not be able to maintain theirs’. Sometimes, it may seem as though someone has completely forgotten how to drive, but you must remember that you should be the bigger person and remain calm. 

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings 

While you should do your best to drive safely, you have to always keep in mind that some people won’t do the same. People speed, have blind spots, and some are simply careless and even reckless. You can only do so much when you are near these kinds of people, but if you consistently check your mirrors and are aware that those people are on the road, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming involved in an accident. 

Call An Attorney 

Even if you take all the safety precautions possible for you to avoid a car accident, it can still happen any time you enter a vehicle. If an accident happens to you, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney. Sometimes, it takes time for injuries to develop and you may not be able to foresee the extent of your injuries at first. An attorney will be able to guide you and see how you can receive compensation.

Call our helpful attorneys at The O’Brien Law Firm if you are involved in a car accident so we can begin the initial process for your compensation at (716) 907-7777. 

Moving Truck Accidents 

Logging Truck Accident On Highway Hiring a professional moving company can sometimes cost thousands of dollars depending on the distance, number of belongings, and company prices.

Renting a box truck to move everything yourself is not only more convenient than using a regular car but is also usually much less expensive.

However, most companies only have valid license and age requirements, so inexperienced people can rent moving trucks without realizing the potential dangers. 

Safety Concerns 

Moving trucks are much larger and heavier, making them harder to maneuver and guide than a regular car. Furthermore, because of the large box-size without windows, there are many more blind spots, so you can’t see behind yourself while driving in addition to lowered visibility. An inexperienced driver may not realize whether anything is wrong as well. For example, there have been cases where the back latch was not securely fastened, and items spilled out. This can cause severe accidents for other drivers on the road and could cause immense traffic jams. 

Driving a moving truck requires: 

  • Using additional caution 
  • Making wider turns 
  • Taking note where your blind spots are 
  • Guidance when backing out, as you will not be able to see behind your rental 
  • Driving slowly and patiently 
  • Carefully maneuvering the large size of the truck when driving through narrow streets 
  • Securing the back latch securely to avoid belongings spilling out 
  • Paying close attention to your surroundings 
  • Adhering to the rules of the road 

Who Is Liable? 

If a company allows someone without a valid license to rent one of their trucks, they could be held liable for injuries following an accident. Likewise, if a company rents to someone who has clearly been drinking or under the influence of drugs, they will not escape liability. Furthermore, they are required to complete a safety check prior to renting to make sure that the latch, lights, and brakes are in proper working condition. Companies are required to upkeep and maintain their trucks. Proving that a company was negligent in the rental process or inspection could allow you to sue them following a wreck. 

On the other hand, the driver of the moving truck can also be liable. Just like driving a regular car, drivers must abide by the laws and drive safely. Inexperience and the fact that the rental company properly rented a truck to the driver, does not mean that the driver won’t be held liable for his own negligence or mishandling of driving a rental truck. Because moving trucks are much harder to drive than a regular car, you must be confident in your ability to drive one and take all the precautions listed above. Otherwise, you should thoroughly consider spending the extra money on professional movers to avoid an accident, injuries, and possible liability. 

Contact Our Attorneys 

If you or a close family member has been involved in a moving truck accident, you should contact our skilled attorneys as soon as possible to see what we can do for you. We will be able to review and evaluate the unique facts of your case and let you know what your options are to pursue a suit. Call us at (716) 907-7777 today for a free consultation.

June Is National Safety Month 

Safety SignThe National Safety Council has declared June as National Safety Month.  Each week has a different focus, with the intent of eliminating preventable deaths and injuries at work, at home, in communities, and on the road.  This year, the “No 1 Gets Hurt” campaign covers: 

  • Emergency Preparedness 
  • Wellness 
  • Falls 
  • Driving 

Here are some of the highlights. 

Week 1: Emergency Preparedness 

Emergencies can happen at any time.  Planning for possible emergencies can make surviving and thriving in an emergency more likely.  Planning should include: 

  • Prepare for natural disasters common to your living area, including tornadoes, floods, and wildfires 
  • Create an emergency kit for home and car 
  • Create an emergency plan with your family, including designated meeting spots 
  • Keep important phone numbers and important documents in a fire proof safe 
  • Learn first aid and CPR 

Week 2: Wellness 

The National Safety Council encourages everyone to take some time to focus on wellness.  Easy daily wellness goals can include: 

  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator 
  • Parking your car further from the entrance to increase daily steps 
  • Taking advantage of workplace wellness programs 
  • Eating healthy snacks 
  • Taking breaks to stretch and move throughout the day 
  • Seeing your doctor regularly 
  • Watching for signs of fatigue 

Week 3: Falls 

Falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injury related deaths.  They are the number one cause of death in those age 65 and older.  Preventing slips, trips, and falls at home and in the community can be achieved by following these steps: 

  • Make sure walkways, stairs, and doorways are free of clutter, cords, and other tripping hazards 
  • Spills should be cleaned up immediately 
  • Stairs should have non-slip adhesive strips 
  • Rugs should have appropriate backing to prevent movement 
  • Avoid distracted walking! 
  • Limit cell phone use when walking 
  • Be mindful of busy areas, such as airports or shopping malls 
  • Avoid listening to headphones when walking near traffic  

Week 4: Driving 

94 % of all vehicle crashes involve human error.  Consequently, drivers should avoid unsafe driving conduct to reduce the chance of a car crash.   

  • Do not drink and drive 
  • Recognize other factors can impair driving, such as lack of sleep 
  • Avoid driving after using drugs that may impair judgment, even with a valid prescription 
  • Don’t use a cell phone while driving 
  • Wear a seatbelt – always 
  • Make certain children are in age appropriate restraints 
  • Lock the car when not in use 
  • Never leave a child in a vehicle alone 
  • Pay attention to vehicle recalls 
  • Do not rely on safety features to replace judgment 
  • Be mindful of vehicle alerts and warnings 

Safe driving requires attention before driving as well as while driving.   

Stay Safe This Summer! 

At The O’Brien Firm, we want you and your loved ones to be safe this summer.  Injuries can happen in an instant.  Being prepared can help lessen the injury in some circumstances.  In other cases, implementing safety plans can prevent injury all together.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall or a driving accident, please contact our office. Our lawyers practice exclusively in the area of personal injury.  We are dedicated to helping the injured get their lives back. Call us today to talk about your case at no charge at (716) 907-7777.

 

 

The Special Dangers of Head-on Collisions

Two Car Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions are one type of car crash.  The term “head-on collision” refers to crashes where the point of impact is in the front of the car.  For two car head-on collisions, this refers to both cars’ impact point in the front of the vehicle.  Head-on collisions are more likely to occur on roads with narrow lanes, where there is high traffic volume, where there is no separation of lanes between the different directions of traffic, and on sharp curves.   Head-on collisions also commonly occur when one driver passes without providing enough room to get back into their own lane before completing the pass.

As one might imagine, the risk of death and severe injury, as well as property damage, increases as the speed of the vehicles increases.  People who don’t wear seat belts tend to sustain more injuries and more serious injuries than people who do wear seat belts.  Without a seat belt, the risk of ejection from the vehicle at the time of impact increases substantially.  Ejection can lead to greater injuries.  In 2015, head-on crashes were responsible for 10 % of all fatal crashes.

Single Car Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions can also occur in single car crashes, such as when a car veers off the roadway and hits a stop sign, traffic light, street light, guardrail, or a building.  As with two car head-on collisions, a single car head-on collision increases in severity as speed increases.  Single car head-on collisions frequently occur when a driver is distracted.  Additionally, falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to single car head-on collisions.

Reducing the Likelihood of Head-on Collisions

Studies show medians can reduce head-on collisions by up to 70 percent.  Obviously, drivers have no control over how roads are constructed.  However, if you happen to be on a road with more than one lane of traffic in a single direction, traveling in the right-hand lane reduces the likelihood of a head-on crash.  Additionally, if faced with the choice of hitting another car head on, or hitting a barrier on the side of the road, such as a guard rail or light pole, the stationary object is the safer choice.  This is because the stationary object does not have their own momentum contributing to the accident and subsequent injuries.  Finally, drivers are encouraged to scan the road ahead for hazards.

Common Accident Injuries in Head-on Collisions

Of course, there are any number of types of injuries one might sustain in a head-on crash.  However, due to the nature of the crash, some of the more common injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury;
  • Concussion;
  • Whiplash;
  • Neck and back trauma;
  • Lacerations;
  • Contusions;
  • Broken bones; as well as
  • Injuries to internal organs.

If You Have Been Injured in a Head-on Collision

If you have been injured in a head-on collision, you need an advocate on your side, fighting for your rights.  At the O’Brien Firm, our team is with you every step of the way.  From the first time you call, through settlement or verdict, we work with you and your family, making sure we understand your situation, your loss, and the best ways to compensate you for your injuries.  This way, you can focus on healing.  Contact us today for a free consultation at (716) 907.7777.

 

Recognizing and Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in temporary injury, permanent disability, or death.  A TBI can be caused by a jolt, blow, or bump to the head.  It may also be the result of penetrating head injury.  A TBI can be mild, resulting in a short change in mental status.  Alternatively, a TBI may last longer, resulting in an extended period of unconsciousness.  Sometimes, a TBI results in amnesia after an injury.

Danger Signs in Adults

Traumatic brain injury can result in a dangerous condition where a blood clot crowds the brain.  If you have bumped your head, received a blow, or your body or head was jolted, watch for these danger signs.  If you experience any of them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends contacting your medical professional or emergency room immediately.

  • Slurred speech;
  • Repeated nausea and vomiting;
  • Weakness;
  • Numbness;
  • Decreased coordination; as well as
  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away.

Additionally, if you have sustained a blow, bump, or jolt to the head, you should ask someone to check on you regularly.  If you display any of the following symptoms, your friend or loved one should immediately take you to the emergency room:

  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Becoming increasingly agitated, confused, or restless;
  • Displaying unusual behavior;
  • Unable to recognize people;
  • Unable to recognize places;
  • Convulsions;
  • Seizures;
  • Appearing very drowsy;
  • Unable to wake up; or
  • Having one pupil larger than the other.

Danger Signs in Children

If a child sustains a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or body, and displays any of the adult warning signs, they should be taken to the emergency room right away.  Additionally, if your child

  • will not stop crying;
  • is otherwise inconsolable;
  • will not eat; or
  • will not nurse;

 

you should seek emergency medical attention.

Potential Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

There is a wide range of potential effects of TBI.  Generally speaking, TBI can result in both short and long-term changes in the following:

  • Emotion: TBI may result in feelings of anxiety and depression. Persons affected may exhibit personality changes, acting out, and general social inappropriateness.
  • Language: TBI can impact one’s ability to express oneself, communicate clearly, and understand what is being communicated to them.
  • Sensation: Both sight and balance can be impacted by a TBI.
  • Thinking: TBI may impact one’s memory.  Additionally, it may impact one’s reasoning.

A TBI can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain disorders, according to the CDC.  A TBI may also cause epilepsy.

Understanding a Concussion is a Traumatic Brain Injury

A concussion is a mild form of a traumatic brain injury.  Around 75 % of all traumatic brain injuries are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury each year.  Repeated traumatic brain injuries are particularly dangerous.  Over time, the cumulative effects of traumatic brain injury can include neurological and cognitive deficits.  If one suffers repeated mild traumatic brain injuries within a short period of time, the results can be catastrophic.  It may even be fatal.   A “short period” may be over a few hours, days, or weeks,

Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury

Not all TBI’s are the same.  Sometimes, there is no full recovery from a traumatic brain injury.  Other times, a full recovery is possible.  In either event, there are some general tips the CDC recommends when healing from a traumatic brain injury, to the extent healing is possible:

  • Write things down to aid in remembering;
  • Take medication as prescribed;
  • Do not take medication not prescribed;
  • Avoid situations where another head injury may be sustained;
  • Don’t drink alcohol without a doctor’s approval;
  • Consider returning to work gradually, rather than all at once;
  • Refrain from multitasking;
  • Consult with a trusted friend or family member when making decisions you consider important;
  • Avoid extended computer use;
  • Rest; and finally,
  • Be patient with yourself. You may need to re-learn some skills.  As your health care professional for a referral.

Protect You and Your Loved Ones from Traumatic Brain Injury

While you cannot predict every eventuality, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your likelihood of getting a traumatic brain injury.  These include:

  • Use child car seats as designed;
  • Wear seat belts every time;
  • Don’t drink and drive;
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bike, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle, while skiing or snowboarding;
  • Make certain living areas are free of fall hazards by doing the following:
    • Identify and remove tripping hazards such as cords and clutter across walkways;
    • Install nonslip mats in the bathtub;
    • Install handrails on the stairwells; and
    • Improve lighting.
  • Install window guards to prevent small children from falling out windows; and
  • Use safety guards on stairwells if you have small children.

If You Have Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  Whether due to a car accident, a slip and fall, or some other situation, at The O’Brien Firm, we will work with you and for you.  Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve.  We offer free consultations.  If you are not feeling up to travel, our attorneys will come to you.  Contact us today at (716) 907-7777.

 

New Law Protects Safe Drivers

Everyone knows what car insurance is.  However, not everyone understands how car insurance works.  This lack of understanding has had disastrous consequences for some New York families. A new law in New York provides new additional insurance coverage for safe drivers.

As we all know, New York drivers must buy car insurance.  Car insurance policies vary in amounts.  New York’s minimum liability coverage is $25,000/$50,000 (which means up to $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, and $50,000 for bodily injury for all people).  However, New York drivers can purchase more insurance. While policies such as $250,000/$500,000 or more exist, many people purchase car insurance policies in the range of $100,000 for one injured person, and up to $300,000 to cover all bodily injury in a car accident.

 

However, these policies provide coverage to other people when you make a mistake and cause an accident.  What happens to you when you are injured due to someone else’s bad driving?  What happens when the eighteen year old texting driver doesn’t stop in time and slams into the rear of your car?  When you are injured through no fault of your own, the other driver’s insurance policy should cover the injuries. But what if that other driver only carries minimum coverage while you paid for coverage with higher limits?

If that careless driver is underinsured or uninsured, car crash victims have a type of insurance available that many people do not even know about.  Supplemental Underinsured Motorist and Uninsured Motorist coverage (commonly referred to as SUM coverage) provides protection to safe drivers.  SUM coverage provides excess coverage above the careless driver’s policy but only if the safe driver has purchased this special coverage.  Until recently, New York’s “default SUM insurance” amounted to $25,000/50,000.  But not anymore.

Thanks to the new law, drivers in New York now automatically have SUM coverage in the exact same amount as the amount of coverage they purchased to protect others.  For example, a driver who buys a $100,000/$300,000 insurance policy to cover injuries to someone else now automatically has SUM coverage that protects them to the same amount of $100,000/300,000, rather than limiting recovery to the previous minimum of $25,000/50,000. Under the old law, a New York driver had to specifically request SUM coverage of an equal amount, which was troublesome given that most people didn’t even know about the possibility of buying SUM coverage.

 

The new law still allows drivers to “opt out” of additional SUM coverage.  Drivers may choose to lower their SUM coverage to $25,000 and expose themselves to additional risk.  Currently, raising SUM limits from the $25,000/50,000 minimum to $100,000/300,000 costs safe drivers about two dollars more per month. If a driver decides to protect other drivers for a higher amount than they protect themselves, the law allows them to do that. But for little more than $2 a month, the new law significantly raises safe drivers’ protection against distracted and dangerous drivers by providing coverage that protects them against the bad driver with the minimum policy.  This new law is good news for all New Yorkers, but especially for safe drivers.

Winter Driving in Snow

Winter is here.  Like it or not, the next several months require driving in snow if we want to drive anywhere.  Whether this is your first winter driving in snow, or you are an old hat at winter driving, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on a few winter driving tips.

Tips for Driving in Snow

The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends the following:

  • When approaching a hill, get some forward movement going. While on the hill, do not stop if at all avoidable. 
  • Do not apply extra gas on a hill. Slow and steady will get you to the top.
  • Once at the top of a hill, reduce your speed.
  • Drive down hills as slowly as possible.
  • Understand the challenge of starting a vehicle from a full stop, rather than accelerating a car that is still moving. Don’t stop if you can avoid it safely.
  • Stop your vehicle by keeping the heel of your foot on the floor. Use the ball of your foot to brake.  Apply steady, firm pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Put eight to ten seconds between yourself and the car in front of you. This will provide you a longer distance for stopping.
  • Remember, nothing happens as quickly on snow covered roads. Plan on needing more time to stop, accelerate, and turn your car in snow.
  • Applying the gas slowly is best for avoiding skidding out.
  • Use your headlights to make your vehicle more visible.
  • Consider staying home. If you don’t need to go out, stay put.  Just because you are familiar with driving in snow doesn’t mean your fellow travelers are similarly skilled.

Areas of Additional Concern

There are certain portions of the roadways that may be more dangerous than others.  Be advised, for example, that bridge decks freeze first.  Even if the snow is melting elsewhere on the roadway, bridge decks should be approached with caution.  They may be icy.

Exit ramps and entrance ramps may be more icy than the main roadway.  Be aware of this when entering and exiting the freeways.

There is also vehicle specific information you should be aware of.  Sports Utility Vehicles, 4 x 4 vehicles, and trucks weigh more than other passenger vehicles.  This means they need more time and space to stop.  If you are driving one of these vehicles, give yourself more time.  If you are passing one of these vehicles, give them wide berth.  Avoid cutting in front of larger vehicles.

Plows require special attention.  Give them plenty of room.  Do not pass plows on the right.  Stay at least 200 feet behind plows.

Let someone know where you are going.  Provide them with your expected route.  Also, get the Buffalo, New York traffic and road conditions.

Stay Safe this Winter

As the winter season progresses, we at The O’Brien Firm wish you safe travels.  If you or a loved one does get hurt in a car crash, we are happy to come to you to discuss the facts in your case.  You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  At The O’Brien Firm, we have over 35 years of experience representing clients in car crash cases.  There is no cost to you unless we win your case.  Contact us at (716) 907-7777.

Is Avvo a Good Way to Find a Lawyer?

There are many ways to find a lawyer.  Some say the best way to find a lawyer is word of mouth.  However, many people don’t know anyone who has needed the services of a personal injury attorney.  In that case, people may not know where to turn.  Of course, there are lots of online attorney review web sites.  However, not all online attorney review web sites are equal.  Some ranking sites allow attorneys complete control of their rankings.  Others, like  Avvo, rank attorneys based on a number of factors, including some the lawyers have no control over, and is a good place to start.

Avvo Ranking

Avvo ranks their attorneys based on several different factors.  First, Avvo considers whether an attorney has had disciplinary action by the bar association.  Second, Avvo considers an attorney’s experience.  Finally, Avvo considers industry recognition.  This includes things like publications, speaking engagements and the like.

Additionally, Avvo has two ratings features.  The first rating feature allows other lawyers to rate each other.  Lawyers are not required to rate each other.   Consequently, a lawyer recommendation has some value.

The second rating feature allows past or current clients to rate the lawyer.  Lawyers have no control over this feature.  They can respond, but they cannot get a negative comment removed from the site.  While you should expect some disappointed clients to grumble, client reviews should show a pattern.  When you see a series of positive reviews, take this as a good sign.

Interviewing an Attorney

Avvo is a good starting place for determining whether an attorney might be a good fit for a given situation.   However, there is no substitute for an in-person meeting.  As an injured party, you are looking for a lawyer who knows what they are doing.  But you also want a lawyer who you can work with.  The American Bar Association (ABA) states, “the first qualification is that you must feel comfortable enough to tell him or her, honestly and completely, all the facts necessary to resolve your problem.”

The only way to know whether you feel comfortable with an attorney is to meet with them in person.  Attorneys understand you are looking for the attorney that best fits your needs.  You can treat your first meeting as a job interview.  You are encouraged to take some time to think about what is most important to you.  Some things many people find important when hiring a personal injury attorney include the following:

  • Someone who makes house calls;
  • Someone who is available on weekends;
  • A lawyer with support staff to assist in the case;
  • An attorney who has ties to the community;
  • An attorney recognized by their peers;
  • Significant past experience;
  • A history of settlements and trials on behalf of other injured people;
  • Someone who treats them like a person, not a number;
  • Someone who is easy to talk to; and
  • A person they can trust.

Consider The O’Brien Firm

If you have been injured, please consider The O’Brien Firm.  We are happy to come to you – at your home or at the hospital – to talk to you about your case.  We also want to talk with you about your particular situation, including your family, your immediate needs, and your long-term concerns.  At The O’Brien Firm, we understand each case is different, and every client is special.  We value your business.  We never charge a fee unless we win your case.

Winter Is Coming: How Drivers Can Prepare

The National Safety Council encourages drivers to plan ahead! Winter is coming whether we like it or not. Winter driving is different. In Buffalo in the winter time, blizzards can come out of nowhere. Icy conditions happen as often as not. While newer model cars have more and more safety features, there are still steps all drivers should take to minimize danger and maximize safety.

Create a Winter Safety Kit
Don’t wait for the first snow fall to create a winter safety kit for your car. As a starting point, make it a goal to always have a full or almost full tank of gas. Never let the gas tank get below half full in the winter time. Also, make sure your car has fresh antifreeze and plenty of wind shield fluid. Finally, take a moment to ensure your spare tire is properly inflated, you have a wheel wrench, and a working tripod jack.
Your emergency safety kit within your car should also include the following items:
• A shovel for digging out of snow;
• Jumper cables;
• A tow line;
• Bag of salt to melt snow;
•Kitty litter for increased tire traction;
• Blankets;
• Mittens;
• Hats;
• Warm socks;
• Boots, if the driver doesn’t wear boots in the car as a matter of course;
• Tool kit;
• Nonperishable foods like nuts, dried fruits, and granola bars;
• Flashlight, along with fresh batteries;
• Scissors and twine;
• Reflective triangles;
• Wood matches in a waterproof container;
• Flares;
• Ice scraper;
• First aid kit;
• Portable phone charger (make sure it is fully charged!);
• Snow brush; and
• Compass.

Give Your Car a Winter Weather Check
It is a good idea to have a qualified mechanic review your vehicle systems before winter arrives. They should check the ignition, brakes, spark plugs, hoses, and fan belts. They should also check wiring, the battery, the distributor, air filters, fuel filters, and emission filters. Finally, they should check the PCV valve, the battery, air pressure in the tires, tire wear patterns, and the antifreeze level. A few dollars of preventative maintenance can go a long way this winter when the temperature drops.

Before You Leave. . .
Any time the weather gets really cold, it’s natural to want to warm up the car before taking a trip. While warming up a car ahead of time is fine, never warm up the car in an enclosed area. Even if the garage door is open, it is not safe to leave a car running in an attached garage. Rather, let the car warm up out in the open, in the drive way or in front of the house.
When the weather appears dangerous or unpredictable, consider waiting out the storm. If that is not possible, make sure you inform a family member or friend of your planned route. Call them when you arrive safely. In the unlikely event your car goes off the road or is involved in a crash, knowing your route can shave valuable minutes off rescue efforts.
If you find yourself stranded in an unfamiliar area, the National Safety Council recommends you don’t leave your car. Instead, remove the flares from your winter tool kit and light them. Place the flares in front of and behind your car. Take a moment to make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by snow, garbage, mud, or other objects.

If You Get Hurt in a Crash
In winter driving, crashes are inevitable. While we hope you never need us, The O’Brien Firm is here for you if you do. If you have been hurt in a crash, we will come to you to meet with you and discuss your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.