Category Archives: Personal Injury

Tips to Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries

PREVENTING SLIP AND FALL INJURIES IN THE WINTER

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 1 million Americans are injured, and 17,000 people die, as a result of slip and fall injuries every year.

Winter tends to be the worst weather for work related slip and fall injuries. OSHA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together on a public education effort aimed at improving the way people prepare for and respond to severe weather.
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RGLZ Law Continues to Deliver for Workers

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When Mike Levine of RGLZ Law decided he wanted to give a holiday gift of sweatshirts for construction workers on Long Island this past December, we thought that we were doing something great. When we saw and heard the kind words from the recipients, nothing could have made us happier. And we never anticipated the kind of response that we got.

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Suddenly, we were out of the entire initial batch. Hundreds of these sweatshirts found their way to hard working men and women. And then, unexpectedly, we started hearing from people on sites all over the island, asking us if we could come pay them a visit. So we did. We ordered hundreds more, and yet again, they quickly found their way to people who deserved them.

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And so now, what originally started as a way to “play Santa” for some local workers, has turned into a day-in day-out program of meeting Long Island’s workers and union members, and asking what we can do to help them. We truly believe that these outreach efforts have a positive effect for everyone involved, and we don’t see ourselves stopping anytime soon.

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If you know of, or work on, a site where the workers could use some of our gear, please contact us here and let us know, we’ll be happy to pay a visit. And if you ever need a team you can trust with a construction accident case, look no further than RGLZ. We get the job done.

RGLZ Delivers: Supporting Workers is Not Just a Slogan to Us

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RGLZ Personal Injury Law has a long history of winning cases for injured workers. It’s one of our hallmarks. But we also pride ourselves on the connection we have to our clients, and our ability to empathize with the everyday hardships these people confront in a tough line of work. And so this past December, Mike Levine commissioned over 1000 Safety Orange sweatshirts with the express purpose of distributing them to every construction site possible in our area before winter really kicked in, as a holiday gift to local workers.

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Back at the office, we took a lot of pride and happiness from the photos that come back to us from these gift runs, and our Facebook page lit up with responses from tradespeople who not only liked the idea, but wanted in! And so without a second thought we immediately made the decision to continue the program. We mailed sweatshirts to happy workers, ordered a whole new batch, and began a whole second round of giveaways.

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At RGLZ, we’ve absolutely loved having this chance to engage with the people we work for, and we don’t see ourselves stopping any time soon. As a matter of fact, we followed up this program with a $25,000 donation to the TWU Local 100 in NYC, to sponsor their scholarship program for TWU Local 100 members and their kids.

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We’ve been supporting the rights of injured workers since 1968, but we also support the lives of everyday workers. It’s a commitment to our craft, and our clients, that makes RGLZ Personal Injury Law what it is: A Different Kind of Law Firm.

If you know of any sites where the workers could use some of our gear, please contact us here and let us know! And if you ever need a team you can trust with a construction accident case, look no further than RGLZ. We get the job done.

Smart Springtime Cycling

As the spring thaw sets in and warm weather returns, dedicated cyclists are taking back to the roads in greater numbers. According to the Department of Transportation, the number of bicyclists in New York City has grown nearly each year over the past decade, hitting a new peak in 2014. This trend is likely to continue, with the establishment and popularity of New York City’s Bike Share program, and increasing traffic congestion within the City. Bicycle ridership has likewise been growing on Long Island, both for its health benefits and as a means of transportation. In fact, local municipalities have been creating or expanding the availability of bike lockers at LIRR train stations. However, with this increase in ridership comes increased opportunity for bicycle v. motor vehicle collisions occurring. Continue reading

RGLZ and Make the Road NY to Hold Legal Meet and Greet May 6th @ Brentwood Country Club, in Support of Low Income and Immigrant Islanders

RGLZ is committed to continuing its charitable events in 2015, and we’re proud to announce a May 6th legal networking cocktail hour at Brentwood Country Club in conjunction with Make the Road New York. Founded in 1997, Make the Road New York (MRNY) builds the power of Latino & working class communities to achieve dignity and justice by taking the full range of strategies necessary to eradicate poverty deep into the neighborhoods where immigrants and low income New Yorkers live and work. MRNY’s 150 staff members work throughout New York City and Long Island, through 5 colorful storefront offices that serve as multi-service community centers and true hubs of neighborhood life.

MRNY currently has 16,000 members whose legal needs are far beyond what it has the capacity to fulfill in house, and as they expand further on Long Island, they will have need of counsel which they can refer their clients to in all areas of practice, including labor and employment law, disability, immigration, civil rights, family law, and personal injury law. Come out on the 6th and help Make the Road New York build a strong referral network of attorneys, while meeting some of Long Island’s most prominent lawyers from a number of different practice areas, including New York State Trial Lawyers Association President Michael Levine.

To purchase tickets to the event, Click Here

Also sponsored by:
Turley Redmond Rosasco & Roscasco, LLP
Shulman Kessler LLP
Robert B. Kronenberg, Esq

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, please contact Karla Meyers at 718-418-7690 ext: 1201, or Karla.Meyers@maketheroadny.org. For more information on Make the Road NY, please head to http://www.maketheroad.org/

Slip and Fall: When is a Property Owner Liable?

Written by Matthew Zullo

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Everyone has had the experience of either slipping or tripping and falling to the ground. Thankfully, the large majority of these incidents occur without causing serious injury, but serious injuries do occur to people of all ages as a result of slipping or tripping and falling. These injuries can occur on a flight of stairs, a patch of ice, an uneven sidewalk, a slippery supermarket floor, an improperly leveled elevator or an improperly maintained floor at a home or business. Every visitor to a home or public place expects a certain level of safety and the owner of a property may be legally responsible if their negligence led to an injury. Owners of property have an obligation to take reasonable steps to maintain their property in a safe manner and to warn visitors/patrons of unexpected conditions that may be a hazard.

The basic types of premises liability accidents involve slip and falls on wet, icy or slippery substances on a floor, parking lot or sidewalk. A trip and fall can occur as a result of an uneven sidewalk, an elevator which is not level or where an object blocks or impedes a person’s path. A step and fall accident occurs when someone falls into a hole in the ground which they could not reasonably expect.

While a property owner has a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to maintain their property in a safe condition and to warn visitors of unexpected and hazardous conditions, it is incumbent upon the accident victim to prove that the property owner had notice of the condition. Notice to the property owner can be established by either demonstrating by witnesses or documents that the property owner had actual knowledge of the condition or through reasonable inspections, should have known that the condition was present and posed a hazard. The length of time a condition existed typically bears on the question of notice. The longer a condition exists, the greater the likelihood that the owner should have observed the condition. Where an owner creates a dangerous condition, they are deemed to have notice of the condition, such as hosing down a sidewalk on a cold morning or spilling a slippery substance on a floor and not cleaning it or by building an improper staircase.

Other conditions that may establish negligence have to do with over waxed floors, torn carpeting, lack of railings on steps, inadequate lighting and obstructions in aisles or walkways.

In cases involving municipalities, such as a trip and fall on a defective sidewalk, there are different laws for each municipality regarding notice and who is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. Generally, it is vital that you act promptly in all types of premises liability cases in order to preserve evidence and investigate the source of the defect or hazard. In cases involving a municipality, urgent action is required as there is a strict ninety days to file a notice of claim against the city, town or village. In such cases, failure to act swiftly will forever bar a claim for personal injury.

While slip/fall cases are common, it takes an attorney who thoroughly knows the case law, municipal laws and all the code rules and regulations that may apply to successfully litigate a premises liability matter for one seriously injured.

Working with Unions Workers on Personal Injury Cases

Written by Michael Levine

In my decades of practice, I’ve worked on countless cases involving union members and their families. Whether it’s construction, ironwork, rail work, or any number of other types of infrastructure work, they all share the commonality of having some element of danger to them. The people doing the work put themselves at risk for the sake of doing important jobs that the average person simply isn’t equipped to do.

In these situations the worker has to put their trust in many things outside their control, whether it’s the people organizing and overseeing the job site, the tools they’re using, or the safety equipment that keeps them out of harm’s way. Under the right circumstances, all of these things come together for a job well done. Under the wrong circumstances, accidents happen, and suddenly the worker in question, or their family, is forced to find a way to deal with that accident.

In my line of work, we’re in the business of helping these people find their way back to a better place. That’s the goal. At the end of the day, all the legal jargon and proceedings, expert witnesses, trial work, and assorted other “lawyer stuff” is just what we have to do to achieve this. It’s our job to take this complicated system and use every last ounce of our familiarity with it to get the job done, and get it done as quickly and effectively as possible. When you think about it, that’s not too different from the workers that we represent, and so we find it important to be on the same page as unions and their workers whenever we can, and be involved in their world.

Asking someone to put their trust in you, and put their future life-security in your hands, is not only a very serious thing to do, but a serious burden to take on as well. It means a lot to me, personally, and that’s never going to change.

Shaken Baby Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury

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The first thing said is usually “The baby wouldn’t stop crying”, and then his babysitter, nanny, sibling, or even his mother or father continue on to say the worst possible thing next; “I shook him to quiet him down”. The end result is “Shaken Baby Syndrome”, a despicable crime usually borne of ignorance. The victim, a defenseless baby, ends up brain damaged or even dies. The mechanism of Shaken Baby Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”) are identical. Our brain exists in a closed, bony environment, the skull. When our body is subjected to a sudden force, our brain can bounce against our skull. This is commonly known as a concussion. If the force is sufficient, the brain can be injured. In extreme cases the injury is apparent, with obvious signs including seizures, coma, loss of consciousness, dizziness and visual disturbances.

That same force exists in almost every accident, and if it involves our head, can cause brain damage. Where the force to the brain is not extreme, the victim of an accident can still have a TBI. People tend to think brain injury can’t happen without unconsciousness or a direct blow to the head. Neither unconsciousness nor a blow to the head are actually necessary to cause a TBI. Any sudden and drastic G-forces can cause the brain damage in a “Second Impact” where the brain crashes into the inside of the skull. Flexion/extension of the neck and head, seen in many accidents, but most recognizably in hit-in-the rear automobile collisions, can cause our brain to come in contact with our skull. Where the force is less than extreme, the signs of TBI can be subtle and virtually invisible. As a result, TBI can go undiagnosed for months and sometimes forever. Interestingly, the diagnosis of a subtle TBI often starts with a family member telling the doctor, “They’re just not right, they’re acting differently since the accident”.

Remember, one of the characteristics of TBI is that the victim may not recognize that there is anything wrong or different going on. Here’s a checklist to review if you believe there may be a chance of a traumatic brain injury:

–        Is there any change in personality? Do they become angry for no good reason?

–        Do they have trouble concentrating or finding words?

–        Do they complain of occasional dizziness, headaches, or nausea?

There are many other signs – too many to list. If after an accident, your family member seems “a little bit off” it’s a good idea to see a neurologist. TBI is treatable, and like many injuries the sooner it is addressed, the better the chance of improvement.