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Binghamton Law Blog: Covering Topics from Personal Injury to Estate Planning Law

Car accidents often lead to post-collision financial strains

New York is likely one of the busiest places on the continent. Traffic flow is almost constant, and navigating state highways is often a challenge akin to working one's way through an elaborate, complex labyrinth. On any given day, motorists, pedestrians and merchants may hear horns blaring, people shouting and sirens whirring as daily life unfolds in all corners of the state. All too often, the sounds of brakes screeching, glass shattering and metal crunching is also part of the audible landscape of New York, because many car accidents occur here.

Some people are relieved when they're involved in collisions that are minor fender-benders when no one gets hurt. Others are not so fortunate, especially those who were in accidents involving tractor-trailers. These massive pieces of machinery can be quite intimidating on the road. A recent accident injured several people near John F. Kennedy airport. Several people were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Executing solid estate plans typically involves more than wills

Invite one hundred people in New York to talk about their estate plans, and how many will show up? Chances are, half -- if you're lucky. Many people avoid discussing wills or their own mortality like the plague. However, those who understand the importance of drafting a solid plan to protect their assets and provide for their loved ones will likely be the ones to attend gatherings focused on the topic.

Family members often face tremendous challenges when no wills are set in place by loved ones gone before them. In such situations, estates become intestate, and a probate court determines to whom and how assets will be distributed. There's no guarantee the court will choose the same people estate owners themselves would have chosen had they executed plans.

Is your worsened health condition due to medical malpractice?

Who knows how many people in New York will undergo surgery this year. It's safe to assume there will be many. Reasons for surgery will likely vary, from elective procedures to life-or-death emergency situations. One thing's certain, however: Patients entrusting themselves to professional medical care have the right to reasonably assume all measures taken will be in accordance with the highest level of accepted safety standards. Otherwise, medical malpractice incidents may occur.

Substandard medical care resulting in illness or injury remains problematic throughout this and all other states. Negligence and error devastate many lives time and again; in fact, large numbers of lives have been lost because of incompetent medical care. Surgical errors are often reported as leading causal factors in medical malpractice situations.

Ins and outs of premises liabilty in New York

Every property owner has a duty toward visitors, although to what degree varies by state. Much depends on why a person who came onto a particular property was there. If an accident occurs that causes injury to the non-property owner in New York, there may be grounds for filing a premises liability lawsuit.

Basically, anyone stepping onto another person's property can be classified in one of three categories. He or she may be an invited guest, or a worker or service provider of some sort. A person or group of people may be licensed to use a particular party for personal purposes; thus, they are considered "licensees" to the property. There is also a chance a visitor may be trespassing.

Failure to execute wills may lead to family squabbles

Not many people in New York want to sit around discussing their own mortality. However, it's simply a fact of life that death is inevitable. Most people want to help prepare their loved ones for the possibility that they themselves will one day be gone from their lives. One way to do so is to execute wills and other estate planning documents.

Regardless of whether you are a person of substantial wealth or meager means, you have a right to protect your assets and designate a particular person to settle your estate as well as those who will receive your inheritance. The process is highly customizable and can be drafted to suit your personal needs and goals. In recent years, there have been many stories about celebrities who have died without first signing wills, which led to various family members and close acquaintances fighting over their estates.

Commercial driver in New York suspected of wrongful death

Commercial truck drivers in New York are considered legally intoxicated behind the wheel if their blood alcohol content levels are .04 percent or above. Many commercial vehicles are massive in size, making large trucks and drunk driving recipes for disaster. An incident occurred near the George Washington Bridge a few hours after midnight on a recent Monday that resulted in one person facing DWI in one state and an apparent wrongful death situation in another.  

There were several occupants traveling together in New York in a car that was reportedly struck from behind by an enormous commercial vehicle. The impact of the collision was said to be so severe that it left the smaller vehicle completely mangled. Three people in the car were quickly transported to an area hospital for treatment of their injuries.  

Some New York car accidents are shrouded in mystery

When a motor vehicle collision occurs in New York, the exact cause is not always immediately apparent. In fact, some car accidents require lengthy police investigations before questions regarding who might be to blame can be answered. A recent incident occurred that has resulted in contrasting stories being told by police versus one young man's mother.

What is known is that a car appears to have crashed into a stationary vehicle and a tree. It is also known that more than one person was in the car at the time. Another concrete detail is that a single fatality occurred as a result of the crash.

Medical malpractice problematic in many New York regions

When a person undergoes surgery or receives some other type of medical treatment at a New York hospital or doctor's office, it's assumed those providing the care will act in accordance with the highest levels of accepted safety standards. While there's always a certain amount of risk inherent in any medical procedure, a patient has the right to reasonably expect safe and adequate care. Substandard care may result in severe injury or illness to patients, which often leads to medical malpractice lawsuits.

No one wants to come home in worse condition than they were in when they went to a hospital for treatment. Sadly, however, this happens all the time. Surgeons sometimes make mistakes, including operating on the wrong body part or mistakenly leaving foreign objects inside the bodies of their patients.

Car accidents not uncommon during rush hours in New York

New York, like many other states, is comprised of various highway systems that are often laden with traffic, especially in early morning hours as thousands of people try to get to work on time. Car accidents often occur, especially at crossroads and other road areas often considered dangerous. Sometimes, however, accidents also occur in more unlikely locations, such as a recent crash that happened along the West Hempstead branch of the LIRR train route.

It was just after 7 a.m. when a train and car collided. As is often the case in such situations, the exact cause of the crash was not immediately apparent. As soon as possible after the accident, train passengers began to be evacuated. The process was still ongoing more than an hour later.

Many lawsuits filed for medical malpractice at same hospital

Many New York residents understand how stressful it is to be told heart surgery is needed to survive. Any type of surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. Some surgeries, such as those involving the heart, are inherently more dangerous than others. When surgeons are negligent, severe injuries often occur, leading to medical malpractice lawsuits.

One can only imagine the horror of undergoing cardiac surgery, only to later learn the procedure was unnecessary. However, more than 80 lawsuits were recently settled in another state against a doctor and hospital for this very reason. The first red flag that something was not right arose in 2009 when there was a 300 percent increase of cardiac procedures at the facility.

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