Be Prepared In Case Natural Disaster Strikes Your Home, Says NY and PA Personal Injury Lawyer

GODERICH STORM DAMAGE

Ziff Law Managing Partner Jim Reed talked about how homeowners can be better prepared to deal with a disaster on a recent segment of Law Talk on a recent WETM-TV News at Noon.

Question: We have had many storms this summer, including some tornadoes, and lots of property damage in our communities in the region. What do you do right away if your home is damaged in a storm?

Jim Reed.

Jim Reed.

Jim Reed: The most important thing is document, document, document. It has become easier to document storm damage than it used to be. Document the damage by taking photos or videos; and copy invoices and receipts for items or services used.

The key thing after damages occur is to promptly walk around your home and write down, photograph and shoot video of the damage to your home and property. The more proof you have, the better.

You also need to report it to your insurance agent immediately. I always recommend to my clients that they get a local insurance agent instead of just buying your insurance over the internet. When you have a claim, your local insurance agent is your first line of defense assisting you with your claim.  The insurance agent, because of his or her business relationship with you, should help you in the process of filing the claim and doing what is necessary to help you get paid for your claim.  A good local agent who cares about you and your claim can be worth their weight in gold!

Q&A 1One of the things I have been asked about is, “What about this ‘act of God’ exclusion in my policy?” You need to read your policy, review it with your agent and you need to know, whether it’s wind or flood damage or anything else, are you covered? It’s critically important because different insurance companies and even different insurance policies within the same company can have different provisions on what is covered and what is not.

The most important thing to remember when you sit down with your agent is to be absolutely sure you know what is covered and what is not covered.  Ask questions like:  Is my boat covered if sitting on a trailer in my driveway?  Am I covered if the creek in my back yard overflows and floods my house?  Am I covered if lightning strikes my house and burns it down?  In other words, try to think of the real world problems that might damage your property and ask the agent whether you are covered or not. Don’t leave the agent’s office without all your answers.  And it never hurts to take notes of your conversation as to what is covered and what is not.

Thanks for reading. Now is the time to get your insurance policies out and do your homework!

Jim

See Law Talk segments at about 12:20 p.m. Wednesdays on WETM-TV News at Noon.

To submit a legal question for the Ziff Law lawyers to answer on one of their blogs, email the question to jreed@zifflaw.com.

_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 


Welcome To My World! Great Video Perfectly Captures Every Litigator’s Deposition Nightmare, Says NY and PA Injury Lawyer

The hilarious seven-minute video above illustrates the nightmare every trial lawyer has encountered at one time or another –  witnesses who are coached by their lawyers to give non-responsive answers so stubborn lawyers like me are left no other alternative than to keep asking the question until we finally get a responsive answer!

In the video, a lawyer is trying to depose a blank-faced witness asks the question that kicks off the confrontation – “Does the Recorder’s office have photocopying machines?” That leads to all sorts of wiggling and dodging by the witness and interference and stalling tactics by his lawyer, all designed to confuse the issue.

The amazing thing is the script for this insanity is from a REAL COURTROOM ENCOUNTER. It was taken verbatim from an Ohio deposition.

You can read more about the case that inspired this insanity, and how one lawyer would have done it differently, by clicking here.

Thanks for watching and reading!

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

 

 


Corning Hospital Needs To Change Its Culture, Not Its Address!

new-corning-hospitalYou will see many smiles and handshakes in the news in the coming weeks as Guthrie prepares to cut the ribbon on its new, state-of-the-art Guthrie Corning Hospital in East Corning, just off Interstate 86 at the west end of state Route 352.

There is an open house from noon to 3 p.m. June 29 and the hospital opens on July 12.

But after after all the back-slapping and cheering is over, this is the reality facing patients:

The beautiful new building and the latest, greatest technology don’t mean anything if the quality of care administered by the doctors and nurses doesn’t improve.

In the many medical malpractice cases we have handled against the Corning Hospital and the Guthrie system, the cases have never been about inadequate facilities or equipment. They have been about miscommunication, no communication, overworked staff, under staffing, mistakes, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, failure to investigate, failure to diagnose, failure to supervise, and failure to use common sense.

A new address and a new building won’t do anything to change the problems that lead to patients being injured by the facility they trust to care for them.

At the Ziff Law Firm, we will be watching carefully for new signs of better care and communication at the new hospital.  In the meantime, we will continue to hold the hospital and its staff responsible when their mistakes injure and kill people.  It is only when they are held responsible for their mistakes that change will occur.

Unless there is a change of culture at the new Guthrie Corning Hospital, the only thing they will be changing is the location.

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: agee@zifflaw.com

 

 

 


NY Toughens Regulations On Boats And Other Watercraft, Hopes To Curb Invasive Species

H39DawnLeftRunSpread2Gal-634x390Boaters and operators of other watercraft in New York State — including the Finger Lakes, of course — are now required to clean and drain their vessels before hitting the water to help stop the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation earlier this month adopted regulations requiring owners to remove visible plant and animal matter from boats, canoes and any other motorized or paddled vessel, before reaching the water. All watercraft owners are also required to clean trailers.

logo_sah-vert-200pxDEC Commissioner Joe Martens said boats and boat trailers can spread invasive species, a threat to our ecosystem.

Before launching, boaters are asked to inspect and remove all mud, plants and other organic material, and drain the bilge.

The state has a great step-by-step inspection process here. The steps are check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect.

You can read the new regulations here.

You can learn more about aquatic invasive species in New York State here.

Read some basic questions and answers about aquatic invasive species here to learn more.

Here is the first question and answer:

Q: What is an aquatic invasive species?

A: According to New York State Environmental Conservation Law, an invasive species is a species that is not native to an ecosystem and causes or is likely to cause significant economic or environmental harm, or harm human health. In reality, the species rarely have any human health implications, but do have the potential to outcompete native species and grow or reproduce to nuisance proportions in a body of water. In certain cases, these species may be native to the U.S. or another section of NY, but are not native to the entire state. White perch and alewife are an example of two fish species that are native to the marine and coastal region of NY, but have become problematic when introduced to inland waters. In other cases, invasive species may be introduced from other regions of the world.

Thanks for reading, and remember to check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect!

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: agee@zifflaw.com

 

 


Tracy Morgan Accident Puts Spotlight On Fatigued Truckers Who Pose Real Danger To Other Drivers, Says NY and PA Truck Accident Lawsuit Lawyer

Actor Tracy Morgan is recovering in a New Jersey hospital after almost being killed in a highway accident involving a tractor-trailer.

Actor Tracy Morgan is recovering in a New Jersey hospital after almost being killed in a highway accident involving a tractor-trailer.

The tragic June 7 accident that critically injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has led to a renewed focus on the danger on our highways from fatigued truck drivers working too many hours without taking a break.

A friend of Morgan’s was killed when a Walmart tractor-trailer driven by Kevin Roper rear-ended Morgan’s Mercedes limousine at 1 a.m. June 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan is now in fair condition in a New Jersey hospital.

The truck driver, charged with Vehicular Manslaughter By Operating A Vehicle Recklessly and Recklessly Causing Serious Bodily Injury, remains free on $50,000 bail. Prosecutors claim Roper went more than 24 hours without sleep before the fatal wreck. The Jonesboro, Ga., man pleaded innocent last week to the charges in the crash.

In a recent Law Talk segment on WETM-TV News at Noon, I talked about the accident and the charges faced by the truck driver.

Q&A 1Question: Who is held responsible when a truck driver is driving for a company?

Answer: The driver and the owner of the truck are both responsible. The driver has the responsibility of driving safely, and if he is not safe, he can be held liable.

If the truck driver works for Walmart and is operating the truck in the course of his employment, then the company is responsible, too.

In this case, there is an allegation that the driver had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash. That would be a major violation of federal trucking regulations.

Federal regulations are very specific. Drivers are not supposed to operate a truck for more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period, and after those 11 hours, they are supposed to rest for at least 10 hours. They cannot drive more than 70 hours in a week.

The truck driver is also supposed to list the hours he spends on the road in a log book in his truck. There are many log requirements, but I know from handling many truck accident cases that often the log books are incomplete, and in some cases, falsified.

Sen. Schumer is calling for tougher monitoring of truck drivers.

Sen. Schumer is calling for tougher monitoring of truck drivers.

Drivers are trying to get in more hauls because they get paid by the number of miles they travel and so often, we see truck drivers who have broken the law.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, called for “black boxes” (electronic logging devices) in trucks yesterday so trucker hours can be monitored. He cited some startling statistics: 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 injured in accidents involving trucks, and 13 percent of serious accidents are cause by trucker fatigue.

Schumer also wants the federal Department of Transportation to study, and if necessary, increase the insurance coverage level that truck companies are required to cover so victims of accidents receive the compensation and coverage they deserve, he said.

As a lawyer who has handled many tractor trailer cases in N.Y. and PA, I strongly support Senator Schumer’s call for great safety action.

To submit a legal question you’d like answered here on one of our Ziff Law blogs, please send an email to me at jreed@zifflaw.com.

Thanks for reading, and remember when you are sharing the road with tractor-trailers, use extreme caution.

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

 


Dakota Truly Is A Hometown Hero! Nominate A Hero Today

Dakota Dickerson meets Patches, the Pioneers mascot, before going on the field to meet the Pioneers Friday night.

Dakota Dickerson meets Patches, the Pioneers mascot, before going on the field to meet the Pioneers Friday night.

More than 4,000 Elmira Pioneers fans who attended opening night Friday at Dunn Field will never forget Dakota Dickerson.

Dakota, an 11-year-old boy from Gillett, Pa., is battling a rare form of brain and spine cancer and was the Ziff Law Firm’s first Hometown Hero of the Game for the 2014 season.

In the fifth inning, Dakota, a big Pioneers fan, threw a pitch amid cheers and met the Pioneers on the field. Many of Dakota’s family members and friends were in the stands.

“The fans were great, and Dakota was smiling and waving his arms to thank them,” said Ziff Law paralegal Annette Viselli Thorne, who coordinates the Hometown Heroes program each summer. “It was a great moment for Dakota and all the fans.”

Dakota Dickerson meets the Pioneers after throwing a pitch in the fifth inning of Friday night’s game.

Dakota Dickerson meets the Pioneers after throwing a pitch in the fifth inning of Friday night’s game.

Annette was impressed by the Pioneers and their compassion.

“God love those players. One by one they walked up to Dakota and shook his hand and wished him well,” Annette said. “They aren’t much older than Dakota and I think the reality of what Dakota is going through really hit them hard. You could tell by the looks on their faces. It was an unforgettable night.”

And to make it a perfect night, the Pioneers won, beating the Amsterdam Mohawks, 3-2, Friday night.

To learn more about Dakota, see his Team Dakota Facebook page, which is updated by his family and friends.

See news reports with video about Dakota at Dunn Field here and here.

There are many local heroes to celebrate. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized this summer?

The Ziff Law Firm of Elmira teams up with the Pioneers to honor a Hometown Hero of the Game at every Pioneers home game. The Heroes are selected from nominations provided by Twin Tiers residents.

Those selected by the Ziff Law Firm as Hometown Heroes – and up to seven of their family members and friends – are guests of the law firm at a Pioneers game at Dunn Field. The Hometown Heroes are recognized during the game by the public-address announcer. Anyone who gives back to their community through their work, actions or volunteer efforts is eligible to become a Hometown Hero.

To nominate a Hometown Hero:

Online form: Click here.

Email: hero@zifflaw.com

Mail: 303 William St., Elmira, NY 14901

Call: (607) 733-8866 or (800) 943-3529

The Elmira Pioneers play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League every summer. The Pioneers have 24 home games in the regular season, which concludes July 30. Dunn Field will also host the league’s All-Star Game on July 15.

Thanks for reading, and please nominate a Hometown Hero today.

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

Nominate A Hometown Hero To Honor This Summer At Dunn Field

Hero logoThe Ziff Law Firm is teaming up with the Elmira Pioneers again this summer to honor a Hometown Hero of the Game for each Pioneers home game from nominations provided by Twin Tiers residents.

Anyone who gives back to their community through their work, actions or volunteer efforts is eligible to become a Hometown Hero.

Those selected by the Ziff Law Firm as Hometown Heroes – and up to seven of their family members and friends – will be guests of the law firm at a Pioneers game at Dunn Field, where they will be seated in a specially designated box. The Hometown Hero will be recognized during the game by the public-address announcer. The Ziff Law Firm first recognized Hometown Heroes during the 2012 season.

To nominate a Hometown Hero:
Online form is here.
Email: hero@zifflaw.com
Mail: 303 William St., Elmira, NY 14901
Call: (607) 733-8866 or (800) 943-3529

The Elmira Pioneers play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, a summer league with 10 teams from across New York State. The Pioneers’ season begins June 5 in Watertown against the Rams and the first home game is 7 p.m. June 6 against the Amsterdam Mohawks at Dunn Field. The Pioneers have 24 home games in the regular season, which concludes July 30.

Dunn Field will also host the league’s All-Star Game on July 15.

Dunnfield1bigThe Ziff Law Firm looks forward to turning the spotlight on people making a difference in our community, said attorney Adam Gee of the Ziff Law Firm.

“Service to your community, whether through one’s occupation or volunteer work, is as American as baseball and apple pie, so we can’t imagine a better way to thank our Hometown Heroes,” Gee said. “The Ziff Law Firm feels privileged to sponsor this program and looks forward to meeting our heroes and sharing their stories.”

The Pioneers’ owners recently announced they are replacing the stadium’s old box seats and installing a new sound system, among other improvements, in time for opening day.

“Part of my dream with the purchase of the Elmira Pioneers was to give back to the community I was born and raised in,” said Don Lewis, co-owner of the Pioneers. “We are proud for our second year as owners to partner with the Ziff Law Firm in hosting the Hometown Heroes program at Historic Dunn Field.”

The Ziff Law Firm has saluted military veterans with its Veteran of the Game honor at each Elmira Jackals hockey game for the last five seasons at First Arena. In that time, more than 200 veterans have been applauded by Jackals fans for their service to our country.

“Through our Veterans of the Game program with the Elmira Jackals, we have been so pleased to meet and honor local veterans and give them the recognition they deserve,” Gee said. “But veterans are not the only people in the community worthy of recognition.

“There are everyday heroes in our midst, and these are the folks we’ll be recognizing this summer,” he said. “Our Hometown Heroes could be police officers or firefighters or other emergency workers, or they could be people doing other good work in the community.”

Thanks for reading, and please help us recognize the great folks in our community this summer!

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 


GPS-Related Accident Points To Another Overlooked Distraction For Drivers, Says NY and PA Injury Lawyer

iStock_GPSSometimes, we rely too much on our technology.

Just ask Jacob W. Ash of Spencer, W.Va.

According to a news report, Jacob was driving through Bradford County, PA, on May 22, following his GPS directions on state Route 2025 in Wyalusing Township – right into the Susquehanna River.

State Police said Jacob, who was treated for minor injuries at Towanda Memorial Hospital, was following his GPS, which did not tell him that the road ended at the river.

Jacob swam to shore and had to wait several hours for Laceyville Fire/Boat Rescue to help him.

Modern electronics are wonderful time savers and make life easier, but we can’t blindly follow them off a cliff like lemmings or, in this case, into the river. We still have to keep our eyes and ears open, and use our common sense.

At times, they are just another distraction for drivers. Jacob was lucky he didn’t hurt anyone else, or suffer a more serious or fatal injury.

A lesson for everyone who drives — the GPS is NOT always right, and be sure to pull over and park before you check your GPS!

Read more stories about GPS dangers here and here.

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: agee@zifflaw.com


Safety Must Come First For ATV Riders Of All Ages, Says NY and PA ATV Injury Lawyer

200117723-001It’s ATV season again in the Twin Tiers, and every year, riders are killed or seriously injured in our area. New York and Pennsylvania have some of the highest ATV fatal accident rates in the country.

If you’re thinking of buying an all-terrain vehicle, or you already have one and you’re ready to head out, take a few minutes and do a little homework. It might save your life or the life of someone you love.

Children should only ride age-appropriate ATVs.

Children should only ride age-appropriate ATVs.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that in just the first two weeks in May, at  least 19 deaths were reported across the country, including two children under 16 years old.

The CPSC provides the following tips for riders:

  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
  • Do not allow a child under 16 to drive or ride an adult ATV.
  • Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger.
  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Take a hands-on safety training course.

When it comes to children on ATVs:

  • More than 90 percent of ATV-related injuries involving children can be attributed to a lack of developmental skills needed to maneuver the faster, more powerful adult ATVs.
  • Children younger than 16 years old should be on age-appropriate youth models, which are required to travel at lower speeds than adult ATVs and to have an adjustable speed limiter.
  • All ATVs should be equipped with a label that indicates the manufacturer’s recommended age for that particular model.
  • Children younger than 6 years old should never be on any ATV — either as a driver or passenger.

The ATV laws in New York State:

  • No passengers are allowed on the ATV unless it is designed to carry more than one person.
  • All riders (operator and passengers) must wear a helmet at all times.
  • All ATVs must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, renewing registration once every year.
  • ATV use on highways is prohibited, except to cross these roads.
  • No one under 10 may ride or operate an ATV.
  • Operators between 10 and 15 may ride an ATV if they are on their parent’s land and supervised by a parent, or on their parent’s land and in possession of a safety training certificate.
  • No ATV shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.

Read more about the laws here.

The ATV laws in Pennsylvania:

  • No ATV shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight from ½ hour after sunset to half-hour before sunrise.
  • All ATVs must be titled and registered, with the owner receiving one numbered plate.
  • Registration is to be renewed once every two years.
  • No one under age 8 shall operate an ATV on state-owned land.
  • No one between 8 and 15 may operate an ATV unless on a parent’s land or in possession of a safety training certificate.
  • No one under 16 may cross a highway or operate an ATV on designated roads unless in possession of a safety certificate and with an adult 18 or older.
  • ATV use on any street or highway is prohibited, except to cross and except for roads designated as ATV roads.

Read more about the laws here.

Have fun riding this summer, but put safety first!

To enroll in an ATV Safety Institute course, click here.

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: agee@zifflaw.com

 

 

 


Buckle Up Or Else! Twin Tiers Police Officers Join National Crackdown! Be Smart And Use Seat Belt At All Times, Says NY and PA Car Accident Lawyer

http://youtu.be/2jfUTIYHMvY

Police agencies across the nation — including the Twin Tiers — have launched a two-week “Click It or Ticket” high-visibility seat-belt enforcement drive this week, and are reminding motorists to wear seat belts on every trip, day or night.

Buckling up every time you get in a vehicle isn’t just important this month, or because you might get a ticket, but because it saves lives and prevents serious injuries.

We see the results of A LOT of car crashes – take it from us – you are much less likely to be seriously injured in a crash if you are wearing your seat belt. Otherwise, be prepared to meet your windshield face to face at 60 mph. 

0007H“We know seat belts save lives, and while we’re encouraged that national seat belt use is at an all-time high, we won’t stop our efforts until all motorists make the simple yet safe choice to buckle up on every trip,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “If you’re not buckled up, you’ll be ticketed.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data show that the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,174 lives in 2012. Seat belts have saved nearly 63,000 lives during the five-year-period from 2008 to 2012, according to an NHTSA news release.

Nationwide, seat belt use was at a record high of 87 percent in 2013. However, nighttime seat belt use continues to lag behind daytime use. More motorists who are killed in crashes at night are unrestrained at the time of the crashes (61 percent) than those killed in crashes during the day (43 percent), the news release said.

This year’s campaign includes the “Fake-A-Rooney” advertisement (above) that airs nationally through May 26. The advertisement conveys the message that driving without a seat belt is not a joking matter, and officers take seat-belt violations seriously and will issue a ticket if you’re caught without being buckled.

There are no acceptable excuses or exceptions. Always wear a seat belt!

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: agee@zifflaw.com