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Queens Personal Injury Law Blog

Take steps to avoid any contest to your last wills and estates

A contested last will is a nightmare. It can drag an estate through probate, taking months and resulting in thousands of dollars going to court costs and other fees. For the testator, the person who created the will, having those last wishes contested in court is a final insult. Generally, if you take the time to create an estate plan or a last will, you do it because you want to see your assets divided a certain way.

Unfortunately, family members and other heirs may not see things your way. Some people believe that they should get more of an estate than was left to them. Others may have reason to believe that the executor of the estate isn't doing a good job. Thankfully, you can take certain steps to avoid contestations and protracted battles in probate court.

A charter bus driver crashes into a Queens city bus, killing 3

A Queens charter bus driver, who had been previously fired from his job as a driver for New York City's Metro system, crashed into one of his former employer's buses on Monday, Sept. 18. That collision killed two and injured more than a dozen others.

The fatal accident occurred just before 6:15 a.m., at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens. The Q20 city bus had just finished turning onto Northern Boulevard when the 49-year-old operator of the empty Dahlia Travel and Tours charter bus slammed into it.

Uneven sidewalks could result in major injury or even death

When people think of premises liability in New York, they often think of slip-and-fall accidents or cases of falling ice from tall buildings. One aspects that receives far less attention is the liability associated with sidewalks and their proper maintenance. A lot of people assume that sidewalks are the responsibility of the city, but that is only partially true.

The City of New York is responsible for maintaining sidewalks adjacent to one-, two- or three-story residential homes. Commercial properties, high rises and larger residential properties must maintain their own sidewalks under city code. That can mean that repairs end up put off until something bad happens in front of, behind or next to a property. Thankfully, the law now also requires that properties required to maintain their own sidewalks also have coverage for sidewalk-related injuries and property damage on their liability insurance policies.

What is a health care proxy and what are the benefits of it?

In New York, under the state's Health Care Proxy Law, you can appoint to have someone else make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. There are generally two situations in which that individual may be called upon to make decisions about your medical care.

One instance in which a health care proxy may be invoked is if you have been put to sleep during a surgical procedure. If a medical decision needs to be rendered while you're knocked out, then having a health care proxy in place will allow that other individual to make choices on your behalf.Another instance in which the health care proxy may be invoked is if you suffer some type of medical event that renders you unable to communicate your own wishes. Some examples of instances in which this may occur include if you are in a persistent vegetative state, suffer from Alzheimer's or dementia, or become comatose.

Suing your car's manufacturer if you're injured in a crash

A defective product is anything that poses a danger of injury or death. Thousands of Americans are harmed using defective products each year. In some cases, an item isn't properly labeled with the necessary warnings to ensure that its user properly handles it. In other cases, the product functions differently from the way it was intended to, resulting in an individual being hurt.

If you've been injured by a defective product, then you may be able to seek damages based on waging a claim that it had manufacturing, design or warning defect.

How do you prove fault in a car accident lawsuit?

Almost every New York car accident injury claim boils down to one important factor: fault. Generally, fault in a car accident case refers to a party's failure to act in a way that a reasonable person would have given the circumstances -- especially in terms of preventing injury to others.

Additionally, that failure needs to have resulted in an accident and injuries.

A moped operator is injured after being struck by a bus in Queens

The 31-year-old operator of a moped suffered critical injuries on Monday, Sept. 11 after allegedly being struck by a Metro Transit Authority (MTA) bus. The crash happened at approximately 4:30 p.m., adjacent to Queens' Citi Field.

It's believed that the man had been operating his moped westbound along Roosevelt Avenue as he approached Shea Road. According to witnesses to the crash, it's as the bus driver attempted to turn right to continue along Roosevelt that he collided with the biker. The moped's operator had been en route to deliver Indian food to a customer at the time he was struck.

The importance of keeping your estate plan updated

While it's important for everyone to have an estate plan in place, regardless of his or her net worth, it's particularly prudent for those of means to have one. That's because the transfer of assets doesn't wait for anyone. It's required immediately upon an individual's death. An estate plan serves the role of designating to whom certain assets are distributed to once you pass away.

If you fail to have an estate plan in place, then you risk your assets being subjected to a long probate process. If this happens, then you risk your assets being divided up according to state law or contested, even if it goes against what you had voiced you'd hope would happen upon your death.

Ladder safety tips for construction work

After years of working in the construction industry throughout New York, you may feel like you can do your job blind folded. You have seen all manner of accidents and mishaps on the job site, and even managed to avoid some potentially dangerous situations yourself.

Sometimes, after years of experience, it is easy to become complacent about certain things that seem very basic. For example, you may have spent so much time on a ladder, that you barely think about what you are doing when you need to use one. It might be time for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ladder safety refresher, just to get your head back in the game. Read below for some OSHA ladder safety tips that keep you safe on the job.

Car accidents pose serious risks to children of all ages

Did you know that for children over the age of 1, unintentional injuries (accidents) are the leading cause of death? Accidents claim three times as many lives in children and young teens compared to the second most common cause of death, cancer (until age 15, when it becomes suicide). Far too many young people's lives have ended early as the result of a potentially preventable accident.

Although household accidents play a role, a substantial number of child deaths are the result of motor vehicle collisions. They can take a number of forms, including children walking or on bikes struck by motor vehicles, or children as passengers (or teens as drivers) getting hurt and dying during collisions. Teen drivers are considered a serious risk by many, but few people consider how many fatal crashes involve adult drivers.