“I just found out I have cancer that should have been diagnosed three years ago”

May 7, 2015

Another potential client came in with this scenario.  She now has Stage 4 breast cancer.  She didn’t discover it until over three years since the last time she saw a breast specialist and complained about a lump.  No mammogram or biopsy was done.  Perhaps that doctor should have diagnosed the cancer at that time and prevented it from advancing to Stage 4.  She’d like to sue that doctor.   Unfortunately, in New York, she can’t.

In medical malpractice cases in New York, there is a 2 1/2 year statute of limitations from the date the malpractice occurred. Unless there was continuous treatment after that, you can’t sue if you discover the cancer more than 2 1/2 years after the malpractice occurred.  Most states in this country begin the statute of limitations when the malpractice was discovered, not when if occurred.  And in those states, this patient would have the right to sue.  Not in New York.

There are currently proposals in the New York State Senate and Assembly to amend the statute of limitations to be in conformance with these other states.  Unless those proposals get passed, New York will continue to deprive clients, mostly women, from being able to seek redress against the doctor who made the mistake. Clinical guidelines are developing so that cancer screening for women is being done less frequently.  If less frequent than every 2 1/2 years, women in New York who subsequently discover a cancer that should have been diagnosed at the prior screening will continue to be victimized.

Contact your State Senator or Assemblyman, and tell him or her that you support the “date of discovery” proposals being advance by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA). Maybe the law will change so that other women will be able to redress these wrongs.


New York Scaffold Law Is Under Attack

June 11, 2013

Many jobs require workers to use ladders and scaffolds to work at heights. Whether constructing a skyscraper, washing windows on a tall building, or installing windows on a small apartment building, the risk of falling from heights is great. The owners of the buildings, and the general contractors they hire to do the work, have the ability to determine the types of equipement necessary to keep workers safe and to purchase insurance in the event an accident occurs. It is out of this obligation and duty that the New York Labor Law provides these workers extra protection.

Labor Law Section 240 provides that owners and general contractors of commercial buildings or apartment buildings housing three families or more are strictly liable for accidents that occur when a worker is injured because they do not provide adequate safety devices. Whether the issue is appropriateness of the device being use, such as using the wrong type of ladder, scaffold or hoisting device, or that device is defective, the owners and general contractors are presumed to be liable for the injuries. This does not apply in situations where the worker is the “sole proximate cause” of the accident. For example, if the worker was using alcoholic beverages and fell off the scaffold, or the worker refused to use a safety device that was provided.

It’s only fair. The typical worker is not equipped to bring his own safety equipment to the job site. That’s up to the people who plan the jobs and mobilize the equipment necessary to do it. The equipment must be tested before it is mobilized to make sure it can withstand the use required by that job. The worker has to be able to assume that the equipment provided is not defective and is capable of doing the job requested.

There is an unfortunate push by insurance companies and large contractors to take away the provisions of the labor law which protect workers. Such a backwards move will only serve to endanger workers. The threat of a potential lawsuit is often the only protection a worker may have. Taking away the worker’s ability to sue for injuries that could have been avoided by the use of proper equipment will not benefit anybody but the pockets of the insurance companies and building owners trying to make more profits off the backs of the worker.

Hopefully our state legislators will resist the calls from these monied interests and continue to protect the workers in New York. Contact your state senator or assemblyman and let him or her know that you support the protection of workers and that they should not change Labor Law 240.


Overweight Pedestrians Fare Better After Being Struck by a Car

April 4, 2013

According to a recent study at the NYU Langone Medical Center, the extra padding from being overweight can cushion a pedestrian from serious injuries.  Looking at the medical records for people who have been struck by cars or taxicabs, as well as speaking with the victims and first responders, the researchers theorized that the extra layer of fat can act as a cushion.  On the flip side, overweight people did not do as well once they were hospitalized

Other interesting findings included that 15% of pedestrians and 11% of cyclists who were injured had been drinking alcoholic beverages.  Eight percent of all injured had been using a cell phone or music player at the time of the accident.  This number increased to 10% of pedestrians and 30% of cyclists when the victim’s age is between 7 and 17.

It should not be suprising that 40% of injured cyclists and 25% of injured pedestrians were struck by taxicabs. 

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of being struck by a car, taxicab, bus, truck or some other vehicle, contact the law offices of Norman M. Block, P.C. to discuss your case.  With over 25 years of experience, we can help you obtain the largest possible recovery for your injuries.


What To Do After an Accident

March 2, 2012

You have been injured in an accident. What do you do now? Since you are searching the web, you know that it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.   But what else should you do?

 

GET MEDICAL CARE

The first step after an accident is to make sure you get appropriate medical care. If you were taken to an emergency room, you may have been admitted to the hospital if your injury was very serious. In most situations, you were most likely examined, given various x-rays, sent home with some pills, and told to follow up with a doctor.

It is important that you follow up with a doctor, either the one the hospital referred you to another doctor of your choosing but in the area of specialization as the doctor to whom you were referred by the hospital. That should be done as soon as possible after your discharge from the hospital, even if you are feeling a bit better.

Continuing medical care is important to help you get better. It is also crucial if you are planning to seek compensation for your injury. When insurance companies evaluate cases for settlement, the first thing examined is the type and frequency of medical care received. It is important to make all your appointments. If there is a series of missed appointments or a gap in your medical care, the insurance companies assume you are not seriously injured. This will lower the settlement value of your case.

 

REPORT THE ACCIDENT

If you are injured in a car accident and the police came to the scene, an accident report has already been prepared. You should obtain a copy from the police department that responded to the scene. If you are unsure of the police department, a copy of your report can be obtained from the website for the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you are injured at work, your employer will likely complete an accident report for its own internal records and to institute your claim for workers compensation benefits.

If you are injured at a commercial establishment, such as a store, the store manager may complete a report. If he does not, make sure that you communicate with the store soon after the accident.

If you are injured at a private location, or at a government facility, sidewalk or street, it is unlikely that a report will be completed. It is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that notice is provided. If the accident was at a government facility, or in a street or sidewalk, there are statutory time frames which must be met; usually no more than 90 days after the date of the accident. It is important that your attorney completes the necessary Notice of Claim forms and gets them to the appropriate government entity.

 

CONTACT THE INSURANCE COMPANY

Automobile Accidents

If you are injured in a car accident, you must contact the insurance company that will be paying your medical benefits. If you are in a car, the insurance company for the owner of the car will provide those benefits, regardless of who is at fault. That is why the insurance is called No-Fault insurance. If you are the owner, then it is your auto insurance company which will pay.

If you are a pedestrian, the owner of the vehicle that hit you will pay for the medical benefits.

If the insurance company is not your insurance company, the identify of the insurance company for the responsible vehicle will be found on the police report, usually in a code in a box labeled “INS Code”. Your attorney will be able to help you identify the insurance company.

Other Accidents

In accidents other than a car accident, it is difficult to determine which insurance companies may be involved. Your attorney will write to the responsible party and ask that the insurance company be contacted. When the injury occurs at a commercial property or private home, the insurance policy may provide for the payment of a fixed dollar amount for your medical expenses. That amount will be paid by the insurance company regardless of who is at fault.

 


Learn More About Norman M. Block, P.C.

July 26, 2011

www. lawblock.com

Since 1987, individuals, families, and businesses in New York have turned to the law office of Norman M. Block, P.C., for experienced and effective legal counsel. Whether Mr. Block’s representation has involved the resolution of a high profile business contract dispute, or the negotiation of a six-figure personal injury settlement, clients appreciate the attentiveness our firm has shown to their case and to them as a person, not just a case file.

Serving New York City, Westchester County, and surrounding counties, the Hawthorne, New York, law firm of Norman M. Block, P.C., has the experience to meet the litigation needs of business clients, individuals and law firms, including:

BUSINESSES being sued by a landlord, customer, vendor, or employee in a contract dispute, discrimination claim, or other action, and companies that need to bring a lawsuit to protect their interests.

INDIVIDUALS who are:

LAW FIRMS seeking to refer a case or seeking local counsel in federal or state courts in the New York City area, including Westchester County, Rockland County, Orange County, Duchess County, Putnam County, or Sullivan County.

Experienced, Professional Service from a New York Lawyer

With more than 20 years of experience assisting clients with their personal injury, business law, and other civil litigation concerns, we understand the importance of having an experienced attorney on your side, dedicated to your interests. Our New York law firm is dedicated to providing each client with attentive, responsive, thorough representation that is often not available from attorneys at larger New York law firms.

Mr. Block takes a personalized approach to your case, paying meticulous attention to detail and working closely with other professionals to build a solid case, whether he is advising you regarding a complex business contract, or he is advocating for your financial recovery in a car accident injury claim.

Skilled in negotiation, he offers an extensive litigation background should your case proceed to trial. Our goal is to help you obtain the best possible outcome for your legal concerns, whether you are confronted with complex business litigation or face personal legal concerns involving an injury or family dispute.

Additional Information:

Contact our Hawthorne law firm to discuss your needs with a skilled New York City attorney.

We serve clients throughout New York City (Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn), in communities such as Hawthorne, White Plains, New City, Spring Valley, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Mt. Vernon, and Yonkers, and throughout Westchester County, Sullivan County, Rockland County, Orange County, Dutchess County, and Putnam County and provide representation in all federal courts and state courts in New York and Connecticut.