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Snow-and-Ice-SF-Blog-scaledCold weather conditions typically hit the Buffalo area in November and linger until late March. During this time, ice often accumulates in parking lots, building entrances, stairs, sidewalks, and other outdoor surfaces. Ice can cause highly slippery conditions, making fall-related accidents common during the brutal Western New York winters.

Icy Hot Spots

Unfortunately, it is often challenging to detect ice-related threats. For example, a homeowner might shovel a sidewalk full of snow only to uncover a patch of black ice. Since black ice is transparent, it remains disguised by the surface below it. Victims may encounter these hazardous icy conditions outside offices, malls, grocery stores, hospitals, apartment buildings, and private homes. Temperatures usually warm up during the day and melt the snow, and freezing nights cause melted snow to freeze and turn into ice. Ice tends to form very quickly, especially in shaded areas of buildings, parking garages, gutters, and trees, where rain and melting snow do not evaporate. 

Joint-and-Several-Liability-scaledPersonal injury accidents like car collisions often involve several parties. Whenever someone is partially to blame for a motor vehicle accident, they could be listed as a defendant and obligated to pay damages if found to be responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. The rule of joint and several liability applies when there are multiple defendants. New York State’s joint and several liability law allows plaintiffs to hold defendants, individually or collectively, accountable for the total amount of their damages. In these cases, the plaintiff should consider how many defendants were involved, what percentage of fault can be allocated to each party, and each defendant’s automobile insurance policy coverage limits. Many drivers only carry New York’s minimum car insurance liability limits. While this may seem like enough coverage, the damages owed to victims in severe motor vehicle accidents often exceed these amounts.

Joint Liability Vs. Joint And Several Liability

Joint and joint and several liability legal principles allow victims to hold multiple defendants accountable for their actions. Joint liability differs from joint and several liability in that, in the first instance, the responsibility is spread equally among all of the defendants. In the latter, the responsibility shifts depending on the determined percentage of each defendant’s liability. A judge or a jury typically makes this determination. In New York State, defendants generally are held joint and severally responsible.

Request-Police-Report-scaledSuppose you were involved in a car crash and need to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit. In that case, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s top rated attorneys recommend obtaining a copy of the corresponding police report, also referred to as a police accident report. You can do this by going to the responding officer’s precinct and asking for it in person. The police department should be located in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. However, you may be able to save yourself a trip by calling in advance to confirm. A copy of the police report will usually be provided for free. While it may be available immediately, sometimes it can take up to 30 days.   

You can also request a copy online if you cannot go in person. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allows online requests for police reports. For electronically filed police reports, you should allow at least 14 days from the date of the accident. The DMV maintains accident reports for four years from the date of the incident. Although reports involving accidents where no one suffered injury or property damage exceeding $1,000 are not available online, you can obtain one by mailing in a Request for Copy of Accident Report (MV-198C).

What Will I Need To Retrieve My Police Report? 

ATV-BLOG-scaledNew York State is home to some of the best All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) parks and trails in the United States. Whether you are considering purchasing a four-wheeler or already own one, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with some of the relevant laws and safety precautions. Below, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s battle-tested ATV accident injury lawyers have gathered some vital information.

General Requirements For ATV Owners

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding all-terrain vehicles is whether New York law permits riding on the street. Owners must register their ATVs with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if it is driven anywhere within the state, including their personal property. ATV operation, except for the owner’s property, is forbidden without the minimum liability insurance coverage of $50,000/$100,000 for death, $25,000/$50,000 for injury, and $10,000 for property damage in any single crash.

police-giving-ticket-scaledUpon arriving at the scene of a car crash, the police will investigate to determine which driver is at fault. During this time, the officers typically interview the drivers involved and bystanders who witnessed the accident. Should the police conclude that a driver violated the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, they will issue a traffic ticket, also known as a citation. Consequently, the driver who received the ticket must go to traffic court. Suppose the other motorist suffered any damage, such as injuries, lost wages, or property damage. In that case, they might seek monetary compensation through a personal injury claim. Many car accident victims wonder whether the outcome of traffic court will impact their case against the ticketed driver.  

Common Traffic Laws Violated In Car Accidents

There are numerous reasons why the police may cite a motorist for actions that caused a collision. Prevalent examples include:

SUBPOENA-scaledA subpoena is a legal instrument commonly used to compel a person or company to comply with different requests. These documents can be used in any case, from murder trials to dog bite accident lawsuits.  

What Are The Main Types Of Subpoenas? 

When one party in a case wants to obtain documents or request testimony, they may attempt to do so by sending a subpoena. The two primary forms of subpoenas include:

Lawyer-Search-scaledSuppose that you, or a family member, has been severely injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or even recklessness. In such an unfortunate case, it is only natural to want the finest personal injury lawyer you can find. While many attorneys may be able to provide you with competent legal advice, certain traits distinguish good lawyers from the best. 

Top Qualities That Your Personal Injury Attorney Should Possess  

If you are searching for the right attorney to litigate your case, we recommend focusing on the following qualities:

The-5-Most-Common-Accidents-scaledAlthough the last thing anyone wants is to be the victim of an accident, mishaps are part of life. To better safeguard you and your loved ones, it is imperative to be aware of the most prevalent types of accidents. Below, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s team of personal injury lawyers has listed the most frequently occurring accidents along with crucial tips to avoid them: 

  1. Car Crashes: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 42,915 victims suffered fatal collisions last year. The most significant annual percentage increase in reporting history. Most car accidents are caused by distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and weather conditions. You can avoid severe collisions by always driving prudently and defensively, staying focused on the road, adapting to changing driving conditions, and never getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
  2. Slip and Fall Accidents: In a recent year alone, fall-related accidents accounted for more than eight million emergency room visits. Most fall injuries occur at ground level and commonly result in broken bones, such as hip or wrist fractures. You can avoid most falls by taking your time, wearing appropriate footwear, and staying attentive. Slips are more likely to take place when you rush, ignore where you are stepping, or wear the wrong type of shoes. 

Signing-A-Release-scaledThe vast majority of all personal injury claims are resolved outside of courtrooms through settlements. A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract between the victim and the defendant whom they filed the lawsuit against. The terms of a settlement are negotiated back and forth until an agreement can be reached. Once negotiations have concluded, and a settlement amount is agreed upon, you will have to review and sign a release of liability form before your check is processed. 

The Purpose Of A Release 

A release is a binding contract agreeing to settle a claim in return for a sum of money. The primary purpose of the release is to prevent the victim from filing other claims against or seeking further damages from a defendant based on the same incident. In other words, you consent to drop all claims against the other party in return for the settlement money. Defense attorneys and their insurance companies are responsible for drafting releases. 

Free-Consultation-scaledMost personal injury lawsuits begin with a case evaluation and consultation. Often, it is the first time you will discuss your claim with a lawyer face-to-face. At an initial consultation, one of our elite lawyers will assess the merits of your potential case. The attorney will also determine if your specific needs match our legal services. Initial consultations are a beneficial process for everyone involved. It allows the lawyer to understand how the accident happened, the scope and severity of your injuries, the medical treatment involved, your future prognosis, and other damages. You must be adequately prepared for your complimentary consultation. Our attorneys request that potential clients speak openly and honestly so that we can get all the required information.  

The Consultation Process

Free consultations can be conducted in various ways. Some clients prefer to have their initial consultations as soon as possible. Other clients like talking to a lawyer on the phone to acquire a better idea of the claim process. While meeting in person is always preferred, our caring team is happy to accommodate you in any manner of your choosing. During the consultation, our lawyers will likely have plenty of fundamental questions to ask you. Some specific questions we may ask include:

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