Protecting yourself and your family with SUM coverage

by wmm | August 19th, 2014

William Mattar appeared on “People Empowerment” to discuss the importance of adding Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage to your auto insurance policy. This coverage can protect you if you are involved in an accident and the other motorist does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries.

You can learn more by watching the video here: Protecting Yourself and Your Family with SUM Insurance Coverage

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New York State is Seventh in the Nation for Traffic Deaths

by Keith Adkins | August 15th, 2014

Despite technological advances and strict laws, the number of highway fatalities continues to grow in New York State. A new study has ranked each state based on its number of traffic fatalities—and New York didn’t fare well.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that in 2012, there were 33,561 highway fatalities nationwide. This is a 3 percent increase from 2011.

Of those deaths, a total of 1,168 were the result of a New York auto accident. This put our state as having the seventh highest traffic accident fatality total in the nation.

An article from Pix 11 explains the six states with a higher fatality count were California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia.

To stay safe behind the wheel, try avoiding some of the most common behaviors that result in crashes, such as:

  • Speeding- Figures show speed is a contributing factor in roughly one-third of all fatal accidents. Obeying the posted speed limit at all times will significantly reduce your chances of involvement in an accident.
  • Drinking and Driving- This behavior plays a part in thousands of fatal car accidents each year and is avoidable by using a designated driver or cab to get home safely.
  • Distracted Driving- Using cellphones and electronics while driving is one of the leading causes of serious accidents. Focusing on the road while driving helps save lives.

At William Mattar Law Offices, we know how dangerous the roads can be. That’s why our Buffalo personal injury attorneys are hopeful to see more motorists doing their part to improve safety.

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William Mattar staff helps with landscape project at Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park

by wmm | August 8th, 2014

On August 2, a group of William Mattar employees gathered at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park to help with some landscaping projects around the park’s trees. Volunteers helped with digging, weeding, hauling and spreading mulch around the trees, as well as picking up debris in the area.

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The firm received a nice note from the project coordinator saying, “You can now proudly and boldly state that you and your firm have helped to transform the Naval Park into one of our waterfront’s finest attractions.”

All of the firm’s volunteers had a great time helping out at one of Western New York’s great landmarks and look forward to the next project at the Naval Park.

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For more information on the Naval Park, visit their website. You can find more information on William Mattar’s community involvement here.

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Two Fun Activities in Buffalo This Weekend

by Keith Adkins | August 8th, 2014

There’s a lot of fun and exciting activities taking place in Buffalo this weekend, and William Mattar Law Offices would like to tell you about two events we are most looking forward to:

  • Erie County Fair- The event kicked off on Wednesday and will continue until Sunday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Throughout the weekend, attendees can expect rides, games, and plenty of food. Be sure not to miss the concerts that are taking place at the Gusto Grandstand as well. Tonight you can catch the ultimate Van Halen tribute. Then next week, country sensation, Dierks Bentley, will play Monday night and Lady Antebellum will take the stage on Wednesday.
  • Morty The Corpse Flower- WIMV 4 News reports that the Botanical Gardens of Buffalo (BGB) have announced a prized giant plant that emits a foul odor when flowering is in the process of blooming. The flower only comes out once every six to ten years and will last 1-2 days, so the BGB has extended hours from 10 A.M. to 11 P.M. to ensure everyone has an opportunity to view Morty.

William Mattar’s Buffalo personal injury lawyers know traffic will likely be congested in the vicinity of either of these events, that’s why we’re asking anyone attending these events to please obey all right-of-way and pedestrian laws.

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Drunk Driving Penalties May Get Harsher in New York

by Keith Adkins | August 1st, 2014

New York State is already known for having some of the toughest laws against drunk driving in the nation, but the penalties for violations may be getting stricter.

Under current New York drunk driving law, three Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offenses within 10 years is considered a class D Felony. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stated his intentions to put “Vince’s Law” into the books, which will extend the time period DWI offenses compound to 15 years. Penalties for the infraction are up to seven years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

According to WIVB 4 News, the law was named in honor of a man killed in a Syracuse drunk driving accident. Reports indicate the motorist responsible for causing the crash had five prior drunk driving offenses on his record and was driving with blood-alcohol level that was four times the legal limit at the time of the fatal collision.

If Cuomo approves and signs Vince’s Law, the new regulations will take effect on Nov. 1.

Vince’s Law would join Leandra’s Law, which makes it a felony to drive while intoxicated with a child in the car.

William Mattar Law Offices and our team of New York personal injury lawyers have seen the impact drunk driving accidents can have on families, which is why we are hopeful Vince’s Law will be approved to help keep drunk drivers off of New York roads.

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Preview: 2014 ABA Annual Meeting

by wmm | July 31st, 2014

The 2014 American Bar Association Annual Meeting will take place August 8 – 10 in Boston. The program features several keynote speakers and events to address topics important to the legal profession.

Among the speakers will be U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Other events and showcases will revolve around a variety of issues, including gun control and gun safety, the case for marriage equality, and fiction/non-fiction writing for lawyers.

In another panel, Sports Illustrated analyst and law professor Michael McCann will lead a discussion on whether the federal government can allow certain states the right to legal sports betting (Nevada) but prohibit it in all other states. This issue is at the basis of the groundbreaking New Jersey case to legalize sports wagering, along with the Supreme Court denying to review challenges filed by New Jersey governor Chris Christie (among others).

The bar association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world, made up of nearly 400,000 members — including attorneys at William Mattar Law Offices.

Learn more about our auto injury attorneys here.

By Katrina Do
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Hot car deaths – can they be prevented?

by wmm | July 29th, 2014

The case of the Georgia father accused of intentionally leaving his son to die in an overheated car continues to shock and spark debate around the nation. But as disturbing as this case is, a string of similar cases continue to emerge in the U.S., and yet another child was killed last week in Wichita, Kan.

The question now is whether accidental deaths of infants in cars may be prevented; and if so, how? Are parents solely responsible for preventing a child’s death? Should the government mandate certain safety measures, such as a driver-reminder alert, in order to prevent accidental deaths?

CNN reports another car safety feature — much like an unbuckled seat belt alert– will become a requirement in 2018. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule in March that requires all cars (made after 2018) to have rear-visibility technology. According to the government agency, more than 200 people (about 30% include children under 5) are killed annually in “unintentional backing” incidents.

In terms of overheated cars, however, the NHTSA concluded that the technology was not sufficient enough to reduce infant heatstroke. Until the necessary resources are available to create such safety tool, here are some tips to prevent accidentally leaving a child alone in a car:

• Look before you lock. Even put a reminder, such as a cell phone or shoe (something you wouldn’t leave the car without), near the backseat to remind you that there is a child on board.
• Always lock your car and keep the keys out of reach; 30% of fatalities result from children deciding to play in the car.
• Always be aware of your surroundings, whether in or outside a vehicle.

Learn more about different types of auto safety here.

By Katrina Do
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Study Examines Vehicle Age and Size as Car Accident Factors

by Keith Adkins | July 25th, 2014

Statistics have long shown teenage drivers have higher rates of car accidents than older drivers. For many years, inexperience behind the wheel was the cited as a potential car accident cause for many of the crashes. However, one new study looked into the possibility of other contributing factors.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found teens who are killed in motor vehicle collisions are more likely to be driving older and smaller vehicles. This means vehicles are less likely to be equipped with the latest safety features, which can put occupants at risk of serious injuries.

These findings leave many people questioning what can be done to keep teens safe on the road. An article from The New York Times suggests several safety tips. The first is to get a vehicle with a high safety rating. These vehicles will likely be equipped with features like electronic stability control. Also, teenagers should avoid high-horsepower vehicles, as fast cars may tempt people to drive faster than their capabilities.

At William Mattar Law Offices, we have a team of Buffalo car accident attorneys that recognizes the importance of keeping motorists safe on the road. That’s why we also suggest discussing the importance of safety behind the wheel with your teen on a consistent basis.

 

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GM Continues to Deny Responsibility for Defective Ignition Switch Crashes

by Keith Adkins | July 18th, 2014

Manufacturers of automobiles in the United States are under a legal obligation to test their vehicles and parts to ensure safety prior to their release to the public. If any problems are discovered, they must be corrected.

Reports indicate General Motors (GM) was aware of as many as 1 million of their vehicles being equipped with a defective ignition switch and/or airbags, but failed to take corrective action despite being warned by attorneys of the risks of facing civil litigation.

CNN News claims GM received reports of the problem in early 2013, after an engineer reported the ignition switch issue to top executives. The company ignored the problem though, and was warned by attorneys at least four times that failing to address the issue could result in costly lawsuits and penalties.

Despite these findings coming to light, GM CEO Mary Barra has stated the company will not take responsibility for all of the accidents involving more than 1 million vehicles that have been recalled because of the ignition switch and airbag problems. Barra went on to claim the defective car parts are two different sets of circumstances and should not be categorized with one another.

This lack of responsibility is why the Buffalo personal injury lawyers with William Mattar Law Offices encourage anyone who has been harmed by a recalled GM vehicle to discuss their potential rights to compensation with a qualified attorney.

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Thanks to Clients and Friends for Making Shade Zones a Success

by wmm | July 17th, 2014

As the Taste of Buffalo wraps up its 31st year, William Mattar, P.C. wraps up its first year sponsoring Shade Zone tents; the firm thanks all those who came to enjoy Buffalo’s finest food under the shade.

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Hundreds of people flooded Niagara Square and Delaware Avenue to celebrate Western New York’s culinary delights at the nation’s largest two-day food festival. This year’s Taste of Buffalo featured a number of new additions, including 17 restaurants and 10 William Mattar Shade Zone tents scattered throughout the event.

Despite weather mishaps, festival-goers still came out to sample Buffalo’s finest cuisine. William Mattar is happy to have provided a shady place to enjoy this food away from the heat on Saturday and away from the rain on Sunday; the firm thanks all clients and friends who came to support and enjoy the Shade Zones.

By Katrina Do
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