Ruling Prevents Use of New York Law to Avoid Truck Accident Liability

by Keith Adkins | September 12th, 2014

Commercial truck drivers are responsible for abiding by strict New York truck driving rules and regulations. One rule, known as the Graves Amendment, covers liability in the event of accidents and was examined recently in the U.S. Federal Court for the Western District of New York.

This law states a vehicle owner cannot be held liable for damages resulting from accidents that occur while vehicles are rented or leased as long as the owner of the vehicle is in the business of renting or leasing vehicles. The owner must also not commit negligence or criminal wrongdoing that leads to accidents.

The case in question arose from a 2009 New York truck accident that left one woman dead. An article from TruckingInfo.com explains the victim was waiting for assistance in a disabled vehicle along Interstate 90 when the driver of a tractor trailer veered off the highway and slammed into her stopped car.

It was discovered that the truck driver was distracted at the time of the crash. The victim filed suit against the driver, the company who employed him, and a sister company that leased the vehicle to the hiring business. The leasing company argued they were not responsible for damages under the Graves Amendment, and the courts originally agreed. However, the federal court ruled the leasing company was in fact liable because it was a business associate of the driver’s hiring company.

The Buffalo truck accident lawyers with William Mattar Law Offices are interested in seeing how this ruling changes the trucking industry and affects truck accident victims’ rights to seek compensation for their injuries.

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Auto accident injuries are not always obvious immediately

by wmm | September 9th, 2014

In an auto accident, it is common for people to not realize immediately that they have suffered a significant injury. What may seem to be just minor soreness or pain right after the accident can sometimes become a lifelong issue, especially with back and neck injuries. Even a seemingly minor accident can sometimes lead to serious injuries.

In this video from his appearance on “People Empowerment”, William Mattar discusses how the severity of car accident victims’ injuries can be misunderstood at first and why it’s important to discuss your case with an attorney, even if you believe you are not seriously injured. The Importance of Discussing Your Case with a Lawyer

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Ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder use

by wmm | September 8th, 2014

Baby powder seems mild, even harmless, but some research indicates that the talc it contains may raise the risk of developing ovarian cancer for some women. Talc is a very soft mineral which contains magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It has been used for many years in cosmetic and personal care products due to its effectiveness at absorbing moisture and reducing skin chafing. The danger lies in the fact that talc particles do not dissolve easily inside the body. This allows the particles to travel through the female reproductive system, causing irritation to the ovaries and stimulating an inflammatory response. Some believe that this inflammation may lead to development of cancerous cells within the ovaries.

The first study indicating a possible link between the use of talcum powder and increased ovarian cancer risk was published in the 1970s. More studies have been conducted since then, which have also shown similar findings, however, experts still disagree about whether or not there is a causal link between use of talcum powder and development of ovarian cancer.

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call William Mattar at 444-4444 to discuss how we may be able to help you.

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Campaign to Prevent New York Drunk Driving Accidents a Success

by Keith Adkins | September 5th, 2014

Speeding and drunk driving are two of the leading causes of New York car accidents. In fact, data shows each of these contributing factors are involved in roughly one-third of all fatal collisions.

To help address the issue of New York drunk driving accidents, state troopers recently held an enforcement sweep aimed at taking intoxicated motorists off the road and educating speeders about the dangers of their behavior. If the numbers are any indication of the “Drive Sober, Get Pulled Over” program’s success, it’s safe to say it worked.

According to The Post-Standard, New York State Troopers wrote more than 46,000 tickets in the weeks from August 15to Labor Day. A majority of those tickets—9,000 to be exact—were issued in the final days of enforcement.

While most of the tickets were given to speeders, 663 motorists were stopped and arrested on charges of driving under the influence (DUI). A total of 72 of those individuals were arrested at sobriety checkpoints.

Tickets were issued for infractions related to distracted driving and failing to restrain children as well.

The Buffalo car accident lawyers with William Mattar Law Offices applaud the efforts made to keep drunk drivers off our state’s roads. We encourage motorists to do their part to stay safe by refraining from getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Instead, call a friend, cab, or ride sharing service to get you home safely.

 

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Preventing Drowsy Driving

by wmm | September 5th, 2014

Did you know that being drowsy can impair your driving as much as drinking alcohol? In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, going 18 hours without sleep is equal to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, giving you an equal risk of a crash as someone who is legally drunk.

Those most at risk for drowsy driving include: males under 25 years old, shift workers and those who work long hours, commercial drivers, people with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders, and business travelers, but it can happen to anyone.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that almost 50% of people who fell asleep and crashed reported that they felt only “slightly drowsy” or “not at all drowsy” right before the accident. The bottom line is that you cannot prevent yourself from falling asleep if you are tired. It is something that your body does naturally, and you may fall asleep without even knowing it. Scott A. Reale, MD explains in Prevention magazine that sitting still for long periods of time while driving makes your brain think you are resting, triggering it to go into sleep mode. So, even if you aren’t sleepy when you start your journey, you may unexpectedly become so while on the road.

It’s important to be aware of signs that you are getting tired. These symptoms may show up before you even begin to feel sleepy, but they indicate that you are at risk for falling asleep at any time. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s website, drowsydriving.org, signs that you are getting tired and should stop and rest include:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
  • Daydreaming, wandering/disconnected thoughts
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven, missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
  • Feeling restless and irritable

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should pull over in a safe area, such as a parking lot or a rest stop to take a break. A 15-20 minute nap is ideal, possibly followed by some caffeine.

Before you set out on a long drive, you should make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep, travel with a passenger who can help keep you alert by talking to you, stop every 100 miles or two hours, and avoid alcohol and medications.

Following these simple tips can help ensure that you and your passengers reach your destination safely.

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Understanding No-Fault Insurance

by wmm | September 2nd, 2014

If you’ve been hurt or are unable to work following a car accident, you should file a no-fault insurance application as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the accident. No-fault insurance covers you no matter who is at fault for the accident.

William Mattar discusses no-fault insurance and the types of expenses it can cover during an appearance on “People Empowerment” here: No-Fault Insurance

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New York Car Accident Insurance Explained

by Keith Adkins | August 29th, 2014

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that New York State was seventh in the nation last year when it came to highway fatalities.

So if you’re a commuter, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do to ensure I’m protected in the event I’m involved in a New York car accident?” One of the best answers is to carry enough auto insurance to cover the costs of an accident.

The attorneys at William Mattar Law Offices explain New York is one of the few states in the nation that is considered a “no-fault” state. This means when you purchase an auto insurance policy, you carry a New York No Fault insurance policy that covers accident-related expenses regardless of who was at fault.

Another great option is to purchase supplemental underinsured motorist coverage for your vehicle. This coverage provides compensation in the event the driver who caused the accident doesn’t carry enough insurance to pay your damages.

Even when drivers have adequate coverage, it can be difficult to get the insurance company to provide the full value of your claim. That’s why it’s important to have a New York car accident lawyer by your side as soon as possible after your accident.

At William Mattar Law Offices, we know how complicated insurance policies can be. That’s why we’re here to answer questions about your insurance coverage. Call us today at 444-4444 to learn more.

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Win a Free Pizza Party From the William Mattar Buckle Your Belt Contest

by Keith Adkins | August 22nd, 2014

Tens of thousands of Americans are injured or killed each year after being involved in motor vehicle collisions without seat belts. In fact, 2008 estimates from the National Organizations for Youth Safety show that if all car occupants over age 4 wore seat belts, an estimated 17,402 lives could have been saved.

The Buffalo auto accident lawyers at William Mattar Law Offices know all too well the deadly consequences of failing to buckle up, and we want to help raise public awareness about the need to buckle up every time you step in a vehicle.

To help achieve this goal, we have launched the 2014 William Mattar Buckle Your Belt contest in conjunction with school starting. Teachers can win a free pizza party for their classroom by having their students pledge to buckle up every time they ride in a car. Once the students have taken the pledge, teachers must submit an entry form to our firm. Pizza party winners will be announced in October.

We hope the contest serves as a reminder to all those living in Western New York to buckle up and to remind passengers to do the same. It could save a life.

 

 

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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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