Our thoughts go out to the victims of the recent tragedy involving a Metro North train in Westchester. This tragedy will be in the news for some time. You should not jump to conclusions as to the facts and causes based solely on the television reports and accounts in your local newspapers.
Several years ago we handled a so called, “Car versus Train” case. If one were to
have believed the initial news reports, they would have been left with no choice but
to conclude that the automobile driver sped around the downed railroad gates and
rushed onto the tracks causing the accident. The facts proved quite the contrary! In
fact, after a thorough investigation, the railroad acknowledged that it was working
on the crossing and had waived the car onto the tracks, causing the horrific injuries
As is always the case, no one should jump to conclusions. We must wait until all
facts are in before we will really know why the Metro North Valhalla accident
happened and how to prevent such accidents from happening again.
Our thoughts go out to
the victims of the recent tragedy involving a Metro North train in the Bronx. This tragedy will be in the news for some
time. You should not jump to conclusions
as to the facts and causes based solely on the television reports and accounts
in your local newspapers.
Recently, we handled a
case involving a train accident involving a car at a grade level railroad crossing.If one were to have believed the initial news
reports, they would have been left with no choice but to believe that the automobile
driver sped around the downed railroad gates and rushed onto the tracks causing
the accident.The facts proved quite the
contrary!In fact, after a thorough
investigation, the railroad acknowledged that it was working on the crossing
and had waived the car onto the tracks, causing the horrific injuries that
As is always the case,
no one should jump to conclusions. We
must wait until all facts are in before we will really know why the Metro North
Spuyten Duyvil accident happened
and how to prevent such accidents from happening again.
We recently taught a CLE course, Should I Make Federal Case Out of my Personal Injury Matter? We'd like to give you an opportunity to take our course for credit , free of charge, courtesy of Lawline.com, a division of FurtherEd. Simply click on this link:
We hope you enjoy the course and look forward to your comments. If Cheriff & Fink, P.C. can be of assistance to you or your clients on personal injury or other matters, please do not hesitate to contact us at any of our three New York area locations.
Effective tomorrow, Tuesday, October 15, 2013, our Manhattan office location will be moving to 65 Broadway, Suite 1704, New York, New York 10006. Our NYC office hours continue to be by appointment only.
Our complete list of locations and contact information is:
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. - New York City Office 65 Broadway, Suite 1704 New York, New York 10006-2503 Phone 212.285.4100 - Fax 347.708.9911
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. - Long Island Office 1234 West Broadway, Suite 107 - Lower Level Hewlett, New York 11557-1927 Phone 516.569.1890 - Fax 347.708.9911
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. - Westchester Office PO Box 985 Mount Kisco, New York 10549-0985 Phone 914.242.2042 - Fax 347.708.9911
With the advent of new bike lanes throughout New York City, coupled with the recently launched bike sharing programs providing easy access to bicycles in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Bicycle accidents are fast becoming more common occurrences in and around the New York area.
These accidents can occur for a wide variety of reasons including: potholes; unsafe conditions; negligent repairs; manufacturer defects in bicycles; helmets, accessories; drivers not paying attention, etc. Dangerous conditions can occur on public or private property and often times the property owner may be held liable.
Depending on the circumstances of an accident you can still sue the driver who hit you even if you were partly at fault. Sometimes bicyclists are at fault themselves. New York is a comparative negligence state which means that a bicyclist's own mistakes do not bar him from suing a vehicle operator who also contributed to the accident. Your recovery will be reduced by the percentage that you are found to be at fault. In other words, if the jury were to award you $2 million for your injuries but determined that you were 50% at fault, your recovery would be limited to $1 million dollars.
The New York State Insurance Law provides that a bicyclist must file a No-Fault claim within thirty days of the accident with the insurance carrier for the vehicle that hit him or her regardless of who was at fault. No-Fault provides coverage not only for necessary medical expenses, but for a portion of your lost earnings as well. If the bicyclist was injured on the job, Workers' Compensation will pay the medical bills. We can explain what documents you will need to file under either circumstance.
By listening to the details of your bicycle injury case, a good attorney can make a reasonable assessment of potential damages and liable parties. At Cheriff & Fink, P.C., we will listen to the details of your case and help determine who was at fault. In addition, we commonly utilize a variety of experts that can help reconstruct the circumstances of your accident and establish potential liabilities.
Sometimes injuries occur because of reasons outside the impact itself. For example, a bicycle defect may lead or be the causing factor of one or more injuries incurred during an accident. Defected parts or poorly designed bicycles may also lead to unnecessary injuries that were not the direct result of the accident itself. The following is a list of the common situations that can cause car accident injuries:
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol
- Dangerous railroad crossings that cause accidents
- Defective tires
- Defective helmets and equipment
Make sure you seek medical attention for any injuries that you received as a result of the accident as soon as possible. This way any claims of injury cannot be refuted by saying that they happened between the time of the accident and the medical visit.
If you have any questions, call Bruce Cheriff and Ken Fink at Cheriff & Fink, P.C.
Wishing our clients, friends and family a happy and safe July 4th Holiday! We will be closed on the 4th. We will be open Friday morning, July 5th, until midday. Cheriff & Fink, P.C. will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, July 8, 2013. Enjoy!
On Friday, April 12, 2013, our Mt. Kisco office will be closed.
Bruce Cheriff will be out of town attending the Syracuse Law Review's annual banquet. Our founding attorney, Bernard Cheriff, Bruce's father, is being honored tonight in Syracuse for his distinguished legal career and accomplishments. Bernie served in the Peace Corps for twenty-seven months following his notable legal career. He remains of counsel to our firm and his achievements are a source of inspiration to us on a daily basis.
The most common injury people sustain in a car accident is whiplash. Brain and spinal cord injuries, which have a tremendous impact on the survivor, are most commonly the result of serious car accidents. Car accident injuries may also include bruises and abrasions, concussion, broken bones, loss of limb(s), permanent disability, or death.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
Stay at the scene of the accident unless medical exigencies require you to leave. Call the police to file a report. Seek prompt medical attention.
Make sure to preserve evidence (for example, take photos of damages if possible and keep copies of all important documents including medical records).
Do not admit fault or enter into negotiations with the other driver(s) or insurance company(s).
Contact an attorney to make sure your legal rights are protected
If you or a loved one has been suffered injury or death in a pedestrian accident, it may be in your best interest to contact a qualified attorney who can help you determine an appropriate course of action. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your losses and suffering.
What Are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
The causes of pedestrian accidents are wide ranging; however, some of the more common causes are listed below:
• Pedestrian walks/runs into the roadway and is struck by an oncoming vehicle.
• Motorist does not see the pedestrian in time to stop.
• Motorist runs a red light at an intersection.
• Pedestrian is struck while getting out of a parked vehicle.
• Pedestrian is struck by a car moving in reverse or turning a corner.
Other less common pedestrian accidents include pedestrians who are struck intentionally, by fallen cargo, or in a driverless vehicle incident (one involving an auto defect). Dangerous pavement and other environmental hazards can also cause pedestrian accidents. Overall, the most common cause of pedestrian accidents is human negligence (usually a driver’s negligence).
Some of the common factors involved in pedestrian accidents include:
• Area type Pedestrian accidents occur more frequently in urban areas.
• Location type Most pedestrian accidents occur at non-intersections.
• Speeding Excessive speed is a contributing factor in approximately 30 percent of all pedestrian accidents.
• Alcohol Impairment Alcohol is involved in nearly one-third of all
What Should I Do Right After a Pedestrian Accident?
First and foremost, call the police to file a report. It is important not to leave the scene of the accident unless medically necessary. Gather as much information as possible including the names of all witnesses and parties involved. You may also wish to take photos of the scene and of any injuries sustained as further documentation. Before entering into negotiations with an at-fault driver or an insurance company, you should contact an attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents.
What Are My Legal Rights?
If you or someone you love has suffered injury or death as a result of a pedestrian accident, it is important to know your rights. You have the right to pursue a claim and recover damages if you have suffered injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. To preserve your legal rights, it is important to seek the early advice of a qualified attorney. Every pedestrian accident is subject to a statute of limitations, which places a limit on the time you have to file. Please contact us to speak with an experienced attorney who can answer questions and help you to understand your rights – FREE of charge.
Motorcycle accidents are the cause of an estimated 50,000 injuries and 3,000 fatalities every year in the United States. Motorcycles are more vulnerable to accidents because they are smaller and less protected than automobiles. Due to the increased susceptibility of motorcycles and the negligence of drivers on the road, motorcycle accidents often result in devastating events.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents
Many factors contribute to the frequency of motorcycle accidents including
• Vehicle blind spots – Motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles and are often overlooked by careless drivers
• Limited motorcycle visibility – About 70 percent of all accidents occur at intersections because motorcycles aren't as visible due to parked vehicles, buildings, etc.
• Unsafe vehicle maneuvers – including speeding, improper turning, and more
• Motorcycle defects – accidents often occur as a result of cycle part defects or fuel system leaks
• Road hazards – uneven pavements, potholes, debris, and puddles can all result in motorcycle accidents
• Weather conditions – Rain, hail, wind, snow, etc. call all increase dangerous driving conditions
• Alcohol or drug use – on part of the motorcyclist or other party
• Motor vehicle driver negligence – this is the number one cause of motorcycle accidents.
Who can I contact if I've been injured in a motorcycle accident?
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, it is wise to seek the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney who will get you the compensation to which you are entitled. Please contact us today to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can answer your questions and protect your legal interests.
Slip, trip and fall
Every day people are seriously injured from falls. An owner and management company of a property are responsible for keeping their premises in a reasonably safe condition to prevent people from sustaining injury. Although walkways and sidewalks are not required to be in perfect condition, they must be reasonably safe to prevent a person from tripping. Owners of property are required to maintain safe stairways, walkways, and handrails and comply with State and local building codes. Uneven stair risers, loose handrails, and loose steps are all dangerous conditions that can cause an accident.
Negligence or fault must be shown by first showing that an unsafe condition exists. In addition, the owner must 1) know about the unsafe condition prior to the accident, 2) through reasonable inspection, should have known about the unsafe condition or 3) have directly caused the unsafe condition.
Strict time limitations exist to commence a lawsuit for a trip, slip, or fall accident. In New York State, the time to commence such an action may depend upon who is injured, who the potential defendant is, as well as the enactment of new laws and judicial decisions interpreting the law. Computing the time limitations is not a simple matter and a person should promptly consult an experienced accident attorney.
5 Helpful Tips for a Slip, Trip and Fall case
1) Call the police and an ambulance if injured.
2) Report the accident to the owner of the property.
3) Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses to the accident.
4) Obtain photographs of the accident site and your injuries.
5) Contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
Construction areas are one of the most common sites of serious accidents, posing risks to. both workers and innocent bystanders. Depending on the precise circumstances of the accident, different laws may apply.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
There are perhaps innumerable ways in which a person can suffer injury at a construction site. Scaffolding accidents are the most common, constituting nearly two-thirds of all construction accidents. Other common causes may include: falls, electrocution, and improperly braced trenches.
What To Do If You've Been Injured in a Construction Accident
Report your injury to your employer or the construction site manager immediately.
Seek medical attention for your injuries.
Obtain the contact information of any witnesses who may have been present.
Try to preserve as much evidence as possible. This may include taking photos of your injuries, the site where the injury occurred, and saving any tools or equipment that may have been involved.
Keep a copy of all important documents including correspondence with doctors, attorneys, and insurance adjusters.
Do not negotiate with any liable party(s) without first consulting an experienced attorney.
Injuries on the job are a relatively common occurrence. While most work accidents result in minor injuries like cuts or burns, work accidents can result in severe injuries, long-term disability or death. Regardless of whether the injury is minor or severe, workers have a right to receive compensation for injuries they incur at work. If you have suffered injury because of a work accident, you may wish to contact a qualified worker's compensation attorney who can help you determine your eligibility for benefits.
What Is Workers' Compensation?
Each state has a system of laws generally referred to as workers' compensation. These laws vary from state-to-state and by occupation, but they ultimately serve to protect workers and ensure that employees who suffer injury due to work accidents receive proper compensation including benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. State worker's compensation systems are intended to provide relief for injured workers while protecting employers from liability claims. A number of federal statutes exist to protect those injured in the line of railroad, mining, maritime, and other types of employment.
What If I Don't Have Health Insurance?
You can still file a workers' compensation claim even if you do not have individual health insurance coverage . Most employers' are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Workers who are injured on the job or because of their job can file a claim with their employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. In other words, employees who have been injured in a work accident receive benefits through their employer's insurance and not their own.
What Types of Injuries Does Workers' Compensation Cover?
While the following list is not comprehensive, it does cover some of the more common work-related injuries covered by workers' compensation:
Diseases contracted due to repeated and prolonged exposure to toxins at work. Asbestos poisoning is an example.
Mental and/or physical strain caused by work-related stress.
Preexisting conditions worsened by job duties or the work environment. A common example is back injury.
Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Injuries sustained on company grounds while “off the clock”
There are injuries that workers' compensation will not cover. These include self-inflicted injuries, injuries sustained during the commission of a crime, or injuries suffered due to employee misconduct.
You should consult a qualified attorney if you have questions regarding injuries you suffered as the result of a work accident.
Here at Cheriff & Fink, P.C., we are often in the position of pursuing claims with our clients' own automobile insurance carriers following a motor vehicle accident. Despite paying for certain protections, insurance carriers often make it very difficult for their own insureds (their customers and our clients) to make such claims.
Specifically, underinsurance or uninsured coverage, also known as SUM coverage, is coverage afforded to you by your own insurance company to compensate you if the offending vehicle is uninsured or underinsured. Underinsured means your injury or damages exceed the coverage afforded by the other vehicle. Uninsured means the vehicle that struck you has no-coverage at all.
In situations where this coverage applies, carriers often fight their customers and make them jump through a bevy of hoops simply to proceed forward with such a claim.
Recently, we took our client's carrier to task when it sought to stall and delay our client's SUM claim with a variety of tactics. Fortunately, the Court hearing the dispute agreed with us and shot down the carrier's delay attempts. The Court's decision can be read here:
If you or a loved one was injured in the recent Seastreak Wall Street ferry crash, be aware that you may have legal rights and should seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Our office has successfully represented thousands of injured individuals over the years, including those injured in ferry and cruise ship accidents.
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. was one of the first law firms to successfully settle a claim with the City of New York over personal injuries stemming from the tragic Staten Island Ferry disaster in October of 2003. Our firm's client was a passenger on the ill fated ferry returning home from work. At the request of our client, this claim was successfully mediated by Ken Fink sparing our client from having to continually revisit the trauma during the course of protracted litigation.
Feel free to call us at any of our three locations or via email if you have any questions.
We are both proud and humbled to announce our inclusion in The New York Area's Top Rated Lawyers - 2012 Edition, published in conjunction with The New York Law Journal and New York Magazine. A pdf of the issue is available at: http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nylj/newyork_TRL.pdf
We are highlighted on page 50 of the magazine.
Thanks to our clients and fellow members of the bar for helping us achieve this honor.
It is our hope that the coming year will bring you only the best... Why not prepare for 2013 by signing up for our new email newsletter? We won't bombard you with daily emails --- just periodic emails meant to inform and update you on our office, what we do, and perhaps, what we can do for you.
New York Business Blog recently interviewed Ken Fink of our firm for his views on a number of topics. Below are excerpts from the interview. For a full version visit their site.
How long have you been in business? We have been in business since January 1997. We are, however, the successor organization to a prior firm headed by our founder, Bernard Cheriff, which dated back to the 1950′s.
Who are your current customers? We represent individuals and businesses on a variety of legal matters running the gamut from personal injury claims, to commercial litigation, to real estate, and business transactions of all types. We also work closely with colleagues in other fields of law to make certain that most, if not all, of our clients’ legal needs are covered.
What makes your company unique? We provide the personal attention that often is missing when you seek legal counsel. There are many fine attorneys out there, but we pride ourselves on knowing our clients and their needs and attending to same in a professional yet personal manner.
What are some of the main reasons you like living/doing business in New York City? With three offices in Manhattan, Long Island and Westchester, we are able to serve the needs of our clients throughout the NY Metropolitan area. We cover court calendars from Suffolk to the Hudson Valley and everything in between.
What made you want to start your business in the first place? We enjoy the freedom that comes with having our own business. True — there are stressful and trying aspects, but overall we are quite happy with being able to serve the needs of clients while also running our own firm.
What is the aspect of your business that you are the most proud of? Being able to help hundreds of clients over the years in a variety of legal settings.
If someone is looking to invest in the type of service you offer, what advice can you give to help them make the best buying decision? Call us at any of our three locations and you will speak with one of the owners who can explain what we can and can’t do for you to help with your legal needs. If we can’t help you, we will try our best to find you someone who can. If we can assist, we look forward to doing so in the most cost effective and efficient way possible.
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. – Long Island Office 1234 West Broadway, Suite 107 – Lower Level Hewlett, New York 11557-1927 Phone 516-569-1890 – Fax 347-708-9911
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. – New York City Office 2 Rector Street – Suite 2104 New York, New York 10006-1893 Phone 212-285-4100 – Fax 347-708-9911
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. – Westchester Office PO Box 985 Mount Kisco, New York 10549-0985 Phone 914-242-2042 – Fax 347-708-9911
How are you using the internet and social media to enhance your customer’s experience with your company? We can be found on the web at www.cf-lawyers.com, on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CheriffandFink, and on our blog at http://www.nycpersonalinjury.blogspot.com. We use all of these forums and others, as well as twitter (@cfpclaw) to communicate with and educate our clients and colleagues.
Cheriff & Fink, P.C. will be closed on Monday, September 17, 2012 and Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We will reopen for business on Wednesday morning, September 19, 2012. To those who celebrate, we wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year!