Summer 2022 Personal Injury Law Recap
From our Midtown Manhattan office, our NYC personal injury lawyers discuss the legal issues involved in the latest occurrences in New York City resulting in personal injuries in New York City and the surrounding area, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Brooklyn, as well as Westchester, Rockland and Long Island.
WRONGFUL CONVICTION SUIT INVOLVING EXONEREES WRONGFULLY CONVICTED OF MALCOLM X MURDER
After decades in prison for a crime they did not commit, two men who were recently cleared of guilt in the Malcolm X murder, have not only been released but are seeking compensation for their wrongful convictions. Our NYC wrongful conviction lawyers know that in New York, there are two separate remedies that a wrongfully convicted person can pursue for compensation. First, the conviction must be overturned or vacated, so even if a person feels or has strong evidence that they were convicted of a crime that they did not commit, they still must have the conviction formally overturned or vacated to be able to sue. This is because both New York and Federal Courts do not allow a civil suit to collaterally attack a criminal conviction. Also a conviction establishes probable cause as a matter of law and most civil suits require a lack of probable cause to be able to sue.
The first remedy that an exoneree can pursue is a claim in the Court of Claims for wrongful conviction. In this claim an exoneree has to file a claim or a notice of intention to file a claim within 90 days of their release and must prove not only that a conviction was overturned, but that they were actually innocent and that they did not contribute to their own conviction, i.e., by pleading guitly.
The second remedy is a lawsuit against the officers who handled the investigation that resulted in the conviction. There are different standards under Federal and State Law. The main causes of action through which an exoneree can obtain compensation are lawsuits for malicious prosecution and Due Process violations. While most people commonly thing of false arrest, that cause of action only applies to the original arrest, but not the prosecution, which is the legal process that resulted in the conviction. To establish a malicious prosecution, the Plaintiff must prove that the prosecution was initiated or continued without probable cause to believe it could succeed, with malice and that the prosecution resulted in favor of the accused, i.e, there was no conviction. Where there has been an indictment, the law presumes that there was probable cause and the Plaintiff must prove that the indictment was the result of perjury, fraud, evidence suppression or other police misconduct to rebut the presumption. In the case of the Malcolm X exonerees, this evidence seems to be present since a later investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's office found that the original prosecution was rife with misconduct, from the withholding of information by the NYPD and FBI to sketchy police lineups to a decision to keep three eyewitness undercover cops from testifying at trial.
CHILD DIES IN FALL FROM HARLEM APARTMENT BUILDING
Tragedy struck on July 2, 2022, when a three year old child fell from an apartment building window and sustained fatal injuries. Our NYC wrongful death lawyers know that for over 30 years, the law has required that apartment buildings that rent to families with young children have bars on the windows to prevent these types of accidents from happening. Obviously, this upper Manhattan landlord failed to comply with the law and this child lost his life as a result.
Due process violations can be established where the conviction was the result of fabricated evidence or evidence suppression.
Our NYC wrongful conviction lawyers know the severity of the harm which a wrongful conviction causes. In the case of the two gentleman who were wrongfully convicted of the Malcolm X Death, one spent 22 years in prison and died prior to being cleared. (His wife is suing on his behalf). The other gentleman had two children and a third child on the way. Obviously, this conviction was devastating for both men and their families and we can only hope they get the compensation that they deserve and that the system does not fail them again.
BOAT EXPLOSION IN LONG ISLAND
Six people were injured when a boat exploded in a canal in Bablyon on August 26, 2022. While the cause of the explosion is still under investigation our New York boat accident lawyers know that boats do not explode unless there was some negligence in the maintenance of the boat itself. Among the most common causes of vessel explostions are fuel issues, where work is done on a fuel line and the work is done negligently, or where a boat is fueled and the openings are not closed which allows gas fumes to collect in the vessel. Then any spark can result in a flash fire and explosion, which can include anything from turning on the motor to lighting a cigarette.
FATAL CAR ACCIDENT OUTSIDE YANKEE STADIUM
In the early morning of August 25, 2022, a woman's vehicle was T-boned by a stolen vehicle with no license plates outside of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, which ironically is a few blocks from the Bronx Supreme Court. The woman unfortunately died from the injuries and the driver fled the scene of the accident. So while this is a tragedy for the woman's family, they are not completely without recourse. Our NYC hit and run lawyers have extensive experience in handling these types of cases. Our New York City car accident lawyers know that every insurance policy in the State of New York, has to have a provision for uninsured motorist beneifts, which provides coverage for personal injuries, and death in the event of an accident caused by an unidentified or unauthorized driver. So while the insurance for the stolen vehicle will not be responsible since the car was driven without the owner's authorization, the family can look to the woman's insurance, and any other policy in her household for compensation for the wrongful death.
SCOOTER HIT BY HABITUAL SPEEDER
On August 24, 2022, a scooter rider in Tribeca was hit by an out of state driver that had multiple speeding tickets. The driver apparently made a left hand lane and hit the scooter driver who was in the bike lane. Our NYC scooter accident lawyers know that New York City traffic rules are clear and provide bikes riding in the bicycle lane with the right of way, which means that vehicles, especially turning vehicles have to yield to the scooters. Clearly this driver was either going too fast under the circumstances or failed to keep a proper look out to see what there was to be seen, namely a scooter operator travelling in the bike lane.
CRANE ACCIDENT IN BROOKLYN
On August 3, 2022, a crane accident occurred in Brooklyn, when a boom truck flipped on its side and crashed into a local church. Invesitgators are still determining exactly what caused the truck to flip but our NYC construction accident lawyers know that boom trucks don't just flip unless something is done incorrectly. Thankfully no one was injured, but it appears that the church sustained significant damage.
CONSTRUCTION FATALITY LEADS TO CRIMINAL PROSCUTION
Principles of One Key construction were charged criminally for willfully violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations resulting in death, for an incident on a Dutchess County construction site five years ago in which a construction worker was killed when an improperly stabilized wall collapsed on the worker. Even though New York's Industrial code has shoring requirements that are intended to prevent walls from collapsing during the construction process, in this case, the evidence went beyond a mere failure to follow regulations. In this case, the engineer's recommendations and warnings were actively ignored and the worker was deliberately permitted to work around a wall with no shoring. Our NYC construction accident lawyers who handle wrongful death cases know how unexcusable and callous this behavior is.
HIT AND RUN FATALITY IN BROOKLYN
During the Labor Day holidaly, a brooklyn business owner was tragically hit by a car while walking on the sidewalk and was left to die by the motorist who fled the scene. Unfortunately, the perpetrators were not identified, which is often the case in hit and run cases. Our NYC hit and run accident lawyers know that while money cannot replace the loss of the person, the family of people killed in hit and run accidents are not totally without recourse. New York law provides that you the family can pursue uninsured motorist benefits from the decedent's own auto insurance policy, including any policy in the household. The uninsured motorist provisions of a policy require that the policy pay the amounts that the fleeing vehicle would have been responsible to pay, had they been identified.
BROOKLYN RABBI DIES IN FATAL CAR ACCIDENT IN ORANGE COUNTY
During the Labor Day weekend, a beloved Brooklyn Rabbi, was killed in Orange County when he was hit by a vehicle driving the wrongway on I-87. Our NYC car accident fatality lawyers know that these head on types of collissions often result in serious injuries if not death, since both vehicles crash into each other while operating at highway speeds. While the detals of the incident are still under investigation, our NYC car accident lawyers know that intoxication is the most prominent cause of accidents where a driver is operating a vehicle going the wrong way on a highway, since the alcohol either causes the error where the driver gets on the road going the wrong way or inhibits thier ability to appreciate the error and correct it.