Archive for December, 2011

Cost of a fatal auto accident in New York soars over $6 million

Fatal auto accidents happen far too often in the Buffalo, N.Y. area. Just recently, a 24-year-old Colden, N.Y., resident was killed in a one-car accident. According to WKBW Eyewitness News 7, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene and appeared to be ejected from the vehicle, in which he was a passenger at the time of the early-morning auto accident.

Statistically, like most of America, the number of auto accident fatalities in New York State has declined steadily since 1990. That year, there were 2,217 traffic fatalities in New York State; in 2000, there were 1,460 deaths; in 2005, a total of 1,434 deaths; in 2009, there were 1,156 deaths statewide. But while the number of fatalities has decreased by 47.8 percent during a 19-year period, the financial impact of a fatal motor vehicle accident has soared higher nationwide in recent years. In 2009, the cost of a single motor vehicle fatality exceeded $6 million nationwide, according to federal accident data analyzed by AAA. That figure is 85 percent – or $2.76 million – higher compared to 2005, when the estimated cost of a single motor vehicle fatality was $3.24 million.

And here’s another figure to consider from the same study conducted by AAA. The overall cost of fatal auto accidents each year nationwide is $299.5 billion. That’s equal to $1,522 per person each year, according to the study. How did the study come up with such figures? The report used Federal Highway Administration data and assigned a monetary value to a variety of components, including medical and emergency services, lost earnings, property damage and diminished quality of life.

Fatal auto accidents in New York State happen fast.  If your family has lost a loved one due to another driver’s irresponsible behavior, don’t give up hope. Contact a New York auto accident attorney who puts people first. Contact the Law Offices of James Morris.

A Buffalo Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Health Care Hazards

A trip to the doctor’s office means there’s a problem. Bum knee? Take some painkillers. Strep throat? Some antibiotics. Overbearing husband or wife? Well, you’re on your own for that one. Doctor visits are straight forward: you’re sick, he cures. But what happens when a doctor causes more harm than good? And how should you react?

Literally speaking, the health care industry delivers lethal blows every year. Negligence cases occur around every corner. Medical malpractice statistics from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggest that more than half a million people die yearly  from health care harm, rivaling the death rates of both cancer and heart disease. Causes range from fatal drug reactions (137,000 deaths), to misdiagnosis (100,000 deaths), blood clots (200,000 deaths) and facility-related infections (100,000 deaths). Doctors dub the majority of these negligence cases “iatrogenic,” meaning inadvertently caused by medical treatment or, more simply, just part of the job. Some doctors even blame patients, citing noncompliance with medical advice or lack of responsibility for personal health as reasons for patient mortality. In a medical malpractice complaint, Rarely do you hear an M.D. hold him or herself accountable.

A personal injury lawyer in Buffalo may be able to assist you. Call 716-855-1118 if you or a loved one was injured due to professional negligence. At the Law Offices of James Morris, we are dedicated to fighting for clients injured due to medical malpractice in Buffalo as well as other types of negligence.

Unfortunately, no established system exists for collecting proper data on wrongful deaths caused by health care hazards; health care organizations don’t often reveal when they make a mistake.  According to a 2011 Health Affairs study, when a doctor or nurse does own up to a mistake, self-reports disclose a trifle of the actual complications that occur. Health care hazards produce grieving families with few places left to turn.

If you’ve been a victim of a wrongful death due to health care hazards, or have a medical malpractice complaint don’t let it impede your happiness or search for justice any longer. Report medical malpractice by calling James Morris Law today, 716-855-1118.

Texting while Driving on the Rise

A recent survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that, despite increased legislation forbidding it, texting while driving is on the rise. The survey estimated that roughly 1 in every 100 drivers on the road at a given moment was texting, e-mailing, surfing the web or using some other feature of their portable handheld devices in 2010: a year that amassed nearly 3100 deaths in automobile accidents due to distracted driving.

The results of the survey are cause for alarm. At the Law Offices of James Morris, our Buffalo car accident lawyers have seen first-hand the devastation of distracted driving crashes in New York. Our attorneys have represented clients who were seriously injured in auto accidents due to the negligence of other drivers.

The data unveiled a drastic dissonance between driver beliefs and behavior. According to the NHTSA survey, those polled acknowledged very few circumstances where they would NOT talk or text on their cell phone while behind the wheel, despite supporting greater restrictions on both behaviors (seventy-one percent of survey participants supported bans on using handheld devices behind the wheel, while a whopping 94% supported bans on texting while driving). Seventy-five percent of those same drivers polled said they would answer their ringing phone while driving, without regard to driving conditions at the time of the phone call.

Thirty-five states currently have a ban in effect for drivers who text and drive, while only 9 ban the use of handheld devices altogether (New York included). These statistics beg the question, should drivers face stricter penalties for using cell phones behind the wheel? The majority of the 6000 drivers surveyed believed that issued fines should be at least $100 and a quarter of them felt that $200-$500 was a sufficient penalty to pay. Ironically, the very same drivers who support increased fines are the ones paying the price.

If you’ve been injured in a texting while driving related accident, call James Morris Law today. 716-855-1118. Our personal injury lawyers in New York put experience and resources to work for clients.