auto accident lawyer

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If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident over the weekend visit our website to see how we can help

Schulman Blitz, LLP- A settlement story

On September 24, 2008, our client Marcia, a 65-year-old woman who was employed as a psychologist at a local New York City hospital, was on her way home from work and was heading towards her apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan.  She was crossing 71st Street at its intersection with Broadway when she was struck by a car that was heading south on Broadway. 

As we all know, there are often three sides to a story.  In this instance, we only had one side. We don’t know exactly how the accident occurred.  The driver of the vehicle said that he was the first car in line waiting for the light to change for cars to proceed south on Broadway.  The defendant driver claimed that when the light turned green, he began to move and Marcia “darted out” into the street, and he did not have a chance to stop before striking her.  

Yet the driver’s story didn’t make much sense.  For one, Marcia had been living in Manhattan for 38 years, crossing that same street everyday, and had never “darted out” into the street before.  Also, there was a witness to the accident who told a different version of events, yet this witness died shortly after the accident took place.  Additionally, when the driver told his version of events at a subsequent deposition, there were many inconsistencies throughout his testimony regarding how the accident occurred.   


Unfortunately, Marcia never got to tell her side of the story.  When the car struck Marcia, her head hit the pavement and she suffered a devastating traumatic brain injury.  Marcia’s injury did not manifest itself right away.  After the accident, Marcia spent three days in St. Luke’s Hospital where she was treated for her head trauma.  As weeks went by after the accident, Marcia began to have headaches, started to forget things, and became unable to go to work and treat her patients. 


As the weeks turned into months, Marcia started losing the ability to recall basic facts.  She would forget where she lived, what her name was, and the names of her family members.  She would wake up to go to work and forget how to get to her office. 


Marcia’s family, based in Chicago, became concerned and flew to New York to help Marcia.  Marcia started getting various treatments with neuropsychologists and traumatic brain injury specialists, all of whom were stunned by the decline in her memory and cognitive skills.  


Eventually, Marcia had to completely leave her psychology practice and was forced to move to Chicago where she entered an assisted living facility near her family.  She resides there today and now requires 24 hour assistance with all aspects of her life.  She has little memory of her life before this accident took place.  


Schulman Blitz, LLP brought a lawsuit on Marcia’s behalf against the driver and owner of the car that struck Marcia.  The insurance company for the car claimed that that their driver was not responsible for Marcia’s accident and would not offer any money to settle the case.  In the interim years, the cost of Marcia’s care became tremendous and increasingly burdensome on her family. 


Earlier this year, we began preparing for trial and the case was scheduled to go to trial this fall.  We were eager to finally get a chance to tell what we believed to be Marcia’s version of events, yet we had many concerns as to the difficulties that the case presented at trial.  For example, Marcia had no recollection of the accident, and by this point, she was not able to articulate herself in any meaningful way. 


As the trial approached, after extensive and intense negotiations with the car’s insurance company,

Schulman Blitz, LLP was able to procure a settlement for Marcia in the amount of $250,000, which represented the vast majority of the car’s available insurance.

When we at Schulman Blitz, LLP settle a case for our clients, there is always a feeling of gratification when we are able to hand the client their settlement check at the conclusion of a case.  In this instance, due to Marcia’s condition, we never had that opportunity, and we sent her check to her brother in Chicago as he is responsible for taking care of Marcia’s legal and financial affairs.

When Marcia’s brother Frank received the settlement check, he sent us a short note.  The note replaces the feeling of satisfaction that we were unable to have since we could not hand Marcia her check personally.  

The note we received from Marcia’s brother is copied below:

Car Accidents - Top Causes

Car Maintenance

It is important to keep the vehicle up-to-date on all inspections and routine maintenance. If one side of the brakes fails to work, the other side will be unable to compensate and the vehicle will not stop. Tires need to remain inflated and rotated regularly. Uneven, improperly balanced, or worn-out tires also cause hazardous driving conditions, as do suspensions that are misaligned or broken. It’s also important to have the steering suspension checked by a mechanic. If the driver loses steering while behind the wheel, especially at high speeds, the collision could be disastrous.

Distracted Drivers

Oftentimes, drivers feel too confident when taking the wheel and have not been properly trained in road safety. However, due to recent law regulations, more states are demanding better and safer requirements for new drivers. Extra classroom instruction, road tests, and a higher new-driver age are all being put into effect across the country.

Driving under the influence and intoxication are a serious cause of traffic collisions. Because of this, the law sets strict cut-offs for blood alcohol content. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is one death every 45 minutes as a result from a vehicle crash and an alcohol-impaired driver.

Motorists are also easily distracted. Guaranteed ways to risk a collision include active discussions with passengers, talking on a cellular phone while driving, changing the radio and playing overly loud music. Daring drivers even eat, apply make-up, or change clothes while inside the vehicle. According to the NHTSA, in 2009, 5,474 people died and 448,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

Aggressive driving and speeding are two other factors that contribute to car accidents. Tailgating, flashing high beams, rude gestures, and even assault are signs of an aggressive driver. Those who speed observe the speed limit signs, know the risk and the consequences, yet continue to do it anyway. The United States Bureau of Transportation Statics reports that in 2008, the greatest number of motor vehicle accidents occurred at a speed of 55 miles per hour, with 9,794 deaths.

Environmental Hazards

Weather is a severe factor when traveling in a car. Extreme sunlight, wind, rain, snow, and ice all make for a dangerous drive. Although bright sunlight causes blindness while driving, drivers do not consider the sun to be a hazard. Wind can cause a power line to fall, or debris to fly around or into your car. The NHTSA reports that in 2008, 30,167 accidents happened in normal weather conditions. However, the next highest crash report was 2,442 accidents which occurred in rain. Rain causes visual impairment if the vehicle does not have working windshield wipers, and it can cause sleek, slippery roads and flooding.

Even if the driver is traveling slowly and carefully through the snow, there is still a risk of an accident as there is no guarantee that an oncoming car will not slide and hit him. Drivers should always check the inflation of the tires and tread, keep a full tank of gas, and make sure that the windshield wipers work properly.

Drivers must also keep in mind that while roads must be maintained regularly, oftentimes they are not. Potholes and severely weathered roads make for not only a bumpy drive, but they also contribute to accidents. Traffic control devices such as signals and signs, crossings, and turning lanes all must be observed and followed carefully to avoid collisions. If you’ve been involved in a accident, contact a Maryland car accident attorney today.


Attorney Andrew Spainhower expalins why people get money after car accidents.

Holy Sh*t: Imagine Driving Down the Road & Something Comes Flying at Your Car. You Have a Split Second To React

Holy Sh*t: Imagine Driving Down the Road & Something Comes Flying at Your Car. You Have a Split Second To React

Driving is stressful and not easy at all. With traffic congestion, the rules of the road, drivers with road rage, fluctuating gas prices, speed traps and the list goes on. Now this is another addition thing to worry about when we’re driving : Pieces of other cars flying into us.Phew Car accidents are scary !

That is exactly what happens when a Toronto driver, Andrew Sukhdeo caught a tire flying…

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Safety tips for driving in the snow

Oh the weather outside is weather! The holiday season is one of the most hectic times on the road. People are constantly traveling to visit friends and family. If you do find yourself on the road during icy or snowy weather, here are some safety tips!

1. Before you get on the road, make sure that your windshield and lights are clean.

2. While driving allow extra space between vehicles. When stopping, as a precaution, make sure there is at least a three vehicle distance between you and the car ahead of you.

3. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.

4. Watch carefully for “black ice.” Because this kind of ice looks like a harmless puddle, test the traction with a smooth brake application or slight turn of the wheel.

5. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids.

Southwest Legal Group encourages everyone to have a safe and fun holiday season. This is especially important when on the road, not just for yourself but other drivers. Remember, if you get into an accident or need legal help, contact us today for free consultation. 

San Bernardino Wrongful Death for Holly Foor when her vehicle was struck by Ford Explorer

Holly Foor, of Crestline, California, is dead after a head-on traffic collision on Highway 18 near Old Waterman Canyon Rd in San Bernardino.

After the accident, Holly Foor was taken by ambulance to St. Bernardine Medical Center where she later died from her injuries at 6:48 p.m., according to the coroner’s news release.

A church tour bus carrying more than 20 youths also was sideswiped in the accident, but no one on board was injured.

Officials say  Holly Foor was headed upbound on Highway 18 between Upper and Lower Old Waterman Canyon Rd when a Ford Explorer crossed the double yellow line and collided with her Honda.

Schulman Blitz, LLP - The story and history of a New York Personal Injury law firm. Founded by New Yorkers to help New Yorkers and offer our legal services and advice to the citizens of New York. 

Desert Hot Springs: Toddler Death, Damien Rojas Struck by Vehicle

A 17-month-old boy had died from injuries inflicted by a vehicle in front of a Desert Hot Springs home, the coroner’s office said today.

The toddler was identified Damien Rojas. He was struck about 1:45 p.m. Saturday in front of a home in the 66400 block of Dillon Road.

Paramedics rushed Rojas to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where he was pronounced dead at 2:36 p.m. Saturday.

Desert Hot Springs police said no details would be released as the investigation was continuing. But the driver had not been cited or arrested today, Cmdr. Kate Singer said.