The Law Offices of Lawrence B. Saftler 646.865.0797
New York's Personal Injury Attorney

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Legal Blog of Attorney Lawrence B. Saftler

Escalator Accidents: Understanding Your Rights

By admin on July 21, 2014

Patient being examined after accidentEscalators are a common part of the cityscape for New Yorkers and we give little thought when stepping onto one. Yet, every year about 10,000 people end up in the emergency room due to an accident on an escalator. Read the rest »

Complex Fractures, Comminuted Fractures, Spiral Fractures, Fractures Requiring Surgery

By admin on March 7, 2011

In personal injury law, an attorney in this area must know his medicine as he knows the law. If the facts support your case according to the law so that you should be compensated, the attorney you want handling your case should be knowledgeable about your injury as well as the law. You should be compensated according to the seriousness of your injury or injuries. The more serious injury should net a higher settlement or award than a lesser injury, but not always.  Your attorney needs to know more about your injury in order to maximize your claim and know it’s true value. If you have a simple fracture of the arm as opposed to a complex fracture such as a comminuted or spiral fracture, where surgery is required, this needs to be discovered and presented either to the trier of fact at trial or presented to the insurance carrier for the defendants during the pre-trial phase of your claim. Further, the size of your claim cannot be determined by the mere fact that you have suffered some particular type of injury, since your attorney needs to judge the liability against the injury to determine the fair value of your case. For example, if the plaintiff or the injured victim, is also responsible for his own injury, in addition to that of the defendant. This is called comparative negligence and can reduce the size of an award by the percentage of negligence a plaintiffis at fault for in his own accident. There is no one single number that fits any one particular injury. However, the importance of knowing the seriousness of a particular injury is one ingredient into determining the size and value of your case, that being damages. The general rule is that the greater the injury, the greater the damages, but as indicated in this blog, not always the case. This is why an injured victim should not just seek out any legal help they find, but attorneys with the requisite skill, experience and knowledge your case needs.
While not doctors, the Saftler Law Firm has had 30 plus years of scouring medical records of prior injury victims to become knowledgeable about injuries, just as they are knowledgeable about the law. Determining the severity of your injury is an important factor in obtaining the fair value for you case. Inquire to learn how we can help you obtain the highest award for your particular injury.

Falling From Balconies – How One Tragedy Makes Everyone Look Up – NYC Balcony Liability

By admin on July 7, 2010

330 East 39th Street
330 East 39th Street

 In March, 2009, 24-year-old Connor Donohue fell from a balcony to his death at 330 East 39th Street in the Murray Hill section of Mnahattan.  The Department of Buildings has since ordered an engineering report, saying that he may have fallen due to damaged fencing around the unit’s balcony.  Following the accident, the fencing and post of the railing appeared loose and may have been damaged prior to the incident.  Pan Am Equities, the building’s management company, had not filed inspection reports with the Department of Buildings in ten years.  They are required to do so every five years and were thus fined $11,000. Department of Buildings inspectors have found about 800 building owners, in addition to Pan Am Equities, that have failed to file reports on the safety of their balconies. 

But how do you stay safe on your own balcony?  A proper inspection involves pulling out bricks and even some drilling.  As an individual tenant, you can’t exactly order scaffolding put outside your apartment, and an engineering report from your management company.  You can ask if the proper inspections have been conducted, though.  And be vigilent, as well.  Don’t lean on a balcony railing you’re unsure of.  Of course, if a tragedy of this nature occurs, the family should obtain the appropriate legal advice to go after those responsible.

Bike Riders Beware – Don’t Get Taken For A Ride – Bicycle Accidents and the Law

By admin on June 17, 2010

New York City can be a dangerous place to ride a bike. You must learn to ride smart, wear a helmet, and of course, follow all the traffic rules. Under Traffic Law Section 1231, “Every person riding a bicycle …upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” But even if you do follow all the traffic rules, you could still wind up suffering an injury. What do you do then?

First, always wait for the police to respond to the accident scene and take an official report. Your injuries may not appear until later and it is best to have their cause documented with the correct authorities. Make sure the report is accurate, including your information as a cyclist. Get medical attention if necessary. Your injuries should be documented in any type of personal injury matter. Medical records should be generated and photos taken of the scene, the injuries, and your bike.  Do not have your bike repaired until you can prove the impact and manner of the accident, if necessary. The damage to your property is evidence of the  accident caused by an at-fault driver during your accident or if your bike hit a pothole or other defect in the roadway or sidewalk or path.

Next, look to an experienced attorney who can help you determine whether the driver was at fault,  or there is some other type of liability for your accident and whether or not you bear any responsibility for causing your accident. Many times,  it can be some other cause, such as a pothole or defect in the street or sidewalk  or some type of construction. Insurance companies who represent drivers have examiners who are paid to limit their company’s liability. Their job is to make sure you get as little money possible. Do not communicate with an insurance company before consulting with an attorney!

As always, be careful and stay safe. Enjoy the ride – don’t get taken for one.

New York Construction Accidents – New York Favors Workers

By admin on May 28, 2010

In New York, workers are protected and benefit from laws surrounding accidents at worksites, more so than many other states. While a worker is protected from losses, medically or by lost wages through workers compensation, it is not an exclusive remedy if there is a third party a worker at a construction site can sue, such as a general contractor, owner or other third party.
In serious accident cases, the sums acquired through a third party lawsuit can be enriching to the injured worker, even though reimbursement must be made to the workers compensation carrier when resolving the underlying third party claim. Further, the worker has the strong worker protection laws that is in place in New York to see that the worker does get the necessary compensation he is entitled to as a result of his accident. It is important for workers and attorneys from out of state to know the importance of seeking the proper legal counsel to see if there is a remedy for the case someone has.
The Saftler Law Firm is a firm that prides itself on the knowledge and capabilities it has with reference to construction accident cases. Mr. Saftler has been a past speaker to the New York State Bar Association relating to construction accidents and the protections afforded workers from falls, height related accidents where equipment falls on an employee or a worker falls from a height and other accidents at worksites. The firm has resolved numerous cases and have tried many such cases to successful conclusion, all to the satisfaction of our many clients. Call and schedule an appointment without charge or obligation to see if you have a case we can help you with. Attorneys should freely call for advice for cases for their clients which The Saftler law Firm can assist with as it does with numerous attorneys in the New York metropolitan area.

Ice is Slippery and So is Snow, Watch Your Step!

By admin on February 12, 2010

In New York City, property owners are liable for all defects on the sidewalks, except for sidewalks abutting one, two and three family residences. This covers snow and ice. Liability shifts responsibility to property owners for removal of much of the snow and ice we find ourselves surrounded by today. Under some circumstances, though, the City of New York is still responsible for maintaining our public walk ways and for snow removal. After a snowfall as significant as the one we had on February 10, 2010, we need to know who we can go after after an unfortunate slip and fall occurs.

Hopefully, you will remain safe in getting around. However, if you fall and get injured, that’s where we come in. It is always wise to exercise caution when walking in these conditions. Slow down and take smaller steps, focus your attention on walking, wear rubber soles that have good traction. But you as a pedestrian are not the only one who can help to limit the number of winter weather-related slip and falls. New York City Administrative Code Section 16-123 charges that “every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person, having charge of any building or lot of ground in the city, abutting upon any street where the sidewalk is paved, shall, within four hours after the snow ceases to fall… remove the snow or ice.” This, however, does not apply during the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m; and the four hour window for removal does not begin until 7 a.m. on any given day. Also, in determining liability, the court will look at how much time passes between the time snowfall ceases and the time an accident occurs. There is a generally recognized period of time, 48 hours, which must lapse between the two, in order for liability to be found. These rules have been set by the courts in prior cases. There are always exceptions and every case is different.

Most importantly, as a pedestrian, you must be careful. Avoid ice and snow-covered sidewalks where you can. But if you do slip and fall, contact The Saftler Law Firm and learn exactly what you’re entitled to. After discussing the facts of the incident and the nature of your injury with you, we will be able to determine whether you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Enjoy the weather, New York. You can complain about it all you like, but if you live on the planet Earth, weather is a factor you have to get used to!

Dangers from Below – How an Open Sidewalk Vault Can Lead to Injury

By admin on January 26, 2010

Walking the streets of New York City can be dangerous.  There’s traffic, pedestrians, and the ever-present, over-eager bike messengers.  Keeping your head on a swivel is something every New Yorker learns early on.  It’s hard enough keeping your eyes looking forward and to the sides for danger, but we must always look down as well for the dangers from below.  City sidewalks are littered with sidewalk vaults.  These doors present dangers to everyone on a daily basis.

The New York City Administrative Code provides for regulation of vaults under any street, sidewalks included.  Pedestrians are entitled to assume that sidewalks are kept in proper condition, and a property owner must adequately maintain and inspect sidewalk vaults and the plates surrounding them.  On this point, the structural integrity of these obstructions is of great importance.

Whether a property owner actually uses the vault set beneath the sidewalk adjacent to his property is irrelevant to his liability for injury caused by it.  Special use of the sidewalk abutting a dwelling will make the owner responsible and strictly liable for the plate over the sidewalk vault in front of the entrance of a multiple unit dwelling.

If you fell through a sidewalk vault and were injured, contact The Saftler Law Firm for help.  We can protect your rights.  After discussing the facts of the incident and the nature of your injury with you, we will be able to determine whether you are entitled to compensation for any injuries you may have suffered.  But don’t forget, keeping your eyes focused on the dangers below can help prevent such necessity.

No Stroll in the Park – Does Graco’s Stroller Recall Affect You?

By admin on January 21, 2010

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled all Graco Passage, Alano, and Spree strollers manufactured between October 2004 and February 2008. The stroller have caused seven severe injuries to toddler’s fingers. Consumers are advised to stop using these models and contact Graco  to receive a free repair kit.


Graco is currently reaching out to consumers with information about the recall and repair kits via twitter and their blog. The repair kits will be available in one to two weeks. An instructional video, below, has been made available by Graco to assist those affected by the recall in properly attaching their new kit.


If a dangerous or defective product injures an unwary consumer, the manufacture is considered legally liable for product liability, as long as the consumer using the product as it was meant to be used at the time of injury. If you or your child has been injured by a recalled Graco stroller, a product liability settlement might be in your future. Contact The Saftler Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.





Don’t Be Blind to Child Safety – National Window Blind Recall to Save Children

By admin on January 7, 2010

The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges parents to contact the Window Covering Safety Council for information on a recall of more than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds.  The recall is intended to prevent the risk of strangulation of young children.  To date, hundreds of American babies and toddlers have strangled to death on mini-blind cords.

If your child or a child you know has suffered a strangulation injury or a wrongful death due to a cord on Roman blinds, roll-up blinds, mini-blinds, or any other corded window covering, you should report the accident to the Consumer Product Safety Commission immediately.  Like all manufactures, window treatment manufacturers have a legal responsibility to offer only products that are safe for use by the public for their intended purpose.  When someone, in this case a child, is killed or seriously injured due to a manufacturer’s error, victims have the right to sue.

For more information, Parents for Window Blind Safety has produced a public service announcement about the dangers of window blinds:

Rhino Rollover Injuries – The Nature of the Beast

By admin on January 7, 2010



ATV four wheelers are dangerous under risky conditions.  Yamaha produced their Rhino ATV with an unreasonable design.  The Rhino boasts a powerful engine, quick acceleration, a small turning radius, a high center of gravity, and small wheels on a narrow frame.  These features combined make the Yamaha Rhino very unstable, causing it to roll over easily at slow speeds and on flat surfaces.  The Rhino’s dangerous construction and improper safety features have lead to the death of many users and catastrophic injuries to even more.  In March 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a repair program to address these rollover safety defects.  Consumers should stop using their Yamaha Rhino ATVs until the free repairs are made by a dealer.

Many plaintiffs have already brought suit against Yamaha.  If you or someone you know has suffered injury, or even death, because of a Rhino rollover, contact The Saftler Law Firm.  We provide our clients with the dedication you need to win fair and just compensation.  Let us help you today.

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Do not hesitate to contact personal injury lawyer Lawrence Saftler if you have suffered from a personal injury in the Manhattan or greater New York City area.

Personal Injury New York
275 Madison Ave.,
Suite 1605
New York, New York 10016