Baron Associates P.C. FAQs

Questions & Answers

Property maintenance personnel or providers carry responsibilities as caretakers of a property.  Their responsibilities are fixing damage and replacing equipment, as well as replenishing any supplies necessary for the efficient operation of the property.  Some of the common duties of property maintenance company or personnel are:

  • General cleaning
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Painting
  • Carpentry
  • Snow removal
  • Power washing
  • Drywall replacement
  • Storm clean-up
  • Façade repairs
  • Sign installation
  • Graffiti abatement
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC

A contract is a legally binding agreement that identifies and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement typically involves the exchange of money, goods, services or promises.

In a case where a person dies or is killed as a result of negligence by another person, the victim’s family or heirs can bring a wrongful death claim.  A civil wrongful death suit has a lower standard of proof than a criminal proceeding although the same evidence may be presented in both.  Someone who may be found liable in a wrongful death action may not be convicted criminally of the crime that resulted in said death.

A suit for wrongful death may only be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Every state has a civil “wrongful death statute,” or set of statutes, which establish the procedures for bringing wrongful death actions. Actions for personal injury, conscious pain and suffering, or expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death are also brought by the personal representative. The damage awards from these actions belong to the estate and may pass to different parties as directed by the decedent’s will.

Elements for a wrongful death cause of action are as follows:

  • The death of a human being;
  • Caused by another’s negligence, or with intent to cause harm;
  • The survival of family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death, and;
  • The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.

Our everyday activities can become causes of house fires.  It is extremely important that your house is equipped with the proper fire safety equipment such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and fire escape ladders, which can play a vital role in having the ability to escape a fire.    

1. Cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the number one cause of home fires is caused by cooking. Cooking fires most commonly occur when left unattended.  Fire extinguishers should be kept in the kitchen so they are accessible in case of cooking fires.  

2. Heating Equipment

Many people use space heaters during the cold winter months to heat up certain parts of their homes.  Space heaters must be kept away from anything that easily catches flammable such as curtains, laundry, blankets, and furniture.

3. Faulty Wiring

While you cannot physically inspect the wiring in your home, faulty wiring is a common way for a house fire to start. There are a variety of ways that you can detect if you have faulty wiring.  Some of the clues to look for are dimming lights when you turn on an appliance, if you are only able to use one appliance at a time, and frequently blown fuses.

The “Scaffolding Law”, legally known as New York Labor Law Section 240 is in place to protect workers from falls and/or injuries from falling objects. Some of the examples of claims brought under New York Labor Law Section 240 are:

  • Workers who fall from an elevation at a worksite.  Some of the falls could be from a ladder or a scaffold because they were not provided with safety equipment or the equipment provided malfunctioned or failed.
  • Workers who are injured by falling objects from an elevation at a worksite.

Furthermore, New York Labor Law Section 241 which is similar to Section 240, focuses on the safety of workers at a construction site at the ground level.  Section 241 is most commonly referred to as the “Safe Place to Work Law” outlines specific regulations about how the areas of a construction site should be arranged and operated. 

These two laws impose liability on construction companies, property owners and/or contractors who have responsibilities of creating and maintaining a safe work site.

Insurance companies have changed how they define “collapse” in recent years. Additionally, the cause of the collapse may determine whether or not the loss is covered by insurance. If the collapse claim is denied, other portions of the insurance policy may provide coverage for the loss. These claims often require the expertise of structural engineers and other loss consultants to substantiate the cause and extent of the collapse.

Underinsured motorist coverage is an addition to your auto insurance policy. It protects you if you’re in an accident involving someone who doesn’t have sufficient insurance of their own. In an accident, the insurance of the at-fault person is supposed to compensate the other injured person. If the at-fault party’s policy has a limit below the cost of the damages, the injured party’s underinsured motorist coverage would cover the rest.

New York State licensed drivers who are involved in motor vehicle accidents where there has been a fatality, personal injuries, or property damages totaling more than $1,000 are required to complete an MV-104 form within 10 days of the accident.  The form resembles a police accident report but rather than filled out by a police officer, it is completed and signed by the driver involved in the accident.

If you are involved in a hit and run accident with the vehicle that struck you being unidentifiable, you should contact the police immediately for a police accident report at the scene. The car insurance which covers the vehicle in which you are located should have a Underinsured/Uninsured provision of the policy. What this means is that you may be able to recover for your injuries from the insurance policy of your host or household vehicle.

In New York the minimum liability policy a vehicle can carry $25,000/$50,000. This means that the maximum under the policy barred any excess or umbrella, that an individual can recover is $25,000. The $50,000 is applicable when there are multiple individuals involved. For instance if two people are involved in an accident and can recover the most that each individual can recover is $25,000 and the maximum for the occurrence is $50,000.

Yes, you can increase your No-Fault coverage through Additional Personal Injury Protection (APIP). This is an additional add-on to the automobile insurance policy. It can increase your PIP by $50,000 and additionally by increments of $50,000 thereafter. With APIP one thing that you must keep in mind is that your insurance company will want to recoup the monies paid through APIP from the at fault insurance company through subrogation. If they are not able to recover through subrogation they may collect the same from your personal injury award.

No-Fault benefits stay open as long as the $50,000 limit is not exhausted and/or it is still medically necessary for the injured party to continue treatment.

New York City Administrative Code § 16-123 states that every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person in charge of a property must clear the sidewalk of snow and/or ice within four (4) hours after snow has stopped. The only time that this code does not apply is between 9pm and 7am. Additionally, if ice has formed in a way that the person in charge cannot remove it, they must put down a substance such as ash or sand to prevent people from slipping. 

In New York state property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from paved walkways and sidewalks outside their property in order to create a safe path for pedestrians. If a property owner has a bus stop or fire hydrant in front of their property, that owner is responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalks surrounding those areas.

According to §161.05 of the New York City Health Code, “a [A] person who owns, possesses or controls a dog shall not permit it to be in any public place or in any open or unfenced area abutting on a public place unless the dog is effectively restrained by a leash or [chain] other restraint not more than six feet long”. 

Bicyclists are subject to the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles. They must obey the Vehicle and Traffic Law including but not limited to stop signs and traffic lights.

According to Administrative Code – 19-176, it is illegal for a bicyclist to operate a bicycle on the sidewalk. Penalties for operating a bicycle on the sidewalk include but are not limited to seizure of the bicycle and monetary penalties.

Under Administrative Code 7-210 the City of New York may be held liable for sidewalks abutting one-, two- or three-family residential real property that is (i) in whole or in part, owner occupied, and (ii) used exclusively for residential purposes. 

Prior to giving any statement to the adverse insurance company after an accident it is best to consult an attorney. You want to make sure that your rights are protected as the insurance company has their driver’s interest as their top priority.

Every client has a right to choose his or her lawyer at any given moment of time in his or her case. A situation may arise when a client becomes unhappy with the representation or strategy his or her lawyer is providing. Clients have every right to change lawyers. However, clients should also keep in mind that a former attorney is often entitled to payment for services rendered up until the time of dismissal. In addition, there is a certain legal process involved in changing lawyers. Please feel free to contact Baron Associates P.C. for more information regarding this process.

Insurance adjusters often come ready, willing, and able to make payments immediately after a car accident and often try to convince you to accept their offers. These offers often are much less than you actually deserve. There is absolutely no reason to rush into accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company without first speaking to an experienced attorney. Oftentimes the full extent of your injuries have yet to be discovered so soon after a car accident so accepting a quick settlement may be hurting yourself in the long run. The lawyers here at Baron Associates P.C. will guide you through your case to help you get the highest compensation you possibly deserve. We will make sure that you never sign away your legal rights without being fully aware and informed of the consequences. 

Unless you need emergency medical care, always remain at the scene of an accident, particularly, those accidents that have caused injuries and/or which occupants of the vehicles involved complain of pain. In New York, if you leave the scene of an accident, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail or three years probation and a fine of up to $1,000.00.

In a situation that involves moving your vehicle to a safe place and pulling it off of the roadway, if it is still operable, so that it doesn’t create a hazard for other travelers – the answer is no. It is permissible to drive it to a safe place within eyesight of the accident scene, such as on the shoulder of the road, where it can still be viewed by the police officer who is investigating the accident, as well as the driver of the other car or witnesses to the accident.

a. The information that you should give to and receive from the other driver or drivers are:

  • Name and contact information;
  • Make and model of vehicles involved;
  • Insurance provider and policy number; and
  • Driver’s license number.

b. In addition you should definitely take pictures of all relevant information at the scene such as location, sigs, cars, license plate numbers, VIN numbers, damages, etc.

Memories fade and details can be soon forgotten or misremembered so the first thing you must do is document everything as to what had happened to you being as specific as possible with as much detail and information as possible. Police misconduct or brutality cases are very tricky, and you don’t want to unintentionally harm your case. It is also important to prepare BUT DO NOT SEND a formal complaint. If the formal complaint is sent before a formal lawsuit is filed, you may be inadvertently giving away key information that may hurt your case down the road. Once you document everything and have all your information it is essential to contact an experience attorney such as the ones at Baron Associates P.C. to help you navigate the waters.

Memories fade and details can be soon forgotten or misremembered so the first thing you must do is document everything as to what had happened to you being as specific as possible with as much detail and information as possible. Police misconduct or brutality cases are very tricky, and you don’t want to unintentionally harm your case. It is also important to prepare BUT DO NOT SEND a formal complaint. If the formal complaint is sent before a formal lawsuit is filed, you may be inadvertently giving away key information that may hurt your case down the road. Once you document everything and have all your information it is essential to contact an experienced attorney such as the ones at Baron Associates P.C. to help you navigate the waters.

Employers can be held responsible for sexual harassment by a non-employee such as independent contractors and even clients of the business if said employer or supervisor knew or should have known of the harassment and yet, failed to take immediate and appropriate action to protect you.  An example is a manager constantly putting a female bookkeeper in a room with a client that is a sexual predator and who constantly touches or rubs against the female bookkeeper against her wishes, will be liable for the acts of such a client.

If you feel that you are working in a hostile environment, you should immediately notify the human resources department and/or a manager at the first instance that you feel you are being sexually harassed.  Although the Federal and State law requires the conduct to be “severe and pervasive”, a single word or act may be sufficient depending on the facts.  New York City provides additional protection and a lower threshold for words or acts to be deemed “Sexual Harassment”. To learn more about whether you are working in a hostile environment, please feel free to contact the attorneys at Baron Associates P.C. for a free consultation. 

An employer cannot make decisions (i.e. cant fire, demote, pass over, etc) against you based upon certain protected characteristics that may be relatable to you. These characteristics are:

  • Age (40 and older)
  • Race/Color
  • National origin
  • Gender/Sex
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Orientation or identification.
    1.  

a. Employees are entitled to reasonable and necessary accommodations for the sincere religious beliefs that they hold and practice, but there are exceptions. Courts use a two-step process to evaluate a claim of religious accommodation: You first must demonstrate what is called a “prima facie” case. You can meet this burden by demonstrating that you:

  • Hold a sincere and genuine religious belief that requires certain accommodation(s);
  • Has informed your employer of the issues and/or conflict at work regarding the request; and
  • Was discharged or otherwise faced discrimination by way of the request being denied.

b. Once the you established a prima facie case, the burden shifts to your employer to show that her or she or they cannot reasonably accommodate you without undue hardship in the conduct of business. The reasonableness of an accommodation is determined on a case-by-case basis and must be addressed with an experienced attorney such as Baron Associates P.C.

First and foremost, you should check to see if you have been injured. Call emergency responders if you are able to and wait for them to arrive before exiting your vehicle. If you are able to, gather all the information from the individual or individuals involved in the accident. Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the police officers in furtherance of their investigation. Take photographs of the vehicles and the location of the accident if possible. You should notify your insurance carrier immediately.

No-Fault insurance is insurance that covers your medical expenses that were a result of the accident without evaluating the fault of the parties involved.

A lawsuit is commenced after you have retained an attorney and the requisite investigation has been conducted. Your attorney will draft a Summons and Complaint after their investigation and consulting with you and then file said Summons and Complaint with the proper court. Once the Summons and Complaint is filed with the court your attorney will have the Summons and Complaint served on the Defendant.

The information that you should give to and receive from the other driver or drivers are:

  • Name and contact information;
  • Make and model of vehicles involved;
  • Insurance provider and policy number; and
  • Driver’s license number.

In addition you should definitely take pictures of all relevant information at the scene such as location, cars, license plate numbers, VIN numbers, damages, etc.

Important Terms

Answer

The document served by the defendant to plaintiffs attorney denying or admitting the general allegations in the complaint.

Bill of Particulars

Plaintiffs amplification of pleadings setting forth his/her damages, injuries, specifics of the accident or issue and what he/she will prove at trial.

Breach of Warranty

Sellers make promises through their conduct and sometimes in writing. If broken, a right to sue may arise.

Contract

A contract is a legally binding agreement that identifies and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement typically involves the exchange of money, goods, services or promises.

Court, Judge and Jury

You have to select the court and/or venue where you sue, which state and whether in the federal or state system. A judge is assigned to supervise the discovery phase and then to try the case. Generally you are entitled to a jury to decide the fact questions, depending on the type of case. The judge deals with the law issues, and instructs the jury on the law.

Damages

General damages: Your pain and suffering, mental and physical and your general disability. Special damages: Out-of-pocket losses, lost earnings and treatment bills. Punitive damages: Juries in some states can add extra money to the above damages to punish especially bad conduct.

Defendant

The person being sued, a corporation or an individual.

Loss of Services

A person other than the person who is actually injured can bring a derivative suit. For example, the uninjured spouse can seek damages for the loss of the injured spouse’s services, mother and/or father in some cases

Negligence

The lack of due care or failure to act reasonably on the part of the person or corporation.

Notice of Claim

Many governmental bodies (municipalities, public corporations and New York State) need to have notice of a claim before the suit is brought. This is generally a very short period of time, which varies according to state law and the particular governmental body. Don’t let the time elapse! (Failure to do so may preclude you from the right to sue).

Product Liability

A branch of negligence law which governs suits against those who manufacture or are in the chain of distribution of a product.

Proximate Cause

The need for there to be a substantial link between the conduct of the defendant and your injury.

Statute of Limitations

The period of time within which you must sue, or otherwise you will be barred from suit. No two states have the same rules and often it depends upon the legal theory of your suit. Sometimes the issue is so complex that a court must resolve it.

Summons & Complaint

The start of the lawsuit whereby the plaintiff generalizes allegations of wrongdoing against the defendant.

Tort

A civil wrong, having various subtopics.

Wrongful Death

If a person dies due to the fault of another, suit may be brought to collect damages. These damages generally include both the pain and suffering the person had prior to death, the financial loss of beneficiaries, etc. The law is very complex as to who may bring the suit and the people to whom the recovery goes. Often an estate must be set up by a court, if not provided for in a Last Will & Testament by the decedent.
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