At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff in New York, when we interview a new client who has been injured, it is extremely important to discuss their activities on social media. Many clients do not understand that everything on their social media page can be used against them. For example: If a client says they are disabled and there are photographs showing them in a bathing suit standing by a beautiful swimming pool with friends have a good time with no care in the world, that image posted during the trial, arbitration, or mediation very often reduces the sympathy factor that can often decrease your compensation. We recently represented a client that was severely burned and suffered from extreme sensitivity to direct sunlight. In New York State, the discovery rules permit your adversary to download and examine your social media content. This includes Facebook, Twitter, and even photographs on your cell phone. There is nothing that throws more cold water on a disability claim than smiling pictures taken out of context. (As the old adage goes, “A picture says more than a thousand words.”) And a personal injury attorney really doesn’t want to be in a position of having to explain away photographs that contradict the pain and suffering that the client has gone through. At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff in New York, we recently had a deposition where a client claimed that he had difficulty remembering things after a head injury and wrote notes on his cell phone yellow pad to jar his memory. That statement immediately prompted a discovery demand for the client’s cell phone. They had it analyzed by a forensic technology expert to see if there were any such notes, even if deleted, to verify our client’s claim. Years ago, insurance companies would hire a private investigator to hide in a van in front of a client’s home and film them and follow them. With new technology that’s not even necessary because they can dig through your own social media profile and files to acquire information about your activities and whereabouts and spy on you without the need to hire a private investigator. So, we advise clients to avoid posting on social media anything that involves statements of where you are traveling or photographs of your lifestyle because they will be taken out of context and used by the insurance company to diminish your claim. Unfortunately smart phones geo tag many photographs by location and any reasonably confident technology expert can outline and document your travel simply by looking at the photographs you have taken. Unfortunately our experience at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff is that our clients often forget these advisories and warnings because of their habits and routine of being intimately involved with social media. Remember, there is plenty of time for social media postings after your case is concluded. Don’t harm your case by posting photographs of yourself because they will be taken out of context and they are legally discoverable by the insurance company in New York State.
Why does Social Media Matter?
For a personal injury claim to be effective in New York, the victim must be able to prove that there was another party involved whose negligence resulted in the accident. A skilled insurance adjuster or defense lawyer will leave no stones unturned looking for evidence to prove no-fault on behalf of their client or at least limit the claim. And social media is the very first place they will start digging. The insurers and the defense team will be looking for evidence that helps contradict your claim. For instance, let us assume your personal injury claim is that you suffered a back injury in an accident caused by another party. Now, if during the investigation period, you post an image of yourself on social media that shows you mowing the lawn just days after the crash, it could spell disaster. The defense team could use it to question your integrity and your injury claim in the courtroom. You need to understand that all claims are not settled in mediation and if the case does go to trial, social media acts as a potential weapon to discredit the veracity of the claim. This could also be used to limit compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Excessive sharing on social media presents unique risks, even before the incident occurs. For instance, your entire personal injury claim could be jeopardized if you shared your binge drinking episode on social media the night you had your accident. It is best that you avoid social media completely during the claims process to ensure the most favorable outcome. This includes everything from blogs, updates, pictures, videos and tweets, to any other shared content.
Ways to Protect Your Claim from an Onslaught on Social Media
Twitter, Facebook, and other online networks’ privacy settings often fail to provide adequate protection during investigation of an injury claim. It is quite common for insurance adjusters to use anonymous accounts to spy on victims. Here are few ways you can protect your claim outcome while using Twitter and Facebook:
All tweets are public unless they are protected under settings. These can be seen by anyone, even the ones who don’t have a Twitter account. (Change this by clicking the “Privacy and Safety” tab under “Settings and Privacy”. Check “Protect my Tweets” in the Privacy section.)
Don’t fall into the trap created by the “friends of friends” loophole. It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters and defense attorneys to gain access to your private posts by friending one of your other Facebook friends. (You can prevent this by editing the section How People Find and Contact You” under “Privacy Settings and Tools”.)
We also recommend the following measures in addition:
Never delete any suspicious or old content. This can come across negatively in front of a judge and jury. Always consult with your attorney before you decide on deleting anything.
Make sure you deactivate the geo-location feature on all downloaded apps. Yelp and other popular apps can automatically enable your phone to check-in or communicate where you are. Never leave a trail of previous locations for the defense attorney to chart your movements.
Your friends won’t necessarily know that you need to limit your social media presence. Take care of your interests by disabling tagging features.
Avoid following or joining any new pages or groups. Online socialization has been frequently used as an argument against injury claims.
During the injury claim investigation, refrain from accepting new friend requests and followers.
Don’t post any content related to physical activities, traveling or new purchases.
Real-life Examples of how Social Media can Jeopardize Personal Injury Cases
These are some real-life examples of social media risks for personal injury lawsuit outcomes. Slate.com published an article explaining how real-life images of injured victims on Facebook unintentionally harm their own court case. How social images of dancing can wreck a case Fotini Kourtesis made a legal claim after being involved in a rear-end collision stating that she was no longer able to wrestle or dance with her brother. However, there were pictures posted on Facebook after the accident of her brother lifting her in the air. Unsurprisingly, the pictures did not go down well with the judge who ruled against her. This clearly demonstrates the need for plaintiffs to be extra careful with social media posts. The judge did not care that the scenes were posed carefully for the camera after the incident. Whether the pictures were fake or not was immaterial. The photos showed that Fontini was enjoying an active social life which greatly undermined her claim of “loss of enjoyment of life”. Even messages from friends can ruin your injury case Slate.com highlights another story of a former general manager by Home Depot who sued for gender discrimination. Her legal claim used language that indicated isolation from friends as a result of wrongful termination. Her Facebook account was scoured by Home Depot’s legal team who literally found dozens of messages wishing her a happy birthday on her Facebook wall. Shockingly, the lawyers argued that so many Facebook messages would not be received by a socially isolated person. The takeaway – if you are injured, use extreme caution while using social media.
Your Social Media Profile’s Public Portion Can Be Viewed by Litigators
Social media guidelines of the New York State Bar Association underscore the fact that defense lawyers can view public social media profiles and posts, even if the victim is represented by another lawyer. Your right to privacy ends when you let your profile become public or make a public post. You should strongly consider making your posts and profile private during a personal injury case. The New York Court of Appeals on Feb. 14th, 2018 ruled unanimously that certain portions could be accessed by opponents in a lawsuit even if the Facebook profile was private. This means you could be required to hand over private posts and photographs that may be deemed relevant to the lawsuit.
Talk To Your Lawyer before Deleting Harmful Posts
It is better you don’t post any information in the first place if you think you would have to delete it later. Your lawyer is responsible for ensuring that that no potentially relevant information is destroyed in anticipation of litigation. You could attract a penalty for violating the duty to preserve evidence during a lawsuit. You can delete evidence as long as there is no legal barrier. However, it is best to speak with your attorney immediately to discuss whether you can delete potentially damaging content or not.
Talk To Your Lawyer before Adding New Information
As long as the new information is not knowingly untrue, your lawyer would advise you on matters regarding posting of new social media content. Your lawyer cannot help you post misleading and false information that are helpful or relevant to the claims you made. As a general rule, always seek your lawyer’s advice on posting new content on social media and never publish anything that you know is false. This dishonest strategy is likely to hurt your claim in the long run.
Additional Tips for Personal Injury Victims in New York
Here are some additional social media tips to help you avoid legal pitfalls that could potentially sabotage your personal injury lawsuit in New York. Tip #1: Keep a Printed Record of All Your Social Media Accounts You can make it a lot harder for the defendant’s legal team to threaten you with any evidence they claim to have by downloading complete records of your accounts. Physical records are a poignant way to contradict untrue claims of social media activity. For this reason, make sure you download historical social media activity and print hardcopies of it. Tip #2: Keep Your Activities and Location Under Wraps Most social media networks have ‘checking in’ and other features that disclose a person’s whereabouts and activities. You need to avoid using these features at all costs while your lawsuit is ongoing. Any information regarding your whereabouts or your activities can be twisted and used against you to damage the claim. Avoid giving the defense that chance. Tip #3: Don’t Discuss the Lawsuit on Social Media This may seem obvious, but you need to make a conscious effort to not talk about your case at all on social media networks. It can get difficult since your family and friends may want updates. But, you need to leave those updates for offline conversations. From a legal perspective, it is unnecessary to post updates and opinions about your lawsuit. In fact, doing so may just harm your case and compensation outcomes. Tip #4: No Case Related Discussions even through Private Messages Any discussion regarding your health or the status of your lawsuit should be reserved only for your attorney. You need to stay away from social media private messages. And, under no circumstance should you discuss any part or aspect of your case on these platforms.
Get in Touch With a Personal Injury Attorney in New York Today!
Personal injury lawsuits can be highly complicated. Therefore, it is in the best interests of victims that have suffered an injury due to the fault of another to seek legal counsel from a capable and experienced personal injury lawyer in New York. A skilled attorney will take care of all the multiple aspects of your personal injury lawsuit. This includes filing the lawsuit handling trial or mediation (as appropriate) to pursue maximum compensation amount. The attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff have been defending the rights of personal injury victims for decades now. We are experienced in handling the legal intricacies involved in such cases and bring forth our knowledge and resources in pursuing maximum possible compensation for each one of our clients. The New York personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff law firm offer free case reviews as part of an initial consultation to individuals who have suffered injuries due to another party’s fault. Give us a call today at (800) 660-2264 or contact us online to determine if you may be entitled to legal compensation.
In New York City, manhole covers can present a hidden risk to passerby and to construction workers. Those who sustain injury as a result of an incident involving a manhole cover should consult with a New York City injury lawyer to determine if they have an options available to them for pursing a claim for compensation. Manhole covers can be dangerous because manholes can explode. In fact, as Metro US wrote recently, two separate manhole explosions occurred in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, raising concerns about serious risks of unexpected explosions.
Why are Manhole Explosions a Risk?
According to Metro US, manhole explosions have been described as a “longstanding occurrence,” and, in fact, the explosions in the upper East Side were not isolated incidents. There were actually at least three other similar incidents over the course of the same day that those explosions occurred, according to Con Edison. And, in total, there were 1,908 incidents involving manholes in 2016 and 3,781 incidents in 2015. These manholes allow access to electrical cables that run underground under the city of New York to make the underground utility grid accessible to those who must service the grid. Unfortunately, the infrastructure is aging and the manhole covers do not keep water out. When the weather gets bad during the winter and snow melts that is mixed with de-icing salt, this salty water drips into the manholes. This, in turn, causes frayed low-voltage cables to fail because of the exposure to the salty water. In frightening incidents, fires occur, smoke comes out of the manholes, and explosions occur that send the manhole covers flying into the air and putting pedestrians in jeopardy of serious injury. Around 60 percent of incidents involving dangerous exploding manholes happen during the winter months. However, incidents can also occur frequently in the summer as well thanks to the intense heat that can also cause damage to the wires. The heat can fry the aging wires, causing explosions just like salt does in the winter. These incidents are especially common in New York because the largest underground electrical system in the country is located in the New York City area. There are 98,000 miles of cable underground and there are 264,000 different manholes and service boxes that are located throughout the city. New York's electrical grid is also aging, which plays a role in the increased risk of manhole explosions. Low voltage cables typically have a life span of around 40 years. However, within Manhattan, around five percent of the low voltage cables in the city were installed prior to 1930. The electrical system in the city is actually the oldest in the nation, and old and fraying wires make it more likely that manholes will explode. While Metro US reports that bystander injuries aren't that common, injuries do occur. If you or a loved one gets hurt because of an incident with an exploding manhole, you should contact a New York City injury attorney to find out what options you have for taking legal action to recover compensation for injury.
According to the National Safety Council, unintentional and preventable injuries have become one of the top causes of deaths within the United States. Accidental injuries are injuries that should not have happened and when a death occurs because of an accidental injury, it is important to determine if someone else's negligence of wrongdoing caused the death to occur. If negligence or wrongdoing caused an accidental death to happen, a New York City personal injury law firm should be consulted to provide help to loved ones in obtaining compensation for the loss that has occurred.
Accidental Injuries are a Leading Cause of Death
According to the National Safety Council, there were a total of 14,803 more deaths due to accidental injuries in 2016 than the total number of accidental deaths due to injuries in 2015. This is a 10 percent increase in deaths from accidental injuries between 2015 and 2016. It is the largest single year increase in accidental deaths since 1936. Because the number of accidental deaths also rose dramatically from 2014 to 2015, there was a new record set. Over two years, the number of accidental deaths rose 18.6 percent, which is the biggest two-year increase since 1903. There are many reasons why the number of accidental deaths rose so much between 2015 and 2016. One of those reasons was that car accident risks rose. From 2015 to 2016, there was a 6.8 percent increase in car accident fatalities, bringing the total up to 40,327 people dying in car accidents over the course of the year. Just like with the total rise in accidental injuries, one of the largest two-year jumps also occurred in the number of people dying in car accidents. Since 2014, there was a 14 percent increase in the number of deaths in motor vehicle accidents. With so many people losing their lives to accidental injuries, death due to preventable accidents is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. A total of 442 people are killed because of accidental injuries each day now, and the president of the National Safety Council blames this on complicity. since everyone of these injuries is preventable. The NSC president stated: “For years our country has accepted unintentional injuries as an unavoidable reality. The truth is, there is no such thing as an accident. Every single one of these deaths was preventable. We know what to do to save lives, but collectively we have failed to prioritize safety at work, at home and on the road.” When people behave in unsafe ways, whether behind the wheel, by creating unacceptable risks on their property, or by creating an unsafe worksite, they should be held accountable for the harm they cause. A New York City personal injury law firm represents victims injured through negligence and also provides representation in wrongful death cases. Contact an attorney as soon as possible after your loved one has passed so you can take action to get the compensation you deserve from individuals or businesses who caused your loved one's death.
According to statistics, in 2015, the fourth leading cause of death in the United States was unintentional accidents or injuries – accounting for 5.4% of all deaths. The previous year, an estimated 136,053 people died as a result of unintentional injuries – the highest death rates from these injuries were found among people at the age of 75 and older. Some of the worst unintentional injuries involve head or spinal cord injuries, or more specifically, brain trauma. Such injuries can result in permanent physical as well as mental disability, and in some cases, even death. As of 2015, there were approximately 17,000 spinal cord injuries annually and of these, roughly 30% were re-hospitalized in any given year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the year 2016, a total of 5,190 fatal occupational injuries were recorded in the US – an increase of 7% from the 4,836 fatal injuries reported the previous year. As per the reports, it has been established as the third consecutive increase in annually recorded workplace injuries and it is also the first time that over 5,000 deaths that the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries has recorded since the year 2008. Also, the rate of fatal and serious injuries increased to 3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers from around 3.4 in the year 2015, which is the highest rate since 2010. The BLS also reported that approximately 2.9 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by employers in the private sector in 2016. These injuries occurred at a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 FTE workers. We often hear about the high rates of workplace injuries in construction, industrial and other fields. However, it should be noted that accidents and injuries occur quite often in the hotel industry too. Hotel employees have higher rates of workplace injuries and are more seriously injured than most other service workers. According to data from the BLS, roughly 1 in every 1,000 hotel employees sustains an injury on the job each year. Accidents that are reported in the hotel industry make up close to 2% of all accidents in the private sector. In 2011, a total of 17,160 injuries occurred in hotels; 17,670 in 2012; 17,550 in 2013; and 17,910 in 2014. The most frequently reported types of injury in the hotel industry are sprains, strains and tears (36%), pain (20%), cuts (9.0%), and bruises (9.0%). The most common causes of injuries in hotels are over-exertion (34%), slip, trip and fall accidents (32%), and contact with equipment (24%). Common Injuries Sustained by Housekeepers As mentioned earlier, employees of hotels and motels suffer more injuries than any other workers in the service industry in the US. Housekeepers particularly have a high rate of injury. This is mainly due to the fact that they perform highly repetitive tasks that can strain tendons, ligaments, and muscles. In most states, hotel and motel employees are covered by the workers’ compensation program. If they sustain an injury while performing their job, they may be eligible for benefits to help them with medical bills and lost wages while taking time off to recover. Housekeepers and maids in the hotel industry face a very high risk of suffering musculoskeletal disorders, such as sprains and strains. The reason for this is the fact that a large number of the tasks they have to perform while on duty require them to bend, stretch and stoop constantly. At nicer hotels, the rooms have heavier mattresses that they need to lift in order to change the linens – this can also cause serious injuries to the back. The majority of the musculoskeletal disorders that housekeepers and maids suffer affect the back while the rest affect the shoulders and arms. Many hotel housekeepers report that the injury they sustain at work interfered with their routine activities. More than half of these hotel employees also reported that they required medical help to deal with their workplace pain, and that they required pain medication to be able to get through their daily housekeeping duties. Apart from musculoskeletal disorders that involve the back and neck, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves, hotel housekeepers also sustain injuries such as:
Acute trauma, such as sprains and strains, fractures, contusions, burns, and lacerations
Exposure to chemicals
Stress as a result of anything ranging from time limitations and increase in workloads to sexual harassment and assault
Hotel Employees Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Employers Although hotel employees can file a workers’ compensation claim when they are injured on the job, there are instances when their employers deny their claim – in fact, this occurs more often than we think. In such cases, hotel employees can seek the help of an attorney with experience in handling, hotel injuries involving employees and file a personal injury lawsuit against the hotel. It is likely that the attorney will make an attempt to convince the employer to approve the workers’ compensation claim and if they continue to deny the claim, the attorney will begin taking the steps to file a civil suit on behalf of the injured hotel employee and make sure that they receive fair compensation for their injuries as well as other damages, such as loss if income, pain and suffering, mental distress, etc. It is the responsibility of the lawyer to make sure that the hotel employee’s rights are protected and that they obtain compensation for sustaining injury while performing their duty at the workplace. Lawsuit Against Pittsburgh’s Drury Plaza Hotel Filed by Injured Contractor A contractor in Pittsburgh who allegedly sustained serious injury while working on a construction project at the Drury Plaza Hotel filed a lawsuit against the hotel and other hired construction entities. He claimed that their collective failure to ensure that the premises were safe resulted in his injuries. Mars resident Mark Beitler filed the lawsuit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas against Drury Properties, LLC, Drury Southwest, Inc., F.J. Busse Company, Inc., and the leading DSW Development Corporation Pittsburgh Exchange, LLC – these entities were doing business collectively as “Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown”. The lawsuit said that before the events in question transpired, the Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown on Grant Street was owned, possessed and maintained by the Drury defendants for the purpose of developing the structure to operate as a hotel. As part of the process of modifying the structure, F.J. Busse, Inc. was retained and hired by Drury to serve as a general contractor to facilitate the development of the property. Beitler was an employee of Ryco, Inc., a company that Drury and/or F.J. Busse, Inc. sub-contracted whose functions were to provide fire protection and/or plumbing services to the development project named in the suit. According to the suit, the defendants affixed plywood on the top of garbage dumpsters during the construction project for construction workers, including the plaintiff, to walk on to dispose of materials and other debris. Beitler considered the condition dangerous due to the presence of a section of the plywood that was cut out in a rectangular shape. On February 24th, 2016, Beitler was on the Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown property in the course of this employment. As a direct and proximate result of the dangerous conditions that were described in the suit, Beitler alleged that as he was in the process of disposing refuse, he had to step into the missing section of the floor and fell from the dumpster onto the concrete floor below. The fall allegedly caused Beitler to sustain a number of injuries including: intra-articular displaced distal redius fracture on the left wrist requiring surgical repair, contusions and trauma to his entire body, bruises and other injuries that the platiff needed to prove at trial. Beitler claimed that there was failure on the defendants’ part to adequately or properly hire, train, and supervise its employees and sub-contractors on the work site and provide and implement safety procedures in the worksite for its employees and sub-contractors. The plaintiff also alleged that they violated OSHA regulations regarding the provision of a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that could potentially cause injury or death to employees. There was also a litany of other charges in addition to these. The plaintiff sought damages, for two counts of negligence, in excess of the jurisdictional limits of compulsory arbitration as well as court costs, interest, etc. as well as further relief that the court may deem just and equitable. Injury to Hotel Guests There are instances when guests of a hotel sustain injury due to the negligence of the hotel. In such cases, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit against the hotel and obtain compensation for damages. Common accidents that can take place in hotels are:
Slip and falls
Elevator or escalator accidents
Swimming pool accidents
Parking lot car accidents
Acts of violence
Duty If you suffer any type of incident that causes you injury at a hotel, you should immediately start looking at your potential rights to file a lawsuit. To file a suit against a hotel, the elements that you need to start with proving the duties of the hotel to you. Typically, it is easy to prove this as hotels automatically owe basic duties of care to all guests and property visitors – with the exception of adult trespassers. These include:
Disclosing health and safety hazards
Protecting the privacy of guests
Keeping the premises reasonably safe
Taking adequate security measures
Not discriminating against guests
Breach of Duty On hotel premises, breaches of duty can take many shapes and forms. A “breach” is defined as any act or failure to act that goes against accepted standards of care for the industry and situation. The incident may need to be investigated in order to prove negligence or a breach of duty on the hotel’s part. The injured party must prove that the defendant did not act in a manner that a reasonable and prudent party would have in similar circumstances, causing your accident. Causation When a guest is injured in a hotel, they must prove that the breach of duty of care of the hotel was the actual and proximate cause of the accident. An accident’s “proximate cause” is nothing but the primary cause. Although the proximate cause may not really be the initial event that triggered the accident, but it could be the action that resulted in foreseeable negative consequences. The injured party will be required to show that their injuries were caused directly by the proximate cause – the cause without which there would not have been an accident. Damages Finally, a person who is injured in a hotel accident must have real and compensable damages in order to have grounds to file a lawsuit against the establishment. If you do not incur damages like a personal injury, property damage, medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering or even the wrongful death of a family member, the establishment will not owe you anything, even in the event of an accident. To have grounds to sue the hotel, you must have incurred some kind of damages. You should consult a personal injury lawyer to find out more information about suing a hotel when you have been injured in a hotel accident. Get the Best Legal Assistance for Hotel Injuries Which is RMFW Law If you or a loved one has been injured in a hotel accident, either as a guest or an employee, it is critical that you seek legal assistance from an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney and this is where Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, of RMFW Law at (800) 660-2264 needs to enter your life. The legal counselor will review your case and determine if you have a viable case against the establishment. If you do, your attorney will help you begin in taking the steps to filing a personal injury lawsuit against the hotel and make sure that your rights are protected. It is vital to hire RMFW Law who has experience in handling, hotel accident or injury cases so that you have the best chance of recovering compensation for damages. With a sagacious and motivated legal pro, you can make sure that the hotel is held liable for the accident and that you receive the compensation you are legally entitled to for the injuries you sustained as a result of the hotel accident. RMFW Law knows this this aspect of the law. Our track record testifies to this. Our track record of winning and settling in favorable terms for our clients is fantastic and regal. We know how to win these types of cases and we know the tactics of the other side. It is not just about hard work it is about working smart and RMFW Law does both. Call us now! You have nothing to lose. We only win if you win!
Construction sites can be dangerous places for workers, and a New York City injury lawyer can provide help to those who work construction and who are hurt while they are on the job. In New York, where construction often occurs on heavily-traveled streets, it is not just workers who are at risk of being harmed on construction sites where projects are taking place. Passersby can also be hurt or even killed when passing near construction sites. If and when an incident occurs and someone is hurt, an attorney can provide assistance to the victim or to surviving family members if the incident causes fatal injuries. Passersby becoming hurt because of problems on construction sites happens far too frequently, and it is important to get the right legal help under difficult circumstances when an injury happens. Just recently, for example, Pix 11 reported on an incident when a young girl was hit in the head when walking by a construction site.
Young Girl Hurt While Walking By a Construction Site
According to Pix 11, the little girl who was hurt while walking by a construction site was just eight-years-old at the time of the incident. She was headed out with her family to have a family day at the park when they passed by a construction site on 38th Avenue at 83rd Street. As the family walked by, a four-foot by one-foot wooden plank fell out of a window from a fourth floor apartment. The plank had been thrown out of the window by a construction worker who was performing work in the fourth floor apartment. The family of the little girl had warned the construction workers that they were walking by the area where the construction was taking place. A witness indicated that the little girl's father yelled up to the apartment that his family was walking by and asked the contractors to stop for a moment so his family could pass safely. The contractors did not discontinue work, instead putting the family at risk, including both the eight-year-old who was ultimately injured as well as her three-year-old brother. The plank hit the eight-year-old who was home on winter break and who was spending time with the family. Witnesses indicated that the plank hitting the girl sounded like a gun shot wound. It caused a two centimeter laceration in the girls' head, which necessitated emergency treatment at the hospital. A total of three staples had to be put into the young girl's head as a result of the severity of the injury. While the family was shaken up and the little girl was badly hurt, the family indicated that they were grateful the injuries were not life threatening. They also believe that the little girl will have a lengthy recovery period due to the possibility of secondary concussion and due to the pain she is in. The Department of Buildings has issued a stop work order and the contractor could be fined as a result of the unsafe work practices. In circumstances like this one, a New York City injury lawyer can also provide help to victims and their families in taking legal action to hold accountable those who are responsible for causing harm and to ensure they cover losses.