Toll Free:

Queens, Brooklyn, & Bronx

Nassau County/Garden City

Free consultation available 24/7


Distracted Driving Still a Problem on American Roads

Statistics Show Distracted Drivers Still Major Cause of Traffic Accidents

According to the federal government, distracted driving accounts for about one in every 10 traffic fatalities. Though that number of fatalities in 2012 decreased slightly—from 3,360 to 3,328—the number of accidents involving distracted drivers went up dramatically, increasing by more than 30,000.

As defined on the government’s website (, distracted driving includes any act that draws a driver’s attention away from his or her primary task—safely operating a vehicle on the road. The use of a handheld device continues to be one of the most significant concerns. Researchers report that nearly 700,000 people are simultaneously driving and texting/talking at any given moment. They note that the average time that a person will divert attention from the road to send or receive an e-mail or text message, or to look at weather, directions or other information on a handheld device, is about five seconds—the length of time it would take to drive the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour.

The use of a device, however, is not the only significant cause of distracted driving. Officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that distracted driving covered a broad range of activities, from grooming behind the wheel to reading a book or map, from eating and drinking to having a conversation with passengers in the back seat, from adjusting an in-dash stereo to watching a video.

According to statistics, younger drivers are more likely to drive while distracted. More than 25% of the distracted drivers involved in traffic fatalities were in their 20s. One in 10 of drivers in fatal accidents were between the ages of 16 and 19. One out of every four drivers under the age of 20 said they regularly send or respond to text messages while driving, and one in five say they frequently have multi-message text conversations while behind the wheel.

Interestingly, the research showed that using a hands-free device, such as a headset or Bluetooth, did not significantly diminish the risk of an accident.

Contact Our Office

To set up an appointment with an experienced New York motor vehicle accident injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Cheap Gas Prices Will Likely Lead to More Traffic Accidents

As Gas Prices Plummet, Accidents Rise

On a recent cross-country trip, a New Yorker was thrilled to find that he never paid more than $2 a gallon for gas. He said that, as long as prices remained low, he planned to drive more and fly less, even if the drive took all day. And he’s not alone. As gas prices hit their lowest point in nearly six years, more and more Americans are taking to the highways. The unfortunate downside—more drivers leads to more traffic accidents and more traffic fatalities.

Officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have long known that there’s a direct correlation between the price of gas and accident statistics. The last time the average price of gas in the United States was below $2—2009—was also the last high point in traffic fatalities nationally. It’s a simple equation—lower gas prices provide a greater incentive to travel by automobile. The more people on the road, the greater the number of collisions.

The research shows that the news is even worse for younger drivers, particularly motorists in their teens. Most adults who drive do so in significant part for work or family needs. But most younger drivers do so for leisure or for something to do. And older drivers tend to have more disposable income. So when gas prices go up or down, most older drivers don’t see a significant change in their driving habits. They drive because they have to, and are better able to afford higher gas prices. Younger drivers, with less discretionary income, simply don’t have the resources to pay for gas at higher prices, so opt for other activities that don’t involve driving.

According to Guangqing Chi, a sociologist at South Dakota State University, a $2 drop in the price of gas could lead to an additional 9,000 deaths in the United States over a one year period. Chi has been studying the impact of gas prices on driving habits since 2008, when he noticed that his personal driving time went down when prices skyrocketed. He conducted one study in Minnesota that showed that a 20 cent decrease in gas prices led to an additional 15 traffic fatalities.

Contact Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

To set up an appointment with an experienced New York motor vehicle accident injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Negligence of Oregon Hospital Led to Wrongful Death of Patient

All it takes is one small mistake for a disaster to occur. No matter how much research is done when choosing a hospital, it is impossible to predict a situation such as one that occurred last month in Oregon. Loretta Macpherson, a patient at a Bend, Oregon hospital, died after being administered wrongful medication. Ms. Macpherson, 65, had arrived at the hospital to receive an anti-seizure medication, fosphenytoin, following her brain surgery. Rather than being given the correct medication, Ms. Macpherson was administered a paralyzing agent, rocuronium—often reserved for surgical procedures.

Soon after Macpherson was given the wrong treatment, her breathing stopped and she soon fell into cardiac arrest. Macpherson had suffered permanent brain damage and was placed on life support. A few days later, she passed away.

There is no shortage of cautionary tales stemming from the negligence of hospital staff. The role of hospitals in our society is unique, in that it is one of the rare instances where a person gives their full trust and confidence of their lives to complete strangers. Fortunately, the law provides victims of medical malpractice and their families the right to seek remedies in courts. Because of the high stakes that is ancillary to the medical profession, medical staff must adhere to extremely high standards of professionalism and responsibility. When these standards are not met, hospitals may be held accountable for their negligence.

The three hospital staff members that were present during the incident have been placed on paid leave by the hospital while the investigation is still ongoing. The chief clinical officer for St. Charles Health System, is part of an investigation team that will determine the exact order of events that led to Ms. Macpherson’s unfortunate passing. The officer stated that was the first time the hospital has dealt with a situation like this. However, he went on to say, “[w]e do know there was a medication error. We acknowledge that. It’s our mistake.”

This Oregon hospital incident is an unfortunate example where a hospital successfully treated a medical issue for their patient but the ancillary treatment was provided negligently. The three staff members failed to provide care that fully met the high standards demanded by the medical profession and, as a result, the family of Ms. Macpherson have spent this past holiday season without their loved one.

The attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP will fight to protect your rights. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) as a result of medical negligence that occurred in a New York hospital, you should promptly consult with a New York medical malpractice attorney who may investigate your hospital malpractice claim.

To learn more about our firm, please contact us online or call us on our toll-free line at 516-248-2234 to be connected with one of our medical malpractice attorneys.

You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as well.

Steps You Can Take to Minimize the Risk of Injury on the Roads during the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are routinely among the deadliest of days when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. On average, the number of fatalities nationwide can go up fourfold or five-fold on those days. Here are some ways that you can minimize the risk of serious injury or death on the highways this holiday season.

Don’t Drive

If you’re not on the road, you won’t be at risk to be in an accident. Statistics show that the large percentage of motor vehicle accidents occur during short trips from home. Instead of making a number of ventures to the malls amongst the holiday traffic, shop online. And instead of traveling on Christmas day or New Years Eve, celebrate the holiday with family the weekend before or after the day, when traffic is much lighter.

If the weather conditions are bad, accept that it’s probably not a good idea to battle the elements to get to Aunt Martha’s house. Call Aunt Martha, tell her how much you love her and that, because you love her, you don’t want to put your family at risk by traveling in bad weather.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Experts say four out of ten accidents at the holidays involve drivers who are legally intoxicated. You can’t keep the other guy from drinking and driving, but you can take responsibility for yourself. A serious motor vehicle accident can turn holiday cheer to grief and sadness in an instant.

Just Drive—Stay Off Your Device

The number of accidents involving drivers talking on cell phones or sending/receiving e-mails or text messages continues to escalate. Many experts believe that distracted driving is rapidly becoming more of a hazard than drunk driving. A number of states have enacted laws prohibiting the use of hand-held devices while behind the wheel.

Get Your Eyes Checked

According to one study, more than 10 million motorists on the country’s roadways have uncorrected vision problems.

Contact Our Office

To set up an appointment with an experienced New York motor vehicle accident injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Motor Vehicle Accidents on the Rise during the Holidays

455684081 (1)

On average, about 100 people die every day in the United States in motor vehicle accidents. But those numbers go up during the holiday season and peak on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Thanksgiving is routinely the day every year with the highest number of traffic fatalities—approximately five times as many as on an average day. Labor Day, the Fourth of July, and Memorial Day are not far behind, and Christmas and New Years see more than 400 deaths on average.

Experts attribute the rise in part to the increased number of people on the roads; statistics show there can be a 50% increase in the number of motorists traveling on the holidays. Furthermore, people tend to drive further during the holidays, particularly if Christmas or New Years falls on a regular or extended weekend.

Alcohol consumption also tends to be higher on holidays, accounting for approximately 40 percent of holiday auto accidents. The NHTSA study found that drivers between 21 and30 were most likely to be involved in alcohol-related accidents.

The potentially adverse weather conditions that come with Christmas and New Years also factor in to the increased number of traffic accidents and fatalities. Drivers are more likely to go out in snowy or icy conditions to participate in holiday festivities.

Experts warn, though, that the increased risk is not limited to Christmas day or New Years day. Studies show that the number of people on the road can increase 10-15% on average between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the numbers rising slightly in the days just before Christmas. And with gas prices dramatically down from last year, most authorities anticipate increased traffic and more traffic accidents.

Contact Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

To set up an appointment with an experienced New York motor vehicle accident injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Electrical Shock and Electrocution Injuries on Construction Sites in NY

To comply with the requirements of New York labor laws, owners and general contractors must take measures to prevent workers from working in proximity to open sources of electricity, and must adequately warn workers of any unguarded power lines or sources. Any defective insulation must be replaced, and all electrical tools, including portable generators, must be properly grounded. Owners and general contractors must ensure that the supply of power to the site is adequate to handle all work being done, that circuits are not being overloaded, and that the construction site is not a tangled web of extension cords that can easily be cut by power tools.

Under New York law, owners and general contractors on construction projects have a duty to take certain precautions to minimize the risk of injury due to electrical shock or exposure to electrical current. §200 of the New York state labor laws mandates that owners and general contractors provide a safe environment for construction workers and visitors, and imposes liability for any injuries sustained because of failure to meet this obligation. The statute imposes absolute liability for any injuries suffered, which means that, as the injured party, you don’t need to show negligence or carelessness, only that the standards established by the law were not met.

Burns are the most frequent type of injury associated with exposure to an electrical charge. The degree of the burn will generally depend on how many volts of electricity you were exposed to. The burns that you suffer from an electrical injury can be internal, as well as external. These types of burns can lead to excruciating pain that lasts months or years.

With offices throughout the New York City area, the personal injury attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP have been assisting accident victims since Harvey Sackstein started his practice in 1952.

Harvey Arthur Sackstein (1927-2014) Founder Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

In memory of Harvey Arthur Sackstein (1927-2014) a great individual and an outstanding attorney who served our community for over 60 years. He is survived by his wife, 3 children, and 6 grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all of the members and associates of Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, who will continue to honor his legacy and tradition of superior legal service and commitment in the representation of their clients.


Sleep-Induced Crashes! – Reduce Your Risk of Drowsiness!

The characteristics of sleep-induced crashes are: The crash is very serious, it is a high speed road, the vehicle goes off the road and the driver does not take evasive action.

Lifestyle Habits. Eat light. Exercise regularly. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Every time you miss sleep, catch up immediately.

Plan Journeys. Before a trip, get a good night’s sleep. Leave early in the morning and stop driving around sunset, or as early as possible, to reduce night-time driving. Drive with a passenger who can alert you to fatigue, talk to you, and share the driving. Schedule stops every 100 miles or two hours. Hunger can make you angry and turn you into an aggressive driver. Don’t eat junk or high-fat foods. Keep caffeinated and sugar-laden snacks in the car for short-term energy. Chocolate covered espresso beans can help you make it to the next rest area.

Direct Intervention. Recognize and don’t ignore symptoms of drowsiness. Pull over to a safe rest area; stop for a break, a 20-minute nap, or for the night. Two cups of coffee take 30 minutes to enter your bloodstream, then provide short term alertness.

Don’t drink alcohol or take medications.

Drowsiness is a condition most drivers fail to recognize, or believe they can overcome. Without enough sleep the body suffers from “sleep deficit,” which can only be overcome by SLEEP!

Sleepiness results from physical labor or working long hours; a progressive withdrawal of attention; interruptions of sleep; and untreated or unrecognized sleep disorders. Sleepiness is induced by repetitive actions of long distance drivers, driving without a break and by the stress of tough road conditions and bad weather. Heavy food, alcohol, sedatives, antidepressants and antihistamines induce sleep. Open windows and loud music do not reduce fatigue.

Information Provided bySackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP 


Motor Vehicle Crashes are a leading cause of death for children younger than 13.

When it comes to crashes, children are much safer than they used to be.The rate of motor vehicle crash deaths per million children younger than 13 is less than a quarter of what it was in 1975. The rate at which children die as passenger vehicle occupants has decreased 60 percent, while the rates at which they are killed as pedestrians and bicyclists are each about one-tenth of 1975 rates.

Proper restraint use can reduce crash deaths and injuries even more.Appropriate child safety seats provide significantly more protection in a crash than safety belts alone.

Choose the right restraint for your child’s age and size, and always seat kids in the rear.

  • All infants and toddlers should ride rear-facing until they are 2 years old or until they reach the height and weight limit of their child restraints.
  • Once they outgrow rear-facing restraints, children should ride in a harness-equipped forward-facing child restraint for as long as possible, up to the height and weight limit of the child restraint. Top tethers should be used whenever a child restraint is installed forward-facing.
  • When children outgrow child restraints, they should use belt-positioning booster seats until adult safety belts fit properly.

For information about Motor Vehicle Crashes claims in New York, or to discuss your auto accident with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please schedule a free consultation by calling us toll free at 888.519.6400, in Garden City at 516.248.2234, in Flushing-Queens at 718.539.3100, or if you prefer, fill out our intake form and we will contact you. Let our family fight to get your family the compensation you deserve.

Investigating Injuries to Pedestrian and Knockdowns!

Pedestrian Knockdowns and Injuries

Pedestrian knockdowns often involve head, neck, back, and broken bone injuries. Far from being minor injuries, most pedestrian knockdowns leave people seriously injured and unable to return to work for quite some time. As a result, it’s important to accurately determine the financial impact of a pedestrian knockdown in terms of immediate medical treatment, physical therapy, future surgery, lost wages, and loss in quality of life. When young people or children are involved, family members must also considered whether or not a structured settlement or special needs trust is preferable when the injured person will require a lifetime of medical care.

Investigating Pedestrian Knockdowns

It’s not uncommon for cab drivers, bus drivers, and car drivers to claim they aren’t at fault when they hit a pedestrian. Usually they claim a pedestrian “came out of no where,” stepping off a curb without warning or crossing when the “don’t walk” sign was on. For these reasons, it’s essential to investigate pedestrian knockdowns, carefully read police reports, interview eyewitnesses if they can be located, and use traffic camera footage when available. Since drivers aren’t always aware of pedestrian rights they don’t always observe crosswalks or intersection right-of-way laws. As a result, pedestrians getting hit while crossing a street according to their right-of-way and getting blamed for it by the driver is not unheard of.

Contact New York Pedestrian Knockdown Attorneys

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian knockdown, contact New York pedestrian injury attorneys at Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP today. We have the resources needed to investigate pedestrian knockdowns and hold negligent drivers financially accountable for the injuries they cause.