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Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) joined with safety advocates and law enforcement officials to announce the Department’s annual Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on drunk drivers. With an average of one person losing their life every 51 minutes due to an alcohol-impaired driving crash, this year’s announcement includes a special focus on both the personal and economic costs of drunk driving.

According to a 2014 NHTSA report, crashes caused by drunk drivers cost the nation $47 billion in direct economic impacts in 2010, an average cost of $152 for every person in the U.S., and rose to $195 billion when the overall harm to society due to loss of life and quality of life was included.
“Drunk driving is a deadly and preventable crime that destroys lives and costs the nation billions of dollars every year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “With the help of law enforcement around the country, we are going to continue doing all that we can to stop drunk driving and the needless tragedies that result from this reckless behavior.”
This year’s high visibility enforcement campaign comes in time for the Labor Day holiday and the unofficial end of summer. More than 10,000 people die each year in drunk driving crashes and 35 percent of these fatalities are passengers, occupants of other vehicles or non-occupants. In addition, NHTSA data shows that injuries resulting from a drunk driving crash cost victims not only financially, but also through a huge impact to their overall quality of life.
In crashes caused by drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of .08, the average economic cost of a minor injury is approximately $22,000, with additional losses related to quality of life totaling more than $25,000. These costs increase based on the severity of the injury, with critical injuries resulting in economic costs of more than $1.1 million and lost quality of life valued at nearly $5 million.
“The costs of drunk driving — in lives and economic harm — are far too high for anyone to ever get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “Do not make one of the last wonderful days of summer the final tragic day of your life – or someone else’s – by driving after drinking. Remember to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
More than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country will support the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Overcampaign beginning August 15 and continuing through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

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.


“Distracted driving is a serious and deadly epidemic on America’s roadways,”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new survey results that show that Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving, despite warnings that it causes their own driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries and even death. The new data are being released at the start of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The new data include statistics from the 2012 Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors Survey and the 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey on Driver Electronics Use, as well as the 2011 Distraction Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data. All three reports are being highlighted in the premier issue of NHTSA’s SAFETY IN NUMBERS online monthly auto safety newsletter.

Driver Electronic Device Use

Driver Electronic Device Use

2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) shows that at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. According to separate NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed in 2011 and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
“Distracted driving is a serious and deadly epidemic on America’s roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “There is no way to text and drive safely. Powering down your cell phone when you’re behind the wheel can save lives – maybe even your own.”
According to NHTSA’s 2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors, most drivers support bans on hand-held cell phone use (74 percent) and texting while driving (94 percent). On average, these drivers thought the fines for these offenses should be at least $200.
So far 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. Also 10 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
“Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “I urge all motorists to use common sense and keep their attention focused solely on the task of safely driving.”
More than 6,000 respondents age 16 and older were interviewed by phone for the National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors. Almost half of drivers said they answer an incoming call and one in four drivers are willing to place a call on all, most, or some trips. Slightly fewer are willing to make a call while driving compared to 2010 (28% to 24%), but there is little if any change in those who answer a call while driving (52% to 49%). Considering that in 2011 there were almost 212 million licensed drivers in the America, about 102 million drivers were answering calls and 50 million drivers were placing calls while driving.
To prevent distracted driving, the Department of Transportation recommends that drivers:
 Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
 Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
 Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
 Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.

Contact Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP- Put a Winning Team in Your Corner

For more information about the law, the legal process or how we can help you get the compensation you deserve after an accident, schedule a free consultationwith one of our experienced personal injury attorneys by calling us toll free at 888.519.6400 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.

to mitigate injury and death on our nation’s roadways.


An estimated one in three drivers on New York roads are uninsured or underinsured. Statistics show that these people are among the least safe drivers on our roads. What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones against dangerous uninsured motorists?

Uninsured Drivers and Car Accidents

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You can make sure that your insurance policy has adequate uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage. Your insurance carrier by law is required to offer you “UM” coverage in your policy. This aspect of insurance has been established to make sure that you will be compensated in case of injuries and damages caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver. It maybe useful to speak with your insurer to determine how much UM coverage you need to carry to make sure you are covered at an appropriate level in the event of serious injury.
Who Is Protected by Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists Coverage
• Any family member living in the same house as you
• Temporary visiting guests who borrow your car
• Minor children with drivers’ licenses who do not live with you
• College-age children away at college
• Passengers in your car at the time of the accident
• People injured by a hit-and-run driver
Even if you were walking when you were struck and injured, or even bicycling, you should be covered under your own UM insurance policy if the person who caused your injuries is uninsured. An attorney who is experienced in personal injury law can help you understand how to adequately protect your rights in situations like this.
Common reasons that drivers are uninsured or underinsured include:
• The driver does not have legal status to be in the country
• The driver has a criminal record and is not allowed to drive
• The driver has a suspended license
• The driver is hoping to save money

Car accident claims involving wrongful death require expert legal assistance. The personal injury attorneys at Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP are well-experienced in serious injury and wrongful death cases and will work hard and competently to obtain complete compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP
To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. We can also be reached in Garden City at 516-248-2234 or in Flushing – Queens, Brooklyn or Bronx at 718-539-3100. Phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Home and hospital visits can be arranged. Our offices are in Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Nassau counties.
Helping Families Just Like Yours Get Maximum Compensation for Personal Injury

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Make Hospitals Safer

Study Finds : “Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Make Hospitals Safer”

The most common medical errors are not surgical errors, labor-and-delivery errors, or drug mistakes. The medical mistakes that lead to the most medical malpractice lawsuits and payments are diagnosis mistakes.
Researchers* used the National Practitioner Data Bank, an organization that records all actions taken against health care professionals by state licensing boards, to determine that 28.6 percent of medical malpractice lawsuits are for mistaken diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and other diagnosis errors.

Diagnostic mistakes accounted for 33.8 percent of disabilities and nearly 40 percent of deaths that led to medical malpractice payments. There were more than 100,000 payments as a result of diagnostic mistakes from 1986 to 2010. The senior author of the study, Dr. David E. Newman-Toker, who is an associate professor of neurology of Johns Hopkins, said, “This is a major health problem . . .. There’s a lot of room for improvement. You can’t get the treatment right if you don’t get the diagnosis right.”

Error relating to medical treatment and surgery were the second and third most common causes of medical payments stemming from lawsuits. Obstetric, medication, monitoring, anesthesia, and the rest accounted for 20 percent of medical malpractice lawsuit payments.

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

How Do I Know When a Medical Professional has been Legally Negligent

How Do I Know When a Medical Professional has been Legally Negligent

When you seek compensation because of the carelessness of a doctor or nurse, your lawsuit will typically be based on an allegation of negligence. The legal theory of negligence assumes that everyone has a duty to use a certain level of care in their daily activities. When people fail to use the requisite level of care, and someone else suffers injury, they can be liable for any losses sustained.

The standard of care for most of us is simply one of reasonableness. We must act as a reasonable person would, given the circumstances. The law does not identify exactly what that standard looks like, but allows a jury to determine on a case-by-case basis whether a defendant acted reasonably.

The standard in medical malpractice cases is different, though. When a doctor is performing a complex medical procedure, we want them to use more can than an ordinary person with no medical training. So we hold them to what is commonly referred to as the “medical standard of care.” The medical standard of care says that a medical professional (doctor, nurse or technician) will be held to the same standard as a:

  • reasonably competent and skilled health care professional
  • with similar background
  • in the same medical community
  • would have done in the same circumstances

Accordingly, a general practitioner will be held to the standard of a general practitioner, and a specialist (surgeon, therapist, anesthesiologist, etc.) will be held to the standard found in that specialty. Furthermore, a specialist in New York will be held to the standards found in New York, not in California (although they may actually be the same).

The law does not set forth the behaviors that meet the medical standard of care, but requires that the plaintiff establish the appropriate standard of care during the course of litigation. This is typically done with expert testimony. The defendant may challenge the standard proposed by the plaintiff with his or her own experts.

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

How to Recognize Nursing Home Malnutrition or Dehydration

How to Recognize When a Nursing Home Resident Suffers from Malnutrition or Dehydration

Maintaining proper diet and hydration can be challenging for many senior citizens. Many forget to eat or take in enough liquids. Others simply have little or no appetite. However, inadequate nutrition or poor hydration can present serious health risks, including greater susceptibility to falls, as well as bedsores. Poor nutrition typically leads to a weak immune system, which can interfere with the healing of wounds, and increase the likelihood of infection.

As a result, nursing home operators and their employees have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that residents receive and actually take in appropriate nutrition and liquids. Unfortunately, with the staffing challenges most nursing homes face, this duty is frequently overlooked or ignored. Here are the telltale signs that your loved one may not be getting the food or beverages necessary to stay healthy.

The Warning Signs of Malnutrition

Experts agree that the telltale signs of malnutrition may be difficult to see. An obvious red flag is any unplanned weight loss. Other indicators include wounds that take a long time to heal, greater susceptibility to bruising or black and blue marks, and problems with gums or teeth.

The best way to determine whether a loved one is not getting adequate nutrition is to spend time with them. Look for evidence of uneaten food. If they dine in a cafeteria, go with them and observe how they eat. If they are fed in their room, stop in at mealtime and pay attention to their eating habits. Do they eat everything on their plate? Do they get a balanced diet?

It’s also important to understand that many of the medications senior citizens take can affect appetite, or make it difficult to digest food or absorb nutrients. Work closely with medical personnel, as well as nursing home staff, to ensure that your loved one is getting the right medications at the right time.

How to Spot Dehydration in a Nursing Home Resident

A 10% reduction in fluids can have serious negative health consequences for an older person—a 20% reduction can be potentially fatal. Here’s what to look for:

  • A dry sticky mouth—is your loved one constantly licking his or her lips or smacking their jaws together to try to generate saliva?
  • Decreased urine output or urine that is very dark
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Headache or dizziness

Contact Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

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

Pain and Suffering after Wrongful Death

In the state of New York, when your loved one dies as a result of someone else’s wrongful act, you can be severely limited in what you may recover. The New York legislature enacted laws that allow death cases to be filed, but has significantly limited the damages available to survivors. Surviving spouses and family members cannot seek compensation for loss of consortium or companionship, or for grief or loss. The only damages available are for the actual pain and suffering your loved one experienced as a result of the accident, and before death, as well as any lost financial support the person would have provided.

With respect to lost financial support, there are a number of factors to consider. You will want to include adjustments for projected promotions or advancements the decedent might have attained. In addition, any fringe benefits, such as health insurance or pension/retirement funds, will also be factored into a damage award. The defendant in a wrongful death action can successfully contend that some portion of fringe benefits and earnings would have been used by the deceased.

With respect to pain and suffering of the deceased before death, you must demonstrate that your loved one was actually aware of the pain. If they were rendered unconscious until death, or died almost instantaneously, the measure of damages may be minimal or non-existent. Any evidence of suffering can be admitted to demonstrate conscious awareness of pain, including screams, moans or writhing movements. You may also benefit from the testimony of a medical expert, regarding what qualifies as a sign of consciousness.

At the law office of Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we bring more than 60 years of experience to people who have suffered personal injury. We represent individuals who have lost a loved one because of the careless or negligent acts of others. For a private meeting with an experienced New York wrongful death lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation.

Car Accidents—Whiplash and Other Soft Tissue Injuries

Though motor vehicle accidents often result in serious and catastrophic loss, some of the most painful and debilitating injuries sustained in car crashes don’t involve broken bones, head or spinal cord injury, burns or amputation or loss of limb. The impact of a collision with another vehicle can cause whiplash, or can lead to tears, inflammation or other damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons, making it extremely difficult or painful to perform many of the simplest tasks of your daily life. Unfortunately, these soft tissue injuries can take a long time to heal, and can prevent you from working, taking care of your home, or enjoying recreational activities.


Whiplash typically occurs when your neck snaps forward (and/or backward) upon impact with another vehicle. The magnitude of the impact stretches neck muscles and ligaments beyond their typical range of motion, and can result in tears, pulls or inflammation. Whiplash customarily first manifests in neck pain and stiffness, as well as headaches, but can also include dizziness, blurred vision and fatigue. Other indicators of whiplash include uncommon irritability, memory problems, difficulty sleeping, ringing in your ears, and problems with concentration or focus.
Other Types of Soft Tissue Injury
The impact of a collision can throw you against a steering wheel, dashboard, window or other interior component of a car. In these instances, you can sustain bruises (known medically as contusions) to muscles, extremities, chest, back or head. A contusion usually involves swelling, as well as some sensitivity to touch in the area of the bruise.

A motor vehicle accident can also cause you to hyperextend knees or elbows, or to herniated or rupture a disk in your back. You may pull or even tear a muscle, either bracing yourself in the crash or as a result of being thrown across the interior of your car.


Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP offer free consultations and has offices in Flushing- Queens, Brooklyn, Garden City and Bronx. To contact us, call 888 519-6400.

Prescription drug related mistakes

One of every two heart patients make one or more prescription-drug-related mistakes

According to the study, led by Dr. Sunil Kripalani, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, sometimes patients just forget to take a specific drug. Other times they take an incorrect dosage. Side effects can range from minor problems like constipation to serious lowering of blood pressure. In two percent of cases, the mistakes are life threatening.

The study also found that while the average heart patient didn’t experience benefits from the extra pharmacist intervention, those patients who were on many drugs or who had other difficulties digesting the complexity of health information did indeed benefit.
The hospitals taking part in the study were making efforts to prevent medication mistakes, including having a pharmacist take the time to help the patient understand how to take the medication once at home.

One of every two heart patients make one or more prescription-drug-related mistakes after they have left the hospital. Extra guidance from pharmacists on how to take the medicine did not appear to reduce errors, reports a new study.

This is a good step for hospitals, but perhaps not enough. For instance, a landmark study by the Institute of Medicine in 1999 reported that medical mistakes were responsible for up to 98,000 deaths and more than one million injuries a year in the U.S. Most of these mistakes were entirely preventable.

How to Be Smart About the Medication You Are Taking

Keep a list of all medications you are given, along with the times when you are supposed to take them. Make sure to take them at the appropriate time. Carry this list with you. The list must include drug doses and reasons you need to take that medicine. Give that list to your pharmacist. Do not assume that he or she knows the medicines you are on.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys That Care in New York City

Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP offer free consultations and has offices in Flushing- Queens, Brooklyn, Garden City and Bronx. To contact us, call 888 519-6400.

Your Injuries are Serious – Challenge of Proving it!

The Challenge of Proving Your Injuries are Serious

Some of the most debilitating injuries can often be most difficult to observe with the naked eye Often, in the aftermath of an accident, as you take steps to move forward with your life, one of the biggest challenges is demonstrating to a judge and jury the serious nature of your injuries.. For example, back or neck trauma that limits your motor skills or limits your ability to stand, sit or lie down comfortably may be hard to show to a jury. While pain is something you feel, no one else can see your pain. They can only see the impact of your pain, in a grimace or the inability to put weight on an arm or leg. Even with injuries that have physical manifestations, such as burns or the loss of a limb, it can be hard to get other people to understand the full measure of your suffering.

To get full and fair compensation for the serious injuries you have suffered, you want an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to work effectively with expert witnesses, particularly medical specialists. Your attorney will want to systematically document the full extent of your injuries, as well as the impact that your injuries will have on every aspect of your life

  • Will you be able to return to your job without experiencing significant pain or discomfort?
  • Will you need physical therapy or rehab to learn how to perform many of the day-to-day tasks in your life?
  • Will you need ongoing medical care for months or years?
  • Will you need to retrofit your home or car to accommodate your injury?
  • Will your injury make it difficult or impossible to live without regular or constant pain?

You can expect that defense counsel will produce medical experts who will seek to diminish the seriousness of your injury. Consequently, it’s critical that your experts be highly credible, and that your attorney carefully introduce the medical evidence is ways that are understandable and compelling.

Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP offer free consultations and has offices in Flushing- Queens, Brooklyn, Garden City and Bronx. To contact us, call 888 519-6400.