Sexual Abuse Compensation

Holding Sexual Abusers Accountable

As personal injury attorneys, we will be among the first to say that financial compensation from a successful legal claim will not undo the significant effects of sexual abuse. Victims of sexual abuse often have severe emotional and mental anguish, and they may need years of treatment to begin overcoming their loss. While a lawsuit will not reverse the damage of sexual abuse, it can help victims heal and provide some financial relief for the hardships they have faced.

At The Orlow Firm, our New York attorneys understand that victims of sexual abuse may have many reasons for filing a legal claim. We are committed to helping our clients meet their goals while pursuing maximum sexual abuse compensation for them. We serve clients in the New York City region, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

Types Of Damages

If you or your child is a sexual abuse victim, you may be eligible for several types of compensation, referred to as damages. Your abuser, or an institution or agency such as a school, church or foster care agency, may be required to compensate you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may receive compensatory damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering: In sexual abuse cases, compensatory damages are often awarded for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. They are designed to compensate you for the anguish and grief you have endured and will endure in the future.
  • Medical expenses: As the result of your abuse, you may have required significant medical care and therapy, and you may need to continue receiving medical care and therapy. Through a successful legal claim, you may be reimbursed for these past and future costs.
  • Lost earnings: If the effects of your abuse are so severe that you are no longer able to work, you may be eligible for compensation to help make up for your lost earnings.

For many sexual abuse cases, compensatory damages for long-term effects such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment are the most significant type of compensation.

Enforcing Your New York City Sexual Assault Victim Rights

At The Orlow Firm, our lawyers will evaluate your case to determine who you may hold accountable and the types of compensation for which you may be eligible. We are dedicated to pursuing the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Schedule a free initial consultation today.

Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

Read More

The Facts About TBI

Each year, approximately 1.7 million people suffer a Traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain Injury, or TBI, is a sudden trauma to the head that often leaves a person incapacitated. A person can also suffer from TBI and feel fine, only to experience symptoms later. Regardless of whether traumatic brain injury symptoms manifest immediately or a bit later, the injury can have a devastating effect.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brian Injury

More than half of those who suffer from TBI are injured in a bicycle or motor vehicle accident. Dangerous workplaces, such as those in the construction industry, are also a common source of brain injuries. Victims of violent crimes such as rape, assault and battery also suffer head-related trauma. Youth, amateur and professional athletes routinely suffer from TBI. Even a mild blow to the head, such as those suffered by youths in baseball, soccer or peewee football can cause TBI.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing a TBI can often be difficult, but there are some common symptoms to look for. Mild TBI victims often experience: fatigue, headaches, visual problems, memory loss, loss of concentration, sleep issues, mood problems, depression and seizures. Those suffering with severe TBI endure problems with their cognitive abilities, vision, speech, memory, hearing, smell, taste, coordination and mood.

Once diagnosed, treatment can range from complete immobilization to medication to cognitive rehabilitation therapy, which teaches techniques to improve brain functions. New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay struck his head against the outfield wall during a game in July. It took a month of rest before his symptoms, including headaches, subsided and he was able to begin training again.

Severe forms of TBI can lead to permanent injury and even death if they aren’t treated.

Prevention

Many instances of traumatic brain injuries are avoidable. Motorists should ensure they use their seatbelt, have an equipped airbag and drive defensively. Construction workers should use all available safety equipment, wear fluorescent colors to increase visibility and follow all safety protocols. Athletes should wear protective headgear.

Someone who is severely injured and diagnosed with TBI may be left with high medical expenses, lost wages and permanent disability. A victim should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for a free and confidential consultation. A reputable attorney will discuss any legal rights to recovery that you may have.

Read More

Spring is Here, But Sidewalks Still Pose a Danger in New York City

This time of year can be especially treacherous on New York City sidewalks. Not only does the threat of slippery snow continue to exist, but the warmer temps of March can melt the snow only for it to freeze as glare ice during the night. Moreover, this constant thawing and freezing process can make sidewalks buckle and break, often leaving large holes and cracks in the sidewalk. All of these factors taken together can make this time of year one of the most dangerous for New York sidewalk accidents.

Given the potentially severe injuries that can occur from sidewalk accidents, it is important to know who can be held liable for your injuries if you unfortunately fall on a poorly maintained or slippery sidewalk.

Who is Responsible for Fixing and Cleaning NYC Sidewalks?

The legal concept of holding New York property owners and occupiers legally responsible for accidents that occur on their property is commonly known as “premise liability.” The liability of property owners varies greatly depending where the accident actually occurs – different property owners owe different duties to those on their property.

In the case of sidewalks in New York City, property owners whose property abuts the sidewalk may be held liable for injuries on that sidewalk resulting from defects in the sidewalk if the property owner creates the defect or causes it to occur because of a special use, OR, if a statute or ordinance create liability.

In the past, the City of New York was the party most often held responsible for sidewalk defects, but that all changed with the passage of a New York City Administrative Code section – specifically NYC Administrative Code section 7-210, which created liability by ordinance.

Section 7-210 effectively shifted tort liability from the City to the abutting property owner for injuries caused by the owner’s failure to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. The code section specifically says that failure to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition includes “the negligent failure to install, construct, reconstruct, repave, repair or replace defective sidewalk flags and the negligent failure to remove snow, ice, dirt or other material from the sidewalk.”

As is quite clear from the language of the ordinance, a property owner may be held liable for not only failing to clear away snow and ice but also when they fail to adequately repair the sidewalk when it is unreasonably damaged. However, it is important to note that this ordinance does not apply to one-, two- or three-family homes that are owner occupied and used exclusively for residential purposes. In those situations, it is still possible for the City of New York to be liable for the injuries occurring on dangerously maintained sidewalks.

When Can Single Family Homes be Liable for Sidewalk Injuries?

Even though owner occupied residences of less than four units are not held liable by the NYC Administrative Code section, that does not mean the they can never be responsible for poorly maintained or slippery sidewalks – the creation of the ordinance didn’t erase all of the law regarding these homes that existed prior to the ordinance.

One-, two- and three-family homes can still be held liable for injuries that occurred on the abutting sidewalk if they created the dangerous condition or defect, or caused it to occur because of some special use of the sidewalk.

For example, if an abutting property owner breaks chunks out of the sidewalk by driving vehicles or special equipment on the sidewalk they can be held liable for any injury that occurs because of those missing pieces, even if it is a single family home. Also, if the abutting property owner throws water out onto the sidewalk, only for it to freeze, they can also be potentially liable for any injuries that occur because of the ice.

As for liability being attached by special use, imagine a property owner who installs and embeds a water shut-off valve for their private residence in the sidewalk abutting their property. If someone has an accident because of that valve, the property owner may be held responsible.

As this article illustrates, liability for sidewalk accidents is quite complicated in New York City – with even the slightest variation in circumstances leading to a completely different result. If anything, these complex legal issues only further the need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a sidewalk accident.

Read More

“Occupy Wall Street” Camps Becoming Battlegrounds for Police, Protesters

Few movements have captured the nation’s attention as much as “Occupy Wall Street.” However because of these protests, municipalities across the nation have had to take a second look at how they attempt to navigate the delicate balance between free speech, public safety and excessive force. Mayors of cities such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; and of course, New York, New York are dealing with the harsh reality of clashes with police as protesters resist orders to disperse – often leading to claims of police brutality.

“Occupy” Throughout the Nation

In interviews with Bloomberg News, several mayors explained that what began as peaceful public demonstrations have now deteriorated into perilous zones for drug dealing, theft and violence. However, even with the threat of public discord, there are many accounts of law enforcement officers abusing their authority and using excessive force. The stories of Scott Olsen, a Marine who suffered a fractured skull at the hands of Oakland Police, and Iraq War veteran Kayan Sabeghi, whose spleen was ruptured after being clubbed by police are chilling reminders that police officers can quickly overstep their bounds.

Just recently, police at the University of California, Davis doused protesters with pepper spray to break up a campus encampment. Pepper spray was also used on an 84-year-old woman while taking part in a protest in Seattle

Excessive Force in New York?

New York is also no stranger to altercations between police officers and protesters. Recently, a 20-year-old protester was beaten by police after police claim the protestor resisted arrest and stole an officer’s hat. According to the attorney for the young protestor, he needed four staples to close the gash inflicted upon him by police batons.

Moreover, following the eviction of protestors from a local park, police restricted protestors from demonstrating in front of the Mayor’s residence. The police blocked every corner with barricades and police lines, limiting the protestors’ rights in the process.

Many people believe that the Occupy movement has reached a tipping point, since more homeless people and street youths are joining the camps. Nevertheless, police officers must still adhere to rules regarding the use of force. If you believe you have been assaulted by the police or are the victim of police misconduct, an experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and options.

Read More

Suspect Shootings Bring Claims of Police Brutality in New York City

Members of the largely Caribbean Bronx neighborhood of Williamsbridge recently came together to protest the police shooting of a local teenager – the latest incident of police violence.

An NYPD investigation of street corner drug dealing – a neighborhood problem according to local residents – targeted a Bronx 18-year-old for questioning in February 2012. Believing he was armed, street narcotics officers chased the teen to his second-floor Bronx apartment, broke down the door and shot him as his grandmother and 6-year-old brother stood by. A thorough search revealed a bag of marijuana but no gun. The victim died at a nearby hospital of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to a WSJ.com article.

Also, an online video showing police kicking and punching another teen – again an 18-year-old – during his recent arrest has sparked community outrage and charges of police brutality. While the Bronx district attorney’s office investigates the case, the four officers involved in the beating are on restricted duty. “I know there are good cops out there, but there are few bad apples and we have to set an example,” said the victim’s mother.

Wave of Police Shootings is Unusual in Recent Years

Police shot and killed eight people in the line of duty and injured 16 in 2010, a rate consistent with the figures from 2007 through 2009. Yet only three officers were injured between 2008 and 2010 and none were killed. That changed with the December 2011 death of Officer Peter Figoski, who was shot during a botched robbery. In another recent incident, Officer Kevin Brennan was shot in the head at point-blank range, but survived. Suspects in the incidents have pleaded not guilty.

Despite these dangers, police remain under scrutiny for the use of excessive violence and other types of police misconduct. According to NYDailyNews.com, Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, observed that given enough time the public often forgets the names of police killed in the line of duty, but they can still remember the names of the unarmed men who were shot and killed by police 13 years ago – a particular incident that led to major reforms in the department of 35,000.

The vast majority of police are hard-working individuals that have earned the trust that society has place in them, but as humans they too can make mistakes. If you or a loved one has been injured or mistreated by law enforcement, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and determine your options.

Read More