Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Dog Bites on the Rise for Mail Carriers

- Samuel Kane

Dog bites can be a serious problem for anyone who is unfortunate enough to run into a mean or frightened dog showing aggressive tendencies. However, one particular group of people is at an even higher risk for dog bites – the people who deliver our mail every day.

Risky Deliveries

In fact, postal workers are even more at risk today than they were a few years ago. Evidence shows that dog attacks on mail carriers are on the rise. This increase can be traced to the massive increase in online retail sales, meaning more and more package deliveries.

According to the Chicago Tribune, dog attacks on mail carriers rose to 6,755 last year, over 200 more than the previous year and the highest rate in three decades. As more and more people turn to the internet to do their shopping, and as consumers increasingly expect seven-day-a-week deliveries, these postal employees have more potential interactions with aggressive dogs.

The top three cities for postal worker dog attacks are Los Angeles, Houston, and Cleveland. The United States Postal Service released these annual numbers in April as an important part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Linda DeCarlo, the U.S. Postal Service Safety Director, urges dog bite prevention training and continued education to keep pets, owners, and visitors safe. She suggests that owners place their dogs in a separate room in the home before opening the door, and to avoid taking mail directly from the postal worker in front of a dog, because this interaction can be viewed as a threatening gesture by the dog.

Dog Bites Aren’t Cheap

For the postal service alone, medical expenses and workers’ compensation for dog bites costs millions of dollars every year. Unfortunately, postal employees are not the only people at risk for dog bites – an estimated 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, mostly children.

The medical expenses and other related costs of being a victim of a dog bite can be challenging for any family. If you or someone in your family has experienced a dog bite, you may be entitled to legal compensation. It is important for you to speak with an experienced dog bite attorney to help you determine whether you have a potentially actionable claim.

Here in New Mexico, the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane have years of experience litigating dog bite cases and are here to help injured clients receive justice in the form of maximum compensation. Call us today at (575) 526-5263 to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.

US Pedestrian Fatalities Continue to Increase

- Samuel Kane

A new study released in March by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that the number of pedestrians killed in the United States rose by 11% in 2016.

Why the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths?

According to experts, there are several factors to which we can trace the increase in pedestrian fatalities. These include:

  • An increase in total cars on the roads because of the rebounding economy and lower gas prices
  • A surge of popularity in walking for health reasons and to benefit the environment
  • A drastic increase in smartphone usage for both drivers and pedestrians, causing major distractions for both groups

What Are the Best Ways to Avoid Being a Victim of a Pedestrian Accident?

  • Put the phone down! Keep your cell phone in your pocket when waiting at an intersection and when crossing the street.
  • Keep your earbuds at a lower volume. Listening to excessively loud music on your headphones or earbuds can make you oblivious to the world around you and prevent you from hearing a car coming behind you.
  • Be extra alert and make sure to look both ways before you cross the street.
  • Use caution when walking after drinking. Just like with driving, alcohol impairs your judgment, sense of direction, and reaction time when you are walking. Have a sober person walk you home or call a cab.
  • Wear reflective clothing if you are walking at night so drivers are more likely to see you on the road. Cross the street near a light whenever possible.

Personal Injury Attorneys Specializing in Pedestrian Accidents

Unfortunately, New Mexico sits within the top five worst states for pedestrian deaths per capita, and injuries sustained as the result of pedestrian accidents can be devastating for victims and their families.

If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it is vital for you to sit down with an experienced attorney to discuss your case and your game plan for moving forward.

Here in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane have years of experience litigating a wide variety of personal injury matters, including pedestrian accidents. Our team of dedicated attorneys is ready to help you protect your rights and get the justice you deserve for your injuries.

We invite you to call today to schedule a free consultation with our team about your case at (575) 526-5263.

Memorial Day Safety in Elephant Butte, NM

- Samuel Kane

Memorial Day weekend signals the start summer, welcoming the warmth with a three-day weekend. Long weekends are perfect for a getaway to Elephant Butte, New Mexico, where fellow campers, boaters, and sun-seekers await. These weekend revelers travel in droves to reach the beautiful destination that allows them to forget about work and worry, if only for a few days.

Holiday Weekened Crowded Conditions

As the Elephant Butte, NM Memorial Day weekend celebrations are being planned, keep in mind that thousands of other individuals and families are hitting the road and waterways at the same time. These crowded conditions can be evaluated ahead of time by knowing what you are getting into.

  • Park officials estimate nearly 90,000 boaters and campers visit Elephant Butte Lake over Memorial Day weekend
  • Another 19,000 visitors are estimated at Caballo Lake
  • Over 36 million drivers travel 50 miles or more from home to reach a destination like Elephant Butte, NM over Memorial Day weekend
  • Almost two million travel by bus to similar locations from Wednesday – Monday over the same weekend across the US

Beware of Accidents & Injuries

The increased traffic at Elephant Butte, and across the country, leads to safety issues on the roadways, on the water and at campgrounds and beaches alike. Common accidents, injuries and fatalities over the long weekend are caused by several circumstances, including:

  • Inexperienced boating
  • Impaired driving, boating or ATV driving
  • Fireworks
  • Campground falls
  • Fire pits, grilles and outdoor cooking stoves
  • Increased traffic accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Drownings
  • Equipment failures

The statistics that accompany Memorial Day weekend injuries are startling, and provide proof that safety should always come first, especially during busy travel weekends.

Memorial Day Weekend Statistics

While the entire month of May is not immune to accidents, Memorial Day weekend-only statistics provide a glimpse at just how busy the kickoff to summer can be.

  • An average of 46,300 car crash-related injuries occur over the weekend in the US
  • On average, 397 traffic deaths occur, accounting for 12.45% of all traffic deaths in the entire month of May
  • 40% of the 397 deaths are alcohol related
  • 76% of fatal boating accident victims drown, 85% of that number are not wearing life jackets
  • Insurance boat claims average 69 per day through the year, but triple over this holiday weekend to 207 per day

In 2015 alone, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property from recreational boating accidents throughout the United States.

Staying Safe this Memorial Day Weekend

Practicing safety as a priority will help keep you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend. Here are a few tips to avoiding injury:

  • Always wear life jackets when boating, skiing or enjoying water sports
  • Seat belts are always required while traveling in a vehicle
  • Be sure to properly load/unload and tow ATVs, campers, boats and bicycles
  • Appoint designated drivers for all transportation modes, on and off the water
  • Know the rules of the water when boating, and respect them

It is important to your safety, and that of your family or guests, to stay alert at all times. While you can control your safety practices to avoid injury, you cannot control the behavior of others. Be alert, and keep an eye on unsafe conditions around you.

If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of another over the Memorial Day weekend, contact the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane at (575) 526-5263. Our attorney group may be able to help you access compensation you weren’t aware existed from the injurious party.

Woman Facing Manslaughter Charges Four Months after Fatal Motorcycle Accident

- Samuel Kane

In October 2016, a Ford Escape swerved into the path of 18 motorcycles, instantly killing a woman and severely injuring her husband. Four months later, the driver is facing criminal charges, including second-degree manslaughter.

The driver was also charged with assault in the third degree, tampering with evidence, interfering with an officer and operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to authorities, the victims were riding on the same motorcycle when the accused collided with them. This caused the first victim to fall off the motorcycle and go up and over the Ford Escape. She landed on the roadway and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband sustained serious injuries at the scene and was transported to a local hospital, where he was considered to be in critical condition.

The accused’s vehicle also struck other motorcycles, injuring other riders. As a result of her charges, she was held on a $1 million bond.

Personal Injury from Motorcycle Accidents

Like any motor vehicle accident, motorcycle crashes can happen at virtually anytime. Although many motorcycle incidents are caused by driver error – perhaps the motorcycle operator failed to recognize a traffic signal or collided with a road sign – there are many motorcycle accidents that involve other motor vehicles, like cars and trucks. Because these vehicles are much smaller and offer far less protection than other automobiles, it is incredibly important for drivers to be aware, at all times, when sharing the roadway with motorcycles.

One key difference between motorcycle incidents and other types of accidents is the fact that injury tends to be more severe. Because motorcycle operators are more exposed than other motor vehicle drivers, it is not uncommon for operators to suffer injury like cuts, bruises and broken bones, as well as damage like:

  • Disfigurement
  • Neck, back or spinal cord injuries
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Hand, finger, toe or elbow injuries
  • Nerve and soft tissue damage
  • Damage to joints, including knees and hips

Many of these types of injuries can be permanent, if not fatal. In many cases, victims require ongoing medical or rehabilitative care. Unfortunately, this kind of care can be a significant source of financial stress, due to escalating medical expenses and the fact that many victims must endure temporary or permanent disability.

If you or someone you know have been injured in a motorcycle accident, especially one caused by another party’s negligence, then it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney as soon as possible, as you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. Consulting with an attorney at the earliest possible opportunity can also help ensure that any medical expenses or bills stemming from the accident are taken care of.

Personal Injury Attorneys Specializing in Motorcycle Accidents

That’s where the dedicated team at the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. comes in. Our firm specializes in representing clients dealing with personal injury matters, including cases where injury has occurred as the result of a motorcycle accident. Our team of highly-skilled attorneys has a wealth of experience in handling these types of cases, and can even help connect you with medical and insurance providers, to ensure that your immediate and lasting medical needs are adequately met. If you have suffered personal injury, our team is ready, willing and able to help protect you and your rights.

To schedule a preliminary consultation with our personal injury team, we invite you to contact the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. at (575) 526-5263.

Texas METRORail Trains Involved in Two Fatal Bicycle Accidents in One Week

- Samuel Kane

As Houston transformed into Super Bowl Central in early February, new concerns were raised over the city’s METRORail system, after trains were involved in two fatal accidents involving bicyclists.

According to local authorities, the first accident on February 3 involved a Rice University professor who had, according to investigators, crossed into the train’s path while riding near a local park. The second incident, which occurred on the Sunday of Super Bowl LI, occurred after a cyclist turned off the local service road into the path of a moving train. Though the cyclist survived the initial impact, he was transported to Ben Taub Hospital, where a METRO spokesperson confirmed that he had died as a result of his injuries.

No charges have been filed in either accident. However, local nonprofit groups have expressed renewed concerns over bike safety on the city’s increasingly congested roadways, calling for an investigation into accidents. These groups also confirmed that they would further press the City Council on proactive safety measures in the coming weeks.

Personal Injury from Bicycle Accidents

Safety is a key concern for bicycle riders taking to the roads today, especially in urban or other high traffic environments. Generally, when bikes collide with cars and other motorized vehicles, it is due to reckless operators, like those using cell phones, texting behind the wheel or failing to look out for other vehicles on the road.

In New Mexico, an automobile must maintain a minimal distance of five feet form a bicycle rider when they share a common roadway. Vehicles that breach this five foot margin may be held accountable for negligence behind the wheel and a criminal act.

The fact is that, when bicycle accidents occur, they tend to result in severe personal injury, including:

  • Head injuries
  • Broken or fractured arms, shoulders and/or legs
  • Spinal injuries

Other less serious injuries, including cuts, scrapes, bruising and road rashes are also common in bicycle accidents. However, the severity of injury will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • The location of impact
  • The speed of both vehicles
  • Whether or not the bicycle operator was wearing safety gear, like a helmet

Have you or someone you know been involved in an injury-causing bicycle accident? If so, it is in your best interest to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. Only an attorney specializing in personal injury can assess your individual case and determine the best possible strategy for a personal injury claim.

Legal Representation for Bicycle Accident Injury

In New Mexico, the highly-skilled legal team at the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. works closely with victims of personal injury, including those who have been injured in bicycle accidents.

We work exclusively in personal injury law and have a wealth of experience in representing clients who have been injured due to another party’s negligent actions. Our team can work closely with you to conduct an in-depth investigation into your case and determine the best avenue for the recovery of compensation and other damages, which can help offset the many financial challenges posed by personal injury.

Do not delay – we invite you to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team to assess your case as soon as possible. To get started, call the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. today at (575) 526-5263.

When to Call a Personal Injury Attorney

- Samuel Kane

Not every personal injury claim requires the expert handling of a personal injury attorney. Sometimes the claims process is simple and straightforward, the compensation is fair and structured, and there is no threat of long term or permanent disability.

But there are situations when the skills of an experienced personal injury attorney are worth your time and resources.

A Long-Term or Permanent Disabling Injury

If you are facing a long-term or permanently disabling injury, it is time to call a personal injury attorney. Determining how much your injury is worth is no easy feat, with many different factors needing to be considered to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.

A Significant and Severe Injury

The amount of compensation which is received for a personal injury case is largely determined by the severity of your injuries. These will be measured by a number of factors, including:

  • The type of injuries you have sustained
  • Your medical bills
  • The length of time it will take for you to recover

As the potential amount of compensation increases, the greater the range in the amount of compensation you may receive. In these situations it is in your best interest to hire a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to ensure that the compensation you receive is at the highest end of this range.

The Insurance Company Is Offering Little or No Compensation

There are situations where an insurance agency or a government agency will offer an unfair settlement or will outright refuse to compensate a victim for his or her injuries. Insurance companies and government agencies are backed by their own team of lawyers who are well-versed in offering the lowest amount of compensation possible to injured victims. In situations such as these it is imperative to seek expert legal assistance to protect your rights and your financial future.

The law offices of Samuel I. Kane P.A. are proud to consistently achieve record-breaking compensation for injured victims. Whether you just want to discuss your case, or are prepared to take on an insurance company, we will advocate on your behalf and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the best and fairest compensation for your injuries.

Samuel I. Kane, P.A. offers free case evaluations to anyone. To arrange for your complimentary consultation, contact us today at (575) 526-5263.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Basics

- Samuel Kane

Brain injuries are often referred to as an “invisible” injury. This is not only because the brain and the damage it has suffered is not visible to the naked eye. It is because to an outside observer, someone with brain damage may still appear to be displaying “normal” behavior.

At the law office of Samuel I. Kane P.A., we have represented several brain injury victims and we understand the catastrophic impact which even a “mild” traumatic brain injury can have on your quality of life. Our team of personal injury attorneys want you to have the information you need so that you can best address your health and your concerns.

What Is a Brain Injury?

A brain injury typically occurs when the head suffers a blow, a bump, is shaken, or is penetrated. You do not need to be in an major accident to suffer from a brain injury.

A concussion: A concussion occurs when the brain has been violently shaken by a blow or a jolt to the head. It can result in permanent brain damage.

A “closed” head injury: “Open” head injuries are obvious because they likely involve external bleeding. But individuals can also suffer from a “closed” head injury. One of the most common type is whiplash.

Acquired brain injury: This occurs when a victim’s brain cells have been deprived of oxygen. Some of the most common incidents which result in an acquired brain injury include medication misuse, exposure to toxic substances, and near-drowning accidents.

What Are the Symptoms?

A victim’s symptoms will vary depending on the severity and type of brain damage suffered, and some symptoms can develop over a period of time. Common traumatic brain injury symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Persistent headache
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision

Changes in Your Behavior, Mood and/or Cognitive Function

Children may display different brain injury symptoms, such as irritability, listlessness, a lack of interest in their favorite activities and toys, or losing a newly acquired skill.

If you believe that someone is legally liable for the traumatic injury which you or a loved one has suffered, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in traumatic brain injury litigation such as one of our attorneys at the law offices of Samuel I. Kane P.A. Our law firm has helped victims obtain the compensation to which they are entitled for their injuries – and we offer free case evaluations to everyone.

Call to schedule your free consultation today at (575) 526-5263.

Dog Warden May Be Sued for Fatal Dog Bite Incident

- Samuel Kane

A county dog warden is facing a wrongful death case for a dog bite incident in Ohio sometime in 2014. The local trial court initially dismissed the lawsuit after the defendant warden argued that he did not own or harbored the dogs that attacked the decedent. The trial court’s decision was later reversed when the state Supreme Court ruled that the lower court should determine whether the functions of the defendant as warden could give rise to a tort liability under the situation.

Details of Dog Bite Case

The case stemmed from the death of a woman who allegedly made 13 calls to the county’s animal resource center, to complain about her neighbor’s two large breed pit bulls/mastiffs. In one call, the decedent reported that her neighbor allowed his aggressive dog to run loose and threatened her that the dog would have her as a treat. In another call, the decedent also said that the dog owner had taken his pit bull off the chain and ordered it to attack her.

Inaction Despite Decedent’s Calls

The defendant allegedly observed a policy of ‘education’ rather than ‘enforcement’ which included directing calls to a voice mail. Sometime in 2014, the two dogs attacked the decedent and killed her. The administrator of the decedent’s estate sued the dog warden for personal injury and wrongful death, alleging that the defendant should have declared the dogs as nuisances and had them impounded while they were still unlicensed.

Liability for Dog Bite

The high court ruled that the trial court should consider the issue of liability more closely to determine whether the dog warden has a legal duty that may be the basis of a finding for a tort liability. The court further said that any claim for damage is not limited to owners, keepers, or harborers of a dog.

A dog bite incident can cause severe and even fatal injuries. If you are attacked, it’s important to seek medical treatment for your injuries and then speak to an experienced dog bite attorney about your situation. Your attorney can determine whether you have a potential claim for compensation and initiate the appropriate legal action on your behalf.

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. has years of proven experience in dog bite cases, helping severely injured clients obtain the maximum value of compensation that they legally deserve. We assist clients in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Deming, Roswell, and Silver City. Call us at (575) 526-5263 to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly attorneys.

Man Seeking Damages after Icy Slip-and-Fall at Best Buy

- Samuel Kane

A slip and fall injury can happen virtually anywhere. Although property owners and managers have a legal duty to maintain hazard-free environments for tenants and patrons, accidents do happen. Some of the most common sites for these types of accidents are:

  • Sidewalks
  • Railways
  • Staircases
  • Floors in residential or other commercial premises

Illinois Example

A man has filed a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois, citing that he sustained a significant back injury while walking behind a Glen Carbon Best Buy store in November of 2014.

According to documents filed in Madison County Circuit Court, the plaintiff, Richard Fancher, is seeking damages from both Best Buy and Capitol Realty Group, the owner of the Best Buy property.

Fancher has alleged that both Best Buy and Capitol Realty Group acted carelessly by failing to keep the retail property free of snow and ice, and safe for the public. Additionally, Fancher’s lawsuit claims that the defendants failed to post adequate warnings for the general public – something that the suit maintains could help prevent slip and fall incidents.

According to the lawsuit, Fancher is seeking $50,000 to $75,000 from each defendant, in addition to court costs and legal fees.

Dealing with Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Though not all slip and fall accidents are the same, they typically result from some degree of negligence. However, proving negligence in slip and fall cases can be the tricky part, and not all cases may be eligible to receive compensation.

In order to pursue a claim successfully, the injured party needs to prove that they were not negligent, and did not contribute to the accident.

Do I Have a Slip-and-Fall Claim?

If you, or someone you love, have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Only a qualified attorney can help you assess your case and determine what, if any, damages may be recovered.

In Las Cruces, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane are the premier legal resource for those suffering from personal injury, including slip and fall or other premises liability issues.

We understand that these types of cases can be stressful, especially if you are dealing with severe injury. For this reason, we offer prospective clients the convenience of a no-obligation preliminary consultation. We welcome the opportunity to assess your case and work with you to chart the best course of action.

To get started, we invite you to call our personal injury attorneys at (575) 526-5263.

Victim of Car Crash Narrowly Escapes Serious Personal Injuries

- Samuel Kane

Early in December, a young woman lost control of her vehicle and found herself on the side of the road. The woman was trapped inside of her vehicle before being rescued by two men who were able to pull her out of the car. At the time of the accident, she was seven months pregnant with her first child. Thankfully, her pregnancy was no compromised and both mother and child were able to walk away from the scene.

Though the rollover accident only involved one vehicle, the exact cause is still unknown as the woman claims that she was neither texting nor intoxicated. This narrow escape is a reminder of the daily dangers that we face every day. While the young mother avoided serious personal injuries, there are others who are not as lucky.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is civil tort case that results from physical, mental or psychological injuries caused by another. Usually personal injury claims arise from negligence and the claim that anther individual was not using due care and is directly responsible for the injuries. However, personal injury claims can arise under other theories of the law as well. If successful, an individual may be compensated for their personal injuries as well as any collateral costs that arose from the accident. In addition to this, punitive damages are sometimes available depending on the exact circumstances of the accident.

Is a Personal Injury Attorney Necessary?

Personal Injury claims are different from other types of lawsuits because they require knowledge of different activities that commonly cause injuries as well as the injuries themselves. In addition to any number of other things, a personal injury attorney needs knowledge of:

  • Bus Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Dog Bites
  • Slip & Fall Cases
  • Workers Compensation
  • Car Accidents

A working knowledge of the complexities of personal injury law is required in order to bring a successful personal injury claim. Since they may only be brought once, it is important to put forth the best case initially.

If you or a loved one resides in New Mexico and believe you have a personal injury claim, please contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane in Las Cruces at (575) 526-5263. We provide a free consultation so that you can receive a preliminary understanding of your case and begin working towards recovery.