On October 7, 2011, Buffalonews.com reported a three car accident that killed 51 year old Cheryl Ozzimo and her husband, 58 year old Ronald Ozzimo. This tragic incident raises several legal issues. A wrongful death action also includes a personal injury. The personal injury is the underlying theory for the culpability of the defendant. Damages in a wrongful death action is the financial loss to the survivors of the decedent. The time between injury and death including pain, medical treatment, loss of work are brought as a separated personal injury action, they are not covered by the wrongful death cause of action. All damages after death (future wages, services to spouse, etc.) are included as financial losses to the survivors. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years.
Last week, the Buffalo News reported that a 29-year old driver with 2 prior convictions for DWAI has been charged with DWI in connection with his arrest for driving the wrong way down the Thruway. The question in everyone’s mind is: “if this is his third offense, why wasn’t he charged with a felony?” The defendant is being charged with a misdemeanor, which is considered a crime and is punishable by up to one year in jail, but he won’t be charged with a felony. Here’s why:
The Buffalo News reported on October 2nd that investigators are still on the look out for a driver that hit and killed a woman on Broadway and didn’t stick around to fess up.
Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident with out reporting it may result in serious fines and penalties, including criminal prosecution. When an accident leaves someone dead, the operator of the responsible vehicle may face criminal charges that can increase if drugs or alcohol were involved. These accidents may also result in civil suits by the estate of the person who was killed. These suits can include claims for personal injuries as well as wrongful death.
As many Western New Yorker’s are aware, there has been a rash of vehicles crashing into buildings in 2011 so far, including the most recent today, September 30th, into the front of Dessert Deli in a busy plaza at Maple and North Forest in Williamsville.
Published in a recent article in the Buffalo News, a Hamburg woman received both jail and probation time for driving under the influence of a narcotic drug with young children in the vehicle. Drinking and driving laws in New York will continue to become more strict each year. Leandra’s Law imposes two new major consequences on defendants convicted of DWI or driving while impaired by drugs with children in the car.
Today, September 27, 2011, The Buffalo News published an article regarding a Buffalo man “charged with running a red light and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle following a T-bone crash.” There are critical deadlines to be aware of in the case of all motor vehicle accidents. You have only 30 days from the date of the accident to file a No-Fault Application (NF-2) Form with your insurance company – even if the accident was the other driver’s fault.
Earlier this summer a Buffalo-area physician was charged with drunken driving in the hit-and-run death of a young woman who was struck while skateboarding home in a suburban neighborhood from her job.
From April 9th, 2011 onward, employers must comply with significant new procedural obligations under New York State’s recent Wage Theft Prevention Act. The first major change is the requirement of employers to provide every employment with written notification of information such as rates of pay, allowances, the regular payday, the employer’s full name and physical address, overtime rates, etc. This information must be provided both at the time of hire and annually. Furthermore, these notifications must be in writing (not transmitted electronically), they must be provided in English as well as the employee’s primary language, employers must receive written acknowledgement that the notification was received, both the notice and acknowledgement must be preserved for six years, and employees must be notified of any changes to the information at least seven days prior.
On Friday, June 24th, New York became the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage. The law will take effect on July 25th, granting marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. While the legislation is a major milestone in the national gay rights movement, it may be financially problematic for couples who decide to tie the knot.
On March 30, 2011, New York’s Final Budget Legislation amended Section 369 of the Social Services Law.
The Department of Social Services has a claim against the estate of any Medicaid recipient in the amount of Medicaid assistance issued. The value of the deceased recipient’s estate is used to repay the Medicaid benefits. This new amendment expands the list of assets that are considered to be in an individual’s “estate.” After the death of a Medicaid recipient, the Department of Social Services will be seeking to collect recovery on assets that were not previously permitted.