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.
HoganWillig is pleased to announce that associates Emily M. Cobb, Daniel D. Day, Katherine V. Markel and Jeffrey B. Novak have been admitted to the New York State Bar. Ms. Cobb is a graduate of Vermont Law School; Mr. Day and Ms. Markel are graduates of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School; and Mr. Novak is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School. The four newly admitted attorneys will begin their law practice within HoganWillig’s Litigation Department, focusing in personal injury, medical malpractice and general civil litigation. They join a litigation team of 17 other attorneys and an extensive support staff.
As spring rolls around and we get ready for warmer weather, our thoughts turn to spring cleaning. Take this time to clean up your current estate planning documents and determine if they need to be revised. It is suggested that your estate planning documents be reviewed every five years to make sure they still comply with your wishes. If any of the categories listed below apply to you, it may be a good idea to embrace the season and make the necessary changes to your Last Will and Testament, Living Will/Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney documents.
On February 16, 2011, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles announced that it will be imposing a two-point penalty, in addition to the $100 fine already in effect, for drivers caught talking on their hand-held cell phones while driving. New York was the first state in the country to ban hand-held phone use while driving in 2001 in an attempt to decrease the number of driver distracted accidents. Today however, one in five car accidents is driver distraction related. New York is hoping that by adding the points punishment, drivers will obey the laws more seriously.