“Pokémon Go” Players Posing Problems

New Yorkers are used to seeing things on a daily basis that residents of other cities don’t witness in a lifetime. Some of the country’s greatest museums, such as the Met and the MoMA, are so taken for granted that they blend into the background, along with some of the world’s most famous monuments, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Unique people like the Naked Cowboy roam Times Square, and there’s unique public art such as the small airplane which was suspended above the sidewalk at the edge of Central Park for a few weeks in 2012.

But something unprecedented happened a few weeks ago, just down the block from where that airplane had hung: Crowds of New Yorkers flooded into Central Park, recklessly abandoning cars in the street and stopping traffic in a scene some have compared to a disaster movie. The reason? They were all playing “Pokémon Go.”

A Genuine Cultural Phenomenon

“Pokémon Go,” an augmented reality game which overlays game maps and components onto the real world as viewed through a player’s smartphone camera, was only just made available to the public in early July but has already shattered records for app downloads. The game, in which players try to catch and train cartoon monsters, already has more than 75 million players—and it’s only been released in a handful of countries.

Play Carries Risks

From the moment it was launched, some have worried that the nature of “Pokémon Go”—an arguably addictive game that takes the extra step of mixing its world with the real one—carried enormous potential for risk. Public safety officials warned players to be responsible, to not lose track of where they were, and especially to not play the game in risky situations—the most dangerous of which is while behind the wheel.

It took only a few days for the predictions of accidents and injuries to come true. The sillier incidents reported in New York include a Brooklyn man who fell into a pond in Prospect Park and the upstate resident who stumbled into a mud pit while playing late at night and had to be rescued. Another Brooklyn man received a ticket for trespassing in a closed park.

It’s easy to laugh at these incidents, but others have placed players in danger. A Long Island man fell from his skateboard and suffered minor injuries while playing. Numerous reports have circulated of players being robbed, including a Long Island teen held up at gunpoint. The game has directed players to potentially unsafe or inappropriate locations, such as areas with known high levels of drug crime and the entrance to Rikers Island.

Distracted Driving Fears Escalate

The biggest worry has been about what could happen if people play “Pokémon Go” while driving. Distracted driving is already a huge problem: It’s now the number one cause of property damage and injury crashes in New York State. We were the first state to pass a law against phone and other mobile device use while driving, yet Manhattan alone saw more than 42,000 cell phone and texting tickets issued in 2014 (with a better than 91 percent conviction rate).

“Pokémon Go” and other games like it tempt players to drive while distracted, and some players do exactly that. An upstate New York man was the first driver known to have crashed while playing. Other wrecks have followed, but so far the drivers have received only minor injuries and no bystanders have been hurt (although a player in Pennsylvania was injured by a car while crossing a busy street, and a fourteen-year old in Minnesota was killed when he rode his bicycle into the street while playing the game).

With Great Gaming Comes Great Responsibility

“Pokémon Go” players could update a line from a fictional New Yorker—Spiderman—and commit to playing responsibly, for their own safety and that of others. At Greenstein & Milbauer, we’ve been handling distracted driving cases for years. We don’t want to see anyone injured simply because a game was played recklessly, but if it happens to you, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers will be ready to take your call. Call us today at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete our online form at the bottom of this page to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Client Fears Misconceptions Benefits 06-30-15 Robs Answers

FEARS

One of the fears is having an attorney who is not responsive.   The number 1 complaint of clients is their attorneys don’t return their calls.  We return all client calls. Returning client phone calls is not just a matter of common courtesy, but it’s about respect.  We respect our clients!

PITFALLS

One of the major pitfalls to be careful about is choosing the wrong attorney.  When you’re involved in an accident, there are a lot of people looking to take advantage of you.   There are people looking to steer you to unscrupulous medical offices &/or law offices.  There are people offering you money to go this doctor or this attorney.  It is illegal!   Don’t be a victim twice.  Make the right call to1-800-VICTIM2.

What is the bad result or what is the negative effect of each pitfall?

The insurance companies are well aware of the unscrupulous medical offices and attorneys.  They are eventually closed down by authorities.  The problem is that your case is now associated with a medical office that is under investigation or closed.  Bottom line, your case will not get the respect it deserves when certain medical offices &/or attorneys are involved.    You will not get the compensation you  deserve when certain medical offices &/or attorneys are working on it.

Some think that it’s expensive to hire an attorney. 

Not true.  We work on a contingency.  You do not pay unless we obtain a favorable outcome for you.  In other words, we only make money if you make money.

Some think that all personal injury attorneys are the same. 

Not true.  That’s like saying all doctors are the same.  We all have a license to practice in the State of New York but that’s where the similarities end.  There are different levels of experience.  There are different levels of communication – some attorneys don’t communicate at all.  And there are different levels of caring about their clients.   Some attorneys only care about themselves and their own bank account.  You are more than a file number.  We care about our clients and want to get them the compensation they deserve.  Clients will have a named partner working on their case.  Clients can speak to a named partner.  Clients will stay informed about the status of their case.

List some BENEFITS that clients enjoy after using your services successfully.

We provide ethical and respectful legal representation.  We know that dealing with a legal issue is stressful.  We will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  We will help you get back on your feet!

Jury Clears Hot-Dog-Throwing Mascot

A second Jury has cleared Kansas City Royals mascot Sluggerrr of negligence in a 2009 incident involving a foil-wrapped hot dog’s journey from the mascot’s paw to an unwary fan’s face. As part of his between-innings antics, Sluggerrr threw the dog behind his back, hitting Royals fan John Coomer hard enough for him to suffer a detached retina from the blow.

Coomer appealed the 2010 ruling, which found him fully at fault in the accident, absolving the Royals and their mascot of any responsibility or negligence. The second jury ruled that neither Coomer nor the Royals were at fault and that the accident, while unfortunate, was not due to negligence on anyone’s part. The fan, who is on the hook for over $15,000 in medical expenses for his eye injury, said he was disappointed in the ruling.

Contrary to rumors before the trial, the San Diego Chicken was not called as an expert witness.

For further details and links, go here.

Horrific Explosion Rocks East Harlem

The dust is still settling in the horrible explosion at the East Harlem building, on Park Avenue off 116th Street, which occurred last Wednesday. It claimed the lives of 8 people and injured almost 70.

Catastrophic in its scale, it left the two five story buildings reduced to rubble. A significant number of residents of the destroyed buildings and their adjacent neighbors have been left displaced as a result of the explosion.

Mayor De Blasio has stated that the city shall make living arrangements for the people who have been displaced due to this tragic event. This announcement has come as relief for the affected victims.

Another heartening development following the disaster was the recovery of an old Bible from the rubble. Although it was singed at places, it was otherwise intact. The clergy men and the church’s pastor are looking at this as a sign that has strengthened their hopes of rebuilding the place.

Only a fraction of the debris from the collapsed buildings still remains. Rescue workers have succeeded in clearing the rubble from the site and as of Saturday, had reached the basement of the buildings.

The Explosion Is Being Investigated

Investigations are underway to find out the cause of the explosion. The Fire department, the Police, and the National Transportation Safety Board will each investigate to get to the root of the cause.

Though concrete proof of the fact remains to be found, there is widespread speculation that faulty gas lines may have been the cause. Nearby residents reported smelling gas, moments prior to the tragedy. Rescue workers too, found a high concentration of natural gas residue during the excavation.

Though truth will only become clear once the investigations have been carried out thoroughly, so far it seems that the gas mains may have been the culprit. The city’s gas piping system has often been the subject of criticism because it is said to be old and outdated.

The results of the ongoing investigations will reveal whether this was just one of those senseless tragedies that occur without any rhyme or reason or if the negligence of someone was to blame for this fiasco.

Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

In case it turns out that this disaster was the result of negligent behavior on the part of an agency or person, we urge the victims to seek legal counsel from a personal injury attorney.

In matters such as these, the guidance and experience of a personal injury lawyer may help you claim the compensation that is owed you so that you may overcome the loss and start the process of rebuilding.

Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their lives in this incident and we wish the injured victims a speedy recovery.