Author Archives: Ron Katter

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About Ron Katter

Ronald J. Katter is a personal injury attorney & principal at Katter Law Firm in New York.
EMAIL: ron@katterlaw.com
BIO: About Ronald
PHONE: 212-809-4293

Prepared to Win Your Personal Injury Case? Here’s How to Do It!
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Prepared to Win Your Personal Injury Case? Here’s How to Do It! | Ron Katter

{1:30 minutes to read} Preparation is 99% of winning a personal injury case. I’m often asked how many of my personal injury cases wind up being tried in court. Even considering that most cases settle before trial, my answer is that I prepare all of them for trial. In my experience, I’ve found I can obtain the highest dollar recoveries for my personal injury clients when their cases have been thoroughly prepared, as if they were going to be tried in front of a judge and jury. One of the first things I do after a client hires me, is to research exactly which questions a judge will ask the jury to decide in that particular case. From that point forward I concentrate on making sure that we obtain the necessary facts so the jury will answer those questions in my client’s favor.

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Dog Bites Can Be Devastating. Is the Law on Your Side?
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Dog Bites Can Be Devastating. Is the Law on Your Side? | Ron Katter

{2:30 minutes to read} Dog bites often cause the most severe physical and emotional injuries. When a seemingly friendly dog unexpectedly bites someone, deep tissue injuries and infection can occur. Treatment for these injuries often includes many surgeries and a slow, painful, recovery. Dog bites can leave disfiguring scars on parts of the body that are visible when the person is in public, such as on their face, arms, or legs, and are a permanent reminder of the animal’s attack.

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New Cases of Legionnaires Disease in New York–Are You At Risk?
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New Cases of Legionnaires Disease in New York--Are You At Risk? | Ron Katter

{1:40 minutes to read] This month, the New York City Department of Health confirmed that there were two cases of Legionnaire’s Disease at the New York City Housing Authority's Rangel Houses in Manhattan. It also confirmed that there were two other cases in the past 12 months, linked to a building on Sedgwick Avenue, in the Bronx. Although the Health Department said these were isolated cases, it also noted that steps were being taken to prevent more people from becoming infected.

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Vision Zero Revised for Better Crosswalk Protection
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Vision Zero Revised for Better Crosswalk Protection | Ron Katter

{2.40 minutes to read] As my previous blog explained, one of New York City’s Vision Zero’s objectives has been to reduce traffic injuries to cyclists. Pedestrian safety is another major goal. Mayor DeBlasio has just signed a law to strengthen pedestrians’ right-of-way in crosswalks. This change in the law should significantly reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths on New York City roads.

The original law made it a crime if a driver struck a pedestrian in the crosswalk, but only when the pedestrian had a white “WALK” signal facing them. If the walk signal light was flashing or the crossing timer was counting down at the time of the collision, criminal charges against drivers would be dismissed. As New Yorkers know, drivers are often aggressive with pedestrians in crosswalks. They challenge them and force them to stop crossing in the middle of the intersection.  

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New CMS Rule Eliminates Nursing Homes’ Unfair Legal Advantage
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New CMS Rule Eliminates Nursing Homes’ Unfair Legal Advantage | Ron Katter

In September, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule which prohibits  nursing homes and long-term care facilities from forcing patients and their families into private arbitration. This rule goes into effect in November 2016.

Up until now, long-term care facilities routinely inserted mandatory arbitration clauses in their admission paperwork. This meant that any claim that a patient had with a facility about mistreatment, malpractice, or even billing could never be resolved in a court of law. Instead, the patient had to submit to a private,  arbitration to seek relief. This system allowed nursing home cronies to decide the cases and also kept nursing home abuse secret.

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The Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Glossary of Terms (Part 1): Know the Basics!
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The Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Glossary of Terms (Part 1): Know the Basics! | Ron Katter

{2:10 minutes to read} When an individual is injured and believes that someone else is responsible, they often seek an attorney's advice on what to do. This article is an introduction to terms and concepts that apply to personal injury cases. It is intended to help people better understand the discussions that may take place with an attorney so that they can decide how to move forward.

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Crash, Not Accident: How to Survive the Subliminal Name-Game
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Crash, Not Accident: How to Survive the Subliminal Name-Game |Ron Katter

{2:40 minutes to read) Until recently, insurance companies, as well as industrial and manufacturing companies, have been unchallenged in their long-term effort to replace the word “crash” with the word “accident.”

Name Games

The “crash vs. accident” name-game began around the turn of the last century. Before the labor movement asserted workers rights, when factory workers were injured as the result of an unsafe machine, employers called those events “accidents.” Manufacturers would report “an accident” rather than admit that it was their lax oversight or dangerous job that caused a worker to get injured.

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NYC Cyclists: Be Clear-eyed About Vision Zero!
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NYC Cyclists: Be Clear-eyed About Vision Zero! | Ron Katter

{2:40 minutes to read) Summer’s here. Riding a Citi Bike? Get a helmet!

Biking can be a great way to see the New York City sights and to get around town. In 2013, New York City rolled out the Citi Bike Program. It features thousands of bikes for public use, in hundreds of stations—available 24/7—all across New York City.

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Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 3)
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Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 3)  | Ron Katter

{2:00 minutes to read} In my last article <link once published>, I shared a few tips to consider when preparing for a deposition. In this article I share the final tip below.

3. Witnesses need to keep their answers short and sweet.

Clients must make sure they understand the lawyer’s question before answering it; and answer as simply as possible.

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Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 2)
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Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 2) | Ron Katter

{1:30 minutes to read} My last article covered the basics of a deposition - what it is, why it is important and how your statements are used. To make your strongest case, keep these helpful tips in mind: 1. At a deposition witnesses must testify, truthfully, to what they remember. Parties are not expected to know every answer or to have an answer for every question. It’s possible to forget certain things. They should answer the questions they do know directly and simply.

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Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 1)
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Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 1)  | Ron Katter

{6:00 minutes to read} A witness who is prepared will be the most effective witness for their own case. This advice may seem obvious, but it's not always followed by clients and their lawyers. This brief note will help you (and your lawyer) to testify successfully at a deposition and in turn to help your case.

Let’s start with the basics: What is a deposition and why is it important?

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Switched at Death: A True Story of Major Bronx Funeral Home’s Mix-up
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Switched at Death: A True Story of Major Bronx Funeral Home’s Mix-up|Ron Katter

{2:35 minutes to read} Even for a Bronx and Brooklyn funeral home lawyer, I was shocked by reading this tragic story. In December 2015, a Bronx woman lost her battle with cancer, leaving behind eight sons, more than a dozen grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. Her numerous friends and loved-ones came from as far away as Australia to attend her open-casket funeral.

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Deadly Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in Australia
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Deadly Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak in Australia | Ron Katter

{1:15 minutes to read} Legionnaires’ Disease is truly a global public health risk. In the latest outbreak, nine cases, with one death, occurred in Sydney, Australia. Australian health authorities have concluded the victims were exposed to Legionella bacteria in Sydney’s Central Business District. Although the health department reported that it believes the outbreak is over, it is still searching for the source. Despite the fact that there were regulations to try and prevent the spread of Legionnaires' Disease, there was still a deadly outbreak. Existing public health measures were not enough to stop the scourge of Legionnaire’s Disease. Governments worldwide must sponsor and encourage research by epidemiologists, infectious disease experts and industrial hygienists to identify and implement the most effective measures to prevent the next fatal Legionnaires' Outbreak.

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Are New York’s Nursing Home Regulators a Safety Backstop or an Industry Rubber Stamp?
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Are New York’s Nursing Home Regulators a Safety Backstop or an Industry Rubber Stamp? | Ron Katter

{3:40 minutes to read} Do New York’s nursing home regulators turn a blind-eye to nursing home mistreatment?

New Yorkers might assume that State of New York Department of Health reviews nursing home operators for past violations, before it allows them to operate a new home. One would think that operators with a history of poor patient care would not be allowed to continue to manage one nursing home, let alone many. Sadly, New York’s nursing home regulators don't seem to apply that common sense.

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What Can the Bronx Teach Michigan?
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What Can the Bronx Teach Michigan? | Ron Katter

{2:00 minutes to read} Every year, between 8,000-18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease. Regrettably, local outbreaks are becoming more common. The different responses by officials in New York and Michigan are case studies of how public health authorities can make a difference in protecting people from this disease.

In the summer of 2015, dozens of individuals and families were sickened and harmed by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx, NY. While the number of reported victims was still rising, the New York State and City Departments of Health rapidly identified and eliminated the source of the outbreak. That action potentially saved many lives.

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6 Things You Should Know Before You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
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6 Things You Should Know Before You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer|Ron Katter

{2:30 minutes to read} If you’ve been hurt in an accident, here are 6 important things you should know before you  hire a lawyer.    

  1. Do I have to pay a lawyer to see if I have a case?
Lawyers usually don't charge a fee to talk with you about a possible case.
  1. How will I pay a personal injury lawyer to represent me?  
Many experienced personal injury law firms, like mine, are hired on a contingency. That means the lawyer earns no legal fee unless and until they recover money for you. The legal fee is paid from that money.

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Social Media Abuse: Is Your Loved One a Victim?
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Social Media Abuse: Is Your Loved One a Victim? | Ron Katter

{3 minutes to read} Social media and smartphones are not only being used to share statuses and news with friends, they’re putting helpless loved ones at risk for humiliation, or even worse - abuse.

ProPublica, a public-interest news organization, recently documented dozens of incidents where nursing home staff took inappropriate photos and videos of patients naked, in staged embarrassing poses, and even their being physically assaulted.

ProPublica reviewed government inspection reports, court cases, and media reports of 35 incidents, which occurred in New York, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and many other states. Nearly half of the incidents reported exploit SnapChat - an online video messaging application.

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Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak: DECEMBER UPDATE
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Bronx Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak: DECEMBER UPDATE | Ron Katter

{2:55 minutes to read} Our prior blog posts have reported on the tragic outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx, New York. Here are recent developments: We were just retained by a client who was hospitalized as a result of the latest Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak. Recommend: The New York City Department of Health reported an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease that sickened 14 people and killed at least one person in the Bronx this autumn. The Department of Health identified a cooling tower at the Bronx Psychiatric Center, in the Morris Park section, as the most likely source of those Legionnaires’ cases.

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Verdict against Gun Shop could prevent guns from getting to bad guys
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Verdict against Gun Shop could prevent guns from getting to bad guys  | Ron Katter

{3:10 minutes to read} In 2010, two Milwaukee police officers sued a gun store that improperly sold the weapon that was used to shoot and maim them. They sued to recover money damages for their personal injuries. On the day they were shot, the officers had approached 18-year-old Julius Burton and they struggled. Burton pulled out a gun and shot both officers in the face. One officer lost an eye and part of his brain; the other officer was shot in the mouth and bullet fragments remain in his cheek.

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Profits Before People: An Unacceptable Model for Healthcare
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Profits Before People: An Unacceptable Model for Healthcare  | Ron Katter

{2:25 minutes to read}  Does patient care suffer when a healthcare facility's profit motive conflict with its duty to provide the highest quality patient care? There is evidence that some facilities are cutting corners and rushing patients through the system in order to save money and increase profits.

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A Warning Regarding Coumadin: Be Informed
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A Warning Regarding Coumadin: Be Informed | Ron Katter

{3:45 minutes to read} Coumadin is a blood-thinning medication used in many health care facilities. It is used to prevent blood clots known to cause injury to the heart or lungs. This drug is generally safe and effective when used as prescribed; however, monitoring Coumadin is challenging. Improper use causes some patients to suffer and it quickens death. Unfortunately, many nursing home patients are suffering from Coumadin’s improper use.

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Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak: OCTOBER UPDATE
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 Bronx Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak: OCTOBER UPDATE | Ronald Katter

{2:10 minutes to read} In response to the Legionnaires’ outbreak in the summer of 2015, the City Council passed a bill that’s intended to curb the future spread of the illness. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria. The disease is transmitted to people when they inhale water droplets that contain Legionella. A common place for Legionella to live is in cooling towers.

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New York City Aims for Zero Pedestrian Fatalities
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New York City Aims for Zero Pedestrian Fatalities | Ron Katter

{3:20 minutes to read} New York City responded to its high number of pedestrian deaths by passing laws that are intended to protect pedestrians on its streets as part of the Vision Zero plan. The goal is to reach zero roadway fatalities by 2024. The number of deaths has been going down already, from 180 deaths in 2013 to 132 deaths in 2014. So far, the city has:

  • widened some sidewalks to shorten the distance people have to cross at intersections;
  • installed new lights and medians;
  • installed speed cameras;
  • slashed speed limits; and
  • made it a criminal misdemeanor when drivers strike pedestrians or bicyclists in crosswalks.

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Lobbying For Laws That Protect New Yorkers Rights!
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Lobbying For Laws That Protect New Yorkers Rights! | Ron Katter

{4:30 minutes to read} Recently I joined forces with fellow members of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association at the Capitol in Albany, New York. We met with New York State legislators to argue against harmful changes to construction safety laws, and also, to support proposed laws that seek to increase the legal rights of all New Yorkers.

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We Need More Nurses. Our Lives Depend On It!
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We Need More Nurses. Our Lives Depend On It! | Ron Katter

{2:30 minutes to read} A recent New York Times op-ed called for hospitals to hire more nurses. We support that position. Staffing ratios - the number of patients assigned to health care professionals in hospitals and nursing homes - are much higher than they should be. Nurses are overloaded with patient care responsibilities. As a result they are susceptible to burnout, exhaustion and stress, and have less time to care for patients.

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All That Glitters is Not Good Health Care: The “Chandelier Effect” in Nursing Homes
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All That Glitters is Not Good Health Care: The “Chandelier Effect” in Nursing Homes  | Ron Katter

{3:05 minutes to read} A disturbing trend is emerging in the American nursing homes industry: In their ambitious race for Medicare dollars, nursing homes are shifting their marketing focus to attract short-term rehabilitation patients. The reason for this is that although Medicare does not pay for long-term stays, it generally will cover short-term, post-hospital rehab stays, and pays nursing homes more than Medicaid. They are luring patients who are discharged from hospitals by offering “luxurious,” “5-star” and enticing amenities, such as:

  • spa-like baths and showers;
  • golf and other recreation facilities;
  • luxury living quarters; and
  • beautifully decorated lobbies.

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Sexual Abuse of Nursing Home Patients Must End!
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Sexual Abuse of Nursing Home Patients Must End! | Ron Katter

{3:00 minutes to read} The increasing number of Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes has led to a rise of sexual abuse. As baby boomers age, the risk of their suffering from cognitive impairments grows. The most well known cause of cognitive impairment is Alzheimer's disease. Some 5.3 million Americans suffer from this illness; moreover, two-thirds of them are women. Since Alzheimer’s sufferers may have difficulty communicating, recognizing or understanding, many unfortunately are vulnerable to sexual abuse.

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Rear-End Collisions: Why is there a legal presumption that the following driver is at fault?
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Rear-End Collisions: Why is there a legal presumption that the following driver is at fault?  | Ron Katter

{2:30 minutes to read} What is a safe following distance between cars to be able stop in time to avoid a collision? Generally, courts hold the rear car responsible in a two-car, rear-end collision. Most commonly, these types of collisions occur when the front car:

  • slows down to stop for a traffic light changing to red;
  • slows down to avoid striking an object in the road;
  • stops to allow a pedestrian, cyclist or other vehicle cross the road;

Regardless of whether the car in front stopped suddenly, the car behind is usually held legally responsible for the impact. The courts rule that the rear driver was either following too closely or traveling too fast to stop safely and avoid hitting the car in front. The burden is on the rear driver to maintain a safe following distance.

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