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For many, the Autumn season on Long Island is the best season. The temperature ranges from crisp to comfortable, Maple trees create a vibrant assortment of reds and oranges, and apple picking and fall festivals are abundant all over the island. We are excited to be a part of multiple Long Island communities and wanted to inform you of some upcoming events that can be a lot of fun for the whole family.

Fall on the Bay – Babylon, NY

Hosted by Festivals on the Bay at Tanner Park Beach, Fall on the Bay is one of the biggest and most exciting Fall Events on Long Island. The event will be hosted on October 20 & 21 and tickets can be purchased here.

The event will be supporting local businesses and will feature live music, food trucks restaurants and a pumpkin beer tent. For kids, there will be a Bounce Castle Maze, hay rides and a Halloween themed “Spook Walk”. Oh and did we mention that the price of the ticket includes free parking, food, beer tastings and access to all of the different attractions mentioned above? If you have any questions you contact Festivals on the Bay through their Facebook page.

Patchogue Fall Festival – Patchogue, NY

This event is completely free to attend and will take place on October 13th at Main St in Patchogue. It will feature some of the typical things you would find at a fall festival like face painting, pony rides and live entertainment. But Patchogue will have some other events that other fall festivals won’t have.

In addition to having a petting zoo and a costume parade, Patchogue will be hosting their 5th annual chili and chowder contest. For only $10 you can taste all of the best chilis and chowders that the participating restaurants in Patchogue have to offer and vote for your favorite to be crowned “Best Chili or Chowder” of the year. The event will begin at 11am and has a rain date for the following Saturday. Additional information can be found at the Facebook page of Patchogue’s Chamber of Commerce.

Hoyt Farm’s Monster Mash – Commack, NY

If you live in the Smithtown or Hauppauge area, you might want to take your kids to the Monster Mash this year at Hoyt Farm. Hoyt Farm is a Nature Preserve in Commack that has picnic areas, nature walks, playgrounds, fields for sports and other activities, and an animal farm.

To be a part of this children’s festival, you must be a Smithtown resident. You need to register ahead of time for your child as they stop selling tickets when they fill up the park. The event will take place October 20th and 21st and will begin at 12pm.

Oktoberfest – Malvern, NY

Nothing says October like Oktoberfest. If you live in Nassau, you might want to go to Crossroads Farm’s very own annual Oktoberfest celebration. Featuring local brews only from Long Island along with great wines, the event will be hosted on October 13th from 1pm – 6pm.

In addition to the typical beer and bratwurst you’d find at any Oktoberfest, this event will be fun for the whole family and have a very fall festival feel to it. Children can enjoy activities like pony rides, hay rides, pumpkin painting and a petting zoo. If you aren’t into German food, there are still other great food truck options like the Empanada Queen and the Good Eats Grill. You can purchase admission tickets on their website.

A Part of the Community

Long Island is such a diverse and lively place to live, with so many fun things to do with the family. Unfortunately, at this time of year, car accidents tend to increase. This could be due to the fact that drivers have not yet adjusted to the increased darkness and changing weather conditions. There are also more drivers on the road now that schools and colleges are back in session. Halloween is also has more fatalities than any other holiday, due to an increase in drunk drivers on the road on that day.

That is why at Palermo Law, we decided to expand our offices so that our clients can be helped in a convenient manner. Dealing with an injury is a really devastating situation, and we want to do all we can to help those injured receive the financial help they deserve. In addition to our main office in Hauppauge, we have three other locations in Suffolk county in Huntington, Babylon and most recently in Patchogue. We also have an office in Garden City for people who have been injured in Nassau County. We are wishing everyone a happy and safe October.

To reduce the amount of needless litigation arising from motor vehicle accidents, New York State enacted a law that requires that you sustain a serious injury before you qualify to bring a lawsuit for your damages not covered by no-fault. The law has become known as the threshold law. Serije sa prevodom. It can be found in the Insurance Law of the State of New York under Section 5102(d). It lists eight types of injuries that qualify under the law as serious, thus granting the right upon the injured person to seek compensation above what is provided for by no-fault insurance. Therefore, you can seek pain and suffering and economic losses not provided for through no-fault benefits if you have sustained one of the eight enumerated injuries.

Categories of Injury

While some of the eight categories of injuries are straightforward others are more confusing to understand and many people, even attorneys, are left wondering whether a person has suffered a serious injury. The eight categories set forth in 5102(d) of the insurance are as follow:

  1. Death
  2. Dismemberment
  3. Disfigurement
  4. Fracture
  5. Loss of Pregnancy
  6. Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
  7. Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body function or system
  8. A medically determined injury impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevents a person from performing substantially all of their normal activities for any 90-day period within the first 180 days following an accident

Numbers one through five are very straightforward and are rarely
challenged. Numbers six through eight are much more confusing and often require litigation to resolve. Numbers six and seven usually deal with soft tissue back and neck injuries.

While there are thousands and thousands of court cases dealing with the issue for our purposes, I would suggest looking at two factors to determine if an injury may meet the threshold under categories six and seven. First, courts look for a positive finding in a diagnostic test such as an MRI or Cat Scan. A positive finding is usually a herniated disc or bulging disc.

Next, courts look for some type of permanent or long-lasting issue as a result of the positive finding such as loss of range of motion or nerve damage. Once those two factors are established, a court will usually consider the threshold breached.
While the threshold law can be complicated, if an insurance company is denying your claim because they do not feel your injury breaches the threshold, you have recourse. You can bring your case to Court and litigate the issue.

If you have suffered from a serious injury, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced lawyer. Here at Palermo Law, we have been helping people who have suffered serious injury for more than 20 years. We help our clients utilize laws like these so they can gain their deserved compensation.

Long Island has always been a wonderful place to live for millions. With it’s natural diversity, history and proximity to New York City, Long Island is a beautiful and convenient place for people of all backgrounds. All these advantages however, come with its challenges. Affordable housing for Long Island residents is a real struggle. Due to this problem, some towns have had difficulty getting newer, younger people and families to populate their towns and boost the local economy.

The Plan

Former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy wanted to tackle this problem. His plan was to simply create affordable housing within close proximity of the Main Street of local villages on Long Island. Simple enough right? Well Levy was able to pool together $15 million to follow through with his plan. However, most towns were not interested in new developments due to the fear of too much density in the area. Interestingly, only one town was interested in using all of that available money; and that town was Patchogue.

Patchogue had seen some decay in its township from the 1960s onward. What was once a popular shopping town, Patchogue lost a lot of its economy when major malls were built on Long Island. As the 90s emerged, it had a generally poor reputation. It was clear something had to be done to revitalize the town. Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri was willing to take whatever they were willing to give him. Soon after agreeing to this offer, three major housing complexes were built within walking distance to Main Street in Patchogue. As a result, many young people not only began occupying these new complexes, but all of the local Laundromats, supermarkets and delis saw an increase in revenues. Business owners took notice and soon thereafter, more bars, restaurants and theaters began to appear. Patchogue quickly became a thriving town. The only issue was there was not enough parking to compensate. Now people around the island are drawn to Patchogue’s nightlife and can save themselves a trip to Manhattan or Brooklyn for a fun night out.

Patchogue’s Influence

Patchogue has become a trend for Long Island towns due to the success of Levy’s plan. Since then, many other townships such as Bay Shore and Farmingdale have followed this trend to allow developers to create projects for them to boost local business and create lively towns. This adaptation is a progression for Long Island’s changing economy. Director of Vision Long Island, a smart growth planning advocate group, Eric Alexander commented that 60 out of 100 of Long Island’s downtown business districts have revitalization plans with 40 actively in motion. What’s most rewarding for him is the feedback from business owners and new residents who are enthusiastic about improvements in their own community.

The Future for Patchogue Village

Till this day, Patchogue continues to enjoy the benefits of Levy’s proposal. While other mayors on Long Island were scared of the idea of over density in their township, Pontieri was able to epitomize the opportunities of new affordable complexes. Efforts continue to be made to keep the town of Patchogue prolific for local businesses with many events organized by the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. Last year Patchogue hosted their very own New Year’s Celebration along with their own “ball drop”, scheduled at 9pm, so that the whole family could enjoy. The event did prove to be fun for the whole family and plans have been made to have it again this year.

Mayor Pontieri still has more plans up his sleeve for Patchogue’s future. His goal for 2018 was to finish up many projects so that he could begin his “dream projects”. They plan to account for the current popularity of the village with new parking solutions and aggressive crime management. This along with plans for expanding parks and walkways will amplify the town’s charm. The village will also begin working on brand new developments including a Main Street Hotel, a new brewery and a Shorefront Park.

We are proud at Palermo Law to be a part of the Patchogue Community and are excited for what is in store for the future of this town. We have our own office right in Patchogue village just off of Main Street. At Palermo Law, we devote ourselves to helping people in the community gain their deserved financial compensation when inflicted with injury.

Hiring a personal injury attorney may be the most important decision you will make regarding your motor vehicle accident case. People choose an attorney for many reasons: the attorney is close to their home; they have used the attorney before for a real estate purchase; divorce or some other legal matter; they are friends with the attorney or they have a friend in common.

Why It’s Important

If you have suffered a serious personal injury, the attorney you hire may make the difference between hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars. Most attorneys want to handle personal injury cases because the right case can be very lucrative. But, without the proper background and experience, the attorney may find they are quickly in over their head. They may either try and bluff their way through or bring in an attorney qualified to handle the matter to assist. The problem here is that if your case gets off to the wrong start, it may be difficult or even impossible to right the ship. Much of the groundwork for a personal injury case is laid in the first few months. So, you should find the best attorney for your particular case right from the get-go.

What You Can Look For

The good news is that in today’s information age it is easier than ever to do your research and find the right attorney for you. I would first recommend that you assess your own personal needs to see what is important to you. Some people want to find the most aggressive attorney for their case. Others are looking for an attorney with a great bedside manner. While others just want someone they trust.

You should be looking for all these things in a personal injury attorney. I believe that you should seek an attorney that will get you the most compensation, in as little amount of time as possible and with as little stress as possible. But, no matter what your goals are, there is a sure-fire method to find the attorney right for you. It just requires some work. But, believe me, in the end, the effort you put into your search will pay off.

How to Find the Right Attorney

First, ask family members, friends, and acquaintances if they have a recommendation for an attorney that focuses on personal injury. Compile a list. Once you have a list do your own research. The best place to start is with Google.

Search for car accident attorneys in your jurisdiction. This is important. You do not want to hire an attorney from outside the area where you live. So, if your case is in Suffolk County, find an attorney in Suffolk County. If your case is in Westchester County, look for an attorney in Westchester County. Although it’s not impossible for an attorney from outside your area to handle a personal injury case effectively, a local attorney will usually have developed a reputation and relationship with judges, court personnel and local defense attorneys in the area. This may prove beneficial when push comes to shove in settlement negotiations, court proceedings and/or trials.

I will never forget a recent trial I did with an outside attorney in front of a particularly difficult judge. He had excessive court rules including the way his name was written on all submissions. If you failed to put his full middle name on a submission, he rejected the papers. If you failed to address him without standing, he would dress you down in front of the jury. Knowing this, I was able to not only avoid any confrontation with the judge but was treated with great respect. Each slight misstep that my adversary made led to some very hostile exchanges from the judge. The hostility that developed between the two men was picked up by the jury. Although the jury may not have known exactly why it seemed as though the judge was unhappy with my adversary, it worked to my favor. I believe many of the jurors thought the judge was favorable to my case. That wasn’t necessarily true but worked to my advantage in receiving a sizable verdict.

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential attorneys visit their websites and see how they describe their approach to personal injury and their on-site reviews and case results page. While most attorneys cherry-pick on-site reviews, you can often get a feel for what types of attributes they have. For example, are the reviews discussing how friendly the attorney was? Do they discuss his verdicts? Or, do they focus on how quick the case was resolved?

Also, attorneys must comply with strict guidelines regarding posting case results. I doubt any attorney would put up a false result. So, see if the attorney has obtained the types of results that are impressive. Does the attorney have any jury verdicts or is every result a settlement? That may be a clue to the attorney’s aggressiveness.
Also, read the attorney’s profile and see where they were educated. Does the attorney have any awards? Is the attorney active in community service and pro bono work?

Once you’ve read the website thoroughly, go off site to read reviews from prior clients. A good attorney should have many offsite reviews. Those reviews are likely to be the most accurate because they’re not cherry-picked by the attorney. Google reviews are very thorough in screening reviewers and is a good place to start. There are also many sites that review attorney performance that can be enlightening, such as Avvo, Justia, and But be careful on these sites because attorneys can pay for sponsored spots that may make their profile look more appealing than a more qualified attorney that does not pay for a sponsored profile.

Meet Them In Person

Once you’ve narrowed your list of attorneys, it’s a good idea to meet a few of the ones you like the most. Nothing is better than actually meeting the attorney face to face. The first thing I would caution is to make sure you are actually meeting the attorney you read about. A lot of firms will shuffle potential clients off on Junior Partners and Associates.

When meeting the attorney, ask them to explain your case and ask for their
take on it, their strategy and feelings about success and their plan for handling it. Remember, attorneys usually work on a contingency basis. So not every attorney will be willing to take every case.

I personally will only get involved in cases where the prospective client has suffered significant injuries. My practice focuses on maintaining a manageable caseload and this way I can provide personal attention to each case. There was a time in my career where I was handling over two hundred cases at a time. I found this to be stressful and felt I was losing the ability to get to personally know each client. I’ve since opted to limit my practice to less than 100 cases at any one time. Now I know each client personally and enjoy representing them!

Finding an attorney is like any other significant purchase you make. In the end, you must rely on your gut a little. But, if you’ve done your due diligence you will likely find the right attorney for your case.

Patchogue is often known for it’s nightlife. Once the sun goes down, you will begin to notice restaurants moving tables and turning on colorful lights. The problem is these restaurants do not have the license or permission to turn their restaurant into a nightclub. Patchogue Village Attorney Brian Egan defines a nightclub or cabaret as “The permanent or temporary removal of chairs from such an establishment to permit any live entertainment, disc jockeys, dancing, [during] hours of operation beyond normal times of dining”.

As a result in June 2018, the Patchogue Village Trustee Board have voted to ban nightclubs on Main St in Patchogue Village. The hope is to make the downtown area much safer. There is only one legally approved restaurant in Patchogue called the Stereo Garden to operate as a nightclub. The rest of them are mostly restaurants clearing their tables and chairs to illegally become like nightclubs. Paul Pontieri, the mayor of Patchogue says, “Nightlife in the village has grown to a point where some limited controls need to be put in place to help manage it. This piece of legislation does that.” The high amount of nightlife in Patchogue definitely poses potential safety hazards. It creates 3 big potential problems.

1. Fire Hazards / Premises Liability

Every property owner is responsible for the safety of anyone that enters their establishment. So if someone gets injured due to an unsafe condition, it is the owner who is responsible for the injury. The problem with many of the restaurants operating as nightclubs is that they are now operating as an establishment they do not have the licenses and approval for. This could easily cause overcrowding.

Overcrowding can cause a number of issues. For one, buildings are required to have a yearly inspection by the fire department to note potential fire hazards so that the owner can make the building safe. When Patchogue restaurants convert their building into a nightclub, they are no longer under the same conditions that the fire department has inspected. Likely, the amount of people that crowd a nightclub exceeds the maximum occupancy. If the worst case scenario happens and there is a fire, it could be extremely difficult to get an overcrowded building of people outside where it is safe.

The other safety hazard with overcrowding is pushing, shoving or even trampling. This is more likely with nightclubs having an increased chance of intoxicated people present. If this occurs and results in an injury however, it is the owner of the premises who is responsible. They have created an unsafe conditions by overcrowding their establishment beyond what is considered safe.

2. Assault and Battery

Legal Dictionary defines Assault & Battery: “Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another” ( Some have commented on the fact that the nightlife in Patchogue has resulted in fights. One Patchogue resident commented, “The nightclub ban is probably going to stop, you know, a lot of fights. People get drunk, and they take the fights outside. So the nightclub ban is actually a smart ban.”.

Alcohol intoxication is known to increase chances of fighting. Over-drinking decreases inhibitions and could increase aggression. This means that even small misunderstandings could turn into a fist fight. And for criminal offices, voluntary intoxication (getting drunk) is not a defense for an assault or battery case. If you receive an injury because an intoxicated person physically assaulted you, you are entitled for compensation.

3. Drunk Driving

When people are out late, they are probably drinking. Restaurants in Patchogue are operating as nightclubs because of the amount of money they make from selling alcohol. The high amounts of nightlife in Patchogue increase the risk of people who are over-drinking. Ultimately, this could lead to more intoxicated driving on the road. Intoxicated drivers are incredibly dangerous to share the road with.

We recently discussed in an earlier blog post how to tell if a drunk driver is on the road and how you should respond. Pay special attention if you are driving near Patchogue village at night time. Hopefully, this ban reduces the number of intoxicated drivers in eastern Long Island.

Our Patchogue Office

Palermo Law has represented many injured individuals including those affected by premises negligence, assault, and drunk driving. The Mayor and Board of Trustees in Patchogue are implementing steps to make Patchogue Village a safer environment at night. However, if you have suffered an injury in Eastern Long Island, we have an office right in Patchogue and can set up a free case evaluation so you can receive your necessary compensation.