‘Tis the season for families and celebration as the holidays are upon us. But for thousands of people in New York and across the country, it can be a tragic time as the festive atmosphere of holiday shopping can turn dangerous or deadly.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that hundreds of people die as a result of motor vehicle crashes in parking lots and garages, and thousands more suffer devastating injuries. Insurers report claims spike on Black Friday and remain above average throughout the holidays.
Drivers admit to a multitude of distractions
During the holidays, drivers and pedestrians are likely to be distracted by long shopping lists when heading to their local shopping centers and they are in a hurry to get to the next location. The NSC recently conducted a survey, where a majority of drivers admit they are not keeping their focus on driving:
- 63% say they regularly adjust their climate control and GPS systems
- 56% are reading and sending texts
- 52% check their social media sites and routinely post while on the move
- 50% check their email inboxes and even compose and send emails
- 49% are watching video on their phones and often take selfies and other photos
Pedestrians are most vulnerable
In 2018, more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed across the United States, the highest number in almost three decades. Nearly one out of every 10 pedestrian fatalities in parking structures result from a vehicle backing up. The NSC offers these safety tips:
- Pull through your parking spot, if possible, so your car is heading forward into traffic
- Do a quick 360-degree survey of your vehicle and the surrounding area looking for low-lying objects and check if any people are nearby
- Do not rely solely on your backup camera or other technology when leaving — look over your shoulder and use your mirrors
Seek knowledgeable and aggressive legal representation
Hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes, causing physical and financial hardships for many. If you are involved in a crash, an experienced personal injury attorney here in New York can help you receive the benefits you are owed from insurance companies as well as a fair and impartial medical assessment. If you are injured by someone else’s negligence, your attorney will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.
There have been many studies, and countless stories regarding the danger concussions have upon victims. Football and youth football have been particular targets for raising awareness among players and parents. Nevertheless, a new public service announcement in Massachusetts is making national news.
The spot shows kids playing football until one is thrown to the ground. Then the music turns ominous, and the coach starts passing cigarettes out to his young players. The voiceover features a young voice stating: “Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I’m exposed to danger.”
This is part of a Tackle Can Wait campaign by the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF). The goal is to steer youths under the age of 14 toward non-contact flag football. CLF claims that children who play contact football at age five are ten times more likely to develop degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) than those kids who wait until they are 14 years old.
Critics may complain the analogy is over the top, but CLF stands by its data, claiming that CTE develops in young players in much the same way cancer would if they were smoking cigarettes. Parents are increasingly aware of the dangers of concussions and head trauma, but states are also getting involved – New York is just one of several states that are looking at banning contact football for kids under the age of 12.
Creators come from a football background
Instead of scientists and filmmakers who are intent on lecturing audiences on the harms of football, the creator and director both have fathers who played college and professional football who contracted advanced forms of CTE later in life. Many others with fathers who contracted CTE also donated their time to make this spot a reality. Chris Borland, who played one season with the San Francisco 49ers, appeared in the spot as the referee. Borland retired from football at age 24 after two diagnosed concussions.
Parents may need to take action
Many former players and their families have stepped forward to announce that the former players also suffered brain injuries from playing football. While the NFL strives to make the game safer for professionals, youth football organizations may not be as cautious. Parents whose children suffered concussions or other head injuries while playing football or organized sports may need to address this issue, particularly if coaches or staff do not take all the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the children.
They say it isn’t the fall that hurts you– it’s the sudden stop. Injury happens at impact, whether you’re the falling object, or the falling object hits you. An old law could cover any falling that occurs on the job.
New York state law looks to hold owners and contractors liable in the event of a gravity-related event with Section 240 of the New York State Labor Law, known as the Scaffold Law. Meant to protect construction laborers in New York City as buildings began topping 20 stories, these protections still stretch over to Western New York workers over a century later. If you’re injured and gravity is to blame, you could file suit to recoup losses beyond what workers’ compensation covers.
The law was put in place to protect workers in 1885. There were no federal protections for workers at the time, so states came up with their own safety regulations. Every state except New York has since dropped specific statutes to cede authority to plans like workers’ compensation insurance.
Routine maintenance and cleaning don’t usually fall under the Scaffold Law. The law applies to construction work on “structures” as defined by the law, like buildings, tunnels, parking garages and water towers. You’re not likely to be eligible under the law if you’re painting or changing HVAC filters on a one-story home.
The law’s platform
The Scaffold Law can cover you if your job falls within the boundaries:
- Construction: Building, demolishing, repairing or altering a building.
- Finishing: Painting, pointing and cleaning up a job site.
- Devices: Installing and operating the law’s namesake, as well as hoists, ladders, pulleys, braces and other devices.
- Scaffolding: There are specific safety rules regarding setup and use, like safety rail height and weight-bearing requirements.
It may be an old law, but things are still falling today as they did back then. Know your rights under the Scaffold Law, and make sure you get the restoration you deserve.
State to Approve Child Victims Act for Survivors of Abuse
The Buffalo News has reported that the State Assembly and Senate will pass a law raising the statute of limitations for claims against the Catholic Church, their employees and other who were involved in the abuse of children. This will include a one year “look-back” period for victims of any age to bring lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse no matter how long ago the events occurred. This will finally provide New York survivors with an opportunity to pursue justice for the unfathomable evil that was perpetrated on them.
We are being retained to represent survivors with potential claims on a contingency basis (there is no fee until we obtain a recovery). Contact us by telephone or email if you would like to schedule a confidential, no charge consultation.
New York prosecutors assert that a pickup truck driver was likely legally intoxicated when his vehicle collided with a limousine and have charged him accordingly. However, the accident may be more complicated than claims of a drunk driver causing a car accident. The preliminary evidence regarding the crash implies that the driver of the limousine may have contributed to it.
Reportedly, the limo was attempting to make a U-turn when the pickup slammed into it. According to a witness, when the limo began its turn, it did so directly into the path of the pickup. The limo driver reportedly said that he did not see the pickup truck when he initiated the turn.
At the time of the crash, police did not suspect the limo driver of being impaired, and tests apparently confirmed that fact. A U-turn was not illegal at that location, but since limousines need extra space in order to turn, they can block more than one lane of travel to complete the turn. Limo drivers have been cited for making improper U-turns under these circumstances. Four of the eight women in the limo died in the accident, and the others suffered unknown injuries.
Even though drunk driving might be a factor in this car accident, the limo driver may also bear some responsibility for the accident. Any wrongful death or personal injury claims filed in the aftermath of this tragedy would most likely include the limo driver and the company for which he works. If it is established that one or more parties caused or contributed to the deaths and other injuries suffered, a New York court may award damages to the families of the deceased victims and the surviving victims.
When an accident occurs on a busy New York street, there will more than likely be witnesses. Often, the witnesses to a car accident will do what they can to help the victims. Sometimes, however, the intervention of bystanders might actually do more harm than good.
Take, for instance, a recent pedestrian vs. car accident involving two vehicles and two pedestrians. Somehow, the driver of one of the vehicles lost control of it during a left turn. As the car careened out-of-control, it struck a livery sedan and two people. One of the two people, a woman, was caught entangled in the vehicle and was dragged about a half a block before the car finally came to a stop.
Bystanders rushed to the woman’s aide and realized that she was unconscious. They attempted to lift the car off her with a jack. However, they soon realized that as they did so, they were dragging her with it.
When emergency responders arrived, the woman was rushed to a hospital in the New York City area where she was last reported as being in critical condition. The other pedestrian suffered injuries that left him or her in serious condition. Other people involved suffered only minor injuries.
Police are reporting that no criminal charges are being contemplated in connection with this pedestrian vs. car accident — at least for now. Both of the severely injured pedestrians could be facing lengthy recoveries. During that time, medical bills, lost wages and other economic damages will be piling up. Filing personal injury claims could result in an award of these and other damages if negligence is proved on the part of the driver whose car went out-of-control.
The word “accident” implies that an event was unforeseen or unexpected. We use the term to describe a crash in which the New York resident responsible was engaged in drunk driving. In reality, though, few crashes are more preventable. When a person drinks and then gets behind the wheel of a car, the probability of a crash is far from unforeseen or unexpected.
Certainly, the intoxicated driver should be held responsible for his or her actions, but others may be liable for the wreck as well. A bar, restaurant or some other public establishment that serves alcohol is required to stop serving patrons who are obviously intoxicated under New York’s dram shop laws. If it is proved that the establishment continued to serve the patron even when it became apparent that he or she was intoxicated, the business can face claims for financial liability in civil court in the aftermath of a drunk driving crash.
Your recovery could take a significant amount of time during which you are amassing medical expenses, losing income and sustaining other financial losses. If you lost a loved one in a crash involving a drunk driver, funeral expenses and other damages can also add up quickly. Looking only to the driver and his or her insurance may not provide enough money to compensate you for those losses. If you suffered serious injuries at the hands of a person who was driving under the influence, an attorney can review your case and determine the party or parties from which you may be able to pursue claims for restitution.
Despite the multitude of information regarding the dangers of drunk driving, people continue to do it and put the lives of others at risk. If this type of tragedy has touched you or your family, you may be entitled to monetary damages. No amount of money can heal your wounds or replace a loved one, but it can help alleviate the inevitable financial consequences of such a tragedy.
According to the World Health Organization, as many as half a million people suffer a spinal cord injury each year around the world. The organization has reported that many of these injuries are incurred as a result of motor vehicle accidents, although falls and violence play a part as well. Teenage girls, young adult males and elderly individuals continue to be most at risk of suffering a spinal cord injury, with a male adult being twice as likely to suffer a spinal cord injury than a female adult.
A spinal cord injury may result in the temporary or permanent loss of sensation or motor control. In many cases, a spinal cord injury leads to even more serious conditions, such as loss of bladder and bowel control, respiratory conditions and cardiovascular conditions. The mortality rate for victims is very high, and people with spinal cord injuries have a significantly greater chance of premature death than the general population. The mortality rate is often closely related to the ability to access appropriate medical care on a timely basis.
Spinal cord injuries may result in other conditions as well. Many spinal cord injury victims develop clinical depression, generally resulting from their dependence on caregivers. The depression makes treatment even less productive and can have a negative affect on the overall health of the patient.
Those who have suffered spinal cord injuries in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver may be entitled to claim reimbursement for their medical expenses as well as compensation for the resulting loss of income due to an inability to work for a prolonged period. An attorney can assist in the preparation and filing of a personal injury lawsuit that would seek these and other damages that may have been incurred.
When an individual enters someone else’s property, he or she has an expectation of safety while on the premises. The individual who owns the property or who resides at the property may have a duty to keep the visitor safe. However, the party who sets foot on someone’s yard or enters a residence also has a duty for their own safety.
In most cases, the status of the person on the property determines if there is any care due to them. For instance, someone who trespasses on the property is there without consent, which means that he or she has no expectation of safety. However, an invitee or social guest was invited onto the property and does have an expectation of safety. Another factor that a court may consider is whether or not an accident could have been foreseen or prevented before it happened.
If an adult takes actions that could increase the risk of an injury, the visitor could be held partially liable for his or her injuries. The standard of care is usually higher when it comes to children. A property owner has a duty to warn of any dangers if he or she knows or should know that children could be on the premises.
An individual who is hurt on on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition may be entitled to compensation for the damages related to those injuries. An attorney who has experience in personal injury litigation can assist an injured client in attempting to negotiate a settlement that includes money for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, a jury may award the plaintiff compensation after a trial.
It is likely that, at some point, a New York driver will become involved in a car accident. If the accident is serious enough, there is the potential that the impact from the crash could cause the vehicle to roll. While a rollover only occurs in approximately 3 percent of car accidents, approximately 30 percent of the people involved in such crashes die.
Rollovers generally only occur under certain circumstances. While any vehicle can potentially rollover, vehicles that have a higher center of gravity, such as SUVs, vans and pickup trucks, are more likely to roll. Rollovers can occur when the driver of a vehicle that has a higher center of gravity takes a curve too fast or overcorrects when driving on a straight road. In other cases, a rollover may be caused by the vehicle tripping over on object in the roadway, such as a pothole, a curb or a soft shoulder.
There are certain precautions that drivers and their passengers can take to reduce being involved in a rollover accident or surviving a rollover accident. One of the most important things that vehicle occupants can do is to wear seat belts. Those who fail to wear their seat belts risk being thrown from the vehicle should an accident occur. Drivers should ensure that the tires are in good condition and that they remain properly inflated. Finally, drivers should watch their speed, especially if the road is particularly curvy.
If someone is injured in a rollover car wreck, they may be eligible to seek compensation if they can prove that they were not liable for causing the accident. They may be eligible even if they were a passenger in the vehicle that caused the crash. Depending upon the circumstances, the injured person can potentially recover the cost of their medical bills and other financial damages they sustained.