Watch out for parking lot hazards during the holidays

‘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.

Fall on the job and a 134-year-old New York law could catch you

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.

Hand-me-down protection

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.

Lofty standards

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.