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New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Trucker rear ends, kills car driver

Most drivers in New York have at some point been next to, behind or directly in front of a semi truck or some other very large commercial vehicle on the road. This experience can often make a person in a regular passenger car feel dwarfed and have a new realization of and appreciation for the sheer size and weight of these big rigs. These factors most certainly can make an accident with one of these trucks very serious for people in cars, pickup trucks and SUVs.

Today, the friends and family members of one man are mourning his loss after he was hit and killed by a trucker operating a semi. The crash occurred in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday along a portion of Route 440 near Perth Amboy. Reports had been made detailing emergency calls made to report a semi truck that was driving in an erratic manner. These calls were noted just shortly before the accident happened.

Sleep apnea testing: a waste or a necessity?

Bus accidents, like any vehicle crash, are an inevitable part of driving in New York. Sometimes, simple mistakes can lead to catastrophic incidents, which can then result in injuries and even death. But what if those mistakes were due to inattention of the driver? A large number of bus accidents are due to sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders among drivers. While laws regarding sleep apnea testing for drivers are changing, there remains a popular voice in favor of preparing public transportation drivers for the physical and mental exhaustion that comes with long shifts.

Bus driver training that covers proper attention techniques may seem mandatory, but the Washington Post reported on a recent change in such procedures. According to the report, the Trump administration recently withdrew a proposal that would have required truck, bus drivers and railroad engineers to be tested for a disorder that could cause them to fall asleep on the job. The reactions to this change, however, were not quiet: the Transportation Department pointed out that sleep apnea has been an ongoing issue among drivers, and can ultimately place drivers and passengers at extreme risks. And although standard safety procedures are still in effect, they do not cover the serious issue of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders that could place lives in danger. The new withdrawal of the proposal has certainly sparked controversy, as a plethora of experts still warn the public that avoiding sleep-related testing is only a disaster waiting to happen.

Little-known facts about workplace injuries

When most New York residents think of workplace injuries, construction and oil fields are typically the first industries to come to mind. However, a surprising number of nurses also experience injuries while on the job. While the injuries a nurse experiences may not initially appear as catastrophic as, for example, those caused by a falling machine or explosion, the detrimental effects of injuries and illness can be lasting. 

The New York State Nurses Association highlighted the growing issue of nurses experiencing injuries on the job, stating on their website that, as of 2015, healthcare workers actually suffer more injuries than any other profession. A large number of those injuries involve the handling of patients. In 2013 alone, the healthcare and social assistance industry reported an alarming 629,500 cases of injury and illness to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With many healthcare shifts lasting 12 hours or more, it makes sense that almost half of these cases arise from over-exertion. Yet a healthcare-related injury does not only affect the employee; hospitals must also pay for workers' compensation for lost wages and medical costs, temporary staffing, back-filling and other necessary costs. Many blame the dated technology that so many hospitals still use, and that if hospitals updated such equipment, nurses would experience less lifting-related injuries.

Common workplace injuries

If you have spent any time on a construction site in New York, you know the hazards are numerous. However, if the contractors or property owners on the job are lax in their maintenance and safety standards, your chances of injury may increase dramatically. Here at Rosenbaum and Rosenbaum Attorneys at Law, we recognize the gravity of workplace injuries.

In order to help protect yourself, you should know the sources of workplace injuries, particularly in the field of construction. One of the most common causes of accidents on the job is malfunctioning equipment. You could suffer a serious injury as the result of a poorly maintained forklift or scaffolding that is not set up properly. Determining the party responsible for the injury may depend on whether the equipment was faulty, which could point to the manufacturer, or if the contractor on the site did not enforce adequate safety measures. In some cases, multiple parties are guilty of negligence.

What is a medical device recall and what does that mean for you?

Medical devices are wonderful tools that can improve the health and well-being of a New York patient. However, there are sometimes problems with these devices, and often, people do not know about a problem until they are already using the device or after implantation. When there is an issue, there is typically a medical device recall. 

When a product is under recall, it means that either repairing the device or removing the device altogether is necessary to ensure that it does not cause harm to the user. There are two options to do this, either by removal or by correcting the device. Typically, the doctor who implanted or prescribed the device will notify the patient of a recall.

OSHA investigations

When a New York resident is involved in an accident at work or develops an illness due to a work-related situation or environment, it may be necessary to have an investigation conducted to learn more about what may have contributed to the event or condition. This may be done by investigators from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

One important thing for people to understand is that OSHA consciously does not consider accidents to be accidents always but instead refers always to incidents. This is because the agency believes wholeheartedly that most events should be able to be prevented by following proper safety guidelines. Therefore, most events are not really accidental.

Distracted driving and school bus accidents

For decades, school buses have served as reliable modes of transportation for children going to and from school, sports and extracurricular events or daycare. In recent years, however, the high numbers of bus accidents have caused national concern. And just as drivers of regular motor vehicles can become distracted by a number of factors, school bus drivers have also come into the spotlight in regards to the accuracy and safety of their driving. New York's laws on driving safety help protect children from potential accidents, but the laws are continuously changing to best address the issue of distracted bus driving. 

Binghamton News reports on the safety priorities and guidelines of New York's school bus systems. The report covers basic safety procedures that parents, children and drivers can follow, and specifically warns bus drivers of the potential dangers of driving such large motor vehicles. Distracted driving can arise from many different external factors, but when a driver's attention is not fully focused on the road, a multitude of issues can occur. Bus drivers must take special caution when starting routes by inspecting the vehicle for any mechanical damages, and they must remain alert during all stops and during the case of emergencies. Drivers must also inform children of proper safety procedures, should an accident occur.

New York graded C for worker safety

Workers across the state of New York know the hazards present in the workplace. In fact, a new report from the National Safety Council, "State of Safety," only gives New York a C for protecting workers on the job.

The report, which rates the safety of each state in the country based on road, home and workplace safety, found that 13 workers die in the United States each day. This number has actually been on the rise, and 2015 marked the second year in a row to see an increase in the number of workplace deaths. The most recent data available, 2015 had a reported 4,836 worker deaths. Injuries are even higher, with 12,000 employees hurt at work each day. For temporary workers, their risk is even more alarming: temporary workers are twice as likely to suffer a severe workplace injury, and they are often assigned more dangerous jobs. 

Teens and driving: A risky combination?

As the parent of a teenager, you likely already have a laundry list of concerns, from curfew and alcohol to dating and more. Unfortunately, a new survey may have just given you yet another thing to worry about, if you hadn't already: teenage driving safety. While you might think that with experience comes wisdom, this is apparently not the case for many teen drivers as, according to research, their driving habits grow more risky -- not less -- as they age.

The good news is that there are things you can do to help encourage your teen driver to be more careful on the road. Of course, no matter how well you train your teen to drive safely, this doesn't mean other drivers (teenaged or not) will do the same. Regardless, the better prepared your son or daughter is, the safer the road will be, both for your child and for other drivers.

The fatal four on construction sites

Do you or someone you love work in the construction industry in New York? If so, you know that it only takes a brief moment for something to go wrong on a construction job site that may have extremely serious if not deadly repercussions. Certainly there are reasons that make construction a potentially risky line of work but that should not mean that a construction worker should be expected to be injured or killed on the job.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has very clear requirements that should be followed by employers and workers alike on construction sites. Sadly, these requirements are not always heeded and this can be seen in the violations issued by OSHA. Of the 10 reasons responsible for the most number of citations, two are specific to the construction industry. One is regarding problems with scaffolding requirements and the other is with fall protection.

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