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New York City Personal Injury Blog

Current HOS rules blamed for rise in trucking deaths

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported 4,761 large-truck fatalities in 2017, marking a 9 percent increase from 2016 and a 29-year high. At the same time, motor vehicle crash deaths in general went down 2 percent. Many in the trucking industry in New York and across the U.S. believe that several factors are involved in this trend, the first having to do with federal hours-of-service guidelines.

In particular, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that all commercial truckers take a 30-minute break after driving for eight consecutive hours. The result, according to trucking industry representatives, is that truckers become more drowsy behind the wheel and sometimes choose to speed in order to make their deliveries on time.

Don't let fear of retaliation keep you quiet about harassment

Many people who face sexual harassment in their workplace are reticent to report it. Even though there may be clear reporting policies in the corporate handbook, these employees still worry about the potential for retaliation or inaction on the part of their company. Unfortunately, they have good reason to feel concerned.

When someone in a position of authority abuses that position to sexually harass another employee or intentionally overlooks a hostile environment, their victims may not feel comfortable speaking up. Worries that their boss may hear about the report or concerns that someone in the hierarchy is one of the harassers are common reasons why people do not come forward when experiencing sexual harassment.

Reduce the risk of accidental death

Young people in New York and across the United States may face unexpected dangers from the most mundane sources. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for Americans age 44 and under is accidental injury. In 2016, 61,749 people lost their lives due to unintentional incidents, almost twice the number of lives taken by cancer and heart disease combined. Most of these accidental deaths stemmed from unintentional poisonings and motor vehicle crashes.

While accidental death can be a risk at any time, people can take action to minimize the threat. Roadway safety is critical to helping to prevent dangerous car accidents and the resulting severe injuries and even fatalities. Every year, 2 million people are injured and 32,000 killed due to car crashes. Seat belts can significantly reduce the risk of death in a crash while safe driving behaviors can play a major role in avoiding a collision in the first place.

Can I get workers' compensation if I'm injured overseas?

As the world becomes more connected, many workers employed in the state of New York find that they regularly need to take work trips abroad. This can be exciting and allow you to experience new cultures and countries as part of your job. However, it can also bring with it new risks.

If you become injured in the workplace or while fulfilling work duties while in the United States, most workers are aware that they can file a workers' compensation claim. This claim will almost always allow them to receive compensation for the medical bills that resulted from the injury and the lost wages that were experienced.

Teen drivers more dangerous without adult supervision

The Foundation for Traffic Safety, an organization run by AAA, has released the results of research in advance of National Teen Driver Safety Week. Drivers in New York should be aware that the risk of fatalities for teen drivers is lower when they are driving with more experienced drivers in the vehicle. Specifically, when a teen driver has only teenage passengers in the car, the rate of fatalities for all people in an accident is 51 percent higher.

If there are passengers in the car who are 35 years old or older, by contrast, the fatality rate overall drops by 8 percent. AAA concluded that these statistics highlight the importance for teen drivers to have sufficient driver training with supervision. In 2016, there were more than 1 million reported crashes with teen drivers; these crashes resulted in greater than 3,200 fatalities.

Tips for making your workers' compensation claim simple

Most employers in the United States are required by law to carry workers' compensation. This means that when any employee becomes injured and has to pay for medical services or take time off work, they can make a claim for compensation.

Workers' compensation is a right, and it is a right regardless of fault. This means that even if an injury was deemed to be your fault, you will still be able to claim compensation for the damages you suffered.

Understanding logo liability in truck crash claims

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, it is important to note that the process of establishing liability can be slightly more challenging than in a situation where two private vehicles crash. There can be a conflict between the legal liability of the driver versus the legal liability of the company that employed them.

In many cases, if a truck driver is a full-time employee of the company that owns the vehicle, the company in question will be held liable for the crash under vicarious liability laws if the truck is deemed to have caused the crash. However, this can become more complex if the company whose goods are being transported leases trucks and hires independent contractors to drive them.

Truck and urban crashes buck downward trend in traffic deaths

There's good news and bad news from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about traffic fatality rates. However, people in New York City might want to pay particular attention to the bad news. While most types of traffic accident fatalities are down, those caused by urban collisions are up.

According to NHTSA data for 2017, there were fewer fatalities in traffic accidents involving passenger cars, vans, light pickup trucks, bicycles and motorcycles than there were the year before. Fewer pedestrians were killed, there were fewer drunk driving crashes and there were fewer fatalities due to speeding in 2017 than in 2016.

Conditions that can lead to an outdoor slip-and-fall accident

Even if you're extremely cautious, there's no way to completely avoid the possibility of an outdoor slip-and-fall accident. Just when you least expect it, such as when you're walking into your office building, you could find yourself tumbling to the ground.

There are a variety of conditions that can lead to an outdoor slip-and-fall accident, including the following:

  • Ice or snow accumulation: In New York, for example, the winter months bring quite a bit of ice and snow to the area. This makes it difficult to keep your footing outdoors, especially in areas that have not been properly treated. Winter slip-and-fall accidents are common, so you need to watch every step you take.
  • Damaged parking lots: Parking lot owners are responsible for regular maintenance, such as filling any holes and cracks that act as a trip hazard. It's likely that you find yourself in a parking lot several times per day, such as at work, so you should always keep an eye on the ground ahead.
  • Damaged sidewalks: There are many sidewalk-related issues that can cause you harm, such as height differences from one section to the next and a lack of maintenance. It's next to impossible to watch every step you take on the sidewalk, so the best you can do is proceed with caution and hope to avoid trouble.

Study looks at distracted drivers among workers

Mobile workers, or workers who drive as part of their jobs, may often operate what is known as "gray fleets." This is the word for vehicles driven by employees for work-related reasons that do not belong the company. It is likely that gray fleet mobile workers in New York drive more than the average person. A study by the company Motus found that mobile workers drive 49 percent more than other workers.

More driving can also mean more distracted driving, and by the estimate of Motus, that adds up to about 1,200 miles of distracted driving per mobile worker per year. Distraction in the form of changing music, eating, navigating and making phone calls are longtime problems with drivers, but studies have shown a correlation between a rise in smartphone use and total accidents. As smartphone used spiked between 2014 and 2016, so did motor vehicle accidents that involved a fatality, injury or property damage. From 2013 to 2017, ownership of smartphones grew from 55 to 77 percent. Along with this, accidents went up 12 percent to 6.4 million from 5.7 million.

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