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New York City Personal Injury Blog

Getting medical treatment after a workplace injury

If you have been injured in the workplace in the state of New York, like many other injured workers you may be wondering about your rights to medical treatment and compensation. Workers' compensation policies can seem overwhelming and confusing at first, and this is why it is important to have a brief overview before proceeding with further medical services.

It is important that you verify whether you are entitled to workers' compensation. The vast majority of employees are entitled to this by law. You should additionally remember that if you are entitled to workers' compensation, you will be able to make a claim regardless of whether the incident was deemed to be a fault of yours or not.

New Yorkers could be victims of drowsy rideshare drivers

Commuters who rely on services like Uber and Lyft may want to be aware that rideshare drivers typically work as independent contractors. The companies do have regulations in place that demand drivers take six-hour break periods after a certain amount of driving time. However, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has pointed out that many of these drivers work other jobs that could lead to added fatigue.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 328,000 motor vehicle accidents across the country each year include a drowsy driver factor. Another reason the AASM feels that the current required breaks for rideshare drivers is inadequate is because much of their driving is done late at night or early in the morning. This is when drowsiness can easily set in.

Identifying harassment in the workplace

The workplace is a place in which you should feel safe, respected and inspired to work. It should be in the employer's interests to create such an environment, because this motivates employees to work effectively.

Unfortunately however, workers can face issues in the workplace that make them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or unable to work effectively. No worker should have to experience this, and there are, in fact, laws that protect employees from being harassed at work.

Dump truck crashes on the rise

People in New York may have particular concerns about truck accidents, especially since the occupants of passenger cars and other smaller vehicles are far more likely to be seriously injured in case of a crash. Statistics also show that crashes involving large commercial trucks like dump trucks and concrete delivery vehicles are on an upswing. While insurers have raised insurance premiums for commercial truck companies, this has had little effect on the escalating number of accidents. Various initiatives to reduce the risk of driver fatigue also aim to improve roadway safety.

Still, in 2016, dump truck crashes that required a vehicle to be towed away rose by 9 percent, reaching a total of 8,206, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition, the number of these dump truck accidents that caused injuries rose by 2.7 percent to 5,483 in the same year. FMCSA statistics also showed a 9.6 percent increase in ready-mix concrete delivery truck crashes, reaching a total of 838. Injury-causing crashes were also up by 3.8 percent. Fatal concrete truck injuries also rose in 2016 to 38, from 33 the prior year.

Safety tips for rooftop snow removal

Outdoor work in New York can be physically challenging and dangerous in the best of conditions. But in the winter months, those challenges are amplified by winter conditions, icy roads and accumulated snow. That's why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a list of winter hazards that employees and employers should understand. Among the most serious threats is rooftop snow removal.

Year in and year out, workers are killed and injured while attempting to remove snow and ice from rooftops or other structures. OSHA does not provide specific guidelines for rooftop snow removal; however, their guidance on fall protection methods, ladders and aerial lifts are all relevant.

Taking action when hospitalized after a work injury

Accidents can happen in any workplace, and, unfortunately, some of these accidents lead to the hospitalization of an employee. It is likely that this hospitalized employee will be subject to significant medical bills, and that they will have to take time off work in order to recover, missing out on wages. This financial burden should never be placed on the employee, and this is why workers' compensation insurance is mandatory for the majority of workplaces in New York.

If you or your loved one had to spend time in the hospital as a result of a New York work injury, it is important that you understand how the law works to protect injured employees. Taking action soon after the injury is important for the purpose of successfully gaining compensation.

Why did my employer lie to me about workers' compensation?

If you were injured as a worker in the state of New York, it is likely that you are aware of the workers' compensation process. Workers' compensation is a type of insurance taken out by employers. Most employers have a legal obligation to take out this insurance so that their workers are protected financially in the event of an accident.

When a worker becomes injured and makes a workers' compensation claim, the insurance policy pays out, not your employer directly. Considering this, many would think that employers are not negatively affected by a workers' compensation claim.

Tips for safe and responsible driving in the winter

Drivers in New York will face many challenges when winter brings wet, snowy and icy road conditions. That's why concerned motorists should have a mechanic check vehicle components such as the brakes, ignition, battery and spark plugs. They could also have the mechanic check antifreeze levels and tire pressure.

It's also important to be familiar with a vehicle's safety technology. Traction control, for example, is a standard feature on most cars. Drivers should know if their vehicle has anti-lock braking. If they are unfamiliar with more advanced safety features, they should know that the National Safety Council is educating people about such systems through a campaign called, "My Car Does What?"

Am I a victim of excessive force from police?

If you have had an interaction with the police or law enforcement in the state of New York, it is likely that it was a stressful situation to be in. Law enforcement has received a lot of bad press in the last few years, highlighting occasionally tragic occurrences of police brutality across the United States.

Every citizen has the right to basic humane treatment, even if they have committed a crime. Therefore, if you believe that you have been victim to police brutality in the state of New York, it is important that you understand how the law works.

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.

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