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New York City Personal Injury Blog

AAA Foundation on how car safety tech can distract drivers

Drivers in New York may own a car with the latest safety features like lane-keeping assist, which helps prevent lane drifting, and adaptive cruise control, which accelerates and decelerates without driver input to maintain a good distance from the vehicle in front. Drivers should know, however, that these features are linked to a greater risk of distracted driving. This is according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

For their study, researchers analyzed the safety features on a number of vehicles, including the Tesla Model S, Acura MDX, Jeep Cherokee, Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord. They pointed to the two safety features mentioned above as being a problem for many drivers who do not understand the limits of such tech. These drivers are unaware of that they must still keep their hands on the wheel and be alert when such features are on.

An overview of workers' compensation laws in New York

If you have been injured at work, it is important that you pay close attention to the state laws. Workers' compensation for injured employees is in place across the country, and the vast majority of workers are able to make workers' compensation claims successfully when they do become injured. However, the specific requirements and rules for workers' compensation vary significantly from state to state.

New York makes it possible for all employees, regardless of whether they are U.S. nationals or undocumented immigrants, to claim workers' compensation if they have suffered financial damages as a result of being injured at work. The following is an overview of the rules and the benefits available to employees injured in the working environment in New York.

AASM survey shows prevalence of drowsy drivers

In a survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 45% of the 2,003 respondents admitted to driving in such a drowsy state that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. This, as New York residents should know, is a dangerous condition to drive in. AAA reports that every year in the U.S., there are some 6,400 fatal car crashes that arise from drowsy driving. Drowsiness impairs judgment and slows reaction times.

It's important, then, that one be able to prevent drowsy driving. To this end, the AASM has provided several tips. The first is to obtain adequate sleep (at least seven hours for adults). Another is to avoid driving at night. On long trips, drivers should ideally have a companion to talk with or to take turns with behind the wheel.

3 reasons to get a medical opinion after a serious car crash

So, you don't have medical insurance, or your policy has a very high deductible or co-insurance rate. That could mean that you don't want to spend the money on a medical examination after a car crash. After all, you've already got to worry about missed work and fixing your car. You probably don't want to worry about medical bills on top of all of those other financial concerns.

If you don't have any obvious injuries, such as broken bones, you might feel tempted to just move on with your day after the crash and avoid the costs of going to your physician or the hospital.

Workplace sexual harassers often go unpunished

Workers in New York and around the country who have been subjected to sexual harassment are often placed in a position where they are expected to work alongside their perpetrators. This was the conclusion researchers from Michigan State University reached after studying sexual harassment cases that were settled through arbitration between 2008 and 2018. The study, which was published by the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal, reveals that the punishments meted out to harassers were not upheld almost half of the time and more than one in four harassers were not punished at all.

The researchers also discovered that 41% of the fired harassers were reinstated after serving a suspension and some of them even received back pay. Most of the arbitration cases studied involved blue-collar workers, but the researchers believe the same kind of outcomes are common in the executive world as well. The researchers also say that their findings are significant because a growing number of employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements require sexual harassment claims to be resolved through arbitration.

Why would my workers' compensation claim be denied?

If you work in a particularly high-risk profession, for example, if you are a construction worker, you have a significant risk of becoming injured at work at some point in your career. If you do become injured, you may not be able to continue earning an income during the time it takes for you to recover.

In addition, you will likely be subject to medical bills that will continue to affect your financial situation. This is why workers' compensation is in place for the majority of workers in the United States. It makes it possible for injured workers to gain back out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from their injury.

AI may be effective in lowering distracted driving

Artificial intelligence may provide the answer when it comes to reducing distracted driving. Researchers and automakers are striving to create cameras and sensors that can monitor drivers' behavior and do several things in response to distracted driving. One of those things, as many drivers in New York should know, is setting off an alert. All too often, though, drivers become conditioned to these alerts so that they become nothing but "white noise."

Automakers are developing ways to deal with this, such as turning the background of the dashboard a different color and shutting the radio off so that the alert can come through. Moreover, automakers are trying to make these systems react to distracted drivers by controlling the vehicle through its braking and steering capabilities to avoid a potential collision.

Ways to show negligence in a slip-and-fall claim

Suffering an injury due to slipping and falling while on a private premises is surprisingly common. While medical services may need to be sought and wages may be lost as a result of these incidents, not all of them will result in a successful premises liability claim. To be successful in claiming back damages after a slip-and-fall accident on a private premises, you should understand what needs to be proven.

It is necessary to establish that the injury you suffered occurred due to premises negligence. In other words, you need to show that the premises on which you injured yourself did not fulfill their duty to keep you safe, and as a result, you suffered damages. The following are some possible ways that you can prove negligence in a slip-and-fall claim.

What to do about sexual harassment at work

New York law protects employees from sexual harassment in the workplace as does federal law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law, but it only applies to workplaces with at least 15 employees. New York City law is similar in coverage.

There are two types of workplace sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is said to have occurred when an individual, such as a supervisor, asks an employee for a sexual favor in exchange for something else, such as a promotion or keeping the job. Hostile environment is a type of sexual harassment that involves unwanted conduct based on the person's sex. In general, it must be severe or pervasive enough that a hostile work environment is created for the employee. Some of the factors a court might look at to determine whether workplace conduct rises to the hostile environment level is the frequency of the conduct, the nature of the conduct and who the harasser was.

Key signs of a sexist workplace

By law, workplaces should be inclusive and they should not discriminate against employees based on gender. However, it's an unfortunate fact that many employees report being subject to sexism or sexual harassment at work. They can often be made to feel embarrassed, isolated or undermined because of the way others are treating them at work.

If you believe that your workplace is promoting a gender-biased culture and you have suffered as a result of this culture, you may be able to make a sexual harassment claim. The following are some of the most common signs of a sexist workplace.

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