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New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Bill would allow police “textalyzer” use in New York

There are many tools and tests police might end up using when investigating a crash scene. A bill seeks to add a new distracted-driving-related test to the toolbox of police in New York state.

The new tool is called a “textalyzer”. Purportedly, this tool would allow police to scan a phone for signs that a driver may have been using the phone while driving. The bill would authorize police in the state to use a textalyzer in accident scene investigations. No state yet has such a law in place.

I was injured in an apartment complex. Who is liable?

In New York, the law places a good deal of responsibility on property owners to ensure that a property remains in a safe condition. However, landlords and property management companies do not shoulder the burden for every injury or environmental illness. It is vital to consult with an experienced personal injury and liability attorney if you believe your injury entails legal action.

In general, the liability for an injury depends on what caused the injury, and who carried the burden of safety in that instance.

What are the “Focus Four” in construction?

In recent years, demand for construction employees has gone up quite a bit. Given this, the field has seen its share of new workers lately. Among the things that can be quite impactful for a new construction worker is what sort of safety training they receive.

When a construction worker is undergoing safety training, whether as a new hire or as part of ongoing training, one term they might hear thrown around is “Focus Four.”

If you experienced a car accident, you may have a brain injury

Car accident injuries can range immensely, from slight bruises and abrasions to broken and severed limbs. However, one of the most common and most easily missed injuries commonly suffered in a car accident is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Don't be fooled by its name — a mild TBI is often a very serious injury. Unfortunately, many individuals suffer mild TBIs that remain undiagnosed until the symptoms become a major problem and threaten to derail their career and personal life.

Open or faulty cellar doors can be a source of premises liability

Cellars are not as popular as they once were. Most people no longer wish to access their cellar or basement via a door from the outside. Instead, people try to secure their home by allowing access to the basement or cellar through the interior of the home, not the exterior.

In some cases, after the cellar door access has moved inside, homeowners or landlords may remove the doors to the cellar or leave them open as a general practice. Unfortunately, open cellar doors are basically holes or pits that people can fall into and sustain serious injuries. It doesn't sound like an issue until it happens to you or your child.

Building owners are legally required to maintain their sidewalks

If you don't own your home, you may not be aware that sidewalks are maintained not by the city, but by the people who own the property abutting them. If you suffer an injury due to broken, slanting, or otherwise poorly installed or maintained sidewalks, the city is not liable for your injuries. Instead, it is the property owner who may be held liable for any damages you incurred as a result of improperly maintained sidewalks. Sidewalk maintenance is critical to city safety and accessibility.

The law is clear that owners must maintain sidewalks that are safe, even and clear of obstructions. Unfortunately, many property owners and landlords do not live up to this responsibility. They may fail to clear ice and snow during winter months. When the sidewalk settles or buckles due to age or weather changes, they may delay repairing or replacing the damaged sidewalk for as long as they can. This, in turn, can result in serious injuries to those who attempt to utilize those sidewalks.

Settlements are often possible in car accident cases

Being injured in any type of car accident is the first event in a series of events that is likely to change your life. This is especially true if your injury was serious. We know that you might wonder how you can reclaim your life. While we can't make things go back to how they were before the accident, we can help you to seek compensation that can help you to recover damages that you suffered because of the accident.

When you seek compensation for a car accident, you will be presented with a lot of different options. One of the first ones you will have to decide is whether you are going to stand your ground and go through a trial or if you are going to try to work out a settlement with the other side.

Construction safety bills at center of industry battle

This week, the Housing and Buildings Committee for the New York City Council oversaw 21 bills being introduced that deal with construction safety. These bills pit developers against unions and other builders.

If passed, these bills have increased penalties for some violations. They also specify that there will be site-safety plans for buildings over three stories. But the most controversial of all is the mandate for worker training programs.

Is a convertible less safe than a car with a roof?

Not having a roof on your car is, of course, very problematic in rollover accidents, as noted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute. This suggests that convertibles increase the risks for drivers. While this may be true when the car actually rolls -- a higher proportion of fatalities do happen in these rollover accidents -- that doesn't necessarily mean that a convertible is less safe overall.

This has changed significantly in the last few decades. For instance, in 1990, the driver death rate in hardtop cars was 29.1 per 1 million vehicles, while the rate in softtops came in at 72.8. Just 15 years later, in 2005, the rate for both had fallen dramatically and become virtually the same: 20.6 for hardtops and 19.8 for convertibles.

4 reasons car accidents will always be a problem

We understand the dangers of car accidents all too well. They're a leading cause of injury and death year after year.

When other issues take lives, people respond and take drastic steps. When studies link asbestos to cancer, it's made illegal to use. When head injuries during football games lead to death and long-term cognitive problems, they change the rules of the very game and improve safety gear.

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