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New York Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Latino construction workers face increased risk of death

It is tragic to say, but cultural norms that devalue the labor of minorities have profound impacts. For example, in New York City, union construction workers for years have been predominantly Caucasian. Latino construction workers, particularly undocumented workers, are less likely to work on union projects but more likely to suffer a serious injury or death. Often, these accidents were completely preventable and the result of willful violations by employers trying to save a few dollars. According to the most recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau Statistics, Latinos had the highesr percentage of fatal work accidents in New York City.

Did a building's design defect cause your injury?

Sometimes when an architect designs a building, it has inherent safety hazards incorporated into it that the architect either failed to acknowledge or ignored. This can create safety risks to the building's occupants or the public at large.

Such a situation may be to blame for the recent fatal accident involving a New Jersey woman at the World Trade Center Oculus. The transportation facility was the scene of the 29-year-old's three-story death plunge. She was attempting to grab her twin sister's hat from where it fell onto the outer edge of an escalator when she lost her balance and fell 34 feet to the marble floor.

Construction accidents and deaths lead to potential new laws

New York City seems plagued with terrible, fatal construction accidents in recent years. Both 2015 and 2016 saw an average of more than one fatality each month. The rate of accidents has caused concerns among politicians and union representatives. Now, city officials are considering a package of more than twenty new laws aimed at reducing accidents and improving safety for construction workers in New York.

Those who have lost a loved one to a construction accident should speak with an attorney. While these changes may prevent some future accidents, they won't do anything to curtail the losses you've experienced due to a construction site accident.

You deserve legal representation after a motorcycle accident

Driving a motorcycle can be an extraordinary thrill. The fresh air all around you and the feeling of freedom are hard to beat. Compared with a passenger vehicle, motorcycles are more efficient and easy to maneuver. It should come as little surprise, then, that many times accidents involving a motorcycle were the fault of the other driver, not the person on the motorcycle.

If you or someone you love has suffered a motorcycle accident caused by the driver of a larger vehicle, you should speak with an experienced personal injury or wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the accident.

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