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Staten Island Personal Injury Law Blog

Amusement parks and liability

New York residents may have heard about some serious injuries at amusement parks. In 2016, a 10-year-old boy died in an accident at a Kansas water park. Both the manufacturer of the rafts for the ride and the owners and operators of the park reached a settlement with the family. Although the amount was not disclosed, it was believed to be around $20 million.

In a less serious incident in May 2017, another 10-year-old child was thrown from the slide on the opening day of a California water park. Although he landed on concrete, the child only suffered minor injuries. Parts of the park had to be closed.

Summer building season could cause more construction accidents

They say New York is the city that never sleeps, and in some regards, that is true. There are retail stores and restaurants open all day and all night. You can always find something to entertain yourself, no matter what day of the year or time of day. Similarly, construction tends to continue year-round, despite the icy winter winds and wet spring conditions. Summer remains the most popular time to do major construction projects, which means more construction workers are busy creating or updating buildings around the city and surrounding areas. Sometimes that means more construction accidents as well.

The summer poses some unique threats to the safety of construction workers. Bright sunlight can cause glare and reflections that temporarily blind or distract workers. Higher temperatures increase the risk of heat exhaustion or collapse, which could be fatal when working several stories up. The pressure to finish a project before the end of the season could prompt some construction companies to cut corners when it comes to safety, procedures and training. All of that combines to increase the risk faced by those who work in what is already one of the most dangerous lines of work available.

Yearly truck inspection event focused on cargo securement

This summer's International Roadcheck campaign, which ran June 6-8, focused on cargo securement. Organizers say that during the event, about 15 trucks are inspected every minute. The annual campaign was created to help improve road safety throughout New York and the rest of North America.

Improperly secured cargo can sometimes be a factor in truck accidents. Inspectors searched for violations involving tie-downs, which included loose, damaged, missing or insufficient tie-downs. They evaluated if drivers failed to prevent shifting of load or loss of cargo and if there were any failures to secure truck equipment. While every year's inspection event covers cargo securement, organizers said that they were hoping to emphasize to truckers and trucking companies the importance of being aware of cargo issues.

Child fatality study highlights the importance of seat belts

Research suggests that the lives of more than 200 children under the age of 15 could be saved each year if every state were to pass seat belt laws as strict as those of New York. The Empire State requires children under the age of 16 to be properly restrained at all times and allows children under the age of 8 to ride only when secured in an approved carrier or by an appropriate restraint. Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard University say that child accident fatalities could be reduced by as much as 40 percent if one in ten more children fastened their safety belts.

The researchers came to this conclusion after studying 18,116 fatal crashes involving children. They found that most of the 2,885 children killed on the nation's roads between 2010 and 2014 lost their lives in crashes that occurred at speeds of between 45 and 60 mph. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that one in five of these children were not secured by a seat belt when they were killed, and a further 13 percent lost their lives while improperly sitting in the front of vehicles.

Driver fatigue and sleep apnea regulations for truckers

With the high number of traffic accidents involving trucks, New York motorists might be interested in the possible regulations regarding sleep apnea in the trucking industry. The issue of truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea is concerning because a study by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health has determined that those who suffer from the condition have a risk five times higher of being involved in a preventable accident than those who do not.

According to the study, up to 20 percent of all big rig accidents involve drowsy or fatigued driving, which can be the result of suffering from sleep apnea. The most common form of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, which means that people's breathing repeatedly stops and starts again as they sleep. Some of the factors that can contribute to OSA include obesity, poor eating habits, lack of fitness and poor sleeping habits. The results of this include cardiovascular problems, complications with surgery and medications and fatigue.

New technology could detect texting while driving

A company has created a prototype of a textalyzer device, and a proposed bill before lawmakers in New York could authorize police to use it to search drivers' phones after car crashes. The technology connects to a phone and enables law enforcement to examine recent activities such as texting, application usage and incoming and outgoing calls. The device could collect evidence indicating that a phone distracted a driver before a crash.

Defenders of personal privacy warn that such technology could grant police the power to search people's phones after even minor accidents. Safety advocates, however, argue that the technology could put teeth into the largely unenforceable laws against phone usage while driving.

Waging a semitruck crash case takes a bit of effort

On your way home from work, you noticed that there was a semitruck that was driving erratically. You wonder what is going on with the trucker and try to stay out of the way. When you stop at a red light, you notice that the truck is behind you but it isn't stopping. You realize that you are about to be hit but you can't do anything about it.

After the accident with the semitruck, you had to deal with trying to recover from serious injuries. Now, you want to know what options you have for seeking compensation. You do have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you opt to do this, there are several factors that you should consider.

Are Barnes Dance crossing signals coming back to NYC?

Regardless of where you live, there's no denying that being a pedestrian has become a decidedly more dangerous proposition in recent years. That's because walkers must not only deal with longstanding dangerous driving practices such as speeding and running red lights, but also the emergence of distracted driving.

Indeed, the issue of keeping pedestrians safe is especially pressing here in New York City, as statistics show that the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities reached 145 in 2016.

Employers urged to talk to employees about fall prevention

New York residents who are employed in the construction industry may be interested to learn that OSHA recently launched its annual National Safety Stand-Down Campaign. This campaign, which aims to prevent fatalities caused by falls and raise fall hazard awareness, was scheduled to take place between May 8 and May 12.

Fall fatalities are still a leading cause of death when it comes to the construction industry. Although the National Safety Stand-Down Campaign is voluntary, it provides employers with the chance to address fall hazard safety with employees. Employers can use the opportunity to go over protective methods and reinforce their policies and goals regarding fall hazards and fall prevention. Employees may also wish to use the opportunity to open up a dialogue with their employers about potential fall hazards that they see while on the job.

Home Depot murder lawsuit to proceed

New York residents may be interested in the latest development in a murder case that involves retailer Home Depot. The company is facing a lawsuit involving the 2012 murder of an employee and was denied its request that an earlier dismissal of the civil case be upheld. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit held to its decision to overturn a lower court's dismissal of the case. The lawsuit alleges that Home Depot is liable for the murder of an employee who was killed by a supervisor away from the store.

The convicted murderer was a Home Depot supervisor with a history of verbal abuse and harassment of female employees. The victim was a pregnant employee who was ordered by the supervisor to accompany him on a trip, during which the murder occurred. The supervisor was found guilty of murder and sexual assault.

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