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New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Property owners bear the onus for safety of others

New York City attracts people from all over the world. Some come to visit briefly. Others become permanent residents. One of the biggest challenges for any newcomer hoping to stay for a while is finding reasonably priced living quarters. The hunt can be so arduous that some might be tempted to jump at the first thing they come across, even if all outward signs suggest they are walking into a danger zone.

On one level, it might be easy to rationalize the decision by planning to be extra careful or taking comfort knowing that premises liability laws put the burden of keeping property safe and secure on the owner of the building. No one should face health problems or injury due to inadequate maintenance or negligent security, but we all know it happens. When it does, holding owners accountable often becomes the responsibility of the victim.

Your car's infotainment system: delightful, diverting, dangerous?

Your car’s infotainment system delivers much more than directions. The latest versions enable you to send and receive messages, make calls, receive calls and play your favorite tunes all at the same time. Some systems even recognize the driver’s handwriting as a way of helping those behind the wheel get information more efficiently. Of course, many would wonder how a driver can be scribbling on an infotainment system while safely operating their vehicle.

A new study by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that it is increasingly more difficult to pay attention to both your infotainment system and the traffic. Unfortunately, these systems built into cars are more and more often the source of distractions that can lead to motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

Do I have a case if I'm injured by a scooter rider?

"It's like the plague. It's spreading so fast." That's the assessment of one personal injury attorney concerning the increasing number of electric scooters on the streets of some major cities in her part of the country.

Feeding the purported contagion are several scooter startup companies with business models that replicate the ride-sharing concepts popularized by such players as Uber and Lyft. Scooter makers put their motorized devices on the streets of the cities. For a fee paid by smartphone, users can unlock a unit and pay a few cents a minute in rent, leaving the scooter on the street at their destination. Some of the scooters tool along on sidewalks and streets at speeds of up to 15 mph. The problem is that accidents are starting to happen, raising liability questions.

How far does mass transit have to go to provide security?

Most of us have been through the complex airport security measures put in place nationwide following 9/11. We all understand the need for the heightened security and, with some grumbling, most of us accept the measures as a necessary precaution in our modern world. But many of us who commute by public transit in New York every day also wonder why transit stations don’t enforce the same level of security.

According to an online article published on Security-Net website, mass transit hubs offer a peculiar challenge for installing and enforcing security measures. Many major stations and smaller sub-stations have yet to develop the measures that may one day prove to save lives.

Watch for these six signs of nursing home neglect

Deciding to put your loved one into a nursing home is often a tough decision to make. You may feel guilty that you cannot care for him or her at your home. Likely, you are also worried about how loved one will be cared for at the nursing home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest numbers, there are 1.4 million people living in nursing homes in the U.S.

With that many people in long-term care facilities, it is inevitable some of these vulnerable residents will face neglect. Even though you cannot be around all the time, you can still protect your loved one. Here are six signs that may indicate your family member’s care is being neglected

Slips and falls don't happen only in cold months

The weather outside is frightful in some parts of the country. It's not snowing. Precipitation is appearing in another form, as sweat on the brow. Even though New York City is enjoying seasonally normal temperatures right this minute, don't expect to escape from the swelter of summer. Still, with conditions as they are, it is easy to forget that every season has its hazards.

According to the National Safety Council, winter is notorious for injuries from slips and falls on ill-maintained surfaces and wet floors. Fatal accidents rise from November to January and then decline. But the bell curve is just as prominent from May to September. The causes may vary, but if serious or fatal injury is due to a property owner's failure of take care, the victims or their loved ones should not be self-conscious about learning what their options are for pursuing just compensation.

What does it say when employees allege inadequate security?

There have been several high-profile shootings in recent months. There was the open-air tragedy in Las Vegas. More recently, there was the high school shooting in Florida. Of course, New York is not immune from such incidents. Just under a year ago, there was the deadly shooting at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital.

One doctor died and five other employees were hurt, as was a patient. The immediate horror ended when the gunman took his own life. But as is evidenced by a recent lawsuit, the suffering is not over for everyone. One young doctor who was injured that day is now suing the hospital. He says lax security at the facility contributed to creating conditions that allowed the gunman – a former doctor – to be there that day.

What if you are injured on vacation?

Few things are more stressful and disheartening than suffering an injury during a vacation. Your fun is cut short. All that money and weeks of planning down the drain. You’re scrambling to find medical care and make new travel arrangements.

What do you do if you are injured away from home? Should you give a statement? Should you get a local lawyer or wait until you are back home?

Renter safety is a landlord's obligation

The news has been filled lately with sad stories of death and injury due to fires in rental housing in New York. One story making headlines involves a Buffalo family that lost three of its members, including an 8-year-old girl, in a 2016 house fire. Loved ones sued the Brooklyn-based landlord for negligence and won a default judgment now worth $5.4 million. According to The Buffalo News, they're still waiting payment.

Meanwhile, in Harlem, a couple is seeking $7 million because of a fire destroyed the couple's rent-controlled apartment and all their belongings. A firefighter died at the scene. The suit names the landlord, claiming "reckless, careless and negligent" building. Also named in the suit is a movie production company that was using the building as a film set. The suit says movie crew workers knew about the fire but didn't inform residents.

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