How Can Lawyers Help Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents?
Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver causes an accident and flees from the accident scene. However, all drivers involved in an accident involving injury or death must stay at the scene of an accident, whether they caused the accident or not. Also, all drivers involved must file an accident report.
Under New York law, anyone who is party to an accident where injury or death occurs must immediately notify the police. It is a crime to leave the accident scene.
Hit and run accidents can involve an accident between vehicles; or between a vehicle and a bicyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian.
The Recent Hit-and-Run Accident in North Babylon
According to Newsday, an auto parts delivery van hit two pedestrians in the parking lot of an Auto Zone store on July 29. The store was located on Route 231, near Commack Avenue, and the accident occurred around 1:00 in the afternoon.
When the van struck them, one of the pedestrians got caught beneath the van. However, the driver did not stop, and the van dragged her for about three blocks. When the driver made a right turn, she dislodged from the van. Upon arriving at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, doctors pronounced the accident victim’s death. Doctors at the hospital also treated the other pedestrian struck by the van for minor non-life threatening injuries.
Investigators at the scene inspected skid marks but no other details about the accident were released. Police apprehended the van driver, charged him with hit-and-run and took him into custody.
What Can a Hit-and-Run Accident Victim or Their Family Members Do?
In addition to the criminal charges a hit-and-run driver faces, a lawyer can file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the injury victim. In the event of death, the attorney can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and suffer serious injuries, you may have legal grounds to pursue a case. New York hit-and-run accident attorneys can investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury and explain your rights to take legal action.
Some of the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Many different types of bicycle accidents occur in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County. These are heavily populated areas, and there are numerous bicycles, vehicles and pedestrians on the roads. Consequently, collisions are bound to happen. However, when serious injury results and another party was at fault, legal grounds may exist to pursue a lawsuit to hold the negligent parties accountable.
Despite the increasing numbers of bicyclists, the New York City DOT (Department of Transportation) claims that bicycling has grown dramatically safer. Even so, that does not mean that bike riders are free from danger.
Bicycle Accidents Causes
The following types of situations can cause bike accidents:
- Dooring. “Dooring” describes a bike accident where drivers or passengers are exiting their cars and open the door into a bicyclist, who is passing by the vehicle. The unexpected door opening can strike riders, throw them off their bikes and cause bikes to crash or flip over. Being thrown into oncoming traffic is a serious concern. Also, if cyclists try to avoid the door, there is the danger they may swerve into oncoming traffic. A dooring accident can result in severe injuries or fatalities. The fault for the accident lies with the driver or passenger who failed to look before opening the door.
- Failure to Yield the Right of Way. Who has the right of way — the bicyclist or the vehicle or the pedestrian? It is crucial to understand right of way laws in New York. For example, in crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way. Bicyclists must use a bike lane or the right shoulder near the curb, but they may move farther left (three to four feet) to avoid hazards with parked cars. It is illegal for a car to stop or stand in a bike lane.
- Road defects and potholes. Poor road conditions can make bicycle riding dangerous. Hitting a pothole can throw the bike and rider up into the air or cause the biker to lose control and suffer injury. Local governments are responsible for keeping the roads in good repair and making them safe for traffic.
Experienced NY Bicycle Accidents Attorneys
When determining whether grounds exist for a lawsuit, attorneys investigate to establish who was at fault for causing the bicycle accident. When injuries are serious or result in death, a bicycle accident lawyer can often help you recover compensation for damages.
Avoiding Accidents at Swimming Pools
Swimming pool injuries most frequently occur when the weather is hot. During the summertime in particular, going for a swim has been a favorite pastime.
Although swimming is a lot of fun, safety is also an issue. One of the best preventions against accidents is understanding the risks involved with swimming pools.
Types of Swimming Pool Injuries and Accidents
When diving into a swimming pool, swimmers may not give a second thought to how deep the water is. Yet, diving into water that is too shallow can cause serious injuries. Diving into shallow water can cause brain, head or neck injuries. In serious cases, injuries can lead to brain damage or paralysis. In addition, if the diver is knocked unconscious, he or she could drown.
Whenever diving into a pool, it’s vital to notice the depth of the water beforehand.
Pool Drain Injuries
Swimming pools have drains as part of their filtering systems to keep the water clean. Many people, and in particular children, may not know to stay away from the drains. Swimming pool drain injuries can be severe and are not that uncommon. The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) reported that certain drains exert up to 300 pounds of pressure per square inch. While most drains have tightly fastened covers to secure them, an improperly covered drain is capable of causing serious injury or death.
The drain’s suction is so strong that it can tear organs from a body. Unfortunately, this has happened in drain accidents. Read More
Slip and Fall Injuries
Many pools have signs that say, “No Running.” Areas around the pool often get wet. Water drips off people’s bodies and swimming suits as they leave the pool. As a result, wet surfaces tend to be slippery, and running can increase the chances of slip and fall injuries. Read More
If you are involved in a swimming pool accident and suffer serious injury, you may have legal grounds to pursue a case. New York swimming pool injury attorneys can review the circumstances surrounding your injury and discuss the prospects of taking legal action.
Basic Information About Workers Compensation
Workers compensation insurance covers medical expenses and lost income if you’ve been hurt on the job in New York. Virtually all New York employers must carry workers comp insurance.
Who Is Covered by Workers Compensation in New York?
Employers with for-profit businesses must carry workers comp insurance. The employees that the insurance covers includes:
- Full-time employees
- Part-time employees
- Borrowed employees
- Leased employees
- Family members and volunteers working for the business
- Domestic workers employed for 40 or more hours per week by the same employer (including full-time sitters or companions or live-in maids)
- Farm workers employed by employers who pay $1,200 or more for farm labor per calendar year
In addition, workers compensation covers State of New York employees along with some volunteer workers, public school teachers and aides, and county and municipality employees doing work defined as “hazardous.”(Reference: New York State Workers Compensation Board)
What Type of Disabilities Does Workers Compensation Cover?
The disability must be work related: either an accidental injury that occurs as a result of the course of employment or an occupational disease.
What Is an Occupational Disease?
An occupation disease occurs as a result of exposure to work conditions. An example is contracting asbestosis while doing asbestos removal.
If You Are Injured on the Job, What Should You Do?
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing to do is to receive first aid. If your injury is not an emergency situation, you must see a healthcare provider that is authorized by the Worker’s Compensation Board. Or, if your employer has authorization to participate in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, you should use the program’s participating healthcare provider, if required. Your employer must notify you and other workers, in writing, giving you all the information about their PPO or ADR programs.
You may need authorization and have to get diagnostic tests and prescription medicine from designated diagnostic networks or pharmacies under contract. Your employer must also provide you with written notice if this is the case.
If the employer does not dispute your workers comp case, the insurance provider will cover your medical expenses.
Notify Your Employer
Notify your supervisor as soon as possible about the injury. You have 30 days from the date of the accident causing the injury to notify your employer. With an occupational disease, you must give notification within two years after being disabled or within two years after you knew or should have known that your disease was work related.
Fill Out and Mail a Form C-3
You must fill out the Form-3, which is a workers comp form and mail it to the nearest office of the Workers’ Compensation Board.
For more information about workers compensation, please see our Work Related Accidents page.
Designating Drivers and Other Ways to Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents
Warmer weather is here and more people are taking to the road. That fact alone increases the risk for car accidents.
Warmer weather also means teenagers who have gotten their driver’s licenses are on the road, practicing their driving. Lack of experience increases accident risks for teen drivers and so does the presence of more bicycles, pedestrians and traffic in general.
What About Underage Drinking and Driving?
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) reports the following statistics about underage drinking, and the facts are rather alarming:
- Teens riding with an underage drinking driver are involved in 25% of car crashes
- Out of the 14 million people who are dependent on alcohol, 95% of them began drinking before they reached 21
- Teenagers who drink when young are seven times more at risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash.
- Over 40% of all 10th graders drink alcohol
However, teenagers are not the age group that has the highest rate of drunk drivers. Drivers between the ages of 26 and 29 have the highest rate of drunk driving incidents (20.7 percent).
What Are Some Practical Ways to Avoid Drunk Driving?
Ways to avoid riding with a drunk driver include:
- Assign a designated driver who is not drinking
- Arrange other transportation (Uber, Lyft or taxi)
- Take your friends keys away from then if they have been drinking
- Offer your guests at parties other alternatives to alcohol (water, soda, etc.)
- Serve food along with alcoholic beverages
- Do not serve alcohol to minors
- Drive defensively and avoid indicators of drunk drivers (weaving or drifting, wide turns, extremely slow speeds, etc.)
Seek Legal Help if Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
If you are seriously injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You would have the right to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, future lost income and other related damages.
How Does the “Scaffolding Law” Protect New York Workers?
Falls from heights during construction work often involve falls ladders or scaffolds. However, the differences in falls can be substantial. Workers on ladders may be feet from the ground, whereas workers on scaffolds could be many stories off the ground.
This type of work at heights is so dangerous that the State of New York passed a law, called Labor Law 240, to offer extra protection to laborers, who do construction work at heights.
Labor Law 240 has additional safety regulations that apply when scaffolding or staging is more than 20 feet off the ground or floor. Scaffolds or staging at these heights require safety rails. The scaffolding or staging also must be fastened to prevent it from swaying. Scaffolding should be sturdy enough to bear four times the weight that is placed on it, when in use.
Equipment that Labor Law 240 Requires for Safety Protection
By law, all contractors, owners and their agents (except owners of one and two-family dwellings) involved with construction or building maintenance work must furnish or erect equipment to give laborers proper protection. Equipment includes:
- Other protective devices
What Types of Work Does the Scaffold Law Cover?
The Scaffold Law protects workers doing the following work involved with buildings and structures:
Are Many Workers at Risk for Scaffolding Injuries?
OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration) estimates that 65 percent of construction workers in the U.S. work on scaffolds. Close to three quarters of scaffold accidents resulted from the following:
- Planking or support gave way
- Employee slipped and fell
- A falling object struck the employee
Falls from heights can create a crippling injury. Any worker who sustains an injury of this type should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for help with recovering compensation. For more information, see our Ladder and Scaffold Accidents page.