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Queens Personal Injury Blog

Federal lawsuit filed over lead poisoning of New York children

New Yorkers should feel safe in their homes. Sadly, though, this often isn't the case. While violence in the city is always a concern, so, too, are silent dangers that can cause serious injuries and death. One of these extremely hazardous risks is lead exposure. Even though lead has been banned for decades, many older building throughout New York contain lead-based paint, which can chip and become airborne.

Now, a group of New York parents are suing the New York Housing Authority in federal court for its alleged failure to adequately remedy known lead contaminations. In one child's case, his lead levels reached 15 micrograms per deciliter, which is well over New York's recognized level of poisoning, which sits at 10 micrograms per deciliter. The city's Health Department inspected that child's residence and discovered multiple lead-ridden walls with chipping paint and dust, but when it ran tests on that paint it found that although lead was present, it wasn't at a dangerously high level.

New York bicycle accident leaves one dead

New York certainly has its fair share of bicyclists. Some ride for fun, while others do it as a way to commute or as part of their jobs. Given the extensive amount of traffic in the city, though, these bicyclists constantly find themselves at risk of being hit. A motor vehicle accident that involves a bicyclist can end in tragedy, too, given the fact that these riders lack the protections found in cars and trucks. Even those who wear helmets can be seriously injured or killed by a negligent driver.

Sadly, this was recently the case for one New York bicyclist. According to reports, the woman, who was a delivery driver, was struck by a semi-truck near West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue. The trucker initially failed to stop, but later returned to the scene after a witness confronted him about it. Even though the woman was wearing a helmet, she was taken to the hospital with serious head injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital. A witness said that the woman was thrown several feet into the air when struck by the truck.

How to protect your rights after a car accident

Driving around in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas is risky. Regardless of the care you take while driving, another driver's negligence could leave you and your passengers injured and facing medical bills, lost income, and other financial and emotional damages. It might be a good idea to become familiar with the do's and don'ts after involvement in a collision.

The steps you take immediately after the accident will play an essential role in your successful recovery of damages. The first thing to remember is never to leave the scene of the crash. Also, keep in mind that the other driver may try to convince you not to report the accident but rather resolve the issue between the two of you. If you agree, your decision might be one that can come back to bite you.

New study shines light on prevalence of negligent driving

There are numerous otherwise safe activities that can become extremely dangerous when conducted behind the wheel. Take a look around when you are driving. Chances are you will see someone engaging their phone, eating, grooming themselves, turning around to talk to others in the back seat or even dozing off. Any of these acts can cause a serious car accident. Far too often the victims of these motor vehicle accidents suffer serious injuries.

Sadly, despite laws against many forms of dangerous driving, the problem seems to be growing. A recent study found that 20 percent of individuals admit to having fallen asleep while behind the wheel, while nearly a third admit to checking their phones while driving. Another 24 percent of motorists admit to driving drunk. These numbers are staggering, especially considering that the real numbers of people who engage in these dangerous behaviors is likely higher because people oftentimes aren't honest when asked to admit to committing these acts.

We fight for truck accident victims and vicarious liability

The injuries suffered in a truck accident can be significant. Many victims end up with permanent disabilities, disfigurement and emotional trauma that lasts a lifetime. The financial ramifications can be overwhelming, too. Unexpected medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation costs can eat into an individual's savings and threaten him or her with financial ruin. This is unacceptable, especially when the accident in question was caused by a negligent trucker.

Fortunately, a personal injury lawsuit may lead to the recovery of compensation and provide victims with a sense of accountability and closure. Yet, as we have discussed previously on the blog, simply suing a trucker may not lead to the full recover a victim expects and deserves. This is because the judgment awarded can far exceed an individual trucker's ability to pay. This is why a vicarious liability lawsuit may be warranted. This type of claim, often pursued against a truck company, can reach deeper pockets that are more capable of covering the full extent of damages suffered.

More than 100 New York nursing homes receive one-star rating

There are a number of federal and state regulations in place that work to better ensure nursing home safety. While a nursing home's failure to abide by these regulations may be indicative of negligent care of their residents, simply because a nursing home complies with all regulations does not mean that it is adequately protecting its residents. This is because regulations set minimum standards, and even those who meet these low bars can provide substandard care.

This is often seen when staffing shortages put residents at risk. A recent rating of the state's nursing homes shows just how treacherous this has become. In part due to staffing shortages, 107 New York nursing homes received one out of five stars based on a rating model enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. To come to those rankings, the survey considers a number of factors including not only staffing, but also patient injuries, medication management processes and hospitalizations.

Higher speed limits lead to more fatal car accidents

Most car commercials and advertisements seem to have the same message -- faster is always better. While high speeds might look good in a commercial, they do not look so good for driver safety. According to experts, higher speed limits cause thousands of fatal car accidents.

Higher speed limits reduce travel times for New York drivers. However, shaving minutes off travel time comes at the cost of more fatalities. Despite the growing problem, it does not appear as if any government officials will be lowering speed limits any time soon.

Premises liability and the attractive nuisance

Property owners must keep their premises safe for those they invite onto their property. This often means that the property owner, which may include a grocery store or hospital, must take reasonable steps to ascertain and remedy hazardous conditions. Oftentimes slip and fall accidents that leave victims injured lead to premises liability cases because the property owner failed to take the appropriate steps to prevent harm to invitees. While no protections are generally afforded to trespassers, there is one major exception that can lead to legal action.

An attractive nuisance is something that is deemed to be fascinating to a child to the point that it lures him or her onto the property containing that nuisance. Examples include a pool, certain machinery and even stairs. Those who possess an attractive nuisance should take steps to protect children from the hazards those nuisances pose. For example, the owner of a swimming pool who knows that the toddler next door is drawn to it may need to fence in the pool to avoid liability.

Nursing home neglect and the comprehensive assessment

It can be difficult to make the decision to support a loved one as they transition into assisted living or some type of nursing home. Many New Yorkers find their minds put at ease, though, when they realize that state regulations delineate how these businesses should be operated, which is in a way that protects residents' safety. Sadly, though, far too often New York nursing homes fail to abide by these regulations. Innocent and unsuspecting individuals are injured and killed as a result.

One important regulation that is often overlooked is the resident assessment. When an individual is admitted to a nursing home, staff should conduct a thorough assessment of the resident to better determine the course of treatment that is to be provided to him or her. This comprehensive assessment should look at a number of factors, including physical and mental functioning, existing medical conditions and medical history, sensory impairments and prescribed medications.

Vicarious liability claims can increase chances of full recovery

People who act negligently often do so while performing their job duties. Whether it is a trucker who drives while fatigued or a nursing home employee who fails to properly supervise residents, these individuals' actions or inactions can lead to serious harm. Victims, of course, can take legal action against these individuals when negligence results in harm, but the truth of the matter is that oftentimes the damages suffered by victims are so extensive that individual wrongdoers are unable to fully compensate for them.

This is where a vicarious liability claim can prove beneficial. This legal theory allows an individual to pursue a lawsuit against an employer for the harmful negligence of its employee. Therefore, truck accident victims may be able to sue a truck company, and victims of nursing home neglect may be able to pursue a claim against the company that owns the nursing home in question. By doing so, victims may increase their chances of reaching deeper pockets that are much more likely to pay for the full extent of damage caused.

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