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New York City Personal Injury Blog

Latinos suffer highest rate of work injuries

It may not take a study to show that some jobs are inherently dangerous. Most people in New York can probably guess that construction, farming and truck driving are among jobs that claim the most lives across the country. Jobs that include working from heights, exposure to harsh chemicals or operating heavy equipment are usually categorized among the most risky. However, new research shows that work injuries can also be categorized by race and ethnicity.

For example, roofing, the occupation with the highest fatality rate, has a workforce that is predominantly Latino in many areas of the country. African Americans also suffer more workplace injuries than average, including in the roofing industry. To roofers and other construction workers, injuries are so common that many are not reported. The study suggests that all high-risk workers need more safety training and improved standards of safety.

Wrongful death claim possible after man dies in ER

A New York hospital is facing tough questions after a man died while waiting for treatment. The 54-year-old man had been brought to the emergency room after he was found unconscious on the floor in a convenience store. At first, he refused to get into the ambulance, but eventually the man arrived at the hospital, got off the stretcher of his own volition and sat down in a wheelchair. About two and a half hours later, the man was found dead in the waiting room. The hospital and the travel nurse it contracted may be facing a wrongful death claim.

Emergency room procedures begin with a nurse assessing the condition of a patient to ascertain how urgently he or she needs attention. To determine the urgency, the nurse takes vital signs and asks a series of questions, then ranks the patient on a scale of one to five, with one being an extreme emergency. The travel nurse on duty ranked the man a four and wheeled him into the waiting room where he died later that evening.

Doctor claims birth injuries were caused by contractions

A complicated birth presents many unknowns for parents in New York and beyond. Birth injuries are possible if supreme care is not taken when delivering a child in a high-risk situation. Following delivery, the child may be carefully examined and monitored for signs that an injury has occurred. For one family in another state, a successful malpractice lawsuit will help them pay for the medical treatment their daughter has endure in the ten years since her traumatic birth.

The mother came to the hospital to have her labor induced, but during the delivery, the child's shoulders became lodged in the birth canal. Because the doctor apparently did not notice that the baby's shoulders were stuck, he asked for assistance in using suction to force the baby out. When the baby was delivered, the force of the process damaged the nerves from her spine to her right arm. As a result, the child has limited movement in her arm, even ten years later.

Family files medical malpractice suit for fatal dental procedure

Sometimes surgical procedures are risky, and patients and their families in New York understand the higher possibility of injury or death. However, when death results from a routine, seemingly simple surgery, families are often left stunned and confused. Parents in another state are devastated after the death of their vibrant teenage daughter during a dental extraction. After denying their intent to sue for medical malpractice, the parents have reconsidered.

The 17-year-old went to an oral surgeon to have her wisdom teeth extracted. Apparently, something went wrong during the first minutes of the procedure, and she went into cardiac arrest and died. The lawsuit filed by the girl's parents accuses the dentist of not following proper procedure for the administration of anesthesia and failing to adequately monitor the patient while she was sedated. These allegations stem from conclusions drawn in a Board of Dentistry investigation of the incident.

Limited visibility may cause truck accidents

Tractor-trailers are enormous vehicles, which makes it difficult for the drivers to see everything that is around them. They are also loud because of the engine size required to haul their heavy loads. Since the vehicle may impair both the vision and hearing of a driver, tractor-trailer operators must be especially cautious to avoid truck accidents. Investigators in New York are working to determine if something more than the normal noise and height of a truck prevented the driver from realizing he had struck a pedestrian.

According to witnesses, a person was crossing the street when the truck came through the intersection. Witnesses heard a loud noise as the truck continued down the street, leaving the hooded and bloody body on the side of the road. Onlookers chased the truck, shouting for the driver to stop, but to no avail. Investigators determined that the victim was a 40-year-old woman, although she was not identified. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man suffers critical work injuries in 50-foot fall

Construction workers in New York surely do not like to hear about fellow workers being injured on the job. Even if those work injuries took place in another state, such accidents are stark reminders of the constant danger of working in high places around heavy equipment. Such an accident in a midwestern state has left a worker fighting for his life.

Working as a contractor on the project, the man fell to the ground from a crane about 50 feet high. The accident happened around 9 a.m. Employees who witnessed the fall said the man was not wearing a safety harness, but the Manufacturing and Labor Communications Manager would not confirm that information.

New York school faces wrongful death action after student suicide

In an all too common act, one young girl sought a way to permanently escape the incessant harassment and bullying she endured at school. Once an active and kind child, the girl faced daily taunting in her New York middle school. On the day after Christmas, she took her own life by hanging. One year later, the girl's mother has chosen her own course of action and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school her daughter attended.

The seventh grader apparently complained to the school on numerous occasions that she was being bullied and cyber-bullied by classmates. Apparently, high school students also joined in the taunting. By law, the school is required to document and report every incident of bullying. However, no action was taken to stop the abuse.

Medical malpractice reform may be on its way

Top lawmakers and some members of the incoming presidential administration are planning sweeping reforms in the country's health care system. One major change they propose involves medical malpractice, which they feel is reaching a state of crisis. According to proponents of reform, lawsuit abuse in New York and across the country wastes hundreds of billions of dollars as doctors order expensive, unnecessary tests to protect themselves from being sued.

The reform would include limits on damages awarded and raising the burden of proof required of supposedly injured patients. Advocates of the changes cite evidence that caps work. They say states that have enacted such reforms have seen liability insurance rates decrease. Such states have seen increases in the numbers of doctors available to treat patients, and better patient access to specialists.

New York truck accidents may decrease with speed limiters

Numerous government agencies are waiting to see how the new president will handle the safety regulation they have been trying to impose since 2006. While the goal of the new rule is to reduce truck accidents and their devastating consequences, some fear it will also slow economic growth, which President-elect Trump vows to protect. Drivers in New York and across the country recently made their opinions known by submitting comments to the agencies involved.

Last summer the National Highway Safety Administration and others published a proposal to require speed limiters to be installed in every newly manufactured truck in the country. In fact, some safety advocates even want older trucks to have the devices which prevent the trucks from traveling faster than a certain speed, for example 68 mph. Independent truckers, however, submitted comments objecting to the proposal, partly for the economic damage it would do to their companies, but also for safety reasons.

Preventing work injuries requires a multi-level approach

When workers in New York are hurt on the job, they may spend weeks or months recovering. Many never overcome the pain of their injuries, but they may agree that they are luckier than others whose injuries were too severe to survive. Most work injuries are preventable, but the prevention must begin long before a worker straps on his or her protective equipment.

Safety advocates recommend a multi-level approach to accident prevention, beginning with recognizing those areas of a job site that are potentially dangerous. Since the majority of workplace injuries involve falls or falling objects, managers can work to identify tasks that are unnecessarily performed from heights. Additionally, overexertion causes illness and injury on the job. This is easily preventable by monitoring the workload and the factors that may quickly fatigue a worker, such as heat.