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What you need to know about garbage truck accidents

Garbage collectors are essential to our society. But while you can be thankful for sanitation workers, you can also recognize the risk of giant trash trucks driving through neighborhoods. These vehicles can cause serious injuries and even deaths when accidents occur. 

When these large and heavy vehicles that carry hazardous loads strike a pedestrian or another vehicle, the consequences can be catastrophic. For example, a garbage truck hit and seriously injured a bicyclist in Manhattan last year. It is important for everyone to know how these accidents occur and what to do when they do. 

Car accidents and vicarious liability

Many of the vehicles on New York's roadways are business vehicles. Semi-trucks, delivery trucks, vans, and even some passenger vehicles that are driven for business purposes can surround an individual while driving. Sadly, just because a person is driving for business doesn't mean that he or she will drive safely. Distracted, drunk and tired driving knows no bounds, meaning that even those who drive for a living can cause a devastating accident that leaves innocent and unsuspecting motorists seriously injured.

While a car accident victim may be able to recover compensation for his or her damages from the individual driver who caused the accident, the truth of the matter is that these negligent drivers often can't adequately pay for the harm they have caused. This means that victims are oftentimes left with judgments that they can't recover. If a negligent driver was performing job duties at the time of the accident in question, though, then a victim may be able to pursue compensation from his or her employer.

3 reasons plaintiffs often wait to explore wrongful death claims

For anyone coping with the death of a loved one, the days, weeks and months after the person dies can be a blur. If someone caused the death of your family member or friend, you may need to pursue legal options. In fact, because the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in the Empire State is two years, you likely need to act fast to seek compensation for your damages. 

In New York, only the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. If you are not the personal representative, you may need to work with the person protecting your legal rights. That, of course, takes time. Still, individuals often wait to explore filing a wrongful death claim. Doing so may be a big mistake. Here are three unwise reasons why plaintiffs delay action: 

Pedestrian deaths have spiked, cell phones partially to blame

It doesn't take a genius to realize that New York is filled with pedestrians. For many, walking is the best way to get to where they're going, while others must walk to find another mode of transportation, be it a taxi, rideshare or subway, to go further distances. While walking in our city shouldn't be a dangerous endeavor - after all, one would think that New Yorkers would be used to driving near pedestrians - this simple act can prove fatal. Sadly, a recent study has shown that pedestrians are at a greater risk of being injured or killed in car accidents than they have been at any other point in the last 30 years.

The study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that more than 6,200 individuals were killed in pedestrian accidents last year. Of course, some of these accidents are attributed to jaywalkers and those pedestrians who are distracted by cell phones. However, reckless and negligent drivers cause a significant number of them. While poor sidewalk and crosswalk infrastructure has contributed to these preventable deaths, smartphone use amongst drivers and the increasing utilization of SUVs seem to be playing an increasing role.

Understanding gestational diabetes

A recent study found that gestational diabetes is still a major problem for women around the globe. The BBC reported on a study where women with major risk factors of gestational diabetes did not receive proper screenings from doctors. Those risk factors include being of Black Caribbean or South Asian ethnicity and having a high BMI.

It is paramount that all pregnant women understand the dangers of gestational diabetes. Failure to take action could result in significant complications with the pregnancy, including the loss of the infant's life. Women who believe they could be at risk should inform their doctors and take the proper steps to lower their risk.

Medical malpractice during childbirth still too common

A lot of things can go wrong in health care. There's usually a lot at stake, too, meaning that improperly handled medical emergencies can result in serious injuries, reduced chances of survival and even death. You may think it would be easy to determine the exact reason why medical emergencies arise or patients are left harmed, but it can actually be a tricky thing to decipher. Oftentimes, medical professionals point to pre-existing medical conditions or other demographic issues as the main culprits in these instances. However, in at least some instances, these claims are inaccurately hide the real cause of harm: medical malpractice.

A USA Today investigation found that, especially in maternity wards, patients are susceptible to misdiagnoses, delayed medical treatment and safety measures that aren't adhered to by those who are treating them. After analyzing seven million records from 13 states, the investigation found 120 hospitals that have increased rates of severe complications during childbirth. The women at these hospitals are at double the risk of being harmed by seizures, heart attacks, strokes or require additional treatment, such as hysterectomies, due to inadequate medical care during childbirth.

Construction accident leaves New York man's leg severed

Working in the construction industry can be incredibly dangerous. Workers use heavy machinery that can crush them, they often perform their job duties at heights that can result in a devastating fall and many times they find themselves near moving traffic that can clip them and leave them seriously injured. While state and federal regulations seek to increase workplace safety and decrease the risks posed to construction workers, the truth of the matter is that these types of construction accidents continue to occur at an alarming rate.

Just look at one recent workplace accident on Long Island. There, a 39-year-old construction worker had his legs severed off below the knee after a steel plate pushed him into a hole and then landed on top of him. Police arrived on the scene and worked to stem the bleeding. The victim was taken to the hospital where he was in stable condition at the time of reporting.

Study: cell phone while driving still problematic

Distracted driving seems to be an ever-increasing problem throughout New York and across the country. Motorists are becoming far too confident in their ability to multi-task while driving, which means that they take their eyes off the road for disturbingly long periods of time. In these seemingly fleeting moments when their attention is diverted, these motorists can swerve into oncoming traffic, blow through a stoplight or fail to yield to a pedestrian.

Unfortunately, there's no end in sight when it comes to distracted driving. In fact, a recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway safety found that cell phone use amongst drivers is riskier than ever. While the study found that overall cell phone use has decreased, it also found that drivers are manipulating their phones by texting or surfing the Internet 57 percent more frequently compared to 2014.

Can doctors overlook stroke symptoms?

A stroke occurs when there is a sudden lack of oxygen in the brain, resulting in the immediate death of brain cells. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, and the third-leading cause of death. Despite this, many doctors continue to misdiagnosis or ignore stroke symptoms until it is too late. It is paramount for everyone to be aware of the signs of a stroke, which include:

  • Sudden fainting
  • Vision changes, such as double vision, blurriness and dimness 
  • Complete loss of vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty understanding other people's speech
  • Difficulty finding or speaking words
  • Loss of coordination or loss of balance
  • Extreme headaches
  • Sudden loss of strength
  • Tingling or weakness in the legs
  • Numbness, heaviness or weakness on one side of the body

Not properly treating a stroke can lead to a brain injury, loss of motor skills, permanent paralysis or death. When someone is already in the care of a hospital, a doctor should identify a stroke promptly. However, research suggests many doctors overlook the common signs. 

How often are commercial truckers abusing drugs and alcohol?

Sharing the road with commercial trucks involves inevitable risks, and this holds true even when the people operating those semitrailers are driving carefully and conscientiously. Unfortunately, many truckers find themselves engaging in all types of dangerous driving behaviors behind the wheel, with an alarming percentage of them admitting to abusing alcohol and drugs despite the obvious dangers associated with doing so.

How often are commercial truckers abusing alcohol and drugs, and how can their abuse of drugs or alcohol affect their driving ability?

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