New York City Personal Injury Blog

The most common factors in car accidents

In New York, the police determine who is at fault after a car accident. To do this, they need to know the cause behind the crash. Most accidents actually involve many factors. The following are just a few of the most common causes.

First is human error or negligence. Drivers may become distracted behind the wheel -- calling, texting or using the navigation system. Activities like eating, drinking, using makeup and talking with noisy kids in the car can also take one's attention from the road. Some drivers may become negligent because they are lost or they follow the road rules of another state (for example, making a right turn on red is not allowed in all states).

Zoo volunteer has thumb detached by orangutan

New York residents who work in zoos know that certain animals can be dangerous. In December of 2018, an intern at a North Carolina zoo was killed by a lion that somehow left its enclosure. In mid-January 2019, another incident, though non-life-threatening, occurred; a volunteer at the Toledo Zoo had her hand bitten and her thumb detached by a 14-year-old orangutan.

The volunteer was with two paid staff members while she was in the area where orangutans are fed. This area is closed to visitors, so the public was in no way endangered. During the feeding, the orangutan reached out through the mesh enclosure at the volunteer. The incident was over in a matter of seconds, but the volunteer still needed to be taken to the hospital for treatment.

How to prevent a large truck crash

In 2016, there were 3,986 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks throughout the United States. Of those who died in such crashes, 66 percent were in passenger vehicles while only 17 percent were large truck occupants. Although large truck crashes can result in serious injuries and deaths to people on New York roadways, there are ways to avoid them. One way to do this is to keep an eye on traffic up to a half-mile ahead.

Doing so may make it easier to anticipate the actions of a larger vehicle and others on the road. Vehicles that are directly behind a commercial vehicle should not follow too closely. Ideally, a person will keep his or her car at least 500 feet behind a commercial truck. As weather and road conditions can play a role in an accident, drivers should take precautions in construction zones or times of rain, fog or snow.

Not all traumatic brain injuries are the same

The brain is a very complicated organ that performs many functions. It controls life sustaining activities like breathing, while also managing physical movements, language skills, creativity, problem-solving abilities and more. Because we require our brains to complete such a wide variety of functions, it can be life-altering when a brain is injured. However, not all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the same.

Different kinds of force and amounts of force can cause different kinds of injuries to a brain. This can result a wide variety of symptoms which can be expressed. Symptoms can also vary based on the part of the brain that received an injury. With so many variables at play, it is safe to assume every person’s experience of a TBI is unique. However, TBIs are generally categorized by type and severity.

Dump and concrete delivery truck crash rates for 2016 released

Dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks in New York and across the U.S. are getting into more accidents. Their accident rate went up 9 and 9.6 percent, respectively, from 2015 to 2016 with 8,206 serious dump truck crashes and 838 serious concrete delivery truck crashes in all. This is according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (2016 is the latest year for which statistics are available).

By serious accidents are meant accidents where the truck was towed away. As for crashes that resulted in injuries, their numbers went up 2.7 and 3.8 percent for dump trucks and ready-mix delivery trucks, respectively. There were 5,483 injury crashes involving the former. The fatal accident rate declined in the case of dump trucks, though only slightly (369 to 367), while it went from 33 to 38 for concrete delivery trucks.

Bill seeks to reduce truck accident fatalities

Many safety advocates in New York are urging increased regulations to lower the risk of a particularly deadly type of trucking accident. Underride crashes occur when a passenger car slides under the carriage of a large commercial truck, often crushing or severing the top of the car. These accidents can occur at the rear, front or side of the truck, and they are very likely to be fatal. Associated with severe head and neck injuries, underride crashes have even resulted in decapitations.

In 2011, there were 260 deaths in underride rear-end trucking accidents, 19 percent of all fatalities linked to two-vehicle accidents between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. As a result of the number of severe injuries and deaths, underride guards are now mandated on semi-trailers. However, many have criticized the current standard as insufficient to provide proper protection, and no underride guards are mandated on the front or sides of these large trucks.

Will new law improve high rate of construction accidents in NYC?

New York is a city that is always rebuilding itself - literally. There is construction going on in all of the boroughs year-round. The construction industry offers many New York City residents an opportunity to make good money - but at a price.

Everyone knows that construction work can be dangerous, especially in a densely-populated city full of skyscrapers. However, the total number of deaths and injuries at New York City construction sites has been significantly increasing for the past five years.

Chain reaction car accident leaves 1 dead in New York

The 24-year-old man who crossed the center line and caused the crash left his BMW and fled on foot. He later returned and was arrested and charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, criminal possession of a controlled substance and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death.

Individuals who are injured in car crashes may be entitled to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering or other damages. In a case where a person is killed in a motor vehicle accident, surviving family members may have a claim for wrongful death. An attorney might be able to help by analyzing the facts of the case and identifying parties who potentially have liability. The attorney might gather evidence or depose witnesses in preparation for trial or attempt to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault parties' insurers. If the case cannot be settled, filing a lawsuit might be the next step.

Source: NBC New York, "1 Dead in Violent Chain-Reaction Hit-Run Crash in the Bronx", Oct. 1, 2018

Push is on to mandate crash avoidance systems in trucks

In 2016, 4,300 Americans were killed in car accidents involving semis and other large trucks, which is a 28 percent increase compared to 2009. Despite this, commercial trucks in New York and across the U.S. aren't required to have collision avoidance technology.

According to a report by The Kansas City Star, the National Transportation Safety Board has repeatedly requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandate collision avoidance technology in commercial trucks. However, the agency has failed to do so. As a result, only a small portion of large trucks currently traveling U.S. roads have advanced safety technology systems on board.

Hit-and-run driver sentenced in New York

A 23-year-old New York man was sentenced to five years of probation on Sept. 18 for leaving the scene of a traffic accident that claimed the life of a motorcyclist. The Rome resident will spend the first six months of his sentence at the Oneida County Jail according to reports. He was originally charged in May with leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury and reckless driving.

The accident took place on the eastbound lanes of the New York State Thruway near the Town of Westmoreland on May 27, 2017. Police reports indicate that a motorcycle carrying two people struck the rear passenger side of a Hyundai sedan that changed lanes directly in front of it. Emergency services personnel arriving at the scene found both the motorcycle's rider and passenger badly injured after being ejected in the crash. The rider was rushed to a nearby trauma center, but he succumbed to his injuries five days later.

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