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Schenectady Personal Injury Law Blog

What is hospital alarm fatigue?

You may find that even though you are in the hospital in New York to get well, the medical equipment around you frequently makes noises that keep you from resting. Alarms and alerts are essential for letting your health care providers know what you need, but they could also put you in danger. The professional journal American Nurse Today explains how.

The nurses who are monitoring your health understand that between 85 and 95 percent of the alarms do not indicate necessary actions. As they go through their day, that high number of alarms desensitizes them to the noise and flashing lights that may—but in their experience probably do not—indicate that you need immediate assistance.

Waivers, injuries and premises liability

Most parents in New York are probably familiar with the forms that they must sign in order for their children to participate in sports or play at a variety of different parks and gyms. These typically state that the company or organization is not liable for any injuries that occur while participating or using equipment or facilities. As The New York Times points out, a close examination of the indemnification clause may lead to some anxiety for the signer. It may appear as if the waiver prevents any lawsuit in the event of an injury. Indeed, parents who sue may face a significant challenge.

According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, negligence may lead to liability. “Reasonable care” are keywords when determining whether the organization may be negligent. Acting with this level of care involves behaving in a way that any reasonable or prudent person would in that particular situation. That means assessing any possible chance that an act or a failure to act would cause harm.

Before you buy a used car

Because the paper in the window says, “as is,” people may worry that the vehicle they are considering in New York will have some kind of age-related issue, such as a bad fuel pump or transmission. However, as The New York Times points out, there could be a design flaw that has been present since before the car ever made it to the original dealership floor. Major automobile defects such as faulty ignition switches and airbags have been making the news in the past two or three years, but even a small issue could cause a big traffic crash.

Dealers cannot sell a vehicle that has a known safety problem, but auctions and individual sellers are not bound by this law. However, each vehicle has a unique number—known as the vehicle identification number—that can be used to find out if there has been a recall on it. From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database, a buyer can find out not only if the vehicle is one that came from the manufacturer with a safety defect, but also whether it has ever been taken back to the dealer to have the issue fixed.

Why do you want a trial-ready lawyer after a personal injury?

Here in upstate New York, there are many attorneys who are perfectly capable of representing a personal injury suit with decent competence. But, do you really want just any attorney to represent you after an injury?

Of course not. When it comes to pursuing complete compensation for your losses and helping you achieve the fullest possible recovery, you deserve the best representation you can get.

Vehicle maintenance and trucker responsibility

While most commuters in New York probably do not stop and check their vehicles for any issues before heading to work for the day, expectations for commercial truck drivers are different. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, truckers must perform a thorough inspection before climbing into the driver’s seat each day. The commercial driver’s license manual requires them to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to review the condition of the vehicles.

After checking for puddles under the engine and transmission and inspecting hoses, a trucker should make sure oil, coolant and power steering fluids are at the appropriate levels. Belts should be snug without cracks or evidence of fraying. Gauges must be working correctly, and a reading of each should be noted. The operator should also examine lights and mirrors, brake and steering systems, tires and all connections for any issues.

Is your child’s favorite playground safe?

Keeping your children busy during the summer months can be a challenge, but parks and playgrounds in New York are a draw that may entice them away from screen-related activities. Before you turn them loose and sit down on a park bench to enjoy the sunshine, though, you should be aware of playground-related risks for brain injury.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that more children are sustaining traumatic brain injuries on playground equipment, CBS News reports. The statistics indicate that your child may be in particular danger on swings, monkey bars and jungle gyms. Although safety experts do not believe that this equipment is a hazard in itself, no child should hang upside down, and for this reason, monkey bars may be particularly dangerous. Age appropriate equipment and use are also factors in safety.

Moms need attention too: Rising U.S. maternal mortality rates

Although you may know some mothers in New York who opted for a home birth, most still head to the hospital, birthing center or other similar facility on the big day. Once there, you have every right to expect that the doctor and nurses will focus on your baby’s needs. However, your life is in their hands, too. At Bendall & Mednick, we have provided counsel to many families after negligence resulted in a serious or fatal health issue for a mother during or after childbirth.

Recent statistics indicate that maternal death rates are increasing in the United States, according to NPR, even as infant fatalities have reached an all-time low. Approximately 65,000 American mothers encounter life-threatening issues caused by pregnancy or childbirth, and between 700 and 900 die from them each year. You may expect your health care provider to let you know what symptoms and risk factors you should watch for after the birth, but many hospitals and birthing centers only send home information about newborns.

Cellphone use can currently be difficult to prove in a crash

In spite of laws forbidding the use of handheld electronic devices such as cellphones while behind the wheel, distracted driving continues to be a problem in New York. When a vehicle drifts across the center line into oncoming traffic or fails to stop at a red light, many people may immediately wonder if the crash was distraction related.

Law enforcement officers in New York cannot currently demand that a driver hand over a cellphone after an accident. If they do have a reasonable suspicion that texting was the cause of the collision, they still must go through a legal process in order to access any data from the phone. Privacy rights may easily be violated if authorities have the ability to take information from a person’s device. However, one company may be on the path to a solution.

Parents who suffer a spinal cord injury face a tough road

Being struck by a semitruck can lead to various types of injuries. When this type of accident occurs, families are often impacted in ways they never expected. Take a moment to think about how difficult life would be if a parent suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash.

The injury would affect the parent who is injured. It would also affect the other parent since that parent would have to pick up a lot more of the duties around the home and with the kids. It would affect the kids because they have to learn to live with a parent who might not be able to do as much as before the big rig accident.

Understanding product recalls and dangers to consumers

Many people in New York make their purchases based on cost, color or design of a product without worrying about safety. They may reason that since manufacturers are required to meet certain standards, anything on the market should not be dangerous. Unfortunately, many items make it from the manufacturer to the consumer with flaws that have the potential to cause injuries.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission explains that companies should issue recalls when a dangerous problem is discovered with one of their products. A manufacturer, distributor, retailer or importer must let this agency know when it comes to light that one of its products falls into one of the following categories:

  •          There is an undue risk that the product will lead to a serious or fatal injury.
  •          The product does not meet all applicable laws and safety standards.
  •          A flaw in the product has the potential to cause a hazard.

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