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Schenectady Personal Injury Law Blog

Premises liability for business owners

As a New York business owner, you have to keep your eyes open for possible liability issues. Keeping your business safe for employees and customers is important to avoid legal issues. At Bendall & Mednick, we see many cases where an oversight by a business owner has led to customer injuries. In order to avoid such situations, you need to be aware of the aspects of premises liability.

Forbes explains that it does not matter who gets injured. Someone who is not authorized to be on your property may even have some protection under the law for any injuries sustained while on your property. Even if you rent your establishment, you are still going to be held liable for almost any injury that occurs on your property. It is your duty to make sure that you keep your property in good condition and provide safe areas for employees, customers and anyone else.

Smartphone recall illustrates consequences of a product defect

With the prevalence of cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices in nearly every American household, many people may assume these products are safe and harmless, including for children. For the most part, electronic devices are safe when used appropriately. However, a serious design or manufacturing defect may be devastating for consumers in Schenectady and elsewhere, especially if the affected product uses electricity or contains hazardous chemicals.

Both of these factors were applicable with the recent design defect in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Reportedly, a large number of these smartphones were catching fire when faulty or substandard batteries ruptured, leaked or overheated. Officials from the Samsung company issued a recall on the entire line of phones. The company went on to take more aggressive actions to protect consumers when it became evident that not all of the phones had been returned or exchanged. Some of these measures included sending an automatic update that would disable the phones, to charging consumers the retail price of the phone if they had received a refund but had not returned their device. Company executives also assured consumers that future devices would contain superior batteries that posed little risk to the public.

NFL news conference reaffirms serious injury fears

A previous blog post discussed the risk of degenerative brain disease resulting from football injuries. In this post, it was pointed out how concussions and even repeated minor hits to the head could spell out future health problems related to head trauma for those who played football. These complications may include memory problems, depression, aggressive behavior, early-onset dementia and death. Perhaps most frighteningly, it is not just professional NFL players who face the disturbingly common risk of degenerative brain disease. Those who played high school and college football in New York and elsewhere may receive enough injuries to result in long-term complications.

Recently, a news conference was held by National Football League officials to address this growing concern. The NFL asserts that all possible measures are being taken to ensure the safety of its players, including developing better helmets and safety equipment. However, helmets are not a guarantee that players will avoid head injuries. Football players often clash with each other or are thrown to the ground, resulting in repeated bumps to the head and minor concussions, regardless of helmet use.

Even a mild traumatic brain injury can derail a life

Brain injuries are some of the least understood ailments, when it comes to the general public. Even though we all understand that brain injuries are a serious and real injury, there is often something about them that is taboo and "other."

Perhaps it is something off-putting about the relationship between our brains and our personhood, the idea that an injury to the brain might make a person not quite themselves. For whatever reason, many people simply choose to not carefully and prudently consider the consequences of a brain injury.

How can you protect yourself against a serious pharmacist error?

When you and other Schenectady residents pick up a prescription from your local pharmacy, you should be able to trust that your medication has been prepared correctly and includes instructions that ensure you take the proper dose. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are only human, and can easily make a simple mistake that might put your health or life at risk.

ABC News states that billions of prescriptions are filled each year. Some are not filled correctly, and patients unwittingly take medication in unsafe doses or are even given the wrong drug. A printing error can result in instructions telling you to take a higher dose than your doctor prescribed, or you may not have been offered a consultation by your pharmacist before you took your medicine home. You might also suffer an adverse reaction from another drug you are taking, which your pharmacist did not know about.

What do pedestrians need to know about walking in winter?

Although many of us are already dreaming of spring, we are still looking at several more weeks of cold and snowy weather. The thought may be unpleasant to those who drive on icy roads, but can be even worse for Schenectady residents who walk to get around. If you walk to work, to the store or for exercise, you face numerous dangers in the winter from traffic and slippery walking surfaces.

As you might expect, one of the top dangers you could encounter on snowy or icy pavement is slipping and falling. Drivers may also be less likely to see you or could slide into you on an icy road. There are several measures you should take as a pedestrian during the winter, states WTOP News. To reduce your chances of slipping, flat-soled shoes with heavy rubber treads may give you a better grip when navigating an icy sidewalk or slushy parking lot. Use care when the weather is freezing and watch for black ice or puddles. Be cautious when walking over newly fallen snow, which may hide slippery frozen patches on the ground. Take extra care when entering buildings, which may have wet, slippery floors near the entrance.

Inconsistency in handoff procedures may endanger patients

In a recent blog post, we discussed how lack of sleep may affect the performance of doctors, especially those still undergoing residency training. Handoff procedures were briefly touched upon in that post, pertaining to how doctors with long shifts avoid frequently handing off their responsibilities to others. At Bendall & Mednick, we are aware of the ways in which handoff procedures may impact your safety. Whether in the hospital, being treated by a specialist or seeing your family doctor, the handoff is a crucial point of communication for medical professionals in Schenectady and elsewhere.

The handoff is what occurs when your medical staff changes shifts and new personnel take over your care. This could happen when your nurses and doctors at the hospital go home or when you are transferred to a different facility or from your regular doctor to a specialist. During a handoff, the new staff taking over your care should be given the latest updates on your condition and other important information. However, the New York Times points out that handoff procedures are not standardized across medical centers.

10 fast facts about a spinal cord injury

Your spouse was in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. As you walk down the new path that living with a person with this type of injury entails, you might have some questions. A basic understanding of spinal cord injuries can help you to know what to expect.

How could defective marketing harm you or your family?

You are probably aware of the ways a dangerous product might be harmful to you and other Schenectady residents. A toy that was poorly designed might injure hundreds of children across the country, or a batch of products that were improperly manufactured on the assembly line could malfunction and injure a small group of consumers. You might, however, not be aware of a third type of product defect that could result in harm, called defective marketing.

A marketing defect, explains the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School, occurs when packaging or instructions do not provide adequate warnings or directions on how to safely use a product. Many manufacturers assume consumers can use common sense when using a product. For example, you probably know you should not use a hair dryer at the same time you are taking a bath; most instructions for hair dryers include this warning, anyway.

Staying safe on New Year’s Eve

You may be planning a memorable celebration to ring in the New Year. While there is nothing wrong with having a good time with friends and family, there is always the chance of an accident when alcohol is involved. At Bendall & Mednick, we would like you and other Schenectady residents to not only have a great New Year’s celebration, but to stay safe as well.

According to the Huffington Post, the New Year’s holiday is associated with more drunk driving than any other holiday in America, including Independence Day. In fact, roughly half of all motor vehicle collisions during this time are alcohol-related. If you are planning to drink on New Year’s Eve, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to get a safe, sober ride home – whether that means having a designated driver, taking public transportation or calling a cab.

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