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Schenectady Personal Injury Law Blog

New York truck crash and fire injure three

A motor vehicle crash involving a large truck has more deadly potential based on the size and weight ratio when compared to passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. Often in New York, the victims are the ones in the smaller vehicles. Accidents may also become a danger to first responders and other officials, and could even affect other people in the area.

A recent truck crash became a serious hazard to local residents and rescue personnel when the tractor trailer caught on fire after a collision with another vehicle. The flames may have been the result of a fuel leak, according to some sources. However, the official investigation by the Department of Transportation has not yet been completed, so the cause of the blaze and other factors in the accident are still unknown.

Your bicycle helmet may save your life

Warmer weather in New York prompts people to get out bicycles and travel on two wheels to enjoy the fresh air, get some exercise and take advantage of fuel-free transportation. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the most recent statistics show that this activity is not without its serious risks. In fact, bicyclists make up approximately 2 percent of annual traffic deaths.

Per the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 75 percent of these bicycle fatalities are due to head injuries. Bike helmets are designed to absorb the shock of a blow and can reduce or even eliminate the chance of an injury in a crash. Choosing the right helmet can make all the difference.

Are police pursuits worth the crash risks?

Like many New Yorkers, you probably want law enforcement to go after the bad guys, particularly when they are considered dangerous. However, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, a high-speed chase often turns vehicles into deadly weapons, as well, and anyone nearby could be injured or killed. In fact, statistics indicate that between two and nine people are killed every year in New York as a result of these pursuits.

The results of independent investigations suggest that this data has been significantly underestimated. For example, injury chases are not included in the numbers. So, if you had a family member who was injured by a vehicle fleeing the scene of a crime, but he or she was hospitalized and died some time after the initial incident was reported, this death would not be included in the statistics.

Providing safe access with ramps

People in New York who have mobility issues should not have to miss out on opportunities and experiences because of obstacles such as steps that prevent them from access. The U.S. Access Board notes that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires companies, organizations and municipalities to create ramps to allow those who cannot safely take a step up or down safe entry or approach. Without attention to certain details, though, the ramp could be just as hazardous as stairs or a curb might be.

Handrails are key features on ramps, but they must not be so close together that they keep a person using a wheelchair, motorized cart, walker or other form of assistance from maneuvering the slope. Rails should be included on both sides when the rise of the ramp is more than 6 inches, except on aisle ramps in some assembly areas, where they may be only on one side. If the handrail is connected to a wall, there must be at least 1.5 inches between the rail and the wall so that a person holding onto it does not scrape knuckles against the wall.

When a medical device threatens your health

When your health care provider recommends that you have a medical device surgically implanted, your concerns may be more focused on doctor errors than product liability. However, heart monitors, hip replacements and similar products are subject to design flaws, manufacturing errors and mislabeling, just as any other consumer good is. Our team at Bendall & Mednick have represented many people who suffered injuries or lost family members due to a faulty medical device.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains that a company should recall a medical device if there is evidence that it may cause you to develop a health problem, when it is defective, or both. Although the manufacturer of the medical device or its distributor may initiate a recall voluntarily, if the product is linked to injuries or deaths, the FDA has the authority to compel the company to issue the recall.

Is it serious? Minor health conditions of truckers and crash risk

In New York, you might encounter quite a few commercial vehicles on your commute every day, thanks to consumer demand for goods bolstering the trucking industry. While the growing need for increased shipping across the nation’s highways indicates a healthy economy, the physical strain from long hours on the road may be detrimental to the individual health of truckers. According to Science Daily, the lifestyle that comes from long days on the road and difficult shifts is linked to health conditions that compromise commercial vehicle operators’ ability to drive, as well as your safety on the roads around them.

Many truckers receive treatment for common health problems that arise from the nature of the job, such as sleep apnea, diabetes and high blood pressure. While issues from a serious condition may keep a trucker off the road, new research indicates that three relatively minor concerns could just as easily lead to a crash. In fact, you are much more likely to be in a truck accident with a driver who has diabetes in conjunction with high blood pressure and sleep apnea, even though no single one of these would prevent him or her from passing the required physical examination.

Ways you can help a family member suffering from a TBI

A traumatic brain injury may cause any number of changes for your loved one that do not disappear after he or she leaves the hospital. Most people in this condition require care and support, and if you plan to provide these at any level, there are things you can do that may make a significant improvement in quality of life, or at least minimize some of the emotional and mental effects of the brain damage. We at the law office of Bendall & Mednick have provided advice to many families dealing with TBIs after an accident.

The Brain Injury Association of America warns that loss of memory and the ability to remember new things can cause anxiety and depression. They can also make it difficult or impossible to function normally because of an inability to make plans and carry them out. You may be able to ease these impacts by making life predictable and obvious. A schedule with activities that are within your loved one’s capabilities and organization of the home with easy-to-understand labels may help in these situations. Also, integrating structure into the injured person’s life may boost self-confidence and independence.

Broken bones can lead to lifelong pain issues and nerve damage

If you were recently injured in a car accident or workplace accident, you may be grateful that the only injury you sustained was a broken bone. For many people, a broken bone can be set and allowed to heal, resulting in a full or nearly full recovery of function. In some cases, however, broken bones can cause secondary issues, such as nerve damage and chronic, long-term pain. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which can have lifelong impacts on a person, can develop after a broken bone due to trauma. Just when you think you're done healing, you start experiencing even worse pain.

If you believe you are experiencing a serious medical condition like CRPS as the result of an accident, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Much like brain injuries, which can take weeks or months for symptoms to develop, CRPS may not be evident immediately after an accident. Also like brain injuries, CRPS can impact a person's ability to work and quality of life forever. An attorney can help document your injuries and seek out appropriate compensation to offset the expenses and pain you experience as the result of a broken bone.

Is the hospital’s emergency department safe?

During a serious health event, you should not hesitate to seek medical attention, and you want to be able to trust the doctor who treats you. According to the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, although emergency department staff and health care providers have specific training for the hectic conditions that are often present, there are distinct risk factors to seeking care at the ER. In some cases, a physician who drops the ball may be guilty of negligence, but you may be able to mitigate the potential for a mistake.

Every doctor who examines you has a duty to provide the best level of care possible. If you are harmed because you did not receive the attention or treatment that any physician would have reasonably given, it may be a breach of duty. In that type of situation, the person responsible for your harm may be at fault.

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