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Schenectady Personal Injury Law Blog

Icy sidewalks and business liability

Winter weather and fierce storms make it challenging for New York residents to travel safely, either by vehicle or by foot. Icy conditions can cause havoc for business owners, as they must ensure their property is safe for patrons and passersby, and this means keeping sidewalks as safe as possible.

According to FindLaw, property owners can be liable if someone sustains an injury from slipping or falling on a patch of ice. In situations in which the sidewalk is government property, the injured victim can file a claim with the at-fault agency. Owners are required to do the best they can to keep their property safe, which may include plowing the sidewalks and driveways, laying out salt or scraping off large pieces of ice.

Common types of birth injuries

For many upcoming parents in New York, the months and days leading up to the birth of a new baby are filled with exciting expectations of a cute bundle of joy. Unfortunately, not all births go according to plan. Whether due to unexpected circumstances or medical mistakes, there are certain birth-related injuries that are more common than others.

According to FindLaw, two common injuries are Brachial Palsy and Cerebral Palsy. In Brachial (Erb's) Palsy, there is injury to the bundle of nerves that supply the arms and hands. This can result in paralysis, loss of sensation or limited movement in the upper extremities. In Cerebral Palsy, injury to the brain occurs, resulting in a range of symptoms such as changes to muscle tone, issues with body movements, vision problems, trouble with speech or hearing issues.

Winter conditions and driving

With upcoming storms and extreme cold temperatures in New York and surrounding areas, drivers need to be aware of safe driving procedures in inclement weather in order to avoid minor and serious car accidents. Driving defensively is important this time of the year, and taking extra caution on the roads is imperative. 

FindLaw reminds drivers most accidents that occur in the winter are preventable by practicing safe habits such as leaving extra room in between cars, not speeding and preparing vehicles for winter conditions. Drivers who are irresponsible in snowy and icy conditions may be found liable for accidents they are involved in. Negligence may be determined if the driver mishandled a four-wheel drive vehicle, did not service their vehicle for the conditions or did not make driving accommodations based on the weather circumstances.

8 frightening statistics about childhood injuries

As a mom, you work hard to keep your kids safe. You have three children and you're home with them most of the time. You invested in safety equipment for the house. You don't let them play dangerous games. You read about product recalls and risks within the home.

The statistics

Nurses and medical malpractice

While doctors are often the target for medical malpractice in New York, nurses can also be named in medical negligence claims. Because they are involved in many aspects of patient care, there is a lot of room for error that can potentially lead to injuries or death.

Sanford-Brown states there are common errors that nurses, especially new ones, make. Mistakes involving medication is a big one, and this can lead to major complications. A nurse must not only ensure the correct medication is being given to the right patient, but the drugs must also be:

  • Dispersed at the right time
  • Given in the correct dose
  • Administered via the right route, such as intravenously or orally 

Why do some brain injuries take so long to cause symptoms?

After a car accident on the New York roadways, you may not think about mentioning your headache to the doctor. You may not have hit your head, and surely the trauma of the collision was enough to cause this temporary issue. However, whiplash can force your brain to bounce against your skull, damaging the tissues and blood vessels. According to WebMD, if the trauma causes a subdural hematoma, your headache could be a sign of a developing issue rather than one you will soon recover from.

When there is bleeding between your brain and skull, the blood can gradually fill that limited space and create pressure. Days or weeks later, you could find yourself dizzy and nauseated, weak or confused. In fact, often, a slow bleed takes about two weeks for noticeable symptoms to develop. You could even become unconscious, or have seizures.

What is a design defect?

You took a medication your doctor prescribed, and while you were using it, you had a terrible reaction that was completely unexpected. When you read the label, everything seems to be in order, but you believe that the problem came from the design of the drug. If you want to take your defective product design case before a judge or jury in New York, you will need to prove that the medication was manufactured according to plan, but the plan itself had a flaw in it.

FindLaw explains that the company that produced the medication may be held liable for the pain and suffering it caused you if there was an error in the plan for producing it. For example, if the list of active ingredients in the medication included too large a dose of one ingredient, and every pill was manufactured with too much, then the judge or jury would probably agree that it is a design defect. 

What if I suffer an injury on a friend's property?

Accidents happen all the time, and sometimes they happen with devastating consequences. If you recently suffered an injury on someone else's property, especially the property of someone you know, you may face an internal conflict about whether or not to pursue legal action.

This is reasonable, and indicates that you are not the type of person looking to sue anyone for just anything. America is a country that values the right of individuals to sue other individuals, and often this can lead to headline-grabbing frivolous lawsuits. However, it is important to acknowledge when you suffer a legitimate injury and deserve fair compensation.

How many lives are lost to distracted driving?

Auto crashes have many causes and no two accidents are exactly the same. This blog has approached this topic from various angles, but it is important for drivers to understand just how widespread distracted driving is and the number of lives that this behavior claims per year. Sadly, some people do not respect the responsibilities they have as a driver and fail to pay attention to the road, putting lives at risk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that more than 3,470 people passed away in distracted driving accidents throughout 2015. Moreover, it is estimated that 660,000 people use an electronic device, such as a cell phone or tablet, while operating their vehicle in the day. Aside from the high number of fatalities, distracted driving is also responsible for many injuries. Over 2015, 391,000 people sustained an injury due to driver distractions. Many drivers are aware of cell phones and other common sources of distraction. However, it is essential to bear in mind that all sorts of behaviors, such as turning the radio station, eating or drinking, and talking with others in the vehicle can lead to distracted driving.

Faulty brakes and other car crash causes

Many different factors can play a role in traffic wrecks, from a driver’s use of drugs or alcohol to their disregard for speed limits and other traffic laws. However, some accidents are caused by faulty brakes and inadequate vehicle maintenance. Sometimes, drivers may not have been able to prevent a freak accident that occurred due to a manufacturing error. However, others are the result of negligence, such as a truck accident caused by a trucking company’s failure to maintain vehicles properly.

As a driver, having your brakes give out can be terrifying. Being unable to stop your vehicle can lead to a serious accident that claims lives and leaves victims with significant injuries. Likewise, it can be very frightening for a driver to see another vehicle heading towards them at a fast rate, the driver unable to stop. Accidents can be caused by a host of other vehicle problems, from blown tires to turn signals that have burnt out.

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