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Rochester Personal Injury Law Blog

The mysterious cases of wrongful death in American jails

The recent alleged suicide of Jeffrey Epstein raised eyebrows in New York. Many people believe that his death was no suicide, but rather, an act of silencing. Regardless of whether or not this is true, one thing is certain. Americans die in jails under mysterious and suspicious circumstances every year.

According to the New York Times, the death of a young woman in a small-town Texas jail is one such example. The recording on the young woman’s phone of the incident at the time of her arrest showed her refusal to cooperate with a trooper. This followed his alleged threat to use force following a traffic stop related to her failure to signal. The officer was indicted on perjury charges due to his untruthful report of what took place.

The "fatal four" common work site injuries

Injuries at work are quite common. However, when they happen on a construction site, they can be catastrophic.

To avoid such incidents, it is important to be aware of them. There are four common construction accident types that construction workers should be familiar with, as well as key facts related to worksite injuries. 

Black market safety cards despite NY construction death spike

New York is a dangerous state to be a construction worker, due in part to construction work in the Big Apple. According to NBC New York, at one point, 30 people died due to construction-related accidents during a two-year period in New York City. One of the reasons that safety continues to be a problem is the sale of black market safety cards.

When construction workers take on big projects, they are required to complete 10 hours of safety training. A card certifies that they completed this training. One result of buying fake cards is that many of the deaths and injuries in New York result from preventable actions workers would have learned about in training.

How one simple truck modification can save drivers’ lives

The deadliest crashes in New York and the rest of the world involve trucks and a smaller vehicle. One of the worst cases is when a car crashes into the side of a truck. Why is this worse than crashing into the back? At the side angle, cars are more likely to slide under the truck, wiping off the top portion of the car and killing drivers and passengers on impact.

According to a CNN article, underride crashes killed 750 people in 2015. This accounts for half of the deadly crashes that occur between cars and trucks. So, what is this one simple modification that can reduce road fatalities? Installing strong side guard rails on semi trucks could make all the difference.

Reversing Obama’s “no sue” nursing home rule could spell trouble

New Yorkers who have tried to board a loved one at a nursing home before may be familiar with “no sue” agreements. These require family members, the future resident or both parties to formally agree not to sue in the event of nursing home abuse, neglect or other allegations of mistreatment. People who refuse to sign are then turned away from the facilities.

Forbes notes that in 2016, the Obama administration put an end to this practice for nursing homes that relied on Medicare or Medicaid. Facilities that received funds from these sources were banned from presenting families with “no sue” agreements.

Should I get medical attention after an accident?

Traffic congestions, construction sites and inattentive pedestrians are a major source of frustration for many New York motorists. Though proper time management and responsible driving behavior can help alleviate some of the stress you experience during your daily commute, these actions are not always enough to prevent motor vehicle accidents. If you find yourself in a motor vehicle collision, one of the first things you should do is get medical attention, even if you feel fine. 

Brain and spinal cord injuries are common after car accidents, and their symptoms do not always present in obvious ways. Though you may feel a little sore, bruised or have a few scratches, it is very possible there is more serious trauma lurking in your body. The stress, excitement and adrenaline racing through your body from the collision can mask symptoms of injuries, as well. Without immediate and follow-up medical attention, what appear to be minor or nonexistent trauma can manifest into more serious auto accident trauma and injuries later on. 

Difficulties victims face with personal injury claims

When seeking reparations for catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, victims are often surprised by the red tape in New York. This red tape comes not only from state laws, but companies that learn to game these laws to protect themselves. The primary way companies do this is by outsourcing some functions to independent contractors who then take the fall when accidents occur.

One company that NBC Bay Area outed for doing this is Federal Express. FedEx uses third-party contractors rather than employees to deliver goods all across the United States. While the company claims to use software to ensure all independent contractors operate legally, some reporters question whether or not they act on findings. One company that slipped through the cracks led to a six-car pileup that killed two parents and a toddler and injured seven other people. The driver did not even have a valid driver’s license. FedEx’s defense? Not their employee, not their problem.

Effect of New York safety training on construction work accidents

In 2018, ABC News reported that the New York City construction training was far too easy to cheat. To combat the ongoing problem of construction site fatalities, the city made 10 to 30 hours of safety training mandatory for construction workers. Laws stipulated that the training should be monitored to ensure workers do not cheat. However, the website-served training was often not monitored at all. In fact, people were able to get an OSHA certification for Fred Flintstone the cartoon character just to prove a point.

Less than a year later, CBS reported that construction had become New York City’s deadliest occupation. And, even worse, construction accidents and the resulting deaths and injuries are all on the rise. City data shows that injuries are up by 221% compared to five years ago, while construction work fatalities increased by 33% during the same period. This further begs the question of whether or not the safety training is at all effective for preventing construction work accidents, especially those that lead to disability or death.

What to do if you only have minor injuries after a car accident

News outlets tend to only focus on major car accidents. Recently near New York, nine people suffered injuries from a multi-car crash that occurred on the Garden State Parkway. 

The majority of auto accidents that occur are relatively minor. They may only entail small fender benders where no substantial damage transpired. Many people think they can settle these small matters quickly, but the truth is that you want to follow all the same steps as if you had suffered significant injuries. 

Common nursing home injuries may indicate abuse

Many New York residents prefer to care for their elderly family members themselves, but sometimes health issues require medical care and equipment that is only available in a nursing home. While most nursing homes provide exceptional care, there are some instances of neglect and abuse. Nursing home injuries are usually related to simple accidents, but they are sometimes indicators of substandard care. Knowing the most common signs of abuse and neglect may help people protect their loved ones.

The National Center on Elder Abuse provides resources to help prevent the mistreatment of elderly people. According to the NCEA, some of the common signs of physical abuse include bruises, broken bones and abrasions. Sexual abuse may cause bruising or other injuries to genital areas. Nursing home injuries may also affect a resident's emotional and/or mental state. Some warning signs of mental or emotional abuse include depression, unusual behavior, anxiety or refusal to participate in standard activities. Weight loss, poor hygiene and bedsores may indicate neglect or insufficient care.

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Robert L. Brenna, Jr.Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2018

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Brenna Boyce PLLC Attorney at Law
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Rochester, NY 14614

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