Michael J. Gaffney Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY
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Staten Island Personal Injury Law Blog

What not to do after an injury-causing car accident

Another driver has just struck your motor vehicle, and suddenly, you feel as though you are living in a nightmare. You feel pain in your body, and on top of that, you are distraught over the damage that the other driver has caused you. You are also wondering what to do.

It is normal to feel a broad range of emotions following a car wreck that was not your fault. However, making irrational, emotion-fueled decisions after the accident may end up causing you further harm. Here are a few things to avoid doing following an injury-causing car crash in New York.

Hit-and-run pedestrian accident kills woman crossing street

Despite New York lawmakers and law enforcement officials making attempts to improve pedestrian safety in various ways, the streets are still rife with danger. Vehicles are rushing back and forth, there are many drivers whose living relies on getting as many passengers as possible and the hurried nature of the city has inherent risks. Still, drivers are expected to keep a close eye on pedestrians and to adhere to the law. When automobile-pedestrian accidents happen, they can cause serious injuries and death.

According to recent reports, a taxi crashed into a woman as she crossed the street, killing her. The 82-year-old driver hit the woman while she was in the crosswalk. The 77-year-old pedestrian was thrown under a parked vehicle. The driver continued driving. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she died. The driver was stopped. According to him, the light was green. There was evidence of the impact on the vehicle, with a cracked windshield and a piece of the woman's hair visible. The front of the vehicle was also damaged. The driver faces charges of failure to yield, not adhering to a traffic signal and other violations.

Three separate bicycle accidents cause injuries and fatalities

New York lawmakers are cognizant of the risks bicyclists face when sharing the road with motor vehicles in a busy and bustling city. To address the number of bicycle accidents with injuries and fatalities that have caused so much damage, city legislators have been actively promoting new laws and solutions. Unfortunately, the reason there has been such attention paid to this issue is the rising frequency of bicycle-auto accidents and, within a short period of time, there were three across New York City recently.

According to reports, three bicyclists were hit by automobiles in a short time span in Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. The riders in Staten Island and Brooklyn were killed. The Queens rider was hospitalized in critical condition. These accidents happened on the same day that the New York City Council passed legislation letting bicyclists adhere to pedestrian signals at intersections, where pedestrians are accorded a head start prior to traffic being given a green signal. Under the law, cyclists are still required to yield if there is a pedestrian. Mayor Bill de Blasio has been an ardent advocate for road safety and is set to receive the bill.

Older drivers distracted not by phones, but by the vehicle itself

One of the biggest safety concerns on the New York roadways is distracted drivers. This is frequently perceived as being due to smartphone use behind the wheel. Since devices are becoming more advanced and people of all ages seem to have one, it can spark auto accidents with injuries and fatalities. In the past, common catalysts for auto crashes were driving under the influence, recklessness, negligence and drowsy drivers. Today, distracted driving is a justifiable fear for a significant number of accidents.

However, distraction does not necessarily need to be limited to a handheld device. A new AAA study shows another form of distracted driving is especially troublesome for older drivers. In the study, seniors who get behind the wheel in newer vehicles are having problems with the technology available. It is generally situated in the dashboard causing them to be distracted. Although there are benefits to this technology in getting directions and for other needs, it is taking time for older drivers to grow accustomed to it and this is placing them and others in danger of an auto accident.

Rise of ride hail vehicles might increase fatal auto crashes

For New Yorkers, ride hailing and ride share services are viewed in a positive light as they provide a way to get around without needing to wait for public transportation or to drive. There are undoubtedly benefits to Uber, Lyft and lesser-known services. However, recent research indicates that there could be risks with these services including a rise in auto accidents with serious injuries and fatalities. For people who have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash, it is important to understand the details of this study to determine if a ride hailing vehicle was involved and if this can factor in with a legal filing for compensation.

Many cities and states across the nation experienced a reduction in convictions for impaired driving between 2012 and 2017. This has coincided with the rise of Uber and Lyft. For law enforcement, this is a positive as it has prevented many people from getting behind the wheel when they were under the influence. Still, research from the University of Chicago shows that there could be dangers along with that improvement. There might have been as much as a three percent rise in auto fatalities during that time.

New York intersections can be dangerous places

Traveling by motor vehicle or as a pedestrian in New York can be stressful. You might be one of many daily commuters who have to fight city traffic and try to get to work on time despite bumper-to-bumper congestion. Maybe you're among the few who live close enough to walk to work or simply like to get outdoors for a brisk walk on your lunch break. It's imperative to remain alert and cautious, no matter which form of travel you choose.

Intersections are road locations that can be especially dangerous. Practicing safe habits may help you avoid injury. However, you can only control your own actions, not the behavior of others. This means that no matter how safe and cautious you are when you're at an intersection, another person's negligence can place you at immediate risk for injury.

Study examines common areas of medical misdiagnosis

New Yorkers who are having a medical issue, illness or condition will visit a doctor or a hospital for an examination to find the problem and try to solve it. Whether it is a minor or major health concern, there is an expectation that the accurate medical diagnosis will be made. If it is not, the problem can worsen. A misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis or a diagnosis that is completely missed can lead to serious health complications and even death. For people who have been impacted by these egregious medical mistakes, it is imperative to have legal advice on how to proceed with a lawsuit.

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has released a new study showing that the most frequent reason serious medical errors are made is when there is an inaccurate diagnosis. There are as many as 80,000 fatalities in hospitals every year because of misdiagnosis. Approximately 12 million people will be misdiagnosed annually. One-third will lead to a serious medical problem, permanent side effects or a fatality. In the study, malpractice cases were accrued from a database and analyzed. It gauged the diagnostic mistakes that did the most damage.

When can mowing your lawn cause fatal motorcycle accidents?

Yard work is just one chore that comes with homeownership. Mowing the lawn may seem to be a task that bothers no one. However, what people in New York may not know is that grass clippings left on the street after mowing the lawn may make the road dangerous for motorcyclists. In fact, grass clippings left on the road can be as dangerous as ice on the road for motorcyclists.

This is because grass clippings make the road slick. Motorcyclists lose traction and can no longer control their vehicles. This could lead to motorcycle accidents in which the motorcyclist is injured or even killed.

Summer is a peak time for pedestrian accidents in New York

While pedestrians are a common site on Staten Island, summertime sees an increase in pedestrian activity across New York. When the weather is pleasant, people are more apt to want to take a walk, jog outside or ride their bikes. However, it is essential that motorists pay extra attention to pedestrians in their vicinity in the summer months, to avoid causing a pedestrian accident.

The New York State Department of Transportation has implemented a new public awareness campaign to remind motorists that there are more pedestrians on the roads in summer than any other time of the year. Pedestrians have the right of way in many situations. Motorists should not drive aggressively around pedestrians at intersections or honk their horn at them. Pedestrians can cross the intersection, and motorists will still have time to turn. The state has also installed bright yellow signs at crosswalks without stoplights or stop signs, to make motorists aware that pedestrians may be present.

Who is responsible for outdoor slip-and-fall accidents?

People in New York may think that now that summer is here and wintertime ice and snow are a thing of the past, that people generally won't suffer a slip-and-fall accident outdoors. However, it is entirely possible to encounter outdoor conditions leading to a slip-and-fall accident even in the summertime. Therefore, it is important to know who may be held responsible for a slip-and-fall accident, should the accident victim choose to pursue a premises liability claim.

For example, a person could fall outside due to inadequate outdoor lighting in parking lots or stairwells. If conditions are too dark, a person might not notice uneven surfaces. When this happens, the property owner may be responsible for the injuries the slip-and-fall accident victim suffered if it can be shown that the property owner either knew or should have known that the lighting on their premises was inadequate and did not do anything to fix it.

Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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