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Federal Case Helps Accident Victims to Recover from Trucking Companies

On July 31st, a federal judge in the Western District of New York reinterpreted a Congressional law to make it easier for truck accident victims to recover from trucking companies for injuries caused by accidents with the companies' trucks. The law in question was the Graves Amendment to the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Act. This Amendment allows companies that rent vehicles to avoid liability for any accidents caused by the person driving a rented vehicle. The New York federal judge ruled that this Amendment did not protect trucking companies from liability for the mistakes of their truckers. 

Steps to Take after a Traffic Accident

Traffic accidents are some of the most common ways that people find themselves interacting with the legal system. In fact, according to a report by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, there are almost 70,000 traffic accidents every year in New York City alone. Despite the prevalence of these accidents, many people do not know the proper steps to take immediately after a traffic accident. It is important to understand that people have a legal duty to remain on the scene after an accident, so it is important not to flee. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple things people can do right after the accident occurs to ensure their own safety and to prepare for any legal consequences of the accident. 

Homeowner Liability for Construction Accidents

It is common to assume that legal liability in construction site accidents involve only the injured party and the involved construction company. However, depending on the specifics of the accident and the exact location of the construction work, many other individuals and interests may be implicated.

Substance Abuse and Truck Accidents

Truck drivers face a work environment based largely around endurance. The longer drivers stay on the road, the more time they spend earning money. However, this push to endure leads to serious physical and emotional stresses. These stresses can thus create a temptation to begin abusing alcohol or other drugs during the drive to either cope with physical pain or to stay awake longer. This temptation can cause dangerous situations on the road and can put the lives of the truck drivers as well as other drivers in danger. A 2013 study examined this problem of truck driver substance abuse on a global scale and found some disturbing trends.

Bicycles and New York Pedestrian Accidents

The desire to be ecologically conscious has led to an increase in the number of cyclists on the roads. Streets have become more congested with cars, and cities are becoming friendlier to bicycles. However, this can be a serious danger to pedestrians, who are more used to watching for loud, large cars than they are for the slender, quiet bicycles.

New Ruling to Protect Accident Victims from Insurance Companies

Accident victims with employer-sponsored health care plans can rest a little easier after the Second Circuit, the appellate court that covers New York, ruled that insurers may not seek reimbursement from injured parties out of settlements related to personal injury cases. The case in question, Wurtz v. Rawlings Co., centered on the interaction between a New York state law and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, more commonly known as ERISA.
Specifically, the issue was whether ERISA overruled or "preempted" a New York law stating that insurance companies could not seek reimbursement from a personal injury lawsuit settlement for healthcare payments that the insurer made to the victim. 

NYC Distracted Driving Injuries and Prevention

Recent efforts across the country to combat distracted driving are in full force in New York City. According to a news story from ABC 7 New York, a recent initiative focused on putting a stop to texting while driving and other distractions that can result in deadly car accidents.
The city-wide initiative aimed to reduce serious distractions that plague drivers when they are behind the wheel. Whether it is sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, or simply inputting information into a GPS device, these distractions can cause serious car accidents. 

Construction Site Accidents and Child Safety Concerns

Construction sites can be hazardous to workers on the job, but they can also pose dangers to people in the immediate area of construction. A recent Manhattan construction accident highlights the potential for serious and catastrophic injury. 

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