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Accidents happen

Construction sites have a reputation for being hazardous places to work. Let’s face it, when heavy equipment, loud machinery and high-powered tools are a part of your everyday work environment, the potential for accidents to happen is forever looming. Construction accidents account for 20 percent of all workplace fatalities despite the industry making up approximately six percent of the workforce.

Major and minor accidents happen on a daily basis, leaving people injured or unable to take care of themselves and their families. These events serve as reminders to us all that terrible mistakes can happen when rules and safety regulations aren’t followed.

While there are regulations and laws in place to protect construction workers and citizens interacting with these sites, the proper procedures aren’t always followed. In New York City earlier this year, a construction worker was killed while working on the Columbia University expansion project. The contractor had been cited on multiple occasions prior to this fatal accident.

What to do if you’re injured on the job

The state of New York has unique laws in place to protect the safety of construction workers. If proper safety precautions or negligent maintenance and inspection regulations aren’t followed, the construction company should be held responsible. If an accident was caused by defective equipment, the manufacturer may even be at fault. With falls from scaffolding being the most common accidents, it is important to consult an attorney immediately after a fall to ensure you are represented fairly.

If you or someone you know has incurred injuries around a construction site, you’re entitled to medical expenses and lost wages, not to mention possibly substantial insurance settlements from the at fault company. Hiring a professional construction accident lawyer in New York can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Death of Alzheimer’s patient may point to neglect

Earlier this week, the Kansas City Star reported that a nursing home resident had gone missing. That was approximately noon on Sunday. The man’s body was found at 9 p.m. a mile and a half away. Temperatures soared to over 100 degrees that day, and although autopsy results are not available, it’s safe to say that a 75-year-old nursing home patient should not have been wandering around.

Although he was wearing an ankle monitor, the device did not connect to a central tracking location monitored by employees. It only sounds an alarm from the bracelet. It was not the first time he had wandered away.

The memory loss, dementia and confusion associated with the disease require the staff to be on their collective toes at all times while Alzheimer’s patients are in their care.

Warning signs of negligence

Residents wandering unattended is one of the big telltale signs of negligence. If you have a loved one in a senior facility, you should know and be on the lookout for other indications.

  • Messy living conditions
  • Lack of basic hygiene
  • Lack of care for medical problems
  • Unexplained death of a resident
  • Injuries or explanations that don’t make sense
  • Frequent “illnesses”
  • Suddenly withdrawn or non-communicative
  • Unusual or unexplained behavior
  • Resident becomes emotional or agitated easily
  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Bed Sores

What to do if you suspect nursing home neglect

If you suspect that a nursing home is being negligent, the best thing you can do is hire experienced legal representation. If litigation is necessary, the facility will have lawyers who will do everything possible to mitigate liability. You will need an experienced nursing home negligence law firm that will advocate for

What is Municipal Liability?

Municipal liability deals exclusively with the rights and responsibilities of municipalities, including cities, states, towns or counties. According to municipal liability laws, city, town and state officials and workers are responsible for ensuring that residents and visitors are kept safe while using public property including

  • Streets
  • Highways
  • Sidewalks
  • Public transportation
  • Public parks
  • Swimming pools
  • Government buildings
  • Schools

Other types of municipal liability cases

Because it is the responsibility of the municipality to keep roadways safe, some car accidents fall under municipal liability. Potholes, inadequate guard rails, fallen trees and defective traffic signals can be the cause of such accidents and you can make a municipal liability claim.

If you are injured due to unnecessary use of force by police, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and punitive damages. By the same token, if you are in the care of government-operated paramedics or EMS and receive further injuries during that time, you may be in a position to pursue a municipal liability case.

Hiring a municipal liability attorney

Any time people are injured while on public property, they may choose to file a lawsuit against the municipality for negligence. While you have up to three years to pursue most personal injury lawsuits in New York,  you typically only have one year and 90 days to file a personal injury lawsuit against a municipality.  Furthermore, before you file a lawsuit, you must first file a Notice of Claim against the municipality within 90 days of the occurrence.

Because the time is limited to only 90 days, if you’ve been injured on public property, you should seek the counsel of an experienced New York municipal liability attorney who, through experience, can help you determine if you have a valid municipal liability case and act quickly and decisively on your behalf.

Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney

For the most part, compared to other states,New York’s Estate Powers and Trust Law is more narrow in the damages it allows for in wrongful death cases. An experienced wrongful death attorney in New York will understand the limitations of the law and the extent to which the family can sue for compensation.

What is “wrongful death”?

Wrongful death is defined as a death that is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another and that serves as the basis for a civil action for damages on behalf of the decedent’s heirs. Examples of wrongful death can include car accidents, work-related accidents and medical malpractice, just to name a few.

What you’re entitled to

The untimely death of a loved one affects a family in many ways. Dealing with loss and family issues should be the priority. That being said, there are always financial issues that come into play. Even though you may have a life insurance policy, the party responsible should be held accountable. This includes providing full compensation to the victim’s family for

  • Loss of financial support
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Court fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Any other expenses related to the case

In cases of recklessness and/or depravity, punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant, are allowed. In other states, the interpretation is much broader and beneficiaries can sue for loss of affection, companionship and support.

Hiring an attorney

The process of a civil liability case associated with wrongful death is complicated not only by the statutes put forward by the state, but also because of the emotional factors involved. An attorney will help you navigate the law, keeping your family’s best interest at heart, and will work to achieve the desired outcome.

State of New York Explores Ways to Expedite Medical Malpractice Cases

There are more medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the state ofNew York than any other state in the country. This creates a backlog of cases. In some instances, it will take years for the case to go to trial.

New York also leads the country in the amount paid in claims. On average, a medical malpractice claim in the state paid more than $454,000, compared with the national average of $334,000.

The view of the court is that moving cases through the courts more quickly will be a winning proposition for all parties concerned. For the courts, it will reduce the backlog of cases. The reputation of the defendant will most likely suffer some damage with having a pending malpractice lawsuit, but moving the case through limits that damage. For the plaintiff, speeding up the process eliminates the worry of whether they will receive compensation for lost wages, bills and pain and suffering.

The court’s push to settle

For the most part, the state is placing emphasis on settling during the pretrial stages of the case. Several options are being explored, all involving an emphasis on settling before litigation. For obvious reasons, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation has pushed for early settlement of cases for years. They would like to see a judge-directed approach implemented where an experienced judge works with the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys to effect a settlement as early as possible in the pretrial stages. The organization has indicated that it can result in savings both from reduced litigation costs and from lower settlement amounts.

What this means for defendants

As the emphasis is placed on settling in pre-trial stages by the courts and influential lobbies for hospitals and doctors, hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney in New York will be even more important. Experienced attorneys will be working to limit the liability of hospitals and doctors; you should have one as equally experienced working to help you get the compensation you deserve. Negotiation skills and the ability to obtain the most favorable outcome during pretrial stages will become more important.