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New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How can you safely share the road with large trucks in New York?

All too often, motor vehicle accidents involving large commercial vehicles and smaller passenger vehicles occur in New York, and elsewhere. Due to the size differences between these large trucks and other automobiles, among other factors, such collisions often result in serious injuries, or death, for those involved. In fact, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles reports that 105 people were killed, and more than 5,000 were injured, in truck accidents in 2013 alone. While not all semitrailer crashes can be prevented, there are some steps you can take to help share the roads safely with commercial trucks.

If you have never operated a tractor trailer, you may not be aware that these vehicles handle differently than other automobiles. In general, however, large trucks are more difficult to steer and maneuver. Truckers may have to initially move one way before they are able to turn and the back end of these vehicles may protrude across other lanes of traffic when they are making turns. As such, it is advisable that you allow them more space than you may other vehicles.


IMG_4695.JPGThe last weeks have been busier than ever, as Elizabeth Rios (Certificate in Latino Labor Leadership from Cornell University) and I have given numerous workshops in Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury laws, and in workers's legal rights to overtime wages, to no less than minimum wage, and to be protected from wage theft and wage bullying. Working people injured in construction, on scaffolds, doing demolition or asbestos removal, or working in restaurants or car washes--whether they injure their back, shoulder, or knee, or need surgery, or just medical treatment--they all have rights and need inside information on the tricks that unscrupulous employers and insurance companies play on people who have not been properly educated. Looking forward to giving many more of these free workshops in the months to come!


12049590_1653653728206783_1888793671974674362_n.jpgI was honored to be asked to teach a class at the Urban Justice Center, on workers' compensation, personal injury, and wages & hours laws. I was assisted by my Chief Paralegal, Elizabeth Rios. The theme of my class was "No Fear!" Too often, workers who have had accidents on the job, who have fallen from scaffolds or ladders, or on construction sites or doing demolition, or who have had other accidents, are intimidated by their bosses into fear of filing workers compensation and personal injury cases. The same goes for men and women who are victims of wage theft, whose bosses refuse to pay legal overtime, or minimum wage, or who bully and intimidate them with other wage abuses.


John Mendoza* trabajó como detallista de automóviles en un taller en Queens. Aunque su jefe lo hizo trabajar seis días a la semana - y John era un trabajador excelente y diligente - el jefe de John le pagó con un salario por hora plana . Cuando John trabajó horas extras, su jefe negó pagarle a las horas extra legales. John no quería demandar a su jefe por su pago de horas extras que le correspondía; él esperaba que su jefe obedezca la ley de salarios y horas de Nueva York, y que un día le dé el tiempo extra ya contraída, y que su jefe page salarios adecuados en el futuro.


John Mendoza* worked as an auto detailer at an auto body shop in Queens. Although his boss made him work six days a week--and John was an excellent and diligent worker--John's boss paid him at a flat hourly salary. When John worked overtime, his boss refused to pay him at the legal overtime rate. John did not want to sue his boss for his rightful overtime pay; he was hoping that his boss would follow New York's wages and hours law, and give him the overtime already owed, as well as paying proper wages in the future.


I am very proud to have been voted a Super Lawyer for 2015--two years in a row! To be voted a Super Lawyer is an honor and a great responsibility. I intend to continue to represent my injured and disabled workers' compensation, personal injury, and social security disability clients with the most zealous advocacy and compasion. image2015-09-18-134302-1.jpg

Technology does not counteract poor driving behaviors

If you are a driver or a pedestrian in New York, you have to watch out for the careless or aggressive behaviors of others in order to stay safe. The thousands of auto accident injuries and fatalities on the nation's roadways are strengthening the push for vehicle automation that takes on the responsibilities drivers are neglecting. We at the Klein Law Group are aware that even as technology provides you with safe alternatives, it cannot eliminate the hazards created by irresponsible drivers.

You may have read about or seen the automated Google car in the news or on the streets. The New York Times recently reported on Google's experiences testing these driverless cars. The company has discovered that the strengths of the automation are also its weaknesses in real traffic situations. The cars are designed and programed to obey all traffic and safety laws. However, this makes it difficult for them to function in heavy traffic. For example, when an aggressive or negligent driver cuts off the automated vehicle on the highway, it must slow significantly to retain a safe distance between them, which allows enough space for another vehicle to pull in between.

Demasiados accidentes de construcción, demasiadas muertes

Yo leí este artículo en el Daily News con un sentido de tremendo dolor y indignación. Nueva York es una de las ciudades más grandes de este mundo, y la construcción está creciendo, y todavía no podemos facilitar un lugar de trabajo seguro para los hombres y mujeres que ayudan a mover nuestra ciudad al futuro. Esto es una vergüenza.


I read this article in the Daily News with a sense of terrible grief and outrage. New York is one of the great cities of the world, and construction is booming, yet we still cannot provide a safe workplace to the men and women who helping to move our city into the future. This is a disgrace.

Medical errors are a leading cause of death in the U.S.

When checking into a hospital in New York for a routine procedure, most people feel confident that they will recover and experience improved health as a result. Unfortunately, according to CNN, there are numerous studies indicating that 200,000 patients or more are killed by medical mistakes each year. Although this is a relatively small percentage of the millions of procedures performed each year, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Even during surgeries where there is a low risk for complications, the variables from one patient to the next make personalized attention from a doctor extremely important. Medical professional negligence may be as simple as the physician’s failure to gather all the information about potential risk factors from a patient. There are also more obviously egregious incidents each year involving medical instruments left inside patients during surgery and wrong-site surgeries. Post-surgery infections during hospital stays are also a significant contributor to the number of fatalities each year.