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New York Worker Injury Law Blog

Fatal Bronx accident adds to NYC’s construction death count

This weekend, a worker in the Bronx was killed by falling construction equipment. In what the New York Post calls a “freak accident,” the worker was welding a piece of metal on to a bulldozer when a piece of the equipment fell on top of him.

The 47-year-old recycling center employee died at the scene, adding another tally to New York’s rising workplace death count. Construction accidents, injuries and fatalities are on the rise in New York – despite ongoing efforts to make worksites safer. According to CBS, work site fatalities have risen 33 percent compared to five years ago and injuries are up 221 percent in the same period.

Slip and fall accidents can be serious for victims

Falls are a common cause of injuries for New Yorkers. While many of the trips and slips that individuals suffer are self-inflicted, others result when property owners fail to maintain their premises and individuals who come upon their land are hurt. When individuals are harmed on other people's property, they may have rights to sue for the recovery of their damages.

Slip and fall accidents are generally covered by premises liability law, a subset of personal injury law. When a property owner has notice that others will be on their land or allows others to be on their land, they become responsible for maintaining it in a reasonably safe way. If a property owner does not want individuals to come on their land and does not wish to maintain it in a safe manner, they may be required to post notices to keep trespassers away.

Help for those navigating the disability benefits process

A disability, by definition, limits some of the actions that a person may undertake on their own. As previously discussed on this blog, disabilities can be physical or mental and can affect individuals of all ages. When a New York resident suffers from a disability that inhibits their ability to earn a living, they may be able to apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

The Klein Law Group works with individuals who have chosen to pursue support from the government based on their disabling conditions. However, the path from disability to financial support is not always a straight one, and unfortunately some individuals may stop seeking the benefits they deserve because they do not necessarily understand what they must do to complete the process.

Not all bike helmets are created equal

Summer is here, and New York City is home to many excellent places to ride a bike. While the city has many dedicated bicycle paths, like Manhattan’s Hudson Greenway, where you won’t have to deal with traffic, a lot of time riding in the streets among a barrage of vehicles is inevitable.

When biking, safety is extremely important. While you may follow all the rules of the road, some drivers won’t and that could put you in danger. When a 20-pound bike goes up against a two-ton car, the bicycle always loses. The easiest step you can take to protect yourself is wearing a helmet. But recent reports show that some bicycle helmets don’t offer an adequate amount of protection.

Fatal construction injuries are common in New York City

Steep heights, the possibility of unsafe or unfamiliar conditions, and the use of heavy machinery, equipment and materials make the life of a construction worker in New York City a dangerous one. Though a vital and readily-available position for those looking for work, a laborer faces constant threats to their safety and well-being.

Though there are positions available, there is also a lack of skilled construction laborers – thus forcing contractors to hire unskilled employees or rely on smaller crews, which further increases the risk of injury on their job sites.

Biking in New York City still growing and still dangerous

The messenger who bikes for a living is an iconic emblem of Manhattan. We New Yorkers have ample opportunities also for recreational, human-powered, two-wheeled sight-seeing, either by grabbing a Citi Bike or hiring a pedicab. Statistically speaking, the city also has a respectable share of biking commuters. But, honestly, we bike to work like an average American city.

The League of American Bicyclists releases occasional analytical reports on bicycle commuting in America. The latest, Where We Ride, puts New York City at number 17 in the list of America’s cities with the highest share of bicycle commuters. Ice-bound Minneapolis is third. However, due to our city’s large population, we rank first in terms of sheer number of biking commuters.

Deadly crashes raise concerns of limousine safety

They’re big, long and noticeable. It's okay to think limos would be safe. Catastrophic events have led some to think otherwise. One limousine accident in New York in 2015 claimed the lives of four women and led to serious injuries for four others when the limo was hit broadside after the driver decided to make a U-turn.

Another limo crash in 2018 led to the death of 20 individuals when the limo driver blew through a stop sign and ran into a parked SUV causing the limo to be thrown into two other pedestrians and landing in the ditch.

What is "substantial gainful activity"?

The Social Security Administration defines "disability" as the inability of a person to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition that will last for at least 12 months or that will result in the individual's death. Whether a person suffers from a disabling mental or physical condition will often turn on the medical evidence that they have to support their case. The duration of their ailment may also be determined based on their prognosis and information available about their condition.

Substantial gainful activity, though, is a more nebulous term to understand. Gainful activity may generally be understood to cover one's employment, but what constitutes substantial may be relative and subjective. Due to this, the Social Security Administration sets out clear guidelines for what it means to be substantially involved in gainful activity while disabled.

Equipment accidents on New York construction sites

Many different tools and pieces of equipment may be used when a New York construction project is started. From tiny nails and screws to massive cranes and trucks, the building materials, electrical machinery, and additional hardware that must be on hand to complete the project can be extensive. When equipment and tools are properly handled and individuals are trained to use them, many equipment accidents on construction sites can be avoided. However, not all accidents of this nature arise from operator mistakes.

In some cases dangerous equipment may harm construction workers because of defects. Just as consumer goods can be dangerous and can harm those who use them, construction equipment can also be dangerous because of manufacturing, design, and warning defects. Problems of this nature often are related to product liability law, a form of personal injury law based on problematic products.

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