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Queens Personal Injury Law Blog

Are fears over product liability lawsuits slowing innovators?

A study published late last month by researchers at Harvard Business School suggests that prospective medical device manufacturers may have their innovative inclinations slowed because of a fear of being sued if it doesn't work as intended. At the same time, the researchers found that the rush to patent new ideas continues to be a popular choice of many design firms.

For the purpose of their analysis, the researchers delved further into the plight of polymer, or general-purpose technologies, suppliers. More specifically, they looked at the legal risks faced by upstream suppliers, or those who took the raw materials and actually fabricated these devices impacted downstream ones. The latter are the ones actually responsible for marketing and selling a product.

Driver’s duty of care: Negligence can cause an accident

As a pedestrian, you never want to think the worst but you must prepare for anything that could go wrong. While you have control over every step you take, you don't know what other people will do. For example, a driver could make a mistake that puts you, among other pedestrians, in a bad situation.

Drivers have the obligation to exercise reasonable care, but that doesn't mean they always do so. Here are some of the most common factors resulting in a pedestrian-car accident:

  • Distracted driving. When a person is distracted, they are unable to keep track of what's happening around them. Distractions, such as texting and driving, can cause an accident.
  • Speeding. Even with a posted speed limit, some drivers don't feel that it's necessary to obey the law.
  • Disobeying traffic signals or signs. For example, failure to stop at a red light could result in a vehicle striking a pedestrian (or pedestrians) in a crosswalk.
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians. Drivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Disregard for weather conditions. Weather conditions, such as rain and ice, should alter the way a person drives. This doesn't always happen, such as someone continuing to drive too fast when the roadways are slick.
  • Driving under the influence. Alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription drugs make it difficult for a driver to exercise good judgment.

Bicycle commuters: Keep these safety tips in mind

If you live in or around a big city like New York, there's a good chance you've come to realize the benefits of commuting on a bicycle. From the gas savings to the exercise to reducing your carbon footprint, it's safe to assume you enjoy every minute you spend on your bike.

Unfortunately, you always have to concern yourself with being part of a bicycle-car accident.

An Astoria bicyclist is struck, dies the next day

A motorist and a bicyclist collided, killing the 22-year-old rider at the intersection of 23rd Avenue and 35th Street in Astoria. The fatal collision occurred on July 23 at around 11 p.m.

Witnesses who were interviewed by representatives with the Highway District Collision Investigation Squad (HDCIS) for the New York Police Department (NYPD) reported seeing the bicyclist collide into the front of the Ford van. The impact was apparently so severe that it left damage along the passenger side of the vehicle.

The hardest part of estate planning is not what you may expect

Although it's fairly commonplace to see stories in the news or on television about how things can go wrong at the end of life without an estate plan being in place, there are still an estimated 55 to 65 percent of Americans who don't have even in a will in place. Many don't because they think they don't have enough assets to leave behind for anyone. Others think estate planning is too complex.

What most people seem not to understand is that things are far more complex when someone doesn't have an estate plan.

Dog bites can leave Queens pedestrians with serious injuries

If you like to head out to the local park to go for a walk, jog, take the kids to play or to ride your bike, then there's a strong likelihood that you may encounter either a stray or aggressive dog. While some attacks may be unavoidable, there are some basic steps you can take avoid one.

One of the more common reasons dogs are able to attack pedestrians is because people are often too distracted to notice dogs approaching.

Ranking deadly bicycle accidents by type

Accidents between cars and bicycles are among the most dangerous crashes that can occur. Even a cyclist with proper riding gear and a bike helmet has relatively little protection during the accident. There is a high chance of a fatality.

To better understand how these crashes take place, let's take a look at the types of deadly accidents that happen most. In order, they are:

  • 40 percent: Rear-end accidents
  • 12 percent: Unknown accidents
  • 10 percent: T-bone accidents, or side impacts
  • 8 percent: Head-on collisions
  • 7 percent: No involvement with cars at all
  • 6 percent: Right hook accidents
  • 6 percent: Failure to yield accidents
  • 5 percent: Other accidents
  • 4 percent: Sideswipe accidents
  • 2 percent: Cyclists failure to yield accidents

There are steps you can take to keep your heirs from fighting

It takes a lifetime to build up a valuable estate. Many people spend 30 years paying off the mortgage on their home, and it can take as long, if not longer, to develop substantial assets and other areas. You likely wish to be the one in control of how your assets get distributed after you die.

After all, an estate plan, in many ways, is how you create your own legacy for the world. You expect that your executor, and heirs, will respect and follow the requirements in your last will. Sadly, everyday, people choose to contest a loved one's will. They may do this because they think one person will influence the will too much, or they may just want more of the estate. Thankfully, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of your heirs fighting over your assets after you pass on.

Inspectors find that New York City's elevators are unsafe

New York City's Department of Buildings (DOB) estimates that there are as many as 84,000 elevators being operated across the city's five boroughs. While it would be difficult to most to navigate getting to some of the upper floors of New York's highest skyscrapers without them, they can be remarkably unsafe.

A report released by the New York State Comptroller's office just last month shows that an alarming number of elevators inspected in the city are performed carelessly.

Fatal 4: Serious issues construction companies must address

Construction workers face some very unique hazards when they are on the job site. It is imperative that everyone working in this industry is in a safe environment on the job. In order to increase worker safety, employers must ensure they address the "fatal four," i.e., the four most deadly types of accidents for construction workers.

Around one out of every five work-related deaths in the private sector happen to those working in the construction industry. Of the deaths in this field, nearly 64 percent are caused by four specific accidents, namely: