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Queens Personal Injury Law Blog

Electric scooter riders are prone to serious injuries

During the past few years, a number of companies have stepped up to make electric scooters more widely available. This mode of transportation is attractive to individuals looking to move about sidewalks or city streets with ease and speed. As more people buy and rent scooters, the number of incidents where people have gotten seriously hurt while using them has increased.

One reason individuals riding electric scooters may be prone to injuries is because they're given very little or no training before attempting to operate them.

Key statistics about ambulance crashes

It's natural to assume that an ambulance must be one of the safest vehicles on the road. After all, its whole purpose is to save lives and help the injured. With emergency lights and sirens, other traffic has to give it a wide berth.

However, the reality is that ambulances do crash. They operate in chaotic situations where time is critical. To that end, they often break speed limits and traffic laws. They're allowed to do this, of course, but it does increase the risk. Here are some key stats about how often ambulances crash and how it happens:

  • One study examined 339 such accidents and found that they led to 838 injuries and 405 deaths.
  • The majority of the accidents (202) happened when the ambulance was on an emergency call.
  • Most of the fatalities (233) also happened in emergency situations.
  • The most common place for accidents was at intersections.
  • The highest percentage of accidents — 39 percent — happened in the afternoon between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • A full 77 percent of crashes happened during clear weather conditions, while 69 percent took place on dry roads.
  • The vast majority of crashes, or 99 percent, happened on "improved" roadways.

Plan ahead now to keep your New York estate out of probate court

There are typically three reasons that people create a comprehensive estate plan. The first is a desire to leave behind a legacy, which often includes allocating assets to specific people. The second is to ensure that their medical wishes are clearly stated to help friends and family make good decisions on their behalf.

Finally, people do extensive estate planning in order to minimize expenses, including estate taxes and probate court costs. Taxes only affect inheritances over a certain amount, but probate court can affect an estate of any value. Just creating an estate plan doesn't prevent your estate from going through probate. If a family member challenges your estate plan, it could still wind up going through the probate process.

An 88-year-old Queens woman is sentenced for a pedestrian's death

An 88-year-old Whitestone woman, who struck and killed a 17-year-old driver from Flushing on June 25, has agreed to plead guilty to reckless endangerment charges for causing her death.

According to police, the young woman was walking in a crosswalk nearby the intersection of Utopia Parkway and 16th Avenue that day when the octogenarian crashed into her. The teen died of blunt force injuries soon thereafter.

What should runners do when a dog attacks?

When dogs are not properly restrained, they can be a serious threat to runners and joggers all over New York. Many dogs see people running and want to give chase, either because they feel threatened or because the quick movement naturally makes them feel like the person is prey. Either way, they do chase and they do bite. This happens to thousands of people every year.

So, as a runner, what should you do when threatened by a dog? How should you react?

What are the leading types of construction site accidents?

The 2,100 inspectors that work for the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) keep a watchful eye over more than eight million work sites across the United States. These locations employ as many as 130 million workers. This means that the inspector-to-worker ratio is just shy of 60,000. The federal government maintains 85 local and 10 regional OSHA offices across the country.

OSHA's data show that in 2016, 991 private sector construction workers died. This accounts for 21 percent of the 4,693 total on-the-job fatalities that year. The leading causes of construction worker deaths that year were:

  • Falls at 38.7 percent
  • "Struck by" injuries at 9.4 percent
  • Electrocutions at 8.3 percent
  • Crushing injuries at 7.3

Weighing the benefits and drawbacks of a legal name change

There are many different reasons why someone in New York might want to change their name. Perhaps you received a family name, and you find it both unoriginal and embarrassing. Maybe your parents chose something so unique that no one can spell it or pronounce it.

In some cases, you might just dislike your name or feel like a new name fits you better. Some people even change their names to avoid someone who has been stalking or harassing them. Regardless of why you are considering changing your name, it's important to carefully consider both of the benefits and costs associated with a legal name change.

Queens sees a reduction in traffic injury and fatality rates

The Vision Zero initiative, which remains in effect in Queens and all other parts of New York City (NYC) aims to reduce the incidence rate of pedestrian and motorist injuries and deaths. While as a whole, the first six months of 2018 was marked by a significant reduction in the amount of traffic-related fatalities, the number of individuals that have either been injured or killed in Queens so far this year is staggering nonetheless.

So far, 17 people have been killed in traffic-related crashes in Queens. Nearly 1200 have been hurt in similar types of incidents. Even as alarming as these statistics may sound, city officials contend that the 13 people killed and 1155 that were injured last year is still the lowest that it's been in some 100 years.

Trench collapses often fatal to workers

There is no doubt that construction workers in New York face many on-the-job dangers every day. From scaffolding accidents to power tool injuries, there is always some hazard lurking in and around a job site.

One of the most commonly fatal work site accidents is a trench collapse. Few workers who get caught in trench collapses survive the experience. The reason for the high mortality rate is that soil is very heavy. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as 3,000 lbs. To put that into perspective, it's as much as a small car.

Milestones in life that should trigger a review of your will

The time comes in one's life when a will is necessary. Don't wait until this moment to run frantically to your attorney's office to have this important legal document drafted. It will likely be too late. Let's take a look at the milestones in life that should trigger a review of your will so that it is always updated for where you are in life right now.

Getting married is the first milestone many people hit in life that triggers them into getting a will in the first place. Maybe you declared life partnership with someone. Or, maybe you are domestic partners. Either way, it's time to update your will if you have one or create one to protect yourself.