New York Legal Blog

Halloween Safety for ALL Ghosts and Goblins

Halloween fun doesn’t need an accident to interrupt the revelry. But there are so many opportunities for an accident to happen amidst all the trick-or-treaters as they run from house to house or attend a festive party. As you plan for this special day, take some time to develop a plan to keep everyone safe.

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Get the Message: New York is Cracking Down on Speeders!

In several joint safety studies over the past few months, government agencies such as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have all come to the same conclusion when it comes to speeding-related passenger vehicle crashes. Speed kills almost exactly as much as drunk driving.

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Fatigue Makes all of us Accidents Waiting to Happen

The National Safety Council recently reported that 43 percent of Americans don’t get enough sleep to eliminate the risks of working or driving in a fatigued state. Those surveyed complain of an inability to think clearly, make informed decisions, or be productive. And according to 81 percent of the respondents, they have jobs that are at high risk for fatigue, calling for sustained attention or demanding physical or cognitive tasks involved in driving a vehicle or working at a construction site.

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Dip in the Number of Traffic Accident Deaths is Good, But It Can Be Better

Even though fatalities and injuries are generally down from a few years ago, an alarming number of drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians continue to be killed or seriously injured by vehicle accidents. And when people are injured or killed, they and their families often find themselves in need of a seasoned attorney to help them be fairly compensated when they become victims of accidents that happened for the following reasons.

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On Average, 12 Amusement Ride Injuries Happen Every Day in U.S.

For many Americans, amusement rides offer an experience unlike any other. Rides offer the chance to travel at incredibly high speeds, plummet from great heights and pump adrenaline through the body. The excitement offered by amusement rides is often preferred to more extreme thrill-seeking activities because they are both cheaper and, at least in theory, safer.

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The Gig Economy Leaves Many Workers Unprotected

The chances are good that the gig economy has impacted you in one form or another, whether you are a consumer or a worker. Rideshare apps, remote work, contract labor and on-demand services are changing our economy in ways that are still surprising labor experts, economists, consumers and workers alike. One of the more unforeseen consequences of the gig economy is the impact it has on workers. The days of a worker’s being classified as an employee are giving way to contract labor. With that change comes a dramatic shift in the way workers are being treated, including the benefits they once enjoyed. There are several benefits to working in the gig economy. You often get to choose your own hours and determine how much you will work. But you also must deal with the downsides of contract labor. Gig workers don’t have many guarantees in their jobs. They aren’t given retirement contributions or health insurance, and they often pay their own taxes. For many workers, this is an acceptable trade-off. For others, it’s a sacrifice done out of necessity. Professional drivers, for example, might prefer to drive for a cab company because they know there are certain standards that govern their rights. But with the shift to a gig economy, rideshare services have surged in popularity, and drivers are being forced to use Uber or Lyft to make ends meet. That means they enjoy fewer guarantees than they would behind the wheel of a cab. A Shifting Paradigm for Workers Certain demographics are also being forced to rethink what kind of benefits they receive and how that might impact their lives. This is especially true for workers over the age of 45, who make up more than half of all workers in the gig economy. These workers are finding that the safety net that used to be a hallmark of employment in the United States is no longer there. Worker benefits are largely absent for independent contractors, which is the label carried by most in the on-demand labor market. This means that benefits like workers’ compensation aren’t available for this growing subset of American workers. With the absence of health insurance and injury benefits, a worker might find that they are on their own in the event of an on-the-job injury. Workers Should Know They Often Have Options After Injury If an independent contractor is injured while working, they might be tempted to think that they are entirely without options, but that’s not necessarily the case. If an injury is suffered because of someone else’s negligence, that worker can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for the costs associated with their injury. Other workers might be able to prove that they would be better classified as employees as opposed to independent contractors, thereby making themselves eligible... read more

Remote Work and Workplace Safety

What pops into your mind when you think of workplace safety training? Many of you probably picture an office conference room full of bored employees watching dated instructional videos about keeping work areas clean.

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Back-to-School Safety Tips in New York

As summer break ends, parents and schoolchildren are preparing for the beginning of another academic year. They take advantage of back to school sales on clothes and school supplies and start adjusting their schedules to meet the daily demands of the new school year. Teachers, school boards, bus drivers and others that work in schools are also gearing up for another term, either eager to get to work or mourning the end of the summer recess.

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