Pedestrian deaths had been on a decline since 1980 onward. However, since 2009, there have been a rising number of pedestrian deaths on America’s roads; this increase was bumped further during the pandemic. In fact, pedestrian fatalities have increased faster than other kinds of traffic-related deaths. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, which analyzed government data on this point, in 2022, a minimum of 7508 people died after being hit by U.S. drivers. The New York Times’s “The Upshot” tried to come up with answers to this surge in pedestrian death using the hivemind of its readers. These answers ranged from increased smartphone use to increasing podcasts and cataracts.

Some of the reader theories seemed stronger, the Upshot suggested. These included LED headlights, streetlight design, aging drivers, and fewer pedestrians, which has meant fewer norms around safety in driving around pedestrians.

One of the most common issues raised by readers was that brighter LED lights, which are intended to help drivers navigate at night are blinding for both pedestrians and oncoming cars, which can lead to death. However, researchers have found that while LED lights are brighter, but they are also becoming safer. The safety ratings for headlights have improved, too; the higher the rating of the headlight, the lower the collision rates, including car crashes with pedestrians, which suggests they haven’t seriously contributed to increased pedestrian death. Similarly, if people were blinded by headlights, thereby causing fatalities among pedestrians, passenger and driver deaths would have gone up, too, which they had not.

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For two centuries, under New York’s wrongful death law, grieving families have been unable to sue for those damages arising out of the emotional injuries engendered by a loved one’s wrongful death. The powerful Retail Wholesale and Department Store Unions (RWDSU), which has around 100,000 members, recently joined a broad coalition of unions that have endorsed the Grieving Families Act and has asked New York Governor Hochul to sign it into law. The Grieving Families Act is a bill sponsored by a New York State Senate Judiciary Chair and New York State Assemblymember that would change the rule that families can’t recover for their emotional injuries when a loved one has died due to another’s neglect or intentional acts; currently families can only recover for pecuniary or economic losses, like loss of inheritance. In recent months there has been a groundswell of support for the Grieving Families Act from working people.

Governor Hochul has until the end of 2023 to sign the bill into law. Last year, she vetoed a broader related piece of legislation stating that the complex issues required her to look closer at the data. The bill is believed by some senators to be appropriate for a veto override in the coming year if that becomes necessary.

The letter also said that the existing wrongful death law suggests that rich workers whose families see significant pecuniary losses upon their deaths are more valuable than middle class or lower income workers. The latter are denied restitution. Construction workers are at particular risk of wrongful death. When workers are killed falling from heights, for example, Labor Law 240, the Scaffold Law, provides the possibility of recovering damages. Under this law, construction owners and contractors are expected to provide safety measures to protect workers from falls and falling objects; these safety measures could include ladders, slings, hoists, scaffolding, hangers, pulleys, stays, and ropes. The law provides absolute liability for owners and contractors when they have failed to protect workers. Even so, the families of these workers cannot recover damages for their emotional injuries as the result of their losses—which are tremendous regardless of the amount of money their loved one made and used to support them.

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Yonkers and its police department have been sued for a car crash that resulted in the deaths of four teenagers in 2020. The teens were 18-years-old and had graduated from high school the prior spring. The families of the teenagers blame the police for the crash, arguing that they mishandled the pursuit of a man who attempted to evade them on Riverdale Avenue when they tried to pull him over for erratic driving. The man also died in the crash.

The police department’s public information officer said that the officers chose to disengage and didn’t pursue precise to avoid a crash; they did not view the pursuit as a high speed chase. The police followed around 15 seconds behind the fleeing driver’s sedan; the police car was not in emergency mode.

The mother of one of the teens who died argued that the police should have used warning equipment like sirens, horns and lights and should have given proper instruction to its officers to properly follow the vehicle. One of the lawsuits that has been filed alleges that the police department owed a duty to direct officers and personnel in appropriate precautions for chasing, following, or apprehending a vehicle. Another lawsuit alleges that the actions of the police department in this situation increased risks to the public.

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Although the number of traffic deaths had been falling since the late 1960s, a change attributed to lower speed limits, vehicle improvements, and drunk driving declines, the New York Times recently reported that these deaths have been on the rise across the country during the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts were surprised; they had anticipated a decline due to largely empty roads. However, the pandemic increased frustration and anger, which in turn triggered aggressive driving, and this aggression continued later in the pandemic when more people began driving again.

According to analysis of federal data, per capita vehicle deaths rose 17.5% between the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2020, the largest two year increase since immediately following World War II. In one instance, a man was killed by a driver who had run a red light while he was crossing the street with his family after attending a holiday lights display.

A cognitive scientist commented to the Times that the aggressive behavior could be attributed to dissipation of angry energy by pressing harder on the accelerator. The Department of Transportation also reported that the proportion of drivers who tested positive for opioids doubled after mid-March in 2020 when mitigation of the pandemic started, and positive tests for marijuana increased by around 50%.

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Recently, multiple tractor-trailer accidents in Westchester County have occurred. One tractor trailer left I-95 in New Rochelle before jackknifing. Another tractor trailer jackknifed one exit away, twenty minutes later, though in that case, nobody was injured. Additional police crews went out to the roads to help motorists. Poor weather can factor into truck accidents, as can negligence. If you were injured in a jackknifing accident, you should consult seasoned White Plains truck accident lawyer Mark Siesel about whether you have a viable claim for damages.

Jackknifing occurs when the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer moves off-course and swings perpendicular to the cabin in the shape of an L or V. The trailer may hit cars in other lanes. These occurrences are called jackknifing accidents because the tractor-trailer looks like a knife in which the blade has folded away from the handle.

Why do these accidents happen? Often, they’re caused by a truck driver who accelerates too much while taking a turn or an overweighted truck. To hold a truck driver responsible for a jackknifing accident, our lawyers would most likely need to prove his or her negligence. This would require us to show it’s more likely than not: (1) the truck driver was obliged to use reasonable care, (2) the truck driver failed to abide by his duty, (3) the failure caused the jackknifing and resulted in your injuries, and (4) damages. A truck driver may breach the duty to use reasonable care, for instance, if he accelerates too much during a turn, resulting in the truck skidding and the trailer moving into another lane and hitting other cars.

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Distracted driving is a significant cause of crashes, including fatal accidents, across the country. This type of driving occurs whenever a driver is paying attention to something other than the road, such as when a driver is talking on the cell phone, texting, eating, applying makeup, grooming themselves, drinking a beverage, adjusting the radio or GPS, or driving while fatigued or sleep deprived. If you were injured and suspect that the other driver was doing any of the foregoing before colliding with your car, you should call the experienced White Plains distracted driving attorney Mark A. Siesel. Additionally, you should be aware that the New York Times recently reported a new distracted driving hazard generated by Tesla.

Over the summer, Tesla added a software update and sent it to most of its cars in the summer of 2021. The update allows games to be played on a large touch screen in front of the dashboard, even while a car is in motion. The Governors Highway Safety Association has stated it is a concern if the game plays in front of the driver. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that 2016, there have been 12 traffic deaths as the result of Tesla’s hands-free driving and drivers looking away from the road.

If you were injured because of a distracted driver, you may be able to recover damages. When we sue on your behalf, we typically need to establish the distracted driver’s negligence. We’ll need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. All drivers owe others with whom they share the road a duty to use reasonable care when a car is in motion.

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Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere, and while some people may be able to brace for the fall, these incidents can have serious consequences. While many people associate slip and falls and trip and falls with grocery stores or parking lots, New York slip and falls occur at various locations, such as construction sites, sidewalks, public offices, businesses, parks, playgrounds, and schools. In some cases, a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy may cover an injury victim’s losses. When the incident occurs at a business or construction site, compensation recovery becomes more onerous.

Business owners may use commercial or corporate liability coverage to address a person’s losses. However, many of these entities refuse to concede liability and go to great lengths to protect their financial and societal standing. Matters only become more complicated when a stairwell accident occurs at a construction site or to an employee.

The first inquiry is determining who is at fault for the accident. Generally, the owner or property owner may be responsible under New York’s premises liability laws. However, these claims may encompass product liability, negligence, and workers’ compensation issues. Many claims fall under manufacturing, design, or failure to warn defects. Further, the defect may stem from negligent construction.

Several bus crashes in upstate New York over the last few years have been cause for concern. Some of them involved recreation for vulnerable members of society. Crashes have occurred, for example, because elderly people gathered to ride a tour bus to Atlantic City or take another group pleasure trip. In a recent rollover bus crash west of upstate Syracuse, almost five dozen people had to go to the hospital right away for emergency care.

The tour bus was traveling to Niagara Falls from Poughkeepsie. It crashed near Brutus on the New York State Thruway. In connection with the rollover, many accident victims suffered serious neck and head injuries, along with lacerations.

Most people don’t have enough saved in case of serious injuries. Bus drivers and companies may be held accountable when their negligence or other fault causes a crash. In order to establish a bus driver’s negligence caused your injuries, our lawyers would need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. For example, the court would likely find a breach of the duty to use reasonable care where a bus driver causes an accident because he is under the influence of alcohol. Other actions by a driver that might breach the duty to use reasonable care include falling asleep at the wheel, distracted driving, and speeding.

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Construction sites present inherent dangers to workers and those in the vicinity; however, construction managers and companies should take all necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of injuries related to that danger. New York buildings department, in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), provides various safety requirements and protocols for construction projects. Those who violate these mandates may be liable for injuries related to their negligence. In New York, there are three primary legal theories under which an injury victim may commence a lawsuit based on a building code violation. These theories include breach of contract, negligence, or professional malpractice claims.

Building code violations are some of the most dangerous conditions on a property. In some cases, these violations go unnoticed or concealed until an accident. However, in other situations, the relevant agency may issue a “stop-work order” because of an unsafe condition on the property. The most common violations involve:

  • Installation violations;

Drivers in Goshen and around Orange County in New York spend significant amounts of time in their cars commuting. In August of this year, two were killed and nine were injured in a crash that closed Route 17 between exits 118 and 119 in both the east and westbound directions. If you were injured or a loved one was killed as the result of an at-fault driver, you should consult experienced Goshen car accident attorneys. Mark Siesel has more than 35 years of experience representing clients who have been seriously injured in a car accident.

The nighttime crash involved a Ford Escape and a Toyota Sienna, both heading eastbound. There was a rollover. Some people were thrown out of the vehicle, but others were trapped there. By 1:40 in the morning, the westbound lanes had opened. The eastbound lanes remained closed and there were delays.

Many car accidents in or around Goshen are the result of driver negligence. To establish negligence, our lawyers will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) the other driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) the other driver departed from this duty, (3) the departure resulted in your serious injuries, and (4) actual damages were incurred. Drivers may breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding, weaving, failing to obey traffic signs and signals, drunk driving, driving while distracted, and driving while under the influence of alcohol. For instance, if another driver was weaving through traffic trying to pass you on the 17 and crashed into you instead, we may be able to show negligence.

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