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Positive NYC accident-reduction program still needs improvement

What should an interim report card on New York City's "Vision Zero" safety initiative reflect?

Although opinions will differ, of course, it might plausibly be suggested that the metro's adoption of a touted traffic crash-reduction program in 2014 has thus far merited a decent passing grade.

Sadly, policies re driver sleep apnea kick in only after crashes

An official with New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently cited the MTA's "established and aggressive sleep apnea screening and treatment program" for all train/bus operators. Sadly, no such protocol was in place when last year's high-profile crash in Brooklyn injured scores of people and caused millions of dollars in property damages.

A sleeping engineer was pointed to by investigators as directly contributing to that accident. The current sleep apnea policy was implemented only following the crash.

Premises liability claims: how they work

In New York and across the U.S., people are injured all the time in unsafe buildings. While many individuals invite the injury through their own unreasonable actions, others are the victims of owners who neglect their duty of care. When the owner is negligent, the entrant could have the grounds to file a premises liability claim.

Unsafe building injuries can occur in commercial properties as well as in other people's homes. Some of the most common factors in injuries are slippery floors, broken stairs, cracks in the pavement, inadequate lighting or security and falling objects.

NTSB says Amtrak crash could have been avoided

New York residents may be interested in statements made by the National Transportation Safety Board regarding an Amtrak train crash that happened on Feb. 4. Investigators said that brakes were applied just seconds before the passenger train crashed into a parked CSX train in South Carolina. An incorrectly set switch caused the crash, which killed two crew members and injured more than 100 passengers.

According to sources, it was not known how crew members noticed that the train was heading toward a parked CSX train in the early morning hours. Information about the incident was obtained from event recorders that were recovered at the crash site. A signal system was in the process of being upgraded and was inoperative at the time of the crash. The upgrade of the system was to prepare for installation of positive train control, an automatic braking system. NTSB says that this type of system could have prevented the crash.

Liability in bus accidents

Tour bus riders in New York many have legal recourse if they are passengers on a bus that's involved in an accident. Depending on the type of contract that was used and its terms, multiple parties could be held liable for injuries sustained as a result of the accident.

Federal laws and the majority of state laws consider buses to be common carriers, or entities that are compensated for conveying goods or people place to place. A number of vehicles share this designation, including school buses, tour busses, cruise ships, certain types of trucks, commercial airplanes and commercial buses.

What if I suffer a blow to the head on a city bus?

Anytime people suffer a blow to the head, they run the risk of also suffering a brain injury, even if the blow is relatively minor. Brain injuries come in many forms, and may affect many victims' ability to control their actions or maintain cognitive functions at the same levels they were before the injury.

If you ride a municipal bus and receive a blow to the head while on it, you should go to an experienced medical professional immediately and have them give you a thorough examination to determine if you suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). If you did, then you may have grounds to sue the entity that owns the bus and any other party that may share responsibility for the injury.

Laundromats can hold hidden dangers for customers

The owner could be liable if a customer slips and falls or is otherwise injured while patronizing a New York laundromat. These establishments can sometimes be a surprisingly dangerous place for customers, and it is the responsibility of a laundromat's owners and management to put safety policies in place that prevent accidents and injuries. Like other businesses open to the public, laundromats can have liability for accidents that occur on their property.

There are some major risks for accidents in a laundromat. Dryers that are not sufficiently cleaned of lint could catch on fire, causing damage. Customers regularly must carry large baskets and bags of laundry which can hinder their field of vision or ability to maneuver, leading to slip-and-fall accidents. Water puddles on the floor that are not mopped up or cleaned quickly can also be dangerous for customers.

Passenger dies after casino boat fire in Florida

When New Yorkers board a commercial vessel, they expect it to be well-maintained and safe. However, that is not always the case. For example, a boat shuttle for a Florida casino caught fire on Jan. 14, forcing passengers to escape the flames by leaping into the cold water. One of the passengers later died.

According to New Port Richey authorities, the shuttle boat was ferrying 50 passengers to the Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise when it began having engine problems. A fast-moving fire broke out, and the crew turned the boat around, running it aground near the shore. Videos of the incident showed passengers jumping into shallow water and making their way toward land. Low temperatures were around 38 degrees that day. The Coast Guard was called at approximately 4:20 p.m.

Investigators say speed might have caused Amtrak derailment

New York residents may be interested in the findings of a federal investigation into an Amtrak derailment that happened in December 2017. Investigators say that a speed limit sign of 30 miles per hour was posted 2 miles before the curve where the train derailed while moving 78 mph.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation is still ongoing and is expected to take more than a year to complete. The engineer and conductor of the train were injured in the crash and have not yet been interviewed. The derailment left 3 people dead and injured 62 others aboard the train.

When a slip and fall occurs, how do you prove fault?

One common type of premises liability law suit is the slip and fall. This is when someone is on another person's or company's property and they slip, trip, or otherwise fall down due to dangerous conditions on the premises. A typical slip and fall is a customer walking through a grocery store only to walk down an aisle with a spilled liquid on it. They unknowingly step in the liquid and slip and fall, suffering serious injuries in the process.

While we can all empathize with the plight of the victim in this situation, the next logical question is: what can the victim do about their injuries and the people who caused them?

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