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New York bus shelter safety inspection underway

A roof collapse at a bus shelter in New York City in early October has led to a safety inspection of shelters across the city. The company that owns the city's 3,500 bus shelters announced on Oct. 15 that it had cordoned off 1,400 shelters as part of its ongoing inspections.

Under a 20-year franchise agreement with the city, JCDecaux is responsible for the maintenance of the city's bus shelters, newsstands and automated public toilets. The company says that corroded bolts were found in a shelter where the roof folded down against the back wall. No one was in that Staten Island shelter at the time of the incident, but it prompted the company to launch an inspection of all shelters.

Liability concerns that homeowners have on Halloween

While Halloween can be fun for the children, it can raise a lot of safety concerns for homeowners in New York. Inviting trick-or-treaters to one's home brings with it the responsibility to keep them safe. Homeowners should keep their pathways well-lit and provide warnings for slippery steps and other hazards. Slips and falls are all too common on properties.

Thankfully, many homeowners insurance policies will cover slip-and-fall accidents as long as homeowners did not cause them deliberately. Homeowners could nevertheless be guilty of ordinary negligence, which is the failure to do what any reasonable owner would do to maintain a safe environment. Homeowners who turn on their porch light on Halloween night cannot defend themselves by saying they had no intention of inviting trick-or-treaters.

Skateboarding injuries and premises liability

In New York, as in many states, there are laws that prohibit skateboarding in specific areas, because it is a nuisance or because it is dangerous. Over 25,000 people go to emergency rooms nationwide each year with injuries related to skateboarding, and almost three-fifths of the injuries are to people under the age of 15. In many cases, the owner of the property on which the injury occurred may be liable for damages. This is part of the reason state and local governments pass laws prohibiting skateboarding; they may be liable for injuries on public property.

When a person is injured while on the property of another, he or she might be able to recover based on a theory of premises liability. A landowner may have a duty to protect people or warn them of dangerous conditions on their land. The duties owed to guests or invitees are different than those owed to trespassers, but there may be duties owed in any case.

Falls most common during winter months

New York business owners should be especially aware of fall hazards on their premises as the weather gets colder. The months during which the most slips and falls are recorded in the U.S. are December, January and February. As the weather chills, ice and snow can gather on sidewalks and other areas where people move. People who are injured due to a slip and fall might be able to recover compensation under the theory of premises liability.

There are a number of things business owners can do to make public areas safer. They can make sure pathways are tidy and that cords, carpets and mats are flat so people don't trip over them. They can also make sure that stairs are well-lit and free of spills or debris.

Hurt on a subway: Know who is liable

If you've ever ridden the subway, then you know that there is a potential for things to go wrong. Trains could crash into one another, or there could be a defect that results in a single train collision or sudden stop. In any case, there is a risk of the people on board getting hurt.

Whether it is due to a fire, sudden stop or a problem in the subway station, you need to know your rights when it comes to making a claim. A personal injury can take you off your feet for days or weeks, months or years. The person responsible for those injuries should have to pay for your recovery.

How to protect oneself in a parking lot or garage

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has stated that 1 in 10 property crimes take place in parking lots and parking garages. Therefore, New York residents will want to consider the following tips the next time they leave their cars in parking lots or garages. It all begins with people being aware and going with their instincts when they sense that something is wrong.

Thieves usually strike at night, so whenever possible, people should complete all their shopping or run all their errands during the daylight hours. They should avoid carrying lots of cash and should use their debit or credit cards for purchases. Jewelry, expensive handbags and other high-end accessories should be kept hidden in the car if they can't be left at home. The same is true for garage door openers and GPS systems.

The nature of property negligence

Negligence is the failure to act according to the standards that a reasonable person can expect to be met in a given situation. In a case of property negligence in New York, as in any other state, it is the property owner who is charged with failing to live up to the standard. Failure to maintain the property is often the factor behind cases of punishable negligence.

For example, a storeowner may neglect the local safety guidelines regarding the pitch of stairs and build a steep or narrow flight of them. If a lawful entrant trips or falls down the stairs, he or she could have the grounds for a premises liability claim. Other examples of negligence include uncovered pools, crowded store aisles and icy sidewalks that were not salted.

Supermarkets responsible for customer safety

When customers in New York go to the supermarket, the last thing they expect to come home with is an injury. However, going shopping can be riskier than some people expect. Because the shelves are full of slippery produce, breakable jars and liquid-filled bottles, spills are an all-too-common occurrence. And when the floors are slippery as a result, customers can easily slip and fall, causing serious injuries in many cases. Argo Group, an insurer for grocery stores, has noted that most accidents in these kinds of retail stores are caused by spills or other obstacles.

Grocery stores have a responsibility to provide a safe area for their customers, especially as property owners are aware of the risks of spills and falls due to products and other debris. Store owners often use floor treatments, mop regularly and replace slip-resistant materials in order to make areas safe for customers. If a grocer refuses to take these steps to make the store reasonably protected from customer injuries, they may be held accountable for the accidents that do occur. In many cases, stores are using software programs in order to enhance safety and prevent customer injuries.

Shooting survivors expected to file lawsuit

People in New York may have heard about a shooting at a video game tournament in Florida on August 26. Two people died and 10 were injured before the gunman killed himself.

According to one attorney, at least one of the people who suffered physical injury as well as others who were emotionally traumatized plan to file a lawsuit related to the shooting. The lawyer did not say who would be the targets of the lawsuit but did say there should have been more security at the event.

Does a blow to the head justify a personal injury claim?

There are many ways that you might suffer a blow to the head because of some other party's negligence or mistake, whether that is in a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or while riding on public or private transportation. Regardless of where you receive a blow to the head, if some other party is responsible for the injury, you may have grounds for a personal injury suit, It is wise to understand the issues at hand before moving forward with legal action.

First, get a professional medical examination as soon as possible, especially if you feel lasting symptoms of any kind from the injury. A doctor or other medical professional can help you identify any significant injuries to your brain, which you may not be able to recognize otherwise.

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