Author Archives: Morrison Wagner

Police officers injured on the job in car crash

A car accident occurred on the highway leading to the Holland Tunnel approach into New York City. This set the scene for a subsequent car crash that injured several police officers. Reports show that responding police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as well as Jersey City police departments were at the scene of the initial car collision. They were taking care of the accident scene and injured driver when another vehicle lost control and hit a barrier. That vehicle then hit one of the policemen and a police car, causing multiple accident injuries. The pedestrian accident caused one officer to suffer with serious injuries and several other cops suffered injuries as well. It is unclear why the two accidents occurred but specialists explain that distracted drivers often cause secondary collisions like this. They note that drivers often concentrate on the initial accident scene and flashing emergency lights and lose control over their vehicle. This is one of the reasons that many states, including New York, have created “move over laws” that require drivers to move over an extra lane on the highway or roadway when possible. This allows police, EMTs, paramedics and fire fighters a safer work environment. The prevention of workplace accidents and a work injury in these types of environments is challenging but necessary. On the job injuries are usually covered by worker’s compensation insurance. However, these insurance coverages can often lack a fair process or control to patients over their healthcare. Some find it necessary to hire a workers comp lawyer to help them fight for their rights. You can read more about this work injury here.

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Negligence? Why is New York getting hit so hard with COVID-19?

New York – Various theories abound as to why the New York City area is at the epicenter of the novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic. Thousands of COVID-19 victims have already died and up to several hundred thousand more New Yorkers are confirmed to have been infected with the dangerous virus. Citizens and workers have been concerned as to why the area has been hit so hard and wonder what should be done about it. One possibility is that employers and businesses have been negligent in properly disinfecting surfaces and equipment in the workplace. Improper cleaning of desks, phones, doorknobs and files may be linked to spread of the dangerous disease. This has many concerned for their health and welfare, especially for those workers who are being required to come into work every day. Office workers, maintenance staff, factory workers and essential workers such as doctors, nurses and ancillary hospital staff can be at risk for contracting and spreading coronavirus according to research. Workplace safety experts say that it is the responsibility of employers and management to provide for a safe work environment and to prevent a hazardous situation for both workers and customers alike. They express concern for the lack of safety equipment, personal protective supplies and disinfection control in places ranging from hospitals and doctor’s offices to everyday places such as offices, warehouses and supermarkets. Important things to look out for when assessing this include: Does the business provide gloves or face masks? Approved and safe cleaning and disinfectant supplies? Cleaning crews that are licensed and follow best practices? Does the store require customers and workers to wear face masks? Do they enforce social distancing guidelines to prevent people from coughing or sneezing on others? Some have pointed out that negligent cleaning can be similar in concept to negligent maintenance that creates a health risk and dangerous condition for others. Imagine if a store refused to clean up a slippery spill in the middle of an aisle and along comes an unsuspecting shopper that suffers a slip and fall accident as a result. Is this all part of the cause of the rapid and dangerous spread of COVID-19 in New York? See this article for more about the New York outbreak of coronavirus.

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Coronavirus protection plan in the workplace :: Employer’s responsibility?

New York – Many people are concerned about their own health as well as that of the people around them during this coronavirus outbreak. A common question that comes up is, what is the responsibility of the employer during these perilous times? Can an employer require workers to come in to work? Should they? Some jobs are vital for society and the well being of everyone. However, other jobs are less so and this should be taken into consideration by a boss. The driving force in decision making should involve the health and well being of employees and customers, and not just money. Workers should be encouraged to work from home or at off times when the office or workplace is relatively empty. In addition, the workplace should be kept clean and disinfected on a very regular basis to avoid getting workers and customers sick. A central thought of employers during this time must be to prevent a work illness or work injury. This may mean that a company will need to work on setting up the employee with adequate work-at-home accommodations and allowances as needed. Employers and companies should ensure a safer environment by also sending home any worker who shows any signs of illness, such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath. The concept is similar to the requirement on employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment in general. For example, good lighting in an office or warehouse to prevent a trip and fall; proper safety equipment on a dangerous construction site; or constant diligence to avoid broken equipment from improper maintenance. In addition, employers should make reasonable efforts to educate their workers and staff on how to protect themselves at work. Systems should be set up by managers and bosses to prevent clumping of customers and workers to prevent spread of the disease. Clear signs and instructions as well as any necessary personal protection equipment and safe cleaning supplies should be made available to staff and customers to prevent a dangerous situation. You can see this article for more guidance on how to prevent getting sick from COVID-19 in the workplace.

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Wall collapse kills construction worker and injured another victim

New York – Queens, NY was the scene of a construction accident recently. The wall collapse occurred in an area where demolition is being planned to clear the zone for new construction. Reports show that there were construction work vehicles or trucks in the area but it was unclear if active work was underway during the incident. The accident caused one construction worker to be crushed under the falling debris. That man suffered serious accident injuries and ended up dying at the hospital after doctors were unable to revive him. Another accident victim suffered serious leg injuries from debris and bricks that apparently hit him. The full details of his injuries are unclear at this point. However, trauma specialists explain that a crush injury of the legs like this can cause broken bones or fractures, soft tissue damage, injuries or lacerations to blood vessels such as arteries and veins but can also lead to nerve damage and long-term disability. A crush injury of other parts of the body can cause traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage or lacerations and a collapsed lung, known as a pneumothorax. Find out further details about this wall collapse accident here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Courtesy: Bernard Spragg. NZ [License]

George Washington Bridge driver suffers head injury from flying debris

New York – A piece of metal went flying through the air and slammed into the windshield of a car, causing a serious head injury to the driver. It is unclear about where exactly the metal debris fell from but it is believed that the metal broke off from or flew out of the back of a dump truck. Falling debris has long been a concern of drivers on busy highways, especially for those travelling behind construction vehicles, dump trucks and garbage trucks that often transport dangerous garbage and loose debris. If the load is not properly contained or tied down, the combination of high speeds, wind and bumpy roads with potholes can be a recipe for disaster. In addition, there is concern that this piece of metal may have broken off of a truck that underwent improper maintenance. However, some feel that this metal object could have been kicked up from the ground after the truck struck a piece of roadside garbage. This dangerous condition requires constant cleaning of garbage and debris from public roadways by state and local government staff to prevent a car crash or injury such as this.

The driver of the car that was hit by the object was rushed from the scene by ambulance to a trauma center. He suffered a severe head injury with possible traumatic brain injury (TBI) according to injury specialists. Doctors will need to perform additional testing, including CAT scan and possible MRI scans to further evaluate the car accident victim’s condition. A TBI can cause mild problems such as a simple concussion with post-concussion symptoms like headaches, dizziness and memory problems. However, more serious cases can include loss of consciousness, vomiting, visual disturbances and even intracranial bleeding. The latter problem of a brain bleed may necessitate emergency neurosurgery. All of these types of TBI can lead to permanent injury and even disability. See this article for more about this truck accident on the George Washington Bridge in New York City.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Keith [License]

Serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury in Queens car accident

New York – Two cars collided in a horrific motor vehicle accident (MVA) in Queens, leaving three injury victims. The first vehicle was being driven by an off-duty police officer when the second vehicle broad-sided him at an intersection, according to reports. His car then struck parked cars and slammed into a telephone poll. The poll cracked and then collapsed according to witnesses. The vehicle then caught on fire and fire rescue was dispatched to the accident scene. It is unclear whether or not the cop was wearing a seatbelt, however, he was ejected from the car during the impact. This raised a question of a safety equipment malfunction during the MVA. Emergency first responders explain that they found the injured driver on the street suffering from a traumatic brain injury and neck injury. Spinal injuries in this context present a special difficulty in treating patients with a serious head injury according to doctors. The other two accident victims from the second car suffered less serious injuries. However, they will require additional testing to determine the nature and extent of their wounds. Trauma specialists note that some accident-related injuries can start out as appearing not serious but eventually develop into chronic pain or even permanent disability ones over time. This can especially be true if the wounds are ignored or not picked up on early enough. See this article for additional information regarding this Queens car crash.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo credit: Joel Kramer [License]

Wind turbine blade breaks off and crashes into car

New York – Alternative energy sources are becoming ever popular in the past years, leading to concern regarding public safety and potential improper maintenance issues. Only a few weeks ago a tall and powerful wind turbine in the Bronx suffered a dangerous breakdown. A blade from the wind turbine tower broke off and collapsed onto the parking area and road below. This has led to concerns by public safety advocates who decry the race to put together new technologies as fast as possible. Some claim that large companies and even some private investors have raced to build things such as wind turbines without proper safety practices in place, all in an effort to earn profits. They note that businesses have looked toward the profits without considering the hazardous condition that can be created, especially in residential and urban areas. Land is expensive and some real estate developers have looked toward new technologies such as turbines being placed in close proximity to homes, stores and parks. However, the potential for disaster with collapse, falling debris, faulty parts and poor safety practices is very real and must be considered carefully when planning and building such technologies. Cell phone towers have also been discussed as a potential health and safety hazard in residential areas according to specialists. Many zoning and health councils have discussed the potential of cell phone towers causing cancer and the debates continue. Some see the discussion of constructing wind turbines in heavily populated areas as yet another dangerous situation that needs to be addressed by city officials. They feel that accident injuries can easily occur if broken pieces of debris collapse and fall on a pedestrian or building or if it causes a car crash. Restrictive planning along with intense safety inspections and constant maintenance is necessary to prevent injuries or wrongful death. You can see this article for more details.

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Car recall announced due to dangerous defective part

Car safety experts are warning about a potentially deadly faulty part that was installed on some Mercedes-Benz cars. This has led to a product safety recall of these vehicles in order to try to repair the hazardous situation. The specific models of cars involved in the product recall have been determined to have used a faulty bonding glue that attaches the sunroof to the vehicle. The glue material has been shown to break down and can cause the sunroof to break off. Concerned car safety specialists say that this can cause a dangerous car accident if the sunroof goes flying at high speeds. It can hit another car or cause a pedestrian accident. It can also cause the driver of the car to lose control and crash, leading to accident injuries or even wrongful death. It is unclear at this point if any car crash incidents have been linked to this potentially dangerous product. See this article for further details about this car recall.

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Queens bus accident injures passengers

New York – MTA transit officials report that a New York City bus was involved in a bus crash this week. The motor vehicle accident (MVA) occurred when a car collided together with the bus. The force of the car accident caused the bus driver to apparently lose control. The bus jumped the curb and crashed into a wall. Multiple passengers in the bus were thrown about and fell during the collision. Trauma doctors note that this type of mechanism of injury increases the types and severity of injuries that can be suffered during the crash. They note that there are primary, secondary and tertiary impacts that can lead to carious injuries such as spinal injury, head injury with traumatic brain injury, broken bones or fractures and internal organ damage. This latter category can include liver laceration or a spleen laceration with internal bleeding or even a tension pneumothorax that can be life threatening. The other car involved in the car crash had most of the front of the vehicle ripped right off and crushed. Specifics about the injuries suffered by the accident victims are not available at the time of this report. You can see this article for more details about this MVA with injuries.

Image of bus accident for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Oran Viriyincy [License]

Building facade collapse kills woman on Manhattan sidewalk

New York – Building debris collapsed down onto the sidewalk below in Midtown Manhattan just two days ago. A heavy section of facade apparently fell off of the face of the building and collapsed onto the pedestrians walking below. At least one section of rubble struck a 60-year-old woman, causing her to lose consciousness. She reportedly suffered a head injury with traumatic brain injury (TBI) during the deadly accident. Emergency responders arrived to find the woman in cardiac arrest from the accident injuries. They believe the traumatic arrest was due to a skull fracture with massive bleeding in her brain. Emergency medical services attempted to resuscitate the injury victim but were unsuccessful according to witnesses. Her injuries were so severe that the victim was pronounced dead at the scene according to officials.

Citizens in New York City expressed concern for their safety when hearing about this tragedy. No one expects debris to suddenly fall from the sky. City safety inspectors from the buildings department had cited this very building’s owner for an apparently related safety hazard. Records show that this building owner was issued a ticket for improper maintenance of the building’s facade only around eight months ago. They apparently paid the fine but it is unclear whether the underlying hazardous condition was fully addressed. A safety law in New York City requires proper professional inspections of the facade of buildings every five years minimally in order to prevent a dangerous situation similar to this pedestrian accident. Building inspectors will continue their investigation into this tragedy to determine the cause of the accident with fatal injuries. In the meantime, a scaffolding was constructed around the building to prevent another immediate accident or wrongful death. You can see this article for more.

Photo of safety scaffolding for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: therealbridgetpalmer [License]