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1 800 HURT 511

The Sanders Law Firm

Getting Hurt Working In Hospitals

Working in a hospital is the most dangerous occupation of all. Believe it or not, it is more hazardous than working in the construction or manufacturing industries. In fact, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that working in a hospital is twice as dangerous as working in “the private industry as a whole.”

For every 100 full-time hospital workers, 6.8 individuals annually must take time off of work due to a work-related injury or illness. That means nearly 55 injuries a year for the Albany Medical Center (AMC), which has nearly 800 employees. St. Peter’s, which is another large healthcare employer in the Capital region, although with fewer beds than AMC, also has its share of annual hospital worker injuries.

The real statistics are thought to be much higher. Workers who are less severely injured, and are able to work on a modified schedule are not counted, even though they are injured seriously enough to collect workers compensation benefits.

Hospital work is unpredictable, especially for registered nurses and their assistants. They are often faced with having to make split-second decisions and many put their own safety at risk so they can help a patient. There are some particular risks unique to hospital workers.

This sometimes requires workers to lift and transfer patients who, in addition to having limited mobility, may be quite heavy. Recently, a 300-pound patient fell on the floor. A team of hospital personnel rallied to lift her back into bed. One hospital nurse who was helping suddenly heard something in her back snap. It turns out the nurse required back surgery with the implantation of several metal devices. She has difficulty walking and will likely never be able to return to her work as a nurse.

Nearly 50 percent of all hospital injuries that keep workers home are due to lifting, bending, or reaching. Almost all are related to moving patients. In addition, according to OSHA, 54 percent of all workers’ compensation claims due to hospital injuries are due to strains. Approximately 80 percent of all nurses say they “frequently work with musculo-skeletal pain.”

The second most common hospital injuries are due to slips, trips, and falls. This accounts for 25 percent of all days taken off work by injured hospital workers. Slip and fall injuries happen to all hospital workers, not just those involved in patient care. Some of the hospital problems that contribute to these injuries include liquids puddles on the floor which happen in food service areas, near sinks and drinking fountains, soap dispensers, and anywhere else where liquids of any kind are used. Also, indoor found in operating rooms, patient hallways, around drains in the floor, and floor mats or carpets may be misaligned.

Outdoor walkways that get lots of foot traffic tend to fall into disrepair. Even grassy areas may have holes that are hidden from view. Debris may be on the path; such as rocks or leaves. In inclement weather, rain, sleet, or snow left on the walkway will contribute to slips and falls. Even when in good repair, a hospital worker in a rush to get to another floor is prone to slipping and falling as they hurry up or down the stairs. These tools are often used in medical records departments, pharmacies, and hospital kitchens. Falls off of ladders account for 20 percent of all workplace injuries in all industries.

In the past few years, hospital workers have been subject to violent attacks. One publication has referred to the problem as “an epidemic of violence.” The report notes that, “Health-care workers are hit, kicked, scratched, bitten, spat on, threatened and harassed by patients with surprising regularity.” Violence is responsible for 9 percent of hospital workers filing workers’ compensation claims.

As for any employee who is injured on the job or develops a work-related illness, workers’ compensation may provide benefits that pay for medical expenses and lost wages. It is important to know that you cannot be fired or discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim based on your hospital injury. General rules require you to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Although your employer cannot claim you were negligent and responsible for your own injury, depending on the status of your employment, the hospital may argue that you are an independent contractor and not covered by workers’ compensation or that your injury was not work-related.

For more information and enhance your company’s fall protection program this spring and summer contact HURT-511 and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Workers’ Compensation for Healthcare Staff

Most people don’t realize just how much healthcare workers do in a days’ work. They lift patients in and out of ambulances, vans, wheelchairs and gurneys, transferring them to hospital, clinic and ER beds. They are exposed to airborne viruses and diseases, hazardous bacteria and contaminated needlesticks. They have to handle razor-sharp scalpels that may be covered in germs, infected fluids or blood. Healthcare workers injured in hospitals, clinics, emergency rooms or doctor’s offices can suffer job-related injuries as serious as construction site injuries. And, just like any workplace injury, filing a workers compensation claim is the first step toward recovering, both financially and medically. But the process can be incredibly complicated and, very often, without the help of a knowledgeable lawyer, work injury victims have their claim denied.

Medical assistants, nurses, and transportation workers in the healthcare sector play a crucial role in the running of a hospital. Often, they are the first ones to report for duty and are the last ones to leave. They work for extended hours caring for those who need medical attention. However, they too can get injured in the process. Healthcare professionals who are prone to work-related injuries include medical assistants, nursing staff, nursing home aid workers, hospital patient transportation workers, PT/OT and physical therapist aides and EMT and paramedics.

There are many ways in which a healthcare professional can get injured at the workplace. Healthcare workers have to reposition, lift, and shift patients, and with more and more patients being obese, the chances of a worker getting injured are high. A large number of healthcare workers get musculoskeletal disorders and injuries at a rate higher than that even in the mining and construction industries.

Slips and falls are common types of injuries suffered by healthcare workers. Grease, water, and spilled fluids can cause a worker to slip and lose balance. Falls often cause disabling injuries that may have life-changing consequences. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare professionals are 90 percent more prone to injuries from slips, trips, and falls compared to workers in any other industry. It is the second largest cause of injury, ranking next only to overexertion induced injuries.

A compilation of data from workers’ compensation claims received over a 10-year period shows that healthcare professionals are more susceptible to the knee, ankle, and feet injuries such as strains, sprains, and dislocations. Health care workers are also exposed to blood borne pathogens from percutaneous injuries and needle sticks. Contact with contaminated sharp devices can expose a healthcare worker to serious and life-threatening diseases.

For more information and enhance your company’s fall protection program this spring and summer contact HURT-511 and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Drug & Alcohol Use At Work

Anyone who gets injured or becomes ill at the workplace can claim benefits under workers compensation. An injured employee can seek medical benefits, wage loss benefits, and permanent disability benefits under the Missouri workers’ compensation system. The worker is entitled to benefits irrespective of the type or severity of their injuries. However, the injured worker may lose their right to workers’ compensation under these circumstances. First, whether the injured worker violated the company’s safety policy in relation to the injury. And the second depends on whether the worker was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury.

Where the injury is caused by the failure of the employee to use safety devices, or from the employee’s failure to obey any reasonable rule adopted by the employer for the safety of employees, the compensation and death benefit provided for herein shall be reduced at least twenty-five but not more than fifty percent.”

However, the law also states that in such a case, the employer will have to prove that the injured worker had knowledge of the safety policy adopted by the employer, and that the employer had made reasonable efforts to educate the employees on the use of safety devices and to follow the safety policy adopted by the employer to ensure the safety of workers. If an injured worker was not wearing his eye gear at the time he sustained the injury, and the injury could have been prevented had he worn the safety gear, the workers compensation benefits including permanent partial benefits and temporary total benefits can be reduced by 25-50%.

Where the employee fails to obey any rule or policy adopted by the employer relating to a drug-free workplace or the use of alcohol or non-prescribed controlled drugs in the workplace, the compensation and death benefit provided for herein shall be reduced fifty percent if the injury was sustained in conjunction with the use of alcohol or non-prescribed controlled drugs.

The law further states that if use of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol in violation of the company policy is found to be the proximate cause of the employee’s injury, the benefits under workers compensation, including disability and death benefits, shall be forfeited. For instance, if an injured worker is due to receive a $10,000 as a settlement for permanent partial disability and the insurance company is able to prove that the employee violated the company policy against alcohol or drug use, the settlement amount may be reduced to just $5,000.

For more information and enhance your company’s fall protection program this spring and summer contact HURT-511 and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Truck Accidents in Bad Weather

At all times, drivers must exercise caution behind the wheel. This principle applies no matter what type of vehicle you are driving, no matter what day of the week, and no matter what time it is. Private citizens must also follow the rules of the road set forth by the city, county, and state within which the vehicle is being operated. Interstate truck drivers, on the other hand, must also follow federal trucking regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is the “lead federal government agency responsible for providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs),” and its mission is “to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”

Truck accidents in bad weather are often tied to negligence, especially when a driver does not react accordingly. Drivers should begin to slow down during the following weather conditions – snow, rain, ice, wet roads, reduced visibility due to fog. Further, drivers should slow down when approaching curves and travelling on uneven roads, gravel roads, or construction zones. Failing to drive safely during bad weather could force a truck driver to brake suddenly in order to come to a complete stop, for example. This activity could lead to a jackknife accident with another vehicle.

If you were involved in a car accident in icy weather or snow, you should first call the police to the scene. In most states, it is required to call law enforcement. However, sometimes the police will not be able to respond in a timely manner, especially if road conditions are bad or if there are lots of other accidents.

If the vehicle that hit you was an 18-wheeler or commercial truck, it is important to look into the accident from all angles. A common misconception is that accidents in bad weather are not anyone’s fault. If it can be determined that the truck driver violated a FMCSA statute, liability may be established, as these standards typically go above and beyond the rules that ordinary citizens must follow. Essentially, truckers can be held to a higher standard if they break a federal trucking regulation.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Truck Accidents & Drug Use

A truck driver was arrested in late March 2015 after driving from the Bronx to Long Island in New York under the influence of cocaine, LSD, and crystal methamphetamine. The driver was caught by police outside of his truck at a gas station. Police noticed he was locked out of the truck, acting combative, and showing signs of drug use. He then admitted to police that he had used drugs. Police subsequently arrested the trucker.

All states, including New York, have laws prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The laws apply to all drivers, whether driving on the job or for personal use. In addition to state laws, commercial truck drivers must follow federal regulations adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules expressly prohibit driving while intoxicated. They also address prescription medication. For example, a driver cannot take a controlled substance or prescription medication without a prescription written by a licensed doctor or medical practitioner. There are certain medications that will prohibit a driver from being able to operate a truck under any circumstance.

After a truck or 18 wheeler crash, truck drivers may be subject to drug testing. Local law enforcement, including the police, sheriff’s department, or highway patrol, may decide to conduct its own drug testing of the defendant. Truckers believed to be under the influence of alcohol or another drug may be arrested at the scene and face criminal charges for their actions. There may be a criminal investigation before the District Attorney formally brings charges in criminal court.

Negligent truckers may also face civil liability in a truck accident case if they injure another driver, passenger, or pedestrian in the accident. While criminal and civil charges are separate, information in the criminal case file can be useful in civil court. This information includes the police report, witness statements, the defendant truck driver’s toxicology report, and any arrest affidavits.

While an alcohol toxicology report may be easy to interpret by looking at the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level, intoxication levels of other drugs that test positive may be more difficult to interpret. In those cases, it may be necessary to retain a toxicologist as an expert witness. Toxicology experts can review drug test results in detail and testify to the defendant’s level of intoxication at the time of the truck accident.

Research shows it is not uncommon at all for a truck driver to be under the influence of alcohol, stimulants, or other medication behind the wheel. Some truckers take stimulants to stay awake behind the wheel, especially during long shifts. Stimulants most often consumed for this reason are alcohol, amphetamines, cannabis, and cocaine, per a study published in 2013. Research further indicates that when under the influence, commercial truck drivers are more likely to fall asleep or take unnecessary risks on the road. Both of these lead to an increase in car accidents.

Medication usage can be dangerous if a trucker is in poor health.  In a 2017 study published by the University of Utah Health Sciences, researchers found that poor health of trucker drivers directly contributed to truck accidents.  Medical conditions linked to poor driving performance include heart disease, low back pain, and diabetes. Drivers with multiple conditions like these will see their risk of getting into an accident noticeably increase. Per the study, truck drivers are susceptible to developing poor health because they sit for long periods of time while driving, have trouble finding nutritious meals while out on the road, and deal with less than ideal sleeping conditions.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Causes of Truck Accidents

In the past, unsafe vehicles have been referred to by some as “metal death traps.” The term has also been attributed to dangerous roads or intersections.  Truck accidents in the United States have increased steadily over the last few years, and there is no sign of them significantly slowing down anytime soon. Many of these accidents can be attributed to a number of common culprits.

Driver error is one of the most common contributors to truck accidents. In fact, one study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that nearly 87% of truck crashes are attributed to truck driver error. In New York, truckers are required to have a special driver’s license to operate commercial vehicles like tanker trucks.

Despite this fact, many truck accidents occur because truck drivers fail to responsibly operate their vehicles, even after possessing the required skill, knowledge, and training needed to operate these large vehicles. Truck rollover accidents are often caused by speeding, sharp turns, improper weight distribution, or any combination of these factors. The risk of truck rollover accidents increases when a driver is fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Fatigue is a huge problem affecting truck drivers. In response to the danger of driver fatigue, the FMCSA implemented federal hours of service regulations, which restrict the number of hours a truck driver can continually drive without rest. Truck drivers must accurately log their driving hours to ensure compliance with this rule. However, many drivers falsify logbook information in order to stay on the road as long as possible and complete deliveries faster.

A third prevalent cause of trucking accidents is equipment error. Equipment error includes both defective design and improper maintenance, and attributes to roughly thousands of truck accidents each year. Failure to include an operational backing warning, faulty object detection systems, and defective tires are all examples of defective truck design. Improper maintenance can also cause accidents.

Commercial trucking companies and drivers are charged with making sure they keep their big rigs in sufficient working order. Improper maintenance could lead to maintenance violations, which in turn could lead to forfeiture of a driver’s commercial driver’s license. Examples of improper maintenance include failing to provide upkeep to rear and side lighting, brake failure due to inadequate adjustments, and driving on worn down tires.

While truck drivers may not be able to control the weather or environmental factors, they are responsible with driving reasonable under a given set of circumstances. For example, truck drivers operating rigs during winter are susceptible to icy conditions, which increase the likelihood of accidents. Low visibility conditions as a result of heavy rain or fog also pose a threat to safety.

It is important to know that all of these causes of truck accidents could result in liability against a truck driver and a commercial trucking company in a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured in an override accident due to a truck driver’s negligence, a HURT-511 personal injury lawyer can help you recover the benefits to which you may be entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Commercial Trucking Maintenance

A driver can only be as good as the vehicle that he or she is operating. Even licensed, experienced, and well-rested truck drivers are dependent on their vehicles to effectively carry out their jobs. If something is wrong with their truck, such as a mechanical failure, it can cause problems for even the most experienced drivers. In turn, this puts members of the public in great danger of injury or even death.

Vehicle maintenance in the field of commercial trucking is crucial. These giant trucks and tractor-trailers take a beating when hauling heavy loads across the country. It should come as no surprise then that these vehicles require constant maintenance and upkeep to ensure that they run smoothly.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets forth rules and regulations regarding the upkeep of commercial vehicles in FMCSA Rules and Regulations § 396. Specifically, Regulation §396.3 states that all carriers must have a program in place to “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.” This broad and ambiguous requirement leaves certain decisions of how to maintain a carrier’s fleet entirely on the carrier. It is up to the carrier to ensure that they comply with FMCSA regulations, and often, this lack of specificity can lead to inadequate maintenance.

To prevent a breach of the FMCSA Regulations regarding maintenance of a carrier’s fleet, it’s necessary to first determine how often to inspect a fleet. This includes contacting the original manufacturer of the vehicle in order properly gauge the parameters of inspection. This step also includes setting up “cut-off points” for major components of the vehicle. A cut-off point is essentially a deadline for maintenance or replacement of a piece of a truck. For instance, brake linings could be maintained biannually for a period of five years, and after those five years, a carrier will replace the old, worn down brake linings with new ones.

After developing a time frame, it’s vital to keep maintenance records that detail all instances of inspection. Not only does this practice provide for up to date records, but it can also be used as an auditing tool to show that regular inspections were taking place on a commercial vehicle. Often times, the lack of an inspection record can help an injured plaintiff prove that a trucking company was negligent and liable for damages following an 18-wheeler accident.

A tragic example of inadequate maintenance occurred recently when two large trucks carrying logs collided head-on in Mississippi. Both trucks were hauling large loads when the truck traveling northbound lost control and veered into the southbound lane. The wreck caused one the 18-wheelers to explode in flames, and the driver had to be airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Investigators believe that the crash was caused by mechanical steering problems. If the investigators’ hunch is correct, then this tragic accident may have been prevented had the faulty steering been detected through proper maintenance.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Detrimental Demands of Trucking Profession

Long-haul commercial truck driving can be one of the deadliest professions in America. Over 250,000 accidents each year are attributed to commercial trucking, with roughly 5,000 of those accidents resulting in fatalities. One of the biggest contributing factors to the deadly nature of commercial trucking is the poor health of truck drivers.

Commercial trucking is a demanding profession, requiring countless hours on the road. It is not uncommon for truck drivers to haul loads over multiple state lines on a single crossing, often going hours without sleep or proper nutrition. Medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and back pain are all common ailments in truck drivers and have also been linked to poor driving performance.

Further, high blood pressure and fatigue, two top indicators of poor health in truckers, can be attributed to poor diet and lack of sleep. Factors such as stress, heavy lifting, long hours, and lack of exercise are all characteristics of commercial trucking and contribute greatly to poor health conditions.

To offset the effects of sleeplessness, many truck drivers turn to stimulants like amphetamines. Amphetamines can be used to stave off fatigue, allowing some truck drivers to drive longer without rest. Along with producing dangerous driving conditions in general, these drugs can also contribute to major health risks such as vertigo and hallucinations. Stimulants also change the driver’s perceptions and ability to react to emergency driving situations, including inclement weather. It should thus come as no surprise that over 35% of truck drivers who die in an accident test positive for an illegal drug.

All of the factors discussed above contribute to a greater likelihood of trucking accidents. Research shows that truck drivers with three or more medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, fatigue, etc.) are 2 to 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than healthy drivers. For example, studies have shown that the rate of crashes among all truck drivers was around 29 per 100 million miles traveled. The rate of crashes more than triples for drivers with three or more ailments for the same number of miles traveled.

Trucking accidents are so devastating because of the size and weight of the truck involved. Many of the most common injuries associated with trucking accidents are fractures, paralysis, and serious burns. If you were injured in a truck accident, you will likely need to prove negligence by establishing the truck driver’s duty of care, a breach of that duty, a causal connection from the breach to your injuries, and damages.

Truck drivers owe a duty to all other drivers to operate their vehicle with reasonable care. Often times, an injured party can show a breach of that duty by establishing that the truck driver was operating their vehicle despite being under the influence of drugs. If this breach of duty caused the trucking accident that resulted in your injuries, you may be able to recover damages for medical bills, lost income, and permanent disability.

Trucking accidents are a specialized field within personal injury law with complex regulations governing the ins and outs of litigation. Truckers and their employers are subject to specific federal guidelines and safety regulations. Sometimes, rogue trucking companies deliberately encourage their employees to break the rules.

If you have been hurt in a truck accident, is important to seek legal advice from lawyers who have experience handling large trucking accident cases and can expend the resources necessary to properly handle the case from start to finish, including retaining accident reconstruction experts.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured drivers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Fatigue-induced Truck Accidents

USA Today conducted a comprehensive investigation into a subset of the trucking industry in the United States – port truckers employed by trucking companies who transport goods across the country on behalf of many of the largest retailers in the United States, including Target, Home Depot, and Costco. Many of the trucking companies studied were based in New York and employed low-income immigrants, some of which speak little to no English. Journalists reviewed testimony in labor dispute cases, contracts, and statements made by over 300 truck drivers. The research revealed that many truckers are overworked and in debt, both of which ultimately affect their driving performance.

One common theme showed that these companies used tactics to force drivers to finance their trucks themselves, even if it meant taking out debt that they could not afford. Knowing that the driver was over-extended in debt, executives from the company exerted that leverage on the employees to work longer shifts. If a trucker quit, the company could keep the truck, meaning the driver lost all of the money he or she had put into owning it. The company would then simply lease the truck to the next driver hired.

In addition to leasing fees, truckers still had to pay for gas and maintenance, among others. After deducting for leasing expenses and other payments, some drivers were barely making a profit at all. One trucker reported his take-home pay at a mere $0.67 per week. If the trucker was fired, the company would continue to charge the driver for payments owed under the contract. Court filings revealed many high-profile corporations were charged with labor violations, including Target, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, Hasbro, UPS, Goodyear, and Costco.

Other discouraging findings were reported as part of the investigation. Companies would force drivers to work shifts up to 20 hours per day by threatening to fire them or take the truck away if the driver did not comply. A trucker testified that when he tried to return the truck one day, the parking lot was locked and a manager told him he was not allowed to go home. Between 2013 and 2015, hundreds of California truck drivers were involved in truck accidents that led to more than 30 fatalities.

These findings suggest that drivers were essentially forced to break federal regulations regarding hours of service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) governs the trucking industry in the United States with the goal of reducing accidents, injuries, and fatalities concerning 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other large trucks and buses. Interstate truck drivers and their employers must follow these regulations. Violators can be fined and found liable for any resulting accidents or injuries caused by driving while fatigued. Per the FMCSA, property-carrying truck drivers may only drive a maximum of 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours.

Driver fatigue is a major issue in the United States. Drivers who are tired are more likely to get into an accident, as they suffer from impaired reaction times. A Large Truck Causation Study conducted by the FMCSA found that 13% of truckers involved in crashes were found to have been tired at the time of the crash. Truck driver fatigue can be caused by driving late at night, working shifts involving odd hours, or driving for many consecutive hours with little to no breaks.

If you were injured in a truck accident, it will be critical to investigate the truck driver’s logbooks to confirm violations of federal hours of service rules. Many times, truck drivers choose to disregard them, especially if they are paid by the mile or load. Other times, it will be a trucking company that encourages or forces its drivers to disregard these hours of service. In this particular situation, trucking companies can be held directly liable for an accident caused by the fatigued driver.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Commercial Truck Black Boxes

You’ve probably heard the phrase “black box” in terms of aircraft and planes. Any time a plane crashes, black box data can be reviewed to gain insight as to what happened in the moments leading up to the crash. This is particularly valuable to assist in recreating the crash, getting to the bottom of what happened, and learning how to correct potential mistakes in the future. What you may not know is that most large commercial trucks, like 18-wheelers, come equipped with a black box as well.

Black boxes are often referred to as Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). They are designed to detect certain actions and data that can provide insight into how and why a collision occurred. They record this information, and data gained from the 5-10 seconds before the crash can be critical when it comes to investigating the accident. Federal trucking regulations instituted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require interstate commercial trucks to be equipped with ELDs. In addition to preserving information about a crash, these devices serve another valuable purpose – they can monitor driving time to ensure that truck drivers comply with federal hours of service guidelines, which are rules put in place to limit truck driver fatigue.

A black box contains valuable information – but how can you access it? It is not enough simply to know that a truck has a black box. Steps must be actively taken to ensure that evidence is preserved and can be obtained. Following an accident, the trucking company is unlikely to contact you, explain your rights, and offer to preserve the evidence on its own.

If you do not act quickly, the evidence could disappear or be destroyed in the ordinary course of business, especially if the vehicle is salvaged or later sold. If you hire an attorney as soon after your accident as possible, he or she can take steps to prevent spoliation of evidence.

Once the evidence is being safely preserved, steps can be taken to gather it. Black box data must be downloaded, and this is often performed by trucking experts. When speaking with attorneys, you should ask whether they have the resources to retain qualified experts who can perform the necessary downloads and then interpret the data.

Data gathered from a truck’s ELD may be used to reconstruct the accident, which can come in handy for accidents involving disputed liability. If the truck company disputes fault and refuses to accept responsibility, your expert’s reconstruction could make all the difference in your case and ability to recover fair compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain suffering.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

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Stephanie De La Cruz
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I was an UBER passenger and the car got rear-ended by a utility van. I called 1-800-HURT-511 since a friend dealt with them before and I was glad I did. My attorney was extremely professional and aggressive when necessary. He was transparent from the start and didn’t complicate things unnecessarily.

Stephanie De La Cruz

Jordan Barnes
quote

Serious team effort from the entire staff to get my work injury case resolved quickly. They built a strong case and kept me in the loop for the duration. This team also delivered on two previous occasions and did it in a very cost-effective way. A faithful customer for life thank you!

Jordan Barnes

Kevin Diaz
quote

I highly recommend HURT-511! When the insurance companies turned me away after a scary scooter accident that nearly killed me, a lawyer at HURT-511 stayed and fought for me and recovered the entire policy! Their staff is well-informed and always available to answer my questions. They treated me like one of their own and I made the right decision to stick with them. Thank you so much!

Kevin Diaz

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Our locations

  • QUEENS OFFICE

    163-07 Depot Road, Suite 101
    Flushing NY 11358

    104-70 Queens Blvd., #501
    Forest Hills NY 11375

  • BRONX OFFICE

    2932 Wilkinson Ave,
    The Bronx NY 10461

  • BROOKLYN OFFICE

    1733 Sheepshead Bay Rd, Suite 43
    Brooklyn NY 11235

  • LONG ISLAND OFFICE

    100 Herricks Road,
    Mineola NY 11501

    100 Garden City Plaza, Suite 500
    Garden City NY 11530

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