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Manhattan Employment Law Blog

Motor vehicle automation and the issue of liability, P.1

Previously, we looked briefly at the push to include automatic braking technology in new models of motor vehicles, and the promise this technology holds with respect to improving highway safety. This is true, of course, of automatic driving technology in general. The effort to make these technologies more available on the mass market is largely driven by the desire to cut out human error and thereby reduce motor vehicle accidents.

Although the reduction of human error in motor vehicle operation has potential to significantly improve highway safety, a mandatory scheme has yet to be worked out for addressing liability when accidents involving automatic driving technology do occur. This is an important issue that needs to be more fully addressed as high vehicle automation becomes mainstream. 

Automatic braking technology holds promise, but may also present liability issues

Automatic driving technologies, and automated driving in general, is an important emerging issue in the world of automobile manufacturing. The promise of increasing highway safety through use of this technology is great, but the regulatory structure surrounding automatic driving technologies is still developing.

While manufacturers are moving slowly on comprehensive automatic driving systems, certain technologies, like automatic braking, are being heavily pushed because of the safety benefits they are expected to bring.  

Things you need to know about religious discrimination

In today's age, you would believe that every company is aware that employees practice all types of religion.Taking this one step further, you would also believe that these companies are familiar with the federal and state laws in place to protect employees against religious discrimination.

Even so, there are individuals and companies that continue to break the law by discriminating against workers because of their religion.

When can I file a private suit for employment discrimination?

Workplace discrimination can be a distressing thing to experience, and it is important for employees to be aware of their legal rights when it occurs. Discrimination protections exist at both the state and the federal level, and knowing how to navigate the system is critical to seeking justice and fair compensation.

Every state has a little different process for handling workplace discrimination. In New York, discrimination claims can be filed with the New York Division of Human Rights, the state agency responsible for enforcing the New York’s Human Rights Law. Such a complaint must be filed within one year of the date the discriminatory practice occurred. Alternatively, an individual may file a lawsuit with the New York State Supreme Court. 

Making use of police crash reports in personal injury litigation

Previously, we began looking at a recent National Safety Council report on the deficiencies in gathering of crash data during law enforcement investigations. As we noted, the report made several recommendations for states to improve their investigation procedures. These include taking an investigatory approach to data gathering, updating forms more frequently to ensure emerging crash factors are recorded, gathering information recorded electronically, and using electronic crash reporting.

For accident victims, police motor vehicle accident reports can be a valuable resource in building a strong personal injury case. Although police reports themselves are usually considered inadmissible “hearsay,” they can help an accident victim to know what questions and requests to make in the discovery process, as well as what witnesses to call to the stand at trial and what questions to ask them.

Report: states need to be more thorough in gathering information about crashes

In any personal injury case, gathering as much and as accurate information as possible about the accident is important for a couple reasons. For one thing, it allows accident victims to get a sense of what specific factors or causes are behind the accident and to determine who may be responsible for causing or contributing to the accident. Thorough and accurate information about a crash also helps accident victims determine the extent to which each party contributed to the accident for purposes of comparative liability.

When a crash occurs, law enforcement is largely responsible for gathering detailed and accurate information about a crash. Unfortunately, the information law enforcement gathers is not always accurate, nor is it necessarily as detailed as it could be. 

Common causes of outdoor slip-and-fall accidents

As a pedestrian, there are times when you slip and fall without any external cause. For example, this may be the result of your clumsiness or an untied shoelace.

Conversely, there are times when outdoor slip-and-fall accidents result from negligence. An example of this would be a property owner who neglects to maintain his or her parking lot.

What is comparative negligence, and how does it work in New York?

Motor vehicle accidents can be complex, and it isn’t always easy to determine who is liable for a crash. In some cases, liability may be easily attributable to the actions of only one party. In other cases, liability may be distributed among multiple parties, including the individual who initiates a personal injury lawsuit.

An important issue in any motor vehicle accident case is to identify the parties responsible for causing harm. This includes not only the drivers and other individuals directly involved in the accident, but also third parties who may have acted negligently and thus contributed to the causing the accident. When multiple parties are found to be at fault, it is important to accurately determine—as far as possible—to proportional contribution of each parties. This is the principle of comparative negligence.

Employees: know and protect your leave rights under federal, state law, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at some of the basic protections available to workers in terms of family and medical leave at both the state and the federal level. As we noted, the state of New York is progressive in this area, guaranteeing up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for most employees. Additional protections may apply at the local level.

When an employer fails to fulfill its duties under federal, state or local law, it is important for employees to work with experienced legal counsel who can work to protect their rights. At the federal level, family and medical leave protections are enforced by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. 

Employees: know and protect your leave rights under federal, state law

Family and medical leave is an important issue nowadays, particularly with Americans starting families later in life and an increasing aging population. While some workers are lucky enough to have an employer who provides paid family and medical leave, not everybody is. This is because federal law doesn’t require employers to provide paid leave, at least not yet.

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, employers are required to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave. Under the law, leave may be taken to address serious health conditions of a spouse, child or parent, or for the employee’s owner serious health issues. 

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