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Attorneys Draw Attention to New Laws Taking Effect in 2017

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Motor vehicles passing ambulance helping injury victims on Long Island, NY.

Laws are enacted annually that impact New York City residents from all walks of life.  Because these laws can have a substantial impact on the lives of NYC residents, people need to have a basic understanding of new laws.  While a complete discussion and analysis of these laws is beyond the scope of this blog, our New York accident attorneys have provided a summary of several new legal provisions.

Improved Railroad Crossing Safety: An increased number of inspections of traffic control signals at rail crossings will be performed.  Violators will be fined for failing to report incidents that occur at traffic crossings.  Railroad crossing safety improved significantly in recent decades with fatal crossing collisions declining from 9,461 in 1981 to 2,059 in 2015.  Injuries and fatalities fell from 3,293 and 728 respectively to 967 and 244 during the same period.  Defective or inadequate rail guards and warning signals, negligent train engineer, or poorly maintained tracks can cause rail-crossing accidents.

Extension of New York Move Over Law Protections: Many motorists are unaware that the New York Move Over Law requires motorists to move over when approaching a vehicle on the shoulder of the roadway or in a traffic lane that is displaying blue, red, white and/or amber lights.  Although many motorists are unaware of the law, the police issue many citations for violation of the New York Move Over Law.  The law requires motorists to slow down and move over for firefighters, ambulance workers, roadway construction crews, sanitation vehicles, hazard vehicles, and police with flashing lights on the side of the road.  The amendment that takes effect this year imposes the same duty to slow down and move over on drivers of ambulances, police cruisers, and fire trucks.

New Drivers Permitted to Become Organ Donors: Tragically, new drivers face a heightened traffic fatality risk.  Inexperience behind the wheel often combines with other factors like texting, alcohol use, and speeding to cause teen driving accidents.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents claimed the lives of 2,270 teens from the age of 16 through the age of 19 during 2014.  The new law lowers the age from 18 to 16 for learner’s permit applicants to become eligible for organ donation.

Miscellaneous Legal Changes in New York Law

Increase in Minimum Law: The state minimum wage will increase over time to $15.00 per hour.  The minimum wage will rise each year until it reaches that level.

Breast and Prostate Cancer Screenings:  Many hospitals must extend the breast screening times by a minimum of four hours to facilitate breast screening for working women.  NYC public employees get a maximum of four hours of paid leave for prostrate screening.

Access to Drug Addiction Treatment: When addicted individuals need an emergency supply of medication or treatment for addiction, approval from the insurance company is unnecessary.

Other Miscellaneous Changes:

  • New Standards for Auto Shops on Window Tinting
  • Extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit for Noncustodial Parents
  • New Tax Credit for Beer Manufacturers

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

If you have been injured by the negligent conduct of an individual, government entity, or business, you may be able to file a claim for financial compensation. Contact an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney as soon as possible to have your claim reviewed.  Be aware that there is a statute of limitations for filing a claim, so it is recommended you act quickly. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today for a free consultation at 516-358-6900.

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