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New York Legal Blog

Will self-driving cars make our roads safer?

Ten years ago, the idea of a self-driving automobile sounded like a fantasy, but today there are self-driving cars and trucks delivering people and products in some parts of the country. While there are very few self-driving cars on the road at this point, and they are still being tested and perfected, every month it seems like a new technology has appeared to make a world without human drivers more plausible.

Toyota's research and development wing, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), recently announced its latest self-driving technologies by revealing its driverless Lexus LS 600hL. The vehicle has powerful Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors, other cameras and radar sleekly incorporated into its design. TRI has named the new LIDAR-powered self-driving tech Platform 3.0 and has been featured in the latest CES technology show in Las Vegas.

5 examples of racism in the U.S. criminal justice system

It seems like a new and disturbing instance of police misconduct or unfair prosecution is in the headlines every week. All these newsworthy examples of mistreatment against people of color by the criminal justice system show how serious this problem is. 

Racism is unfortunately prevalent in the U.S. legal system. Read below for some troubling ways that Latino and African-American people experience discrimination by law enforcement and the courts.

New York's 2017 construction death toll continues to rise

A tragic accident at a Chelsea job site recently brought the New York construction-related death toll to nine for 2017. In the accident, a 34-year-old man died after getting hit in the head by a metal fragment.

The fatal blow happened after some metal fell off scaffolding on Ninth Avenue. The man was found unresponsive by emergency workers. Although they rushed him to Lenox Hill Hospital, doctors were unable to save him and he was later pronounced dead.

Why bring police injustices to light?

America has a reputation for being a sue-happy country. Ironically, this reputation can put some people off pursuing a lawsuit, whether it is to seek compensation for injuries suffered in a car wreck or injuries suffered at the hands of a police officer. After all, no one wants the label "gold digger."

However, you may want to consider an important aspect of lawsuits: They bring attention to a variety of issues, and police brutality is certainly an issue that Americans deserve to know more about.

What is my right to remain silent?

Every human being in the United States has the right to remain silent. The right to remain silent, also known as your "Miranda Rights," refers to your ability to refrain from speaking, and thereby refrain from unintentionally incriminating yourself when you're interacting with a police officer. Although you have this right, however, you may need to invoke your Miranda rights directly by stating, "I am exercising my right to remain silent."

You may want to specifically invoke your right to remain silent when approached by police depending on your circumstances because -- in some cases -- police might try to interpret your body language as incriminating. You may also want to ask to speak with a lawyer when you invoke your Miranda rights.

What are the most serious construction accident dangers?

If you've spent your career working around construction sites, you're probably aware of the numerous dangers New York hardhats encounter on the job. However, you might not be aware of all of them. By reviewing some of the most common scenarios that cause construction accidents on a regular basis, workers will be more alert to avoid them.

With accident prevention in mind, let's take a look at what you should be aware of as a New York construction worker:

How to avoid becoming a road rage statistic

Many people are impatient on the roads today. Whether it is due to stress, traffic congestion, an inconsiderate driver or some other trigger, there are some drivers who react aggressively to others. Aggressive behavior behind the wheel can turn deadly for New York residents. Here, we provide information on how you can reduce your chances of becoming a road rage victim.

Road rage is a step up from aggressive driving, according to the American Safety Council. Whereas aggressive driving can cause accidents, road rage is a deliberate action to cause harm and is considered a criminal offense. Aggressive driving may involve speeding, swerving between lanes, tailgating, cutting others off, honking the horn and using offensive hand gestures. If you are the target of someone who switches from being an aggressive driver to engaging in road rage, he or she may use the vehicle, a firearm or other object in the car as a weapon, or attempt to force you out of your vehicle for a physical confrontation.

New York man to receive $150k in false arrest settlement

A Brooklyn man filed a lawsuit claiming that the Pennsylvania State Police falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned him. According to the lawsuit, the man was arrested on suspicion of drugged driving, and Pennsylvania authorities subsequently held him in jail for five months before he was released due to a lack of evidence.

The state police department settled the lawsuit for $150,000 on Nov. 3. As per the language in the settlement, the police neither admit to liability nor fault. The settlement covers the costs related to the man's loss of vehicle, apartment and occupation while he was being held in jail on bail of $10,000 from June 2014 through November 2014.

Activist sues police after they endangered his life during arrest

A local leader from the Black Lives Matter movement says that New York police nearly killed him during his arrest at a peaceful demonstration. The man says that police handcuffed him while he was participating in a protest against the immigration ban instituted by the White House last February.

According to a lawsuit recently filed by the man, prosecutors dismissed the charges that police brought against him, but only if he does not get arrested for a period of six months. The activist, who serves as the president of the Greater New York chapter of Black Lives Matter, explained that his lawsuit is about the accountability of law enforcement. The 40-year-old activist said that he is pursuing his lawsuit to assert his right to damages after being injured by wrongful police action.

What's the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968?

Numerous federal laws offer different civil rights to the American public. Some of these laws protect individuals with disabilities from suffering from discriminatory practices, and they also help these individuals have equal access to various public buildings and facilities. The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 is one of these federal laws. It applies to government buildings and facilities that are leased, remodeled, constructed and/or designed through the use of various federal funds.

According to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, federal buildings need to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. The term "building" refers to facilities or buildings that are not being leased for subsidized housing and that are not being used for military purposes. By virtue of the act, other federal buildings must be accessible to the general public, including individuals deemed to be "physically handicapped."

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