Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
Published on:

daLeft turn accidents in New York City kill or severely injure pedestrians and bicyclists 3 times more than right turns. These findings are part of a study focusing on left turn crashes that was recently released by the NYC DOT.  As part of Vision Zero, the DOT carefully analyzed 1,105 crash reports over a period of 5 years.

The most dangerous intersections for left turns are those when a vehicle is turning left from a one lane and one way street onto a two way and two lane street wider than 60 feet. When a driver makes a left turn in this type of intersection, his visibility of pedestrians is limited. Additionally, the driver often pressured by traffic behind him, has to find gaps between the incoming traffic and the pedestrians crossing.

The study also found that victims of left turn accidents are mostly pedestrians with a median age of 67. They are most commonly hit by cars, vans or pickup trucks.

Published on:

accident sceneA reckless driver fatally backed up into a pedestrian in Manhattan. The 41 year old man was driving North on Third Ave. As he was crossing E. 71st Street, he suddenly stopped in the middle of the intersection. He then proceeded to back up toward a parking spot. As he was doing so, 83 year old Lee Strong, a Upper East Side resident, had just started to cross the street in the crosswalk. The driver didn’t see her and backed into her.  She was knocked down and suffered severe head injuries. She was transported to the hospital in critical condition. She died of her injuries one day after being admitted. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. The police have not made a decision yet as to charge him or not.  Read more in the NY Daily News

Published on:

police brutality signPolice misconduct lawsuits cost New York City $ 228.5 million last fiscal year according to the recently released Mayor’s Management Report. This amount accounts for a third of all city lawsuits.  As a comparison this number was $86.5 million in 2005.  In a recent article, the Gothamist explains that this staggering number is not related to recent cases but to older ones.  Some cases can take up to 10 years to reach a conclusion. For example cases of police brutality and mistreatment during the 2004 Republican National Convention cost the city half a billion dollars over the years and took 10 years to be resolved. Often one big profile case can also represent a big chunk of the yearly amount. During the last fiscal year, for example, the city paid $40 million for 5 men wrongly convicted for the murder of a taxi driver in the Bronx.

In an attempt to reduce this ballooning amount, the city comptroller Scott Stringer has launched ClaimStat, a new program to record and analyze lawsuits against the police. With ClaimStat, Stringer is trying to figure out what is the most advantageous for the city: settle or fight a lawsuit. The NYPD also created a legal unit to assist the NYC Corporation Counsel in investigating cases.

Recently complaints for police brutality in New York City have been globally declining. The Mayor’s Management Report indicates that during the last fiscal year there were 4,711 complaints to the Civilian Complaint Review Board and 2,933 lawsuits against the NYPD compared to respectively 5,700 and 3,600 in 2012.  However despite a decline in CCRB complaints the number of substantiated complaints increased significantly. From 315  during the 2014 fiscal year it jumped to 531 last year.

Published on:

NYC Construction accident injuries and fatalitiesConstruction accident injuries in New York are on the rise as the city is experiencing a boom in this industry. The de Blasio administration just released the Mayor’s Management Report that covers the fiscal year that goes from July 2015 to the end of June 2016. The report indicates that 526 construction workers were injured and 11 died in construction accidents in New York City during the last fiscal year compared to respectively 324 and 10 during the previous fiscal year. During the same periods of time the average number of employees in the construction industry in NYC went from 38,600 to 42,200. While the workforce on construction sites only increased by 9%, the number of injuries increased by 62%.  The number of fatalities increased by 10%.

These statistics only reflect accidents injuries and deaths that occurred after a violations of the city’s construction code. The real number of deaths that occurred on New York City construction sites during that time is 18 according to OSHA statistics (see previous blog). Therefore the real number of injuries related to accidents on NYC construction sites may be much higher than 526, not only because the city’s manner of reporting injuries is biased but also because  many injuries are simply not reported. Construction workers  are often pressured not to report injuries by greedy contractors who don’t want to see their insurance increase or be investigated by OSHA or the DOT inspectors.

To try to make NYC construction sites safer, de Blasio announced new safety measures at the beginning of the year. Among the measures, new inspectors have been hired to increase the number of sites inspections. Penalties for violations of safety standards increased from $2,400 to $10,000 and penalties for not having a supervisor on site from $5,000 to $25,000. Additionally after a giant crane crashed on pedestrians in lower Manhattan, the city ordered a special study to update the city’s crane regulations.

Published on:

truck speeding1,000 people die in truck accidents related to speed every year in the US. If truck drivers weren’t able to drive faster than 60 mph, the NHTSA estimated that half of these people would be alive. For almost 10 years most trucks in the world have been equipped with electronic technology that can limit their speed but so far US truck operators have not been legally required to use this system. Few of them are using them. Schneider National, a truck carrier from Wisconsin is one of the only companies to use them on all its trucks for two decades. Traffic safety advocates and industry trade groups have been pushing for truck and bus companies to use this safety device for years.

Finally last month, the NHTSA released proposed rules to mandate electronic speed limiters in all trucks and buses with a weight equal or bigger than 13 tons. The NHTSA is not sure yet if they also want to apply these rules to the vehicles already on the roads. They are also hesitant in the choice of the speed limit. Should it be 68 mph, 65, mph or 60 mph? Traffic safety advocates want the lowest speed because it potentially saves more lives but independent truckers who are paid by the number of loads delivered see the speed limiter as a decrease in their income. They argue that a truck that goes slower than the rest of the traffic also causes risks of accidents.

In the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, electronic speed limiters are mandatory and must be set at 65 mph. In Europe, electronic speed limiters have been mandatory since 1993 for big trucks of 13 tons and more. The European Commission is planning to introduce the same regulation for smaller trucks as well.

Published on:

samsung deviceDefective batteries in the Samsung Galaxy Note7 can potentially overheat and catch fire causing severe burns to users. On September 15 the smartphone manufacturer announced that it was recalling about 1 million Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones sold in the US and Canada before September 15th. The company received 92 reports indicating that the lithium battery was overheating. 26 people reported being burned and 55 others reported property damage including fires in cars and garages.  The recalled devices were sold in various colors and features a 5.7 inch screen. If you own one of these phones, please locate the IMEI number on the back of your phone. You can then go to the Samsung website to check if your phone is being recalled.

Read more about this recall on the CPSC website

Published on:

Gair Gair LawyersOur NY personal injury law firm is proud to announce that 11 of our attorneys have been named Super Lawyers. These top NYC personal injury attorneys are:  Ben B. Rubinowitz, Anthony H. Gair, Howard S. Hershenhorn, Jeffrey B. Bloom, Richard M. Steigman, Jerome I. Katz, Stephen H. Mackauf, Marijo C. Adimey, Diana M.A. Carnemolla, Peter J. Saghir and Seymour Boyers.  Additionally  two of our youngest attorneys,  D. Allen Zachary and Christopher A. Donadio,  were selected to the Super Lawyer Rising Stars list.

7 of these talented lawyers have been selected for 11 consecutive years: Jeff, Seymour, Anthony, Howard, Jerome, Stephen and Ben are all senior partners at the firm and have accumulated invaluable  experience in the field of personal injury litigation. Richard has been  elected a Super Lawyer  five times.

Additionally Ben and Jeff were both listed in the Super Lawyers top 100  New York -Metro.

Published on:

construction workerThe New York City Department of Buildings announced earlier this year that 12 people died in  construction accidents in New York City in 2015 but the real number is 18. According to a recent article in Crain’s, the New York City Department of Buildings only counts deaths that are related to a violation of the city’s construction code.

Despite being featured by media and investigated by OSHA, all other deaths on NYC construction sites are not counted as construction accident deaths  in the DOB statistics. This obviously doesn’t make much sense. The DOB numbers are a distorted indication of the level of safety on New York construction sites.

Among the deaths that the city didn’t count were a hard hat who fell to his death in an elevator shaft,  a safety coordinator crushed by a crane, a worker who fell from a ladder and a truck driver who was sucked into a concrete truck shaft. Following these deaths, OSHA issued safety violations for each case. However the DOB didn’t and also didn’t add them to the total number of New York City construction accident deaths in 2015.

Published on:

cyclists in New YorkBicycle accidents in New York City have killed more people in 2016 than in previous years. A recent article in the NY Daily News looks back at some of the accidents that occurred this year and how they could have been prevented.

Many fatal accidents took place in areas that have been designated by  Vision Zero  programs to be re-engineered because they were too dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians. Unfortunately not every community board is pedestrian and bicyclist friendly. Some of the deadly bicycle accidents occurred in areas where community boards rejected Vision Zero projects to make streets safer.

When asked to comment about the steep increase of bicyclists dying in traffic accidents in the city, the Department of Transportation replied that the streets of New York City have never been as safe as Today. Statistically, compared to the estimated number of  daily bike rides, the number of severe injuries or deaths related to bike accidents is at its lowest.  According to DOT calculations cyclists were 72% safer in 2014 than in 2000. The DOT estimated that in 2014 420,000 people were riding a bike everyday in New York City. That is almost triple the amount of  2000.

Published on:

NYPDAn NYPD officer riding his motor scooter fell and was injured after he was run over by an ATV rider. The man who ran over him was part of a band of a dozen motorcyclists. The cop and another colleague, on a scooter as well, were responding to 911 calls related to the bikers group riding near the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday around 5:30 pm.

According to the NY Daily News, the group of motorcyclists were riding dirt bikes and ATVs. As they passed the two cops on their bikes one of them fell. One of the ATV riders ran over him. The other cop fell off his bike as well while the whole band fled the scene of the accident.

Both cops were transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries.