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.
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Heather29 year old Heather Lough died from critical injuries sustained after she was struck by a truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn, NYC. The young woman had just been hired to work at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and was on her way to work when the accident happened.  Heater was coming out of the Metro North station and was riding her bicycle on Southern Boulevard when she was hit by a truck making a left turn at high speed. The bicyclist got stuck under the wheels and she was dragged for some distance under the truck until the driver stopped.  She was taken to the hospital in critical condition where she died from her injuries after five days of pain and suffering. The truck driver, 45 year old Robert Owens from Upper Manhattan was charged with reckless driving and failure to yield.

Heather’s best friend set up a fundraiser to pay for a natural burial near her family in Washington State. If you wish you can donate here.

The picture is from the fundraising page

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car accident ManhattanSeveral pedestrians were injured in a car accident in New York yesterday.  The  chain reaction crash took place on Broadway between 61st street  and 62nd Street yesterday afternoon. The driver of a black Honda Sedan intentionally hit a yellow cab twice from behind. The yellow cab careened onto the sidewalk, hitting a halal food cart which fell into a Con Edison truck that was parked next to it. A female pedestrian was trapped under the food cart and was severely injured. According to the NY Daily News she almost lost an arm and is now in critical condition. 3 other pedestrians were sent by ambulance to the hospital. The vendor who was inside the food truck was also injured. The cab driver suffered minor injuries and the two passengers were fine. The police are still looking for the driver of the black Sedan which may have been a stolen car.

Picture: courtesy of Alex Silverman on Twitter

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NYC fatal bicycle accidentA bicyclist was struck and killed by a reckless driver in New York City yesterday night. The 26 year old driver of a Honda Sedan was caught on a surveillance camera recklessly speeding on Brooklyn streets moments before the accident. Witnesses told CBS news that they saw the car speeding on Avenue P and blowing two red lights. At the second light the reckless driver collided with a car that was crossing the intersection with the green light. The impact was so strong that the two cars careened away into a nearby bicyclist who got pinned under one of them. Witnesses ran to the scene of the accident and lifted the car to liberate the bicyclist but he couldn’t be saved and died from his injuries. Firefighters had to cut one of the cars in half to free the driver. Both car drivers only suffered minor injuries. The reckless driver is now in police custody and he is facing criminal charges.

Picture source: courtesy of New York Rescue Response Team on Twitter

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medical-malpracticeIf you learn that your doctor was sued for medical malpractice, should you immediately change doctors? A recent article in Consumer Reports  explains how patients can find information about their doctor and what they should do about it.

Not every doctor who was sued for medical malpractice is a bad doctor.  Consumer Reports talked to Michelle M. Mello, a Professor of Law and of Health Research and Policy  at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Mello is an expert on the medical malpractice system, medical error and patient safety. She told Consumer Reports that very often medical malpractice lawsuits “are not the best indicator of substandard care” for several reasons.  For example:

  • The lawsuit may settle before a trial without the doctor admitting his error
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Construction_worker_harnessFalls are the leading cause of death in construction accidents in New York and in the U.S. Some of them are caused by inadequate safety measures while others occur even though all OSHA safety measures were followed by the construction workers.

Steelworkers for example are allowed to to work up to a height of 25 feet without the use of a safety harness. OSHA rules also permit construction workers climbing a scaffold to unhook their attachment and hook it again to a higher tie-off point as they ascend.

Some contractors in New York believe OSHA rules are not strict enough and require all their workers to use a harness when they work 6 feet and higher above the ground. Some NY construction companies also require that workers climbing scaffolds use two harnesses so they are constantly hooked onto something and protected. Gilbane Building is among the contractors in New York that require all workers to follow these two rules.

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A pedestrian died in NYC after being struck by a car that drove over him and didn’t stop. Sunday morning around 2:30 am, 43 year old Doodnach Lalcahn started to cross the intersection of 115th Ave and 131st Street in Ozone Park Queens, NYC, when he fell on the ground. A video surveillance shows a car driving over him, slowing down and then continuing on its way. Other vehicles drove by without stopping . Finally a good Samaritan parked his car in front of the victim to prevent other cars from hitting him. Unfortunately it was too late. The man who suffered severe head trauma died at the scene of the accident.

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220px-Surgeons_at_Work251,000 people died from medical error in the US in 2013. This was the third highest cause of death that year  in the US after cancer (585,000) and heart disease (611,000) according to estimates calculated by Martin A Makary, professor and Michael Daniel, research fellow at the Department of Surgery of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

In a recent article published in the British Medical Journal, Martin Makary and Michael Daniel explain the difficulty of obtaining the exact numbers of people dying from medical malpractice in the US and how they “analyzed the scientific literature on medical error to identify its contribution to US deaths in relation to causes listed by the CDC“.

Every year the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  compiles data from death certificates to prepare statistics related to causes of death in the U.S. On death certificates the cause of the death is coded according to an International Classification of Disease (ICD). The CDC is using the ICD codes to prepare its yearly statistics but these codes do not capture human or system errors.  Deaths certificates from patients dying in hospitals will list a medical condition but not a medical error.

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DOT vehicleAmong its many responsibilities The NYC Department of Transportation is in charge of implementing Vision Zero a campaign to reduce fatal traffic accidents in New York City. Therefore it would be expected that DOT employees driving around the city lead by example and drive carefully but some of them seem to believe the rules don’t apply to them.

A PIX11 investigation documented by shocking video shows that some DOT employees are complete reckless drivers. One of them was caught using a laptop while driving, another one was caught running a red light and a DOT car was repeatedly seen driving at high speed in a school zone.

PIX11 also found that since the Zero Vision Initiative started in 2014, DOT employees received more than 500 summonses for  driving recklessly. Further since the start of Vision Zero in 2014, city vehicles have received 11,367 summonses.

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A motorist was severely injured by a bicyclist who hit him in the head with his bike lock in a road rage incident in Brooklyn NYC.  Around 7:30 pm on Monday night, a 59 year old man had just left a Greenpoint gas station and was driving his car on McGuinness Boulevard between Meeker Avenue and Bayard Street when he got into a conflict with a bike rider. The bicyclist accused him of almost hitting him. He then took his bike lock and started to smash it on the car, He then opened the car’s door, pulled out the driver and repeatedly hit the man on the head.  Then he fled. The police are still looking for him. The driver was transported to the hospital and treated for head injuries and cuts to his hands. Incidents of road rage are reaching epidemic proportions. It is a sign of increasing stress especially in N.Y.C. The perpetrators should be subject to Felony charges and sentenced to jail time.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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To reduce pedestrian accidents at dangerous New York intersections, City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) wants to re-introduce an old crosswalk system named the Barnes Dance. The Barnes Dance is a system from the 60ies where all cars have the red light at the same time at an intersection so all pedestrians can cross safely without mixing with traffic. This type of crosswalk system was named after traffic engineer Henry Barnes. The bill which will be introduced tomorrow is asking the NYC DOT to look at the feasibility of a Barnes Dance system at the 25 most dangerous intersections of the city. Read more in the NY Daily News