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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New York Personal Injury Peter SagirCongratulations to our partner NYC car accident lawyer Peter J. Saghir who obtained a verdict in Queens in a difficult liability case involving a pedestrian who was struck by a car at 42nd Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan.

The trial was bifurcated and the defendant denied all liability and faulted the plaintiff for the happening of the accident. The driver claimed that the plaintiff was running across the street outside of the crosswalk to catch a bus at the time of the accident while the plaintiff maintained she was walking across 42nd Street in the crosswalk with the light in her favor. Geico, who insured the driver, refused to tender the full policy prior to trial.

After summations and 25 minutes of deliberation, the jury of 3 men and 3 women returned a unanimous verdict finding the driver was 100% negligent and the plaintiff completely free from fault. After the verdict, Geico tendered the full policy and the driver made a substantial personal contribution.

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12 people died and 4,578 were injured in traffic accidents in New York City in April. Among the fatalities were 7 pedestrians, 3 cyclists and 2 motor vehicle passengers. The number of fatalities recorded last April is the lowest number of traffic fatalities ever recorded in April since Vision Zero started. Last year during the same month 20 people died in NYC motor vehicle accidents. In 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, there were respectively 14, 19, 21 and 15 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities NYC April 2018
Sadly, the number of people injured in accidents in the city was higher in April 2018 than it was in April 2017. It wasn’t as high as in 2016 but it was higher than in 2014 and 2015 and also back at the level where it was before Vision Zero was implemented.  While pedestrians and cyclists account for most deaths, motorists and passengers sustain most of the injuries.Motor vehcile accident injuries New York City April 2018

Motorists injuries continue to be on an ascending trend with a record number of 2,117 motorists injured last April compared to respectively, 1,922, 2,061, 1,363, 1,305 and 1,599 in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Distracted driving might be one of the reasons why this number continues to increase.

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A security guard died and another worker was injured in a construction accident in New York last Saturday.  67-year-old Harry Ramnauth was crushed to death by an 8 by 14-foot piece of glass that fell on him from the first floor of the Central Park Tower construction site. Upon completion, The Central Park Tower will become the second tallest skyscraper in the United States, surpassing the Willis Tower. The glass plate, weighing several thousand pounds, was being installed on the first floor of the building. It fell on the security guard as workers were in the process of moving it. Another 27-year old construction worker who was trying to help the security guard was also injured. When the EMS team arrived they found the man with severe body trauma. He was unresponsive and unconscious. They rushed him to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved.

A construction stop was ordered as the DOB investigates the exact cause of the accident. A violation for failing to safeguard the site was also issued to Extell and Bovis Lend Lease which oversees the project.

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ATV on paved roadEven though driving an ATV on the road might be allowed in your town, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released an announcement urging ATV users to stay off paved roads.

According to the agency, ATVs which are designed for off road use are more difficult to control on paved surfaces and are at risk of over turning. Obviously there is also a higher risk of collision with cars and other motor vehicles when driving an ATV on a paved road.

ATVs are dangerous vehicles. Between 2010 and 2013, 430,000 people were treated for injuries related to ATV accidents and 2,400 died from these accidents. Among the 2,400 deaths, 770 occurred on a paved road, That’s more than 30% of all ATV deaths.

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OxyContinWhen Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin in 1995, the Food and Drug Administration permitted the company to make a unique claim for it: that its long acting formula would reduce its appeal to drug abusers who preferred short-acting opiates such as Percocet and Vicodin.

The exact opposite occurred and OxyContin became the most expensive and the most sought after drug on the black market. The New York Times obtained a copy of a confidential report from the Justice Department that indicates that shortly after the new drug was launched company officials were aware that the drug was being crushed, snorted, stolen from pharmacies and that doctors were being criminally charged for selling it to drug abusers.

A four year investigation found that despite being fully aware that OxyContin was one of the most abused drugs, the drug company failed to warn about its dangers, lied and continued to promote it as a drug less prone to abuse than any other prescription opioids. In 2006 the prosecutors recommended that 3 Purdue Pharma executives be indicted on felony charges. One of the charges was conspiracy to defraud the United States. That meant jail time for the 3 executives.  At the time, Georges Bush was the president and Justice Department officials declined the recommendation. Instead, the case was settled in 2007.

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A cyclist died after he was doored by a car in Queens, NYC, and ended up under the wheels of a truck. The accident occurred yesterday afternoon in Long Island City. The 45 year old man was riding his bike North on 21st Street near 46th Avenue when the passenger of a car parked in the street suddenly opened his door and hit him. The impact sent the cyclist flying  in the middle of the street in front of a box truck. The  truck driver didn’t have the time to stop and ran over him. The man was transported to the hospital in serious condition. He later died from his injuries The car driver and the truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident. The truck driver was taken into custody after the police found that he didn’t have a valid license.

Read more on the CBS New York website

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accident sceneSadly NYC motorcycle accidents are always increasing when the warm days come back in the city.  Over the last few days two people died in two separate motorcycle accidents in New York City.

Last Saturday night a motorcyclist was killed after he collided with a minivan in Queens. The accident occurred a little bit after 10:14 pm at the intersection of 221st Street and 113th Drive in Cambria Heights. The motorcyclist who was travelling west on 113th Drive crashed into the passenger door of a minivan travelling North on 221st Street. The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He later died from his injuries. The 55 year old van driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He suffered minor injury. (Read more in Pix11)

Another motorcyclist died in Brooklyn. 27 year old Luimy Acosta-Collado was riding a dirt bike on Hancock Street in Bushwick on Monday night around 10:50 pm when he struck a car that was doubled parked. He landed on his back and was pinned under a SUV. The bike continued on its way without its driver and crashed into another car. Luimy just lived a half block away. Right after the accident occurred, neighbors as well as his wife ran in the street to try to help him. His wife was frantic and crying. She was saying “please don’t let my husband died”.  The man was rushed to the hospital but he didn’t survive. The driver of the SUV, a 24 year old woman stayed at the scene of the accident. She wasn’t hurt.  As the police arrived to investigate the accident they were unable to find the dirt bike. It was apparently stolen shortly after the accident occurred. The dirt bike that Luimy was riding didn’t belong to him. Dirt bikes are illegal in New York City and neighbors believe that the owner of the bike took it back before it got confiscated. (Read more in the NY Daily News)

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7th-waverly-perryThe installation of protected bike lanes all over New York City not only protect bicyclists from dangerous accidents but also drivers and pedestrians alike. According to DOT statistics, streets with bike lanes have 40 percent fewer crashes ending in death or serious injury. A study realized after the Ninth Avenue protected bike lane was installed showed that all injuries related to traffic accidents decreased by 50%. Pedestrian injuries decreased by 29% and cyclist injuries by 57%.

Better protection for cyclists and pedestrians

Last week the DOT announced that the many cyclists using Seventh Ave to ride South in Manhattan will now be able to use a protected bike lane from 30th Street to Clarkson Street. Half of the protected bike lane, from 30th Street to 14th Street was installed at the end of last year. The DOT finished installing the other part from 14th Street to Clarkson Street last week. The DOT still needs to paint the lane in green. The DOT is also planning to install five concrete pedestrian islands along the way as well as additional safety improvements for pedestrians.

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Crane in New YorkCrane accidents can have dramatic consequences and one way to prevent such accidents is to make sure crane operators are proprely trained and certified.  So far, operators of cranes and derricks have been receiving different levels of certification based on the rated operating capacity (ROC) of the machine they are operating. However  after multiple complaints from the construction industry  that the ROC was not a suitable indicator of a crane operator skills and experience, OSHA just released a new rule that removes the ROC-based certification requirements but instead put the responsibility of making sure that the crane operator is qualified in the hands of the employer. The proposed rule change “requires that every employer evaluate an employee first as an operator-in-training before permitting him or her to operate equipment without oversight.”

With this new rule, every newly hired crane operator would have to be proprely evaluated by his new employer before he is allowed to operate the crane. Therefore on their first days of work with a new employer, crane operators would be considered trainees and would be tested on their competency and skills.

Among others employers will have to make sure  newly hired crane operators know how to inspect the equipment, how to rig and to level the crane . Employers will have to test crane operators  on their judgement about wind speed and  other environmental factors.  They also will have to make sure that new crane operators know how to hoist loads of irregular size and weight, that they are familiar with personnel hoisting, that they can perform multiple crane lifts and that they are able to hoist blind picks. Additionally employers will have to test operators on their capacity of operating the crane in special conditions such as  tight space, near power lines or from a barge.

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accident sceneA 20 year old woman was killed in a hit and run car accident last Thursday  in Queens. The driver who hit her and tried to run away was arrested by the police. 19 year old Alfaheed Odesanya was driving North on  Guy R. Brewer Boulevard when he blew a red light at the intersection of Archer Ave. He struck another car driven by a young woman. After he struck the car Odesanya and a passenger abandoned the scene of the accident and tried to run away on foot. He was quickly caught by the police and charged with leaving the scene of a serious crash. The young woman was transported to the hospital in critical conditions. She later died from her injuries