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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NYC construction workers safetyIn an effort to reduce the number of construction workers injured or killed in New York City, Mayor de Blasio introduced at the end of last year “Intro. 1447-C”, a bill requiring each construction worker to attend 40 hours minimum of safety training to be able to work at a New York construction site (see previous blog).

Therefore by March 1 2018, hard hats working on a NYC construction site will have to show that they attended at least 10 hours of safety training within the previous five years if they want to continue working. Workers can do so by attending an OSHA 10 class.  Workers can Google” OSHA 10 training NYC” to find many options available during the week as well as during the week-end.  During an OSHA 10 hours training course, workers will learn basic work place safety and how to reduce the risk of accidents. They will participate in interactive exercises and study real life cases. Subjects will include fall protection, personal protective equipment, electrocution and more.

By December 1st 2018, construction workers are required to complete OSHA 10 and 20 additional training hours specified by DOB or OSHA 30. Workers also have the option to attend a DOB-approved 100-hour training program.

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accident sceneA 26 year old pedestrian suffered critical injury after being struck by a car in Long Island City, NYC,  on Tuesday night.  The man was hit by a dark-colored SUV at the corner of 35th Street and 46th Avenue. The SUV driver didn’t stop, leaving behind him a man critically injured. A woman who was working in a nearby warehouse heard the accident and ran out in the street. She told the Daily News that the victim was trying to get up but he couldn’t. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The police are still looking for the driver. Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-8477, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

A little earlier in the afternoon, a 15 year old boy was struck by a car at the intersection of Hylan Boulevard and New Dorp Lane in Staten Island. the pedestrian was transported to the hospital with shoulder pain. The driver, a 68 year old man, stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. According to the police the teen was walking outside of a crosswalk at the time of the accident. Read more in the SILive

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de Blasio Congrats NYPD214 people died in a motor vehicle accident in New York City in 2017 compared to 231 in 2016. This is the lowest number of traffic fatalities ever recorded in one year since record keeping started in 1910.

Among the 214 fatalities, 101 of them were pedestrians. The number of pedestrians killed in NYC crashes decreased by 32% between 2017 and 2016. There were 148 in 2016. Also in 2017 among the pedestrian fatalities there was only one child compared to an average of 7 for the previous 5 years.

Among the five boroughs, Brooklyn was the only borough where deadly crashes increased last year. Traffic fatalities declined by 9% from 65 in 2016 to 59 in 2017 in Queens. Queens Boulevard which in the past was nicknamed the Boulevard of Death was progressively revamped and made safer over the last 3 years. Last year the DOT completed the third phase of street redesign of the  Boulevard in Rego Park and Forest Hills. The boulevard hasn’t seen a fatality since 2014.

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New york City Personal Injury Lawyer LawyerOur managing partner Ben Rubinowitz has been asked by Columbia, Vanderbilt and University of California Davis Medical Schools to speak about medical malpractice at the 42nd Annual Winter Urologic Forum. The  Forum will take place in Vail Colorado at the Vail  Marriott Mountain Resort from January 13 to January 16 2018.  A Top New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer, Ben Rubinowitz and all of the lawyers at our firm have successfully resolved thousands of medical malpractice cases for those who have been injured as a result of medical negligence. Ben commented that ” it is truly an honor to have the privilege of speaking to such a distinguished group of doctors. I always find it interesting that the physicians have asked a plaintiff’s lawyer rather than a defendant’s lawyer to deliver the National Lecture on Medical Malpractice.”

This meeting will summarize for practicing urologists and other interested professionals, new concepts in diagnosis and treatment for conditions including local and advanced prostate and bladder cancer, lower urinary tract symptoms, incontinence, urinary tract infection, reconstructive urology, andrology and medical malpractice. At the completion of the meeting, urologists will have been exposed to methods to optimize patient care well maintain patient centricity of care delivery.

The session on Medical Malpractice will take place  on Monday January 15 at 4:00 pm. Ben Rubinowitz will  explain how doctors can protect themselves from being sued and  what  they should do if they are sued.  The moderator for this session will be Roger R. Dmochowski, MD, MMHC, FACS.

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15 people died and 5,450 were injured in 19,983 auto accidents in New York City in October. October is usually a bad month for car accidents in the city. As shown in the graphs below the total number of accidents was above the trend line in October.  The monthly number of traffic injuries was also the second highest number ever recorded in the city. The highest number of crash injuries was 5,557 last May. While the total number of crashes and related injuries have been steadily growing over the years, the number of people dying in crashes declined since 2013 when Vision Zero was launched. The number of people dying in car accidents went from 35 in October 2013 to 25 in October 2014, 26 in October 2015, 14 in October 2016 and 15 this last October. In 4 years fatal crashes declined by more than 50%. Additionally for the last two years the number of traffic deaths was below the trend line for the month of October while in the past it was always above it during this specific month.

car accidents injuries and deaths NYC October 2017
Despite all the Vision Zero efforts, crash injuries are on a rising trend.  Since last May their monthly number stayed above 5,000. Motorist injuries are the main cause of this rising trend. While in October 2013 motorist injuries accounted for less than a third of the total number of injuries, four years later they account for almost half of them. On the other hand, passenger injuries have been declining over the last four years. Distracted driving is suspected to be a factor. When drivers are alone in their cars they maybe more tempted to use their electronic equipment than when they travel with passengers.

crash injuries New York City October 2017
The number of monthly deadly crashes in New York City stayed below 25 for more than a year. It is the first time that the number of monthly fatal accidents stayed below 25 for that long. The highest number was 24 in June followed by 22 in September. The last time this number was above 25 was in June, 2016 when 29 people died in car accidents in the city. The city speed reduction from 30 mph to 25 mph may have been a factor in the recent decrease in fatal crashes.

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A 12 year old boy died in a fire accident in Queens, NYC. Thomas Curly was sleeping in his bedroom Sunday around 3:00 am when a fire erupted in the apartment he was living in with his family on Ocean Promenade near Beach 123rd Street in Rockaway Park. Thomas was living on the sixth floor of a five story building with his grandfather, his mother and his mother’s boyfriend. All of them were able to escape except for Thomas who got stuck in his bedroom. According to investigators, the fire was accidentally set by someone smoking in the apartment. Additionally there were no smoke alarms in the apartment. Smoke alarms are required by law in New York City. They may have saved the life of the young boy.

A few hours later another fire erupted in Harlem on First Ave near Tito Puente Way.  The fire ravaged an apartment on the seventh floor of a 32 story building. A 64 year old woman was found dead by the firefighters. Another victim was transported to the hospital. Read more in the NY Daily News

 

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accident scene3 pedestrians died and 6 were injured including 2 critically in 4 different motor vehicle accidents in New York City that all occurred early Sunday morning during the supermoon.

The first accident occurred on the Upper East Side at 2:00 am. A 29 year old pedestrian suffered severe head trauma after being hit by a car. According to the NY Daily News, the pedestrian was crossing First Avenue at the intersection of 82nd Street against the red light. He was hit by a vehicle that was crossing the intersection with the green light. The pedestrian was rushed to the hospital to be treated.

Two hours later, around 4:00 am a pedestrian was killed in a Queens crash. The 71 year old victim was attempting to cross the Belt Parkway near Farmers Blvd in Springfield Gardens when he was hit by a car. The man was rushed to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

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pedestrianIn Jacksonville, Florida, the police has been issuing hundreds of tickets to pedestrians.  Tickets are not only issued for jaywalking or crossing at the red light but also for crossing at the yellow light or “failing to cross the street at a right angle”.  The police also ticketed pedestrians because they were walking on the right side of the road instead of the left side when there were no sidewalks on both sides of the road. In other cases pedestrians were ticketed for walking on the road when a sidewalk was available.

A pedestrian ticket in itself is not such a big deal however if it is left unpaid it can damage a credit history or lead to a driver license suspension.

In a recent investigation ProPublica asked the sheriff why so many pedestrians were ticketed in Jacksonville. The sheriff replied that his city had one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the country and that tickets were the best way  to save lives.

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According  to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) , 94% of serious auto accidents are due to dangerous choices or human errors. Recently developed driver assistance technologies are attempting to address these errors. As these technologies become more and more sophisticated they will ultimately lead to self-driving vehicles.

The NHTSA believes that self-driving vehicles will result in a drastic reduction of auto accident fatalities however we are not there yet. As of Today, the newest vehicles on the market are far from being fully automated but they do have technologies that prevent accidents due to human errors. These technologies can prevent forward collisions, help drivers while backing up and parking and assist them to detect blind spots or to stay in their lane. New technologies can also make sure drivers keep a safe distance in various situations such as driving in traffic jams or on highways.

The NTHSA and the DOT are expecting that vehicles will go through a technological evolution  that can be summarized in 6 steps until full automation:

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A cyclist died from his injury after he was struck by a car in New York City. The accident occurred on November 17 around 2:40 pm. 84 year old Yau-Teg Fung, of Queens was riding his bike on Albertson Street near Fleet Street when he collided with a car driven by an 80 year old woman. He suffered a massive head injury after being thrown off his bike. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries after 10 days of hospitalization. The police told the NY Daily News that the driver had stopped at a stop sign and she was in the intersection when the cyclist hit her rear door. No criminal charges were filed.