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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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excavation work in NYC streetsToo many construction workers are still being injured or dying while working in trenches or excavations. A new video by OSHA on excavation and trenching safety looks at previous violations and how to prevent them.

While doing excavation, construction workers are facing multiple hazards. Cave in hazard is the most dangerous one.  Unfortunately  many construction workers are injured or die in trenches because of negligence. Failure to respect excavation requirements is the 6th most common violation in the construction industry behind fall protection (general requirement), scaffolding, ladders, fall protection training and eye and face protection.

While looking at violations related to excavation and trenching the most common one is failure to protect employees in excavations with 809 citations in 2019. OSHA requires employers to set up specific protective systems such as shoring for workers in excavations however too many employers are still cutting corners as the high number of violations demonstrates.

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twitter cyclist injuredA cyclist was injured  in Manhattan, NYC, last weekend after he hit a wooden platform erected in a bike lane by a rest. Alex Sirken was riding his bike on Seventh Ave South when he hit a wooden platform left on the bike lane by Ofrenda, a Mexican restaurant in the East Village.

While the DOT  has been allowing restaurants to temporary set up tables for outdoor dining mostly in parking spaces in the streets of New York City, the guidelines are clear and do not allow restaurants to install seating areas on “No Stopping Anytime or No Standing Anytime zone, bike lane, bus lane/stop, taxi stand, or car share space”.

Ofrenda was not the only offender, other restaurants such as El Camino Cantina in the East Village were also reported blocking the bike lane with tables.

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ribbonbridgeAs New York City is experiencing a continuous increase in people using a bike to go to work, preventing bicycle accidents and making sure cyclists can commute safely between boroughs is key.

Now that the city is re-opening, bicycle and pedestrian traffic is expected to be larger than ever on all four East River bridges linking Queens and Brooklyn to Manhattan. The bridges are already so busy and crowded that it makes it difficult to respect social distancing.

In response to this concern, a team of transportation engineers led by Samuel “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz, is proposing to create light bridge structures that would be dedicated to pedestrians and bicyclists only. While this idea might seem too visionary for some, many world capitals such as Paris, London, Amsterdam or Singapore have already adopted the concept.

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New York CyclistsStreet advocates are predicting an increase in bicycle accidents in New York City as many New Yorkers , including many newbies, are opting to use a bike to commute in the city rather than risking getting infected by the coronavirus in the New York subway. The mayor listened to them and  recently announced that the DOT would double the number of temporary protected bike lanes available for cyclists to commute around the city. Nine more miles of temporary protected bike lanes will be added to the other 9 miles  already installed last month as part of the “Open Street” initiative.

Additionally another 13 miles of open streets will be added in areas that are heavily affected by the virus.

The additional temporary protected bike lanes will be installed in Queens and in Manhattan

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location of the pedestrian fatality Bronx NYCThe number of pedestrian fatalities in New York City which had significantly decreased during the coronavirus lock-down peaked back up as soon as the city started to reopen.

Yesterday night around 9:30 pm a 50 year old man who was crossing the street at the intersection of Beach Avenue and Mansion Street in Parkchester was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver.  The man was rushed to the hospital but he could not be saved.

The Police are still looking for the driver who recklessly killed the pedestrian and sped away behind the wheel of a SUV. According to the police the driver was chasing another car when the accident occured.

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water injury preventionAs summer season is back, water related injuries and deaths are starting to increase. In New York, the underwater currents at Rockaway Beach are known to be dangerous and ever year people are seriously injured or died after drowning in the water at this location. This year on May 22nd, 24 year old Fidel Ramirez, went for a swim at Beach 91st street despite recommendations from Mayor de Blasio not to go in the water and drowned. He suffered critical drowning injuries and died at the hospital.

Backyard pools might seem safer than the Rockaway beach especially with the actual Covid-19 pandemic, however they can be dangerous as well.  Last Sunday 3 people died from drowning in a backyard pool in New Jersey.

Behind car accidents, drowning is the second cause of unintentional injury-related death for children from 1 to 14 year old

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child-head-injuy-1Because young children can’t express themselves proprely it can be challenging for doctors to diagnose a traumatic brain injury or concussion.  A recent article published in Pediatric Emergency Care suggests that using previous “Characteristics of Diagnosed Concussions in Children Aged 0 to 4 Years Presenting to a Large Pediatric Healthcare Network” might be helpful. The study was authored by Podolak, Olivia E. MD*; Chaudhary, Sofia MD*,†; Haarbauer-Krupa, Juliet PhD; Metzger, Kristina B. PhD, MPH*; Curry, Allison E. PhD, MPH*,†; Kessler, Ronni S. MEd*; Pfeiffer, Melissa R. MPH*; Breiding, Matthew J. PhD; Master, Christina L. MD, CAQSM, FACSM*,§,∥; Arbogast, Kristy B. PhD*,†,§

The researchers analyzed the medical data of 329 young patients aged 0 to 4 who visited the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia healthcare network from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2015 . They identified  the 3 top common mechanisms of injury.

The first one was fall and represented 64.4 % of all young patients who were diagnosed with a concussion with children younger than 2 year old being at a higher risk of sustaining a concussion in a fall than children from 2 to 4 year old.  Falling from furniture was the most common type of fall leading to traumatic brain injury, followed by tripping and hitting the ground and falling down the stairs.

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location of the deadly car crashTwo people died and 6 people were injured in car crashes in New York City in less than 24h. As New York is reopening, the number of car accidents which had significantly declined during the lock down are expected to rise again.

The first car accident occurred on Sunday night around 11:20 pm in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. The 35 year old driver of a 2010 Toyota Camry lost control of his car as he was driving in the westbound lane of City Island Road near the intersection of Shore Road.  He rear ended the car in front of him, a 2014 Infiniti Q50 driven by a 27 year-old driver. The driver of the Infinity crashed into the rear of another car in front of him, a 2008 Toyota Highlander driven by a 51 year old man. The Camry careened into the eastbound line and hit a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 44 year old man and a 2010 BMW X5 driven by a 41 year old man.

The driver of the Camry died at the scene of the accident. A 34 year old woman, who was sitting in the front seat next to him was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.  5 more people were taken to the hospital, they were occupants of the Infinity and the Jeep. The occupants of the BMW, which was the last car to be struck declined medical attention.

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Bronx bicycle accidents second week of June 20202 people were killed and 20 of them were injured in bicycle accidents in the Bronx, NYC, during the second week of June. Bicycle accident injuries in the Bronx increased by 81.8 % during the week of June 8 to June 14 according to NYPD statistics.  The Bronx is the only NYC borough where bicycle accident injuries increased during this week. In all other NYC boroughs, bicycle accident injuries declined. On average, injuries related to bike crashes were down 30.7% citywide. The largest decline, 59.1%, was observed in the North part of Queens, followed by a decline of 50% of bicycle accident injuries in the South part of Brooklyn, a 45% decline in the North part of Brooklyn, a decrease of 33.3% in the South part of Manhattan, a decrease of  29.4% in the North part of Manhattan, a 16.7% decline in the South of Queens and  a status quo in Staten Island.

The Bronx is the borough that has the less investment by the city in infrastructures to protect bicyclists despite a large part of the population using bikes on a daily basis, including many delivery cyclists

While the city has been creating protected bike lanes all over rich white neighborhoods, the poor  area of the Bronx didn’t get any of these. Even last month when de Blasio announced more streets closed to traffic and a extra 9.2 miles of protected bike lanes, none of them were in the Bronx.

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Location of the MTA bus accidentA 19 year old female bicyclist was killed in a MTA bus accident yesterday.  The young woman was struck by the BmX10 bus on Fifth Avenue at the corner of the 59th Street intersection.

It is still not exactly clear how the accident occurred. A hot dog vendor who witnessed the accident told the NY Daily News that it seemed that the young woman was trying to merge into traffic from 60th street and that she was struck by the bus and then dragged under the wheels for about half a block until the bus driver stopped.

The cyclist died at the scene of the accident from severe head trauma. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. Despite its proximity to Central Park, Fifth Avenue doesn’t have a bike lane in the Upper East Side area, therefore the many cyclists coming out of the Park at this location have to navigate between the buses and the car traffic which can be very dangerous on this busy avenue.