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.

Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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Despite an increase in bicycle accident fatalities and in motorist injuries the total number of NYC motor vehicle accidents and the total number of resulting injuries and deaths decreased during the third trimester of 2019 compared to the third trimester of 2018. The total number of accidents declined from 57,642 during the third trimester of 2018 to 52,567 during the third trimester of 2019. This is the lowest number of crashes since the same period of 2014.

auto accident NYC third trimester 2019
While a high number of fatal bicycle accidents painted a very negative picture of New York street safety, not all numbers are bad. For example pedestrians fatalities were at their lowest during the period of July, August and September 2019. Motorists fatalities were lower than the two previous years during this same period and passengers fatalities were stable.

traffic fatalities in NYC third trimester
The total number of auto accident related injuries were slightly lower than the previous year. A total of 167,083 people were injured in traffic accidents during over the summer 2019 compared to respectively 16,300, 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472, and 14,900 during the same 3 months of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Motorists injuries account for almost half of the injuries and continue to increase. While efforts to protect pedestrians has led to a substantial decrease in pedestrian injuries and deaths, distracted driving remains the number one cause of  motor vehicle accidents in New York City and needs to be addressed.

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rear-car-seatSince November 1st, all children under the age of 2 instead of 1 previously, must use a rear-facing car seat when riding in a car in New York State. This requirement is coming on top of the actual New York State Child Passenger Restraint Law that was enacted in 1982 and requires that:

  • all children under the age of 4 ride in child safety seats
  • all children ride in child restraint systems until their 8th birthday
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Location of the fatal bicycle accidentAn 87 year old cyclist who was struck by a car in New York City last week died from his injuries. While the police blame the accident on the victim saying that he blew a red light, witnesses told the NY Daily News that the bicyclist had the right of way and that the car driver blew a red light.

The accident occurred last Tuesday at the intersection of Avenue P and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. The cyclist was riding west on Avenue P and was struck by the car as he was in the crosswalk. One of the witness, a female pedestrian, told the News that she was also about to cross the street after the light turned green in favor of the pedestrians when a black minivan zoomed out of nowhere, ran the red light and hit the cyclist. The witness saw the cyclist falling on the top of the car and said there was blood everywhere. The 36-year-old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged. The police maintained he had the green light.

The elderly cyclist was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries a few days later.

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So many New Yorkers have been injured or died in traffic accidents on Queens Boulevard that it has been nicknamed the “Boulevard of Death”. Fixing and redesigning Queens Boulevard to make it safer was one of the priorities of the Vision Zero program launched in 2014.  The plan to redesign the boulevard was approved and launched in 2015. While part of the boulevard has been redesigned, a whole area from Yellow Stone Boulevard to Union Turnpike that has a dangerous records of accidents was never addressed. As the mayor’s office wouldn’t update residents as to when the project would be finished, safety advocates held a rally on Sunday pressing de Blasio to complete its work in one of the most deadly areas in the city. Residents feel like they have been lied to and abandoned said a mother who lost her son after he was hit by a truck in this dangerous segment of Queens Boulevard. The redesign of Queens Boulevard between Yellow Stone Boulevard and Union Turnpike includes the addition of a protected bike lane and safety features for pedestrians. In the areas of Queens Boulevard that were redesigned, 3 people died in traffic accidents since 2015 compared to up to 25 people per year before the redesign. Pedestrian accidents decreased by 55% and pedestrian injuries by 63%.

Corruption claims

Not everybody is in favor of the redesign and according to an article in NY Streetblog, activists are claiming that Mayor de Blasio made a secret deal with a Queens council member to stop the completion of the protected bike lane. Activists and Council member Jimmy Van Brammer are alleging that Council Member Karen Koslowitz signed a secret pact with de Blasio that she would vote for his proposal to close Rikers Island if he would put a stop to the redesign of the Boulevard of Death.

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The number of traffic accidents in NYC recorded by the NYPD in August was the lowest recorded during the month of August since 2013. It is a “good surprise” since NYC traffic accidents have been on a steady rise over the last years. However while the number of accidents significantly declined from 19,272 in August 2018  to 16,954, in August 2019 the number of people injured in these accidents barely declined from 5,373 to 5,366 and the number of fatalities increased from 16 to 21. The ratio of injuries compared to the number of accidents reached a record high of 32% compared to 28% the same month a year earlier. The ratio of deaths compared to the number of accidents was also at a record high indicating that the streets of New York City are getting more dangerous.

Traffic Accident Injuries and Deaths August 2019 NYC

Record number of bicycle accident fatalities since the beginning of the year

632 bicycle accidents were reported in New York City last August compared to respectively 669, 606, 694, 707, 646 and 655 in August 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While the number of bicycle accidents in August slightly declined from 2018 to 2019, the number of injuries slightly increased. 468 people were injured while bicycling in the city in August compared to respectively 430, 477, 567, 565, 491 and 523 in August 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. 1 cyclist died in August bringing the total number of bicycle accident fatalities recorded by the NYPD since the beginning of the year to 18 compared to respectively 8, 12, 16, 11, 15 and 7 for the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While last year the number of bicycle accident fatalities reached its lowest since Vision Zero started, the opposite occurred this year with a record number of bicycle accident fatalities.  While the de Blasio administration has been encouraging New Yorkers to commute by bike, these recent fatalities are a reminder that NYC streets remain dangerous for bicyclists.  The August victim was 52 year old Jose Alzorritz. Alzorritz was waiting at the red light when a driver ran the red light, collided with another vehicle that slid through the road and killed the cyclist. Another e-biker was killed in August but the NYPD categorize e-bike accidents as motorcycle accidents.

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location of the car accidentAn 18 year old girl driving a red Camaro ran a red light and was T-boned by a by a Chrysler minivan that had the green light, injuring passengers in both cars as well as  a pedestrian.

The car accident took place on Monday afternoon around 2:30 pm at the intersection of 54th Street and 4th Avenue in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NYC.  5 teenage girls were riding in the Camaro and a man and his 5-year-old son were inside the minivan.  A female pedestrian in her 40ies who was crossing the street was also hit by the Camaro. Another car, a Honda Pilot was damaged in the crash.

The pedestrian suffered serious injury and was transported to the hospital. The father and his son as well as one of the teens aboard the Camaro were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

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location of the fatal bicycle accidentA NYC child riding a bike in a crosswalk was killed by a motorist who failed to yield while making a left turn. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 10:30 am in Brooklyn, NYC. 10 year old Dalerjon Shahobidinov was on his bike in the crosswalk on Foster Avenue when 29 year old Victor Mejia made a left turn from Seton Place and recklessly slammed into him. Mejia stayed at the scene of the accident. The police found that he was driving without a license and charged him with failure to exercise due care, failure to yield and driving without a license. The driver  who never applied for a license, has a long history of reckless driving with 22 summonses that include two running red lights.

24 bicyclists killed in NYC in 2019

Dalerjon was a fourth grade student at PS 134 and has 3 other siblings. When the accident occurred he was riding with a group of friends with whom he was playing soccer in Prospect Park. The child is the 24th cyclist to die in a traffic accident in New York City this year. The victim before him was a senior e-bike rider. 62 year old Abul Bashar was a delivery cyclist for a restaurant. He was struck by a private sanitation truck on September 8th and could never recover from his injuries. He died on September 18th.

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FDNY_Haz-TecCity drivers were determined to be at fault in 3,357 motor vehicle crashes in New York City during the last fiscal year that covers the July 2018 to June 2019 period. This number is up by 10 compared to the previous year and despite a diminution of the city vehicle fleet from 31,002 to 30,755.

827 people were injured and 4 died in these accidents compared to respectively 763 and 2 during the previous fiscal year.

The city vehicle involved in the highest amount of crashes were the FDNY vehicles with 10.1 accidents per 100,000 miles traveled followed by Sanitation (7.6), Parks (4.7) and the NYPD (4.4).

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Two elderly pedestrians died in Queens last week after they were struck by cars in two different accidents.

The first one occurred on Tuesday afternoon around 5:35 pm in a residential neighborhood of Jamaica. An 85 year old pedestrian was crossing 89th Avenue in the crosswalk when a car making a left turn from 170th Street fatally struck him. Despite violating the Right of Way Law, the driver who stayed at the scene of the accident wasn’t charged. The accident occurred in the 27th City Council District. This area is considered to be one of the most dangerous in New York City. Last year, more than five thousand crashes injuring 42 cyclists, 224 pedestrians, 1,447 motorists and killing 2 pedestrians and 4 motorists were reported in this district.  (Read more in StreetBlog).

The second deadly Queens pedestrian accident took place on Saturday. 75 year old Elou Rakhminov was crossing Jewel Avenue near the intersection of 141st Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills around 9:20 am when he was mowed down by a car. The 3o year old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.  The pedestrian was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. (Read more in Street Blog)

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Police are looking for a reckless driver who fatally struck a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NYC. The accident occurred on Albany Avenue near Park Place in Crown Heights on Sunday morning around 5:30 am. 30 year old Kaseem Mathhew, a father of two  was hit by a speeding car whose driver left him dying in the street. He was found dead in the street by a neighbor who called the police.

3 other pedestrians lost their life in NYC last week after being hit by a car. Last Thursday night 72 year old Juan Mendez, a Queen’s resident was working as a security guard in a booth located in front of a building located on Paidge Ave near Newton Creek in Greenpoint. He was in the booth when a 62 year old driver lost control of his SUV and crashed into the booth. Mendez was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries to his leg where he later died from his injuries. The SUV driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t immediately charged.

Earlier during the week, on Tuesday afternoon around 2:45 pm, 10 year old Enzo Farachio was standing at a bus stop located at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Avenue L in Midwood, Brooklyn. He was fatally struck by a driver who lost control of his vehicle and jumped the curb. The 59 year old driver then crashed into a nearby building with a scaffolding causing the scaffolding to crash on the car. A 9 year old girl who was a passenger in the car suffred pelvic and arm injuries and was transported to the hospital. Again the driver wasn’t charged and the police told the media that “he possibly suffered a medical episode”.  However, reporters ran his license plates through “howsmydriving” and found he previously had 4 school zone speed camera violations.