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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While the number of traffic fatalities is on the rise nationally, in New York, most probably because of the many Vision Zero Initiatives launched over the last five years, traffic fatalities were at their lowest during the third trimester of 2018 compared to the third trimester of the five previous years. The decline in traffic fatalities during the summer of 2018 is due to the decrease in pedestrians and cyclists fatalities while the number of motorist fatalities was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero.

From July 1st to September 30 2018, 59 people lost their life in NYC auto accidents compare to respectively 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 during the same period of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. It is interesting to notice that there are now as many motorists deaths as pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians used to be the category of road users the most at risk of dying in trafic accidents. However according to the most recent statistics drivers now have as much risk as pedestrians of getting killed in a traffic accident in New York City. Total traffic fatalities in New York City third trimester 2018

A record number of 16,300 people were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third trimester of 2018 compared to respectively 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472 and 14,900 during the third trimester of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Not only in New York but all over the US, distracted driving has led to a significant increase in motorist injuries. Over the last 3 years and despite Vision Zero intense efforts to make New York City Streets safer, the number of motorists injured in car accidents in New York has been increasing tremendously.

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marijuanaTwo recent studies indicate that States that had legalized the recreational use of marijuana have seen a significant increase in car accidents compared to States that haven’t legalized marijuana for recreational use.  One of the studies was released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and  the other one by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). These two studies were presented last week at the Combating Alcohol- and Drug-Impaired Driving Summit, that was hosted by IIHS and HLDI.  The study presented by HLDI looked at collision claims per insured vehicle in the Sates of  Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington compared to the States of  Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming from January 2012 to 2017. Researchers found that the frequency of collision claims per insured vehicle rose a combined 6 percent by year in the States that started the retail sale of Marijuana compared to the States where Marijuana is still a controlled substance. The study presented by IIHS compared the change in crash rate in Colorado, Oregon and Washington with neighboring States that didn’t enact recreational marijuana laws and found a 5.2% increase in the rate of crashes in States that authorized the recreational use of Marijuana compared to the States that didn’t authorize it.

The numbers found by both teams of researchers are consistent with each other however because the police still have no proper tool to detect if a driver was under the effect of Marijuana when involved in an accident it is difficult to prove that the legalization of marijuana make roads less safe.

While alcohol tests after an accident are pretty reliable, there are still no available tools to test if a marijuana user was impaired by the drug at the time of the accident. Because THC remains in the body for a long period of time after the substance is  consumed, a positive THC test doesn’t imply that the driver was high behind the wheels.

 

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NYC ambulance accidents3 people suffered personal injury in an ambulance accident in New York City. The accident occurred Tuesday morning around 7:30 a.m. on East Fordham Road at Elm Place. The FDNY ambulance careened into an optical store after it collided with a car. The ambulance was on its way to a call. Two FDNY workers who were in the ambulance as well as one of the car occupants were injured and rushed to the hospital. Thankfully there were no pedestrians on the sidewalk or in the store which was closed.

Ambulance accidents are unfortunately occurring too often in New York City. Despite having special exemption from stopping at red-lights and stop signs as well as from speed limits ambulance drivers still have to be mindful of pedestrians, cyclists and other motor vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists are especially vulnerable to being run down by speeding ambulances. When such accidents occur, it is not always easy for the victims or their family to get proper compensation for their injuries or the loss of a loved one because of what is known as the “emergency doctrine” pursuant to which emergency responders involved in accidents  on emergency calls can’t be held responsible unless they drove with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Almost 100 ambulance accidents every month in NYC

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6 people suffered personal injury in a chain reaction crash that occurred on the Long Island  Expressway in Melville. The traffic started to slow down after a car caught fire near Exit 49. Two cars then collided causing a chain crash involving a oil tanker. Susan Buttler, a 45 year old East Meadow resident lost control of her minivan and skidded under an oil tanker. She was charged with DUI. Aftre she was treated for minor injuries in a nearby hospital she was taken to the Fourth Precinct where she spent the night before being arraigned at the First District Court in Central Islip. 5 other people were injured and transported to local hospitals to be treated.

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Location of the deadly limo accident
After 20 people died in a limousine accident in Schoharies, NY, the first result of the investigation indicate that the limousine wasn’t supposed to be on the road because it had failed inspection and that the driver who blew the stop sign didn’t have the proper license to drive a stretch limo. Additionally he was also recently busted twice on drug charges.  The limousine belonged to Prestige Limousine, a shoddy company operating  out of a low budget hotel that has a history of failed inspections. Its shady owner, Shaheb Hussain,  became a federal informant after he was caught in a scheme to illegally obtain driver’s licenses in the Albany area. Yesterday, officials suspended Prestige Limousine operations and seized 3 vehicles.

Worried limo occupants sent texts of concern to relatives before the accident

The limousine was transporting 17 friends –  four sisters, two brothers and several young couples – on their way to a birthday party. They were supposed to be picked up by a party bus to go to a brewery in Cooperstown  but they were informed that the  bus broke down on its way to pick them up. Instead they were picked up by the shoddy stretch limousine.  Some of the people on  board texted relatives that they were worried about the vehicle conditions.

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5 young pedestrians from Long Island, NY, were injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver. On Sunday afternoon, 59 year old, Thomas Murphy was drunk behind the wheel of his Mercedes when he struck a group of 5 boy scouts walking on the shoulder of David Terry Road in Shoreham. The boys aged from 12 to 16 year old were all injured in the accident, one of them so badly that he had to be transported to the hospital by helicopter. The driver was charged with driving while intoxicated and was held overnight at the police station. The 5 boys, including the one who was critically injured, are expected to survive. They were on their way to a hike onto the Greenbelt Trail in Manorville organized by Troop 161 in Shoreham when the accident occurred.  Read more in NewsDay

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An 18 year old driver died and his 22 year old female passenger is in critical condition following a terrible crash in the Bronx, NYC. The teenager was driving his car on the Hutchinson Parkway in the Bronx around 2:30 am on Monday. As he was near the New England Thruway he sideswiped a BMW with his Subaru and then crashed into a tree. His car was completely mangled. He and his passenger were both transported to the hospital. He was declared dead when he arrived. The passenger was listed in critical condition.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of deaths for teenagers in America in front of suicide, homicide and cancer. Every year around 3000 teenagers are killed in car accidents and thousands more are injured . According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 16 to 19 year old drivers are 3 times more likely to die in a car accident than drivers 20-year-old and above. 2/3 of the teens who are killed in car accidents are boys. Distracted driving and underage drinking are often a factor.

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16 people died and 5,484 suffered personal injury in auto accidents in New York City during the month of July 2018. While the number of people dying in car accidents has been on a slightly declining trend over the last few years  in New York City, the number of people injured in such accidents has been on a rising trend. The total number of crashes is also on a rising trend:

  • In July  2013, 22 people died and 5,077 were injured in 19,384 crashes
  • In July 2014, 28 and 4,591 in 19,287 crashes
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A 47 year old motorcyclist died in an accident in New York City on Saturday. Around 4;15 pm, Julius Holloway was driving South on Mother Gaston Boulevard in Brownsville, Brooklyn, when all of sudden a car on the northbound lane made a U-Turn onto the southbound lane right in front of him. The motorcyclist didn’t have the time to brake and collided with the car.  The car was driven by a 29 year old woman. 4 other occupants were in the vehicle including a child. The motorcyclist was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. The car occupants were also transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

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NYC personal injury lawyer Ben RubinowitzCongratulations to our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz  for being recognized for obtaining one of the top 50 verdicts in the Country by The National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers for the period January 2017 through April 2018. The Verdict was also one of the top 5 in New York. Ben obtained a $71,000,000 Verdict in Wang v. Sexton in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The case was tried before Supreme Court Judge James d’Auguste. After 3 weeks of trial, the Manhattan Jury awarded Ms. Wang a stunning amount of money to fully and fairly compensate her for injuries suffered in a car accident in New York in August of 2012. This is one of the largest verdicts ever in the Country for a Spinal Injury case.  For details regarding the case see our prior Blog.

Elite Trial Lawyer Top 50 Verdicts highlights the largest verdicts from January 2017 through April 2018. The National Law Journal’s VerdictSearch affiliate scours the nation’s court records in search of the largest verdicts; it also consults with practitioners and with additional ALM Media LLC publications”.