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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Speed camera prevent injuries and deathsA speed camera program that was installed in 2014  in New York City school zones to reduce pedestrian accidents was shut down. Cameras were turned off yesterday in 120 school zones around the city and by the end of August 20 other school zones will see their speed cameras turned off as well.

Despite heavy campaigning by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo not only to keep the school camera program alive but also to add additional cameras in the city, lawmakers in Albany failed to call a vote to renew the program.

Since they have been installed in 2014, the speed cameras have clearly demonstrated that they protect pedestrians and especially children from being injured or dying in car accidents in New York City school zones. Statistics indicate that in school areas where cameras were installed speeding decreased by 63% and fatalities by 55% between 2014 and 2016.

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mother texting while drivingDistracted driving has led to a surge in fatal car accidents and even parents with young children in their car admit that they use their phone while driving.

According to a study recently released by  the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and published in the Journal of Pediatrics, out of 760 parents or caregivers interviewed:

  • 47% talked on a hand-held phone
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5,569 people suffered personal injury in 20,551 traffic accidents in New York City last May. Among them were 2,534 motorists, 1,755 passengers, 430 cyclists and 850 pedestrians.

While looking at past statistics,  we notice a seasonal factor that causes the number of crash injuries to always increase during the month of May compared to the previous months of  February, March and April. Last May the auto accident injuries in New York City increased to a record number.

In May 2013, before Vision Zero, 4,988 people suffered injuries in NYC crashes.  Then the Vision Zero program started and the number of crash injuries declined to 4,621 in May 2014. It increased again slightly to 4,788 in May 2015 but stayed below the Pre-Vision Zero number of injuries recorded in May 2013. In May 2016, it peaked above 5000 and never went back below that level for the last 3 years. 5,415 crash injuries were recorded in May 2016 and 5,314 in May 2017.

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Laundromat dangerous parkingA young pedestrian was killed and her mother was injured in a car accident in Brooklyn, NYC, on Sunday afternoon.

A 4 year-old girl was riding her mini scooter on the sidewalk of Wyckoff Ave near Hart Street while her mother was walking close by. At one point the little girl lost a shoe.  She picked it up, then the mother bent to help her. As the mother was helping her daughter, a car parked at a laundromat just next to them backed up, hit them both and continued on its way. The little girl died at the scene of the accident. Her mother survived but was injured.

The car driver and two passengers were stopped by the police two blocks away. It is not clear if the driver realized than she ran over the mother and her daughter. Residents have been complaining for a long time about the dangerous parking lot of the laundromat. In order to park or to leave the parking space, drivers have to cross the sidewalk.

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Staten Island Pedestrian accident locationA pedestrian died in New York City on Sunday morning. He was hit by a drunk driver around 4:40 am. 32 year old David Bloomer, a father of four, was crossing Tompkins Ave at Broad St. in Stapleton, Staten Island, NYC when he was struck by a car. The driver tried to speed off but one of David’s cousins rallied a group of people to run after him. They were able to catch him a block away from the accident. The driver, identified as 25 year old, John Rudder was allegedly drunk.

During the accident, Rudder hit Bloomer so violently that the pedestrian went flying into the air and crashed through the windshield of a jeep that was parked nearby. The firefighters had to remove the roof of the jeep to try to save him. Unfortunately Bloomer died at the scene of the accident.

Bloomer left behind him 2 children, 17 year old Charlie Perez, 8 year old Mikayla Papon and 2 stepdaughters, 14 year old and 6 year old Yolanda and Dakota Makins.  He was a DJ and a beloved member of the Stapleton Community.

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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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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

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Speeding and maybe alcohol may have caused the death of two off-duty police officers who went for a joy ride in a rental Maserati after a wedding celebration. Last Sunday afternoon, NYPD Officer Michael Colangelo  married Katherine Berger at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, Ulster County. After the celebration was over, a little bit after 11:00 pm, detective John Martinez who had worked in NYPD’s special operations with Colangelo in the past and another unidentified passenger went for a joy ride in a Maserati rented for the wedding. Sadly they never came back, the car hit a tree killing both the driver and the front-seat passenger . The unidentified back-seat passenger was rushed to the hospital and is expected to survive.

The 31 year old groom was behind the wheel when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed in into a tree. He was speeding and neither he and his friend Martinez were wearing a seatbelt. The backseat passenger who only suffered injuries was wearing a seat belt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpmzEtZZo34

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Roadway fatalities in the USVision Zero is a road safety program that was first started in Sweden and then successfully applied in many other European countries. When Bill de Blasio became the mayor of New York, he also implemented a Vision Zero strategy for New York City which over the last four years led to a significant reduction of traffic deaths, especially pedestrian fatalities.

While traffic deaths have been decreasing in New York City, they have been increasing at the national level.  In the steps of Sweden and New York, the National Safety Council recently created the “Road to Zero Coalition“(RTZ) and just released  “The Road to Zero, A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050” a comprehensive report on how to apply Vision Zero Strategies at the national level and end roadway deaths in the US by 2050.

Roadway fatalities which had been declining in the US between 1985 and 2011 started to increase again between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, 5,000 more people died in roadway accidents than in 2011. Young people aged 15 to 24, men and rural road users are the most at risk of dying in a car crash.

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location of the fatal pedestrian accident BK NYCOn March 5th, Ruthie Ann Blumenstein was crossing the road with Abigail, her 5 year old daughter when a reckless driver struck them (see our previous blog). Abigail died at the scene of the accident and her mother suffered serious injury. At the time of the accident she was 39 weeks pregnant with Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein. On Wednesday our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz who represents Mrs Blumenstein announced that sadly her unborn child had died from the injuries suffered during the crash. “The pain suffered by Ruthie and Jonathan is nearly impossible to fathom,” Mr. Rubinowitz said. “As you might imagine, they are overwhelmed by the sadness of the deaths of their children.”

Ruthie Ann Blumenstein is a Tony-Waward winning actress. The actress and her daughter Abigail were among a group of pedestrians who were crossing the intersection of Fifth Ave and 9th street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when Dorothy Burns ran a red light and erratically plowed into them.  Abigail and 20 month old Joshua Lew died at the scene of the accident. Several pedestrians were injured including the pregnant Ruthie Ann Blumenstein.

Dorthy Burns was recently indicted by a Grand Jury and was charged with manslaughter, assault and criminally negligent homicide (see previous blog).  Burns suffers from multiple sclerosis. Prior to the fatal accident she received 12 driving violations for speeding in school zones and running red lights. Her license is now suspended. It is outrageous that she was still allowed to drive at the time of the accident.