Firm Operations Continue Uninterrupted During the Coronavirus. Click for More Information ›
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

Published on:

Tesla Motors is facing product liability lawsuitsA man who was seriously injured and whose wife died after their Tesla struck a fire truck while on Autopilot mode is suing Tesla for personal injury and wrongful death. Derek Monet was driving his car on autopilot on a highway in Indiana in December 2019 when the car crashed into the rear of a fire truck that was responding to an accident and was stopped on the road.  Derek suffered a broken spine and a broken femur and his wife died in the accident

In his claim Derek says Tesla knew that its software failed to react to emergency vehicles with flashing lights but did not recall its vehicles to update the software.  The claim was filed  after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation last year and asked Tesla to release its non-disclosure agreements with drivers who were testing the “full-self” driving system. The NHTSA is aware of 11 similar accidents during which Tesla cars struck emergency vehicles with flashing lights and wants to know why the car manufacturer did not recall its vehicles after it transmitted a wireless software update designed to prevent crashes into stationary objects.

The 68 page lawsuit demonstrates how Elon Musk and other executives were well aware that the autopilot was not safe but that the company continued to “hype”  its cars as if they were

Published on:

Ydanis_Rodriguez26 people died in traffic crashes in  NYC this month according to the NYPD. This is a 63% increase compared to January 2021 when 16 people died in auto accidents in the city. This is the highest number of car accident fatalities since Vision Zero started in February 2014. 28 people died in car accidents in January 2013 and 21 in January 2014. After that the number of car accident deaths in January remained below 20 with respectively 13, 17, 18, 11, 19 and 19 fatalities in January 2015, 2016, 2017. 2018. 2019 and 2020. Among the victims were a 99 year old holocaust survivor and a teenager struck by a school bus on her way to school. After  this horrible accident, Mayor Adams said the NYPD would crack down on drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians and the new Transportation Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez said “At DOT the team is working 24/7 to come out with a different way of how we redesign the streets, reorganize the signal system, everything we have in our agency to address this epidemic”. January numbers however show a different story: less tickets were issued for failure to yield in January 2022 than in January 2021 and among the 3,000 to 6,000 reckless drivers who have been listed in the new “Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program” managed by the DOT, only 97 took the mandated driving class so far.

Additionnally,  last Thursday, a DOT crew tried to dismantle a popular  Open Street on Willoughby Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn without informing the community. Residents immediately reacted and protested with anger. As a result the same day at night, DOT workers were reinstalling the Open Street signs that had been removed hours earlier. The residents were extremely surprised by the DOT reaction as the Open Street experience on Willoughby Avenue was very popular and the first open street to receive “Light Touch” treatment by the DOT such as planters, signage, curb extension and other safety amenities.  The dismantlement came a few days after the DOT announced that it was postponing the creation of a well needed pedestrian lane on the Queensboro bridge.

This is definitely not a good start for the DOT.

Published on:

speed-cameras1Speed cameras in New York City have lead to a decrease in crashes but some drivers says they are an unfair way to get revenue from predominantly communities of colors.

After a recent article in ProPublica looked at Chicago traffic camera tickets and found out that it was disproportionately ticketing Black and Latino drivers, Street blog NY investigated the situation in New York and found that while speed cameras were equally located all over the city, areas where streets had not been redesigned  to be safer were the areas where the most tickets were issued. These areas are where communities of color reside.

East New York zip code 11208 which is an area where 54% of the population is black and 59% of households do not have a car, cameras recorded 187,456 speed tickets, the highest in New York City.  That’s more than 500 tickets a day.

Published on:

According to the most recent NYPD collision statistics, a total of 254 people died in motor vehicle accidents in New York City last year. Among them were 108 pedestrians, 15 cyclists, 33 vehicle passengers and 98 motor vehicle drivers.  Before Vision Zero started in  2014, 286 people died in auto accidents in 2013. Then the number of deaths went down to 250 in 2014, 235 in 2015, 223 in 2016. It reached its lowest in 2018 with 199 traffic accident fatalities and then gradually increased to 214 deaths in 2019 and 239 in 2020.

While pedestrians remain the category of road users recording the highest number of deaths of all road users with 108 of them dying last year, the numbers that caused the total traffic fatalities in New York City to be so high last year were the record number of motorists and passengers fatalities. 98 motorists died and 33 passengers were killed in car accidents last year compared to 84 and 23 in 2013 before Vision Zero started. Distracted driving, speeding and recklessness are the causes of most of these fatalities.

car accident fatalities NYC 2021
Traffic accidents injuries remain lower than usual but however a little bit higher than last year with a total of 50,617 people injured in car accidents in 2021 compared to respectively 43,601, 60,234, 60,646, 58,990, 58,526, 51,255, 50,886 and 54,818 in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. A diminution of the day to day activity in the city because of the ongoing Covid19 crisis may be a factor behind these lower than usual numbers.

Published on:

Oriental Boulevard99 year old Jack Mikulincer was crossing the street in his electric wheelchair when he was fatally struck by a car. Mikulincer who survived two wars, the Nazi invasion of Hungary and the Holocaust was mowed down by one of his neighbors as he was taking his weekly trip to the synagogue.  The driver who was identified as 52 year old Pyotr Yadgarov, was driving his BMW SUV west on Oriental Boulevard in Manhattan Beach when he struck Jack Mikulincer who was crossing north near Coleridge Street, right next to his house.

The area is residential and the BMW driver lives just four blocks away from the victim. In such areas in NYC, the speed limit is 25 MPH.

Yadgarov who was not charged, has a history of speeding and recklessness. The plates of the car show a total of 10 speed camera tickets and 4 other tickets for running red lights since 2016. Last year only, the car was caught 6 times speeding in school zones.  Additionnally there are no pedestrian crosswalks on Oriental Boulevard, making it  even more dangerous for pedestrians to get to the other side of the Boulevard.

Published on:

Caption Description File URL: https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2022/02/dangerous-road-conditions-NYC-scaled.jpg Copy URL to clipboard ATTACHMENT DISPLAY SETTINGS Alignment None Link To Media File URL https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2022/02/dangerous-road-conditions-NYC-scaled.jpg Size Full Size – 2383 × 2560 Selected media actions 1 item selected Clear Insert into postA Brooklyn woman is the 12th pedestrian to die in a car accident in New York City since the beginning of this year. In a very graphic video the 64 year old pedestrian is seen walking West on the North sidewalk of Foster Avenue. As she arrives at the intersection of East 17th Avenue, she waits for the light to turn green and then proceeds to walk on the snowy street. At the same time, the driver of a grey Chevy makes a right turn from Foster onto 17th Street, does not yield  or slows down and slams into the pedestrian.

The driver, a 57 year old woman,  stayed at the scene of the accident and so far was not charged. The victim was rushed to the hospital where she died.

While the video clearly shows that the driver did not yield to the pedestrian, the snow that had not been proprely removed from the intersection made the area even more dangerous to navigate for pedestrians and vehicles.

Published on:

HyundaiSome Kia vehicles may have defective airbags that may not deploy proprely in case of an accident according to a recall issued yesterday by the company.  The recall is affecting 410,000 vehicles including:

  • 253,281 Kia Soul manufactured between July 25, 2016 and December 24, 2018
  • 47,690 Kia Sedona manufactured between July 12, 2016 and January 10, 2019
Published on:

car accident Last week, Pete Butigieg revealed a national plan to significantly reduce personal injuries and deaths caused by car crashes. The National Roadway Strategy is an ambitious plan to reach a long term goal toward zero roadway fatalities on American roads.  The announcement  of a “Vision Zero” plan at national scale is coming in the steps of a significant increase  of road fatalities in the US. According to early estimates by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 20,160 people died in auto accidents in the US, an increase of 18.4% compared to the same period of 2020.  This is the highest projection of road deaths since 2006 for that particular period.

The National Roadway Strategy is a major change of direction for the US DOT which in the past was not doing much for road safety with the exception of producing accident statistics. The details of the strategy and how local leaders and States will implement it are not defined yet but they will be based on the “Safe System Approach:  Safer People, Safer Roads, Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds, and Post-Crash Care”. This approach is very similar to the Vision Zero approach already developed in New York City and in other cities, especially in Europe, and consist in developing programs to reduce crashes and make them less deadly.  A Safe System is based on 6 principles:

  1. Serious injuries and death are not acceptable: the goal of the system is to eliminate catastrophic accidents
Published on:

 of the box truck accidentA 13 year old girl was critically injured in a truck accident in Brooklyn, NYC,  yesterday morning. The accident occurred around 7:30 AM in Midwood. The teenager had just come out of a MTA Bus in the vicinity of  Avenue J and Coney Island Avenue and was crossing the street when she was struck by a box truck. The driver of the box truck, a 35 year old man, stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. The teenager is the 3rd child to be struck by a vehicle in Brooklyn over the last two weeks.  A teenage boy was critically injured in a MTA bus accident last weekend and a 15 year old girl died after being hit by a yellow school bus in Brooklyn the week earlier.  (read more in PIX11)

Later on during the day, in the Bronx, a 24 year old pedestrian was hit by a black Mercedes sedan and was critically inured as well . The accident occurred  as the pedestrian was crossing the intersection of Edenwald Avenue and Boyd Ave in Wakefield around 4:45 pm. The driver of the Mercedes did not stop. The police found the victim lying in the street with severe head trauma. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The police were able to identify the vehicle and found out it had been reported stolen. (read more in the NY Daily News)

Over the last two weeks traffic accidents killing and injuring pedestrians and cyclists in New York City have been out of control with people being seriously injured or killed by vehicles on a daily basis.

Published on:

most dangerous disctricts in NYC for car crashes fatalities2021 was the deadliest year of Vision Zero with 273 people dying in car accidents in New York City. According to a recent report by “Transportation Alternatives”, the number of deaths in 2021 represent a 33% increase of fatalities compared to 2018 which was the safest year of the Vision Zero program.

Hit and run accidents leading to critical injuries increased by 45% compared to a year before and doubled compared to 2018 while arrests of hit and run drivers decreased by 12% compared to 2018. Additionally, only 3% of hit and run cases got solved.

Transportation Alternatives also studied data from crashmapper and found that the share of SUV’s involved in accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths increased by 42% between the first term and the second term of mayor de Blasio. Big vehicles decrease visibility and are especially a danger to cyclists and pedestrians.