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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18% of Designated Drivers (DDs) are driving while impaired exposing themselves and their drunken passengers to a higher risk of a car accident reveals a recent study conducted during week-ends in in a southeastern college community restaurant and bar district.

65% of DDs tested abstained from drinking alcohol completely, 17% had a Blood Alcohol Content between 0.02 and 0.049 and 18% had a BAC above 0.05. according to the study conducted by the Department of Health Education and Behavior, University of Florida and published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The study also screened participants for Alcohol Use Disorders and results showed that participants with Alcohol Use Disorders were more likely to serve as DD and have a blood alcohol concentration that significantly impaired driving ability and psychomotor function.

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In an Upstate New York truck accident that happened several days ago, a trailer disconnected from the rig that was pulling it and crashed into a minivan killing 7. Investigation will determine if the cause of the accident was mechanical failure or driver action.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, mechanical failures are the cause of only 1% of fatal accidents involving large trucks and among mechanical failures, the truck’s couplings, hitches or chains are the cause of 1 in a thousand fatal accidents.

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In New York State, cell phone related car accidents have increased by 143% from 2005 to 2011. In 2011, there were 25,165 fatal and personal injury crashes involving distracted driving in New York, compared to 4,628 caused by alcohol-related driving.

Governer Cuomo wants to crack down on drivers who are using their cell phones while they are driving and put their life and the lives of others at risk. Therefore the governor of New York just announced that texting while driving will cost 5 points instead of 3 for all drivers effective June 1st. Adding to that drivers with probationary or junior licences will get 60-day suspensions for a first conviction and revocations of 60 days (for junior licenses) or 6 months (for probationary licenses) for subsequent convictions within 6 months of the time a license is restored after suspension.

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Houck_Rental_Car_Crash.jpg Raechel and Jacqueline Houck died driving a rental car that had been recalled for a power steering hose defect but had not been repaired. The car caught fire because of the defect while traveling on the highway, causing a loss of steering and a head-on collision with a semi-trailer truck.

To make sure this tragedy is not repeated, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have introduced a bill that would ban rental car companies from renting cars that have been recalled by manufacturers. The bill is named in memory of the two sisters who tragically died in a rental car that had been recalled by the manufacturer but wasn’t repaired by the rental car company (see picture).
Hearing in the Senate is planned for May 21st.

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In New York City, some 70,000 motor vehicle crashes are reported every year and among them 250 are fatal crashes, 3000 crashes lead to serious personal injury . 10,000 crashes involved pedestrians struck by a car or another vehicle such as a bus or a truck.

Slow%20Zone.jpgIn order to reduce the frequency and the severity of these crashes the New York City Department of Transport has been running a Community based Neighborhood Slow Zone Program. Last year a dozen neighborhoods in the city had their application accepted and a speed limit of 20 mph with signage, gateways as well as speed bumps is being implemented this year. New Applications can now be filed by communities until the end of this month.

Many cities in Europe are already running this type of program. In London Slow Zone program saw a reduction a more that 40 % of fatal and severe injury crashes and the average speed in theses area will now be reduced to 9 mph. In the Netherlands crashes dropped by 25% in slow zones and in Barcelona by 27%. Similar results are expected in New York City’s newly created Slow Zones.

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In 2011, 52% of passengers who were killed in car crashes were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. This rate goes up to 62 % for motor vehicle crashes happening overnight compared to 43% during day time. While looking at gender and age, 66% of young men 18 to 34 year old who were killed in a car crash were not wearing a seat belt.

To prevent these traffic fatalities and increase seat belt use, law enforcement agencies will join forces day and night, during the Memorial Day week-end from coast-to-coast, for an enforcement blitz that delivers the message Click it or Ticket.

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BR.jpg Our partner Ben Rubinowitz, assisted by Peter Saghir, obtained a verdict of $7,125,000 against the City of New York and its construction company, Burtis Construction Co., Inc. following a 17 day trial.

The plaintiff, a 41-year-old man and father of three young children, was returning home from work in the early morning hours of May 20, 2006. Six weeks earlier his wife had given birth to a baby girl via C section. His other two children included a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old boy. He worked as a film editor and was self employed. On the night of the accident the plaintiff left his midtown Manhattan workplace at around 3 o’clock in the morning. Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, the City of New York and its construction company (Burtis Construction Co., Inc.) were performing road repair work on the West Side Highway. They were involved in a short term construction project to repair expansion joints along the West Side Highway in the vicinity of 72nd to 79th Streets. As part of its contract with the City, the construction company was required to properly notify drivers that the roadway was being shut down from three lanes to one lane of travel. This closure of the roadway was supposed to be performed in conformance with the dictates of the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices and with the Maintenance and Protection of Traffic Plan spelled out by the City of New York in the contract. Specifically, appropriate signs should have been placed along the highway south of the roadwork along with tapers and transitions of barrels fitted with lights to notify and warn drivers that the left two lanes were being shut down. When the plaintiff left his office to drive home he drove northbound on the Westside Highway. As he reached the area of 79th St. he was involved in a fender bender with another car. He got out to check to make sure that everyone was alright. He then returned to his car to put on his hazard lights on and to obtain his insurance information to exchange with the other driver. Shortly after getting his insurance information and while he was out of his car he was struck from behind by another driver, Abelardo Da-Silva.
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fatalities%20passenger%20vans.png15-passengers vans have a high risk of rollover accidents and this risk increases as the number of occupants increases. Overloaded vans, inexperienced drivers, improperly inflated tires are the main cause of van accidents. Passenger van crashes have a very high rate of fatal injuries as 88% of passengers don’t buckle up.

As the summer is coming and friends, groups and families are planning their road trips, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just published a list of tips for safe travel in 15-passenger vans.

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Car accidents as well as truck and bus accidents, are a common cause of cervical disc herniation especially those during which an abrupt change of speed ocurrs. Seat belts and airbags in cars are designed to prevent this type of personal injury. During a vehicle collision, the weight of the head being moved quickly or violently forward and/or backward produces tremendous pressure on the cervical vertebrae (neck) and can cause the disc to bulge or herniate.

Basically each intervertebral disc has two parts, the annulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus. The annulus fibrosus is made up of layers of fibrous tissue. It surrounds the nucleus pulposus and serves as a retaining sheath of dense fibrous tissue which keep the nucleus under pressure. The nucleus pulposus which is retained within the annulus fibrosus has a mucoid character and consistency similar to grissle and acts like a fluid. Herniation occurs when the nucleus pulposus protrudes or ruptures through the surrounding annulus fibrosus.

In this video, Dr Nabil Ebraheim, Professor and Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at The University of Toledo, explains what a disc herniation is and how it affects other parts of the upper body.