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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Use of cell phones or other electronic devices while driving is dangerous and can cause fatal car accidents. Most drivers know this but they still use their cell phones or other mobile devices to text, look at travel directions, check their emails, consult their calendar appointments, surf the web or play video games.

According to the latest National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) “Driver Electronic Device Use in 2011“, texting or manipulating an hand held device while driving significantly increased from 2010 to 2011.

The trend is particularly alarming among young drivers and women.

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In New York, as a result of traumatic brain injuries 385 people per day visit emergency rooms or are hospitalized as inpatients. 140,000 New Yorkers are injured every year, that’s 3 times the capacity of Yankees Stadium!

The main cause of traumatic brain injuries are falls and motor vehicle accidents, mostly car accidents but motorcycle accidents as well as bus and truck accidents are also a common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Assault is the third cause of TBI in New York. Other leading causes of brain injuries include bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents or people struck by or against type of accidents.

Here are some findings based on the most recent statistics from the New York State Department of Health Department

– New Yorkers above 65 year old are the most at risk to fall and be hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury.

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The talus bone is one of the most important bones of the ankle joint. It is the rounded bone at the top of the foot. Because of its location, the talus can be easily fractured after falls from heights such as falls from ladders and scaffolds in construction accidents or after a severe impact to the foot such as those caused by a motorcycle, a truck or a car accident. Some subtle fractures can be misdiagnosed as ankle strains as the symptoms are very similar: acute pain, swelling and bruising. A talus injury can severely limit the ability to walk and bear weight. Delays in treatment can result in long term disability and surgery.

In the following video segment, Dr Nabil Ebraheim, Professor and Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at The University of Toledo Medical Center, demonstrates the different types of talus fractures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxehxKzWH88

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In this video New York Car Accident Attorney Anthony Gair discusses how to take a meaningful deposition in a car accident case. This video is part of a New York State Bar Association program designed for the attorney seeking a fundamental but practical overview of handling an auto accident case. A representative case is reviewed from inception to conclusion from both the plaintiff and defense attorney perspective. The step-by-step practical aspects of the case are presented by experienced attorneys to demonstrate both the practical aspects of each phase of the litigation as well as the overall thought process behind each phase leading to the ultimate resolution.
To order the complete course video and course book for CLE credit go to http://www.nysba.org/AM/Template.cfm?…

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By Anthony H. Gair
Preparing the plaintiff for deposition in a personal injury action is perhaps the most neglected element in personal injury cases. Before the plaintiff’s deposition is conducted, the defendant’s counsel has been served with a Bill of Particulars, has obtained all available medical records and police reports and has visited the scene. That information will be used during the plaintiff’s deposition. How do you prepare your plaintiff. Some basic rules are worth remembering.

Rule 1. – Know Your Plaintiff

Your plaintiff’s knowledge and his ability to testify as to the occurrence will often be directly related to his status regarding the claim made. In the case of an automobile accident, the plaintiff will be either a driver, passenger or pedestrian.

Unless it is a case where proof of a prima facie case will come from other than the plaintiff (and, in most cases, even if it will), the plaintiff must be prepared to testify at least sufficiently to make out a prima facie case.

Your client must be as thoroughly prepared as possible. This means taking the plaintiff to the scene of the accident prior to his deposition if possible. It means making certain that the plaintiff knows the basic facts and has been ingrained to repeat them in response to any question concerning them. It means familiarizing your plaintiff with concepts of time, space and direction. Most importantly, it means preparing your plaintiff with the same degree of diligence and concern as you would if he or she were about to testify at trial rather than at deposition.

Do not try to create abilities to answer which simply are not there. Train, teach and educate on the essential elements of the case. Don’t worry about the minor details. If you concentrate on those, your plaintiff may get the minutiae correct and blow the case out of the water by not responding properly to the important questions.

Rule 2. – “I Don’t Know”/”I Don’t Remember”

For reasons most likely inbred in us during our elementary school education, most people, including injured plaintiffs, seem to have an overwhelming desire to answer whatever questions might be asked of them, whether they know the answer or not. You must teach the plaintiff the concept of being able to respond “I don’t know” when such is the case or “I don’t remember”, when such is the case. Of course, this does not mean that the client should be asserting that he or she does not know or remember if he or she were injured. It does, however, mean that the plaintiff should be trained not to throw out an answer simply because a question is asked. And the plaintiff must be taught the difference between not remembering and not knowing. This is particularly important in cases where memory might be refreshed following a deposition. Memory can be refreshed; knowledge cannot be. The basic rule is that the plaintiff must be told not to guess if he doesn’t know the answer to a question. It must be explained to the plaintiff that the deposition will be used to impeach him at the time of trial.

Rule 3. – An Adversary Is Not A Buddy

Explain to the plaintiff that the attorney who is doing the questioning is not his best friend. That smiling amicable, nice man or woman on the other side of the table, regardless of the charm and warmth shown during the deposition, will not invite your client to dinner that night and is there only to destroy his case. You know that. Remind your client of it. Also, we work in a small community and know many of our adversaries. If you want to have a friendly chat with an old friend do it after the deposition and never in front of the plaintiff.
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In this partial video segment New York Car Accident Lawyer Chris Sallay, a partner at the firm Gair Gair Conason Steigman Mackauf Bloom & Rubinowitz discusses motion pratice related to automobile cases.

This program from the New York State Bar Association is designed for the attorney seeking a fundamental but practical overview of handling an auto accident case. A representative case is reviewed from inception to conclusion from both the plaintiff and defense attorney perspective. The step-by-step practical aspects of the case are presented by experienced attorneys to demonstrate both the practical aspects of each phase of the litigation as well as the overall thought process behind each phase leading to the ultimate resolution.

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In this partial video segment Anthony Gair discusses how to take a meaningful deposition in a car accident case.

This video is part of a program designed for the attorney seeking a fundamental but practical overview of handling an auto accident case. A representative case is reviewed from inception to conclusion from both the plaintiff and defense attorney perspective. The step-by-step practical aspects of the case are presented by experienced attorneys to demonstrate both the practical aspects of each phase of the litigation as well as the overall thought process behind each phase leading to the ultimate resolution.

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Our Partner, Chris Sallay, will be speaking at The Advanced Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Law Seminar sponsored by NBI. From NBI, “Statistics say that six out of ten drivers on the road carry inadequate or no insurance. With the largely voluntary nature of UM/UIM insurance coverage and rapidly changing statutory and case law, you have your work cut out for you. Don’t struggle through the mountains of legalese alone. Join us at an engaging analysis of current issues in the law and practice of UM/UIM and get the latest legislative updates along with a balanced view of today’s challenges. Register today!” The seminar will be held on Friday, September 21, 2012, 9:00 am-4:30 pm at The Hilton Long Island 598 Broadhollow Road Melville, NY.

Chris will be speaking on BAD FAITH – AN INDELIBLE PART OF UM/UIM PRACTICE? and UM CASES.

For complete information on the seminar and to register click here.

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Our partner, Ben Rubinowitz, will be representing the Medina family in their medical malpractice case against Montefiore Medical Center. On May 23, 2012, Yolanda Medina, 41 in an act of pure altruism, attempted to donate a kidney to her brother Roberto Medina, 39 as part of Montefiore Hospital’s voluntary Live Organ Donor Transplant Program. Roberto Medina has been on dialysis suffering from renal failure since early February.

During the voluntary Live Organ Donor Transplant Yolanda Medina bled to death as a result of her aorta being negligently severed during the organ harvesting surgery. Yolanda’s death ended any chance of using her kidney for this life saving procedure for her brother, Roberto. Mr. Rubinowitz stated; “This is a terrible tragedy. Out of the goodness of her heart and sheer kindness, one woman attempted to save her brothers life; unfortunately her kindness resulted in tragedy. It is our firm’s responsibility to the Medina family to provide them with the security that they deserve as a result of this horrific event.” The Montefiore Medical Center has recently suspended its live organ donor transplant program.

Roberto Medina has still not received a kidney. He awaits transplant surgery. The Montefiore Medical Center had scheduled another transplant for Roberto Medina on Thursday, June 7, but the surgery was abruptly canceled. Montefiore Medical Center officials had not obtained the proper federal approvals required to expedite a transplant. Mr. Rubinowitz, responded that, “The entire Medina Family is devastated. Roberto lost his sister. He was told they have a kidney for him. He gets his hopes up, only to be told he’s not going to have the surgery. You can’t imagine the disappointment that the entire family is experiencing right now. Why didn’t they tell him he would have to wait for a transplant? I believe the hospital was well intentioned in finding him a kidney, but the communication on their part was, simply put, horrible.” Four months after starting dialysis, Roberto Medina still does not have a kidney designated to him. “It is our hope that a kidney will become available before it is too late,” said Rubinowitz. “This family has suffered enough heartache. A young woman died as a result of medical negligence. She was an innocent victim of medical carelessness. At this time I hope a kidney can be found for this wonderful young man, Roberto Medina, before time runs out on him.”