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 Bicycle Accidents

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7th-waverly-perryThe installation of protected bike lanes all over New York City not only protect bicyclists from dangerous accidents but also drivers and pedestrians alike. According to DOT statistics, streets with bike lanes have 40 percent fewer crashes ending in death or serious injury. A study realized after the Ninth Avenue protected bike lane was installed showed that all injuries related to traffic accidents decreased by 50%. Pedestrian injuries decreased by 29% and cyclist injuries by 57%.

Better protection for cyclists and pedestrians

Last week the DOT announced that the many cyclists using Seventh Ave to ride South in Manhattan will now be able to use a protected bike lane from 30th Street to Clarkson Street. Half of the protected bike lane, from 30th Street to 14th Street was installed at the end of last year. The DOT finished installing the other part from 14th Street to Clarkson Street last week. The DOT still needs to paint the lane in green. The DOT is also planning to install five concrete pedestrian islands along the way as well as additional safety improvements for pedestrians.

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location of the bicycle accident Bay RidgeA NYC cyclist who was struck by a SUV is likely to die according to a recent article in Street Blog.  The man who’s name wasn’t released is a 29 year old black male. He was riding his bike northbound on Ridge Boulevard when he was hit by a SUV driving westbound on 73rd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. According to the police the driver of the SUV, a 63 year old woman, had the green light when she hit the cyclist. She wasn’t charged and the police said “No criminality was suspected”.

It is not the first time that a collision occured at this intersection. According to the Vision Zero Map One person was injured in an accident at the same intersection in 2011, another one in 2012, two in 2013, one in 2014 and one in 2016 previous to this accident.

A Bay Ridge resident told StreetBlog that the intersection was dangerous. “I’ve had a few close calls crossing here, too,” he said. “There’s a lot of racing to beat the light and a lot of failure to yield to people in the crosswalk.”

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ocation of the cab bicycle accident in New YorkA cyclist who was hit by a cab in New York nine days ago has died from his injuries. On April 16th, 42-year-old Amaury Pena was riding his bike on East 39th Street by the exit of the Midtown tunnel. He was hit by a taxi heading North on Tunnel Exit. According to the NY Daily News the bicyclist was riding against the light when he was struck by the taxi driver around 8:20 am. The man was transported to the hospital with severe injuries. He suffered for 9 days before succumbing to his injuries on Wednesday. The taxi driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.

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location of truck and bicycle accident on Webster AveA cyclist died after he was hit by a truck that never stopped. The accident occurred at the intersection of Webster Ave and the ramp of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the Tremont section of the Bronx.  The bicyclist was riding to the right side of  a white box truck when the truck made a right turn to get on the expressway ramp.  The truck hit the cyclist but never stopped. He just continued on his way onto the ramp and headed south toward I-95 New Jersey.  According to witnesses the cyclist who was in his twenties was knocked off his bicycle. He was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. He died there from his injuries.

Sparse and dangerous unprotected bike lanes offer little protection to Bronx Bicyclists

Too little is being done in the Bronx  to prevent bicycle accidents. Webster Avenue was redesigned in 2012 to implement “Select Bus Service” but  bike lanesSouth Bike Lane Gand Concourse implementation were not part of this re-design.

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Vision Zero Initiatives have helped decrease traffic accident deaths in New York City especially for pedestrians and bicyclists  but the number of people injured in auto accidents during the first three months of the year has been on a rising trend. Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in the city and might be a factor leading to this high number of car accident injuries.

The number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City during the first semester stayed over 50,000 for the last 3 years. During the first trimester of 2018, 52,317 accidents were reported to the NYPD. Since 2013 the number of accidents in the City has been on a steady rising trend. From 46,438 during the first trimester of 2013, they reached a peak at 53,050 in the first trimester of 2016, slightly decreasing in the first trimester of 2017 and going slightly back up this year.

Motor vehcile accidents NYC first trimester 2018
12,920 people were injured in these 52,317 accidents. This is the highest number of personal injuries related to traffic accidents in New York City during the first trimester of any year  since Vision Zero started in 2013. 11,676 were injured in accidents during the first trimester of 2013. This number went down to 10,805 during the first trimester of 2014 and continued to decline to 10,069 for the same period of 2015. After that injuries went back up to respectively 11,939 and 12,608 for the first 3 months  of 2016 and 2017.

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Bike lanes in InwoodIn Upper Manhattan bicyclists are now protected from dangerous accidents by a new bike lane on Dyckman Street. The bike lane was installed last December. It connects the Hudson River and East River Greenways (see map).  It took nine years for the Inwood residents to get the NYC Department of Transportation to install a parking-protected bike lane where the traffic is heavy, as painted bike lanes where the traffic is lighter and sidewalk extensions to reduce crossing distance for pedestrians and slow down traffic. However, few months after its installation, the bike lane is now threatened by local politicians. Adriano Espaillat and Gale Brewer  don’t seem to care about bicycle accident prevention. They are asking the DOT to remove the bike lane and to install it two blocks North on 204th Street.

Dyckman Street is a very lively commercial street and the bike lane is not only protecting the delivery staff working at the many restaurants located on the street but also cyclists who are touring Manhattan and may want to make a pit stop between the two Greenways. Forcing bicyclists to go a few blocks away may result in confusion and additional bike accidents. 

In a recent meeting, small business owners also complained to City Council member Ydanis Rodríguez about the bike lane. They said the bike lane prevented clients from parking in front of their businesses and made it difficult for suppliers to deliver merchandise. They also said the bike lane was creating traffic congestion.

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bicycle accident locationA bicyclist died in a hit and run accident near Laguardia Airport in New York City. After reviewing surveillance videos, the Police now believe that the victim was hit by a shuttle bus.

36 year old Steven Morales was pedaling on Runway Drive near Laguardia Airport around 7:00 pm when he was mowed down by a vehicle that never stopped. The emergency crew gave him CPR and rushed him to a nearby hospital but he couldn’t be saved.

Runway drive which is an access road to Laguardia Airport was shut down for a few hours for investigation purposes. The police also searched surveillance camera and were able to find the shuttle and the driver who allegedly hit the cyclist. The driver denied hitting anyone. He wasn’t arrested. According to the police the bicyclist may have been hit by the rear wheel of the shuttle bus.

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Auto accident deaths NYC 2017In 2017, 102 pedestrians, 20 cyclists, 24 passengers and 63 drivers died in auto accidents in New York City compared to respectively 134, 18, 17 and 54 in 2016.

According to the traffic collision data released monthly by the NYPD, a total of 209 people died in traffic accidents in 2017 compared to a total of 223 in 2016 and 286 in 2013 before Vision Zero was launched. This is the lowest number of motor vehicle accident fatalities ever recorded since the city started to create statistics in 1910.

The decline in traffic fatalities is mostly due to the decline in pedestrian deaths that went down by 39% from 168 in 2013 before Vision Zero to 102 in 2017. During that same time fatal bicycle accidents almost doubled going from 11 to 20. Passenger deaths stayed almost stable from 23 to 24 and motorists fatalities declined by 25%.

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New York Personal Injury Lawyer Howard Hershenhorn
Our partner, NYC Personal Injury Attorney Howard Hershenhorn and his team including Christopher Donadio and Anthony Gair have filed notices of claim against the City of New York, the Hudson River Park Trust and the State of New York for more than $600 million on behalf of 20 individuals who were either fatally struck or injured during the terror attack that occurred on October 31, 2017. The attack occurred on the Hudson River Greenway, a popular Manhattan bike path along the Hudson River.  Our personal injury law firm represents the families of 7 of the 8 bicyclists who were killed by the terrorist, as well as 13 individuals who were injured. Our clients include families and individuals from Argentina, Belgium and New York.

Our New York personal injury lawyers believe that authorities failed to “to implement measures and precautions to prevent vehicles from intentionally entering the bicycle path despite the fact that it was foreseeable”. It was foreseeable, based on various prior incidents, including the death of Eric Ng who was killed by a driver on the same bike path in 2006.  In addition, following Mr. Ng’s death, multiple studies have shown that necessary precautions were needed to prevent motor vehicles from driving on the Hudson River Greenway bike path. Also, for the past ten years, safety advocates have been asking for the installations of steel bollards and other safety measures to prevent cars and other motor vehicles from driving on the bike lane. The City of New York, Hudson River Park Trust and State of New York were presented with detailed plans to prevent collisions between cars and cyclists on the bike path. Unfortunately, no action was taken.

In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security, in light of concerns that terrorist groups using vehicles to ram innocent people, issued a warning to the City of New York and State of New York about the need to secure public pedestrian and public bicycle areas from motor vehicles. Again, despite this warning, no action was taken.

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A 13 year old boy died in a bicycle accident in New York City last Friday. Kevin Flores, was fatally struck by an unlicensed truck driver at the intersection of Jefferson Ave and Lewis Ave last Friday a little bit before 6 pm. Emergency responders found Kevin lying on the road with critical head trauma. He was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. The driver of the oil truck, 28 year old Philip Monfoletto of Deer Park, Long Island, NY, drove for one block before someone told him he had hit the cyclist. The police found out that not only Monfoletto was driving with a suspended license, it was the seventh time that Monfoletto’s license had been suspended. Monfoletto was also arrested several times including once for driving with a suspended license and also for marijuana possession as well as stabbing someone in the arm.

Monfoletto was driving an oil truck belonging to M&M Oil, an owner-operated company with a single vehicle and registered at Monfoletto’s home address. It is extremely concerning that Monfoletto was able to continue to operate an oil truck despite his history.  (Read more in NYC Streetblog)

In a press conference on Sunday, Brooklyn Borough Presidents Eric Adams and City Council members Antonio Reynoso and Robert Cornegy Jr. called for tougher criminal penalties for unlicensed drivers and the companies that hire them. In New York drivers who are busted with a suspended license receive a fine of $450 if it is the first time, $750 if it is the second time and $1,500 if it is the third time.  Currently, it is only a felony for drivers if they have 10 suspensions on their licenses  According to Adams these laws are just a complete mockery. They are antiquated and do not fit the actual times. The Brooklyn Borough president is urging Mayor de Blasio to explore regulatory actions to improve the situation. (Read more in the NY Daily News).