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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A bicyclist was killed in an accident Monday during  the early morning traffic rush in Brooklyn, New York City.  The bicyclist was riding south on Fourth Avenue near the Barclay Center when he was hit by an out of control SUV. According to the police, Claudio Rodriguez, the 37 year old driver of the SUV, may have had a seizure.  Rodriguez was travelling North on Fourth Ave when he first struck a car at a red light at the Dean Street intersection. The SUV then jumped the concrete median and crashed into the bicyclist who flew in the air and landed on the hood of the SUV. The bicyclist was carried several blocks on the hood of the SUV before he fell onto the pavement in front of the Atlantic terminal where he died. Rodriguez hit another car before crashing on Flatbush Avenue.  5 other people were injured in the accident. The police are waiting for the blood test results to determine if a medical condition caused the accident. According to the Post “Rodriguez admitted to cops that he had forgotten to take medication on Monday to control his seizures, law-enforcement sources said.”

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Right HookIn 20o9 fatal bicycle accidents represented 1.9% of all traffic deaths in the U.S. In 2013 this number was 2.3%.  Big trucks such as tractor trailers and box trucks as well as garbage and dump trucks represent a small fraction of the traffic but they are involved in a disproportionate amount of the fatal bicycle accidents. As cities are encouraging cycling and walking and create specific bike lanes and other infrastructures, e- commerce also brings more trucks into urban neighborhoods at the same time.

Trucks are extremely dangerous for cyclists and in many of the fatal crashes involving a bicyclist and a truck, the cyclist is first hit by the side of the truck, slides under it and gets crushed under the wheels.  Such crashes happen most of the time when the truck is making a right-hand turn in front of the bike. It is called the Right Hook. Because of the large dead angles, the truck driver often doesn’t see the cyclist riding on its side and the cyclist realized too late that the truck is turning right.

The installation of side guards on trucks is so far the best way to prevent bicyclists and pedestrians from falling under the wheels if they are hit by a truck. So far a few cities including New York have passed legislation to require the use of truck side guards but the approach is piecemeal and bicycle advocates are calling for federal action. Read more in Fair Warning

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Bicycle accidents injuries deaths NYC April 2015A man died in an accident between a bicycle and a truck in New York City. The man who was 57 years old was riding his bicycle at the Corner of Church Ave and Ocean Ave near Prospect Park in Brooklyn when he was struck by a box truck.

According to the police both the cyclist and the truck were riding in the same direction when they collided. The bike rider was run over by the rear wheels of the truck. The police found him with severe trauma to his body and he was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the hospital. Read more in the Mean Streets section of the Brooklyn Paper

For the last two years 3 people died in a bicycle accident in the month of June. Even though the Vision Zero Program includes several measures to protect bicyclists from being hurt or dying in dangerous traffic crashes the recent collision statistics published by the NYPD show no decline in deaths and injuries related to bicycle accidents in New York City.

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verdict002Top 25 verdictLast year, our partners New York Personal Injury Attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Peter Sagir obtained a $8,570,000 verdict for a bicyclist who suffered personal injury after being hit by a bus in New York (see previous blog. This verdict is the 16th highest verdict of all verdicts obtained in New York in 2014. Therefore our firm is honored to be featured this week in the 2014 New York’s Top 25 Verdicts and Settlements section of New York Magazine. This verdict was also was the highest verdict in New York in 2014 for a bicycle accident involving another vehicle.

Since 1919 we have been representing victims of catastrophic injury and we are constantly thriving  to achieve the highest results for our clients and their family in order to help them get back to their life with dignity and independence. A few years ago our New York personal injury law firm obtained a 27.5 million verdict for a female pedestrian who lost her leg after being struck by New York City Transit Authority Bus (see previous blog). Last year, in addition to the above verdict we also obtained a $7,125 million verdict against the City of New York for a woman who was struck by a bus when riding her bike and a $5 million verdict against the Federal Government for a woman who died after being struck by a postal truck (see previous blog).

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5 pedestrians died and 696 suffered personal injury in April in New York City compared to respectively 8 and 854 in April 2014 and 12 and 904 in April 2013.  Pedestrian fatalities have been declining since the beginning of this year and reached their lowest in April. The total number of pedestrian fatalities since the beginning of the year was 28 compared to 39 for the same period of 2014 and 55 for the same period of 2013.  Since the beginning of the year there was also a decrease in the number of pedestrians who suffered personal injury in a traffic accident in NYC.Pedestrian deaths and injuries NYC April 2015

2 people died and 300 were injured in a total of 300 bicycle accidents in New York City in April compared to respectively 1, 306 and 382 in April 2014 and 0, 288 and 358 in April 2013.  The number of cyclists fatalities and injuries remains elevated in the City.

Bicycle accidents injuries deaths NYC April 2015
Even though there was an unusually high number of 10 motorist deaths last April the total number of traffic fatalities in New York City since the beginning of the year is down compared to the same periods of 2014 and 2013.

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i - bus driverIn New York every year several pedestrians and cyclists die and many others suffer personal injury after being struck by an MTA Bus. In many of these accidents investigation shows that drivers were negligent and failed to yield or failed to exercise due care.  Since the beginning of the year a few bus drivers were arrested after a new Vision Zero Law made it a misdemeanor for drivers to strike pedestrians or cyclists who have the right of way.  TWU Local 100, the bus drivers Union is against this new law and would like bus drivers to be exempted from it.  This morning TWU local 100 launched a work slow down on 181st Street in Washington Heights between 7:00 am and 9:00 am to protest the law.

The flyers handed out to bus drivers by the Union (see picture) said “DO NOT TURN UNLESS THE INTERSECTION IS CLEAR!”. Isn’t that what bus drivers are supposed to do to keep NYC streets safe?

Read more in the New York Post and on Streetblog


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A 42 year old man died in a horrible bicycle accident in New York.  Yesterday night, around 11;30 pm, New York Court State Officers saw a silver Mercedes Benz sedan running a red light North of the Third Avenue Bridge in the Bronx. The Court Officers put on their flashing lights to stop the Mercedes but the driver sped off and and as he tried to make a turn on E.129th street he hit the bicyclist. The driver and the two passengers ran out of the car and disappeared leaving the cyclist dying on the road. The police are still looking for the three men.


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NY Personal Injury Lawyers Rubinowitz and SaghirNew York Personal Injury Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz told the NY Daily News yesterday that the family of Marilyn Dershowitz, was “very pleased” with the verdict of Judge Sarah Netburn who ordered the government  to pay out a total of $4,646,548.15 to Dershowitz’s husband, Nathaniel. Rubinowitz said “they feel vindicated knowing Marilyn did nothing wrong and that indeed she was entirely free of fault” but while the money judgment is “a nice thing to have, they are very much aware it could never replace Marilyn. She was one of a kind. She was a tremendous woman. The loss is very real to them, every day of their lives.”

Marylin Dershowitz was riding her bicycle in downtown Manhattan with her husband when she was fatally struck by a  postal truck. Last month U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn found the federal government 100% liable for the fatal accident in a 72 page Opinion (see our previous blog).

Also see article in the New York Law Journal

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brNew York Personal Injury Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz has extensive experience representing the families of pedestrians and cyclists who have been killed or severely injured by negligent motorists in New York. Recently Ben tried a wrongful death case in The U.S. District Court for The Southern District  of New York, in which the Court held the Federal Government %100 liable and awarded monetary damages estimated to be approximately $5 million for lawyer Nat Dershowitz in a successful civil case against the driver of a U.S. Postal Service Truck that struck and killed his wife(see prior blog). Ben also represents Dana Lerner, the mother of 9 year old Cooper Stock who was hit by a taxi driver as he was in the crosswalk with his father resulting in his death.  In a recent article in NY Press Ben reflects on a recent decision by Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. to charge a  motorist who killed a pedestrian  in the Bowery with manslaughter.

Read the article here

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PrintGair Gair Conason Steigman Mackauf Bloom & Rubinowitz was featured in the New York Law Journal’s Top New York Verdicts of 2014 for obtaining the highest award for a verdict in a motor vehicle accident involving a bicycle.  The case was tried by our Managing Partner Ben B. Rubinowitz, along with our Partner, Peter J. Saghir.  The accident involved a 36-year-old woman who was riding her bicycle south on Broadway across East 14th Street when she was struck from behind by a New York City Transit Authority bus which was traveling southbound in the same direction as the plaintiff.  After she was struck by the bus she was dragged into the intersection where the right rear wheels of the bus rolled over her legs.  The bus driver claimed that he was in the center or left lane at the time of the accident and that the plaintiff suddenly and unexpeNY Personal Injury Lawyers Rubinowitz and Saghirctedly rode her bicycle across two lanes of traffic from the right lane to the left lane and struck the right side of the bus.  The plaintiff contended she was in the right lane as she approached the intersection.  It was undisputed that the plaintiff ended up in the left-hand lane of this three lane roadway.  The plaintiff suffered a degloving injury to her right leg as well as fractures to the distal tibia and fibula of her left leg.  The plaintiff’s entire claim was based on pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.  No claims were made for past or future medical expenses or past or future lost earnings.  After two days of deliberation, the jury found the New York City Transit Authority at fault and awarded the plaintiff $8,570,000 ($3,250,000 past pain and suffering and $5,320,000 future pain and suffering  over 40.9 years).