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 Personal Injury

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A woman was seriously injured in a building collapse in Poughkeepsie yesterday afternoon around 4:00 pm. It took four hours for the firefighters to be able to secure the building and rescue 43-year old Rotanya Hargorve who was trapped in heavy debris. The woman suffered very bad leg injuries and had to be brought out of the accident scene on a stretcher. She was transported to the hospital to be treated.

At the time of the accident, Rotanya was working in a boutique in the building next to the vacant 7-story building near the corner of Canon Street and Academy Street in Poughkeepsie. When the tall building started to collapse, heavy debris fell onto the adjacent 3-story building and caused the roof to cave in. Debris and brick crashed through the building and fell onto Rotanya who was working in the boutique on the first floor located at 15 Academy.

Authorities believe that the collapse was caused by a heavy storm that had just made its way through the area and produced winds exceeding 60 mph. Located a 19 Academy Street, the vacant building was built in 1911 by Manning Cleveland, a businessman who was planning to bring skyscrapers to Poughkeepsie. It was recently sold to Pok 23 Acad and Pok Acad, limited liability companies with New York city addresses. The limited liabilities companies also own the next 2 vacant adjacent buildings located on Academy 21 and Academy 23.

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MTA BX21 busA pickup truck crashed into a MTA bus injuring 13 bus passengers in the Bronx, NYC. The crash occurred on  Friday afternoon around 1:20 pm. 25 passengers  were on board of the Bx21 MTA bus. As it was making a stop at E. 180th St and Morris Park Ave, it got rear-ended by a pickup truck. The impact was so intense that 13 bus passengers suffered personal injury.  11 passengers were transported to the hospital to be treated. Among them, 6 were seriously injured. Two other passengers who were also injured refused medical attention. The driver suffered from lower back pain. The police are still investigating the cause of the accident. The pickup driver wasn’t arrested.

Read more in the NY Daily News

Picture: Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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12 people died and 4,578 were injured in traffic accidents in New York City in April. Among the fatalities were 7 pedestrians, 3 cyclists and 2 motor vehicle passengers. The number of fatalities recorded last April is the lowest number of traffic fatalities ever recorded in April since Vision Zero started. Last year during the same month 20 people died in NYC motor vehicle accidents. In 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, there were respectively 14, 19, 21 and 15 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities NYC April 2018
Sadly, the number of people injured in accidents in the city was higher in April 2018 than it was in April 2017. It wasn’t as high as in 2016 but it was higher than in 2014 and 2015 and also back at the level where it was before Vision Zero was implemented.  While pedestrians and cyclists account for most deaths, motorists and passengers sustain most of the injuries.Motor vehcile accident injuries New York City April 2018

Motorists injuries continue to be on an ascending trend with a record number of 2,117 motorists injured last April compared to respectively, 1,922, 2,061, 1,363, 1,305 and 1,599 in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Distracted driving might be one of the reasons why this number continues to increase.

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ATV on paved roadEven though driving an ATV on the road might be allowed in your town, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released an announcement urging ATV users to stay off paved roads.

According to the agency, ATVs which are designed for off road use are more difficult to control on paved surfaces and are at risk of over turning. Obviously there is also a higher risk of collision with cars and other motor vehicles when driving an ATV on a paved road.

ATVs are dangerous vehicles. Between 2010 and 2013, 430,000 people were treated for injuries related to ATV accidents and 2,400 died from these accidents. Among the 2,400 deaths, 770 occurred on a paved road, That’s more than 30% of all ATV deaths.

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A motorcyclist was injured in a road rage accident on Wednesday morning on the west side of Manhattan, New York City. The motorcyclist and the driver got into a verbal argument. After that the enraged driver intentionally struck the motorcyclist with his SUV. The bike ended up mangled under the SUV and the motorcyclist was brought to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. He is expected to survive. The driver was arrested. The accident occurred on 57th street and 11th Ave.

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34 people suffered personal injury in an accidents involving two buses. The accident occurred in the center tube of the Lincoln tunnel that links New Jersey to Manhattan.  The two NJ Transit bus who were coming from Wayne and from Oradell were following each others when one of them rear ended the other one. 25 passengers were on board one of  the buses and 37 were riding in the other bus.  32 of them were injured. 8 of them suffered serious injury. Instead of ambulances, FDNY used a special bus that allowed them to transport dozens of injured passengers to the hospital at the same time.

The police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident.

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School busFor years safety advocates have recommended that school buses be equipped with  3-point seat belts to protect children from injuries or deaths in case of a bus accident. Yesterday the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) joined in by recommending for the first time that all US School buses be equipped with lap and shoulder belts.

Based on previous studies, The NTSB also recommended  that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandate automatic emergency braking systems for all American school buses.

States such as New York, New Jersey, Florida and Louisiana that already have buses equipped with lap belts should also upgrade to lap and shoulder belts.

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location of the fatal pedestrian accident BK NYCOn March 5th, Ruthie Ann Blumenstein was crossing the road with Abigail, her 5 year old daughter when a reckless driver struck them (see our previous blog). Abigail died at the scene of the accident and her mother suffered serious injury. At the time of the accident she was 39 weeks pregnant with Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein. On Wednesday our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz who represents Mrs Blumenstein announced that sadly her unborn child had died from the injuries suffered during the crash. “The pain suffered by Ruthie and Jonathan is nearly impossible to fathom,” Mr. Rubinowitz said. “As you might imagine, they are overwhelmed by the sadness of the deaths of their children.”

Ruthie Ann Blumenstein is a Tony-Waward winning actress. The actress and her daughter Abigail were among a group of pedestrians who were crossing the intersection of Fifth Ave and 9th street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when Dorothy Burns ran a red light and erratically plowed into them.  Abigail and 20 month old Joshua Lew died at the scene of the accident. Several pedestrians were injured including the pregnant Ruthie Ann Blumenstein.

Dorthy Burns was recently indicted by a Grand Jury and was charged with manslaughter, assault and criminally negligent homicide (see previous blog).  Burns suffers from multiple sclerosis. Prior to the fatal accident she received 12 driving violations for speeding in school zones and running red lights. Her license is now suspended. It is outrageous that she was still allowed to drive at the time of the accident.

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New York Personal Injury Attorney Christopher DonadioOur NY personal injury attorney Christopher J. Donadio has been invited to lecture at a joint American Board of Trial Advocates and Defense Association of New York continuing legal education event titled “Frye Hearings and the Effective Use of Biomechanical Experts” which will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 5:30pm at Battery Gardens at 1 Battery Park, New York, New York. Mr. Donadio has been asked to provide a plaintiff’s attorneys perspective to the current trends in Frye hearings involving biomechanical experts.

A Frye hearing involves a hearing in front of a judge, where the judge is asked to determine whether an expert witness is permitted to testimony. The “Frye hearing” was established by the Federal District of Columbia Circuit court in Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923). “[T]he Frye test asks ‘whether the accepted techniques, when properly performed, generate results accepted as reliable within the scientific community generally.” Parker v. Mobil Oil Corp., 7 N.Y.3d 434, 446, 857 N.E.2d 1114 (2006), citing People v. Wesley, 83 N.Y.2d 417, 422, 633 N.E.2d 451 (1994).

Biomechanical experts are experts that are typically hired by defendants in motor vehicle collision cases who claim that an injured party could not have been injured by the collision due to the physics involved in the crash. Although biomechanical science has been generally recognized by the courts of New York as a science that generates results that are accepted as reliable within the scientific community, it does not mean that each and every biomechanical expert is offering testimony that is based on methods that truly are accepted.

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Location of the garbage truck accident in BrooklynA private garbage truck struck and seriously injured a 78 year old woman who was crossing the street yesterday in New York City . The hauling truck that belongs to MIST Entreprise was making a left turn from East Fourth Street onto 18th Ave in Kensington, Brooklyn, when it hit the pedestrian. The accident occurred around 11:00 am. Witnesses saw the victim being pinned under the wheel of the truck. She was screaming and her leg was completely mangled.  The 78 year old woman was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.  The driver of the truck stayed at the scene of the accident and so far hasn’t been charged.

KILLING MACHINES

The truck that crashed into the pedestrian has a history of reckless driving. According to city records, over the last two years, the truck was cited 5 times for running red lights.  Privater garbage truck haulers have a very bad reputation in New York City. Drivers are forced to drive long hours and cover large routes, making them prone to reckless driving.  Between 2010 and 2017, 43 New Yorkers died after being struck by private carting companies’garbage trucks. Organized labor believes that the Business Integrity Commission that regulates them is not doing enough to prevent this carnage. Not even a month ago another elderly resident from the Bronx was fatally struck by a private garbage truck. Police investigated the accident and discovered that the driver had previously fatally ran over a colleague with his truck 6 months before. He lied to the police about it and was still allowed to drive without being charged. (see previous blog).