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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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Failure to Diagnose Compartment Syndrome may be medical malpractice.Compartment Syndrome occurs when the pressure within a closed anatomic space (a compartment) becomes so elevated that capillary perfusion is compromised. Any closed anatomic space including the abdominal cavity is at risk of developing a compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome is a surgical emergency. Surgical decompression by fasciotomy must be performed within eight hours of onset or permanent neuromuscluar damage may result. Failure to properly treat will cause necrosis of the nerves and the muscles in the affected compartment since the increased intracompartmental pressure leads to ischemia and thus loss of blood supply to the nerves and muscles within the compartment. Further complications include Rhabdomyolysis which may lead to renal failure,loss of limb and sometimes death.

The following video from Dr Nabil Ebraheim, Professor and Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at The University of Toledo, explains with great detail:

– What is Compartment Syndrome?

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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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A recent study on safety in hospitals conducted by Consumer Reports shows that hospitals are not a safe place to be.

For this study Consumer Reports magazine ranked more than 2000 hospitals based on the following criteria:

-Infections aquired in hospitals
-likelyhood to be re-admitted in 30 days
-communication issues around drugs and discharge
-likelyhood to get too many CT scans
-likelyhood of complications

Dr John Santa, director of Consumer Reports’ Health Ratings Center, was recently on “CBS This Morning” (see video below) to express his concerns.

In the New York area, out of 70 hospitals studied, 58 hospitals rank below the national average when it comes to safety.

Among these hospitals 27 out of the 28 teaching hospitals are scoring below average with some of them among the worst of the nation. The only teaching hospital in the New York region that scores above average is the the Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, NY with a safety score of 58 out of 100.

Teaching hospitals are supposed to lead by example as they are training the future doctors of our nation. It is an alarming fact that most teaching hospitals in the New York area are actually the most unsafe in the country.

In the New York area, the worst teaching hospitals when it comes to safety are the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. with 22 points, the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Health Care System in the Bronx, N.Y. with 25 points, the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y. with 28 points, Harlem Hospital Center in New York City with 28 points and the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. with 29 points.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published the initial release of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.Here is a summary of their findings:

The 2011 preliminary total of 4,609 fatal work injuries represents a slight decrease from the final count of 4,690 fatal work injuries reported for 2010
The preliminary rate of fatal work injuries in 2011 was 3.5 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, down from the 2010 final rate of 3.6.

More fatal work injuries resulted from transportation incidents than from any other event.
Roadway incidents alone accounted for nearly one out of every four fatal work injuries in 2011.

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In 2011, falls to a lower level accounted for 541 fatal work injuries. Of those cases
where height of fall was known, 57 percent involved falls of 20 feet or less.

Roadway incidents accounted for the greatest number of work-related transportation fatalities. Of these, 512 deaths resulted from a roadway collision with another vehicle. Pedestrian vehicular incidents constituted the second greatest number transportation-related fatal injuries Continue reading →

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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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Our Partner Richard Steigman will chair the annual NYSTLA Seminar CPLR 2013 update. Hon. Ariel E. Belen, Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department (retired) Mediator,JAMS is also on the faculty. The seminar will be held on February 25, 2013 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM at NYSTLA, 132 Nassau Street, 2nd floor, New York, N.Y. This seminar will provide an in depth review of new developments, including practice tips and pitfall warnings that are invaluable for the civil litigator. For more information on this seminar and to register click here.

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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf has been named 2013 Law Firm of the Year, Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs as well as being listed in six practice areas in the just released ranking of law firms by U.S. News Media Group, the publishers of U.S. News & World Report, and Best Lawyers®. This is the third edition of this highly-anticipated annual analysis.

Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf was nationally ranked in the top tier in Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation, Medical Malpractice Law, Professional Malpractice Law and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions. The firm also ranked in the top tier in six legal specialties in the New York City Metropolitan Area in Plaintiffs Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Litigation, Product Liability Litigation, Professional Malpractice Law and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions in the New York Metropolitan area.

Inclusion in the “Best Law Firms” listing is based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes data collection, evaluation and feedback from thousands of clients, lawyers and law firm representatives spanning a wide range of practice areas nationwide.

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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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Our partners Anthony H. Gair and Christopher L. Sallay settled the personal injury case of a 63 year old female pedestrian who was struck by a motor vehicle traveling in reverse on a one-way street. The case settled prior to trial for $2,050,000.

As a result of the accident, the plaintiff sustained spinal fractures from L1 – L4, which required corrective surgery. The defense claimed that he never saw the plaintiff prior to his vehicle striking her as she was bending over in the street looking for her gloves. The defense further alleged that the plaintiff made a full recovery and required no additional treatment following the initial surgery.

The New York Personal Injury Lawyer at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have years of experience representing people who have suffered injury in all types of accidents in New York.