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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Gotham residential construction siteIn June 2018 two construction workers were seriously injured in a mini crane accident in New York because of the negligence of their supervisors. These supervisors were indicted last week for their reckless behavior. They face second degree assault and reckless endangerment.

The accident occurred on June 25th at a Harlem construction site located on East 126th Street near Lexington Avenue. Workers hired by Western Waterproofing were installing a facade for a building made of stainless steel and giant glass panels. To help them install the panels, 41 year old Timothy Braico, a senior branch manager, rented a mini crane that was installed on the fourth floor of the building. None of the workers in the team had proper training to use the crane and no one knew how to proprely set it up. After the crane was installed without an approved DOB engineering plan specifying crane use and tethering, the site supervisor, 39 year old Terrence Edwards, ordered an untrained iron-worker to operate the crane.  The crane maximum load was 880 pounds. As workers were hoisting a 1500-pound glass panel onto the facade of the building, the crane toppled and crashed to the ground.  39 year old Christopher Jackson, was ejected in the air and fell 3-story to the ground. He suffered traumatic brain injury that affected his capacity to talk and walk.  Another worker, 37 year old Jorge Delgado was struck in the back and suffered severe spinal injury that affected his mobility.

In New York, construction sites using mini cranes have to follow specific procedures in order to legally use them. A permit application that includes detailed plans as well as the proof that the contractor hired a certified operator and certified rigging crew must be submitted to the DOB in order to use a mini crane.

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Five people were injured in a manhole explosion in the Bronx, NYC, last Friday night. A manhole located on Saint Ann’s Avenue near East 156th Street exploded under a parked car. 3 civilians and 2 police officers were injured by flying debris during the explosion. The civilians were treated at the scene of the accident while the two police officers were transported to the hospital to be treated.

Con Edison crews were still making repairs yesterday working to fix underground wires in a narrow area of  Saint Ann’s Avenue.

Manhole explosions can be very dangerous in a busy city like New York. In such explosion the cast iron cover that can weight between 85 and 300 pounds is sometimes propelled into the air from 1 foot to 50 feet depending on the intensity of the explosion. Manhole explosions often occur during the spring because all the salt used to make the roads safer is corroding the underground cables. However other factors such as aging, overload or rat biting can also damage the cables insulation. When the cable insulation is damaged, wires start to touch each others creating heat to the point that the insulation catches on fire and releases gas. The pressure from the gas then builds up inside the manhole. The defective electrical wires can then ignite the gas and cause a potential explosion.

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preventing children injury in 2018The Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) just released a compilation of their 10 most recent projects in their 2018 annual report. Here is a summary of their area of studies and findings:

  1. Some recent studies are questioning if  it may actually be safer for a child to be seated in a proper restraint system in the front passenger seat rather that in the back seat. The CChIPS conducted crash test studies with a child human body model called the PIPER. They found out that a six year old child seated in a high-back booster and forward-facing Child Restraint Seat (CRS) in the front passenger seating position was better protected from injuries in cars equipped with modern passenger airbags rather than cars with no airbags. These findings go against the common belief that airbags are dangerous for children. Additional tests are needed to validate these findings.
  2. Which booster seat design is best at protecting children from injury? Where should the belt be positioned? Would the addition of curtain airbag help prevent injuries in a car accident?
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New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Rachel JacobsNYC pedestrian accident attorney james rubinowitzTwo of our young NYC personal injury attorneys, Rachel Jacobs and James Rubinowitz, were invited last Monday night to share their skills with the students of the Cardozo Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP). During this two-week immersion program, students are taught cutting-edge strategies for courtroom litigation under the instruction of leading jurists and lawyers from across the country. The program is a cornerstone of Cardozo’s practical skills curriculum.

Rachel and James just finished a trial during which they represented the four adult children of a 90 year old pedestrian who was fatally struck by a motor vehicle as she was crossing a street in New York City.  They presented to the students of the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP) the opening statement and the summation that they gave to the jury at trial.

The pedestrian suffered excruciating pain and suffering before she died

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While the number of traffic fatalities is on the rise nationally, in New York, most probably because of the many Vision Zero Initiatives launched over the last five years, traffic fatalities were at their lowest during the third trimester of 2018 compared to the third trimester of the five previous years. The decline in traffic fatalities during the summer of 2018 is due to the decrease in pedestrians and cyclists fatalities while the number of motorist fatalities was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero.

From July 1st to September 30 2018, 59 people lost their life in NYC auto accidents compare to respectively 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 during the same period of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. It is interesting to notice that there are now as many motorists deaths as pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians used to be the category of road users the most at risk of dying in trafic accidents. However according to the most recent statistics drivers now have as much risk as pedestrians of getting killed in a traffic accident in New York City. Total traffic fatalities in New York City third trimester 2018

A record number of 16,300 people were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third trimester of 2018 compared to respectively 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472 and 14,900 during the third trimester of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Not only in New York but all over the US, distracted driving has led to a significant increase in motorist injuries. Over the last 3 years and despite Vision Zero intense efforts to make New York City Streets safer, the number of motorists injured in car accidents in New York has been increasing tremendously.

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New York Bicycle Accident Lawyer Anthony Gair
Our NYC bicycle accident lawyers are suing the city and the Hudson River Park Trust on behalf of the families of the victims of the terror attack that took place a year ago on the West Side Highway bike path.  Our firm is representing the families of 20 victims who were among the people who were killed or injured  by a pro-ISIS terrorist who rented a truck from the Home Depot and sped down  the Greenway, a popular bike path along the Hudson River, mowing down anyone in its path.

The city’s Department of Transportation and Parks Dept as well as the Hudson River Park Trust “were on notice since at least 2007 of the numerous vehicles that were entering the Greenway,” said our partner Anthony Gair to the NY Daily News. “Nothing was done.”

Previous Transportation Alternative study ignored by the city

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NYC Best Personal Injury Law Firm Congratulations to all our attorneys and staff for making our firm one of the Best Personal Injury Law Firms in New York. For the ninth consecutive year, Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf has been recognized by U.S. News Media Group, the publishers of U.S. News & World Report, and Best

Lawyers® as a top tier firm in the New York City Metropolitan Area for

  • Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
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NYC ambulance accidents3 people suffered personal injury in an ambulance accident in New York City. The accident occurred Tuesday morning around 7:30 a.m. on East Fordham Road at Elm Place. The FDNY ambulance careened into an optical store after it collided with a car. The ambulance was on its way to a call. Two FDNY workers who were in the ambulance as well as one of the car occupants were injured and rushed to the hospital. Thankfully there were no pedestrians on the sidewalk or in the store which was closed.

Ambulance accidents are unfortunately occurring too often in New York City. Despite having special exemption from stopping at red-lights and stop signs as well as from speed limits ambulance drivers still have to be mindful of pedestrians, cyclists and other motor vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists are especially vulnerable to being run down by speeding ambulances. When such accidents occur, it is not always easy for the victims or their family to get proper compensation for their injuries or the loss of a loved one because of what is known as the “emergency doctrine” pursuant to which emergency responders involved in accidents  on emergency calls can’t be held responsible unless they drove with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Almost 100 ambulance accidents every month in NYC

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le5 BODY CAMERAA potentially defective lithium-Ion battery in Vievu-brand LE-5  body camera led the NYPD to pull almost 3,000 body cameras from use.

The decision was made after one of the cameras worn by a Staten Island police officer exploded into flames.  The officer who was assigned to a midnight shift  in the 121st Precinct on the northwestern shore of Staten Island suddenly noticed smoke coming out of his body camera. Thankfully he wasn’t injured in the accident. He just had the time to remove the camera and to drop it on the ground in the precinct before it exploded and caught fire. After the incident, all officers wearing the same model of camera were instructed to immediately remove them and bring them back to their commands. The NYPD had around 15,000 cameras in use and only the Vievu LE-5 is being recalled. The previous version Vievu LE-4 which is also used by some of the police officers is not recalled. Officers who were wearing the LE-5 model will temporally work without body cameras.

CONTROVERSIAL DECISION 

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In our previous blog we provided an overview of the cost of personal injury in the US based on various criteria mostly related to the patients. In part 2 we are going to look in depth at the cost of each particular type of injuries.

Unintentional injuries are by far the most common. More than 26 million people suffered unintentional injury in the US in 2013 according to the study “Incidence and costs of injuries to children and adults in the United States”. The total cost of these injuries almost reached $1.5 trillion.

Number-of-injuries-per-type
Cost of injury per type
Among the unintentional injuries, a third of them were falls. Every year more than 8 million people are visiting the emergency room after falling. More than 3 million are being treated because they were struck and approximately 2.5 million were motor vehicle occupants involved in a traffic accident. Another very common cause of unintentional injury is overexertion.