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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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Spinal Cord InjurySpinal cord injuries result in damages that are  often irreversible or require patients to spend a very long time in a hospital setting for rehabilitation. Existing technologies used to rehab patients suffering from spinal cord injury are often heavy and can not be used in a home setting. However a recent headset prototype created by a Biomedical Engineering PhD student at the University of Glasgow,  brings new hope to spinal cord injury patients.

Nina Petric-Gray used 3D printing technology to produce a light electroencephalography (EEG) headset  designed to help restore hand functions. The headset sends low-energy electrical pulse to artificially generate body movement and record the electrical activity of the brain allowing long distance medical monitoring.

When she started her project, the PhD student modified gaming headsets, adding electrodes to record the brain activity. The prototype was heavy and uncomfortable. The student also found that it was difficult to accurately place the electrodes for optimal recording.  The idea was good but a real bespoke prototype needed to be created for this particular use. The student used a product design software to create a light usable prototype allowing for optimal electrode placement.  After the product design was finalized the student used 3D technology to bring it to life.  With 3D printing, there is no need for a mold anymore and every headset can be customized for each patient’s head with optimal electrodes placement.

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Satelite-view-of-Floyd-Bennett-AirportA tragic car accident resulted in 3 deaths and multiple injuries in New York City last Saturday night as a bunch of local teenagers gathered on a remote area of the Floyd Bennett airfield for some summer antics. Two 16 year old drivers with other young passengers on board crashed into each other while both were effectuating “donuts” on a runway converted into a road at the old Floyd Bennett Field airport.

Both drivers were 16 year old

According to the police report, 16 year old Emil Badalov was behind the wheel of a 2014 Kia Forte with 3 other people in the car: 11 year old Daniel Sidgiyayeva and his sister 18 year old Margarita, Sidgiyayeva as well as another 17 year old boy. Baladov was effectuating “donuts” when a Toyota Camry  crashed into them. The Toyota Camry was driven by another 16 year old boy who had two passengers: a 16 year old girl and an 18 year old boy. Baladov and the two Sidgiyayeva kids died while the other passenger is still hospitalized in critical condition. The 3 occupants of the Toyota Camry were all injured and hospitalized. They are in stable condition. No arrest were made.

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6 hard hats were injured on construction sites in New York City during the month of April compared to 47 a month earlier and 44 in April 2019. 4 workers were injured on Bronx construction sites and 2 of them on Brooklyn sites. 4 workers suffered minor injuries and 2 others who were injured by a plywood piece  on a windy day, required hospitalization. No fatalities were reported to the DOB during the month of April. The significant decline in construction accident injuries in the city is related to the Covid-19 restrictions that allowed only essential construction sites to be open during the month of April.

Construction Accident Injuries NYC April 2020
In one of the accidents a plumber accidentally screwed his own finger during a plumbing operation. He suffered a cut and was treated at an emergency room. He was then released in stable condition. While the DOB determined that the accident was caused by the worker’s error, inspectors found several safety violations at the construction site located on 1325 Jerome Avenue in the Bronx and issued several citations including: failure to maintain vertical netting, failure to maintain the site clean, failure to provide covers for holes on the floor, failure to protect an elevator shaft opening, failure to install a handrail system on stairways as well as failure to notify the DOB of a change of site safety manager. A partial stop work order was issued.

In an other accident, also in the Bronx, a worker suffered muscle cramps after another worker with whom he was carrying a PVC pipe suddenly put his end down.

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A man was injured in a partial building collapse in Manhattan. Part of the facade of a building containing a parking garage on 203 East 38th Street near third Avenue in Murray Hill  crashed down the street falling on a parked Limousine with TLC plates. The driver who was sitting in the car at the time of the accident was injured as debris falling from the top of the building partially destroyed his car. The windows were broken and the trunk dented. Another man who was making a delivery nearby just had the time to escape and run away from the disaster. According to witnesses, first a few bricks fell on the ground and then immediately after a significant part of the wall followed.

Complaints of illegal construction work were previously filed with the  NYC Department of Buildings

The parking garage was closed during the coronavirus crisis. It opened and closed several times last year according to a local resident who was interviewed by CBS News. The resident said that on some days he witnessed trucks coming out of the garage carrying loads of debris. The DOB received previous complaints that construction work was being done at the location without valid permits. Inspectors were sent twice to the location but were not able to enter the building according to the DOB.  The building which is under a partial vacate order  received 3 previous violations in May and June related to damages to the roof and floor that were categorized as “immediate emergency”. These violations were still active at the time of the accident.

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traumatic-brain-injury-picture-1Every year an estimated 57,000 Americans die and 288,000 are hospitalized to be treated for traumatic brain injury. Another 2.5 million are treated at the emergency room and then released immediately.  Traumatic brain injury is a contributing factor in 30% of all injury-related deaths in the US. While only a small percentage of all people suffering TBI die, many of them suffer long lasting health consequences.

Almost half of the diagnosed traumatic brain injuries are caused by fall, 15%  are caused by people being struck by or against something, 14% by motor vehicle accidents  and another 9% by assault. Traumatic brain injury is often caused by the negligence of others.

Depending on the intensity of the impact, a traumatic brain injury can cause unconsciousness, confusion, memory problems, learning difficulties, speaking problems, unsteadiness, vision or hearing problems. Patients who suffered TBI can also develop Alzheimers or other types of dementia.

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building-before-the-collapseA gym employee miraculously only suffered minor injuries in a building collapse in New York City. The accident occurred last week. The building was under construction for renovations. Last November building inspectors issued 3 violations for “structural cracks and bulging exterior masonry wall”. At the time of the collapse these violations were still open. Additionally, a partial stop work order was issued on June 10 for the same masonry brick wall bulging on the sidewalk with no protection erected around it.

The 3 story building located at the corner of Court Street and Union Street in Carroll Gardens was the home of Body Elite Gym. After the stop order was issued in June, the owners of the gym posted a picture of scaffolding on the sidewalk mentioning the gym was getting an exterior make over and they were looking forward to reopen after the lock-down. The gym was refurbished last year with new equipment.

The building was built 120 years ago according to public records. It was hosting a popular pool hall in the 1960ies. A neighbor who talked to the Daily News said that the building always had a bulge and that he found that very strange.  Complaints of structural instabilities have been filed with the DOB for years.

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excavation work in NYC streetsToo many construction workers are still being injured or dying while working in trenches or excavations. A new video by OSHA on excavation and trenching safety looks at previous violations and how to prevent them.

While doing excavation, construction workers are facing multiple hazards. Cave in hazard is the most dangerous one.  Unfortunately  many construction workers are injured or die in trenches because of negligence. Failure to respect excavation requirements is the 6th most common violation in the construction industry behind fall protection (general requirement), scaffolding, ladders, fall protection training and eye and face protection.

While looking at violations related to excavation and trenching the most common one is failure to protect employees in excavations with 809 citations in 2019. OSHA requires employers to set up specific protective systems such as shoring for workers in excavations however too many employers are still cutting corners as the high number of violations demonstrates.

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twitter cyclist injuredA cyclist was injured  in Manhattan, NYC, last weekend after he hit a wooden platform erected in a bike lane by a rest. Alex Sirken was riding his bike on Seventh Ave South when he hit a wooden platform left on the bike lane by Ofrenda, a Mexican restaurant in the East Village.

While the DOT  has been allowing restaurants to temporary set up tables for outdoor dining mostly in parking spaces in the streets of New York City, the guidelines are clear and do not allow restaurants to install seating areas on “No Stopping Anytime or No Standing Anytime zone, bike lane, bus lane/stop, taxi stand, or car share space”.

Ofrenda was not the only offender, other restaurants such as El Camino Cantina in the East Village were also reported blocking the bike lane with tables.

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New York CyclistsStreet advocates are predicting an increase in bicycle accidents in New York City as many New Yorkers , including many newbies, are opting to use a bike to commute in the city rather than risking getting infected by the coronavirus in the New York subway. The mayor listened to them and  recently announced that the DOT would double the number of temporary protected bike lanes available for cyclists to commute around the city. Nine more miles of temporary protected bike lanes will be added to the other 9 miles  already installed last month as part of the “Open Street” initiative.

Additionally another 13 miles of open streets will be added in areas that are heavily affected by the virus.

The additional temporary protected bike lanes will be installed in Queens and in Manhattan

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location of the pedestrian fatality Bronx NYCThe number of pedestrian fatalities in New York City which had significantly decreased during the coronavirus lock-down peaked back up as soon as the city started to reopen.

Yesterday night around 9:30 pm a 50 year old man who was crossing the street at the intersection of Beach Avenue and Mansion Street in Parkchester was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver.  The man was rushed to the hospital but he could not be saved.

The Police are still looking for the driver who recklessly killed the pedestrian and sped away behind the wheel of a SUV. According to the police the driver was chasing another car when the accident occured.