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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Traffic accidents near JFK airportLast week 15 people were injured in a bus accident and a teenager was killed when the car she was in collided with a truck. Both accidents took place near JFK Airport, which is currently undergoing a major makeover. The aim of this $19 billion project is to rejuvenate the airport by providing modern facilities and improved terminals. However, this extensive renovation comes at a cost: roadways are being torn up and closed, resulting in significant traffic disruptions that are projected to last for several years. Consequently, various modes of transportation, including driving, public transit, taxis, and ride-hailing services, will be affected, potentially causing substantial congestion, delays, and safety concerns.

Last Friday a collision occurred between a Delta Airlines bus and a commuter van on the Van Wyck Expressway, resulting in 15 injuries. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by commuters in and around JFK Airport and southeast Queens. Local leaders, such as Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, have been advocating for clearer signs, speed warnings, and overall safer street designs as part of the JFK Airport overhaul. Additionally, Richards highlighted the peril of driving on North and South Conduit Avenue, where a 14-year-old girl was killed in a car accident just two days prior. The accident took place on North Conduit Avenue near 160th Street. The 14-year-old was a passenger in a BMW driven by a 16-year-old driver. The young driver, who was not supposed to be driving alone, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a UPS truck, resulting in the death of his passenger and friend.

As predicted by Frommers, commuting to JFK airport, is currently and will continue to be a nightmare for years to come.

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Location of the school bus accident in the BronxAs NYC bus accident attorneys,  it is our responsibility to shed light on the unfortunate incidents that occur on our roads and advocate for justice. In a recent chain-reaction crash in the Bronx, a yellow school bus carrying special needs students and a pregnant woman became entangled with a reckless driver, resulting in a devastating collision involving multiple vehicles.

The accident occurred yesterday afternoon after 3:00 pm. A silver Jeep traveling northbound on the Hutchinson River Parkway service road failed to stop at a traffic light near Co-op City in Baychester. The Jeep disregarded the red light and collided with a yellow school bus heading eastbound, initiating a chain reaction that impacted a southbound Chrysler Sebring carrying three individuals and a Co-op City maintenance van. The force of the collision sent all vehicles spiraling across the intersection, causing chaos and panic. The driver of the jeep has a history of reckless driving. Since 2109, the driver accumulated 15 violations including one red-light camera violation and 12 school zone speed camera violations according to how’s my driving NY.

Justice Kwansa, a pharmacist at Mount Sinai Hospital in the Bronx and an eyewitness to the crash, described the moment of impact as a deafening boom. Reacting swiftly, he rushed to the scene in his slippers, attempting to assist the trapped occupants of the Jeep. Despite the imminent danger of a potential explosion, Kwansa displayed immense bravery, recognizing the urgency of rescuing those in need. Amidst the chaos, the school bus passengers, including special needs students, experienced understandable panic and distress.

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Monterey garage in UWS has structural issuesThe recent collapse of a parking garage in Lower Manhattan, which resulted in the loss of a life and injuries to several individuals, has raised concerns about the safety and condition of parking structures throughout New York. In response, city officials conducted inspections of numerous garages, uncovering widespread structural problems that have been allowed to persist for years. This blog explores the findings of The New York Times’ investigation into the state of these garages, shedding light on the hazards faced by both employees and customers.

The investigation by The New York Times has revealed that serious structural issues are prevalent among parking garages across the city. Crumbling ceilings, exposed and rusting reinforcing bars, and other defects have been identified in over three dozen garages including the Monterey Garage in the UWS where the DOT documented that a 12 by 18-inch chunk of concrete fell from the ceiling. Shockingly, many of these garages have continued to operate despite the documented hazards. In some cases, inspections uncovered garages that were exceeding their capacity, with exits blocked on multiple levels due to overcrowding.

Neglected Violations

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ambulance at accident sceneThree construction workers suffered burn injuries at a construction site in the Bronx on Monday afternoon. These workers failed to provide proper proof of training and did not possess a permit for using a propane torch. They were performing a waterproofing job near Holland Avenue and East Gun Hill Road when the incident occurred. The workers were burned as some of the waterproofing material caught fire. The severity of the incident prompted a massive response from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).

The construction site in question has become a hotbed of safety violations, with New York City issuing over 25 violations in the past year alone. Shockingly, twelve of these violations are still open and directly relate to construction safety concerns. This pattern of negligence is deeply concerning and suggests a lack of commitment to providing a safe working environment for construction workers. On the day of the incident, five new violations were issued, further illustrating the disregard for safety protocols.

History of Stop Work Orders

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A total of 11,176 people were injured in NYC crashes during the first quarter of 2023 according to monthly statistics from the NYPD including 809 cyclists, 2,163 pedestrians, 3,310 passengers and 4,894 motorists. This is compared to 10,501, 8,984, 12,997, 12,920, 12,608, 11,936, 10,805, and 11,676 during Q1 of 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 respectively. The number of people injured in traffic accidents during Q1 of each year shows how injuries first declined after Vision Zero started in 2014 and 2015, compared to 2013, and then jumped again in 2016. The number gradually increased to pass 12,000 in 2017 and reach a record high of 12,997 in 2019 due to the increase in distracted driving accidents caused by cellphones and other electronic devices. Crash injuries dropped again in Q1 of 2020 and 2021 due to the decline in activity in the city caused by the pandemic, and gradually increased again in Q1 of 2022 and 2023 as the city gradually became more active again.

NYC auto accident injuries by category Q1 2023
Since Vision Zero started in 2014, the number of people dying in car accidents during the first quarter of the year has never gone back to 69, the number of crash fatalities reached during Q1 2013. However, after Vision Zero started, traffic fatalities reached a record high at 58 during the first quarter of last year and remained high during the first quarter of this year with 47 fatalities.

While the number of passenger fatalities dropped significantly from 17 to 6, the number of bicyclist fatalities reached a record high during the first three months of the year. The warm winter, the increased popularity of e-bikes, as well as the more intense truck traffic generated by internet shoppers, are among the factors that contributed to this explosion of fatalities among cyclists.

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schoolbus1Less than one week after a car crashed into a school bus in Westchester county, a pickup truck collided with a school bus near Meadowbrook Elementary School in East Meadow, LI, yesterday afternoon. The bus was carrying 41 students between the ages of 5 and 11. Thirteen students, as well as the bus driver, were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The pickup truck driver also sustained minor injuries and was pulled from his vehicle.

All injuries related to the school bus crash were said to be minor, including that of the pickup driver who had to be pulled from his wrecked truck. According to Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, the blue pickup smashed into the bus while making a left turn from a school parking lot around dismissal time. It’s not clear what led to the crash, though Ryder said speed and distracted driving were being eyed as possible causes. It is not believed that alcohol played any role. An investigation is ongoing.

Is it safer for parents to drive their children to school?

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deadly traffic accidentsThe recent string of pedestrian accidents in Queens and Manhattan over the last week-end is deeply concerning as it seems that every week-end in New York City a few more people are getting killed in traffic accidents. Our pedestrian accident lawyers  are not the only one to express concerns about the increased number of traffic deaths in New York City. In a recent column for the New York Times, Ginia Bellafante  point fingers at the increased number of traffic fatalities in the city and highlights the dangers of Atlantic Avenue. Confirming these concerns, Transportation Alternatives just released today its quarterly traffic fatalities report showing 51 people died in traffic accidents during Q1 including a record 9 bicyclists.

Last weekend’s carnage

The first accident involved a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed Darryl Younger, a Department of Education employee who was on his way to work as a school lunch loader and handler. The driver who struck him was traveling south on Jackson Ave. and is still being sought by police.

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Teen driving crashes infographicAs car accident lawyers, it is heartbreaking to hear about the recent crash in Westchester County that left several teenagers seriously injured, some with life-threatening injuries. This tragedy once again highlights the dangers of teen driving and the devastating consequences that can result when young drivers are not properly trained and licensed.

According to reports, the crash occurred when an unlicensed 16-year-old driver lost control of his Honda Accord while driving with three passengers. The car crossed into the lanes of oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a school bus carrying multiple passengers, including several high school students.

The impact of the crash was severe, and several people suffered serious injuries

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Bronx DA ClarkThree contractors have been indicted by the Bronx District Attorney’s office for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges in the death of a construction worker. The victim was Segundo Manuel Huerta Mayancela, who was crushed by 1,000 pounds of debris at the construction site in 2019. 5 other construction workers suffered injury in the accident. The contractors involved in the incident have been charged for falsifying credentials, flouting safety standards and disregarding worker’s protections.

The contractors were charged for creating egregiously dangerous conditions at the building site, where they flouted building safety codes and ignored worker’s protections. According to the investigation carried out jointly by the NYC Department of Investigation and the Bronx DA, the contractors falsified credentials and permits and ignored oversight requirements, creating a dangerously unstable structure that led to Mayancela’s death.

The Bronx DA, Darcel D. Clark, said that the death of Segundo Manuel Huerta Mayancela was entirely preventable and that the construction site was a death trap waiting to happen. She emphasized that workers are not expendable, and anyone who puts construction workers at risk in an already hazardous profession would be held accountable. Clark also highlighted that the case predates the Carlos’ Law, which was enacted to create greater accountability for tragic and avoidable injury to workers at New York construction sites and increase penalties for criminal corporate liability for the death or serious physical injury of an employee.

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parking garage collapses in NYCOn Tuesday afternoon, a parking garage on Ann Street in Lower Manhattan collapsed, resulting in the death of one person and injuring five others. The collapse caused cars to pancake on top of one another, sending rubble from the top deck down to street level. Videos and pictures from the scene showed the extent of the damage, with dust rising from the wreckage.

As premises liability attorneys in New York City, it is alarming to see accidents like this happen. It is the responsibility of property owners to ensure that their premises are safe for those who use them, including visitors and employees. The collapse of the parking garage raises questions about the safety measures in place, maintenance of the structure, and whether there were any prior warnings of potential issues.

The building had open violations dating from 2003