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 Wrongful Death

Published on:

pedestrian accident locationA pedestrian was fatally struck by car in NYC last night . According to the NY Daily News The 53-year-old man was crossing East Tremont Ave at the intersection of Saint Peters Ave when a SUV hit him. The pedestrian died at the scene of the accident. The driver wasn’t charged. The accident occurred at night around 9:30 pm.

East Tremont has been identified by the Vision Zero  initiative as a dangerous corridor. Speeding is frequent and pedestrians crossings are too few on this 4 lane avenue. The DOT presented a plan to redesign Est Tremont Ave to the community Board 9 in April 2016. However this plan covers only a part of East Tremont Avenue and not the area where the pedestrian was fatally struck yesterday night.

Picture of the pedestrian accident location: courtesy of Google

 

Published on:

city-seal-prThere were 93 traffic fatalities in New York City for the first 6 months of 2017. This is the first time since traffic accident data began being recorded in the City that this number went below 100. 203 people died in motor vehicle accidents in NYC for the full fiscal year that ended on June 30.

These numbers were announced a few days ago by Mayor Bill de Blasio. “No loss of life on our streets is acceptable, but under Vision Zero, we have seen continued and consistent progress, with traffic fatalities on the decline for three-and-a-half-years, strongly countering national trends,” said Mayor de Blasio.

Since 2014, the city has been taking multiple measures such as street redesign and traffic enforcement to try to make the streets safer for all New Yorkers. Pedestrians, especially children and seniors are the most at risk of being fatally struck by a car. Among the 93 people who died in traffic accidents, 47 of them were pedestrians. Respectively 63, 54 and 55 and  of them died during the same period of 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Published on:

11 people died in auto accidents in New York City last May compared to 20 in April and 18 for the same month a year ago. This is a the lowest number of traffic deaths recorded since March 2016 where the number was also 11. This record low number of auto accident deaths occurred despite traffic accidents reaching 20,689 during the same month. This is the highest number of monthly motor vehicle accidents ever recorded in the city. The month before there were 17,585 motor vehicle accidents and 19,911 in May last year.

Traffic accidents in the city have been on a rising trend.  However it is only the second time that this number is above 20,000. Before that, the monthly number of accidents only went above 20,000 once in October 2015. (Click on graphs for full size)

Auto Accidents NYC Monthly Graph
While the number of traffic accidents has been increasing steadily, the number of deaths related to theses accidents have been declining over the last 4 years. This decline may be explained by the various street safety initiatives that have been launched under the umbrella of the Vision Zero Program to reduce traffic deaths in the city.

Published on:

9 cyclists died in bicycle accidents in New York City during the first 6 months of 2017 according to recent articles by Aidan Gardiner in DNA Info. During the same period of time last year 12 bicyclists died in New York City and respectively 5, 10 and 7 in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Indeed despite the launch of Vision Zero  in 2014 and after a drop in 2015, the number of bicycle accident fatalities was higher most of the time  than what it was in 2013 before Vision Zero was launched.  The main reason why the number of  cyclists fatalities remain high is because the number of people using bikes in New York City has been exploding over the last few years. According to data from the NYC DOT (see graph below), the number of people commuting to their work by bike has grown by 80% between 2010 and 2015, faster than in any American city.

bicycling statistics NYC
A better way to find out if the streets are safer for New York City bicyclists is to compare the ratio of cyclists deaths to the number of commuters for example. In 2013 this ratio was 10/37589 = 0.026%, in 2014 it was 5/41,789=0.011% and in 2015 10/44,976=0.022%. This ratio indicates that streets were safer in 2014 and 2015 than they were in 2013. However the ratio also showed that when Vision Zero was launched in 2014  street safety for bicyclists increased significantly but then dissipated after the launch. The data shows that street safety for bicyclists must be an everyday focus at all levels of the Vision Zero program.

The NYC DOT also calculates the New York City Cycling Risk. This indicator compares the Bicyclists Severe Injuries and Fatalities (KSI) to the estimated million cycling trips taken in New York City every year. According to the most recent report of the DOT, the bicycling risk has been constantly decreasing since 2000 and was at its lowest in 2014 (see graph below).

Published on:

tow-truck-accident-location A pedestrian died in a tow truck accident in New York City last Friday. 70 year old Donna Hahl of Valley Stream was crossing Jamaica Ave when a tow truck driver making a turn from 217th Street onto Jamaica Ave struck her. The woman had the green light and was in the cross walk. The tow truck driver also had the green light but as he was making a left turn he not only had to yield to traffic coming in the opposite lane but also to pedestrians crossing at the same time. The tow truck driver identified as 29 year old Mandip Singh from Queens remained at the scene of the accident. When the EMS arrived they found the pedestrian lying on the street unconscious and with body trauma. They transported her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.  The driver was arrested for failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian ( Read more in the Gothamist).

Our New York Truck Accident Lawyers team handled a very similar case a few years ago. The victim, a New York physician was biking on the New York Greenway by the Hudson River when a NYPD tow truck crashed into him. The driver didn’t exercise due care and turned onto Greenway without yielding to the bicyclist.  The impact was so strong that the bicyclist was propelled into the air and fell onto another truck. His head hit the hood. He was transported to the hospital with critical head trauma. He died from his injuries a few days later. The driver wasn’t charged despite not yielding at the intersection. The physician was an avid bicyclist and a marathon runner. He would do house calls on his bike but that night he was just enjoying a pleasant ride by the river with his wife. Our attorneys were able to recover $5 million for his widow.

Picture: location of the tow truck accident courtesy of Google Map

Published on:

accident sceneA man died in a crash in Manhattan last Friday night. The 29-year-old driver of a 2013 Nissan Altima was speeding on the West drive of Central Park when he lost control of his vehicle. He jumped the curve and after crossing a grassy area he crashed into an oak tree 300 feet from the roadway. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The speed limit inside Central Park is 25 mph but according to witnesses the car was probably going at a speed of 60 to 70 mph. The accident occurred on Friday night around 11:30 pm. According to Park Drive Regulations, cars are only allowed on the West Drive weekdays between 8:00 am and 10:00 am.  It is not clear why the man was driving on the West Drive of the Park at this time.

Published on:

A young man is dead and his girlfriend critically injured after their car crashed into a tractor trailer truck in Queens early Saturday morning. 28 year old Steven Narvaez was driving with his 17 year old girlfriend when he blew a red light at the intersection of Skillman Ave and Queens Blvd a little bit before 6:00 am. His Toyota Corolla T-boned an 18-wheel municipal waste truck.
The young driver was found dead in his seat by the EMS. His girlfriend was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
Both families were crushed by the drama.

Published on:

A 96-year-old pedestrian died after a car backing out of a driveway hit her.  Last Tuesday, 96 year Ruth Cohn was talking a walk a block away from the Atria Riverdale senior home where  she lived when the accident occurred. She was struck by a car backing out of a driveway. She was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with legs and pelvic injuries. She died the next day. The driver, a 46 year old woman stayed at the scene of the accident. She wasn’t charged. Read more in the NY Daily News

With baby boomers reaching retirement age, many pedestrians walking in New York City streets are seniors.  They represent 13% of the whole population of New York City however they account for 39% of NYC pedestrian fatalities. According to the DOT, the senior pedestrians fatality rate is 4x that of younger New Yorkers. As part of the Vision Zero Initiative, the DOT is working on various projects to make the streets of New York City safer for the seniors. The complete DOT presentation can be downloaded here

pedestrian fatality NYC by age

Published on:

An 88-year-old woman died and her husband were critically injured in a fire that erupted in their apartment in Harlem.  Firefighters rushed to a fire alert at their apartment located at 70 LaSalle Street near Amsterdam Avenue in Morningside Heights, NYC. They found the couple inside and rushed them to the hospital. Unfortunately the wife didn’t survive. The husband is still in critical condition. The couple’s apartment was located at the 15th floor of the building. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Read more in the NY Daily News

In New York City, seniors have a higher risk of dying in home fires than the rest of the population. According to statistics from the New York City Fire Department , smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in the homes of adults who are 65-years-old and older. Heating equipment is the second cause of  fatal fires at seniors apartments followed by cooking equipment and electrical.

Leading Causes of fire Death for elderly in NYC
Elderly people who are smoking have a much higher risk to be the victim of a residential fire than those who are not smoking. The FDNY recommends elderly people who are smoking:

Published on:

A construction worker died in a scaffolding accident in New York City last Sunday. The 58-year-old hard hat was working on a construction site located at 1382 Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NYC. The man was found on the ground by a paramedic team. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He didn’t survive his injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital. A preliminary investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that a part of the scaffolding went vertical causing the worker to fall.

The site was immediately issued a stop work order by the NYC Department of Buildings. The building and the ex building owner have a long history of violations, neglect and non compliance. This building as well as another one next door located at 241 Linden Blvd were sold to an LLC associated with investor Steven Vegh for $3.7 million in December 2016. They previously belonged to Lewis Alleyne and other associates. Lewis Alleyne is a Brooklyn slumlord who miraculously escaped jail in 2011 after failing to fix more than 500 building violations and ignoring fines. Together this building and the other building located at 241 Linden Blvd have lost all but 3 of their rent stabilized apartments between 2007 and 2014.

The building where the construction worker fell has several open violations some of them immediately hazardous such as defective stairs and windows and exposed lead paint. Also it wasn’t exactly clear what type of work the man was doing on Sunday. Despite all the violations the owners were able to get a permit for a sidewalk shed.