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

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84 people including 49 pedestrians, 6 cyclists, 3 vehicle passengers and 26 vehicle drivers died in traffic accidents in New York City during the first semester. This is the lowest number of traffic deaths ever recorded in the city during the first six months of the year. Last year 96 people died in traffic accidents during the same period. It was the  first time that the number of traffic deaths was below 100 for the first six months of the year.Traffic Deaths NYC first semester 2018

While less and less people are dying in auto accidents in the city, more and more are getting injured. 28,544 people suffered injury in a crash during the first semester of 2018 compared to 27,923 during the same period of the previous year and respectively 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

As part of the Vision Zero initiative, the speed limit in the city went down to 25 mph in 2014. This speed limit decrease may have been a factor in the reduction of traffic deaths and in the increase of injuries. Accidents at lower speed may prevent road users from dying, instead they are getting injured.

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Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Jeffrey Bloom and Ben Rubinowitz represented the family  of Joan Rivers after she died during a routine endoscopy at a Manhattan surgery center. Sadly many other patients have died following complications or surgical errors at this type of center as many States still do not have regulations that may prevent them. For example in most of the country there is no law that prohibits a doctor who was laid off by a hospital for misconduct to open a surgery center.

A recent USA TODAY NETWORK and Kaiser Health News investigation found that a surgery center in Arkansas 3 people died during colonoscopy procedures in 15 weeks and none of them were reported to an oversight authority. Patients coming for procedures were obviously not aware of these deaths either. This must change.

The lack of oversight continues to kill patients at surgery centers

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Among all the States in the US, New York State has the highest rate of mothers injured while giving birth.  Many of these injuries are the direct result of hospital negligence and medical malpractice. A recent investigation by USA Today shows that not only in New York but all over America negligent medical workers skip basic safety practices that have proven to be life savers for mothers.

Weighing blood pads to track dangerous hemorrhages as well as controlling blood pressure and if necessary immediately providing medication to prevent strokes are basic procedures that protect a mother about to give birth. However in the US many nurses, doctors and hospitals continue to ignore them. As a result while in most developed countries the rate of maternal deaths and injuries dropped drastically over the last decades, it rose sharply in the US.

maternal deaths in developed countries
Excepted for California where safe practices have been implemented, hospitals in other Sates continue to ignore basic safety practices.  As a result, every day in the US, 2 mothers die from complications related to delivery. Many of them bleed to death because doctors and nurses don’t bother to quantify blood losses. Many others die from stroke because the hospital staff didn’t track their blood pressure or didn’t provide blood pressure medication on time. Most of these deaths are preventable. Experts estimate that 93% of the deaths related to bleeding could be avoided by quantifying blood loss and 60% of the deaths related to blood pressure disorder could be prevented simply by proprely monitoring blood pressure.

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location of the bike accidentA motorcyclist was seriously injured and his passenger died after they collided with a car in New York City on Sunday night.

The accident occurred in Howard Beach, Queens, around 9:00 pm. The 28 old driver and a 33 year old passenger were riding their motorcycle on 162nd Street. As they were crossing the intersection of 162nd Street and Cross Bay Boulevard they collided with a car making a left turn from Cross Bay Boulevard onto 162nd Street.

The car was driven by a 19 year old woman who was transporting two passengers.

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Injuries are the leading cause of death among New York children. A recent report published by the New York Health Department looks at the trend in injury deaths for children ages 1 to 12 in New York City from 2006 to 2015.

The study shows that in the majority of cases, injuries that resulted in the death of a child in New York City were unintentional. In 2015, for example, among the 22 children who died from injury, 18 were unintentional deaths and 4 were homicides. No suicides were recorded that year. Suicides represent the smallest part of children injury deaths in New York City.

The number of children injury deaths was at its highest in 2006 and at its lowest in 2011 and 2015. Over the last 10 years it has been on a declining trend.

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mother texting while drivingDistracted driving has led to a surge in fatal car accidents and even parents with young children in their car admit that they use their phone while driving.

According to a study recently released by  the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and published in the Journal of Pediatrics, out of 760 parents or caregivers interviewed:

  • 47% talked on a hand-held phone
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A man died in a motorcycle accident in New York City early Saturday morning. Around 4:30 am, 45 year old Angel Cotto was riding his motorcycle on Gate Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens when he blew a stop sign and crashed into a car driven by a 75 year old driver. The impact was so strong that the motorcyclist was ejected from his bike and landed on the street. He was seriously injured but still alive when the emergency team arrived. He was rushed to the hospital where he died.

Among all road users in New York City, motorcyclists are at a disproportionate risk of death. According to a previous study by the NYC DOT, while motorcycles account for only 2% of all registered vehicles in New York City, they account for 14% of traffic fatalities. The fatal crash rate for motorcyclists in New York City is nearly twice the rate recorded for New York State motorcyclists. Fatal motorcycle accidents often occur to young riders: 56 % are under the age of 35 and nearly 100% of them are male. Most accidents occur during the summer especially during the afternoon or the evening hours and involved another vehicle.

Motorcycle Accidents in NYC May 2018

 

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5,569 people suffered personal injury in 20,551 traffic accidents in New York City last May. Among them were 2,534 motorists, 1,755 passengers, 430 cyclists and 850 pedestrians.

While looking at past statistics,  we notice a seasonal factor that causes the number of crash injuries to always increase during the month of May compared to the previous months of  February, March and April. Last May the auto accident injuries in New York City increased to a record number.

In May 2013, before Vision Zero, 4,988 people suffered injuries in NYC crashes.  Then the Vision Zero program started and the number of crash injuries declined to 4,621 in May 2014. It increased again slightly to 4,788 in May 2015 but stayed below the Pre-Vision Zero number of injuries recorded in May 2013. In May 2016, it peaked above 5000 and never went back below that level for the last 3 years. 5,415 crash injuries were recorded in May 2016 and 5,314 in May 2017.

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Sanitation Salvage, one of the biggest New York trash haulers has a history of fatal accidents. The company was all over the news recently after one of their truck drivers killed two people in less than 6 months and lied about one of the person he killed pretending it was a homeless man while it was an off-the book worker.

Propublica and Voice of America took an in depth look at how the company is running its business and they recently published the result of their investigation.

Ruthless brothers

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construction workers94.7% of the 38 construction workers who died on the job in New York State in 2016 were non unionized. In New York City 93.8%  of them were non unionized. These number speak for themselves.  The strength of the unions and labor movement has been on the decline for years and suffered another severe blow when the US Supreme Court barred public-employee contracts from requiring workers to pay union dues. Unions not only protect workers’ income but also workers health.

A new study analyzed occupational fatalities from 1992 to 2016 and found that 7,300 workplace fatalities could have been avoided  if union membership had not been undercut by right to work laws. The author of the study, Michael Zorobod, is a a PhD candidate at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences. Zorobod demonstrated that the uptick in workplace fatalities that started in 2013 is correlated to the increased number of States who adopted  right to work laws. In 2000, right to work laws were statutes in 20 States.  Now they are statues in 28 States.

Read more in Fair Warning