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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Bicycle accident deaths NYC Q1 2023Bicycle accidents are unfortunately all too common in New York City, and the recent tragedy that took the life of Adam Uster, a Transportation Alternatives member,  is a painful reminder of the dangers that cyclists face on our streets. As bicycle accident lawyers in New York City, we know all too well the impact that these accidents can have on victims and their families.

In this case, Uster was simply riding home with his bike trailer full of groceries when he was struck by a flatbed truck that made an abrupt right turn without signaling, causing fatal injuries. The fact that Uster was in an unprotected bike lane highlights the urgent need for better protections for cyclists on our streets.

The family and friends of Uster have been calling on the city to do more to protect cyclists, and it’s clear that their voices must be heard. The statistics are alarming: there have been 111 reported crashes on the less-than-a-mile stretch of Franklin Avenue between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street since 2020, causing one pedestrian fatality and injuries to 15 cyclists, 14 pedestrians, and 33 motorists.

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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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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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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

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Atlantic Avenue And Clinton Street where 3 fatal car crashes occurredOn Sunday night, a 27-year-old driver recklessly hit and killed a 31-year-old woman on Atlantic Avenue, making her the fourth pedestrian to die in a crash over the weekend. Reports indicate that the driver was speeding through a red light when he hit the victim, then collided with another vehicle and crashed into an outdoor dining structure. Tragically, the victim died at the scene, and the driver was subsequently arrested and charged with multiple offenses, including manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.

This accident highlights the driver’s dangerous disregard for traffic laws and safety, as he had been caught speeding in a school zone in Queens just a month prior. It is crucial that drivers understand the seriousness of their responsibility when operating a vehicle and adhere to traffic laws and safety measures. The consequences of reckless driving can be catastrophic, as seen in this heartbreaking case. We must continue advocating for safer roadways and harsher consequences for those who violate traffic laws and cause harm.

With 10 crash fatalities in 2021 alone, Atlantic Avenue is one of the most dangerous roadways in New York City

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accident sceneThree pedestrians were killed in car accidents in New York City over the weekend. These deaths are a clear reminder of the dangerous and deadly consequences of reckless and negligent driving, and of the urgent need for safer streets.

The first victim, 73-year-old Steven Aragona, was fatally struck while crossing North Conduit Avenue in Queens, last Friday afternoon . Conduit Avenue is notorious for its high speeds and dangerous conditions, with 127 crashes reported on just two miles of the road last year. The 25-year old driver who struck him remained at the scene of the accident and was not charged. (Read more in QNS)

The second victim, Domingo Dejesus, died after he was struck by a driver on Soundview Avenue in the Bronx on Saturday night around 10:45 pm. Soundview Avenue has a similarly troubling safety record, with 44 crashes reported on a mile-long stretch in 2022 alone. The driver involved stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged.

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Factors in New York construction worker deaths in 2021Construction sites are inherently dangerous, and falls are one of the leading causes of death and injury in the industry. That’s why it is essential for construction companies to provide their workers with fall protection equipment and follow the safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Unfortunately, some companies prioritize profits over their safety, and the consequences can be deadly.

A recent case in point is the ALJ Home Improvement Inc. of Nanuet, New York. Despite being cited for 33 violations in seven federal workplace safety inspections in the last four years, including nine willful failures to provide required fall protection, the company was again found to be exposing its workers to potentially lethal harm just six months after an unprotected employee’s fatal fall. This time, an inspector with OSHA observed three employees on a roof 18 feet above the ground without required fall protection.

ALJ Home Improvement’s callous disregard for the law and the safety of its workers is unacceptable. OSHA Area Director Lisa Levy, stated that “the company repeatedly refuses to comply with OSHA standards and make worker safety a priority, choosing instead to put profit over the lives of its employees. The reality is that a safe workplace is actually a more profitable workplace.”

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drunk drivingAs personal injury attorneys who have represented victims in drunk driving accidents, it is disheartening to read about the fatal crash on the Belt Parkway caused by a wrong-way driver who had two prior DWI convictions. Winston Ramdeen, a 52-year-old, drove the wrong way on the Belt Parkway, resulting in the deaths of both himself and the 79-year-old man he collided with. Ramdeen had previously been arrested for drunk driving in 2014 and was scheduled to appear in court in a few days for sentencing related to a another prior DWI accident that occurred in 2021.

While it is understandable that a judge may not have seen fit to lock up the defendant on a misdemeanor conviction, it is the responsibility of prosecutors to ensure that the defendant does not pose a danger to others while awaiting sentencing. One possible solution that could have been explored was setting conditions for the defendant’s release that would have prevented him from getting behind the wheel. For instance, the court could have ordered the defendant to install an ignition interlock device in his car, which would have required him to blow into a breathalyzer before starting the engine. This would have ensured that he was not driving while under the influence of alcohol.

It is essential that we hold accountable those responsible for drunk driving accidents, whether they result in injury or death

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location of the deadly e-Citi Bike accident in Queens NYC
16-year-old Jaydan McLaurin was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding an electric Citi Bike in Queens on Monday night. The driver who killed him was later identified as 18-year-old Yaser Ibrahim, who was unlicensed and driving a BMW SUV. Police were able to track him down, and he was arrested and charged with driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident, and having a tinted windshield.

This heartbreaking incident highlights the urgent need for improved safety measures to protect cyclists on New York City streets. According to reports, McLaurin was riding north on 21st Avenue in Astoria when he was struck by the car. The impact was so severe that it virtually severed the electric Citi Bike in half, and McLaurin was rushed to Harlem Hospital but sadly died from his injuries.

This incident marks the 11th cyclist death in New York City in 2023, with a record-shattering 10 people on bikes having died at the start of the year alone