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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increased risk of crashes on highway work zonesHighway construction zones are dangerous areas where both construction workers and motorists are at risk of getting injured or killed in crashes.

An annual study conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America and Heavy Construction Systems Specialists (HCSS), found that during the past year 64% of contractors working on highways experienced at least one crash on their work site. Among them, 32% reported 5 crashes or more.

5 or more construction workers were injured in 2% of these crashes, 3 workers were injured in 3% of them, 2 in 5% of them and  1 hard hat was injured in 8% of them. In the majority of the accidents (82%) no workers were injured.

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truckAs more and more truck traffic in the US leads to more and more truck accident fatalities, truck safety activists are pushing for  the government to revise safety regulations and laws related to truck traffic in the US.

5,600 people died in truck accidents in the US in 2021 compared to 4,965 in 2020, representing an increase of 13% from one year to the other.  This is the highest number of truck fatalities ever recorded in the US. Compared to 2010, the number of truck accident fatalities increased by 52%.

The Truck Safety Coalition released a statement pointing at multiple regulations updates that could prevent deadly truck accidents:

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traffic fatalities US 2021Early estimates of motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that while traffic fatalities increased in the US in 2021 compared to 2020, the number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled slightly declined.

An estimated total of 42,915 people died in crashes in the US in 2021 compared to 38,824 in 2020. This represents an increase of 10.5%. This is also the highest number of road fatalities since 2005.

In the State of New York, 1,139 people died in crashes in 2021 compared to 1,046in 2020, representing a 8.8% increase.

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Queens construction site where the fatal accident occurred
NYC Construction workers who have been injured or families of construction workers who died on the job can often sue the contractor and/or the owner of the construction sites as, sadly, the majority of construction accidents occurring on New York sites are the result of negligence.

The most common construction accident cases resulting in litigation in New York City are accidents related to falls. New York Labor Law Section 240 also known as the Saffold Law protects hard hats who fell from heights or got struck by a falling object.

A look at last April NYC construction accidents indicates that out of the 35 accidents that resulted in death or injuries, 20 of them were preventable and occurred after safety rules were violated. Among them were 12 fall accidents. Two of them were deadly.

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Andrew_Gounardes wrote the speed camera billsIn an effort to reduce an increase in fatal car accidents in New York City, legislators in Albany have signed a deal to renew the existing cameras program and to have them running 24/7 instead of the current schedule of 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Safety advocates were pleased that the deal was signed and the new amended bill was on its way to be delivered to Governor Hochul and signed.  The signature of the bill allows the speed cameras program to be extended for 3 years. However the deal is a watered down version of the bill proposed by Senator Andrew Gournades (picture) who originally included several other propositions such as:

  • Requiring the DMV to notify car insurance companies about any car accumulating five or more speed camera tickets
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OSHA logoDME Construction Associates, a negligent NY contractor who is now also listed as a severe violator, was issued a $1.2 million  fine by OSHA for 4 serious and 9 willful violations of safety rules.

The contractor was slapped with the hefty fine after one of its employees fell to his death while working on the roof of the Town of Oyster Bay solid waste disposal facility in Old Bethpage, Nassau County, NY. The accident occurred on August 19th 2021. The 56 year old construction worker fell 18 feet through an unprotected skylight. Despite working on a rooftop, he was not provided any personal fall protection equipment by his employer as required by law.

OSHA’s investigators found that the contractor failed to provide personal fall safety equipment for employees working on the rooftop. Additionally the contractor failed to protect the skylight as well as other roof openings and roof edges and exposed workers to falls of up to 22 feet.

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The intersection where Lin was fatally struckAnother pedestrian died in a crash in New York City on Saturday after the driver of a van failed to yield to her

62 year old Tian-Rong Lin was crossing Seward Avenue in the Bronx when a van making a left turn from Olmstead Avenue struck her. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 11:00 am. The driver, 54 year old Ramon Cedeno-Ortiz, stayed at the scene of the accident. He was charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Drivers rarely charged when they kill a pedestrian

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Location of the deadly MTA Bus AccidentA pedestrian was fatally struck by a MTA Bus in Staten Island, NYC, last Friday early morning and the bus driver never stopped.

69 year old Patrick Varriale, a New Springville resident and the the electronic media services division director for the American Federation of Musicians of US and Canada, an instrumental musicians union, was crossing the intersection of Forrest Hill Road and Platinum Avenue in Staten Island around 4:40 AM on Friday when he was struck by a MTA bus driver who never stopped and left the victim dying in the street.

The intersection is a block away from the MTA Yukon Bus Depot and after investigation, the police found out that the bus driver who hit the victim was a 52 year old man who was travelling eastbound on Forest Hill Road. He hit the victim as he was making a left turn onto Platinum Avenue. The man was driving the SIM 10 route bus.

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Speed cameras prevent crashes59% of all deadly crashes in New York City occur during hours when speed cameras are turned off and speeding is the number one factor of car accident fatalities in New York City with 4 out of 5 fatal crashes caused by speed according to a new report recently published by Transportation Alternatives.

Speed cameras in New York City have proven to be among the most effective tools to address speeding and reduce car accidents.  The speed camera program that was implemented in 2014 in New York City is not regulated by  New York City but by New York State in Albany.  Albany not only limits the number of speed cameras but also their location (only in school zones and at few intersections) and their hours of operation (Monday to Friday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm).   Mayor Adams wants the city to have control over the speed camera program and two days ago, the NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez reiterated Adams’ call on lawmakers in Albany to hand over control of the city’s speed camera program (see article in the Gothamist).

Both the NYC DOT and street safety activists are asking for speed camera to be active 24/7.  Previous studies effectuated by the DOT show that as soon as the cameras are turned off, speeding comes back and that 31% of all crash fatalities take place in a school zone area at a time when cameras are turned off.

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this is where the man on a motorised scooter was fatally killedA 72 year old man on a motorized scooter is the 8th person to die in a traffic accident in New York City in one week

After a student was killed by a drunk driver in Manhattan, a 16 year old was killed by a truck while on her way to school in the Bronx,  a bike rider was killed by a garbage truck in Brooklyn, a delivery man was fatally struck by a van in Brooklyn, two pedestrians were fatally struck the same day in Queens and a mother was fatally struck by a stolen hit and run truck in Queens as well , an elderly man who was trying to cross the street on his motorized scooter was killed by a van in the Bronx on Sunday night just a few hours before a 20 year old driver speeding on the Belt Parkway killed herself and critically injured her passenger after crashing her car in a city truck.

Additionally, on Monday, a 69 year old man was critically injured after being struck and dragged by a box truck in the UES.