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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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5 construction workers died  and 240 were injured in New York City between June 1st and October 31st. Last year during the same period, 6 workers died and 275 were injured in NYC construction accidents.

After a slow down in March, April and May related to the Covid-19 lock down, the construction industry resumed work in the city. Out of the 5 fatalities, 3 occurred in Brooklyn and 2 in Manhattan. 3 of them were falls. Fall is the number one cause of fatalities on construction sites in New York and in the US.

  • On June 20, at a construction site located at 1154 39th Street, in Brooklyn, an unlicensed worker who was installing new junction boxes electrocuted himself  and succumbed to his injuries.
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Snow stormWinter storm related injuries and fatalities can often be prevented by preparing ahead. Now is the time for individuals and employers to prepare and get ready for future winter snow storms. The occupational Safety and Health Administration just released a set of guidelines that covers most winter weather related hazards and how to prevent them:

  • Winter driving is always hazardous, OSHA recommends drivers who have to drive in wintery conditions to follow the “3 P’s of safe driving: “Prepare for the trip”, “Protect yourself” and “Prevent crashes on the road”. Preparing for the trip means checking that the car is well maintained, making sure that the breaks are proprely balanced, that the cooling system has a proper mix of antifreeze and water, that the battery is fully charged, that the tires are in good condition and proprely inflated, that the windshield wipers are in good condition and that your windows are clear. Protect  yourself  and your passengers by making sure everybody buckles up and children are in proper seats in the back. Prevent crashes by avoiding drugs and alcohol, keeping a safe distance between cars, keeping alert for pedestrian and avoiding fatigue.
  • Special precautions should be taken for workers exposed to traffic as drivers may skid or loose control of their vehicle during winter weather and strike workers. Signs, cones barrels and barriers should be set up to protect workers.
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No turn for trucks signalA delivery worker on a moped was killed in a truck accident in Queens, NYC  . The accident occurred last Thursday around 8:30 am at the intersection of Astoria Boulevard and Crescent Street.  The driver of a Bud Light delivery truck made a right turn from Astoria Boulevard onto Crescent Street and struck 35 year old, Alfredo Cabrea Licona, a delivery worker riding a red scooter. Alfredo skidded beneath the tractor trailer and it took 10 minutes for  the emergency team to extricate him from under the truck. He was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries and died shortly after his admission to the hospital. Alfredo left behind a wife and two children living in Mexico depending fully on his financial support. He spent 11 years working in the city and was planning his return to Mexico for the end of the year. People who knew him said he was a good and honest man who was working hard to take care of his family.

The accident was preventable

The truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident and so far was not charged. At the time of the accident, the truck made a right turn onto Crescent Street despite a signal forbidding trucks to turn on the street except for local delivery (see picture). There are only residences and a church on the segment of Crescent Street where the truck made a turn, therefore the turn was probably illegal.  Additionally while making the turn onto Crescent street the truck went over the “supposedly” protected bike lane. For months before the accident, street safety activists have been asking the Department of Transportation to adequately protect the two way bike lanes on Crescent Street because trucks and cars would constantly interfere with cyclists. The bike lane is only protected by “flex declineators which flex down to the ground when cars drive over them and as a result do not offer real protection to bike lane users.`

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location of the bike collision
A New York cyclist who was struck by a car died from his injuries one week after the accident occurred. On Saturday November 7th around 1:00 am , Juan Tiu-Caxaj was riding his bicycle on Autumn Avenue. As he crossed Fulton Street he collided with a car heading westbound on Fulton Street. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He was not charged. The young victim suffered head trauma and was transported to the hospital. His condition was stable but  it deteriorated and he died from his injuries a week later.

According to the police, the cyclist rode through a stop sign just before the collision.  The investigation is still ongoing to find out the exact cause of the accident.

According to Vision Zero studies, East New York is among the most dangerous areas in New York for bicyclists. However so far not much has been done in this neighborhood to promote bicyclists safety compared to other areas of New York City like Manhattan.

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location of the deadly tractor trailer accidentA 71 year old pedestrian was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer in the Bronx, NYC, just one one week after a cyclist was killed by a big rig in the same borough. The victim was crossing the dangerous intersection of East 38th Street and Exterior Street around 4:00 pm yesterday when a MAC tractor-trailer truck travelling South hit the pedestrian and fled the scene of the accident leaving behind him the victim dying on the ground.  The NYPD was alerted by a 911 call of  and when they arrived at the scene of the accident, they found the man lying on the street, unconscious and with severe head trauma. The senior pedestrian was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The police are still looking for the truck which had a white rig and a red trailer and the truck driver.

Fatal crashes have been on the rise recently in the Bronx

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location of the fatal moped accidentA man riding a moped was fatally struck by a reckless driver in the Bronx, NYC.

Early Sunday, around 12:30 am, 57 year old Frank Davila was riding a moped South on Rosedale Avenue when he was struck by 33 year old Stephanie Mendez who was driving a 2005 Grey Volvo Sedan.  At the time of the accident Mendez was driving with a suspended license.  The police checked her blood alcohol which registered 0.074 which is below the legally drunk level. Despite a blood test below the legal level, the police charged her with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving with a suspended license. The investigation is not over yet though but so far Mendez has not been charged with criminally negligent homicide or vehicular manslaughter.

Paramedics found Davila unresponsive and unconscious on the sidewalk. They rushed him to the hospital but it was too late and the 59 year old father was pronounced dead.

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One pedestrian died and two were seriously injured in New York City last week. In all cases, drivers were recklessly driving and in two cases drivers took off after the accident leaving their victims lying on the street.

The first accident occurred on Tuesday in the Bronx. 72 year old Sidney Sale was walking back home after stopping at his local Bodega. As he was crossing the intersection of East 211th  Street and Paulding Avenue in Williamsbridge in the Bronx he was struck by a car. The pedestrian who was in the crosswalk, fell on the ground. The reckless driver did not stop and fled on East 211th Street.  Immediately after, another driver making a left turn onto East 211th Street from Pauling hit the victim for the second time and dragged him along the street. The second driver stayed at the scene of the accident. Sydney Sale suffered trauma all over his body and was rushed to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM0azfwcrtk

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location of the deadly crash between a cyclist and a tractor trailer truckA 34 year old man died in a bicycle accident in the Bronx, NYC, yesterday. The cyclist collided with a tractor-trailer truck on Bruckner Boulevard around 1:45 pm.  It is still not clear how the accident occurred. An initial police report indicates that the cyclist was riding westbound on Bruckner Boulevard and that the Tractor Trailer Truck driver was heading South on Brown Place. No information was provided about who had the light. The report just concludes that the cyclist ran into the back of the truck. The area is often congested as road users use this part of the Bruckner Boulevard to access the Willis Avenue Bridge.

Why would a cyclist run into the back of a truck?

This seems  to be a very strange conclusion and hopefully further investigation will reveal what exactly led to the death of this cyclist. Unfortunately the NYPD has a long history of blaming cyclists for crashes and giving slack to faulty drivers. Last year, Mario Venezuela, a Queens teenager, was fatally hit by a negligent truck driver. The police blamed the teenager for his own death however surveillance footage of the crash shows that the truck driver was reckless and cause the death of the teenager. A video of the crash shows the truck driver veering to his left before cutting hard into a right turn without using his turn signal and crashing into Venezuela.

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location of the e-bike colision with SUVA driver fatally struck an e-bike rider in New York and then fled the scene of the accident. 42 year old Ernesto Guzman of East Harlem was delivering a pizza on his e-bike yesterday around 4:30 pm when a black Chevrolet Tahoe SUV with TLC plates crashed into him. The driver then left, leaving the man dying on the street. The accident occurred in East Harlem at the intersection of E. 97th Street and Second Avenue. The Police found the vehicle abandoned by the driver on E. 96th Street. They are still looking for the runaway driver. The victim had delivery bags with him and a witness at a nearby Deli told the NY Daily News that they flew 3 feet away during the collision.  The witness also mentioned that the victim was badly injured with a lot of blood coming out of his head.

When EMS and the police arrived, they transported the victim to a hospital emergency room which was just yards away from the scene of the accident but it was too late. Ernesto Guzman was so badly injured that he passed away.

The police are still investigating the accident. According to preliminary investigation, the e-bike rider was driving south on Second Ave when he was hit by the SUV driving  West on 97th Street.

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Brookklyn bridge bike lane and pedestrian lane are too narrowDelays in the Hudson Tunnel Project are putting thousands of  travelers at risk of dying in a major infrastructure disaster every day. The Hudson Tunnel which was seriously damaged during Super Storm Sandy after salty water flooded the tunnel has since been suffering from rapid deterioration.  The project to built another tunnel under the Hudson River and to rehabilitate the old one has been postponed mainly because the Trump administration refuses to make good on the previous decision by the Obama administration to pay for half of the project which is estimated at $11.6 billion. Every day an average 450 Amtrak trains carry an estimated 200,000 passengers through the tunnel which is kept operational by ongoing emergency maintenance. Amtrak says the tunnel is safe however the salty water that entered the tunnel during super storm Sandy left behind corrosive chlorides which are attacking the concrete tunnel liner and bench walls where the electrical and train signaling systems are located.

According to a recent article in Construction Dive, the delay in the Hudson Tunnel Project is on the top of the list of the five biggest infrastructure disasters waiting to happen in the US. The second one is the portion of U.S. Highway 1 that runs on the East Coast of Florida. The Highway is on the top of the list of America’s most deadliest roads with more than 1000 people dying in crashes yearly. The Mojave River Dam in San Bernardino is  number 3 on the list. The dam has a high risk to fail according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which assess the risk of failure of American dams. A failure of the Mojave River Dam threatens 300,000 people living in communities located as far as 140 miles away from the dam. The Brooklyn Bridge is number 4 on the list of the largest infrastructure dangers in the US.  The Brooklyn Bridge is listed among 46,000 other bridges in the US which are structurally deficient. However, the bridge might soon be removed from the list as it is undergoing a $238 million rehabilitation. Last on the list of the top 5 infrastructure disasters waiting to happen is the lead contamination of the water in Chicago. The use of lead pipes as service lines was banned by federal laws in 1986 but Chicago still relies on 400,000 lead service lines to bring the water into 80% of the city’s homes. As a result two thirds of Chicago homes have lead in their tap water and one third of them have a lead level which is above the level autorized in bottled water.