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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.
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workers on suspended scaffoldIn an effort to reduce construction accident deaths and injuries in New York City, the Department of Buildings has been deploying new strategies and increasing its staff. It just released a new report about it.

New inspection unit

The DOB role is not only to deliver wok permits for new construction or renovations but also to make sure that construction workers are being fully protected when they do their job. In order to do so the DOB created a new inspection unit called the “Construction Safety Compliance”. Inspectors in this unit are targeting mainly large NYC construction sites and making sure that all workers have been following the Site Safety Training and contractors are respecting all construction safety rules.

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5 construction workers died on the job in New York City between April 1st and May 31st. This is the highest number of  hard hat fatalities over a 2-month period since at least 2015. 2 fatal accidents occurred in Brooklyn, 1 in Manhattan, 1 in the Bronx and 1 in Queens. So far, since the beginning of the year, 7 workers died on NYC construction sites compared to respectively  1 and 8  for the same period of  2020 and 2019. (click on the graphs for full view)

Construction Accident Deaths May 2021 NYC
64 NYC construction workers suffered injuries in April and 38 in May. Between January 1st 2021 and May 31st a total of 223 workers were injured on the job in the city. It is more than during the same period of 2020, when 186 workers were injured, but less than during the same period of 2019 when 502 hard hats were injured.

Injuries on New York Construction sites May 21

Manhattan remains the borough with the highest number of construction accidents as well as the highest number of injuries and deaths related to these accidents

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construction workers moving equipment are at risk of struck by accidentsHard hats working at 322 construction sites in NYC were at risk of getting injured or dying in construction accidents because their jobsite was not safe.

These 322 sites including 113 in Brooklyn, 83 in Manhattan, 69 in Queens, 54 in the Bronx and 3 in Staten Island were issued a stop work order and fines by the NYC Department of Buildings after its inspectors conducted a massive safety sweep. (See previous blog).

Recent spike in NYC construction accident deaths

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New York Personal Injury Attorneys Rubinowitz and TorganIn the latest edition of their Trial Advocacy Column in the New York Law Journal, NYC Personal Injury Attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Evan Torgan explore effective lines of questioning for voir dire. If conducted properly, not only will the information gleaned during voir dire inform a lawyer’s decision of whether or not to challenge that juror, but additionally, it will offer valuable information that can be used effectively to emphasize points during the course of trial.

The column can be found here

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job-made-boxes-can-lead-to-serious-injury-and-deathIn a recent bulletin, OSHA warns construction workers and other workers using forklifts about potential injuries and deaths caused by “job-made boxes”

What are “job-made boxes”?

Job made boxes are any makeshift attachments created by construction workers or workers in other industries such as boxes, baskets or platforms. They are often made of wood as well as metal and plastic. They look like a little balcony: a platform with 3 walls around it. Workers attach these boxes to forklifts to lift equipment, workers or material to various heights. Workers also use them to step on them when working at elevated levels.

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Fire truck accident NYC April 202110 people were injured in a fire truck accident in Brooklyn, NYC, last Friday. The accident occurred on Friday afternoon around 3:00 pm on South Fifth Street at the intersection of Driggs Avenue located right under the Williamsburg Bridge. The fire truck collided with a minivan with 8 occupants on board. They were all transported to the hospital to be treated for non life threatening injuries. Two firefighters were also injured and transported to the hospital. The police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident. (Read more in the New York Post)

One fire truck accident every other day in NYC

In a busy city like New York, fire truck accidents and other emergency vehicle accidents occur on a regular basis. According to the most recent statistics, 70 fire truck accidents were reported by the NYPD between the beginning of this year and the end of April, which is at least one accident every other day.

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6 NYC pedestrians were injured after a car jumped the curb at high speed and hit them in the Bronx early Saturday morning. All pedestrians were members of the same family and had just exited Grant Park in the Bronx after a family gathering. They were standing on the sidewalk outside the park when a gray jeep travelling at a high rate of speed jumped the curb and struck them. A 16 year old boy and his mother were pinned under the jeep. The mother was critically injured while the boy suffered broken bones. The rest of the family, another 16 year old boy, a 40 year old man and two women were also injured and transported to the hospital to be treated.

After the accident occurred, the driver and the passenger got out of the vehicle and ran away. A group of people were able to catch the driver but the passenger came back to the scene escorted with friends and one of them shot a gun in the air to scare the crowd which let the driver go.

The family told CBS News that the driver intentionally hit them. The police are still investigating the accident.

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New bike lane will prevent collisions on Brooklyn Bridge The crowded overpass of the Brooklyn Bridge has led to multiple collisions and close calls between cyclists and pedestrians over the years. For a long time, the DOT has been studying options to remediate this problem.

A previous plan in 2016 was to widen the walkways on the top of the cars to give more space to pedestrians and cyclists but the DOT dropped the idea as they were not sure the cables would be able to support the extra weight.

Narrow two-way protected bike-lane

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accident sceneA cyclist was fatally struck by a car  in the Bronx, NYC, last Friday night. The accident occurred around 11:22 pm  on Southern Boulevard, near the ramp of the Bronx River Parkway, in the Bronx Park. According to the police, the driver who was speeding was attempting to pass the cyclist but there was not enough space to do so and he struck the back wheel of the cyclist. The victim whose name was not released by the police, flew onto the windshield of the car, a 2019 Mercedes Benz Sedan, and then landed on the street. He died at the scene of the accident from severe body and head trauma.  The driver of the Mercedes abandoned his car on the side of the Boulevard and ran away on foot. The police are still looking for him. (read more in the Gothamist)

Less than 24 hours later, also in the Bronx, a man riding a e-scooter died after being struck by an Amazon Prime delivery van. The accident occurred in front of 1230 E. Tremont Avenue,  a little bit before 7:30 pm. Both the van and the e-scooter were travelling in the same direction when the van struck the scooter. The victim who was not identified, died at the scene of the accident. The driver of the van stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged by the police. (Read more in the NY Post). 

In Brooklyn, a couple who was heading to work on a moped, were struck by a dump truck on Rogers Avenue near Bergen Street in Crown Heights. 36 year old Jose Garcia Cruz was taking his girlfriend, 25 year old Kristina Walker, to work when the accident occurred. The circumstances of the accidents are not exactly clear. CBS News indicates that the truck rear ended the moped while the police told the NY Daily News that the driver lost control of the moped when he tried to pass the dump truck. In NYC, the police have a habit of protecting the motorists and blaming the victims. (read more in the NY Daily News)

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accident sceneTwo pedestrians suffered critical injuries after being struck by a FreshDirect truck in Manhattan last Wednesday night.

A 13 year old boy and a 62 year old man were crossing the intersection of Park Avenue and 57th Street in Midtown, Manhattan when a FreshDirect truck making a left turn struck them and dragged them under its wheels. The two pedestrians were in the crosswalk when the truck hit them. The driver told the police that he did not see them until he looked in his side mirror and saw one of them lying on the ground.

A doorman who was working in a nearby building ran to the rescue and told the NY Daily News that he arrived to a very bloody scene. The teenager had his face smashed and bones were protruding from his body. Both victims were rushed to the hospital in critical condition.