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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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Bike lane in front of Flor de Mayo restaurantCyclists travelling at a high rate of  speed in bike lanes crossing outdoor dining areas  in New York City are putting restaurant staff and clients at danger and a restaurant owner who tried to put speed bumps on the bike lane had the DOT remove them shortly after.

After an e-bike rider almost hit a child in front of his restaurant, Jose Chu, the owner of Flor de Mayo bought two plastic speed bumps and installed them in front of his restaurant.  Flor de Mayo is located in the Upper West Side on Amsterdam Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets. Cyclists and e-bikes are constantly zipping through the popular bike lane with e-bikes often going 20 miles an hour near the restaurant sheds. While Shu  says speedy cyclists “are an accident waiting to happen'”,  Upper West Side cyclists were pretty quick at denouncing the speed bumps on social media and calling them “an accident waiting to happen”. A  cyclist tweeted a pic of the new bumps and mentioned that  her bike severely jolted as she rode over them. Bike advocates followed up on the tweet asking officials to remove them and the DOT got quickly involved. 24h later, a  NYC Department of Transportation employee showed up at the restaurant front door and asked Chu to remove the speed bumps. The employee mentioned that the speed bumps were illegal and caused a hazard to cyclists. He told Chu that restaurants had to use signs asking cyclists to slow down.

When interviewed by the West Side Rag, Chu said he already has signs but cyclists simply ignored them. That is why he tried a new tactic. He said he tried to go over the speed bumps with a bike and it was fine  as long as he was going slowly.

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tweet about pedestrian crushed by car in NYCOne day after a pedestrian died after being hit by a car on a Manhattan sidewalk and 5 other people were injured after a car jumped the curb in Brooklyn (see previous blog), another NYC pedestrian died  after being struck by a car jumping the curb in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, NYC.

Volf Ferdman, a 97 year-old decorated World War II veteran and beloved grand father was killed by a 79 year-old driver last Wednesday afternoon while on his way to the bank.  The accident occurred right in front of the Apple Bank located on Brighton Beach Ave near 4th Street around 3:45 pm. Ferdman was sitting on his walker in front of the bank when the driver of a large SUV, a 2008 Cadillac Escalade who was parked in front of  him started to maneuver to get out of the parking space. As he was doing so, the 79 year old motorist lost control of the massive SUV, jumped the curb and pinned Ferdman between the front of his car and the bank’s glass window. Ferdman was still alive when emergency responders arrived but the injuries he sustained were so bad that he later passed away at the hospital. He lived just a few blocks away from the bank. An Apple Bank employee told the News that the SUV had a handicapped sticker in the windshield.

Ferdman was a beloved grandfather and great-grand father and his 46 year old granddaughter Svetlana Statsyuk told the News that her grand father was looking forward to celebrating “Victory Day” on May 9th, a former Soviet Union holiday celebrating the 1945 surrender of Nazi Germany. Ferdman was originally from Ukraine and fought  for Russia during World War II. He later immigrated to the US and choose Brighton Beach in Brooklyn as his new home. His family was his biggest joy and they loved him dearly.

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Location of the fatal pedestrian accident in Brooklyn, NYCA motorist fatally hit a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NY and took off on foot last Saturday morning around 8:00 am. The pedestrian was 52 year old Angel Aguilar-Duran, a private sanitation worker on the job. At the time of the accident, Angel was standing  in the street, guiding the driver of the garbage truck backing down on Hope Street near the Havemeyer Street intersection. As they were maneuvering, the driver of a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan got impatient  and attempted to go around the garbage truck. She struck Angel who fell under the wheels of the minivan and dragged him under the vehicle for 50 feet.

The driver of the minivan took off on foot 

The sanitation worker was stuck under the minivan with his legs sticking out. People in the street started to run toward the minivan to help while others ran to a nearby firehouse to ask for help. The passenger got out of the minivan while the driver stayed inside and stayed silent. The passenger tried to pull the sanitation worker from under the car but people around him told him not to move him. He then picked up a car jack from the minivan and hoisted the vehicle up. Then in the weirdest move, the driver of the minivan got out of the vehicle and took off on foot. A few minutes later, the passenger did the same despite witnesses yelling at them to stay at the scene of the accident.

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apartment building that got on fire in Queens NYC21 people were injured in a massive NYC apartment fire last week.  The fire started around 1:00 pm last Tuesday in an apartment  on the 6th floor of a large building located on 34th Avenue near 89th Street  in Jackson Heights, Queens. While escaping, the resident of the apartment left the door open, allowing the fire to spread through the hallways of the building that housed 150 apartments and 90 families.

No life threatening injuries but more than 200 people displaced

Up to 350 firefighters fought for 12 hours to get the blaze under control. 16 of them were injured. Two of them suffered burns and the 14 others suffered minor injuries such as strains and sprains. Among the 5 residents who suffered injuries, 4 declined to be treated and 1 was sent to the hospital. No one was reported missing. More than 200 people living in the building lost their homes and were displaced.

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view from inside the Brooklyn Hair salon where a car crashed car jumped the curb injuring 5 people in NYC last week. The accident took place in Brooklyn last Tuesday Morning around 8:00 am. A large SUV collided with a sedan at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Third Street in Gowanus sending both vehicles flying in separate directions. The sedan ended up in the front door of the Elements Hair Salon (see picture from Google map on the left) located right at the corner of the intersection while the SUV struck a bicyclist and a razor scooter rider. The bicyclist, the scooter rider and the 3 occupants of the SUV were all transported to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

The owner of the Hair Salon, Robert Santana, was just a few feet away from the Salon and saw the accident unfolding in front of him. He told the media that he was a few minutes behind his regular schedule that morning. He felt lucky he was not there at the time of the accident.

After crashing into the Hair Salon, the people in the sedan fled the scene of the accident on foot.

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Two men died in a NY box truck accident early Monday last week.  One of the victims was the driver of the truck and the other victim was the passenger. The two men were aboard a Boar’s Head box truck belonging to Top Shelf Provision, an independent authorized purveyor. They were driving on the Long Island Expressway in North Hills near exit 36 when the truck struck the overpass for Shelter Rock Road and rolled over. Both men died at the scene of the accident. Read more in theislandnow.com

High risk of rollover accidents

box-truck-scaledBecause there are so many box trucks in New York, accidents are quite common. Box trucks are used for deliveries of merchandise to restaurants, stores and business . Box trucks are heavy and because they have a very boxy shape in order to carry a maximum of merchandise, their center of gravity is high, making them prone to rollover accidents like the one in which these two men were killed last Monday. When loading the truck, it is important that goods on board are proprely secured as unsecured merchandise also increases the risk of a rollover.

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distracted driver can cause crashesA NY State Trooper who sustained catastrophic injuries after being struck by a distracted driver in Long Island, NY  recently died. The accident occurred 3 years ago. Joseh Gallager who was 38 year old at the time, was helping a disabled motorist on the Long Island Expressway when he was struck by Jesse Cohen. Investigation found that at the time of the accident, Cohen was text messaging with 3 different people and had 3 social media apps open in the 20 minutes prior to the accident. Gallager suffered traumatic brain injury and lost the ability to talk, walk or eat without help. He passed away on March 26th, leaving behind his wife and two chidden as well as his parents, sisters and brothers. His funeral took place last week (see obituaries in NewsDay).

Gallager is one of many victims of distracted driving. According to CBS News, in the last 3 weeks, 3 other car accidents in Nassau County were caused by distracted driving.  In 2019, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in the US, 10% more than in 2018 according to the most recent statistics from the NHTSA.

The death  of State Trooper Joe Gallager, occurred just before the beginning of  “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” and as a reminder, the police in Nassau County have been launching a major campaign enforcing distracted driving laws on their roads.

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2 construction workers died  and 79 were injured on the job in New York City during the first two months of 2021. One fatality occurred in  Staten Island and the other one in Manhattan. In both cases the worker fell. Last year, only one worker died in NYC construction accidents over the first 2 months of the year and the year before, no fatalities were recorded during the same period. Since 2015, the number of construction worker fatalities during the first two months of the year varied between 0 and 2. Among the 79 workers injured, 41 of them were injured in fall accidents. (click on graphs for full size)

construction accident deaths by borough February 2021
Falls remain the most common cause of fatalities for construction workers in New York City. The two fatal accidents that occurred in February were falls. Both accidents could have been prevented if adequate safety measures had been in place. The first accident took place on a construction site located at 730 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The worker who died was cleaning an area where a permanent building trash chute was being installed. He stepped on a hole cover that snapped and gave way. The worker fell to the floor below. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries. The second fatal accident occurred at 144 Dunham Street in Staten Island. A roofer fell from the roof and did not survive the injuries he sustained during the fall. The inspectors found that the working permit for the construction site had expired. Multiple safety infractions were found at the site and the DOB issued a full stop work order for failure to safeguard persons and property. Roofers have the highest rate of fatalities among all categories of construction workers.

Factors in NYC fatal construction accidents February 21
79 construction workers were injured in New York City during the first two months of the year. This is the lowest number of workers injured during the first two months of the year since 2017. 48 of these accidents took place in Manhattan, 14 in Brooklyn, 11 in Queens, 4 in the Bronx and 1 in Staten Island.

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Monthly ambulance crashes in NYCAn elderly woman died and 8 other people were injured after a car T-boned an ambulance in New York City.

The accident took place last Sunday afternoon around 3:00 pm in Flatlands, Brooklyn, NYC. An Hatzola ambulance was transporting a 95 year old woman who suffered a cardiac arrest  to the hospital. The emergency vehicle was  heading South on Schenectady Avenue with its lights and sirens on according to witnesses.  As it crossed Avenue N, the ambulance was T-boned by a car travelling west bound on Avenue N.

A witness told the NY Daily News that the light had just turned from orange to red when the ambulance crossed the intersection and that the driver of the black Nissan who was speeding might not have heard the ambulance sirens.

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NYC Bicycle accidents preventionDuring the pandemic, NYC bicycle accident injuries and deaths have reached record highs.

Many New Yorkers who switched their Metrocard for a bike lock learned that commuting in New York City by bike remains challenging especially in some areas of the city where bicycling infrastructures are still limited.

To help newbie cyclists and offer a refresher to more experienced ones, the NYC Department of Transportation recently released  “Bike Smart”, a guide to safely ride a bicycle in  New York City.