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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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traumatic-brain-injury-picture-1According to a new study on traumatic brain injury, most victims of mild TBI suffer sleep-wake disturbance and fatigue that can last up to one year or more. For most of them, these problems resolve over time but for some, they persist and become chronic. The study was done in Norway by Simen Berg SaksvikMigle KaraliuteHåvard KallestadTurid FollestadRobert AsarnowAnne VikAsta Kristine HåbergToril Skandsen and Alexander Olse. It was published last month in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

The researchers. compared the sleep quality and fatigue of a sample of patients suffering from mild traumatic injury with a sample of patients suffering from orthopedic trauma and with another sample of regular people from the community not suffering any trauma. Every TBI patient was matched with a patient suffering orthopedic trauma of same age, sex and education and a community person of same age and sex.

Each patient with TBI went through a clinical MRI and was subjected to an interview related to injury characteristics, demography and premorbid health problems. The patients then went through another round of interviews and questionnaires 2 weeks, 3 months and 12 months after the date of the injury. Patients with orthopedic trauma were submitted to similar interviews and questionnaires and non-injured matched people from the community took the 2 weeks, 3 months and 12 months interview and questionnaire.

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location of the fatal truck accidentA female panhandler was fatally struck by a tractor trailer in New York City yesterday. The accident occurred at the intersection of Linden Boulevard and Fountain Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn, NYC. The 40 year old woman was a local character. Her first name was Dona but local residents nicknamed her “loca”. The woman who was squatting near the intersection would come out of her house with a long gown and approach cars for change.  If drivers didn’t give her money she would scream and curse at them. Locals would always keep an eye out for her.  A man who witnessed the accident told the NY Daily News that he regularly gave her money and that he would always warn her to be careful about the traffic and she would just laugh at him.  Sadly the worst happened yesterday morning. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged.

In Brooklyn, young adults are the most at risk of getting injured or killed in a large truck accidents

According to statistics from the New York DMV, there are between 3,500 and 4,000 large truck accidents in Kings County every year. While the DMV is still working on the 2020 numbers, it reported 8 fatalities and 523 personal injuries in 2019 preliminary statistics compared to 7 fatalities and 502 personal injuries in 2018.  Among the 3,442 large truck accidents reported in 2019 preliminary statistics, 82 involved pedestrians (4 fatalities and 35 personal injuries), 42 involved cyclists (2 fatalities and 23 personal injuries) and 15 involved motorcyclists (no fatalities and 7 personal injuries).  Among the 523 personal injuries reported in 2019 in Kings County, 24 were serious, 41 were moderate, 414 minor and 21 of them were reported as level of severity unknown. More than a quarter of the injured victims were in their 30ies, around 20% were in their 20ies and another 20% were in their 40ies. Among the 8 people killed half of them were between 21 and 29 year old, 2 of them between 60 and 69 year old, one was in his fifties and another one was a teenager.

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Best Lawyers Award Badge
Our NYC Personal Injury Law Firm is proud to announce that 10 of our attorneys were named 2021 “Best Lawyers” and 3 were named 2021 “Ones to Watch” by Best Lawyers in America for New York, NY.  Best Lawyers rankings are entirely based on peer review.  The named lawyers are:

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22 construction workers were injured in New York City during the month of May compared to 6 during the month of April and 51 during the same month a year earlier. As most New Yorkers were still required to stay home during the month of May,  more than 5,000 non essential construction sites were authorized to re-open at the end of April on the condition that they were following the Covid-19 safety protocol for the industry such as disinfecting tools, social distancing and wearing masks. The gradual opening of New York City construction sites lead to a small increased in the number of hard hats injured on the job in NYC. There were no deaths recorded during the month of May. So far since the beginning of 2020 only one worker died on a New York construction site in February. Manhattan had the highest number of injuries, followed by Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

Construction Accident Injuries in New York City in May 2020
Most injuries were minors and classified under “others” and the few others were related to falls. Fall is the most common cause of accident injuries and deaths in the construction industry not only in New York City but also in the US.

NYC construction accident injuries by categories May 2020
12 construction workers were injured on Manhattan construction sites. Some injuries were minors. A worker cut his finger  with a box cutter, another one punctured his foot after walking on a nail.

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Burn Injury victim Alonzo YanesThis week, in an unusual decision, New York State Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch upheld a jury verdict for  $60 million. Our partners New York personal injury attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Richard Steigman tried the case before Justice Tisch last July. See Prior Blog. This is one of the largest awards for  pain and suffering ever affirmed by a trial court in New York State.

The case was one that sparked national attention. A 10th grade student, Alonzo Yanes, was severely burned in his 10th grade chemistry class due to the negligence of his teacher Anna Poole and the New York City Board of Education.  The teacher, who had been performing the “rainbow experiment,” failed to take necessary safety precautions to protect the students in her class. In the experiment the teacher was using methanol, a highly flammable substance, and failed to ensure that the students were kept at a safe distance from the demonstration table, failed to provide goggles to the students, failed to ensure there was a fire blanket was in the classroom and conducted the experiment in a classroom which did not have proper ventilation or showers.

Alonzo was burned alive. As the teacher poured the methanol from a gallon jug into a beaker a large  fireball erupted and coated this young student with millions of droplets of burning methanol. Alonzo was screaming in agony —  but because there was no protective equipment in the classroom and no shower or fire blanket he kept burning while a teacher from another classroom finally entered the classroom with a fire blanket to smother the flames.

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Personal Injury Attorney Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner Ben Rubinowitz will participate as a panelist in the ETHICS & CIVILITY IN THE COURTROOM  webinar presented by New York State Trial Lawyer Institute on August 20 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. This Ethics webinar will inform participants about the importance of courtroom demeanor during trial from the perspective of a trial lawyer engaging the jury hearing a case to the trial judge presiding over the trial and the appellate judge reviewing the record. Our distinguished panel  will discuss several cases, but will focus on one notable case tried by Mr. Rubinowitz in front of Judge Rakower that was subsequently brought up on appeal to a First Department Panel that included Justice Kapnick. This unique and engaging discussion will provide multiple perspectives on how to try a case with zeal, while also being mindful of the bounds of professional responsibility.

For more information or to register click here

 

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simon-cowell-twitterA few days ago, Simon Cowell broke his back in a self inflicted e-bike accident. He broke his back in several places and had to undergo a 6-hour long surgery.  “If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time,” he tweeted on Sunday night.  Electrical bicycles are becoming more and more popular but how safe are they?  In New York, e-bike and scooters were legalized last March as the coronavirus pandemic hit the city and people were reluctant to use public transportation.

Less expensive than a car and allowing to travel longer distance than a bike, electrical bicycles have become an attractive alternative to public transportation especially during the pandemic. While e-biking is quite a new thing for New Yorkers, it has been a popular mode of transportation in Switzerland for more than 15 years. In 2013, Doctors at the University Department of Emergency Medicine in Bern, the capital of Switzerland published a detailed study on e-bike injuries based on patients admitted at the ER between April 2012 and September 2013. They found that most patients were male with a mean age of 47.5 year old and that most injuries were caused by self inflicted accident. Head and neck injuries were the most common. Among the patients studied, 9 were treated as outpatients, 9 had to be hospitalized, 5 had to be kept in Intensive care unit and 6 had to undergo surgery.

While data about e-bike injury in New York are still limited, a recent study authored by several New York surgeons found that in case of an accident, e-bike users were more likely to suffer internal injuries and more likely to be hospitalized than regular bicycle users. E-bikes were found to be less dangerous than scooters whose users have a higher risk of concussion in case of an accident. The study also found that e-bike injuries were more than three times more likely to involve a pedestrian than regular bicycle injuries or scooter injuries. Another finding was that the risk of injury was particularly high for older people.

 

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skeleton athleteWhile there has been a lot of media and medical attention in regards to traumatic brain injury related to football boxing or other contact sports, there are other sports that have a high risk of TBI.

A recent article in the New York Times looks at traumatic brain injury caused by skeleton, the headfirst Olympic sledding sport. Skeleton is very popular in Canada. In 2010 when Canada hosted the Olympic games, skeleton athletes thought they had a great advantage as they had early access to the track and could train for unlimited time.  Instead many of them are still suffering from the long term consequences of  traumatic brain injuries caused by over training.

Mellissa Hollingsworth was one of the favorite skeleton competitors this year. She recalls taking as many as 11 runs a day on the Whistler track that was specifically built for the Olympic games and was the fastest in the word. At the end of a training day, her brain was scrambled. She could not tolerate noises and she could barely speak. At the time, skeleton athletes were experiencing mental fog, headache, speech inability, loss of appetite and high sensibility to sound. They thought it was part of the training routine like sore muscles or fatigue and just casually called it “sled head”. Now years later they are still suffering from the consequences of over training, repetitive shaking and crashing head first on icy surfaces.

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location of the fatal tractor trailer truck accidentA mother and her two children lost their lives and several other family members suffered personal injury in a truck accident in Upstate NY.

The accident occurred last night around 8:30 pm on the New York State Thruway near Exit 19 for Ulster. A family from Pelham Bay in the Bronx, NYC, was returning home from a trip Upstate in two separate cars: a Honda and a Kia minivan. Both cars were stopped in traffic when a truck rear ended the Honda and swiped the rear end of the Kia. Zulika Salim, a 47 year old mother was sitting on the back seat of the Honda with her two children, 19 year old Justin Gayapersad and 14 year old Chelsea Gayapersad. They all died in the crash. The driver of the Honda, 24 year old Neta Singh and the front seat passenger, 18 year old Singh suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital hospital.  3 other family members who were travelling in the Kia minivan that the truck sideswiped also suffered personal injury. One of them, a 48 year old passenger identified as Ramnarine Singh, was seriously injured and had to be airlifted to a medical center in Albany. Two other passengers, 27 year old Sangeeta Singh and 45 year old Saleema Salim suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital. The driver of the Kia Van, 26 year old Maheshwarnauth Karan declined medical treatment at the scene of the accident.

The truck driver was identified as 61 year old Luc Leblanc from Quebec. According to the police, the truck driver was driving in the right lane when he encountered traffic stopped in front of him. He tried to avoid a collision but the distance between the truck and the stopped cars was too short for the truck to stop and he rear-ended the Honda. He was not injured in the accident and so far he has not been charged by the police.

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the victim posted a picture of her car on IGA woman standing next to her car was fatally hit by a tractor trailer truck in NYC last week. 27 year old Keara Rosa had just purchased a used car two weeks before with some cash that she had been saving. She was very proud of her purchase and posted a picture of the new car on Instagram and commented “HARD WORK PAYS OFF , Thank you god”. Last Wednesday around 12:15 she was driving her car on the  Cross Bronx Expressway  near Southern Boulevard when something went wrong with it. She pulled over onto the shoulder and got out of her car. As she was standing next to her car, a massive truck crashed into it, pinning Keara between the car and the wall of the expressway and killing her.

The out of control truck hit several cars injuring two before fatally crashing into Keara’s car

According to the police, the 55 year-old truck driver was driving in the right lane of the 3-lane Bronx Expressway when he swerved to the left to avoid slow traffic ahead of him. As he was doing so, he  lost control of his truck and hit 3 cars: a Toyota Corolla driven by a 51 year-old man, a Toyota Camry driven by a 29 year-old woman and a Lexus driven by a 58 year old woman. After hitting the 3 cars, the truck swiped the concrete divider in the middle of the highway.  It then swerved back to the right side crashing into Keara’s car and killing her.