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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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accident sceneTwo people were hospitalized after being injured in a reckless car accident in New York City last Wednesday evening. The accident took place in Brooklyn around 5:30pm. A driver speeding down Ocean Parkway behind the wheel of a Honda SUV crashed into another vehicle heading East on Avenue U. The impact was so strong that after hitting the car, the Honda flipped a few times and struck two other cars.  Then, one of these cars struck another vehicle (read more in Streetblog)
The driver of the Honda, as well as the driver of the fifth vehicle were injured and had to be transported to the hospital. More than ever, nobody wants to end up in the emergency room of a hospital because of reckless driving. However because the streets are almost empty drivers tend to go faster (see previous blog)

Preventing accidents by reducing speed and giving more space to pedestrians and bicyclists

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infant car seatTo protect children from serious head, neck and spinal injuries during a car crash, the NY Child Safety Seat Law requires that parents use a rear-facing car seat for all children younger than 2 year old.
Tests have demonstrated that infants have a head that is heavy compared to the rest of their body and that if they were sitting in a forward facing seat during a collision, they would be thrown forward and as a result suffer more serious injury.

While most parents do respect the law and install car seats for their little ones, previous research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that almost 60% of child seats are not installed properly

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covid-19-2Neglect and abuse have been plaguing  nursing homes in the US for years and with the Coronavirus, the situation has turned into a nightmare. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that about 150 nursing homes were affected but refused to name which ones. Families of residents who are prohibited to see their loved one, as well as emergency responders and nursing home service providers are outraged.
On March 13, the CMS released guidelines to nursing homes on how to handle the actual crisis. Nowhere do the guidelines specify how to inform the families or the public about a possible outbreak.
In New York, several nursing homes are located in New Rochelle which was where the first cluster of Corona virus was detected. Hanna Cohen, director of Community Paramedicine for Empress EMS, the 911 provider for New Rochelle told the Washington Post that they were flooded by Coronavirus related calls from nursing facilities and private residences.
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Some hand sanitizers manufacturers are making  false and misleading claims on their label that their products kill 99.99% of illness causing germs.
Washing your hands with water and soap remains the best way to protect yourself from getting Coronavirus. However if you need to use a hand sanitizer in some instances where you can’t wash your hands please make sure that your hand sanitizer contains at least 60% of alcohol.
Hand sanitizers using benzalkonium chloride instead of alcohol  might not protect you effectively despite what they claim on their label according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Using the product might be better than not doing anything but non alcoholic hand sanitizers will not kill the germ but merely reduce its growth.
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nyc-car-crash-tweetA few days ago a cyclist tweeted a disturbing picture of a car crash on the Williamsburg bridge.  We don’t know if anybody was hurt in the accident but it definitely looked like the driver lost control of the vehicle because he was driving too fast.
Jacob Robert is among many New Yorkers who have been complaining on social media that they witnessed cars speeding on empty roads, considering them like freeways.

Speed cameras recorded the same number of  tickets than in January despite the decline in traffic

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https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2020/03/Bike-Map-Press-Board-Brooklyn-for-Jan.-29.-2020.jpgbicycle accident injuries Brooklyn NYC March 2020Out of the 8o cyclists injured in New York City last week, 38 were injured while riding their bicycle in Brooklyn. That is almost half of the injuries recorded.

Last October in Brooklyn, while inaugurating 1000 miles of protected bike lanes in NYC, Mayor de Blasio said “Vision Zero means making sure people on bikes in every neighborhood feel safe—whether they’re in Boerum Hill, Bath Beach or Bushwick,”.

Sadly the reality is much different.  A quick look at the maps on the left is enough to show that protected bike lanes are dramatically missing in the south part of Brooklyn where 22 of the 80 bicycle accidents occurred. How could Bath Beach cyclists feel safe on their bike while running errands in their neighborhood when the only existing bike lane is the one by the water next to the Belt Parkway?

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roofers are the most at risk of fallingTwo weeks ago a 45 year old construction worker  died after he fell from a roof in Troy, NY. The worker sustained serious injury and was pronounced dead upon his arrival to the hospital. (read more here)

Roofer is one of the most dangerous job in the US

Roofers are the construction workers that are the most at risk of dying in a fall accident.  According to previous statistics between  35 and 40 roofers out of 100,000 die every year in fall accidents. This is 10 times the rate of fatality of the construction industry globally. 75% of roofing fatalities are caused by falls.  Falls are often deadly but when they are not, injuries can be devastating and sometimes result in lifelong disabilities. Traumatic Brain injury is one of the most common injury sustain by roofers in fall accidents. Broken bone injuries can also occur depending on how the worker lands. Broken spine, broken neck, arms, and ribs are the most common as well as broken knees, ankles and feet.

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bicyle accident injuries during Corona Virus80 people were injured in bicycle accidents in New York City between March 9th and March 15th compared to 56 during the same week last year.  This 42.9% increase occurred as more and more New Yorkers make the decision to ride a bike instead of taking the subway during the COVID-19 crisis.

Distracting driving is the number one cause of bicycle accident injuries in New York City

Unfortunately despite significant safety improvements implemented by the Vision Zero program, riding a bike in the city is still dangerous especially for newbies. Among the 80 bicycle accident injuries reported by the NYPD, 38 occurred in Brooklyn, 19 in Manhattan,  11 in the Bronx, 11 in Queens and 1 in Staten Island. Distracted driving and failure to yield were the most common causes of injuries with 33 accidents caused by distracted drivers and 15 caused by  failures to yield.

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package-delivery-1243499_640Defectives products are being sold on Amazon by third party vendors and the current Amazon policy is to decline any responsibility for defective merchandise sold by these vendors. Defective products sold on Amazon have lead to serious injuries and deaths.  A man who bought a motorcycle helmet that was out of compliance with federal safety standards died after the helmet came off in an accident.  Amazon settled the case for $5,000 and refused to accept any responsibility.

In another case, a third party seller sold a defective hover board to a family in Nashville. The defective hover board caught fire and the house burned down while two children jumped out of the window to escape death. In court papers it was proven that Amazon knew that the product was defective but didn’t prevent the third party  vendor from selling it. An appeals court ruled that under state product liability law Amazon was not the seller but allowed the plaintiff’s claim of negligence against Amazon to go to trial.

Recent decision indicates Amazon could be held liable for defective products sold by third party vendors

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11 construction workers died and 586 were injured on the job in New York City last year according to statistics from the NYC Department of Buildings.  Half of the fatalities occurred in Manhattan, 2 in Brooklyn, 2 in Queens and one in the Bronx. No fatalities were reported in Staten Island.  12 construction workers died yearly during the 4 previous years. When looking at these numbers it is important to keep in mind that the NYC Department of Buildings has very narrow criteria to count construction fatalities in the city and an estimated one third of the construction deaths recorded by OSHA in New York City dot not appear in the DOT stats.

Construction accident fatalities NYC 2019
The number of workers injured in construction accidents in New York City last year declined compared to the 3 previous years but was higher than in 2015. 586 construction workers sustained injuries on construction sites in the city last year compared to 761 in 2018, 666 in 2017, 599 in 2016 and 472 in 2015 according to the DOT statistics. Most accidents occurred on Manhattan construction sites followed by Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. The monthly number of hard hats injured on the job reached a peak in August at 62 and were above 50 during the warm season in May, June, July and September. During all other months of 2019 the number of injuries recorded on NYC construction sites in 2019 was below 50. This is quite an improvement compared to the year before during which injuries almost reached 100 in May and were above 50 every month except for November and December.

onstruction accident injuries in 2019 in New York
Manhattan Construction accident deaths and injuries are still on a rising trend despite a decline in both deaths and injuries last year.  4 construction workers died in Manhattan during the 3 month period of April, May and June and 2 others in October. July and August had the highest number of injuries with 38 workers injured in July and 34 in August.