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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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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.

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car accident in NYC38,680 people died in auto accidents in the US in 2020 compared to 36,096 a year earlier according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 7.2 % increase in crashes occurred as the total number of miles travelled by motor vehicles decreased by 13.2%, an indication that roads were much more dangerous during the pandemic. The rate of fatalities by 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) raised from 1.1 VMT in 2019 to 1.37 VMT in 2021. This is the highest rate of crash fatalities recorded in the US since 2007.

The region that includes NY, NJ, CT, and PA had  the highest increase of fatal auto accidents

When looking at the increase of fatal motor vehicle accidents by regions between 2019 and 2020, region 2 that includes NY, PA NJ and CT was the worst with a 10% increase in traffic accident deaths.

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road work signRoad construction accidents have been increasing during the pandemic. According to a recent article in Construction Dive, 60% of contractors reported an increase in crashes in their work zone last year.

During the lockdown as construction work was deemed essential in many States, Department of Transportation officials thought that significantly less cars on the road would provide a good opportunity for them to execute some road work without blocking and disturbing too much traffic.  However, with less traffic on the road, speeding and other reckless driving behavior increased and contractors reported  more crashes in highway work zones all over the country during the lockdown.  In a PEW study that was released last year, many States recorded an increased in work zone crashes despite a decline in traffic in the US by 40% in April and 26% in May.

444 reckless drivers ticketed during Operation Hard Hat in NY State

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accident sceneAn 8 year old pedestrian was critically injured in a back-over accident in New York City yesterday. The boy was playing on the sidewalk of Webster Avenue  near the intersection of Ittner Place when a car pulled out of an auto shop and hit him. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. According to the police the driver and the boy knew each other but were not related. The boy was transported to the hospital in critical condition. (read more in the NY Daily News)

50 children hit every week in the US with at least two of them dying

Children are the most common victims of back-over accidents because they are smaller than adult and drivers may not see them in the rear view mirror when they are backing up. According to statistics of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every week in the US, 50 kids are being backed over by cars or by other motor vehicles such as buses or trucks. Injuries are often serious and among these 50 children, at least 2 of them die from their injuries.

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Professor Daniel PollackChild Protective Services mission is to protect children from all forms of physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and neglect. It is a very powerful agency. In New York, CPS can remove children from their parents if “a single incident of excessive corporal punishment is sufficient to support a finding of neglect” (Matter of Eliora B. [Kennedy B.], 146 AD3d 772, 773, 45 N.Y.S.3d 144).”

In a recent commentary in the New York Law Journal, Daniel Pollack MSW, Esq., a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City and Christine M. Sarteschi, an  Associate Professor of Social Work and Criminology at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA ask if removing the child is sometimes more traumatizing than leaving the child at home? In other words, is Child Protective Services (CPS) knowingly, legally – yet ironically – committing an acknowledged act of child maltreatment that is more detrimental than the original act for which the parents were “substantiated”? To use the vernacular, is CPS sometimes taking children out of the frying pan and consciously placing them into the fire? Such removals are not in the best interest of the child. Unspoken, but quietly acknowledged, is that the child may be removed because CPS is concerned about its own liability more than it is concerned about the long-term safety of the child.

Read the commentary here

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Crash Mapp of ELiot Ave and Fresh Pound IntersectionA reckless drunk driver struck a car, killing the driver and injuring the passenger yesterday in Queens NYC. 22 year old Erik Chimborazo was drunk behind the wheel when he hit 47 year old Mohammed Hossain, a Lyft driver who was driving  the final passenger of his shift before returning home to his wife and three children in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Chimborazo who is unlicensed was speeding behind the wheel of a vehicle that had no insurance and  no inspection certificate. A neighbor told the NY Daily News that the impact was so intense that Chimborazo must have been driving at a speed of 80 or 90 mph when he T-Boned the Lyft car.  Further investigation found that the driver ran a red light and had twice the limit of alcohol in his system two hours after the accident.

The accident occurred at the intersection of  Fresh Pond Road and Eliot Ave around 3:50 am on Sunday.  The driver had texted his wife 30 minutes earlier that he was coming home. Both cars occupants were transported to the hospital. Mohammed Hossain was declared dead while his passenger was treated for minor injuries. The drunk driver was also transported to the hospital for evaluation before he was arraigned. He was charged with driving a vehicle that lacked insurance and an inspection certificate, driving without a license, DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Houssain, a very quite man who loved his family immigrated from Bangladesh 12 year ago.  He was the only provider for his wife Kulsuma Jahan and their 3 children, 14 year old Samin, 7 year old Lybia and 2 year old Labeen. His family and friends were devastated by his death.

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15 pedestrians, 8 motorists and 4 passengers died in car accidents in New York City during the month of April reaching a total of 27 traffic fatalities. This is the highest number of motor vehicle accident fatalities in NYC ever recorded during the month of April since Vision Zero started in 2014. The lowest number of traffic fatalities in April was recorded last year with 11 deaths as New York was observing a lockdown because of the Covid19 pandemic. Prior to the lockdown, 16 people died in crashes in New York in April 19 and respectively 12, 20, 14, 19, 21, 15 in April 18, 17, 16, 15, 14 and 13. Globally traffic fatalities in New York City remain on a declining trend. However recent numbers have more often been above the trend rather than below. (click on the graph for full size)

Car Accident fatalities NYC April 21

Peak in Pedestrian Deaths

Pedestrians accounted for more than half of the deaths with 15 fatalities while motorist deaths slightly decreased compared to a year ago but remained high with 8 fatalities. No bicycle accident fatalities were reported to the NYPD in April. Such a high number of pedestrian fatalities at a time when tourists have not even come back to the city and a high number of New Yorkers are still working from home is alarming.

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the intersection where Lisa Bane was killed10 days ago Lisa Banes was crossing the street when she was struck by a reckless scooter operator who ran a red light, hit her and just kept going. The impact was so intense that Banes was knocked out of the crosswalk. She suffered critical  head injuries and was rushed to Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital where she passed away yesterday afternoon.

The accident occurred at the  intersection of West 64th Street and Amsterdam Ave on Friday June 4th around 6:30 pm. The actress was on her way to a dinner with friends and had planned to stop at Julliard and at the Lincoln Center on the way. She was in the crosswalk with the light in her favor when the reckless scooter driver mowed her down.

Lisa Banes, an acclaimed Hollywood actress who starred in the movies “Cocktail” and “Gone Girl” and also appeared in multiple TV shows such as “Nashville,” “The Orville,” “Masters of Sex,” and “Royal Pains, was in Manhattan for a performance at the Manhattan Theater Club. The 66 year old woman is married to Kathryn Kranhold