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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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While injuries declined, a surge in New York traffic fatalities for all categories of road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and passengers – was recorded during the third trimester of 2020 compared to the same period of previous years.  77 people died in motor vehicle accidents this summer compared to respectively, 56, 59, 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This recent data brings the number of traffic fatalities in the city to its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero and very close to pre-Vision Zero levels. The rising number of traffic deaths occurred in a city that had far less people living in it than usual as many New Yorkers took off for the summer and most foreign tourists were unable to enter the US because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Speeding is  a factor in many of these fatalities. Street safety advocates are also pointing the finger at Mayor de Blasio who decline to listen and apply the recommendations of his COVID-19 transportation recovery panel.

Traffic fatalities NYC third quarter 2020
The number of motorist deaths was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero in 2014. 31 motorists died in New York City during the third quarter of 2020 compared to respectively, 21, 26, 22, 13, 16, 21 and 36 during the third quarter of 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Motorist fatalities which were still on a declining trend during the third quarter of 2019 are now on a perfectly flat trend.

Motorist Deaths NYC Third Quarter 2020
Despite more than doubling – from 4 to 9 – between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020, the number of passenger deaths recorded during the third quarter of 2020 remains on a slightly declining trend when looking at the entire Vision Zero period.

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New York Child sexual abuse lawyer Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner, New York Personal Injury Attorney Ben Rubinowitz, will be speaking at the New York State Trial Lawyers Association webinar “DECISIONS 2020: Recent Developments in Tort Law”.

The webinar will take place on October 26, 28 and November 2, 4 and 9 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Ben will be speaking about the most recent developments in Trial Practice on Monday November 9.

The rest of the program will also address the following subjects:

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16 people were injured after a defective pedal on their peloton bike broke. Five of them required medical care such as stiches in their lower leg.  Peloton Interactive, Inc. a New York based company, received so far 120 complaints of defective pedal and announced on October 15 that it was recalling the PR70P Clip-In Pedals fitted on Peloton bikes  which were sold between July 2013 and May 2016. The potentially defective pedal has a orange logo and the name Peloton is printed in white letters next to it.  It was manufactured in Taiwan. While Peloton recommend consumers change their pedals every year, consumers who bought the PR70P Clip-In Pedals are being notified directly by the company that will let them know how they can receive free pedals with accompanying instructions on how to install them.

5,700 defective Extension Cord Splitters sold by Homerygardens at Walmart and Amazon.com recalled the same day

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A pedestrian and a motorist died in two separate car accidents in Queens, NYC, last night.

A woman speeding in her car killed herself after she lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a building, setting the car on fire. The accident occurred last night around 11:50 pm in Queens, NYC. 58 year old Berverlee Jackson was speeding on 11th Street in Hunter Point when she suddenly jumped the curb and crashed into a building. The impact was so intense that Beverlee was ejected from her Honda CRV SUV and then pinned under it while the vehicle spun around and ultimately caught fire. Firefighters and EMS rushed to the rescue but it was too late. Beverlee Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The woman lived in Flatbush, 8 miles away from the location of the accident.  Read more in the NY Daily News

A few hours later, also in Queens, another victim died in a SUV accident. The victim is a 72 year old location-of-the-second-deadly-accidentpedestrian who was struck by a car while crossing the road. His identity was not reveled by the police. The man was crossing at the intersection of the Horace Hardin Expressway, a service road  near the Long Island Expressway, and Main Street around 4:45 am.  He was in the crosswalk when a Toyota Sienna plowed into him. The pedestrian was rushed to the hospital but he could not be saved. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged. Read more in the NY Daily News

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teen driverCar accidents are the number one cause of teen fatalities and disability in the US. Close to 2,000 young drivers between 15 and 20 year old die in car crashes every year. This doesn’t include the deaths of passengers riding with teens or other road users including cyclists and pedestrians who died in traffic accidents caused by teens.  A majority of auto accidents caused by teens are related to lack of scanning, speeding and distraction such as using a cell phone or travelling with other teen passengers.

Based on analysis of previous teen accidents, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles tested a portable driver simulator system that has the ability to predict with accuracy which teen will pass the on-road exam and which one will fail. Additionally the simulator can highlight which driving errors are associated with failing the test.

The simulator was originally developed by researchers at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who created  a laboratory-based driving assessment that safely put teen drivers in common crash scenarios and measure their skills at avoiding accidents.  As the development appeared to be successful, CHOP created a spin off called Diagnostic Driving to commercialize the technology.  The product is  now in a pilot stage in the form of a cloud-based software application called Ready-Assess™.

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traumatic-brain-injury-picture-1A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects the brain function. It is diagnosed quite frequently among children however its diagnosis remains challenging. Doctors often rely on symptoms and historical factors.

A recent study published by the “Minds Matter Concussion Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia” found that the Visio-Vestibular Examination is an easy and useful tool to distinguish to concussed from not concussed children following a head injury. The exam can also be conducted outside of the Emergency Department setting.

The Visio-Vestibular Examination (VVE) is a series of examinations that determine if the patient has some degree of visio-vestibular deficit such as impaired eye movements and pupil response. The following examinations are being done:

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MASKAre KN95 masks provided to healthcare workers reliable? The high demand of N95 masks has disrupted the usual supply chain. Therefore hospitals and other healthcare facilities had to turn to non traditional suppliers of PPE here in the US or in other countries. While things are not as bad as they used to be at the beginning of the covid-19 crisis, disruptions still occur and a lot a unscrupulous manufacturers are trying to sell counterfeit or defective products to hospitals.

When turning to non traditional suppliers how can healthcare providers make sure that they are buying masks that will protect their workers?

The ECRI institute recently published a video with recommendations form experts on how to vet a new mask supplier.  Here are the top 10 recommendations:

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UW_surgery_and_residentsMore than 40 million Americans are undergoing surgery every year. An estimated 35.8 million of them will immediately return home after having their surgery performed in a freestanding ambulatory surgery center or in a hospital-based outpatient setting. Another 7 million will be required to stay at the hospital after their surgery. While most patients fully recover from their surgery without problems some of them will suffer from surgical complications or errors. It is estimated that around 14% of surgical patients encounter at least one adverse event.

In a recent study, the ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices took a close look at surgical malpractice and analyzed 2,400 surgical adverse events that were recently reported to them. Among these 2,400 reported surgical malpractice events, researchers found that 1,561 of them were relevant. They found that 478 of them (31%) were complications related to the surgery, 460 (29%) of them were adverse events related to patient and operating room readiness,  377 (24%) were retained surgical items, 102 (6.5%) were contaminations, 80 (5.1%) were adverse events caused by equipment failure and 64 (4.1) were wrong surgeries.

To reduce these adverse events, the ECRI recommended the following strategies:

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accident scene175 people died in auto accidents in New York City between January 1st and October 4th 2020 according to a recent article in the New York Post. Last year 169 people died during the same period of time. These numbers might seem pretty similar however the situation  in 2020 was vey different from 2019. For 3 months New Yorkers were required to quarantine and stay home in 2020.  As a result a decline in fatalities should have been expected but instead fatalities increased. The empty roads became much more dangerous than usual with road users engaging in risky behavior such as speeding.  Yesterday we blogged about the surge in bicycle accidents in the city but bicyclists are not the only category of roads users that experienced a surge in fatalities. 38 motorcyclists died so far compared to 37 for the same period of 2019 and 50 car occupants died in NYC crashes so far compared to 22 for the same period of 2019. This is more than the double. Many of the car occupant’s fatalities are related to speeding but as traffic in the city is returning back to normal, now another problem has appeared: a rise in cyclist deaths.  Sadly this doesn’t come as a surprise. Street safety activists and the media have been pointing at both issues, speeding and a rise in cyclists, for months.

Mayor de Blasio self destroyed his Vision Zero legacy

Mayor de Blasio who successfully launched Vision Zero at the beginning of 2014, not only ignored recommendations of his Surface Transportation Advisory Council to address the new challenges created by the covid-19 crisis but additionally slashed the Vision Zero budget (see previous article in New York Post).

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NYC Bicycle accidents injuries and fatalities 20197 cyclists died in accidents in New York City last September. This is the highest number of monthly bicycle accident fatalities under Mayor de Blasio’s terms.

At the beginning of his term Mayor de Blasio launched the Vision Zero program to reduce the number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in New York City. While the program lead to a decrease in pedestrian fatalities, cyclists fatalities reached a record high in 2019 with 24 cyclist fatalities.  So far 16 cyclists died in traffic accidents in the city in 2020.

While the mayor has been calling on New Yorkers to walk or use bicycles to go to work during the pandemic, he has not done enough to improve their safety according to street safety activists