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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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location of the fatal pedestrian accident in QueensNew York City streets remain deadly for pedestrians with reckless drivers continuing to create mayhem and killing people as the below frightening surveillance video of a near miss accident shows.

Over less than a week, two pedestrian died and one was critically injured. On Monday morning, 15 year old Antonia Zalutovska was rolled over by a school bus who failed to yield to her (see previous blog). A few days before, on Thursday last week, one pedestrian died and another one suffered life threatening injuries in two separate reckless car accidents.

Unlicensed driver kills pedestrian in Queens

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location of the deadly school bus accidentA 15 year old girl was fatally struck by a yellow school bus driver in Brooklyn, NYC.  The accident occurred yesterday morning around 7:55 am. Antonia Zatulovska was on her way to school. She was in the crosswalk at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Avenue P when a long yellow school bus with children on board made a turn off Avenue P onto Bedford Avenue and rolled over her. Surveillance video caught the shocking accident.

After he rolled over the victim, the driver of the bus briefly stopped and then sped away. Police tracked him down and found him and the bus on Neptune Avenue near West 6th Street in Coney Island.

Bus driver not charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident so far

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southern-district-of-ny-jpg-rgb-smallIf you were injured in a car accident, you or your family might be contacted or visited by individuals telling you that they can assist you. These people are often runners who work for corrupt personal injury attorneys, and doctors who tarnish the reputation of the honest ones.  They are often part of a “ring” that involves corrupt police officers, 911 employees and hospital workers who use confidential information to reach out to victims of car accidents, like you and lie to them. Victims end up signing retainers with corrupt personal injuries attorneys who will refer them to unethical medical clinics who subject patients to dangerous and unnecessary treatments  in order to fraudulently overbill insurance companies.

Last week, 13 individuals including  a NYPD officer, a personal injury attorney, licensed physicians and others were arrested in New York for participating in a $100 million automobile insurance fraud scheme

In New York and in New Jersey, the “No-Fault Laws” require insurance companies to reimburse medical expenses and loss of earnings without regard to fault when someone is injured in a vehicle accident. As a result, insurance companies often pay medical providers directly for treatments provided to victims of automobile accidents. The 13 people indicted last week used this system to generate millions in profit.

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NYC ElevatorsIn an effort to reduce elevator accidents in New York City,  the city updated the safety law related to elevators with new periodic inspection requirements starting January 1st 2022.

Building owners as well as condo and co-op are now solely responsible for periodic elevator inspections

Previously, periodic inspections were effectuated by third-party agencies subcontracted by the DOB but a recent audit found that with this system, safety violations were not proprely reported. For this reason, it is now the responsibility of the building owner to hire an elevator company to effectuate the inspection. The elevator company can not be affiliated to the one effectuating the testing, maintenance and repair of the elevator. A report must be summitted to the DOB within 14 days of the inspection and defects must be fixed within 90 days. An affirmation of the correction must then be sent to the DOB within 14 days. See previous DOB service update.

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construction workers working at height in NYCTo reduce construction accidents in New York City and make sure New Yorkers and construction workers are protected, New York City Building Laws are constantly updated to adapt to actual situations.  Last year, a major update of the NYC construction code led to more than 600 significant changes and thousands of smaller ones. Here is a list of some of the laws that are affecting construction safety on work sites, building inspection requirements, and property maintenance:

  • Local Law 74 of 2021 was updated in regards to fences at stalled construction sites: chain link fences should be installed at sites where work was discontinued and all equipment and material posing hazards were removed.
  • Local Law 119 of 2021 extends the application period for certification of no harassment  pilot program
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18 people died (8 pedestrians, 8 motorists, 1, cyclist, 1 passenger) and  4,434 were injured in NYC crashes in November 2021 compared to respectively 28 and 4,039 in 2020. The total number of auto fatalities was also lower than in October 2021 during which 28 people died in crashes in the city. While the pandemic changed the way people are commuting in the city, the number of traffic deaths which had exploded in November 2020, is back to a level similar to the last 3 previous years, hovering around 20. Globally, over the last 8 years, the NYC traffic fatalities trendline is declining, however it is the first time since last May that monthly traffic fatalities are actually below this trendline. (Click on graphs for full view)

NYC auto accident deaths November 2021
Pedestrians and motorists represented most of the deaths with 8 of  each category dying in crashes in November. Additionnally one cyclist and one passenger also died in crashes during that month. In November 2020,  the high number of deaths was mostly caused by a much higher number of cyclists (6) and pedestrians (13) deaths, while the number of motorist and passenger deaths were lower and similar to November 2021 (6 and 1). November 21 was also a better month than October 21 during which  8 motorists, 5 passengers, 3 cyclists and 12 pedestrians lost their lives in crashes.

Motor vehicle accident fatalities NYC November 2021
NYC Auto accident injuries remained lower than usual last November with 4,434 crash injuries compared to respectively 4,039, 4,733, 4,943, 4,892, 5,014, 4,357, 4,222 and 4,692 in November 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Before the pandemic, the monthly number of car accident injuries was usually above 4500 during the month of November. During the pandemic it dropped lower and as a result the trendline which was previously slightly increasing is now slightly decreasing.

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the NYC building where 19 people died in a fireA door that malfunctioned and was left open in an apartment in which a defective heater started a fire caused heavy smoke to spread through a residential high-rise building in the Bronx and lead to the death of 19 people including 9 children. Another 32 people who suffered critical injury and 3 who suffered serious injury were rushed to the hospital. 19 other people suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene. This is the most catastrophic fire in New York City since the Happy Land fire 30 years ago. A couple, Mahamadou Toure and his wife, lost 2 of their 5 children in the fire.

The fire started in a duplex located at the third floor of a building located at 333 E. 181st St. in the Bronx and was caused by a defective space heater.  The door of the apartment where the fire started was left open and a very heavy black smoke invaded all the hallways of the building.  The building had no fire escape and the stairwells that were supposed to be used as emergency exits quickly filled with heavy smoke. The smoke also invaded all the stairwell exits that were left open. Firefighters found victims in cardiac arrest on every floor and in the stairwells. Other people were trapped in their apartments. Those on the highest floor were told by 911 to put towels at the bottom of their door and stay in their apartment until they were told it would be safe to go out. People on the lowest floors closer to the fire were evacuated by their window.

The building that was built in 1972 under federal guidelines had multiple units converted into duplexes. According to FDNY some spaces were hard to reach because of the old design of the building.

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drunk drivingA woman whose identity was not revealed and a 20 year old boy identified as Frankely Nunez-Payano both died in drunk driving accidents in New York City this week-end. Both were passengers in cars driven by young drunk drivers. Both accidents happened minutes apart from each other.

The first accident took place in Jamaica, Queens, on Saturday night around 4:10 am.  23 year old Gilberto Cordova, was allegedly drunk when he was speeding down 112th road in Jamaica, Queens, with 5 passengers in his car. As he was near the intersection of Guy R. Brewer Blvd, he lost control of the vehicle, struck a pole and crashed into a parked van. The impact was so intense that the van jumped onto the sidewalk. All occupants were rushed to the hospital. The female passenger died from her injuries. the other 5 occupants all suffered serious injury but were in stable condition. Cordova was charged with driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault, criminal negligent homicide and vehicular manslaughter.

A few minutes later in the Bronx, another drunk driver, 19 year old Andre Hatcher, crashed his car into a truck, killing his friend, 20 year old Frankely Nunez-Payano. The 19-wheeler truck was driving east on Manida street and Oak Point Boulevard when it was T-boned by the Infiniti driven by Hatcher. The car got crushed under the truck and the passenger suffered critical injury. He later died at the hospital. The driver was taken into custody and later on charged with criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and driving while impaired.

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skierSki accidents occur every winter season in NY State resulting in injuries and sometimes even deaths. Skiing is a hazardous activity. Most of the time injured skiers are  responsible for their injuries. However in some cases, when the ski accident injury is caused  by the negligence of others such as resort operators or other skiers acting recklessly, an injured skier might be able to obtain compensation for his or her injuries.

In New York where skiing is a major recreational sport and a major industry, there is a “ski law”: Article 18 – (18-101 – 18-108) SAFETY IN SKIING CODE  requires ski facilities to to be proprely maintained and skiers to conduct themselves adequately to minimize the risk of injuries.

To prevent accidents and injuries ski operators have the following duties:

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Medical malpractice lawyer Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz, will be speaking about medical malpractice and what constitutes “Informed Consent” at the 46th Winter Urologic Forum, sponsored by Columbia University, University of California, Davis, and Vanderbilt University, that will take place from January 14th to 18th at the Manor Vail Lodge in Vail, Colorado.

This meeting will summarize for practicing urologists, urologic trainees, and other interested professionals, new concepts in diagnosis and treatment for conditions including local and advanced prostate, renal and bladder cancer, lower urinary tract symptoms and BPH, women’s health, overactive bladder, surgical treatment for stress incontinence, andrology and men’s health, stone disease and medical malpractice. At the completion of the meeting, urologists will have been exposed to new therapies, areas of controversy, methods to optimize patient care and maintain patient centricity of care delivery.

For more info or to register click here