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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.

Articles Tagged with personal injury

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Forklifts can be dangerous and result in accidentsAround 100 people die and around 34,000 are injured in forklift accidents every year. The most common forklift accidents are rollovers  and in almost half of the fatal accidents, the operator of the forklift is being crushed when the forklift tips over. Forklifts can also be very dangerous to pedestrians who can get struck or crushed by a forklift or by a falling load.

To raise awareness about forklift safety, the second Tuesday of June is NATIONAL FORKLIFT SAFETY DAY for the 9th consecutive year.

Why do forklift accidents occur?

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Injured in New YorkIn New York,  anyone who suffered injury or damages as a result of the negligence of someone else or of an entity can file a claim. In order to obtain compensation the victim will have to prove the liability of the person or entity responsible for the injury and the damages resulting from the negligence. These element constitute the basis of a personal injury case. Because they are sometimes difficult to evaluate, victims of personal injury, especially those who suffered catastrophic injury work with personal injury attorneys who will handle their claims so they can concentrate on their recovery.

In New York, the most common personal injury claims are auto accident claims. In New York City only, according to the most recent statistics, 15 people were killed and 4,105 people were injured in car accidents last March.  Among those killed were 8 pedestrians, 3 drivers and 4 passengers. Among those injured were 1782 drivers, 1289 passengers, 294 cyclists and 740 pedestrians. Crash injuries or death are most of the time caused by the negligence of another road user and therefore  victims of car accidents can often file a personal injury claim.

Premises liability claim are also quite common in New York City as anyone who suffers injury on the premises of a residential or commercial property that was caused by dangerous or defective conditions on the premises can potentially file a lawsuit. Falling debris from inadequately maintained buildings, faulty cellar doors or cellar grate, sidewalks not proprely maintained, defective elevator or escalator, electrical issues can all lead to accidents causing personal injury and sometimes death.

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In its latest bulletin, the Center for Construction Research and Training looks at injuries and fatalities sustained by construction workers in the US over a 10 years period. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) for the fatal injuries and on on employer logs obtained from the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) for the non fatal injuries, this bulletin provides an overview of the trends of injuries and deaths in the construction industry.

Construction work remains one of  the most dangerous job in the US

In 2020 construction workers represented 7.3% of the total workforce in the US and 21.7% of the workforce fatal injuries. Globally, between 2011 and 2020, working on a construction site became more dangerous with both hard hat fatality and injury rates on the rise. 2020 was affected by the Covid 19 pandemic and while less fatalities and injuries were reported because the activity was limited, the fatality rate and the injury rate both reached a record high that year.

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fall prevention posterLast year, 7 out of the 9 NYC construction worker deaths reported by the Department of Buildings were caused by falls. Additionnally the DOB also reported that 194 workers were injured in fall accidents on New York City construction sites during the same period. This was a record high compared to the previous years (see previous blog). Despite increased safety training requirements for workers, fall remains the number one cause of accident deaths and injuries in the New York construction industry and nationally as well. According to the most recent statistics from the BLS 351 out of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded nationally in 2020 were fall fatalities. Most of these accidents were preventable.

Preventing fall accidents is the reason why, every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in collaboration with multiple other partners involved in workplace safety such as the CPWR and NORA are organizing a National Stand Down during which employers are invited to voluntarily take a break from work and sit down with their workers to discuss or participate to activities  related to fall hazards.

Anyone can participate and every year sees more and more participants from major corporate construction companies to small contractors, including the US Army and other governmental participants. All employers  participating receive a certificate.

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drone inspection can prevent accidentsRecent studies found that drones can be helpful in identifying hazards and preventing workers getting injured or killed in construction accidents.  The Center for Construction Research and Training is hosting a free webinar on Wednesday March 23 about drones in construction and specifically how they can help make construction sites safer. The webinar will be presented by the authors of 3 studies in this field:

  1. Rod Handy, MBA, Ph.D., CIH, University of Utah  who is the lead author of a study entitled Nebulizer-retrofitted drone deployment at residential construction sites will explain how water spraying drones can reduce exposure to air pollution and heat stress and as a result prevent dangerous illnesses
  2. Masoud Gheisari, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management, University of Florida who is the lead author of Using unmanned aerial systems for automated fall hazard monitoring in high-rise construction will share how drone technology can help identifying hazards and safety issues on construction sites especially the most common and dangerous ones that are related to falls. His study focuses on the monitoring of guardrails near unprotected edges and openings in a high rise construction site. The author developed an automated fall hazard recognition system that could facilitate the recognition of guardrails in high rise construction projects.
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IPhone_12_-_3A recent study found that strong magnets in some electronic devices can interfere with the good functioning of  pacemakers and result in potential injury or death for the wearer.   “If you carry a portable electronic device close to your chest and have a history of tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) with an ICD, strong magnets in these devices could disable your cardioverter defibrillator,” said lead author Corentin Féry, a research engineer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Institute for Medical Engineering and Informatics.

Devices that have been identified as potentially dangerous for people who have a cardioverter defibrillator are the new Apple 12, Apple Airpods charging cases, the second generation of Apple pencils and the Surface Pen from Microsoft. In the study, researchers were able to deactivate five different types of defibrillators by simply putting the electronic devices next to the defibrillators. Deactivation would occur when Apple products were at a 0.78 inch distance from the pacemaker and 1.14 inches for the Microsoft pen.

The study is a confirmation of a previous warning by the FDA that some electronic devices such as mobile phones and smart watches might cause some medical devices implanted in patients to switch to “magnet mode”. Many implanted medical devices are designed with a “magnet mode”,  which is a safety features that for example allows patient with such devices to undergo some medical procedures such as MRI. However this safety feature can actually become dangerous for patients, especially those wearing a pacemaker, if an electronic device such as a cellphone can switch the pacemaker to “magnet mode”.

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annabis edible are attractive to childrenMore and more children are getting injured after ingesting cannabis products that are being packaged in multicolor packaging and look like children treats. Hospitals are seeing an increase in young children getting poisoned after inadvertently ingesting THC edible products.

Most cannabis edible products look like regular children treats such as gummy bear, chocolate bars, candies, lollipop with packaging that are colorful and attractive to children. Some of them even mimic famous brands of candies such as the THC infused Zombie Skittles whose manufacturer was recently sued by Wrigleys, the manufactured of the “real Skittles”.

In a recent article, the Children Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, describes the case of an elementary school child who went to a local grocery store with her parents and picked a “Krispy Treat” snack.  The parents did not notice that the colorful packaging of the treat indicated that the treat contained delta-8-THC which is now sold in the Philadelphia region as a “legal high”.  The child ingested the entire snack and only at dinner time parents noticed that their daughter started to get distressed, holding her head, becoming drowsy and loosing her balance. They rushed the child to the emergency room where she was hooked to a respirator and transferred to the intensive care unit until doctors figured out that testing showed that she was poisoned by THC and that she would recover soon.

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Tesla Motors is facing product liability lawsuitsA man who was seriously injured and whose wife died after their Tesla struck a fire truck while on Autopilot mode is suing Tesla for personal injury and wrongful death. Derek Monet was driving his car on autopilot on a highway in Indiana in December 2019 when the car crashed into the rear of a fire truck that was responding to an accident and was stopped on the road.  Derek suffered a broken spine and a broken femur and his wife died in the accident

In his claim Derek says Tesla knew that its software failed to react to emergency vehicles with flashing lights but did not recall its vehicles to update the software.  The claim was filed  after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation last year and asked Tesla to release its non-disclosure agreements with drivers who were testing the “full-self” driving system. The NHTSA is aware of 11 similar accidents during which Tesla cars struck emergency vehicles with flashing lights and wants to know why the car manufacturer did not recall its vehicles after it transmitted a wireless software update designed to prevent crashes into stationary objects.

The 68 page lawsuit demonstrates how Elon Musk and other executives were well aware that the autopilot was not safe but that the company continued to “hype”  its cars as if they were

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safety on construction site is keySome construction workers, especially those working on emergency repairs are required to work for long period of time in sub-zero temperatures and as a result they might suffer cold related illnesses and injuries such as Hypothermia, Frostbite, Trench Foot and Chilblains.

How to prevent cold illnesses?

  • The most important way to prevent cold illnesses is to wear appropriate clothing that are made for cold, wet and windy conditions. Dressing with layers of loose fitting clothes that can be adjusted depending on the outside temperature and always wearing a hat that covers ears and if necessary a knit mask. Waterproof and insulated gloves as well as socks and waterproof and insulated shoes that keep the body dry are necessary when working outside for a long time. Additionnally. it is always a good idea to bring extra clothes to change  in cases clothes get wet.
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wintery roads in NYC can cause injuriesNew York City was really pretty yesterday all covered in snow, however snowy days are also days during which more people are getting injured and fill up the emergency rooms.  Freezing weather, icy roads and sidewalks as well as wet floors are causing more injuries than usual. Slip and falls are common and are the number one cause of injuries at work places during wintery days. While most of them only cause minor injuries such as bruises or contusions, abrasions or lacerations, some injuries resulting from slip and falls can also cause bone fractures or sprains and strains that might lead to hospitalization.  In rare cases and especially with senior people a bad fall can also result in temporary or permanent paralysis if the fall causes a spinal injury or even in death if  the persons falls on the head and sustains internal bleeding.  Maintaining slippery areas clean and dry as well as installing hazard cones is one of the best ways to prevent slip and falls. Wearing adequate shoes that are slip resistant also prevent slip and falls.

More dangerous than slip and falls and leading to multiple injuries and deaths are car accidents caused by wintery conditions. According to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration, more than 1,300 people are killed and almost 120,000 are injured every year in the US in car accidents caused by wintery weather.  The best way to avoid a car accident is not to drive if you don’t have too. However if you do not have the choice, try to avoid small roads or not commonly used roads. Use mostly main roads and highways which are usually better maintained.

Hypothermia and frostbite are also a cause of multiple injuries and deaths. Every year in the US there are close to 1000 people dying from hyperthermia. Frostbite on hands and feet are also quite common and can be quite painful, sometimes resulting in loss of extremities. Wearing appropriate equipment and clothes as well as drinking hot beverages on a regular basis is the best way to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.