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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Construction_WorkersMuskuloskeletal Disorders or MSDs are soft tissue injuries that affect many construction workers. Globally MSDs are the largest category of workplace injuries and account for 30% of all US worker’s compensation costs. MSDs affect all the parts of the body that are responsible for movements such as the muscles, the tendons, the nerves, the ligaments, the disks or the blood vessels. They are the result of sudden or repetitive motions, forces or awkward positions.

Due to the nature of their activity, construction workers are among the workers who are the most at risk of suffering from MSDs with the most common cause being overexertion from activities such as pushing, pulling, holding carrying and catching as well as lifting and lowering. In its quarterly report the Center for Construction Research and Training provides an in-depth analysis of  MSDs in the American construction industry.

In 2017, 19,690 WMSDs injuries resulted in days away from  work in the construction industry with the most common injuries being sprains, strains and tears. Back injuries were the most predominant, followed by lower and upper extremities. Age is a main factor in muskuloskeletal disorders and the older a construction worker is the higher the risk is that he might suffer from WMSDs resulting in days away from work.

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Riding-mower-WikipediaAn alarming number of very young children have been seriously injured and some of them even died after someone, often a parent or a family member backed over them while riding a mower.  Most common injuries reported are amputations of hands, fingers, legs feet toes and limbs as well as mangled and ripped internal organs. In a recent article, Fair Warning, found 133 cases in court records since 2004 until now. Among them 8 of the victims died from their injuries. Another study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that there was an average of 65 children injured every year in the US by riding mowers back-overs.

In the 1980ies after an epidemic of injuries related to walk-behind power mowers, The Consumer Product Safety Commission implemented mandatory safety standards for mowers but riding mowers were excluded from them. Some manufacturers propose riding mowers that can mow in reverse. These type of mowers are the most dangerous to young children. In 2003 after a rise of accidents a voluntary standard was adopted by lawn mower manufacturers. The standard requires that the blade immediately stops to spin when the mower riders back up. However the standard also allowed manufacturers to install a button that allows the driver to override the feature. Manufacturers are claiming that they installed the button at the request of their consumers who want more flexibility but safety advocates reply that the button is a good excuse for manufacturers to protect themselves from lawsuits.  However this excuse didn’t always work for the manufacturer Deere & Co. In a recent lawsuit involving a 2 year old girl whose leg was amputated after her dad backed over her while riding a Deere mower, the jury found that the mower was defective and awarded the victim $12.25 million. The jury found that Deere was responsible for 78% of the damages and put the rest of the blame on the father.

Read more in Fair Warning

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crying babyChildren and adolescents are prone to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Among the 1.7 million patients diagnosed every year with TBI in the US, 700,000 are children below 19 year old. A recent study by Bina Ali, Bruce A Lawreence, Ted Miller from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and Jennifer Allision from Health Imperative in Brockton, MA that was recently published in the Official Research Journal of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA) investigate leading consumer products and activities that can cause children and adolescents to suffer traumatic brain injury.

By analyzing data from from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 2010 to 2013, the searchers found that home furnishings and fixtures as well as sports and recreation products were the products most commonly associated with accidents causing TBI. Beds, stairs, floors and footballs are among the most dangerous products for children and teenager.

Toddlers and older teens most at risk of a TBI

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Trench and excavation accident prevention infographicConstruction workers who are working in trenching and excavation are exposed to extremely dangerous hazards resulting most of the time from collapse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 130 hard hats died in trenching and excavation accidents between 2011 and 2016.

Half of these fatalities occurred between 2015 and 2016.

Among the 130 dead workers, 104 were working for the private construction industry and among them 40 died at industrial places and premises, 39 died at private residence sites and 21 died at streets or highways construction sites.

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summer injury preventionDepending on the seasons, emergency room doctors are treating different type of personal injuries. As summer is coming more patients check in the ER for heat related injuries, water related injuries, trampoline and bounce house injuries as well as firework injuries.

Heat Exhaustion

One of the most common injuries that doctors treat is heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion often occurs when someone is doing a strenuous physical activity in hot and often humid weather. It affects a lot of construction workers. Heat exhaustion can be dangerous and if not addressed and treated proprely can lead to heat stroke which can be a life-threatening condition.
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93,800 people were injured in an ATV accident and treated in a hospital in 2017 compared to 150,900 in 2007. 295 died in 2017 in an ATV accident compared to 832 in 2007. While still being dangerous and accounting for a significant number of injuries and deaths to adults and to children, a recent report from the CPSC indicates that ATVs have been getting safer over the years.

ATVs are not only popular with teenagers but also with children.  Among the 93,800 people who check into emergency rooms for ATV injury, 24,800 or 26% of them were younger than 16 and among these 24,800 47% of them or 11,700 were younger than 12.  In 2007 among the 150,900 people injured in ATV accidents 27% of them were younger than 16-year-old and half of them were younger than 12-year-old.

Among the various age categories the most significant decline of injuries over 10 years was recorded among the 16 to 24- year-old category.

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Esport compettionJust like in any other sports, college eSport athletes suffer from specific injuries, the most common being eye fatigue, neck and back pain, wrist pain and hand pain.

Esport, or professional video gaming,  is rapidly expanding all over the world. In the US more than 50 universities have their own varsity gaming teams with almost half of them offering eSport scholarships the same way they do for traditional sports. Esport is currently being investigated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to be recognized as a sport discipline and was recognized as such by the International Olympic Committee in October 2017. More people watch eSport than watch the World Series or the NBA finals. Projections estimate that 427 million people will be watching eSport in 2019 with prizes won by players and sponsorship  exceeding $ 1.5 billion.

A recent study by the British Journal of Medicine found that  eSport athletes, despite being the subject of much controversy because of their quasi physical inactivity, are also getting injured.  College eSport athletes demonstrate manual dexterity, thinking skills and reactions times that average players are unable to match.  In order to get to that level, they practice 3 to 4 hours a day at school and often continue at home.

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New-York-Slip-and-Fall1Every day 223 older adults visit the emergency room after being injured in a fall in NY State, 140 are hospitalized and 2 die. Fall is the leading cause of unintentional injuries and deaths among older New Yorkers and among older people in the US as well. In the US every 19 minutes an older person dies from injuries related to a fall.

For people over 65 year old, falls often have serious consequences that can affect their global well being, their mobility, their independence and their mental health. 60% of the older New Yorkers who are hospitalized after a fall end up in a nursing home or a rehabilitation center. 11% of them suffer traumatic brain injury and 27% of them suffer from hip fractures.  In most cases falls occur at home. 60% of older adults hospitalized for a fall in New York fell in their own home.

Obviously as people get older, they loose some of their strength,  they sometimes have physical disabilities, their vision is decreasing and they take more medication which can lead to drowsiness. All these factors increase the risk of fall.

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boy injuredA third of children injuries occur at home. While suffocation is the number one cause of death for toddlers, older children also are at risk of suffering unintentional injuries that can be deadly.  Because children are spending most of their time at home, it is important for parents to understand how to proprely childproof their home. The most common and dangerous accidents leading to children injuries  in the house are drownings, burns, poisonings and falls. Therefore while childproofing their home, parents should identify the high-risk zones:

Any water area such as bathtub, jacuzzi, pools but also toilets, sinks and other receptacles that can contain water such as buckets should be protected. While infants are the most at risk to sink in their bath, young children have the highest risk of drowning in pools. Drowning often leads to death. Children who survive a drowning often suffer brain injuries. Parents should be aware that children drowning can happen quickly, silently and without splashing even in very small amounts of water. Adult supervision should be constant when children are taking a bath or playing with water. Potentially dangerous areas need to be protected as young children are attracted by water but are not conscious of the inherent risk.  Additionally parents should be aware that diapers can also be a cause of danger near water as they can quickly fill up with water, increasing the risk of drowning.

Areas with heat or flame such as kitchen, fireplace or BBQ can result in dangerous burn injuries if children are left alone near them. Children should not only never be left unattended in a room when heating items are in use but parents should also make sure to block access to the stove, the fireplace, the radiators or the space heaters. Hot spills can also lead to burns. Parents should never handle hot liquid while holding a child or near a child. While cooking, the handles of the pots should be turned toward the rear of the stove and its preferable to use back-burners whenever possible. Any hot device should be kept out of reach of children and so should electrical cords. Electrical outlets should be covered. The use of a cold mist humidifier is also a wiser choice to protect children from burns. Other common sources of children burns are  bath water and  food.  Parents or care givers should always put their own hand in the bath to make sure the temperature is ok and test food first before giving it to your child.

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Construction workerThe leading cause of non fatal personal injuries among construction workers is Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). Construction work is physically demanding and involves manual material handling that requires construction workers to effectuate tasks such as carrying, pushing, lifting, lowering or holding heavy material or equipment. As a result construction workers are prone to soft tissues injuries. Strains and sprains are common as well as more serious injuries to the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, the nerves, the cartilages and the disks. Not only musculoskeletal disorders  can be extremely painful but they also force the worker to stop working and therefore reducing his income. It is also a burden for the employer in terms of productivity.  Healthy workers keeps costs low and productivity high for contractors. Therefore incorporating ergonomics on a construction site is a win win situation for both workers and contractors.

Helping contractors address ergonomic hazards and reduce workers risk for musculoskeletal disorders

This afternoon the Center For for Construction Research and Training is offering a free webinar that will look at how to Incorporate Ergonomics into a Construction Safety Management Program. Presented by Ann Marie Dale, Associate Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, the seminar will introduce participants to available tools, equipment and work processes that are available to reduce the physical demand of the construction workers job. She will explain how contractors can include these tools and techniques in the day to day activities of a construction site and promote a culture of safety on the construction site. Dr Dale has over 30 years of experience in the clinical treatment of work-related upper extremity conditions and in worksite based prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.