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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Daniel+Pollack-1To avoid children being injured, re-traumatized and abused again it is important that potential adoptive and foster parents be proprely vetted. A proper vetting doesn’t only mean criminal background check identity verification, employment history, character, and residency but also going through the life history of each parent and make sure the information they provided is accurate and complete. In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City explains what prospective adoptive or foster parents should expect during the vetting process. The complete article can be downloaded here

In another short article, Daniel Pollack looks at informal parenting. For various reasons some children are being raised by caregivers who are not the parents. Caregivers can be relatives or friends of the parents. Most of the time no lawyers or legal documents are signed between the parents and the caregivers. It is based on a trust relationship. However in some specific cases informal parenting arrangements may need approval from the State. The article discusses these specific cases and can be downloaded here.

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A woman is loaded into an air ambulance that landed on Ski Hill Rd. after a head-on crash near Lifford Rd. on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. She was flown to Toronto's Sunnybrook hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries. Another woman was also airlifted to the same hospital with serious injuries. JASON BAIN/THE LINDSAY POST/QMI AGENCY

Personal injury attorneys representing construction workers that have been injured at work understand too well the economic consequences of such accidents. When a worker is injured he will not only have direct costs such as medical expenses but also indirect ones such as lost wages and fringe benefits as well as lost home productivity.

A recent study published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine provides an analysis of the economic consequences of workplace injuries in the United States.  The authors of the study , Xiuwen Sue Dong DrPH1,*, Xuanwen Wang PhD1, Julie A. Largay MPHand Rosemary Sokas MD, MOH2   estimated that in 2007, the total of the direct and indirect costs of all reported work injuries in the US cost $250 billion, higher than the $219 million spent on cancer. Worker’s compensation covers an average 44.5% of the direct medical costs but this amount represents only 20.7% of the total costs. The difference is being  shifted onto the workers and their families, insurance carriers and the government.

The study finds that following an injury, an injured worker’s family will suffer income loss because of the lost wages and his or her disability. The study also shows that Union workers are better protected in case of an accident and will suffer a moderate income loss compared to a non union worker who suffers the same work injury. Income disparity will persist in the long term.





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sheet-metal-workersAmong all construction workers, sheet metal workers have one of the highest risks of personal injury. Some of them are injured so badly that they are permanently disabled. A recent study published in the American Journal of  Industrial Medicine provides an Analysis of Permanent Work Disability Among Construction Sheet Metal Workers. The authors Gavin H. West MPH1,*, Jaime Dawson MPH2, Claire Teitelbaum BA1, Rebecca Novello BA1, Katherine Hunting PhD, MPH2 and Laura S. Welch MD1,2  analyzed the pension records of disabled sheet metal workers to compare the causes of disabilities. They found out that 47% of the disabilities were related to Muskuloskeletal disorders (MSDs). 14% of them were related to circulatory diseases and 10 % were related to other  injuries suffered at work.

Sheet metal workers are construction workers installing, repairing and maintaining heat and AC units or installing signs, rain gutters or roofs. They have one of the highest rate of non fatal personal injury among construction workers. The study indicates that these injuries are  often related to working at heights and overexertion as well as manual material handling.

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Daniel+Pollack-1Many children in the welfare system suffer personal injury or or are even killed because they weren’t provided with stable and secure care. When a child is harmed while under the care of child welfare services, that child may have a viable cause of action in state or federal court. In  the article “Ministerial Versus Discretionary Acts or Omissions in Child Welfare Litigation” recently published in the Capital University Law Review, 44(1), 103-125* Andrea MacIver, J.D., DePaul University College of Law, Appellate Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr and Daniel Pollack, M.S.S.A. (M.S.W.), J.D., Professor at the School of Social Work, Yeshiva University in New York City, and a frequent expert witness in cases involving child welfare and developmental disabilities,  focus on state claims.

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Running injuries are unfortunately extremely common. Over a full year, an estimated 90% of runners will temporarily stop training because they have been inured. It is not very clear why runners are getting injured. Some blame it on their new shoes, others on excessive body weight or some believe they were injured because they increase mileage too fast. It is difficult to clinically determine the exact cause of the high rate of injuries among runners.

study published in the British Journal of Sport Medicine recently looked at pounding or impact loading. The researchers recruited 249 females who were experienced recreational runners. They studied their injury history  and used technical devices to determine their impact load. The researchers discovered that 21  runners had never been injured before the study and weren’t injured either during the two years observation time. This small group of non injured runners was compared to the group of runners who suffered the most serious injuries. They discovered that the never injured runners were landing much more lightly on their feet than the badly injured runners. One of the doctor mentioned being amazed by one of the woman they studied and who had one of the lowest impact landings. He said: “When you watched her run, it was like seeing an insect running across water. It was beautiful.” The woman ran several marathons and never sustained any injury.

If your are an avid runner, next time you are training try to make a conscious effort to land more lightly to avoid potential injuries. Doctors involved in the study also recommend landing closer to the mid-foot instead of on the heel. It may help soften the landing. You may also consider increasing the number of steps you take per minute. Smaller but faster steps are better. The study also demonstrated that increasing the cadence may reduce the impact loading. Imagine that you are walking over eggshells.

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Falls are the number one cause of fatal construction accidents. Every year in America, more than 10,000 hard hats suffer serious personal injury  and more than 200 died because they fell while working on a construction site.  In 2012 a coalition of government, labor and management representatives launched a yearly campaign to raise awareness about this issue. This year, the campaign which consists in a National Stand Down will take place from May 2nd to May 6th.  On that day, OSHA is asking employers that hire construction workers to take the time to stand down and conduct a fall prevention workshop or other activity related to fall prevention with their employees. OSHA is providing interested employers with toolboxes to help them discuss specific fall prevention subjects such as ladder safety, scaffold safety or fall protection equipment.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) recently released a detailed report about the Safety Stand Downs conducted in 2014 and 2015. The reports shows that the campaign reached around 2 million workers over the last two years. Stand-downs were mostly organized by commercial construction companies but also by highway, governmental and residential companies. Most common activities conducted on stand-down last year included training, equipment inspection and audit as well as toolbox talks. The year before meetings and handing out materials to employees as well as training were the most common activities.

Even though the participation was lower last year, the organizers are hopping to see greater participation this year and to reach out to more construction workers. On February 16th the CPWR will organize a webinar related to this campaign . Leaders from CPWR, NIOSH and OSHA will be discussing last year’s Stand-Down and highlighting the plans for 2016. People interested in attending this webinar can register here.

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Pollak GettoInsurance Companies most often pay the settlements in lawsuits related to negligence, accident, personal injury or fatality. The insurance company will have to evaluate if the claim needs to be legally defended or if an early settlement is more appropriate. The claims adjuster is the person making this decision in an insurance company. In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City and Cameron R. Getto, a shareholder with Zausmer, Kaufman, August &
Caldwell, P.C. in Farmington Hills, MI provides a thorough look at the role of claim adjuster and defense counsel in human services litigation. The article focuses on claims that involved human service agencies however the role played by a claims adjuster or defense counsel in a personal injury claim is very similar.

The complete article can be downloaded here



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Flag footballAn increased number of parents have been worrying about their kids getting injured in contact sports after seeing the movie “Concussion” (see our previous blog). In a recent article Kristy Arbogast, Co-Scientific Director and Director of Engineering for the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Research Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania says many parents have asked questions about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Parents want to know if kids who play contact sports are at risk to  develop CTE in the future. Kristy Arbohast who is a brain injury specialist, says that so far unfortunately there is no answer to this question. Some kids who played contact sports at high level (collegiate football or rugby) have developed symptoms of CTE but scientists still don’t know what predisposes a person to CTE.

Kristy Arbohast recommends that parents whose kids are interested in being involved in a contact sports make sure they are are proprely managed and coached. Parents should check that their child is playing in a league that requires coaches to be trained to recognize concussion signs. The coach should not only be trained in recognizing concussion signs but also have to respect the time that is needed to recover from a concussion. Recent research has shown that the best way to recover from a concussion is rest and then a progressive return to learning and playing activities.  Additionally parents should advocate for changes in rules to promote safety. Some rules can be changed so children are protected from injuries but still learn the skills for a specific sport. Flag football is a good example of how a child can still develop football skills while limiting personal injuries related to tackling players to the ground. Rules in hockey which prohibit body checking for youngsters have also help in reducing the number of head injuries in youth hockey.

The complete article can be read here

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will smithNFL players who suffer repetitive traumatic brain injury during their career have a high risk to develop Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).  CTE  is a progressive degenerative disease. Individuals affected by CTE often show symptoms of dementia such as loss of memory, confusion, depression and aggression.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, now the chief medical examiner, San Joaquin County in California, was one of the first doctors to detect CTE in NFL player’s brains.  Thirteen years ago as he was working at the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office in Pittsburgh he autopsied Mike Webster, a Hall of Fame center for the Steelers. Webster became so mentally ill that he ended up living in his pick up truck. During a dementia crisis, he pulled out his teeth and glued them back with superglue. He also shocked himself with a taser on a regular basis.

malu found that Webster’s brain was riddled with dark tangles of tau protein, which he explained had choked Webster from the inside out. He identified the condition as CTE and attribuDuring the autopsy, Dr Oted it to the estimated 70,000 hits to the head that Webster endured during his career. Dr Omalu then examined other players such as Terry Long, Justin Strezelczyk and Andre Waters and found they were afflicted by the same condition. When he showed the results of his research to the NFL they  publicly ridiculed him and intimidated him calling him a quack.

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Hoverboard fireAnother defective hoverboard burst into flames creating a fire in a New York City home last week. According to the FDNY this is the third recent case of  a hoverboard fire in the city. Lorraine White from Staten Island paid more than $400 for a Swagway hoverboard for her son last Christmas. She knew about the risk of fire. Therefore she avoided buying a cheap knockoff and paid over $400 for a popular “Swagway” model thinking that it would be safer. It wasn’t the case.  One evening, the hoverboard started to smoke in her son’s room and then burst into flames destroying part of the bedroom. Thankfully nobody was injured. (read more in the silive)

Another boy from Staten Island suffered personal injury after he tried to clean his hoverboard during a vacation in the Poconos. 11 year old Brandon Miller was hospitalized after the middle finger of his left hand became stuck between the wheel and the base. According to the mother the device started rotating unexpectedly and sucked the boy’s finger in. The boy may risk loosing his finger due to infection and may have permanent burn scares.

Previoulsy the FDNY was also called to stop a fire caused by a defective product in Brooklyn.  (see NY Daily News)