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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 wrongful death NYC

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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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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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Vision Zero recently released a cycling trend in New York City. However the presentation is a little bit disappointing as it doesn’t contain any bicycle accidents statistics or safety analysis that compare the surge in the number of bicycle rides in the city with the number of bicycle accident injuries and deaths. So we used the bicycle accident injuries and deaths statistics from the NYPD and we compared them with the DOT estimated numbers of rides.

While the city has been making some improvements over the years and  created new bike lanes, numbers clearly show that this is not enough as a record high percentage of riders dying in bicycle accidents were recorded in 2019 and 2020. While the de Blasio administration has been pushing New Yorkers to use bicycles and other clean modes of transportation, recent data show that more has to be done to protect New York cyclists.

The ratio of  bicycle accident fatalities compared to the number of rides which was pretty high in 2014 when Vision Zero started decreased significantly in 2015, remained a little higher in 2016 and 2017 and droped in 2018. Unfortunately it didn’t last. In 2019, the percentage of cyclists deaths was back at the 2014 levels and it reached a record high in 202o.

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During the third quarter of 2021, a total of 71 people died in crashes in New York City including 24 pedestrians, 5 cyclists, 9 passengers and 33 motorists. Since the Covid19 crisis started, auto accident fatalities in New York City have peaked and  street safety activists are pointing fingers at the de Blasio administration for failing to keep the streets safe.

A total of 14,335 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during Q3 2021 compared to respectively 13,437, 16,083, 16,300, 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472, 14,900 during Q3 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013. Before 2015, the passengers category  was the one with the most injuries with usually between 5,000 and 6,000 passenger injuries during Q3. In 2015 after the introduction of the Vision Zero program, passenger injuries significantly declined to 4,121 while motorist injuries jumped from 4,502 to 6,043. The increase in motorist injuries is linked to an increase in accidents related to distracted driving and more and more people using their cellphone while driving. After the first year of Vision Zero, passenger injuries during Q3 went back above 5,000 and then, back below 5,000 after the Covid19 crisis hit in 2020. Motorist injuries, mostly linked to distracted driving continued to rise reaching a record high in 2019 with 7,437 motorists injured during Q3.

New York Auto Accident injuries by category during Q3
6,349  motorists were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third quarter of 2021 compared to 5,931 for the same period of 2020 and 7,437 for the same period of 2019. Motor vehicle accident injuries reached a peak during Q3 2019 in New York City and then dropped to levels never seen since 2014 when the Covid19 crisis hit.  They were up during this year’s Q3 but not as high as what they used to be during Q3 2019.

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location of the fatal crashTwo childhood friends were driving back home from an after-hours party when the one driving ran a red light and crashed into another car. The passenger was ejected and died. The accident occurred around 6:30 am last Saturday morning. According to the police, 26 year old Jovanni Padilla was speeding down Saratoga Ave when he ran a red light at the intersection of Sutter Ave and crashed into a KIA SUV. His best friend, 23 year old Kainen Martin was asleep in the passenger seat. Ther impact was so intense that he was ejected from the car.  The police found him lying in the street and he was rushed to the hospital where he later on died from his injuries. The driver, Jovanni Padilla did not have a license and was drunk at the time of the accident. He was also trying to escape on foot when the police arrived and caught him. Padilla was first charged with DWI and driving without a license  and later on with mansluaghter, assault and vehicular manslaughter. The driver of the KIA SUV was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Best friends since childhood

Jovanni and Kainen had been best friends since they were children. Padilla felt so guilty after he understood that his friend had died that he asked the cop  “Just shoot me in the head”. He later on attended the candle light vigil held at the house of Kainen’s mother  in Brooklyn. Both Jovanni and Kainen’s family knew each other and both were distraught by the fatal accident.

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Man-working-on-tubular-scaffold-scaledAfter a 21 year old worker fell to his death on a Brooklyn construction site, Everest Scaffolding, a NYC roofing company located in the Bronx, received a $300,370 OSHA  fine. This fine was the second largest OSHA fine of Q2 2021 . The accident related to the fine occurred on November 13, 2020. The young worker was installing a supported tubular welded frame scaffold during the construction of a seven-story building in Brooklyn when he fell almost 50 feet and died.

OSHA investigators found that:

  • the roofing company did not evaluate the feasibility of using fall protection
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A SUV driver struck a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NYC, and while he remained at the scene of the accident, the pedestrian who was hit, vanished from the accident scene. When EMS arrived, they looked for him but could not find him. The accident occurred in Bath Beach. The SUV driver was making a right turn from Bath Avenue onto Bay Parkway when he struck the pedestrian. He remained at the scene of the accident and was not charged. The next day, the police were called for someone injured in a house and found the 52 year old pedestrian dead in his apartment. They found out that the pedestrian stumbled home and suffered a massive head injury that killed him.  Read more in the NY Daily News

While still on a declining trendline, over the past 8 years, NYC pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise this year compared to the previous years. 66 pedestrians died between January 1st and July 31st this year compared to 57 during the same period of last year and 57 during the same period of 2018.

Spike of pedestrian fatalities in New York City

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Bronx intersection where the MTA bus accident occurredA pedestrian crossing the street in the Bronx was fatally struck by a MTA bus last night around 8:30 pm. The bus driver was making a left turn at the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Kappock Street in New York City, when he struck a 68 year old woman whose identity has not been revealed by the police.

The victim was run over by the rear wheels of the bus and died at the scene of the accident.

The tragedy occurred in a residential area of Spuyten Duyvil where bus drivers should expect pedestrians and drive cautiously. According to officials, the driver has been withheld from further service and will have to take a fitness for duty test. (Read more in the NY Daily News

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8 pedestrians, 3 cyclists, 4 motor vehicle passengers, and 13 motor vehicle drivers died in auto accidents in New York City during the month of July. Usually, monthly pedestrian deaths account for the largest share of the road fatalities in New York City but since the pandemic started, monthly motorist deaths often account for the biggest part of the motor vehicle accident fatalities in the city. As a result of this increase in motorist fatalities, since the end of the lockdown, the number of auto deaths was above 20 for 9 months out of 14. As a comparison, in 2019, it was above 20 only twice during the entire year and in 2018, only once during the entire year. Speed and recklessness have been a factor in many of these deaths as well as an increased amount of New Yorkers travelling by car instead of public transportation because of Covid19 fears.

Car accident deaths by road users in New York July 21
NYC traffic accident deaths in the month of July reached their highest since July 2014 with 28 fatalities. Since June last year, road fatalities have been out of control in New York City. For the 4th consecutive month, auto accident fatalities remained above 20 and significantly above the trendline. These high numbers of fatalities had not been seen since 2013 before Vision Zero started.

Auto accident deaths NYC July 2021

Traffic accident injuries lower than before the pandemic