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Driver criminality in car accidents irrelevant to damages claim

A basic principle of negligence law in New York City and elsewhere is that a passenger who is injured or killed in an accident will generally be entitled to monetary damages if the incident was caused by the negligence of one or more other persons. That general rule for car accidents likely will apply to a recent tragic and heartbreaking accident in which a young woman was killed while celebrating her 21st birthday. She was the passenger in a vehicle that crashed on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge when its driver lost control and rammed into a median, throwing the decedent from the car.

The impact was so violent that it literally split the 2013 Infiniti into two sections. The police charged the operator, who is a traffic enforcement agent with the New York Police Department, with driving while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter and other felonies. If he is found guilty of the charges, the estate of the deceased woman will have an easier burden in proving negligence due to the applicability of the legal doctrine called "negligence per se."

Ladder Accident Prevention Is Critical At All Construction Sites

There are approximately 300 people every year who die in ladder accidents. That is a staggering statistic and there are countless others who sustained serious injuries in ladder accidents at construction sites. Many of these tragedies can be avoided if a culture of worker safety is established. A culture of safety at a construction site requires a cooperative effort. Supervisors and workers must anticipate problems and plan ahead of time to make sure that a job gets done safely. Foresight is necessary to cultivate a safe work environment.

Providing workers with the appropriate ladder for a job is essential. A safe ladder is always able to withstand the weight of a worker and is one that is suitable for the job at hand. A perfectly safe ladder becomes dangerous if it requires a worker to do something unsafe to get the job done. For instance, a perfectly safe ladder that only allows the worker to complete the job if the worker climbs onto and works while standing on the top rung becomes a deadly weapon. A culture of safety also embraces training so that only qualified workers are on the site.

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The Fatal Four

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As college basketball begins its journey to the Final Four, a foursome of the ominous variety casts a pall over New York City's construction workers: the fatal four. 

The fatal four refers to the four top causes of construction worker fatalities as reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

What In The Name of Vision Zero Is Going On?

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As we've written about in recent months, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio wants additional funding for the Vision Zero program. He says the $317 million he has requested will be used to fund traffic-related changes aimed at reducing fatal collision throughout the city. 

While we cannot predict whether the funding and his proposed traffic changes will result in fewer accidents and deaths, we can confidently say that something has to happen to curb the wreckage on our streets. 

Pedestrian accidents rack up an ominous toll in one day

Accidents tend to come in rashes, which is how it happened in New York City on Tuesday, March 7. Pedestrian accidents topped the police blotters that day with three pedestrians killed and one hospitalized in critical condition. The first event occurred in Brooklyn at about 6 a.m. when a car slammed into and killed a 71-year-old man who was crossing Greenpoint Street.

A fatal pedestrian accident followed in the Bronx at about 9 a.m. when a man operating an SUV hit and killed an 81-year-old woman who was crossing the street at E. Fordham Road. The 51-year-old operator made a left turn from Hughes Ave. onto E. Fordham Road when he struck the woman. Authorities charged him with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to use due care.

Injuries and deaths of bicyclists in car accidents is increasing

There is a rise in cyclist deaths from accidents occurring in New York City. There were more than 16 deaths of bicycle riders in 2016 and 15 accident-related deaths in 2015. The numbers of cyclists injured in car accidents and other vehicular accidents in the city numbers in the thousands in recent years.

One notable incident was that of a 78-year-old man who was a daily bike rider. He resided in Queens and ran an automotive shop in Flushing. In Aug 2016, he was riding his bike on Northern Boulevard and was struck down by a car being operated in the same direction.

Woman Run Over by MTA Bus at Crosswalk - Bus Driver Arrested

Aurora Beauchamp, a 61-year-old Florida resident was tragically struck and pinned down by an MTA bus yesterday at 8:52pm in Manhattan's East Village. The incident, involving a southbound M14D bus, happened at the crosswalk between Houston Street and Avenue D.

After the collision, the victim's left leg became trapped underneath the bus. Juan Santana, a bystander at the scene, tried to pry her free from underneath the bus but was unsuccessful in the aftermath of the collision. 

Pedestrian accidents require a detailed report by the police

When a vehicular accident occurs in New York City, those involved in the traumatic event often rely on the New York City Police Department to get them through the turmoil. The police often arrive first on the scene, take care of directing the removal and extrication of victims, where necessary, and generally act as the all-around directors of the action until it subsides. In a few pedestrian accidents and vehicular crashes, the police may become embroiled in a controversy that emerges post-accident.

For example, a 21-year-old Bronx woman is suing the city and two police officers who she says falsified an accident report regarding an incident in which she was struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. She had been crossing the street at W. Fordham Avenue when the car knocked her about 40 feet along the snow-covered road, says the complaint. In every accident where there is property damage and/or personal injury, the police must investigate what happened and file a report.

Construction worker dies in freak accident with runaway forklift

New York City records a large toll of construction accidents each year. That toll is increasing with the advent of a new real estate boom in new construction. One recent accident illustrates the plight of one construction worker in a freakish accident that occurred apparently on property owned or occupied by the New York Fire Department.

A worker, employed by Napa Auto Parts, was driving a forklift on Review Ave. near 35th St. in Long Island City. He stopped the machine in front of a van that was loading items at a warehouse. The warehouse had a sign in front that said, "F.D.N.Y. Parts Delivery." He put the forklift into neutral and got off it to assist in loading the van, witnesses say.