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Tag Archives: accident injuries

Bicycle accidents, broken bones and traumatic brain injuries

As warm weather moves in, increased bike accidents become more common and lead to serious accident injuries. Statistics show huge increases in the numbers and severity of these accidents despite safety efforts. Experts note that children and adults are wearing helmets and other safety equipment more than in the past. None-the-less, some have pointed to worsening speeding drivers, reckless driving and hazardous conditions that contribute to injuries and wrongful deaths during road accidents involving bicycles. They explain that a car crash involving a bicyclist is much more likely to cause serious or life threatening injury when the vehicle is speeding or if there is a distracted driver behind the wheel. Studies into bicycle collisions show wounds that range from lacerations that can cause nerve damage, to broken bones, to neck and back injuries and even head injury with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Doctors say that helmets have improved the outcomes for accident victims injured in a bicycle accident. However, high speed motor vehicle collisions can still lead to these injuries. This article explains more about the recent research into bike accidents.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Luc Coekaerts [License]

Investigators looking into autopilot Tesla car crash that injured woman

Federal safety inspectors have been looking into details of a Tesla car accident that was driving in autopilot mode. The woman’s car crashed into a fire truck at a high rate of speed. Details about the collision are still being discussed as the driver admitted to being distracted by her cell phone while driving. However, she apparently explained that while she was the operator of the vehicle, she wasn’t in fact driving at the moment of impact since she had engaged the autopilot mode. The manufacturer of the car has explained that the driver must always remain vigilant and in control of the vehicle, even when the autopilot is turned on. The driver must maintain his or hands on the wheel and eyes must remain on the road in order to avoid road hazards and make corrections. The woman suffered accident injuries that were relatively minor. They included an ankle injury with a broken bone. However, the force of the collision could have also caused a neck and back injury or other serious life-threatening injuries, according to experts. This is not the first time a Tesla car was involved in a motor vehicle accident while in autopilot mode. A car crash involving an Apple engineer killed the driver in another case. Officials from Tesla also blamed that deadly accident on driver error, saying that the operator was a distracted driver. A New York accident injury lawyer notes that a great deal of risk is involved with the use of automated cars. The responsibilities of the car manufacturer and a potentially negligent driver will require in depth analysis. Further discussion about this autopilot car versus fire truck accident can be seen here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Marc van der Chijs [License]

Car versus truck accident kills one victim in Manhattan

New York – The driver of a Mercedes car rear-ended a truck that was double-parked in the street just before 5:00 in the morning in the Harlem section of Manhattan yesterday. Reports indicate that the delivery man who was driving the truck was inside of a local business making a work delivery when he left his truck parked in the middle of the street. The driver of the car apparently didn’t see the truck and caused the rear-end collision. Her vehicle then veered across the road and crashed into a tree, causing massive damage. The front-seated passenger of the car suffered a severe head injury with fatal brain damage. He was declared dead in Harlem Hospital due to the accident injuries according to emergency department doctors. The man who was killed in the crash was identified as being from Jackson Heights in Queens, NY. The female driver also suffered facial injuries but is expected to survive. Police have arrested the woman on suspicion of drunk driving. While police will continue investigating the cause of the accident, this type of deadly motor vehicle crash will require an expert accident lawyer to determine fault. The truck driver may be considered negligent for leaving the delivery truck in the middle of the road, while the possible drunk driver may also bear fault. You can read more about the collision here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Brad P. [License]

Data shows increased incidence of deaths from accident injuries

The recent release of data on the causes of death in the United States shows some disturbing statistics regarding fatal accidents. The study by the National Safety Council (NSC) showed yet another significant increase in car crashes with life-threatening injuries. Public safety specialists express concern regarding this, in light of the efforts to increase design safety of motor vehicles and roads as well as safe driving campaigns. Modern cars and trucks have advanced technology seat belts and airbags as well as safety sensors throughout the vehicle. Further analysis is needed but some wrongful death experts believe that the noted increase in serious injuries is due to distracted driver accidents. They blame this on the increased technology devices distracting drivers, such as driving while texting, talking on a cell phone while driving and even people who read and post to Twitter and Facebook while operating a motor vehicle. They also note that some drivers don’t take their responsibility seriously while they eat, read or speed instead of concentrating on the road. Several other causes of accidental injuries that commonly lead to death were identified by the council. These include slip and fall, drowning and overdose accidents. If you or someone you know has suffered a preventable accident due to someone’s possible negligence, you have the right to speak to an expert accident attorney to discuss your case. You can also find out more about the NSC study here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Walter [License]

Another pedestrian struck by tow truck on Long Island

New York – This is not the first time that a pedestrian accident involved a tow truck according to police. This latest tow truck accident occurred in Suffolk County and left the accident victim with serious injuries. The woman was crossing the street when she was suddenly hit by a truck, leaving her with multiple injuries. She was taken by ambulance to Huntington Hospital for emergency treatment, according to reports. Officials say that a similar tow truck crash versus a pedestrian occurred several months ago in Nassau County, Long Island. That collision in November killed the pedestrian woman. Of note, many tow truck operators complain that their job places them in a dangerous situation, exposed to dangerous or distracted drivers. This tow truck driver was injured at work when he was hit by a car while hooking up a disabled car. The worker in that case also died of his accident injuries. Authorities warn that everyone must maintain vigilance and safety when around a large truck such as this. Read more about the most recent tow truck collision here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo by David Shankbone [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Official New York City vehicles increasingly involved in accidents

New York – A comparison in car and truck accident data from 2015 to 2016 involving city vehicles and employees shows some frightening results. The report shows that there was an over 10% increase in the number of collisions involving city municipal vehicles, including ambulances, fire trucks, garbage trucks, buses, city inspector cars and others, but excluding police cars. The most significant intensification in truck and motor vehicle crashes involved ambulances that are owned and managed by the FDNY. Ambulance accidents went up by more than 30% compared to last year. Unfortunately, further data regarding the numbers and types of accident injuries from these collisions has not been made available as of yet. New Yorkers have expressed concern regarding these new statistics, saying that this puts citizen’s lives and health at risk. They note that many of the city vehicles involved in these crashes are emergency vehicles that are speeding or reckless driving, leading to both more accidents as well as more serious injuries and deaths. An ambulance carries extra weight with all of the emergency equipment and the force of these accidents can cause irreparable damage. This holds true even more so for garbage and fire truck and bus accidents. Citizens are quick to point out that they appreciate the many emergency workers and city employees who do their work diligently and watch out for public safety. However, they demand that the city government and agencies work even harder to eliminate the dangers and problems that obviously still exist.

The city has reportedly worked to deal with the dangerous driver issue within their employees but even additional driver safety training has yet to solve the near-epidemic. Some experts wonder if the problem lies with the initial hiring and vetting process within the city’s agencies. Are they doing their due diligence to weed out reckless drivers and other hazards? Has the city done its part in preventing city officials from hiding behind their credentials and agencies when doing something illegal or dangerous? Citizen activists complain that many city workers speed, make dangerous U-turns and park in dangerous locations with impunity. Many questions are yet unanswered but one thing is clear – much more needs to be done to prevent further collisions, injuries and wrongful death. Check out this article for more on the increased city vehicle collisions.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Ethan [License]

Motorcycle accident kills one and injures another crash victim

New York – This morning’s motorcycle crash in the Lincoln Tunnel is being investigated by Port Authority police. According to reports the motorcycle accident ended in the death of a woman passenger on the back of the bike. The motorcycle driver suffered multiple accident injuries and was taken to a New York City hospital for treatment. It is still unclear how many other vehicles were involved in the deadly collision or if anyone else was injured in the accident. Accident specialists note that motorcyclists and bicyclists face many risks of accidents and injuries, especially on busy roads and highways. Reckless driving and distracted drivers are abound and the bikers have minimal protection from even minor collisions. However, some public safety advocates explain that motorcyclists and bicycle riders share responsibility by weaving in and around traffic and running through red lights. Speeding can also become a significant factor that can cause a crash or worsen its effects. You can read more about this bike accident here.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Dan Souza [License]

Long Island ambulance accident kills two victims

New York – Earlier today a private ambulance was involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash on the Southern State Parkway in Nassau County. The ambulance hit a highway overpass support wall while it was transporting a patient in the rear. According to the ambulance company, the EMT and driver of the ambulance were not travelling with lights or sirens, as this was a non-emergency transport. Images from the scene of the collision show that the entire front end of the truck was crushed inward. Additional ambulances from Nassau County were called in to treat the injured victims. Officials reported that the ambulance driver was killed after being crushed inside. In addition, the patient who was being transported in the back also died from the severe accident injuries. The cause of the accident is still being looked into by police. Investigators noted that it appears the driver lost control of the ambulance and slammed directly into the wall. His EMT partner in the back was also injured in the crash, including a suffering a head injury with concussion and leg fracture. That injury victim’s condition is still guarded and he will require hospitalization.

This ambulance collision is reminiscent of previous ones, including this ambulance versus bus crash in Brooklyn, New York and this ambulance and car accident in Queens. Emergency management specialists explain that the dangers involved with operating an ambulance or other emergency vehicle is quite serious. They note that the vehicles are heavier than many other vehicles on the road, require intensive training and constant awareness. Public safety activists worry that some drivers of these trucks are distracted by other things, such as their radios, cell phones or conversations while driving. Proper training to avoid these distracted driver risks is essential. You can see updates about the recent ambulance crash here.

Illustrative Photo by U.S. Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

$300,000 Verdict for Victims Injured in Rear-End Car Crash

New York — A couple in their 60s were read-ended in a car accident while they were stopped at a red light. They both suffered accident injuries and decided to file a personal injury lawsuit. They claimed that the defendant was a negligent driver. With the assistance of a car accident lawyer with Morrison & Wagner, the couple received a jury verdict that awarded them over $300,000.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Rian Castillo [License]

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Couple claimed car crash caused knee, shoulder injuries (VerdictSearch)

Verdict Amount: $300,000

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Court: Bronx Supreme, Bronx County, New York

Injury Type(s): knee – meniscus tear; other – labrum tear; other – physical therapy; surgeries/treatment – arthroscopy; surgeries/treatment – knee surgery

Case Type: Motor Vehicle – Passenger, Rear-ender, No-Fault Case, Multiple Vehicle

Date: April 8, 2011

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner, L.L.P.; New York, NY

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Facts:

On Aug. 23, 2007, the plaintiff, 69, a retiree, was driving on Third Avenue, near its intersection at East 188th Street, in Harlem. His wife, plaintiff’s decedent, 63, a homemaker, was a passenger. When the man reached the intersection, he stopped at a red traffic signal. Before he could resume travel, his vehicle’s rear end was struck by a trailing vehicle driven by a man who was not the owner of the vehicle. The plaintiff claimed that he sustained injuries of his knees. His wife claimed that she sustained injuries of a knee and a shoulder. She subsequently died, but her death was not related to the accident.

The injured plaintiff, acting individually and as administrator of his wife’s estate, sued the driver and the owner of the vehicle. The plaintiffs alleged that the driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The plaintiffs further alleged that the vehicle’s owner was vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.

Defense counsel conceded liability. The matter proceeded to a summary jury trial that addressed damages.

Injury:

The plaintiff drove to Metropolitan Hospital Center, in Manhattan, and he underwent minor treatment.

The injury victim ultimately claimed that he sustained tears of his knees’ menisci. On Sept. 26, 2007, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed the injury of his left knee. On Jan. 25, 2008, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed the injury of his right knee. He contended that he also underwent several months of physical therapy.

The plaintiff claimed that he suffers permanent residual pain that prevents his resumption of one of his favorite activities: gardening. He sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering.

The man’s wife was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Metropolitan Hospital Center. She underwent minor treatment.

The injured woman ultimately claimed that she sustained a tear of her right knee’s meniscus; a tear of the labrum of her right, dominant arm’s shoulder; and a tear of the same shoulder’s rotator cuff, though the latter injury was not definitively diagnosed. On Dec. 31, 2007, she underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed her right knee. On Jan. 3, 2007, she underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed her right shoulder. She also underwent several months of physical therapy. She died some eight months after the accident had occurred, but her death was not related to the accident.

The deceased woman’s estate sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering.

The parties stipulated that the plaintiffs’ total damages could not exceed $150,000.

Defense counsel contended that neither plaintiff sustained a serious injury, as defined by the no-fault law, Insurance Law § 5102(d). She claimed that their injuries stemmed from age-related degenerative conditions that were not related to the accident. She challenged the extent of the plaintiff’s treatment, noting that he could not produce any record of having undergone physical therapy, and she questioned the extent of his pre-accident gardening activities. She also noted that doctors did not definitively diagnosis a tear of the injured woman’s right shoulder’s rotator cuff.

Result:

The jury found that each plaintiff sustained a serious injury. It determined that their damages totaled $375,000. The plaintiff’s share totaled $200,000, which comprised damages for past and future pain and suffering, and the wife’s estate was allocated $175,000, all for pain and suffering.

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Judge: Yvonne Gonzalez

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

$600,000 Settlement -- Home Health Aid Injured in Nassau Car Crash

New York — A 52-year-old woman who was working as a home health aid suffered severe accident injuries in a car accident. The car was owned by her employer and being driven by a friend of the employer, who both died during the car crash. The injured woman consulted with the expert lawyers of Morrison & Wagner and filed a personal injury lawsuit against the estates of the employer and driver. The estates agreed to pay the injury victim $600,000 in damages.

Illustrative Photo (Altered to obscure license plate and address): Todd Dwyer [License]

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Heart failure, age blamed for fatal car crash (VerdictSearch)

Amount Recovered: $600,000

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Court: Bronx Supreme, Bronx County, New York

Injury Type(s):
ankle; other-laceration; other-tendon; severed/torn foot/heel-foot; neurological-nerve damage/neuropathy (nerve damage, peroneal nerve)

Case Type: Motor Vehicle – Speeding, Passenger, Single Vehicle

Date: June 15, 2007

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner, L.L.P.; New York, NY

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Facts:

On March 26, 2003, the plaintiff, 52, was working as a home health attendant for defendant A, at defendant A’s home in Westbury. On this day, defendant B invited defendant A out to dinner and offered to drive. The three of them go into the garage, and the defendant B sat down in the driver seat of defendant A’s vehicle, while the plaintiff and defendant A got into the back seat. The vehicle then sped out of the garage, down the driveway, turned right and crashed into a house across the street. Defendant B, who was driving, was found unconscious at the accident scene and having sustained multiple injuries. He later died without having regained consciousness. Defendant A was also killed in the accident. The injured plaintiff claimed that as a result of the collision her feet became trapped under the front passenger seat and that she sustained severe lacerations of her right ankle and toes.

The woman accident victim sued defendant A’s estate and defendant B’s estate. She alleged that defendant B, as the driver, was negligent in the operation of the vehicle and that defendant A, as the vehicle owner, was vicariously liable for defendant B’s actions.

Defendant A’s estate commenced a separate action against defendant B’s estate, alleging that defendant B was negligent in the operation of the vehicle. The matters were joined for trial. However, the action by defendant A’s estate settled on Sept. 25, 2006, and the plaintiff’s matter continued against both defendants.

The woman claimed that defendant B was negligent for pulling out of the garage and driveway at an excessive rate of speed and for failing to keep proper control of the vehicle. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that defendant B should not have been driving at his advanced age of 86.

Defense counsel alleged that defendant B suffered a stroke or heart attack once he was behind the wheel and that this caused defendant B’s erratic driving. The defense contended that since this was an unforeseen event, there was no liability. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that there was no medical evidence to prove that defendant B had suffered either a heart attack or stroke.

Injury:

The plaintiff was placed in an ambulance and transported to Winthrop-University Hospital, in Mineola. She remained in the hospital for eight days and was diagnosed with compound lacerations of the dorsal aspect of the right foot, including lacerations of the extensor digitorum communis tendons and extensor digitorum brevis tendons of toes 2 through 5, and a laceration of the peroneal nerve in the right ankle. The car crash victim underwent operative repair of the peroneal nerve injury the day after the accident, followed by approximately 26 weeks of physical therapy, but she complained that it was not successful.

The plaintiff claimed that the lacerations of her right ankle and toes caused a loss of function to the long extensors of the lateral toes. She alleged that she was left with a club foot and had trouble walking. She sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the plaintiff made a good recovery from her injuries following the surgery. The defendant’s orthopedic expert determined that the surgery was successful and that the woman’s toes were OK. However, he found that she did experience a loss of sensation to the lateral two-thirds of her right foot due to the peroneal nerve laceration. He determined that the plaintiff could not actively extend her lateral toes, but that they were in a neutral position and did not curl downward or upward. Thus, the expert concluded that the woman did not suffer a disability.

Result:

The parties agreed to settle prior to trial for $600,000. Of the total settlement, defendant B’s estate paid $500,000, and defendant A’s estate paid $100,000.

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Judge: Howard R. Silver

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.