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The Perecman Firm

New York, NY Personal Injury Blog

Several car accidents over the weekend caused personal injuries and traffic delays

Several car accidents over the weekend were nonfatal

Over the weekend, there were several vehicle accidents, numerous injuries but thankfully no fatalities.  On Friday, a sedan got pinned underneath a tractor-trailer when the car entered the highway and tried to pass in front of the tractor-trailer.  According to witnesses, the sedan got caught on the back wheel of the truck and flipped about two times before it got pinned underneath the trailer on the I-87/New York State Thruway in Yonkers.  Two adults and a child inside the vehicle were hurt and taken to an area hospital.

Saturday in Lacey Township of New Jersey, a 24 year old man driving northbound on Route 539 collided head-on with a southbound sport utility vehicle. The car’s driver and a 26-year-old female passenger suffered multiple internal injuries and were flown to a nearby hospital. A toddler in the car was taken to a hospital as a precaution. The occupants in the SUV were treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Sunday afternoon, a 90-year-old woman crashed her car into the front display windows of an Aeropostale store in the Bay Terrace shopping center on Bell Blvd. at 26th Ave in Bayside, Queens. According to authorities, no employees or customers were seriously injured in the accident.  Police stated the elderly driver, accidentally hit the accelerator, which caused her car to plunge into the storefront. The driver reported pain to her right arm and a 39-year-old worker suffered minor injuries from falling glass.

Bayside crash Wednesday night kills mother and daughter of Queens


Crash in Bayside kills mother and daughter from Queens

Speeding is considered a factor in a crash Wednesday evening that killed a 42 year old woman identified as  Suzanna Ha, and her 10-year-old daughter Angelica Ung in Queens near the Long Island Expressway.

A Ford Explorer driven by a 46-year-old woman was speeding north on 210th Street in Bayside around 6:30 p.m. and veered to the left, crossing the double yellow line and crashed into the rear of a Toyota Camry with five passengers inside.  After the Ford truck hit the Camry it continued north on 210th Street, jumping on the sidewalk and hitting a tree stump and finally coming to a stop after hitting a fire hydrant.

It appears that the passengers inside the Camry were related.  The driver was a 74 year old grandfather, a grandmother, 67 an 8-year-old girl who was reported to be the younger daughter of Suzanna Ha who sat in the backseat with the victims.  All were taken to the hospital where Ha and Ung were pronounced dead.  The grandfather is listed in stable condition and both the grandmother and the 8 year old girl are in critical condition at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

The driver and sole occupant of the SUV, a 46-year-old woman, was taken to Long Island Jewish Hospital and is in stable condition.

No arrests have been made and an investigation is underway.  Read for more information on the dangers of speeding.


Understanding workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers

If you are hurt on the job you may qualify for workers’ comp

Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation and/or medical benefits to employees who suffer work related injuries and illnesses.

An employee with a work-related illness or injury can get workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault, whether it be the employee, the employer, a coworker, customer, or some other third party.  However, a worker will lose his or her right to workers’ compensation if it is determined the injury resulted solely from his or her intoxication from drugs or alcohol, or if the employee intended to purposely hurt him/herself or someone else.

The money a claimant receives is not decreased by his or her carelessness, nor is it increased by an employer’s fault.  A claim is paid if the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the injury or illness is work-related. If the employer or insurance carrier disputes the claim, no cash benefits are paid until the workers’ compensation law judge decides who is right. If a worker is not receiving benefits because the employer or insurance carrier is arguing that the injury is not job-related, he or she may be eligible for disability benefits in the interim.  Any payments made under the Disability Program will be subtracted from future workers’ compensation benefits.

In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, employees give up their right to sue their employer in court for damages from those injuries.

If you are hurt on the job, follow these steps:

Obtain first aid or other necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. Notify your supervisor about the injury and the way in which it occurred, as soon as possible. Complete a claim for workers’ compensation on Form C-3 and mail it to the nearest office of the Workers’ Compensation Board as soon as the incident occurs so there is no time lost.

If you need help filing

How to recognize a gas leak to avoid personal injury

How to recognize a gas leak

Building explosions in New York City have become way too common and expected and gas leaks are the primary cause causing causalities, personal injury and catastrophic wreckage.

Here are a three signs to help recognize a gas leak:

Gas has a very distinct strong smell comparable to rotten eggs Look for a white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water, blowing dust or vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no reason Listen to notice if you hear a roaring, hissing or whistling sound

If you see these signs and think there is a gas leak, here’s what you should do:

If the odor is strong, leave immediately and take others with you. Notify your neighbors. If you are outside and you smell gas you should vacate the area immediately. Once away from the area use your cell phone to call 911.  If you do not have a cell phone find a phone away from the area and call 911. DO NOT light a match or smoke, turn appliances or lights on or off (including flashlights), use a telephone or start a car. Doing so can produce sparks that might cause the gas to explode which could be disastrous.

The big mistake people make is they assume someone else will report the problem so they do nothing or they don’t report the gas leak to the proper authorities.  Do not assume someone else will report the condition.  In the East village explosion on March 29, 2015, that killed two people, a restaurant owner stated he smelled gas and contacted the building’s owner, but didn’t contact authorities.  This was a “major mistake” according to New York Emergency Management Commissioner Joe Esposito, “they should have called 911,” he said. “We don’t know what the outcome would have been.”

The same is true with the explosion in East Harlem last year that killed eight people

Four car collision in the Bronx kills the driver and injures 7

Four car collision in the Marble Hill section of the Bronx

A man reportedly speeding in the Marble Hill section of the Bronx tried to drive between a car stopped at a red light and another parked car early Sunday morning NBC Local.

According to witnesses, the driver, 54 year old William Hay of the Bronx, struck both cars at the intersection and in turn, those cars hit a sedan travelling eastbound that was also stopped at the light.

Hay was pronounced dead at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.  Seven other people including a 12 year old boy, who were involved in the crash suffered minor injuries and were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital listed in stable condition, according to officials.

Speeding is the leading cause of vehicle accidents.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that speeding is involved in approximately 31% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, costing society over $40 billion per year.

In 2013, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) reported a total of 29,178 crashes caused by speeding.  Fatal crashes totaled 318 and non-fatal personal injury crashes exceeded over 12,000.  According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2011, motor vehicle accidents accounted for over 35,000 deaths nationwide.

New York City is the largest city in the United States with a population well over eight million people and one of the busiest areas with traffic congesting the streets.  With its heavy flow of traffic, NYC accounts for a significant number of vehicle accidents each year.  The dangers of speeding are widely known but often ignored.  This is why driver safety and defensive driving are particularly important.  Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to safely and responsibly steer around curves or objects on the road.  It also lengthens the distance needed to safely stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle will travel while the driver is reacting to a dangerous situation.


Stonewall Inn deemed a NYC landmark for catapulting the civil rights movement in the LGBT community

Stonewall riots of 1969

Civil rights issues and police brutality have been in the media centerfold for quite some time now and many accounts about the civil rights movement discuss the challenges and struggles within the African American community. However, the difficult experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, is a subject that is less frequently discussed unless it pertains to a reality TV star changing genders.

During the 1960s, New York City had laws prohibiting homosexuality in public so  a Greenwich Village bar called the Stonewall Inn opened its doors to the LGBT community providing a hangout spot for gays and lesbians during a time when serving alcohol to the LGBT community was banned.

During early morning on July 28, 1969, Stonewall Inn was raided by police but bar patrons refused to leave the premises.  The patrons were joined by friends, strangers and members of the community to protest the treatment by police.  These civil rights protests lasted a few days and paved the way for LGBT activist organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front, the Gay Activists Alliance, Radicalesbians, and the Street Transvestites Action to emerge a few months later.  This gay rights uprising is honored with annual gay pride parades in hundreds of cities.   Heritage of Pride hosts New York City’s annual Pride Rally and it will take place this Friday at Hudson River Park.

The Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, known as the birthplace for the modern gay rights movement was granted landmark status in a unanimous vote by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on Monday.  This is the first time a site has been named a New York City landmark primarily because of its significance to LGBT history.

“There are few locations that can be cited as the birthplace of a global movement. One such location is the Stonewall Inn,” stated Corey Johnson, the City Council member whose

New York personal injury attorney Mr. David Perecman settled a construction case for $4.75 million

$36 billion in construction spending last year, more construction, more danger

Last month New York personal injury attorney Mr. David Perecman of The Perecman Firm settled a case for $4.75 million for a construction worker from Carpenter’s Local Union 157, who fell on the job and suffered a fracture of the left foot at compression, a mild traumatic brain injury and fracture in his lower back.

The worker was climbing down an EFCO panel form wall when he fell about 15 feet to the plywood floor below when the brace he was using to tie off his safety harness broke free from its anchorage point.  As a result the worker is no longer able to perform construction work and suffers continuing orthopedic problems and post traumatic arthritis.

In 2013, Mr. Perecman received one of the top verdicts for a construction case, when he secured $7.98 million verdict for a dock builder who suffered a foot injury on the job that halted his career. He also received the highest construction settlement in 2014 of $6 million for a worker who suffered a paralyzing injury.

Construction accidents in New York City have been on the rise with 231 in 2014, up 24 percent from the year before.  The city’s Buildings Department reported eight people have died in construction related incidents so far this year, this was the total number of fatalities for all of 2014.


New York City nail salon workers often exploited and paid less than $30 a day

NYC manicurists often exploited and underpaid

The New York Times (NYT) reported in May, that nail salon workers are routinely underpaid, exploited and face harsh and at times demeaning work conditions.

A NYT reporter interviewed a young immigrant woman from China who was on her way to her new job as a manicurist at a Long Island nail salon.  The salon owner where twenty year old Jing Ren works charges $100 “training” fee to each new employee when they first start their job.  This starting rule is the same for each new manicurist in the New York City area.

“She would work for no wages, subsisting on meager tips, until her boss decided she was skillful enough to merit a wage” reports The New York Times.  It would be approximately three months before Ren would receive a pay check of a mere thirty dollars a day.

More than 150 nail salon workers and owners, consisting of four different languages, were interviewed by The NYT.  It was discovered that a large majority of workers are paid below minimum wage and some aren’t even paid at all.  Workers experience all types of humiliation, including wage theft, their tips docked as punishment for small work incidents like a spilled bottle of nail polish, constant video monitoring by owners, and some reported physical abuse.  Some class action cases have been brought against salon owners but it’s rare that employers are punished for labor and other workplace violations.

This is not to say that all nail salons operate this way, but even one salon exploiting workers like this is one too many.

The vast majority of the workers interviewed by The NYT, like Ms. Ren, spoke little English and many are in the country illegally. This combination makes them even more vulnerable to workplace abuse.

Last year, the New York State Labor Department, along with several other agencies, conducted its first nail salon sweep and

Massacre of nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina

The steeple of Emanuel AME Church is visible as police close off a section of Calhoun Street early Thursday, June 18, 2015 following a shooting Wednesday night in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

On Wednesday night around 9 p.m., a white gunman entered into the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine African Americans before fleeing causing an overnight manhunt for the killer.

Many are calling this a hate crime and blatant disregard for black lives while civil rights activists are questioning “Why isn’t this considered an act of terrorism?”

The Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 and the anti-Islamic shooting in Garland, Texas last month were both deemed an act of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists, but assaults against African Americans and Muslim Americans are rarely seen as such.  Many argue that white assailants are less likely to be viewed as terrorists by authorities.

“We have been conditioned to accept that if the violence is committed by a Muslim, then it is terrorism,” stated Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights advocacy group in Washington.  “If the same violence is committed by a white supremacist or apartheid sympathizer and is not a Muslim, we start to look for excuses — he might be insane, maybe he was pushed too hard,” continued Mr. Awad.

Fourteen hours after the church shooting, 21 year old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested and he was charged Friday with nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, according to police, if convicted Roof could face the death penalty NY Times.

The massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina is one amongst many heinous attacks targeting predominantly black churches in the United States.

There is an unfortunate history of violence against black churches and the Ku Klux Klan members

New study shows a link between autism and parental age

Autism Spectrum Disorder linked to parental age

A new, massive study evaluating over 5.7 million children in five countries shows a correlation between parents’ age and the risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The study determined, older parents, teenage mothers and parents who have a large age gap between them are at a much higher risk of having a child with ASD.

Statistics indicate that the possibility of a child being born with autism spectrum disorder is approximately 1 in 100.  The risk for autism was determined to be 66 percent higher in children whose dads were over the age of 50 compared to dads in their 20s, while dads in their 40s were 28 percent more likely to have a child with ASD.  Teen mothers were 18 percent more likely to have children with autism than mothers in their 20s.  Mothers in their 40s were 15 percent more likely to have children with autism than mothers in their 20s.  Dads aged 35-44 who had an age gap of 10 years or more with their partners were also slightly at risk of having a child with ASD.

Some experts believe the increased risk for autism amongst older parents could be related to genetic mutations in the sperm or eggs.  Other factors could be environmental exposures, genetic predisposition or complications during pregnancy.  Researchers are still trying to understand the increased risk of autism in children born to teenage mothers.  One theory is that younger women may experience suboptimal pregnancies because they don’t have access to prenatal care but all correlations require further research.

“Although parental age is a risk factor for autism, it is important to remember that, overall, the majority of children born to older or younger parents will develop normally,” according to the study’s co-author Dr. Sven Sandin.

Research has identified a number of other risk factors as well, including genetics, prenatal inflammation and gut