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The Perecman Firm

New York, NY Personal Injury Blog

3 car accident kills 1 woman and injuries 9, including 7 kids in South Ozone Park

3 vehicle accident in Queens

A three vehicle crash in Queens early Tuesday morning, left one person dead and nine others injured including seven children, according to the NYPD.

The children were on their way to school when the GMC Suburban they were travelling in crashed into a Dodge Neon at South Conduit Avenue and 130th Street in South Ozone Park.  The force of the collision pushed the Neon in front of a box truck and up against a guardrail causing the sedan to be crushed by the truck.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and it took more than a dozen to help remove the person from the car. All ten victims, including the seven children were taken to area hospitals.  Upon arrival, medical professionals pronounced the 53 year old passenger of the Neon was pronounced dead at the hospital.  The 30 year old driver was taken to the same hospital and listed in stable condition. Thankfully the children all had minor injuries.

New York City resident Greeta Bisram’s two nephews were in the Suburban when it was struck and she stated all the kids were pretty traumatized.  One boy was said to have bumped his nose upon impact and another boy hurt his legs.  The driver of the box truck was treated at the scene with no major injuries.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be faced with unexpected medical costs, lost wages, and other losses.  Injuries can be permanent, medical treatment can be extensive and the whole ordeal can be overwhelming as you try to put your life back together.

After a serious or fatal auto collision, it is crucial to quickly get the information needed to make good decisions and move toward recovery. Getting appropriate medical treatment is just one aspect of healing.  If the injuries are serious or if you have questions about what you

Revise 421-a Property Tax Exemption Program for more affordable housing in NYC

NYC 421-a tax abatement program

Most newly-constructed housing developments in New York City are currently eligible for a 10-15 year property tax exemption under the City’s 421-a program, even if no affordable housing is provided.  There was a study on this program was conducted in 2003 that found from 1985 – 2002, as few as 7% or 4,905 of the 69,000 units were actually subsidized and made affordable to low or moderate income families.

This property tax exemption is available for new housing developments consisting of three or more units, located on sites that were vacant, underutilized or had a “nonconforming” zoning use.  This program allows owners to save money when the value of their property increases after the new construction.  For example, if an owner pays $2 million and after construction the new property is worth $10 million, the property owner will not be taxed for the $8 million increase in value during the exemption period.

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to revise the 421-a program to include the construction of tens of thousands of affordable apartments for the working class New Yorker, who increasingly find themselves priced out of a booming real estate market and rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.  Primarily teachers, firefighters and the construction workers who build these developments but then can’t afford to live in them.  Construction is a very dangerous industry with workers injuring themselves and/or dying every month for the rich to live in these glamourous luxury Manhattan apartments while the construction workers themselves struggle to make ends meet.  This topic ties into one of last week’s blogs about the prevailing wage rate for construction workers.

“No more tax breaks without building affordable housing in return,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.  “This can’t be a city of just penthouses and luxury condos. We are turning the page, and making sure the same pressures that have pushed New Yorkers out of their neighborhoods

Pedestrian guide to walking safely in New York City

Collision Trends in 2010-2013

Brooklyn has the highest rate of pedestrians being struck by cars than any of the other four boroughs, with the evening rush hour between 5pm and 7pm, being the most dangerous time to walk in New York City.  Rush hour accidents are the highest in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.  Friday was reported as the most dangerous day of the week for pedestrian collisions extending into early Saturday morning.

New York City is one of the greatest tourist attractions and visitors and residents alike enjoy walking the city streets and taking in the sights.  It is important to know where the most dangerous walking zones are and be extra cautious in these areas.

In 2014, the most dangerous intersections were in Manhattan on East 125th Street at Lexington Avenue and West 42nd Street at 8th Avenue.  Both intersections had a total of 11 collisions each.  The most common causes for these accidents were “failure to yield the right of way” and “driver inattention/distraction.”

Research shows baby boomers are more likely to be victims of pedestrian collisions than millennials and across all five boroughs there was a higher rate of male victims than women.

Speeding is also a factor in pedestrian accidents.  In November 2014, New York introduced a new lower speed limit of 25 miles per hour and all five boroughs saw a decrease in pedestrian accidents within the first few months of 2015.  In Manhattan, the average of accidents fell to 185 per month compared to 232 per month in 2014.

The Top 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in 2014:

EASTERN PARKWAY at UTICA AVENUE (9 collisions in 2014) FLATBUSH AVENUE at AVENUE H (7 collisions in 2014) NOSTRAND AVENUE at CLARKSON AVENUE (6 collisions in 2014) AVENUE U at EAST 16 STREET (6 collisions in 2014) FLATBUSH AVENUE EXTENSION at MYRTLE AVENUE (6 collisions in 2014) EASTERN PARKWAY at SCHENECTADY AVENUE (6 collisions in 2014) OCEAN

Takata announces largest recall of 34 million American cars due to defective exploding airbags

Japan based Takata airbag supplier

Last week we mentioned Honda recalled five million vehicles due to faulty airbags manufactured by Japanese company Takata, one of the largest suppliers of airbags.  Tuesday, the manufacturer finally admitted their airbags were defective and agreed to recall approximately 34 million vehicles in the United States, making this the largest recall in American History.

The problem with these airbags are when they deploy they have the potential to dangerously explode sending shrapnel flying toward drivers and passengers.  There have been six fatalities and over 100 injuries linked to the Takata defects.

The NY Times reports, “Up until now Takata has refused to acknowledge that their airbags are defective,” said Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary. “That changes today.”

It is not known exactly which car models will be included in the recall because Takata has to sit down and talk with automakers which could take a few days.  Honda, Nissan and Chrysler along with seven other automakers have already recalled cars in the United States because of this defect.

This recall amounts to one in seven of the more than 250 million vehicles on American roads.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, consumers should check with their dealers to make sure the defective airbags are “replaced as soon as possible.”

Takata has denied claims of its airbags being defective for over ten years, even when drivers were being killed by exploding airbags.  Since it is one of the largest airbag manufacturers, and ten automakers have already recalled cars in the U.S., it is recommended that car owners of all makes and models, check with their car dealers to see if their vehicle is part of the recall and have their airbag replaced immediately.

For many consumers, this recall is a little too late.  “I’d like to know why it took them till now,” said Corey Burdick, a 26-year-old from Eustis, Fla., who was

Construction workers know your rights: prevailing wage rates and benefits

Construction workers know your rights

North American Iron Works has to pay construction workers over $872,000 in back pay after an investigation by city Controller Scott Stringer according to NY Daily News.  Stringer’s office enforces the prevailing wage law and started an investigation when it received a tip from a worker complaining about low pay.

Over thirty construction workers, mostly Guyanese immigrants received back pay totaling approximately $1 million, which consisted of $872,000 in wages and benefits and $52,311 in interest and $46,208 in penalties.  This is why it is important to know what pay you are entitled to.  The workers should have received a prevailing wage rate of about $40 an hour which is mandated by law for people hired for city projects, instead of the $16 an hour they were paid, stated Stringer.

The North American Iron Works employees worked on city schools and the Queens Museum from 2010 to 2012, and their payments ranged from $382 to $73,801.

Prevailing wage is the wage and benefit rate set by law for each trade or occupation for employees of contractors performing public works projects and building service work for government agencies. The prevailing wage rates for construction workers who work on New York City public works projects can be found in the Comptroller’s Labor Law 220 schedules.

Here is a list of the prevailing wages and benefits for construction employees working on NYC government projects:

Asbestos Handlers

$36.00 hourly wages & $15.45 hourly benefits Iron Workers (Ornamental)

$42.70 hourly wages & $45.77 hourly benefits Laborers (Mason Tenders)

$36.05 hourly wages & $26.74 hourly benefits Carpenters

$49.88 hourly wages & $44.10 hourly benefits Laborers (Excavation)

$39.85 hourly wages & $34.88 hourly benefits Painters

$39.50 hourly wages & $26.12 hourly benefits Electricians (A)

$53.00 hourly wages & $47.54 hourly benefits Laborers (Pavers & Roadbuilders)

$40.32 hourly wages & $35.15 hourly benefits Plumbers

$65.27 hourly wages & $25.78 hourly benefits

Car crashes into Brooklyn Chinese Restaurant causing a fiery scene in Bedford – Stuyvesant

Out of control vehicle crashes into Chinese Restaurant in Brooklyn

Early Saturday morning a man crashed his white Pontiac sedan into the New Hardee Chinese Restaurant in Brooklyn, on the corner of DeKalb and Throop Aves. In Bedford – Stuyvesant (NY Daily News).

Around 3:45 a.m., the out of control car struck the Chinese restaurant and immediately burst into flames causing the building to catch fire as well, according to onlooker Steve Figueroa.

“As soon as the car hit the building, the car went in flames,” said Figueroa, 25, who was parking his car down the street when he saw the fiery blaze overtake the New Hardee Chinese Restaurant.

Witness, Sian Youngerman stated, that the driver was able to get out of the burning car without injury but his passenger was knocked unconscious and remained in the vehicle.  Luckily, two pedestrians rushed over to the car, pulled the man to safety and laid him down on the sidewalk.  The unidentified victim was later taken to Kings County Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

The flames spread to the upper floors of the apartment building causing a lot of damage and it took firefighters a little over two hours to put out the fire.

It was not clear what caused the accident, but no criminal charges had been filed against the driver by Saturday night, police stated.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact us today and speak with a New York personal injury lawyer at The Perecman Firm for an initial consultation.  Let us do everything within our power to get you the compensation you need for a full recovery.

Honda recalls 5 million vehicles due to airbag malfunction to reduce risk of personal injury to consumers

Honda recalls 5 million cars

Honda has recalled 5 million cars, 14 different models between 2002 and 2008 that may have been equipped with faulty airbags manufactured by Japan based Takata (CNNMoney).  Since 2008, Honda has recalled over 11 million vehicles as a result of problems with Takata airbags.

The recall is associated with the risk of “abnormal” inflation of airbags and the fear of the airbags exploding, sending shrapnel hurling at drivers and passengers.

Takata is one of the world’s largest airbag manufacturers.  They first noticed issues with the chemical design of its airbags over ten years ago.  At least five fatalities have been attributed to the company’s faulty airbags.

Toyota stated the decision to expand its recall was reached when investigators discovered moisture problems that could make airbags “susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash.”

Similarly, GM recalled over 30 million vehicles which included about 2.6 million cars due to a faulty ignition switch.  Unfortunately these manufacturer defects can be linked to 100 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle due to a manufacturer’s defect, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact us today and speak with a New York personal injury lawyer at The Perecman Firm for an initial consultation.  Let us do everything within our power to get you the compensation you need for a full recovery.

Construction site falls are the leading cause of death among workers

Construction site falls are the leading cause of death

The leading cause of death for construction workers are falls. In 2013, the fatalities attributed to falls was 302 out of a total of 828 total deaths in construction. Approximately 6.5 million people work in the construction industry where the fatal injury rate is higher than the national average.

OSHA mandates Safety and Health Regulations for the Construction industry that employers are required to inforce. They have to put fall protection systems in place but fall protection is the most violated OSHA standard.

Falls consistently account for the highest number of deaths for construction workers every year. Many elements contribute to falls such as human error, improper use or failure to use fall protection equipment and unstable working surfaces. Employers should ensure that workers are properly trained how to safely operate equipment and machinery. According to the Bureau of Labor, sixty percent of construction site injuries happen within the employee’s first year of employment, so proper training is extremely important.

Studies show a good way to reduce the number of injuries and deaths from falls include using guardrails, safety nets, covers, fall arrest systems and restraint systems.

Some solutions OSHA suggests are to erect guardrail systems with toeboards and warning lines or install control line systems to protect workers near the edges of floors and roofs. Cover floor holes, use safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems like body harnesses and use aerial lifts or make elevated working surfaces safer by using elevated platforms.

OSHA has a  Fall Prevention Campaign to raise awareness among construction workers and employers on the dangers of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. Their website has valuable information about falls and how to prevent them. They provide training tools and posters to display at worksites. A lot of the resources are geared toward workers with limited English proficiency which makes them more susceptible to

Florida woman hit and killed by taxi in Midtown while visiting the city with family

Woman hit by taxi in Midtown

In New York City, pedestrians hit by motor vehicles; cars, trucks, or buses are likely to suffer serious injuries and result in tragic consequences. Since 2000, pedestrian motor vehicle related accidents have killed more than 2,291 pedestrians in NYC.

A woman was fatally struck by an SUV taxi in Midtown, Saturday afternoon, near Madison Avenue. According to NY Daily News, Amelia Sterental, a 76 year-old tourist from Florida was crossing East 60th Street when a taxi making a left turned slammed into her hurling her body over the taxi. Frank Semmel, a retired New Jersey policeman stated, ““It smashed her and she went airborne and went over the back (of the car),”

Paramedics administered CPR and Sterental was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital, but due to the extent of her injuries, doctors were unable to save her and she passed away 45 minutes after the crash. Sterental, a Miami resident, was visiting the city with family at the time of the accident.

The unidentified driver, who has been licensed since about 1989, remained at the scene to speak with police. His taxi license has been suspended pending a police investigation. Witnesses state he was very distraught over the incident.

The three female passengers in the cab quickly left the scene and found alternate transportation, declining to be interviewed.

In 2014, there were 144 deaths pertaining to pedestrians being struck by vehicles. According to NYPD statistics, so far, 32 pedestrians have died in traffic accidents this year.

Family with Autistic Teenager Kicked off a United Airlines Flight to Portland

Autistic teen kicked off United Airlines flight

Donna Beegle of Oregon, claims United Airlines kicked her family off a Portland bound flight because her daughter is autistic. Beegle, whose 15 year old daughter Juliette was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, states her daughter has a high IQ but has trouble communicating.

According to GMA, last Tuesday, Beegle, her husband, son and Juliette boarded a layover flight in Houston on their way home to Portland. The family had dinner in Houston, but Juliette refused to eat, stated Beegle. So she brought snacks on board for Juliette because if her blood sugar gets low, Juliette gets frustrated and antsy.

Once on the plane, Beegle asked the flight attendant if they had any hot meals because Juliette will not eat food that is room temperature. The attendant stated they had a hot sandwich but when it arrived, it was cold and Juliette refused to eat it. Beegle then states she could see Juliette getting frustrated so she asked the attendant to check if there were hot meals available for purchase in first class.

“I asked if I can purchase something hot for my daughter and [the first class flight attendant] said no” Beegle said. “I called him back over and I said to him, ‘Please, help us out here,'” but he again refused. Beegle explained she has a child with special needs and needed to get her food but the attendant stated “I can’t do that.” After explaining that her 15 year old autistic daughter would have a meltdown if not fed soon, the attendant brought Juliette jambalaya and rice which she ate and was fine afterwards.

About 25 minutes later, an announcement over the loudspeaker said the plane was making an emergency landing because of a passenger with a “behavior issue.”

When paramedics arrived on the scene, they found Juliette watching a video happily and asked what was