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Falling Building Debris Poses Safety Risk to New York Pedestrians

One New York City woman’s death caused by falling debris has shined a light on safety infractions of hundreds of other city buildings, according to The New York Times.

Sixty-year-old architect Erica L. Tishman was killed after a piece of debris fell from a building she was walking past in December of 2019. The city’s Department of Buildings issued the owners of the 17-story office building a fine in April of that year because the terra cotta facade above the 15th floor was deteriorating and could potentially break off, putting pedestrians in danger. Himmel + Meringoff Properties, the building’s owner, paid the $1,250 fine but apparently did not repair the problem.

After Tishman’s death, the Department of Buildings launched surprise inspections at the city’s buildings, finding 220 other structures in violation. The Department issued a number of Class 1 facade violations, which are “immediately hazardous” to pedestrians but are not necessarily major violations. Class 1 violations include loose masonry, bricks, or stones on the building’s exterior, or cracks in its facade that could injure passersby.

Falling debris, whether from a construction site or from shoddy masonry, can potentially pose serious health risks to workers or pedestrians. As was the case with Tishman, who died before first responders even arrived at the scene, head injuries are the most common and most severe results of falling debris. The victim might experience a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion or contusion, paralysis, a spinal cord injury, or even blindness. They might also need treatment for cuts, bruises, broken bones, and neck injuries.

When someone is injured on another person’s property, due to the property owner’s willful negligence or irresponsibility, the victim or victim’s family can file a premises liability lawsuit. In this type of suit, the plaintiff must show that:

  • they were on the defendant’s property legally
  • the property owner should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the accident but for some reason didn’t fix it or provide ample warning
  • the property owner’s negligence caused the victim’s injury

When a pedestrian is injured by a falling object, they are eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit to win compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the pedestrian died because of their injury, their family may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a New York Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you were injured by a piece of falling debris, you might be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have years of experience representing injured pedestrians and want to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call Hach & Rose, LLP or contact us online to receive a free consultation.

 

 


Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New York City

 

As one of the most populous cities in the world, New York’s streets are clogged with pedestrians and motorists day and night. Because the two are constantly in close proximity, accidents happen frequently, and often with devastating results. Among the possible causes of pedestrian accidents in New York City, some of the most common include:

  • Speeding — Drivers often strike child pedestrians when they are going too fast through residential areas.
  • Failure to Maintain Vehicle — Drivers may cause crashes because they did not properly maintain their vehicles, causing sudden mechanical issues.
  • Defective Highways — Governmental entities could be responsible for some accidents caused by dangerous highways.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signs or Lights — Drivers often strike pedestrians when they do not acknowledge traffic lights or signs.
  • Distracted Driving — Drivers may not see pedestrians when they are distracted by cell phones, climate controls, or in-vehicle navigation systems.
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) — Drivers who cause accidents because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol will often face criminal charges, but such cases are completely separate from civil actions.
  • Improper or Illegal Turns — Drivers who perform certain unauthorized turns can inadvertently strike child pedestrians.
  • Inclement Weather — Any kind of unfavorable weather makes pedestrians more difficult to see, especially children.
  • Reckless Driving — A person commits the offense of reckless driving if they drive a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
  • Driver Fatigue — Drivers who are struggling to stay awake can be more likely to cause pedestrian accidents.
  • Defective Parts — Some vehicles malfunction because certain parts fail, and manufacturers can be liable for defective parts.
  • Other Traffic Violations — A number of other New York traffic law violations can also cause pedestrian accidents.

Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in New York

If you were severely injured while walking as a pedestrian in New York City, Hach & Rose, LLP can help you get justice. We will seek the maximum compensation possible from the negligent motorist who caused you harm. Time is limited to take legal action, so contact us at (212) 779-0057 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation right away. 

 


New York City’s 12 most dangerous spots for pedestrians and cyclists

A report by localize.city, a website that analyzes street safety to give buyers and renters the full picture before they move, found that at least a dozen areas across the five New York City boroughs are significantly more dangerous. Alarmingly, in these 12 areas, pedestrians and cyclists are three times more likely to face injury or death from getting struck by a vehicle.

On average, these intersections saw about 238 crashes in the past five years involving cyclists and pedestrians, compared to the city’s average of 75. The researchers found that intersections under bridges or elevated tracks were significantly more dangerous than other streets.

  1. The area around the bridge in the south side of Williamsburg
  2. The intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Wyckoff Street in Ridgewood
  3. The border between University Heights and Fordham around Jerome Avenue
  4. The area between Atlantic Avenue and Willoughby Street
  5. The area between Pacific and Fulton streets, from Bedford to Brooklyn avenues
  6. Lower East Side/Little Italy/Soho: concentrated around Delancey/Kenmare Street
  7. Corona: general boundaries between 35th and Roosevelt Avenues, from 94th to 108th streets
  8. Jackson Heights: general boundaries between 37th Avenue and Broadway, from 76th Street to 84th Street/Whitney Avenue
  9. Flushing: general boundaries between College Point Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, from 37th to Franklin avenues
  10. Jamaica: general boundaries between 89th to 90th avenues, from 164th Street to 168th Place
  11. St. George/Tompkinsville: general boundaries from Jersey to Bay streets, between Victory Boulevard to Fort Place/Taft Avenue
  12. Stapleton: general boundaries between Bay and Van Duzer streets, from Wright to Tompkins streets

The heavy concentration of vehicles on New York City’s streets combined with the low visibility in areas directly under or around bridges can spell disaster for people trying to cross the street, either by foot or by bicycle. Take extra precautions in these areas of the city and call an attorney if you have been injured.

Contact a New York personal injury attorney

If you have been injured as a pedestrian or cyclist in New York, Hach & Rose, LLP can help you get justice and fair compensation. Our team has years of experience handling these types of cases and wants to help you win the compensation you deserve. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 or reach out online to discuss your legal options today.


Halloween and Increased Child Pedestrian Fatality Rates

According to a 2019 study by JAMA Pediatrics, Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights to be a pedestrian. In the United States, children are more than twice as likely to be involved in fatal car accidents as pedestrians, and the risk increases on Halloween as trick or treaters take to the streets. Research shows that from 1975 to 2016, a total of 608 pedestrians died on Halloween night. Children aged 12 to 15 are the most vulnerable subgroup, accounting for 32% of all child fatalities, while children aged 5 to 8 accounted for 23%.

Many factors can contribute to the increased pedestrian fatality rates on Halloween night, including darker evenings, vision-impairing costumes, and negligent drivers. To remain safe this holiday, it’s extremely important to be aware of the potential risks your children might face, and how they can be avoided.

60% of fatal accidents occurred between the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Almost 70% of these accidents took place in the middle of the road when pedestrians weren’t using crosswalks at intersections. Additionally, young drivers between the ages of 15 to 25 posed the greatest risk to child pedestrians, accounting for almost one-third of all serious accidents on Halloween. 

To ensure the safety of child pedestrians while out trick-or-treating, here are some tips that parents and guardians can follow:

  • Young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult when walking around in neighborhoods
  • Both children and adults should put away their smartphones to minimize distraction and remain aware of their surroundings
  • To increase night-time visibility, place reflective tape on children’s costumes
  • Avoid costumes with masks that can obstruct a child’s vision
  • Always use crosswalks at intersections

Here are some tips that drivers can follow to ensure the safety of child pedestrians on Halloween night:

  • Move cautiously through neighborhoods where children may be trick-or-treating
  • Watch for children wearing dark clothing during the evening
  • Young, inexperienced drivers should not be encouraged to operate a vehicle
  • Do not operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol

While Halloween should be a fun holiday for the whole family, serious and fatal injury accidents, unfortunately, can and do occur.

Call a New York Pedestrian Accident Attorney 

Drivers have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians, and they should be particularly cautious on Halloween when children are commonly out and about on busy streets, sidewalks, and intersections. A driver who fails to operate their vehicle responsibly and harms a child could be held liable for the injuries they cause.

Did a distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent driver cause your child harm on Halloween? If so, the New York pedestrian accident lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP will stand up for your family and will demand justice. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or fill out a contact form to discuss how we can help you during a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

 


Dongan Hills, NY – Pedestrian Struck and Injured by Vehicle at Intersection

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Tonawanda, NY – Woman Struck and Injured by Truck in Front of Restaurant

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