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Safer Streets to Reduce Personal Injury and Deaths

Safer streets have been a NYC goal that is a work in progress. That goal aligns with New Year's resolutions, which have long been a tradition in our country. January is a time for review and a time for launching plans for improvement. As personal injury lawyers at Sackstein, Sackstein and Lee, LLC, we focus primarily on helping victims deal with injuries and wrongful death. We can help people hold accountable those parties who have are responsible for causing their suffering. However, in the same token, we welcome ideas for an evolving society with safer streets and more opportunity to enjoy life.

An article entitled "On city streets, prioritize people over cars" published by The Fourth Regional Plan provides a thought provoking overview of past progress. It also suggests a path for future improvement.

Past Progress with Safer Streets

From the year 2000 through 2016, New York City reduced traffic fatalities from 400 to 229, close to a 50% reduction. The city also built 1,200 miles of bicycle lanes and created 15 Select Bus Service routes. Plans include building more routes by 2030. NYC also closed Prospect Park to cars.

Plans for Future Improvement

Despite the significant progress, the amount of NYC street space set aside for walking, cycling and bike lanes is less than 25%. The majority of this street space exists in Manhattan and denser city areas. However, more than 75% of the city is congested with private automobiles, taxis, company delivery vehicles, freight trucks, construction equipment, buses, garbage trucks and emergency vehicles. The result is heavy traffic, air pollution and prevalence of accidents.

Areas for improvement include the following:

On-demand, shared and autonomous vehicles would help reduce traffic, as would cutbacks on parking. Redesigning streets to prioritize pedestrians/cyclists over cars would help the goal of dedicating 80% of street space to cyclists and pedestrians. The city could work on further expanding the Select Bus Service Program and work with the MTA to reduce fares. It could adopt bike share citywide so it reaches all five boroughs. Another effective effort would be to ban driving in Central Park and other city parks.

Are You a Traffic Accident Victim?

A serious car accident can compromise you physically, emotionally and financially. If you believe the other driver was at fault, consult with an experienced accident attorney. A lawyer can find out if a legal basis exists to pursue a lawsuit and recover compensation for damages.


If you are involved in a New York car accident, it is important to understand what New York State law requires you to do.

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, the following are some actions you must take:

When in a Car Accident, Stop and Exchange Information

You must stop and exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident.

Seek Medical Attention

If you or anyone else is seriously injured, call 911 and seek medical attention right away. Keep records of medical treatment that you have received.

Take Pictures of the Accident Scene

If you are able to take pictures of the accident scene, do so. Many people have cameras on their mobile phones. Take pictures of the vehicle damage, skid marks or other details that could provide relevant evidence in your accident case.

Talk to Witnesses

Get the names and contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.

File a Report with Your Insurance Company

Let your insurance company know that you were involved in the accident and how it occurred. Be honest in your description of what happened.

If You Suffered Significant Injury, Contact a Lawyer and Limit Your Discussion About the Accident

You should only discuss the accident with your lawyer, the police and your insurance company. Do not discuss the accident with other drivers’ insurance companies or other parties unless your attorney advises you to do so.

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP we have decades of experience and focus our practice primarily on personal injury cases.


On Sunday morning, July 17, a Grand Central Parkway car accident took the lives of two people and left seven others injured. The accident occurred near 188th St. in Jamaica Estates around 6:30 a.m.

Grand Central Parkway Car Accident Details

Andrew Shakespeare, age 33, lost control of his 2014 BMW SUV when he tried to speed past another car and sideswiped it. The New York Post http://nypost.com/2017/07/17/cops-arrest-suspected-drunk-driver-in-deadly-queens-wreck/ reported that after losing control, his vehicle cut across three lanes and struck a Nissan SUV. Then both vehicles collided through a metal divider, entering eastbound lanes. A woman driving east in her Mercedes SUV rolled her car after she swerved to miss the two cars. Her car landed on the highway shoulder.

Deaths and Injuries

Two passengers in Andrew Shakespeare’s BMW SUV were ejected, Akeam Grant, age 16, and Layon Campbell, age 24. Both died. Akin Grant was thrown from the backseat and died at the accident scene. Layon Campbell was transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he died several hours later.

The other seven people suffered minor injuries and were treated at nearby hospitals. Shakespeare was taken to Long Island Jewish Hospital and only suffered from a minor head injury.

Police arrested Shakespeare after he refused to submit to a sobriety test and charged him with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, DWI and reckless driving.

For Serious Car Accident Injuries and Fatalities, Seek Legal Help Immediately

When a loved one dies in a car accident or is seriously injured and someone else is at fault, consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee can evaluate the accident, identify liable parties and hold the parties accountable. Seeking compensation for damages can help families recover expenses and help an injured victim pay for medical costs due to serious injury.

Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP primarily focuses its practice on personal injury cases.


During a freak accident on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, Munther Abu-Hamea, who drives for Uber and a Brooklyn limo company, had the shock of his life. A pole came crashing through the windshield of his limo and hit his shoulder.

The New York Post reported that between 70 to 100 poles fell off a truck that was traveling in the opposite direction on the upper level of the expressway. Some of the poles landed on the lower freeway and struck cars. Abu-Hamea said it was like an explosion when the pole hurled through his window.

Details of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway Accident

Limo driver, Abu-Hamea, age 45, said he felt like he was in a movie when the pole shot through the window, hit his shoulder and lodged between him and his passenger-side door. Several other poles hit and damaged the limo’s roof and shattered the dashboard.

The accident left him in a state of fear about driving. He thought he was going to die and never see his children again. However, emergency response personnel treated him at the scene, and he safely returned home to his three sons and three daughters. Even so, this type of trauma can have lingering effects, which makes it particularly difficult for someone who drives for a living.

He wasn’t the only driver affected. Poles hit another driver’s car as well. Medical Assistant, Emil Dura, 57, drove directly behind Abu-Hamea but suffered no injury.

Legal Recourse for Serious Accidents

In this accident, the truck driver and his trucking company would be liable for damages if damages met the legal standards of serious injury.

Under the New York serious injury threshold as covered by Article 51 of the Insurance Law, to recover compensation you must prove that you incurred a basic economic loss exceeding $50,000 or that you suffered serious injury. Serious injury is a personal injury, which results in one of the following:

Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

Consult with an Accident Lawyer after a Serious Accident

A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights if you suffer serious injury due to a car accident. Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP has successfully handled countless personal injury cases on behalf of our clients.

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