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The loud crash of scaffolding collapsing on Sunday, November 19 brought New Yorkers running to the accident scene. Gone are the days of New York passers-by standing distant and watching. Many pitched in to help.

According to the New York Post, dozens of people rushed to help people trapped underneath the fallen scaffolding.

The accident took place at the Prince and Broadway. People pulled the scattered boards of scaffolding, lifted long beams and metal sheets and freed one woman within minutes. According to one witness, she appeared to have a head injury and injured leg. A total of five people suffered injury, two pedestrians were trapped under the debris and three were hit by it.

A strong gust of wind shook and blew over the shed holding up the scaffolding and brought it tumbling down. The shed was high, about 20 feet tall. The wind caught hold of the exterior plywood panels, which billowed like a sail and blew the shed over.

FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Lonino said there were a total of five injuries and they were all minor.

One man noticed the shed was rickety and took a picture of it to send to his boss. Fortunately for him, he walked away from it about 20 minutes before the scaffolding fell.

High Winds

Other wind damage accidents also occurred on Sunday, which included a huge tree falling onto the roof of a car in Midwood. In the Bronx, a tree blew over and crashed into some parked cars. A meteorologist clocked winds between 40 and 50 miles per hour and stated that they were strong gusts.

For Serious Accidents Seek Legal Help

Experienced personal injury lawyers can determine whether liability exists in any accident and it is worth your while to check, especially when injuries are serious. In this instance, lawyers can determine whether the construction company bears liability for the scaffolding collapse. If the shed and scaffolding failed to meet NY scaffolding law standards, they may be responsible for damages despite the high winds.

Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP offers a free consultation to discuss your accident and determine whether you have grounds for pursuing compensation.

Road to Zero is a campaign by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. In 2015, more than 35,000 people died in traffic accidents, which was a considerable increase in traffic fatalities over the previous year. In fact, the rise in traffic deaths is what motivated a number of government agencies to take action.

According to a DOT article, a coalition of U.S. government agencies is counting down to zero and hopes to achieve zero traffic fatalities within 30 years.

The Plan to Reduce Traffic Fatalities through Road to Zero

The coalition of DOT, National Security Council (NSC), and other safety advocates describe a four-pronged approach to achieving the Road to Zero initiative’s goal:

Education. Education would focus on changing drivers’ behavior with a greater focus on safety. Education begins with understanding roadway rules, but in addition, drivers must be motivated to abide by the rules. Public service announcements, news media efforts along with public events such as fairs and local festivals can educate through displays and tables.

Engineering. Engineering applies to constructing safer roads with a focus on property signals and signs, but it also relates to the engineering of vehicles. Self-driving cars are the new hope of the future and automated driving ranges from partial to total automation. Today we already have vehicles where the driver is in control, but if the car comes too close to another car, the brakes automatically stop. Various companies like Google, Uber and Tesla have developed completely automated cars where the car drives itself and this represents the other extreme. Since human error is the greatest cause of car accidents, self-driving cars may eliminate the majority of traffic fatalities.

Enforcement. Targeting the enforcement of already existing road safety laws to address areas of the greatest violations can help make roads safer. For example, this may involve setting up DUI checkpoints, speed traps for areas where drivers often speed or stopping cars when people are not wearing seat belts.

Emergency Medical Services. Getting emergency medical services and trauma units to the scene of an accident as quickly as possible is vital for saving lives in accidents. In this case, cutting down the response time can make a life or death difference for an accident victim.

When Accidents Involve Traffic Fatalities or Serious Injuries, Seek Legal Help

It is wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible if a family member is a victim of traffic fatality or is seriously injured. Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP brings more than 60 years of experience to every case we handle, and we can protect your rights.

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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