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New Haven Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

County facing three lawsuits due to deputies' actions

New Haven residents may understand that law enforcement officials perform a dangerous job that often puts them in the path of people potentially looking to do them and others harm. Thus, their use of excessive force to deal with such individuals is often understood (and in some cases, even appreciated). Yet it should also be understood that such force should not be applied liberally, and that those using it should exercise sound judgment before doing so. Simply assuming that it is needed may not be enough to absolve them if they later face liability claims. 

Such a claim is currently being dealt with between county officials in Nevada and the parents of man who died while in the custody of local sheriff's deputies. This is just one of three wrongful death lawsuits currently facing the county over deaths involving struggles with its deputies. The plaintiffs in this particular case are alleging that deputies were incorrect in their use of force against their son, even though he had previously displayed signs of being in an altered mental state. After taking him to the hospital (where he was medicated), the deputies continued to use force in restraining him while returning him to his holding cell. During the struggle, he complained that he could not breathe and eventually lost consciousness. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. 

Texting, driving and the law

In today's technologically-centered society, it is difficult to imagine life without a cell phone. Unfortunately, some Connecticut residents hold to this notion even while operating motor vehicles. Texting and driving has long been a nationwide issue, especially among young drivers. While some accidents leave drivers with nothing more than a mere dented bumper, others do not end so fortunately. Regardless of the severity of the accident, those caught using cell phones while driving could face major consequences.

In addition to cell phones, the Connecticut Post stressed last week that the technology in newer vehicles also puts drivers at risks. More specifically, the infotainment systems that many manufacturers are placing on the dashboards of new vehicles are forcing drivers to take their eyes off the roads and hands off the wheel for dangerous periods of time. A University of Utah professor, who has been examining these systems since 2013, carried out this study that confirmed that the technology boom has made driving matters worse. Along with new gadgets in the car come more complicated systems, which lead to longer periods of distraction. And although the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers claims the voice-controlled systems make driving easier, experts in traffic safety and research from the American Automobile Association state that these aspects have failed to prevent drivers from becoming distracted. 

Significant scarring from work injury is compensable

Scarring or disfigurement can be a very compensable form of damages in a Connecticut personal injury claim. However, some people are surprised to know that at times it can also be compensable under a workers compensation claim.

Scarring has many causes

Some accident injuries may not present with immediate symptoms

Being in a motor vehicle accident can be a stressful and daunting experience. While the damage to your vehicle may be severe, you might have walked away from the incident feeling as though you avoided the worst part by remaining healthy.

However, in the days following the crash, you may have begun to experience pain in various parts of your body. These injuries can take time to develop and may only grow more and more intense as time goes by.

Is the workers comp system creating inequality?

Regardless of the injury, getting hurt on the job can result in an incredibly difficult legal situation; such situations are only an addition to the myriad of physical and emotional distress that can ensue. In the grim case that a Connecticut worker is injured while carrying out work-related duties, certain laws enforce proper legal action. However, receiving benefits and medical treatment at the expense of an employer can be a complex process, especially in situations where employers neglect their responsibilities to protect their workers. To add to these complexities, workers compensation laws have seen significant change in recent years, sparking debate nationwide.  

Workplace injuries are no new occurrence in Connecticut. The Connecticut Post shares some of the worst recent work-related injuries that took place in the state, revealing that more than 180 workers visited emergency rooms between 2013 and 2015. Among the most common reasons for this trip were stairway falls and slips on ice. The Post also makes note of the alarming 60 percent increase in severe workplace injuries in Connecticut in 2016. So, many workers may wonder, are there steps to preventing this drastic increase in injuries? The answer to that question is also complex. Since January 2015, employers are required to report major injuries to the federal agency.

Driver hits man at intersection, flees the scene

Pedestrians in Connecticut have a responsibility to follow laws such as crossing streets in crosswalks. Their vulnerability in a motor vehicle collision makes it especially important for them to follow all safety measures and avoid putting themselves in danger. However, even when a driver sees a pedestrian crossing the street illegally, he or she still has the responsibility to do everything possible to avoid a collision. When a driver is negligent, impaired or distracted, a person on foot may not be able to react quickly enough to keep from being hit. 

An unknown person called local law enforcement in Norwalk to report an accident involving a pedestrian. Police reported that when they reached the scene, the driver had fled. The investigation is still underway to determine whether an abandoned vehicle located by the police may have been the one involved in the collision. 

Workers compensation and ptsd

When most Connecticut employees consider the topic of workers' compensation, they initially think of injuries due to heavy lifting and labor. While construction work and other physically demanding industries certainly see a higher volume of injuries than other fields, lawmakers are recently debating a common issue found in workers' compensation cases: that of post traumatic stress disorder.  

PTSD is a widely known disorder, and is most commonly linked to soldiers upon their return from combat. The Day news focuses on how this type of health condition is also found among first responders, who often witness incredibly tragic events. Referring to state police Trooper First Class Chris Kick, who responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, The Day points out that many responders are left hopeless in the years following an incident. As of February 2017, the state of Connecticut did not recognize mental health injuries as compensable under its workers' compensation laws; as a result, countless workers like Kick were left unable to efficiently work and without state assistance. The bill proposed earlier this year sought to help police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians suffering from PTSD to obtain workers' compensation after experiencing injuries.

I was told I have PTSD. What does that actually mean?

You may have heard about post-traumatic stress disorder when it comes to military personnel returning from war-torn countries, people who are victims of violent crimes and those involved in catastrophic events such as 9/11 or Hurricane Sandy.

You may not be aware that anyone can suffer from PTSD, even those involved in car accidents or workplace accidents. If you suffer a catastrophic injury such as a spinal cord injury, severe burns or an amputation, you may suffer from PTSD as well.

Business owners may owe customers highest duty of care

In Connecticut, injuries that result from a trip, slip or a fall are not uncommon. However, whether there is an actionable claim for negligence against the property or business owner depends on multiple factors. One such factor is the relationship between the property owner and the injured person.

The highest level of duty a property owner may owe a person on his property may be due those visitors known as invitees. Invitees are different than licensees or trespassers, both of whom typically receive a lesser duty of care. Invitees enter the property usually for a business purpose and for the benefit of the property owner (or business owner), even though often for his or her own benefit as well. Invitees can be customers or others present in connection to a business relationship with the property or business owner.

Man sues hospital after falling while visiting relative

It may be easy for many in New Haven to classify those who file lawsuits following slip-and-fall accidents as being vindictive and "sue crazy" and labeling such action as just another example supporting the perception of a litigious society. Perhaps the biggest falacy in this assumption may be the notion that plaintiffs in such cases are simply looking for a quick cash grab. In many instances, the compensation sought is needed to cover their accident expenses. Given that in such cases, they were invited on to the properties in question under the assumption that the conditions were safe, it might be easier to understand why some choose to pursue action.

That is exactly what a Texas man is doing after suffering a fall in a hospital. He is seeking compensation after having suffered what is described as injuries, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life, along with having lost wages and accruing medical expenses due to the hospital's negligence. His claim is that the facility failed to maintain safe conditions by allowing a liquid substance to remain on the floor (and failing to warn others like himself of it presence). He stepped and slipped on the substance while visiting a relative in 2014.

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