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New Haven Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Reviewing Connecticut's wrongful death statute

The days and months immediately following the unexpected loss of a loved one in New Haven can be extremely difficult to bear. Those going through them may want to do anything but think about the circumstances that may have led to the deaths of their family members or friends. Yet when questions remain regarding how one might have died, those closest to the decedent may feel compelled to look into matters further to understand what exactly may have happened. If it is revealed that a person's death was due to the negligent or reckless actions of another, those most affected by it may want the chance to hold the responsible party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit

The question then becomes how long after one's death can his or her representative initiate such action? Connecticut's wrongful death statute is spelled out in Section 52-555 of the state's General Statutes. It says that any action meant to recover damages for a person's wrongful death must be initiated within either two years of his or her passing, and five years from the date of the act or omission that led to his or her death. 

Man killed by drunk driver day after Christmas

While January is in full swing now, the memories made during the recent holiday season should still be fresh in the minds of Connecticut residents. For most people, the expectation is that these memories are good ones. For some, however, these memories are filled with tragedy, loss and disbelief. Such is likely the experience of the friends and family of one man from South Bound Brook.

The Connecticut resident was driving in his Volkswagen car along a stretch of Highway 202 in Hunterdon County in New Jersey on the day after Christmas when he was involved in an accident. The incident occurred in the late afternoon on Tuesday and was caused when a pickup truck crashed into the Volkwagen. Reports indicate that a third vehicle was also hit but it is not known if that vehicle was hit by the truck directly or if the impact of the truck on the VW pushed the VW into the third vehicle.

What damages may be compensable after a car accident?

Going about your daily activities may bring you a sense of comfort. Having a routine may allow you to plan your days or weeks ahead of time while also helping you reduce stress by staying on schedule. However, you cannot plan for every occurrence, and in some cases, you may find yourself involved in a serious accident that results in your suffering injuries.

Injuries from a car accident can severely throw off your routine. Not only may you lose the ability to complete many of your planned tasks, but you could also suffer financially due to unexpected medical expenses and other monetary damages. Luckily, you do have options for seeking compensation for these and other damages, and if you wish to plan for such action, gaining reliable information may prove useful.

Understanding occupational hearing loss

Are you finding that lately, you are constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves? Many think that hearing loss is something that just happens over time. However, many of those in New Haven that we here at The Law Office of George H. Romania have worked with have been shocked to discover that their jobs may be why they have become hard of hearing. Much like with a harmful chemical or substance, over-exposure to noise in the workplace can eventually take a toll on you and your ears. Occupational hearing loss may entitle you to workers' compensation to help pay for its affects. 

Just how big of a problem is occupational hearing loss? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that it is to blame for nearly a quarter of all documented cases of hearing loss in the U.S. Units of noise are measured in decibels, with 0 dB being the threshold at which you can hear something and 140 dB the threshold that you can hear something without experiencing ear pain. For a sense of context, consider the following decibel levels and their equivalent real-world manifestations: 

  • 20 dB - A silent study room
  • 40 dB - A soft whisper from 5 ft away
  • 60 dB - Regular conversation from 3 ft away
  • 80 dB - A freight train from 100 ft away
  • 100 dB - A construction site
  • 130 dB - A jet taking off from 200 ft away

How does alcohol affect driving skills?

The holidays always bring plenty of opportunities for making merry in Connecticut, and several opportunities to drink and drive. Despite the DUI checkpoints, repeated public service warnings not to drink and drive and the availability of ride-share programs to see drinkers home, they may still be tempted to get behind the wheel after having “just a few,” putting you and others on the road in danger. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol weakens brain function, impairing one's ability to reason, think and react. The body quickly absorbs alcohol into the bloodstream, where it builds up until the liver is able to process it. The buildup is known as blood alcohol concentration, and a BAC limit of 0.08 percent or more earns DUI drivers an arrest in all 50 states. But that doesn’t mean alcohol doesn't impair a driver in lower amounts. In fact, more than 2,000 were killed in crashes that involved a driver with a BAC between 0.01 and 0.07 percent.

New Haven property owners are liable for icy sidewalks

Snow may make for beautiful scenery around New Haven, but the icy sidewalks it leaves behind are never as welcome a view. Just about everyone dreads having to navigate ice-encrusted walkways, parking lots and other slippery winter surfaces, mentally bracing for what they know can happen in a split second—a slip and fall. Hopefully, it is only someone's ego that gets bruised, but injuries can occur, too.

According to a News 8 story, it is the responsibility of the property owner or business to keep sidewalks abutting their property clear of snow and ice. The city tries to help with these tasks, taking a neighborly approach to aid property owners in keeping up with shoveling by allowing city Public Works employees to pitch in.

Life after a traumatic brain injury

Regardless of the cause, life after a traumatic brain injury can become challenging in a plethora of ways. Because not all of these challenges are visible, many of those who have experienced a TBI silently struggle. There are, however, many resources for Connecticut residents dealing with such obstacles, including rehabilitation facilities and even at-home approaches to finding peace of both body and mind.

BrainLine, a project dedicated to helping those with traumatic brain injuries, recognizes the many symptoms that can occur after such a serious accident. In an article on behavioral and emotional symptoms, the organization shares that each person's experiences are unique -- therefore, recovery methods can differ depending on the patient. BrainLine explains that the frontal lobe in particular can affect one's personality and control over emotions. Sudden changes in mood, risky behavior and verbal or physical outbursts are just some of the problems people with TBI can experience. Yet instead of simply accepting these shifts, BrainLine points out that consultations with neuropsychologists and behavioral therapists are ideal options. In these consultations, one can directly address unique symptoms and behavioral changes.

Did your work make you sick? You could get workers' compensation

Many Connecticut readers know that they could have a rightful claim to financial compensation through the workers' compensation system if they are hurt at work. You may be fully aware of your right to seek these benefits for a work-related injury, but you may not know that you could get these benefits for an occupational illness as well. 

Occupational illnesses are sicknesses that happen because of toxic exposure or other factors present in the workplace. Workers who become sick due to their work need medical care and time to recover, and workers' compensation benefits can offer that to you. If you believe that you have a rightful claim to this type of financial support because of your job, you would be wise to act quickly to initiate the claims process.

Can I file a personal injury claim if I think I suffered whiplash

If someone was negligent and caused your fall and resulting injury, it may be possible to make a claim in Connecticut and even file a lawsuit if necessary. Of course, medical evidence will be necessary to prove a case of whiplash as well as the extent of your personal injury damages.

It is often best to seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible after your trauma, but certainly if you feel discomfort.

Could driving with a pet pose too many risks?

Bringing the dog along is never a bad idea -- unless the beloved fluffy one is rambunctious in the vehicle. While cell phones and various dashboard gadgets commonly cause drivers to become distracted, pets have also posed serious risks on the road. Some experts urge pet owners in Connecticut to be especially aware of these risks for a number of reasons, the first being safety for all passengers. 

News 8 released a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association that showed an alarming number of drivers are distracted by pets in some way. The cause? According to AAA, 52 percent of the drivers in the survey admitted to petting their dog while driving. 17 percent of dogs on-the-go sit in their owners' laps. Furthermore, 13 percent of surveyed drivers give food or treats to their pets. Amidst the rising roadway deaths in 2017, News 8 shares the concern that pet owners are becoming increasingly distracted, as well. There may be options to taming four-legged friends in the backseat, including dog seatbelts, but oftentimes it is the owner who encourages unruly behavior.

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