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Hartford Personal Injury Law Blog

Veterinarians promote education to help stop animal bites

The second week of April is dedicated to Dog Bite Prevention. Veterinarians work with clients and their communities to help educate pet owners about the importance of teaching children how to interact with dogs, including both household pets and strange dogs they encounter in their neighborhoods. There have been several tragic incidents in Connecticut that involved victims suffering horrific injuries from animal bites inflicted by dogs.

The Centers for Disease Control reports an estimated 4.7 million dog bite incidents occur yearly. Approximately 17 percent of those are severe enough to require medical treatment. Nearly 50 percent of these victims are children. One veterinary college association is working to remind parents that educating children on how to interpret a dog's body signals can help protect against attacks.

Distracted driving month geared toward reducing car accidents

Along with the advantages provided by modern technology comes potentially serious problems. April has been designated as Distracted Driving Month in order to call attention to the danger posed by distracted motorists who allow technology to take their attention from the road. Every state, including Connecticut, has reported car accidents that can be attributed to a distracted driver.

According to a report issued by the National Safety Council, an estimated nine people are killed in distracted driving accidents every day with an additional 100 more people hurt in these crashes. These distractions can come in the form of cell phones, dashboard instruments, and other devices and options that can take a driver's focus off the road. This year, the Risk Institute has joined in the effort to combat the growing problem by attempting to help understand some of the underlying causes in order to form effective strategies to reduce these crashes.

"No criminal intent" may not rule out wrongful death

As was proved by the civil suit against a former NFL star, the level of evidence needed to successfully pursue a civil case does not rise to the level needed for criminal prosecution. Though a motorist may not face serious criminal charges in connection with a fatal accident, that does not mean that a victim's family cannot seek justice and closure through a wrongful death civil case. Connecticut authorities recently dropped a criminal charge against a motorist who fatally struck a woman in 2017.

The accident occurred two years ago. According to the record, a woman was traveling in the left lane designed for turning vehicles when she decided to continue straight. Police also stated that she was exceeding the speed limit by an estimated 17 mph. When the lane ran out, the driver continued driving on the sidewalk, where she struck a woman who was an employee of a hospital.

Helmet law sought to reduce fatalities in motorcycle accidents

Traffic accidents are a leading cause of preventable deaths. A Connecticut doctor notes that motorcycle accidents are a major contributor to those deaths. Recently, both proponents and opponent of the proposed helmet law recently spoke out about it.

Those in support of the proposed bill were comprised of medical providers, law enforcement officials, legislators and motorcyclists. The Director of the Injury Prevent Center at Hartford Hospital stated that the use of helmets can prevent a fatal injury in approximately 42 percent of crashes. Similarly, a serious head injury can be prevented in an estimated 69 percent of accidents. The bill would require the use of helmets for all riders, regardless of age.

NFL player's dog impounded after it inflicts serious animal bites

Regardless of one's profession, the responsibilities that come with pet ownership are the same for everyone, including ensuring that both the pet and neighborhood residents are safe from harm. Connecticut has strict liability laws that hold the owners responsible for any harm that their pets may cause. Though any dog can bite, when certain types of dogs choose to do so, they are capable of inflicting serious animal bites that often leave both physical and psychological scars.

Recently, there were reports that dogs belonging to the NFL quarterback Dak Prescott had escaped from his property and were at large in the neighborhood. A woman found them on her property, purportedly in the process of damaging her fence. They were able to make a hole in the barrier and reportedly attacked her pet in the yard. When she intervened, one of Prescott's dogs turned its aggression on her.

Could officer's fatal crash qualify as a wrongful death?

Connecticut investigators submitted a report consisting of more than 600 pages that stated that no one would face criminal charges in connection to a fatal crash. The wreck occurred along I-84 last year. Even though no drivers will be charged, circumstances could potentially point to the trooper's death being considered a wrongful death

There were several factors that contributed to the deadly wreck. According to the investigators and several witnesses, the veteran officer had worked a double shift and was reportedly noticeably tired. He was still on duty at the time of the crash. A bus driver reported that the officer was traveling at a high rate of speed without his emergency lights as he merged onto the interstate. Moments after merging, his cruiser crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer.

Car accidents may leave victims with severe disabilities

Being injured in a traffic accident is often a terrifying experience from which most are expected to eventually recover. Sadly, for many victims of car accidents, life will never be the same. One Connecticut woman has been left with what are expected to be permanent injuries.

Police were summoned to reports of a head-on collision involving two vehicles. Though officials have not released the results of their investigation into the crash, the police chief reported that three victims were transported for treatment. One woman suffered critical injuries and was reportedly in stable, though critical condition in the intensive care unit. A family member of the injured woman described her injuries as affecting her lower extremities and abdomen.

Specialized treatment recommended for victims of animal bites

The most common victims of a dog attack are children. While the majority of animal bites purportedly are caused by a family pet, there have been many reports of victims suffering serious injuries inflicted by an unfamiliar dog. Since Connecticut is a strict liability state, owners are held accountable if their pets cause another person to suffer from injuries.

Whenever a bite punctures the skin, the wound requires treatment in order to avoid the risk of infection. The most frequent locations of bite wounds are to the hands, lower extremities and the face. Children often suffer more serious injuries to the hands and face due to their smaller stature. Any victim needs to be evaluated by medical providers in order to assess the degree of injury and receive the most appropriate treatment based on the location, depth and severity of the bite.

A fatal wrong-way crash may be basis for wrongful death lawsuit

According to statistics, approximately 400 victims perish in wrong-way accidents throughout the nation annually. In Connecticut, an estimated 9 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by these types of crashes, exceeding the nationwide average considerably. Those who lose loved ones through a wrong-way collision may have a basis for filing a wrongful death civil suit.

According to Connecticut law enforcement officials, they have limited means for stopping motorists who are reported to be driving against traffic. They are not permitted to pursue them in that manner and must rely on either shutting down the roadway, attempting to slow traffic or by employing studded strips that are used to disable vehicles. Recently, an officer was actively engaged in trying to stop a wrong-way driver by keeping pace with the offending vehicle while in the appropriate lane.

Confused; negligent drivers pose danger of serious car accidents

Traveling comes with its fair share of headaches for most motorists. Along with congested traffic conditions, foul weather during Connecticut storms and ever-present road construction, motorists have enough to handle without the dangers posed by negligent or confused drivers. Unfortunately, even the most experienced driver cannot always avoid serious car accidents that are caused by the mistakes or carelessness of another party.

Connecticut officials were recently called out to the scene of a crash that occurred along Route 9 near the town of Essex. According to the report, the wreck was caused when a 38-year-old man entered the roadway from the wrong direction. Shortly after entering the highway, the driver's vehicle collided with another that was being driven by a 70-year-old man. A third vehicle driven by a 66-year-old man was also caught up in the wreck.

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Adler Law Group, LLC

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East Hartford, CT 06108

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