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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

Motorcycle season is here: Be safe

As the spring arrives, more people will be heading out on their motorcycles in Connecticut. It's a great way to feel the breeze and feel more connected to nature, and motorcycles also get better gas mileage and reduce emissions. Using a motorcycle is an excellent way to get from one place to another, but it's all for nothing if you don't get there safely.

The beginning of motorcycle season is always dangerous for motorcyclists due to others who don't expect to see them on the roadways. Winter conditions often make it hard, and sometimes impossible, for riders to use anything other than a car or truck, but when the snow melts and ice drips away, that changes.

A brief refresher on CT's dram shop laws

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, Connecticut bartenders and their owners should brush up on their knowledge of the state's dram shop laws, as doing so can keep them from assuming liability for an intoxicated person's harmful actions. According to Law.com, the Dram Shop Act is a case law which 38 states have adopted. The act makes it so any business that sells alcoholic beverages, or any host who serves alcoholic drinks, to a person who is obviously intoxicated or close to it, is strictly liable for any harms the intoxicated person causes.

Per the National Conference of State Legislatures, one can find Connecticut's Dram Shop Laws under Conn. Gen. Stat. §30-102. According to this statute, if any business, agent of a business or social host sells or serves alcoholic liquor to an intoxicated person, and if the recipient or the purchaser, as a result of his or her further state of intoxication, injures another person or causes property damage, the state may hold the seller or host strictly liable for damages the intoxicated party caused. Connecticut caps damages in such cases at $250,000, regardless of how many victims sustain injury.

When do you need a rabies vaccine?

It is not common for people in Connecticut to contract rabies; in fact, it is very rare for human beings in the United States become infected with it at all. However, if there is a chance of exposure to rabies, you need to take the threat very seriously because, according to the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania, the disease is invariably fatal. The vaccine protects you from contracting the disease in the event of potential exposure. However, not every animal bite carries a risk of exposure, so in some cases, the vaccine is not necessary. 

Rabies appears to affect only mammals. There is no documented case of rabies ever occurring in fish, amphibians or reptiles. Furthermore, some types of mammals are more likely to carry the disease than others. Among wild animals, rabies rarely, if ever, occurs in chipmunks, mice, rabbits, rats or squirrels, but bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks all may be carriers. Cats, dogs and other companion animals are also at risk of developing the disease if they have not received the vaccine. 

Connecticut man ordered his dog to attack elderly residents

A dog bite or attack that makes the news is usually an accidental one – an incident that was unanticipated by both the animal’s owner and the victim. However, some people are so irresponsible with their dogs that they encourage them to be aggressive and even train them to hurt other people or animals. Connecticut residents who use their dogs as weapons can suffer serious legal consequences, including criminal charges.

WFSB News reported on a harrowing event that occurred earlier this month in Middletown. Authorities said a 27-year-old man wielding a knife and a lit blowtorch allegedly threatened to kill three residents in their home and said he would burn their house down. He then ordered his German Shepherd to attack the residents, two of whom were elderly people in their nineties. One person suffered a dog bite on the arm. The victims were reportedly unable to call for help, since their attacker had locked away their phone.

Underage party leads to charges against couple in home

In Connecticut, adults in a home may be responsible for what the underage children are doing. If alcohol or drugs is involved, even if the parents did not have it in the home, and it is a visitor who brings the substance, the adults could legally be liable. 

This was highlighted earlier this month by Danbury Daily Voice when an underage girl was found semi-conscious in a home while the couple was upstairs, possibly unaware of what the teens were doing or what they had snuck in. When law enforcement arrived at a home in Bedford, several dozen teens ran from the premises and an unresponsive 16-year-old girl was found. Once she was transferred to the local hospital, test results showed she had smoked marijuana and consumed large amounts of alcohol.

Motor vehicle crashes and extreme cold

There are all sorts of weather-related hazards to watch out for while behind the wheel, such as strong winds which knock tree limbs onto the road and heavy rain that interferes with visibility. During the winter months, many parts of the country face especially dangerous conditions due to snow and ice. Moreover, this winter has brought extremely cold temperatures to many states, which can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. Often, it is smart to stay off of the road when temperatures are very cold and it is snowing heavily.

First of all, extreme cold can make the roads very icy. When temperatures are warmer, snow and ice on the roadway may melt, especially when roads are regularly plowed and maintained. However, sub-zero temperatures can lead to unavoidable ice formation and this can be deadly. Aside from the different ways in which extreme cold can affect road conditions, it can also be dangerous to be outside in these temperatures. Following an accident, or after becoming stranded because a car quits running, people may be at risk of hypothermia due to life-threatening cold.

Medical care is a necessity for dog bite injuries

Dog bites are particularly dangerous for children, who are more likely to be bitten than adults or the elderly. They're smaller in stature and may not know how to approach a dog carefully or when to back away, so children are much more likely to put themselves in danger.

Since children are fairly short, it is more likely that a dog will bite them on their faces. This can be extremely damaging to the child, resulting in disfigurement, possible blindness and other serious complications.

What if you were bitten by a dog on the job?

Connecticut workers like you often do your job directly in the client's home. Whether you are a painter, someone who installs appliances, or a person who does other forms of house or even yard work, you spend your hours "on the clock" on someone else's property. So what if that person has a dog, and that dog then bites you?

According to FindLaw, who takes a look at some frequently asked questions about dog bite attacks and injuries, you could potentially have two separate claims that you can make. The first is against the property owner. When you enter someone else's home to do work, it becomes the responsibility of that property owner to ensure your safety while you are in their house. This may include warning you of a dog's presence, or even physically keeping the dog away from you as you work. If these requirements are not satisfied, they can be held liable for your injuries.

Learn how to fall to reduce the chance of serious injury

You can take all the precautions you like, such as wearing non-slip shoes, watching your step and keeping your path clear of obstacles, but the fact remains that you are likely to slip, trip or tumble your way to an injury at least once in your life. At the law office of Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C., we know that regardless of fault, you and other Connecticut residents can learn the right way to fall so your resulting injuries may be less severe.

It’s important to know how to properly fall, according to the AARP. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that falls are the main cause of traumatic brain injury above other accident types. A professional stuntwoman, who makes a living by crashing and falling, offers the following tips for falling with style – or at least a little more safely:

  • Roll as you fall to soften the impact.
  • Your instinct will be to tense up as you fall, but try to bend your knees and elbows.
  • Tuck your chin into your chest if falling backwards, or turn your head to the side to protect your face if falling forward.
  • Try to land on the meaty muscles of your buttocks, thighs or back, instead of bone.

How do you stand your ground against trucking companies?

Connecticut residents like you have a lot to lose in a crash with a commercial truck. Not only will you be the one sustaining the most damage, but you will also be up against the defense of the trucking company. Loughlin Fitzgerald, P.C., is here to help guide you through these tough times as you seek fair compensation.

Trucking companies have a lot of power behind them, and this translates to a lot of hurdles for you when you're seeking compensation for your injuries. Companies often want to avoid having to pay large sums of money. They also don't want the black spot of being responsible for a crash on their record, especially if serious or even lethal injuries had occurred.

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