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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

How to be a safe pedestrian

When people walk along New Haven roads, they usually do not expect to get hit by a car. Collisions involving pedestrians are more common than Connecticut residents may realize, and it is important for people to know how they can be responsible pedestrians.

Many people may not realize that where they walk plays a role in keeping them safe. The American Automobile Association says that it is best for pedestrians to walk on sidewalks. People should typically not walk along streets where pedestrians are not allowed, such as highways. Some streets may not have sidewalks and when this is the case, people should usually face traffic and stay on the far side of the road. When people need to cross the street, they should make sure they use a crosswalk. Some roads might not have a crosswalk, so people should generally cross at a spot with plenty of light.

Social host liability protects your child at others' parties

You sent your child to a party thinking that everything would be fine. You knew the parents as acquaintances, and you hadn't heard anything bad about the childhood friend your child wanted to go see.

You assumed the child's parents would be present, and they were when you arrived. Later, you got a frantic call from your spouse stating that your child was rushed to the hospital during the party. He's in deep trouble now, because he's struggling with alcohol poisoning. You never expected him to get intoxicated -- after all, he's underage. What can you do? What will happen to your child?

Are you liable for alcohol served to minors at your party?

Parents or guardians of underage residents in Connecticut may want their home to be a fun place for people to hang out and have an enjoyable time. However, when someone is the social host of any gathering that involves alcohol, there are certain liabilities that can apply.

As mentioned by the National Conference of State Legislatures, social host liability laws will apply to any host who is both responsible for throwing the party, and knowingly allows those who are underage to drink alcohol at it. This does not necessarily mean that the host has to take an active role, such as providing the drinks or encouraging underage drinking. If they are aware that someone has brought alcohol and simply turn a blind eye, this can also count in certain cases.

Not all dog bite victims are human

Your pet is a member of your family. You would want to protect your children from being bitten by someone else’s dog, and the same goes for your own dog. At Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C., we know that a dog attack against a beloved pet can be just as devastating for families in Connecticut as it would against a human being.

As you know, dog bites can cause significant and possibly fatal injuries for people or pets. How can you protect your pet from being bitten by a dog? The Mercury News suggests that keeping your pet away from potentially dangerous dogs is the most effective solution. As you know, it is not always possible to avoid contact with other dogs when you take yours out for a walk or to the park. It is always advisable to keep your dog on a leash when outdoors, especially if you know he or she might run toward another dog.

Icy sidewalks and the ongoing storm doctrine

No one has to tell Connecticut residents of the hazards that ice and snow present to roads, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and outdoor stairs. Often they spend half of each year digging out from snow and/or ice storms and gingerly making their way down sidewalks and across streets and parking lots to get to wherever they need to go.

Homeowners and commercial and governmental property owners know that they must take reasonable care to keep their driving and walking surfaces safe for drivers and pedestrians. If someone has an auto accident or slips and falls while on their property, a lawsuit is almost sure to follow.

What will happen to my dog if he bites someone?

If you are a Connecticut dog owner, it would behoove you to make sure that he does not bite someone who is on your premises and that he does not escape from your home or yard and bite someone. If he does, not only are you liable for any personal injuries and/or property damage he causes, but he faces death by shooting, euthanasia, or other means.

The Michigan State University Animal Legal & Historical Center advises that Chapter 435, Section 22-358, of the Connecticut General Statutes Annotated  sets forth when it is legal to kill a dog that is doing damage and who may do so. In terms of authorized persons, these include the following:

  • An owner of domestic animals or poultry that your dog is pursuing or worrying
  • Any animal control officer, municipal or regional, who observes such pursuit or worrying
  • Any law enforcement officer, municipal or state, who observes such pursuit or worrying
  • Any person attacked and bitten by your dog

What you should know before filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit

Connecticut residents who have been injured as the result of a slip-and-fall accident often wish to sue the person they believe is responsible for their injury. FindLaw notes that these lawsuits where someone has slipped, tripped or fallen while on someone else’s property are considered to be a type of premises liability civil suit. Generally, the property owner or the person responsible for the property’s maintenance and upkeep is the person named as defendant.

Slip-and-fall accidents can take many forms, such as the following:

  • Slipping on a slippery or wet floor, sidewalk or parking lot
  • Tripping on torn carpeting, a misaligned escalator step, a cracked sidewalk or a parking lot pothole
  • Falling down stairs or over debris when the lighting conditions were poor

Why call an attorney out to the scene of a truck accident?

When a consumer vehicle and a commercial truck collide, the results are usually catastrophic. Considering the scale of the damage possible to every party in the accident, these accident scenes can grow tense quickly. Not only must the parties in the accident deal with the aftermath, the company hiring the truck driver may have setbacks in its operations, especially if the cargo itself suffers in the collision.

The entire situation can sour easily, making it difficult for parties to receive the proper attention they need to recover from possible injuries and protect their rights.

What does premises liability mean for Connecticut business owners?

With the weekend forecast including a major winter storm, this is a good time for Connecticut business owners to review the implications of premises liability. Forbes reminds tenants and owners alike that responsibility for the safety of your staff and your clients rests with you alone. 

Winter's icy sidewalks bring slip-and-fall accidents to mind; however, Forbes points out that other injuries such as those resulting from assaults or exposure to hazardous chemicals can also fall under the scope of premises liability. As the party responsible for your property, you can be proactive in protecting your employees and clients.

How can I keep from being a road rage statistic?

If you are like many drivers in Connecticut and elsewhere, the thought of being a target of road rage can seem terrifying. Few incidents are scarier than being chased down and possibly harmed by an out-of-control driver. It also seems like too many people are impatient and easily angered these days, which might create a road rage situation from seemingly out of nowhere.

Authorities believe that aggressive driving contributes to 66 percent of all traffic fatalities across the country. According to the American Safety Council, over a period of seven years, road rage was responsible for 12,610 injuries and 218 murders. These are sobering and frightening statistics. Is there anything you can do to reduce your chances of becoming a road rage victim?