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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

Social hosts can be held liable for their guests' mistakes

As a social host, it is important to monitor the way people are acting at your home. If you are a visitor on a property, keep in mind that the host could be held responsible for your actions. For that reason, you should be respectful and try not to get too intoxicated or to cause other problems for the host.

Whether it's New Year's Eve or just a random party, the social host is liable for how much people at the party drink. Social hosts have the right to limit their guests, and should limit their guests, to prevent them from getting drunk or leaving the premises while intoxicated.

What is myocardial contusion?

The sudden impact of the human chest against a steering wheel in an automobile collision is cause for concern. Connecticut auto accidents can result in any number of injuries, but the impact on your heart should be one of your top worries following an auto accident. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, you might suffer problems or even a fatal heart problem later on.

Heathline explains that the impact of the body in a car accident may result in a myocardial contusion. This is basically a bruising of the heart muscle, and is caused by a blunt impact or application of pressure to the heart. This can happen by being in a car during an auto accident, or if a person is struck by a car. Sometimes a fall from a great height, such as twenty feet up, can produce a myocardial contusion.

Falls the leading cause of fatal, nonfatal injury among seniors

While certain factors, among them icy sidewalks, cluttered store aisles and slick surfaces, have the capacity to make anyone fall down, Connecticut’s older residents face an elevated risk of falling and injuring themselves when such environmental factors exist. At Loughlin Fitzgerald, P.C., we recognize that when home and business owners are negligent, they endanger everyone, but today’s older Americans typically have other risk factors in play that make them even more likely to suffer a fall-related injury.

Per the National Council on Aging, today’s seniors are experiencing slip-and-fall accidents at alarming rates, and so much so that falls have become the single biggest cause of fatal injuries, nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions among this population. In addition to affecting you physically, falls also take an emotional toll on many older Americans, and in some cases, they make seniors less likely to move about and socialize.

Learn about Drowsy Driving Prevention Week before travel season

At the law office of Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C., we hope every Connecticut resident gets to enjoy the holidays safely with their loved ones, whether they are staying in town or traveling out of state. Weather conditions and busy highways are two major hazards you might encounter this winter when traveling to see family, but you might also be in danger from fatigued drivers.

For this reason, the National Sleep Foundation and the National Safety Council have designated this week, November 4 through 11, as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. You can learn all you can about this serious driving hazard just before the hectic holiday season begins.

Understanding Connecticut’s social host law

At Loughlin Fitzgerald PC, we understand that underage drinking poses a significant ongoing problem in Connecticut and across the nation. But did you know that you could be held legally responsible if you allow your child or his or her friends to possess alcohol at your home?

As explained by the Beverage Journal, Connecticut’s social host law, enacted in 2012, prohibits you from recklessly or with criminal negligence allowing anyone on your property under the age of 21 to possess alcohol. In addition, it likewise requires you to make reasonable efforts to stop any such underage person from possessing or consuming alcohol in your home. If prosecuted for and convicted of this social host crime, you could face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

What should you know about dog bites and children?

Children in Connecticut are naturally curious about animals and may not realize the potential danger that a dog can pose. Knowing the facts about dog bites, how and when they occur, as well as the physical and psychological damage they can cause, can help you to protect your child.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most dog bites come from an animal known to the child, either a pet belonging to neighbors or relatives or a dog belonging to the child's family. It is less common for a child to receive a bite from a strange dog. Most dog bites on children occur during the hours after school lets out, between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. Despite the public's misconceptions about dangerous dog breeds, any type of dog has the potential to bite a child.

Surviving dependents have rights after a fatal Connecticut crash

Motor vehicles are a major source of convenience, allowing people the freedom and independence to travel anywhere they wish with a little bit of planning and gas money. Most people in Connecticut depend on motor vehicles to make their daily commute to work, run errands and care for their families.

All too often, drivers don't consider the potential risks before they get behind the wheel. After all, most people arrive safely. For a small fraction of people, a standard drive can turn into something tragic or even fatal. Crashes that result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities are not common, but they do happen every day. For those who lose a loved one to a deadly crash, there is the potential to seek compensation and justice if the other driver was responsible for the collision.

What to know about house parties

Whether it's for fun, for the holidays, or for celebrations, it's not uncommon to find people throwing parties in Connecticut. Sometimes, drinking may be involved. There might even be minors drinking, which some households allow for during the holidays and so on. How does social liability tie into that?

First of all, FindLaw defines a social host as someone who provides alcohol to others without having a serving license. In some cases, the social host can be held liable for minors who drink at their event, or for giving alcohol to people who are already too intoxicated and shouldn't be given more to drink.

Driver strikes father and son on sidewalk

People in Connecticut should be able to walk along a sidewalk without fear of getting hit by a car or other vehicle. Assumptions like this, however, rely on drivers to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly and with the care of others in mind. Unfortunately, there are too many people who fail to consider the safety of others and even of themselves when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

One example of this can be seen in an accident that took place recently in Thomaston. According to NBC Connecticut, a man and his son, who is a minor, were walking on a sidewalk near a gas station when they were suddenly hit by a sports-style passenger car. The driver of the vehicle did not apparently stop upon hitting the two pedestrians as reports indicate it only stopped after hitting a sign at the gas station. 

Taking selfies while driving leads to deadly accidents

More than 3,450 people lost their lives in 2016 and thousands more across the United States were seriously injured as a result of  distracted driving accidents. This includes talking and texting on a cellphone while behind the wheel. Yet people in Connecticut and throughout the country continue to engage in this deadly activity. If simply talking or texting on a cellphone while driving isn’t enough, drivers who take selfies of themselves while behind the wheel act as an even greater risk to pedestrians, bicyclists and everyone else on the road. People risk their lives and the lives of others in order to take a pic and upload it to their profile. 

Taking a selfie while driving requires motorists to remove their hands from the steering wheel to hold the phone in the right position to take the perfect picture. Furthermore, drivers must take their eyes off the road to set up the picture and push the right prompts to engage the camera setting on the phone. Lastly, while the brain is concentrating on taking a picture, it is unable to focus on the road and other driving hazards. Taking selfies and uploading them to social media websites while driving involves manual, visual and cognitive distractions.

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