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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

Follow these tips if you see a distracted driver

Approximately 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are directly attributable to the use of cellphones and other electronic devices. In fact, people who text and drive significantly increase their chances of becoming involved in a car accident. This means that it is up to you to be extra vigilant on the road so that you can reduce your risk of a collision with one of these drivers.

Distracted driving is not limited to those using their phones behind the wheel. Eating, drinking, changing the radio station or even talking to a passenger are also distractions that can take a driver's eyes off the road long enough to have a wreck. Here are some warning signs that you are sharing the road with a distracted driver and what you should do.

Crash of stolen car in Connecticut leaves 1 dead and others hurt

Two young men presumably stole a vehicle from New Britain, Connecticut, on Saturday. By Tuesday, one of the young men was dead and the other could be facing charges due to a collision with two other vehicles at a stoplight in an apparent attempt to evade authorities in Hamden. 

The current condition of the 19-year-old driver of the stolen SUV remains unknown at this time, but his 25-year-old associate, who sat in the back of the vehicle, received life-threatening injuries to which he later succumbed, according to law enforcement.

Who pays for a hit-and-run?

As a resident of Connecticut who has been hit by a driver who fled the scene, you may not know what to do next. Loughlin Fitzgerald, Attorneys at Law, are here to help you get back on your feet after this dreadful incident.

Obviously, the main goal of an investigation in the aftermath of a hit-and-run incident is to locate the driver that hit you. This is often done by the local police, who may even turn to news stations or other means of spreading messages to get help with finding a driver. However, this isn't a foolproof method and there's no guarantee that a driver will be found. This doesn't even cover situations in which no one was able to get a glimpse of the car or driver. It can be nearly impossible to locate a hit-and-run driver under those circumstances.

What is the national minimum drinking age act?

You probably already know that the legal drinking age in Connecticut is 21, and perhaps you know that the same limit applies in all 50 states. The federal regulation that set the minimum drinking age at 21 nationwide may be more recent than you realize, however. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Minimum Drink Age Act has only been in effect for 34 years after it passed in 1984. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act not only made it illegal for minors to purchase alcoholic beverages, but it also made it illegal for them to possess alcohol in public. Nevertheless, almost one quarter, 9.3 million or 24.3 percent, of Americans age 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol during the previous month on the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

These results suggest that federal strictures on underage drinking are not enough to combat the problem, so the states have taken it upon themselves to impose penalties upon adults who allow minors to drink alcohol at social gatherings. Connecticut is one of 30 states that impose criminal penalties on adults that allow minors, which according to the statute refers to people under the age of 21, to consume alcohol on premises under the adults' control.

Winter weather advisories herald a season of slipping

Connecticut residents know that as fall leaves and winter comes in, bad weather starts to creep in alongside it. There can be ice, hail, rain, or snow. Bad weather like this easily contributes to dangerous conditions, and people going outside should be aware of the risks.

The cold weather is an issue all on its own, and weather.gov makes a point of showing just how deadly it can be. Frigid temperatures affect shoppers every year. Many people wait outside before stores open in order to get merchandise before it sells out. Sometimes lines for shops are so long that people have to wait outdoors even after the store has opened. It isn't unheard of for people to suffer from hypothermia or even frostbite in these conditions.

Drive carefully during snowy January through March in Connecticut

Driving in winter precipitation can be challenging. Residents of Connecticut must use extra care when traveling while snow blankets the ground. From January through March, this state sees snowfall averages of 9.3 inches to 12.3 inches per month with the highest totals normally falling in January.

Keeping safe while you are on the roads in these conditions means taking your time and thinking about what you are going to do. You can't rush and get things done quickly when the roads are slick. Rushing can lead to your being involved in a crash. There are several other things that might help to increase your safety.

Will my dog go to quarantine if it bites someone?

If your dog bites someone in Connecticut, it is a scary situation for everyone. You hold the liability for the accident. According to the Connecticut General Assembly, the victim does not have to prove you were negligent or that your dog had previously aggression issues. While you may face a lawsuit because of what happened, you may also wonder what will happen to your dog.

The law requires a minimum of 14 days in quarantine for any dog that bites a person. Keep in mind this requirement is only for situations where your dog was not on your property. If your dog was on your property, then whether it goes to quarantine depends on the officer in charge who can decide to quarantine your dog. If your dog goes to quarantine, it will go to a location approved by the Department of Agriculture commissioner, such as a veterinary hospital, kennel or pound.

The biggest hazards of parking lots in winter

Connecticut winters can be unforgiving in terms of ice and snow. Between the chilly temperatures and the rush of people out and about getting their holiday shopping done, you should be aware of several of the biggest hazards that you could run into in a parking lot this season.

AccuWeather lists one of the most prominent dangers: black ice. Black ice occurs when ice freezes on blacktop in such a way that it can't be seen by the naked eye. This causes vehicles and pedestrians alike to slip and slide across it. Many slip-and-fall accidents occur because of black ice. Stores are responsible for putting out sand or salt to combat these conditions, but unfortunately that doesn't always happen. This could be due to the store owners not knowing that the black ice is there, or due to negligence.

Crashes mar holiday festivities

Residents in Connecticut should be able to focus on the warmth and joy that the holiday season is meant to bring every year. This should include the ability to trust that they and their loved ones can be kept safe when on the roads, whether simply going to and from work or traveling to a holiday event or gathering to be with family.  Unfortunately, this is not something that people can count on.

Accidents do not take a break during the holidays. In fact, this time of year might even pose additional risks and people may be more apt to be driving after drinking due to the increased number of social functions that take place in November and December. As reported by NBC Connecticut, the Connecticut state police are said to have placed 16 drivers under arrest for driving under the influence offenses in the first few days of the Thanksgiving weekend. 

What makes dog bites so dangerous

Connecticut residents who have suffered from a dog attack will likely have a long road to recovery ahead of them. Dog attacks and dog bite injuries can be very dangerous in numerous ways, and can leave a lasting physical and mental impression on the victim.

Health Essentials takes a look at seven things a person should do immediately if bitten by a dog. Outside of the at-home care steps, they also suggest seeing a doctor, which is important because a dog can easily transfer bacteria or illness into the bloodstream through the puncture wounds. A doctor may give a dog bite victim an updated tetanus vaccine if theirs is out of date. Depending on the dog, a victim may also need a rabies vaccine.

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