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Norwich Personal Injury Law Blog

Hit-and-run laws and associated penalties

Drivers in Connecticut are required to stop and share information when they are involved in an accident in which there are injuries. When they do not do this, it is considered to be a hit-and-run violation, and the state of Connecticut has strict penalties for those who break the associated laws.

According to FindLaw, there are a number of steps a driver should take when a crash occurs that involves other vehicles and occupants. He or she should first pull over in a safe place and then do the following:

  • Call for help and provide first aid if there are any injuries
  • Share information, such as name and number, insurance information and driver's license, with other drivers
  • Speak with police so there is an official record of the accident
  • Contact insurance company
  • Talk with witnesses and gather their contact information

Motorcycle safety tips

Riders of motorcycles in Connecticut can attest to the fact they are fuel efficient and fun to ride. However, motorcycles are involved in more serious accidents than other motor vehicles, so riders should be aware of how to be safer on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents result in death 27 times more than accidents involving cars and other motor vehicles. NHTSA reports that all drivers need to cooperate and share the road in a safe manner, but there are specific things that motorcyclists can do to reduce the amount and severity of accidents.

Minimal drinking with maximum risk

Drivers in Connecticut may not even be aware when they are driving with an illegal amount of alcohol in their system. With a legal limit of only .08, it does not take many drinks for one to be impaired, and this can result in major consequences.

According to Business Insider, food content can affect how alcohol affects someone's alcohol levels, but that for an average 100-pound woman she may not even be able to drink much more than one alcoholic beverage in an hour's time before she is over the limit. Men can typically drink a little more before becoming impaired, but it still does not take very much.

Can I lose my Connecticut CDL if I am in a truck accident?

As a Connecticut driver with a commercial driver's license or CDL, you already know that you are held to a different standard from other drivers. You must take greater precautions with safety, maintain a cleaner driving record, and know the hazards of your commercial vehicle inside and out. But are standards so strict that a single truck accident could revoke your license? What happens if you are in a collision?

According to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, it depends on the nature of the accident. Being involved in an accident can cause a moving violation to appear on your driving record, but may not be cause for immediate suspension or revocation of your license, particularly if the accident was not your fault. However, regardless of fault in the accident, if you leave the scene of the accident without reporting it, you are committing a hit and run and this may immediately result in disqualification and revocation of your CDL.

What is wrong-site surgery?

You have heard the horror stories and seen the films about urban legends where a patient goes into surgery for a routine procedure such as an appendectomy, and wakes up with their leg amputated. While these occurrences may seem fantastical and completely impossible in the real world of Connecticut, they can in fact happen outside of your nightmares. When this occurs, it is known as "wrong-site surgery."

Wrong-site surgery, frequently abbreviated to WSS by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Biotechnology Information, happens when a surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient, performs a procedure on the wrong patient or performs a procedure at the wrong surgical site, or the wrong part of the patient's body. These sorts of errors can have significant negative impact on the health of the patient, even leading to death, and are classified as negligence and medical malpractice.

What is defensive medicine?

Patients in Connecticut who go in for medical care may turn out to be victims of defensive medicine. This is a practice many healthcare practitioners use to protect themselves from getting sued. Fearful of missing something, they over-order tests and procedures that are completely unnecessary which is bad for the patients, physicians and healthcare costs.

According to Forbes, defensive medicine is very common, with almost three-quarters of physicians practicing it. Along with avoiding lawsuits, some of the reasons doctors are ordering unnecessary tests and medications are because they are overworked or are unfamiliar with the patients and their backgrounds.

Surgical error and disclosure practices

Patients in Connecticut who are planning on undergoing a surgical procedure probably expect their doctor to admit if something goes wrong with the procedure. While medical teams are strongly encouraged to make a full disclosure to the patient when a mistake is made, studies have found this does not occur in many situations. This can negatively affect both the patient and surgeon.

According to CBS News, surgeons are particularly prone to technical errors such as clumsiness or slips. Mistakes tend to occur more frequently in emergency situations, when microscopes are required and when strength is needed for the procedure. Some common errors include accidently damaging a bodily structure, such as a nerve or organ, and leaving a sponge or other object in the body.

Does Connecticut have a dram shop law?

Drunk drivers may be the last thing that you think about encountering on New London's streets. Yet given that fact that local establishments do sell alcohol, the threat of encountering such a driver on the road is very real. This may prompt you to question exactly what role the law assigns to those who furnish alcohol to drivers who later cause accidents, and whether such providers can be held legally liable for these results. 

Dram shop laws refer to legislation enacted to assign vicarious liability to restaurants, bars and other establishments whose alcoholic beverages contribute to a driver's intoxication. Each state has it's own dram shop legislation. Connecticut's is spelt out in Section 30-102 of the state's Liquor Control Act. It states that if you are injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to hold the establishment that contributed to his or her drunkenness liable for up to $250,000. However, the law does that say that in order for it to apply, drinks must be served to an "intoxicated person." This has been interpreted to mean that a patron must have already demonstrated signs of impairment, yet the establishment's employees continued to serve him or her anyway. 

Cerebral palsy and doctor error

When thinking ahead to the birth of their child, most soon-to-be parents in Connecticut are imagining all the cuteness and joy they are about to experience. While most births go smoothly, unfortunately not all of them do. Cerebral palsy is an injury that usually occurs at birth, and sometimes it is caused by medical error.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, cerebral palsy occurs when there is some type of injury to the brain, which leads to a variety of symptoms. There are numerous causes of these injuries, and often the specific cause is unknown. Around 70% of CP cases were due to events that occurred before the actual birth. These include:

  • A malfunctioning placenta which restricts the amount of oxygen to the fetus
  • Infections, such as rubella, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus, that occur during pregnancy
  • Blood-type incompatibility
  • Premature babies

Liability in dog bite cases

Dog owners in Connecticut should keep a close eye on their dogs, as the state has strict liability laws regarding injuries caused by these animals. Unlike some states, it does not matter whether the owner knows the dog is vicious or not, if they attack and harm another being the owner is responsible for any of the subsequent damage. 

FindLaw reports the exception to this liability statute is in cases of trespassing or tormenting. If anyone seven years old or older purposely taunts a dog or makes a move that can be seen as threatening to the property or family, the dog's owner can use this as a defense and may be found to be not guilty for any harm done. 

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