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Connecticut Personal Injury Law Blog

Risks associated with working on or near scaffolding

Construction sites across Connecticut undergo constant change, and when workers are regularly erecting and dismantling construction-related equipment and infrastructure, mistakes and accidents can occur. Working on or around scaffolds, specifically, presents clear occupational risks, and the injuries that can result from scaffolding-involved accidents can prove quite serious and even deadly. At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we understand how devastating the effects of scaffolding accidents often are, and we have helped many workers who suffered injuries in such accidents pursue solutions that meet their needs.

Per the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, scaffolds are elevated, short-term work platforms that help construction workers, building erectors and others access otherwise hard-to-reach areas. Scaffolds come in a variety of different types, but they can all pose dangers to workers if they are not erected, dismantled or used properly.

Do you know how to spot and treat concussions in children?

Children have a higher risk of concussions than adults. Their skulls are softer, and their brains are still developing. When a child experiences a head injury—whether from playing sports, goofing around with their friends or hanging upside-down from the monkey bars—they may incur a mild traumatic brain injury such as a concussion.

Parents should be proactive in recognizing the signs of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in kids. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of guidelines to help parents and care providers identify and treat concussions. So, what are the symptoms of concussions in children, and what is the proper treatment?

Falls the leading cause of fatal injury among older adults

Connecticut residents of all ages face certain environmental hazards that make them more likely to fall and injure themselves, but when older Americans fall down, their injuries can prove even more serious and deadly. At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, LLC, we understand just how much the negligence of others can negatively impact your life, and we have helped many people who fell on private or public property pursue appropriate recourse.

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are now the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults, resulting in more than 27,000 deaths and 800,000 hospitalizations annually. While falls can present obvious physical hardships for older Americans by making it more difficult for them to move around, many older people who fall also experience additional negative effects, such as depression, social isolation and overall physical decline.

Stay safe when sharing the road with trucks

As a driver, you may share the road with large trucks and semis on a daily basis. However, you may not know that it can be dangerous to do so. Here are some facts you may not have known about large trucks and semis that can help you stay safe on the road.

 

When is it time for Dad to give up his motorcycle?

Nobody wants to tell their parents what to do. But as our parents age, they experience changes to both their bodies and their brains. These normal changes can make their activities a little more dangerous than they used to be.

At some point in time, it can become downright dangerous for your father to drive a car. But he is even more vulnerable when he is riding his motorcycle. If Dad has a motorcycle accident, his injuries could be much more severe than if he were in a car -- or if he were a younger version of himself.

Texting while driving triggers a drug-like brain boost

Many drivers - adults as well as teens -- find it impossible to ignore an incoming text message. Intellectually, they know it can wait. They know that texting while driving is illegal and dangerous. Yet they do it anyway.

An expert on technology addictions explains that texting releases dopamine, the same brain chemical triggered by eating, having sex, playing video games and other pleasures. The compulsion to answer the "ping" - and get that dopamine fix - overrides drivers' better judgment. Sometimes with tragic results.

Of doctors, ducks and zebras

When diagnosing patients, doctors frequently fall back on their medical school training to look for the most likely reason certain symptoms present themselves. To most doctors, a cough, watery eyes, a runny nose and a sore throat is most likely to be an indication of a head cold. But among themselves, doctors also call unusual or rare medical conditions zebras, to describe a surprising disease which looks, walks and quacks like a duck in every other way.

As Dr. Michael Aaronson indicates in Common Things Are Common, Except When the Diagnosis Is Rare, is it possible that doctors have difficulty looking beyond the most common causes for an illness? When you are a sick person on the receiving end of one of these shortcut diagnosis, the effects on your health can be devastating.

Birth injuries to infants surface many years later

Childbirth is a transformative experience, whether it goes smoothly or not. Infants can sustain injuries to the brain during pregnancy, delivery, or post birth. If you've experienced a difficult pregnancy or labor, your child may have suffered a birth injury. Some problems are evident immediately, but others show no symptoms until years later. Recent studies have shown that children who sustain a brain injury are more severely impacted than adults, due to the fact that their brains are still developing.

Car accident victims are prone to depression and PTSD

In the wake of a car accident, physical injuries get all the attention. Casts and bandages. Doctor visits and rehab. Lost time from work. But the psychological injuries can also be severe and lasting. 

A recent study suggests about half of survivors suffer serious depression in the months after a crash, and one in five exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If diagnosed and documented, the psychological component can be compensated under pain and suffering. 

Another fatality raises questions about safety of autonomous vehicles

In recent weeks, a self-driving Uber cab struck and killed a pedestrian and a Tesla owner was killed when his self-driving car rammed into a concrete median. Earlier this year, a Tesla on Autopilot crashed into a fire truck.

Despite a number of crashes and near-misses, the companies maintain that autonomous vehicles are statistically safer than human drivers. However, Uber canceled its test program in California and Tesla will re-examine its trademark Autopilot software.

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