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Connecticut Personal Injury Law Blog

Are pit bulls a more dangerous breed?

Pit bulls are notorious for their aggressive behavior, which some claim makes them unsuitable as pets. But how accurate is this view, and are pit bulls more likely to lash out at humans and other animals than other breeds of dog? The following information sheds some light on this controversial topic.

According to the ASPCA, pit bulls were originally bred to bait large animals, such as bulls and bears. As this practice fell out of favor, pit bulls were then bred with terriers, who are quite small and swift. This breeding practice was an attempt to make pit bulls more skilled at fighting other dogs. However, in the ensuing years after dog fighting become illegal in many states, pit bulls were often randomly bred.   

Winter is almost upon us. Are you and your car ready?

Any day now, the temperature will dip below freezing. Then the snow will come, and icy roads and bridges. Frosted windshields. White-knuckle commutes. Spin-outs and collisions.

Preparing your car for winter may keep you from being stuck in a ditch or injured in an accident. Take action now to prepare your vehicle for winter driving - any day now.

What should I do if I get bitten by a dog?

Being attacked by a dog is a scary experience. Every year, there are dog bite victims in Connecticut. Some may suffer minor injuries, and others may experience severe injuries that have a lifelong effect on them. Regardless of the severity of the injury, when a dog bites you, it is essential to seek the proper medical care to prevent the bite from becoming a serious health issue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first thing you should do is wash the dog bite with soap and water. This helps to remove debris, bacteria and anything else that could cause infection. It also allows you to properly assess the bite. If it is bleeding, apply pressure until it stops. You can then apply antibacterial cream and a bandage.

Be wary of drunk drivers through the holiday season

It’s no secret that some people imbibe too much during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Not only do they take their lives in their hands when they get behind the wheel, they endanger you and your family as well.

While drunk driving accidents can happen anywhere, we can look to where Connecticut State Police have set up previous DUI checkpoints as a clue to where the troopers believe drunk drivers can be found.

What makes a property unsafe?

Under the legal doctrine of premises liability, a Connecticut property owner has the responsibility of keeping the property safe for anyone who happens to visit the premises. In the event a person is injured on the property and the cause was something that the property owner should have foreseen or was otherwise caused by negligence, the owner could be liable for the injuries.

So what makes a property unsafe? There are several factors, as Forbes explains, that contribute to making a property hazardous. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

Determining if a product is defective or dangerous

Connecticut residents love their gadgets, from ATVs to multicookers, electric blankets and smartphones. If the design of your favorite new tech product is defective, it can cause severe or even fatal injuries. At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we have experience representing consumers injured as a result of a defect or dangerous products.

According to FindLaw, the statute of limitations to file a product liability lawsuit is three years. However, that time may be extended if it was not clear at the time of the property damage, injury or death that the issues were due to a defective design. Product liability cases typically focus on the manufacturer’s design and material decisions and if those decisions affected its safety. It is a defect if the final product has a flaw that makes it unreasonably dangerous to use for its intended purpose.

Focus on teenage driver safety this week

At the law office of Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we know that many hazards confront drivers in Connecticut, from adverse weather conditions to distracted and drunk drivers. We also know that teenagers can be at risk, and they may also cause dangerous situations for anyone sharing the road.

The week of October 21 is designated as National Teen Driver Safety Week, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of death for teenagers in the U.S., above all other types of injury or illness. You might help your teens understand their risks and avoid accidents by reiterating the following safety tips:

  • Always wear a seatbelt in the car.
  • Don’t be distracted by the cellphone, food, music or friends.
  • Never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or accept a ride from a friend who has been drinking.
  • Obey the rules of the road, including not speeding or tailgating, stopping at red lights and stop signs and driving courteously.

Misdiagnosis: A common occurrence?

Millions of people in Connecticut and across the United States put their trust in the medical professionals who take care of them in emergency rooms and in outpatient settings. When people are sick or have suffered an injury, they rely on physicians, surgeons and nurses to use their medical expertise to diagnose their problem and customize a treatment plan. People may be surprised to learn, however, that medical professionals make mistakes, and may fail to diagnose an ailment or could provide the wrong diagnosis altogether.

According to a study published in BMJ Quality & Safety, one out of 20, or 12 million adults, who are seen in outpatient or emergency room settings are misdiagnosed. At least half of those patients were harmed because of the wrong diagnosis. Researchers found that misdiagnosis was often the result of miscommunication. Physicians in these settings may not have a comprehensive medical history of the patient. Doctors may order the wrong screenings or tests or may misread the results of the tests. Doctors are often rushed to see a number of patients in a short amount of time and may not spend ample time with each patient. Some cases of misdiagnosis are pure medical negligence.

Wrong way collision in New Haven produces fatal results

The basic elements of any civil action initiated in Connecticut are a plaintiff and a defendant. The plaintiff is needed to supply the complaint, while the defendant is needed to answer for it. It is important to remember, however, that either side of a civil case need not necessarily be individuals; both can be represented by a legal entity or organization. For example, in cases where one of the parties to such a matter is deceased, an action may be initiated by (or responded to) by their estate. 

A car accident that recently occurred in New Haven serves as an example of where this might happen. A high-speed collision on Interstate 91 claimed the life of a Hamden woman and put a New Haven man in the hospital with serious injuries. The accident occurred as the man was driving home after completing his shift for the local police department. His vehicle ended up being struck by that of the woman, who was driving the wrong way. Both vehicles were damaged so severely that the drivers had to be extracted by first responders. Investigators are still trying to determine why the woman was driving the wrong way on the freeway. 

Determining who is liable in a dog attack

Because dogs are often kept as pets, they can be a part of many people's lives, even if that person isn't a dog owner themselves. Unfortunately, the high number of dogs means that dog-related attacks can happen anywhere, at any time. Here are a few important things to know about dog bite injuries.

FindLaw has a frequently asked questions page focused specifically on dog bite injuries, which affect a number of Americans every day. These questions primarily revolve around who holds liability for a dog bite attack. For example, if a person lives in a city with a leash law and they are bitten while someone's dog is off of their leash, this will usually be seen in court as a sign of the owner's negligence. Because of that, they can be held liable. On the other hand, many pet owners also have pet insurance. Liability laws also differ from state to state.

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