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Connecticut Personal Injury Law Blog

Contact with equipment causes most injuries in construction field

As a construction worker, tools and machinery are regularly part of your job. However, it is important to keep safety in the forefront of your mind when you use construction equipment because it has the potential to cause serious injuries. In 2017, over 28,000 serious injuries in the U.S. construction field were caused by contact with an object or piece of equipment. Most of those injuries happened when a worker was struck by the object or piece of equipment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, other common causes of injuries in the construction field include:

  • Falls, slips and trips
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction
  • Transportation incidents

Manufacturer knew baby powder contained cancer-causing substance

These days, consumers across Connecticut purchase baby powder for any number of different reasons, and if you are among them, you may, like many other women, use the powder to absorb moisture or prevent friction or rashes. You may be endangering yourself by doing so, however, as a recent investigation revealed what many consumers and safety advocates have feared for quite some time: that baby powder contains cancer-causing substances. At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we understand that the manufacturer of the product had knowledge of its risks, and we have helped many people who suffered hardship because of defective or dangerous products pursue appropriate recourse.

According to Reuters, the manufacturer of the baby powder in question was well aware that it contained cancer-causing substances, but it neglected to inform the public about the risks associated with using the product. Furthermore, the manufacturer appeared to have knowledge about baby powder risks for quite some time, as three tests conducted by three different labs back in the 1970s revealed that there was asbestos in the talc powder.

Can a car crash paralyze you?

Now that winter has once again enveloped Connecticut, driving hazards have increased and so has your risk of suffering serious or even catastrophic injuries in a car crash. They could be particularly debilitating if they affect your neck and/or back.

As you probably know, your spinal cord descends from the base of your brain to your tailbone. Its nerves consequently give you the ability to move the various parts of your body. They also allow you to feel sensation and pain. Furthermore, they allow your body to maintain itself by breathing, digesting food and eliminating waste. Needless to say, if you sever your spinal cord in a car crash, your injury could paralyze you and confine you to a wheelchair for the rest of your life.

How common is violence against nurses?

Connecticut’s nurses face some of the state’s most hazardous working conditions, and if you are among them, you may understand all too well that aches, pains and illness are all par for the course in your profession. While working around ailing or injured people presents obvious health hazards, today’s nurses are also increasingly facing another type of occupational hazard: violence.

According to Managed Care, more than a fifth of today’s nursing students and registered nurses attest that they have experienced on-the-job violence within the past year, with the violence coming from a number of different perpetrators. Often, those committing violence against nurses are patients or patient family members.

Wrong-site, wrong-patient surgeries happen more than you think

Earlier last month, a young British boy went into the hospital for surgery on an undescended testicle. It was supposed to be a “minimal operation,” according to the BBC. However, the surgeons mistakenly operated on the wrong side.

According to the BBC, the doctors admitted that inserted a camera into the healthy testicle by mistake. As a result, the young boy will remain infertile for the remainder of his life. Tragically, there are hundreds of stories like this across the United States and other countries each year.

Medical errors the nation’s third-most common cause of death

When you have an ache or a pain, you probably book an appointment with a Connecticut physician while feeling confident he or she will tell you what is ailing you and what you can do to fix it. Regrettably, however, doctors are only human, and they, like everyone, are prone to making mistakes. At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we recognize that the stakes are high when doctors make errors, and we have helped many clients who suffered injury or illness due to a physician’s negligence seek appropriate recourse.

According to CNBC, medical errors are so commonplace nowadays that they are the third-most-common cause of death among Americans. Trailing only behind cancer and heart disease, medical errors kill somewhere between 250,000 and 440,000 people in the United States each year, although some believe the real figure might be far higher than this.

Cognitive distraction and voice-activated technology

In an attempt to reduce the number of lives that are lost in distracted driving car accidents and as an added convenience for drivers, many car manufacturers have implemented voice-activated technology in their vehicles. This technology is designed to allow drivers to compose email, text, dial phone numbers, update social media statuses and perform other vehicle functions simply by using voice commands. A study released by AAA looking at distraction and hands-free cellphones found measured drivers’ cognitive distraction while they performed various tasks, including using voice-activated technology. This task measured highest in cognitive distraction, even more so than using a hand-held cellphone. This prompted researchers to further investigate the distractions associated with voice-activated technology.

In this study, researchers asked participants to perform certain tasks using the voice-activated technology installed in six different vehicles. Participants activated the technology using a touch button on the steering wheel. They were asked to dial a 10-digit number, change the radio station, call a contact or play a CD. They were also asked to compose and listen to text messages that were read with a synthetic, computerized voice and a more natural voice. Researchers measured mental workload by evaluating heart rate, reaction time and subjective reports.

Parents, remember toy safety this holiday season

There is almost no greater joy for children than opening presents on Christmas morning – and no greater joy for parents than watching their kids enjoy their gifts. However, as we at Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., are aware, not all toys are safe. Some are dangerous even when you and other Connecticut parents are careful about purchasing children’s products that are marketed as safe and age-appropriate.

Since millions of children across the country will get new toys this month, December is designated Safe Toys and Gifts Month by Prevent Blindness America. Every year, children receive serious injuries from dangerous or defective toys. You might think recalls involving toys are rare, but the opposite is unfortunately true. Toys are recalled regularly due to manufacturer defects, production line mistakes or misleading packaging and instructions. Depending on the type of product, potential defects and the age it was meant for, a dangerous toy can damage a child’s eyesight, present a choking hazard or cause burns. Larger products, like a bicycle or hover board, that unexpectedly break or fall apart, might even cause lacerations, broken bones and head injuries.

The link between road construction and car crashes

Encountering road construction is a common occurrence for most Connecticut residents, but these work zones present numerous hazards that can make them hotbeds for car crashes. At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we recognize that work zone car crashes are on the rise across America, and we have helped many people who suffered injury because of the negligence of someone else pursue appropriate recourse.

Per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the number of construction zone crashes that took place on the nation’s roads rose sharply in recent years. So much so, in fact, that the number of car crashes taking place in these areas climbed 42 percent between 2013 and 2015, highlighting just how much a problem these construction zones continue to be for motorists.

Are hands-free cellphones safe for drivers?

If you talk and text on your cellphone while driving, you are not alone. Approximately 600,000 people engage in this practice at any given moment of the day, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Yet thousands of people are injured and killed in accidents caused by this type of distracted driving. Some have turned to using hands-free cellphones as a way to minimize distraction and still use a cellphone while driving. Yet, a study released by AAA shows that hands-free cellphones are not much safer than their hand-held counterparts.

During the study, researchers asked participants to engage in several distractive tasks while driving. These include the following:

  • Listening to the radio
  • Composing an email using voice-activated technology
  • Talking using a hand-held cellphone
  • Talking using a hands-free cellphone
  • Maintaining a conversation with another passenger in the car
  • Listening to an audio book

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