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Stamford CT Personal Injury Law Blog

Companies go to court after truck-train collision

Many Connecticut residents likely heard about the unfortunate events in North Carolina this past March, when a truck was wedged at a train crossing and was unable to become dislodged by the time a train arrived. At least 55 people were injured in the resulting crash between the train and the truck, and it goes without saying that those injured parties are likely considering legal action.

But before we tackle that issue, there's the simple issue of "who was at fault for the accident, the train or the truck?" Three companies are attempting to solve that riddle, as Amtrak, the train company, and CSX, the company that owns the rail where the wreck occurred, are suing the truck company (Guy M. Turner Inc.) for the accident.

Study: Up to 37 percent of 2013 accidents involved cellphones

It shouldn't take a genius to know that if you look at or use your cellphone while you drive, that behavior is negligent and dangerous. It also shouldn't be that difficult to surmise that cellphone use while driving increases your chances of being in, or causing, a car accident. But a new study shows that, apparently, these two premises are not as obvious as most people may think.

According to the National Safety Council, which looked at car accidents in the U.S. in 2013, roughly 21 percent of all accidents involved cellphone use in some way. To make matters worse, a further 6 to 16 percent of accidents can be attributed to texting while driving. This yields anywhere from 27 to 37 percent of all accidents in 2013 involving cellphone use or texting.

Motorcyclist killed, other injured after SUV strikes them

A tragic motor vehicle accident claimed one life and left another person seriously injured after two motorcyclists were struck by a 16-year-old driving an SUV. The injured motorcyclist needed to be airlifted to a hospital. No details were given on the motorcyclist's condition, but she did suffer "serious, life-threatening injuries" according to the source article.

Very little else is known about the accident, other than the fact that the teen driver struck these motorcyclists -- who were part of a group of other motorcyclists -- even though they were travelling in opposite directions. Did the teen driver cross the center line and strike the motorcyclists? What was the status of the teen's license? There are a lot of questions that are still unanswered about this unfortunate wreck.

How does a person's 'status' impact premises liability?

When you think about premises liability or a slip and fall incident, most of what you think about is likely the liability that the property owner or manager holds. This is understandable -- but you also need to consider the actions and status of the victim as well. In many cases, these factors often play a bigger role in the case than that of the property owner's or manager's perceived negligence.

For example, there are often four statuses designated to a person when they enter someone's premises. These statuses apply in states that observe the laws that these statuses entail. The person can be an invitee, a licensee, a social guest, or a trespasser. The first three in that list are almost always protected under the premise that the property owner or manager must maintain their property because these people have a reasonable expectation of safety when they are on the property.

Hydraulic lift fails, pins worker under car

Though it didn't happen in Connecticut and while it occurred a couple of months ago, the following story about accidents in the workplace will certainly strike fear in the hearts of many auto mechanics out there. A man was working on a car at a tire shop in Rhode Island recently. The vehicle was on a hydraulic lift, and the man was underneath the car trying to change a tire.

Suddenly, the hydraulic lift failed, sending the car tumbling on top of the man. He was pinned under the vehicle, but survived the incident. Eventually one of the man's co-workers was able to get him out from underneath the vehicle. He was hospitalized as a result of the workplace accident.

Woman's slip-and-fall case goes federal with increase in damages

It's easy to scoff at the idea of a slip and fall being a serious incident. Many people may think "you fell down, now just pick yourself back up!" There's a certain patronizing element to what many people may think about slip and fall incidents, as if they are akin to a 3-year-old taking a tiny spill on the carpet. The victim in the accident is supposed to just dust themselves off and get on with their lives.

This portrayal is such a misconception of slip and falls. They often deal debilitating, and even catastrophic, injuries to the victim who then has to pay a small fortune in medical bills to fully recover from the slip and fall.

How can you prove a dog has 'vicious propensities'?

It may seem like such a simple thing to accomplish in the wake of a dog bite incident, but proving that the dog that attacked you or a loved one was dangerous -- and that the owner knew it was dangerous -- can be more difficult when you are actually tasked with supporting your claim. Luckily, there are some telltale signs that a dog was (and is) dangerous and that the owner knew about the "vicious propensities" of his or her dog.

First, just consider the basic physical characteristics of the dog. The breed of the dog and the size of the dog are two critical indicators for a dog's potential threat to the public.

Wrong-way accident claims 1 life, leaves 2 others with injuries

A tragic accident in Branford, Connecticut claimed the life of a wrong-way driver after the 69-year-old was driving in the opposite lane of traffic on Interstate 95. The vehicle eventually struck another car with the two people in that vehicle suffering serious injuries. They were both hospitalized as a result of the accident.

At this time, it is unclear why the 69-year-old was driving the wrong way on the interstate. The accident happened around 4 a.m. so it is possible that the man was intoxicated. It's also just as possible that he was confused and turned on to an off-ramp. There are plenty of potential reasons as to why the man drove the wrong way. Until the police conduct a thorough investigation into the unfortunate matter, we won't know for sure.

Startling lead exposure in apartment leads to lawsuit

While the following story isn't from the state of Connecticut, it does originate just to our southwest in New York City -- and it involves a premises issue that is pertinent anywhere in the country. What we are talking about is a landlord's responsibility to keep the premises he or she is in charge of in as safe a condition as possible. More specifically, it involves a landlord's responsibility to maintain safe atmospheric and environmental conditions in their building.

An apartment building in New York City registered astonishing levels of lead after a demolition project in one of the apartments kicked up the particles and dispersed them throughout the building. According to a dust measurement on one of the floors of the apartment complex, there were 8,400 micrograms of lead per square foot. The legal limit, per Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, is 40 micrograms per square foot.

Construction accident kills family, work plan scrutinized

In a tragic construction accident that will fill you with outrage, a family was killed near an overpass that was under construction -- but the subcontractors in charge of the project seem to have worked outside of the parameters of their work plan.

On the day of the fatal accident, the subcontractors were indeed supposed to be working. But they were not supposed to be doing anything involving the demolition or dismantling of the overpass. If they were, officials in the the city where the construction was being done would have demanded road closures to ensure the safety of the public. The city confirmed that they had no idea this type of work would be occurring on the day of the incident, though they are still trying to confirm if the subcontractors did indeed go outside of the work plan.

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