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Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyers

Bringing over 75 years of experience to your case with proven ability, dedication and ethics

Walsh Woodard has the highest personal injury verdict in Connecticut in the last 5 years*

Winter Is Coming: Here’s How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Cold Weather

Connecticut winters are notoriously cold and snowy. Snow, sleet and freezing rain can be challenging to deal with on an everyday basis. This is especially true while driving. Car accidents increase during the winter due to inclement weather, darker nights and an increase in holiday travel. Follow these winter driving safety tips to ensure your car is ready.

Four Vital Winter Driving Safety Tips

  1. Have a “winter supply” box. In case of an accident or an engine stall, it’s important that you have the necessary supplies. Have an ice scraper, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and food and water. These tools will help you if you become stranded on the side of the road.
  2. Check tread depth and tire pressure. Make sure your tires are in good shape. If your tires are in bad shape, then you have a higher risk of skidding and losing control of your vehicle. Check your tire pressure with a gauge, follow your car manual’s recommendations for pressure levels and fill up your tires with air as needed. You can check your tread depth by using the “Lincoln test.” Insert a penny into the tread of your tire with the top of Lincoln’s head pointing inward; if you can fully see Lincoln’s head, then it’s time to replace that tire. You can also install winter tires.
  3. Change your car fluids. Some wiper fluid products will freeze during the winter months. Replace your ordinary fluid with “winter” fluid to help loosen ice and snow from your windshield. Visit your mechanic to see if you need to change your oil and antifreeze. Make sure both are rated for winter conditions.
  4. Make sure your heater and defroster work. Without a properly functioning defroster, it will be close to impossible to maintain driving visibility during the winter. Replace your defroster and heater as soon as you can if it is not functioning correctly.

Follow Our Connecticut Personal Injury Law Firm for Future Updates

The Connecticut personal injury attorneys at Walsh Woodard LLC want to make sure you and your family stay safe this winter season. Follow our Facebook and Twitter for more safety tips and winter-related posts. Our firm has extensive experience in car accident cases, so call us if you have been involved in an accident this winter season.

 

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3 Most Common Causes of Injuries on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is an exciting time for family and friends to get together and share what they’re grateful for. Large amounts of food and alcohol are also consumed, and there’s plenty of activity. The Thanksgiving holiday season can also be a dangerous time. In order to stay safe while you’re home cooking or traveling, you and your family should follow these safety tips.

3 Common Thanksgiving Day Injuries and How to Prevent Them

  1. Slip and falls. On Thanksgiving, many errands need to be run, and many people will be out and about scrambling to buy last minute items. Watch out in grocery stores, malls, and department stores for hazards on the ground. These places will most likely be extremely crowded and busy, so staff members will be slower to clean up spills. You should also be vigilant about any hazards on your kitchen floor and stairs in your own home, especially when you have guests over.
  2. Auto accidents. It has been statistically proven that Thanksgiving weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year to drive. Many people will be drinking and driving and not following basic traffic rules. There are also many car accidents due to the heavier traffic. Plan ahead if you plan on driving during this time. Never drink and drive or allow someone else to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel.
  3. Food poisoning. Many people believe that food poisoning is rare, but on Thanksgiving Day, it is extremely common with so many different dishes being consumed and cooked by different people and at different times. Raw meat can be a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria, and it can cause serious illnesses such as salmonella poisoning.

If you are injured during the Thanksgiving holiday, you should consider pursuing a personal injury claim if you believe someone else is responsible. Our firm at Walsh Woodard LLC has experience with representing auto accident victims in the Hartford area. Contact our Connecticut personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation and legal advice that you deserve.

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Am I Liable for Injuries on My Property on Halloween?

Halloween is the biggest night of the year where children with costumes go out to trick-or-treat and load up on sugary treats. Halloween night allows families to transform their front yards into haunted houses or creepy graveyards, and neighborhoods even have competitions to see who has the scariest home. With an increased number of kids near your home, someone might get injured.

What Happens If a Trick-or-Treater is Injured at My Home?

If a visitor is injured on your property, you might be found liable for their injuries if you were negligent. This concept is called premises liability. For instance, if you own the home, you could be responsible for any slips and falls on your front yard that lead to an injury. If a trick-or-treater was injured at a business that you own, you could also be liable if it was found you were negligent in keeping the property safe.

To be found liable in a premises liability case, you must have caused or created the dangerous hazard; known about the condition but failed to repair or warn others of it within a reasonable time; or it is proven that you should have known about the hazard and had a reasonable time to repair  or warn others of it. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Walsh Woodard LLC today if you seek potential representation.

In order to prevent a premises liability lawsuit, you should make sure that you properly prepare your home for Halloween night. You should:

  • Keep your front yard and any walkways well lit
  • Ensure there are no trip hazards, such as cords, wires, or any decorations that aren’t easily seen
  • Use battery-powered candles in Jack-o-Lanterns and other decorations to prevent a fire
  • Use caution with fog machines or dry ice, since these can limit sight
  • Make sure your dogs are kept inside
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Has Public Support for Self-Driving Vehicles Decreased After Recent Accidents?

Earlier this year, a young Arizona woman was struck and killed by an Uber vehicle that was operating in autonomous mode. Once public surveys were conducted after the incident, it was found that public opinion for autonomous vehicles had heavily decreased. Now, in the late summer of 2018, young and tech-savvy consumers are still expressing their concerns about self-driving vehicles and how safe they really are.

Why Is the Public Still Distrusting of Self-Driving Vehicles?

In a survey of over 1,200 people, Cox Automotive (an auto-industry company) followed up in a study in 2016. Since then, public awareness and general education of self-driving cars and technology has grown significantly. However, trust in their safety has decreased.

In the 2016 survey, a few important factors were discussed among the public that helped to support this conclusion:

  • 30 percent of the people surveyed stated they would never buy a self-driving vehicle that didn’t give them the choice to drive themselves. However, in 2018 surveys, this number has jumped to 49 percent.
  • For young people born in the mid 1990’s (Generation Z), backing for fully autonomous vehicles dropped 70 percent. Baby Boomers showed an even larger decrease in support with 78 percent.
  • Most surveyors showed support for Level 4 vehicles, meaning they wanted cars that would drive themselves but still gave the option for them to manually operate the vehicle as well. In 2018, however, most people wanted a Level 2 vehicle, meaning they want driver-assist features but not full automation.

Due to the publicity of these self-driving vehicle accidents, the fear and distrust of the safety of these autonomous vehicles has increased. If you have been involved in a self-driving vehicle accident, or if you would like to stay updated on autonomous vehicle news, visit our website or contact our Connecticut personal injury attorneys at Walsh Woodard LLC today for a free consultation.

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Connecticut Lawyers for Immigration Justice


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is proud to sponsorConnecticut Lawyers for Immigration Justice

A statewide fundraising campaign to ensure the fair administration of justice for immigrant families and individuals defended by Connecticut’s legal aid providers, Connecticut Legal Services, New Haven Legal Assistance and Greater Hartford Legal Aid.  To read more about this important initiative and to donate please go to:

https://www.ctjustice.org


 

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Trial Lawyers Elect New President: Lincoln Woodard

Westbrook – Lincoln Woodard, of West Hartford, Connecticut has been elected the new president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association at its annual meeting which took place on June 4, 2018 at Water’s Edge Resort in Westbrook, Connecticut. Attorney Woodard is a trial attorney and principal in the West Hartford law firm of Walsh Woodard LLC.

The Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association is an organization of over 1,300 of Connecticut’s most accomplished and active trial lawyers. It is a nonprofit, professional association dedicated to creating and maintaining a more just society by preserving individual rights within the civil justice system.

Attorney Woodard was educated at Syracuse University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business and economics in 1987. He received his law degree from Western New England School of Law in 1992, where he served on the editorial board of the school’s Law Review and graduated with honors.

Attorney Woodard has been a trial lawyer throughout his career. He began as a prosecutor in Dutchess County, New York where he spent his last two years trying cases in the domestic violence and sex crimes division and serving on the Child Protection Committee Task Force. He returned to Connecticut with his family in 1997 and has practiced exclusively in civil litigation since that time. Mr. Woodard has been an active member of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers having served on the Executive Committee, Board of Governors, Continuing Legal Education and Public Relations Committees among others.

He is board-certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 2007. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and since 2009 has been selected by his peers in the Connecticut Magazine Super Lawyers publication. He is also a member of the Hartford County Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice.

For additional information, please contact Joan Maloney, CTLA Executive Director, at (860) 522-4345.

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Different Types and Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are responsible for thousands of deaths and injuries each year. Statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that truck accidents killed 4,317 people during 2016. Countless others suffer life-altering injuries from these accidents. Statistics on truck accidents are not surprising once you consider that a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

In Connecticut and across the US, there are common factors that may lead to various types of truck accidents. The different types of truck accidents and their causes include:

  1. Drowsy driving accidents. Due to long hours on the road and other factors, commercial truck drivers can suffer drowsiness while driving. Drowsy driving accidents can occur when truck drivers violate hours of service rules. These rules dictate how long commercial truckers can work or operate their vehicles. Obstructive sleep apnea, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications may also contribute to drowsy driving accidents.
  2. Accidents caused by unsafe driving. Certain driving habits can cause truck accidents. Commercial truck drivers are more likely to crash if they are distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Speeding is a major cause of commercial truck accidents. Truckers can also cause accidents if they perform unsafe lane changes.
  3. Lost load accidents. Debris can fall from commercial trucks and hit other drivers. Motorists can also hit truck debris on the road. These types of accidents can happen when loads are not properly secured.
  4. Rollover accidents. There are a few reasons rollover accidents can occur. Cargo loads may shift while truck drivers are making turns. This could lead to a rollover accident. In other cases, commercial trucks can jackknife during slippery road conditions. Jackknifing, which may lead to a rollover accident, is where the trailer bends into a “V” shape towards the truck cabin.
  5. Underride accidents. Motor vehicles can be sheered in half if they pass underneath the back or side of a truck’s trailer. Underride incidents are an especially gruesome type of truck accident that often leads to fatalities. Truckers may cause this type of accident by suddenly hitting the brakes. Weak rear-underride guards can also lead to underride crashes.
  6. Accidents caused by mechanical failure. Poorly maintained trucks are more likely to cause accidents. Tire blowouts can cause truck crashes, as can poorly maintained brakes. These are only two of many possible examples of how poor maintenance practices could contribute to an accident.

Contact Our Hartford Truck Accident Attorneys with Questions

Do you have questions about your legal rights after a truck accident? Contact our Hartford truck accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We can help you determine whether it would be possible to seek compensation for your injuries or loss. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call (860) 785-2011 or use our online case review form.

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What Types of Medical Errors Occur in Emergency Rooms?

Millions of people in the US receive treatment in emergency rooms each year. In fact, statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show there were 141 million visits to the ER during 2014 alone. Emergency rooms are a critical aspect of our health care system, but they are also a place where medical errors may occur. Medical errors can be more likely to occur in emergency rooms because staff may spend less time with patients.

Emergency Room Medical Error #1: Diagnostic Errors

Diagnostic errors are the most common type of medical mistake in the US, but they are especially common in emergency rooms. An emergency care physician may spend less time with patients and may not order tests that are necessary to produce an accurate diagnosis.

Heart attacks may be mistaken for gastrointestinal problems. Meningitis could be confused with a migraine or the flu. These are only a handful of examples. A misdiagnosis could lead to a lack of treatment or the wrong type of treatment. Both outcomes could cause further harm to patients.

Emergency Room Medical Error #2: Medication Mistakes

Hospital staff may give patients the incorrect medications. This can happen when hospital staff confuse two patients or mix up drugs with similar-sounding names. In other cases, staff may provide a patient with too much or too little of a medication.

Another common mistake involves incorrectly administering medications. For instance, providing a patient with an IV form of a medication instead of an oral version of the drug.

Emergency Room Medical Error #3: Poor Supervision

There are multiple types of supervision-related mistakes that can occur in an emergency room setting. For instance, emergency physicians must provide adequate supervision to doctors who are undergoing their residencies. Resident doctors may make mistakes due to long work schedules and a lack of experience.

There are also patient supervision mistakes. In these cases, hospital staff may not properly monitor patients. High-risk patients, such as those who are prone to falls, could suffer serious harm if they are not adequately supervised.

Can I Sue for an Emergency Room Medical Error?

You may be able to recover compensation if a medical mistake harmed you or a loved one. The Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers at Walsh Woodard, LLC can help you determine whether it would be possible to file a lawsuit. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 860-785-2011 or describe your situation by using our online case review form. You can read more about our success with medical malpractice cases by continuing to explore our website.

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Did a Birth Injury Cause My Child’s Disability?

There are multiple scenarios before, during or shortly after delivery that could cause a birth injury. Many cases involve doctors who fail to respond to adverse conditions or injuries during prenatal care. Birth injuries can cause multiple types of disabilities that may affect newborns and their family members for life. The different types of birth injuries include but are not limited to:

  • Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect balance and posture. The condition can be caused when a developing brain suffers an injury. There are multiple ways cerebral palsy can occur before, during or very shortly after birth. For instance, a newborn can develop the condition if certain complications during birth are not resolved in a timely manner. Infections and blunt force trauma can also lead to the development of the condition. Children with cerebral palsy have difficulty controlling movements and may also suffer from an intellectual disability.
  • Brachial plexus injuries: Injuries to the brachial plexus may cause Klumpke’s palsy or Erb’s palsy. The brachial plexus is a nerve bundle that runs along the fingers, arms and spinal cord. With Erb’s palsy, the damage is confined to the upper part of the brachial plexus. Klumpke’s palsy involves damage occuring on the lower part. Excessive stretching or force during the labor process may lead to a brachial plexus injury. The nerve damage caused by these injuries can affect movement of the arms, fingers and hands.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Newborns can suffer spinal cord injuries. This may occur when the OB/GYN improperly uses forceps during delivery. Additional medical mistakes made during stressful deliveries could also cause spinal cord injuries.

Can I File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

There are cases where birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice. In such cases, parents may be able to file a lawsuit against the doctor, hospital or other parties who may be responsible for the injury. We discussed what constitutes medical malpractice in Connecticut on last month’s blog. Please see the footnote at the bottom of the post.

The Connecticut birth injury lawyers at Walsh Woodard LLC have experience with medical malpractice cases involving birth injuries. We could help you determine whether medical malpractice may have occurred.

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How Can Parents Pick Out the Right Car Seat for Their Children?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that car accidents are a leading cause of death in the US for children 12 years old and younger. During 2015, 663 children were killed in auto accidents and another 121,350 suffered injuries. While this is alarming information, there are steps that you could take to reduce your child’s chances of death or injury during a crash. Statistics published by the CDC show that the proper use of car seats can significantly reduce the chances of a child dying or suffering an injury during a motor vehicle accident.

According to the CDC, the proper use of child safety seats can reduce the risk of death for infants by 71 percent. For toddlers between 1 and 4 years old, the risk of death is reduced by 54 percent. Not only can the proper use of seats reduce the risk of death, they can also prevent severe injuries. The CDC also maintains that booster seats can reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent for children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old.

Four Tips for Finding the Right Child Car Seat

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published several car seat safety tips for parents. You may improve your child’s safety by using the following tips from NHTSA.

  1. Pick the right car seat for your child’s age and size. Various types of car seats are made for children of different ages and sizes. There are rear-facing seats, forward facing seats and booster seats, each with their own height and weight limits. NHTSA has a calculator on its website that can be very helpful while car seat shopping.
  2. Perform the installation correctly. Installation mistakes could keep a car seat from being effective during a crash. Fortunately, many areas across the US offer free services that can prevent parents from making installation mistakes. Police departments, fire stations and nonprofit organizations may inspect or install car seats. NHTSA’s website has a search tool that allows you to find these services in your area. You may have to shop around and may be asked to make an appointment.
  3. Register the car seat with the manufacturer or sign up with NHTSA for recall notices. Car seats are occasionally recalled because they contain safety defects. Defective car seats could put your child at risk for injury or death. You can register on NHTSA’s website to receive notices when car seats are recalled.
  4. There are other things to consider. Avoid used safety seats if you can. Used car seats could suffer from basic wear and tear that reduce their effectiveness. In addition, there are certain types of clothing that can prevent car seats from working correctly. For instance, bulky winter coats can reduce the effectiveness of the straps.

Even if you avoid mistakes and select the correct car seat, there are reasons why your child could be harmed. Defective car seats may cause catastrophic injuries or death. If you suspect a defective auto product caused your child harm, then please reach out to Walsh Woodard, LLC. Our Hartford product liability lawyers could discuss possible legal options for pursuing damages against the manufacturer or other parties.

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