Will Personal Injury Cases Be Affected by the Coronavirus Outbreak?
Recent news reports claim that coronavirus cases are resurging across the nation. Despite those reports, Connecticut remains on track to reopen. Along with businesses, many courts are also reopening across the state. This is good news for many individuals who have pending personal injury lawsuits. However, COVID-19 has taken a toll that could continue to affect cases in the future.
How Will Coronavirus Affect Personal Injury Lawsuits?
In May, the National Safety Council (NSC) released a startling report. Since the beginning of the pandemic, motor vehicle fatality rates jumped 14 percent. This is surprising considering traffic has dropped due to stay-at-home orders.
Safety officials believe this increase is due to an increase in reckless driving. More people are speeding, failing to stay in their lane and driving while distracted. This has already led to more severe accidents despite fewer drivers being out on the road. With states reopening and traffic increasing, pandemic driving habits could lead to even more crashes. This means more personal injury claims could be heading to court soon.
When Should I File a Claim for the Injury I Suffered During the Outbreak?
If you suffered an injury during the pandemic, filing a lawsuit may not be on your mind. With reports of offices and courts closing, you may have decided to delay your claim. This is a mistake.
The longer you wait to gather evidence, the harder it will be to collect. This is why waiting is never a good option when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. Also, the statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim has not changed. That means you need to talk to an attorney to ensure your claim is ready to go. An attorney can help you gather evidence and ensure you do not miss important deadlines due to the current situation.
Is It Okay to See My Doctor During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Did you visit the doctor after your accident? Did you avoid the doctor’s office due to COVID-19? These issues are also important to your case. Medical records help prove that you suffered damages due to another party’s negligence. If you cannot prove that you sought medical attention for your injuries, it may be harder to prove your claim.
If the doctor recommends delaying your treatment due to coronavirus, follow those instructions. However, do not neglect the doctor’s orders due to the pandemic. Voice your concerns with your physician and work with him or her to get the medical treatment you need.
Do You Still Have More Questions?
These unprecedented times are making it difficult to navigate the legal system. That is why our Hartford personal injury law firm is ready to answer your questions. You can reach us at (860) 785-2011 or by filling out our online contact form.
Has Your Vehicle Been Recalled for Safety Defects?
Manufacturing or design defects in vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries or deaths. For instance, many recalled vehicles contain Takata’s airbag inflators, which are associated with multiple deaths and catastrophic injuries. The inflators can explode and send metal shrapnel flying into the cabins of vehicles. This is only one example that highlights the importance of knowing whether your vehicle is under recall.
A recent Carfax study found that 63 million vehicles with safety defects are being driven on roads across the country. Although automakers are required by law to inform their customers of recalls, there are several reasons why owners may not receive repairs. It can take months to get a vehicle with a Takata airbag fixed. Takata and multiple automakers have been chastised for not doing enough to facilitate more repairs for vehicles affected by the recall.
Vehicle owners may also not receive repairs because they are unaware that recalls have been issued. For whatever reason, they simply did not receive crucial recall notices from their auto manufacturers. Our blog is going to walk you through how to sign up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (also called NHTSA) and how to check the recall status of your vehicle online.
How to Check the Recall Status of Your Vehicle
To check the recall status of your vehicle, you will first need to grab your vehicle identification number. This is also called the “VIN.” Many auto insurance policy cards display this number. It may also be found on insurance documents, your vehicle’s title or on auto shop repair records. If all else fails, you can also check the driver’s side dashboard.
Once you have the VIN, it’s time to visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. After arriving at the website, type your VIN into the search feature at the top of the page. Search results could inform you of any open recalls associated with your vehicle. However, it may also say “zero recalls are associated with this VIN.”
This search tool covers vehicle safety recalls that are incomplete. It may also display vehicle recalls conducted over the past 15 years. Recalls for light automobiles (for example, if you own an ATV or motorcycle) may also be included. Search results will not cover recalls from more than 15 years ago or completed recalls. International vehicles and very recently announced recalls may also be excluded from the search results.
Even if the website informed you that your vehicle has no open recalls, you should still take action to register your vehicle with NHTSA’s website. Your vehicle could always be recalled later. If you register with NHTSA, you could receive an email notification for future recalls.
What Can I Do if My Vehicle is Under Recall?
If you discover that your vehicle has an unrepaired recall, then it is important to contact your dealership to schedule an appointment for repairs. Automakers are required by federal law to fix recalls at no cost. You could also inquire about a rental vehicle if the dealership does not have the parts to conduct repairs.
If you or a loved one were harmed by a defective auto part, then you should speak with an attorney to discuss legal options. It may be possible to hold the auto manufacturer or other parties accountable for injuries or deaths caused by defects.
Walsh Woodard, LLC has an extensive history of helping individuals who were harmed by the negligent actions of others. To speak with one of our Hartford product liability lawyers, you may call (860) 785-2011 or describe your situation by filling out our online case review form.
What Can I Do to Avoid a Connecticut Truck Accident?
The number of trucking accidents has increased by 20 percent over the last two decades. This is despite newer trucking regulations and safety features.
Connecticut truck accidents are unfortunately common. Whether you are traveling along I95, I84 or a local highway, truck accidents can occur at any time. These tractor-trailer accidents are often catastrophic and can result in serious injury.
Large commercial trucks are difficult to maneuver due to their size and weight. In fact, a fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. A small passenger car weighs just 3,000 pounds. Due to these size and weight discrepancies, passenger vehicle occupants suffer the majority of the injuries during a crash.
Here at Walsh Woodard LLC we know the damage a truck collision can cause and we want to help. While you cannot avoid all truck accidents, there are ways to reduce the chances of getting into a serious Connecticut truck accident. If you follow these steps, you may be able to reduce the risk of getting into a life-altering truck crash.
Steps to Avoid a Truck Accident in Connecticut
Of course, when driving on the road, it is always important to remain alert and vigilant. Keeping these safe driving practices in mind will help you to avoid what can be a life-altering event:
- Maintain a safe distance. Large commercial trucks need more time to respond to dangerous situations. A truck can use up to 90 percent more space to stop than other vehicles. That’s why passenger vehicles need to give trucks extra stopping distance when traveling in front of them. If a truck is behind you, be sure that there is enough distance between you so the driver can respond safely. If you are following a truck and you are too close, you may not be able to respond if the truck driver suddenly brakes. Give the truck some more room to help avoid a crash.
- Maintain visibility. Trucks have large blind spots. Car drivers need to be aware of these blind spots and avoid them whenever possible. Truck drivers cannot avoid what they cannot see. Never drive directly behind a truck or in the adjacent lanes by the cab doors. If you cannot see the truck driver’s face, you are likely driving in a blind spot. Either slow down or speed up so that you are not alongside the truck for any extended distance.
- Anticipate turns. Large tractor-trailers need more space when navigating turns. At intersections, truck drivers often need to swing their trucks through multiple lanes to turn. Do not pass a truck while it is turning. Anticipate when a truck is going to turn and give it some extra room to turn safely.
Contact Our Hartford Truck Accident Lawyers
If you suffered an injury in a truck accident on I95 or anywhere in Connecticut, contact our Hartford truck accident lawyer immediately. At Walsh Woodard LLC, our lawyers have successfully represented individuals injured by reckless truck drivers. We know that the injured need help quickly. That’s why we work aggressively for them. Call us today at 860 -785-2011 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information. We offer free initial consultations so you can seek justice after a catastrophic trucking accident. Call us today!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.