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. So, how do you prepare your vehicle for cold weather? Follow these winter driving safety tips to ensure your car is ready.
Four Vital Winter Driving Safety Tips
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Delayed Injuries After a Car Accident
Car accident injuries are not always apparent after a wreck. For this reason, it is possible to mistakenly believe you did not suffer an injury after a car crash. Although many injuries cause immediate pain and symptoms, some types of injuries can take hours, days or even weeks to develop. Delayed car accident injuries can even cause permanent disabilities or death in some cases. For instance, intracranial internal bleeding can lead to permanent brain damage if it is not promptly treated.
At Walsh Woodard LLC, we want to emphasize how important it is that you seek medical care after a car accident. So, our Hartford person injury attorneys have created a list of common delayed car accident injuries.
Common Delayed Car Accident Injuries
Common types of delayed car accident injuries and health conditions include:
- Concussions. Concussions, also called mild traumatic brain injuries, often cause symptoms that are noticeable right away. However, they also have long-term symptoms that may arise over time. Difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression and memory problems are also possible. Homeland actor Damian Lewis described his experience with the long-term symptoms of a concussion during an interview with a UK newspaper.
- Internal bleeding. There are various organs that may bleed after an accident. In cases with bleeding on the brain, accident victims are at risk of death or life-altering injuries. Internal bleeding in other areas of the body may lead to similar results.
- Whiplash injuries. Your nerves and muscles could suffer damage from the impact forces of a collision. Whiplash injuries may be extremely painful and even disabling. For some individuals, a whiplash injury can make returning to work impossible.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Abbreviated as PTSD, this mental health condition can severely reduce a person’s quality of life and increase the risk of comorbid disorders like substance abuse, panic attacks, major depression and an increased risk of suicidality. Many people with this disorder avoid others and may have a difficult time holding a job or keeping close personal relationships.
Delayed Car Accident Injuries and Settlements
It can be risky to accept the first settlement offered by an insurance company. For people who may believe they are not injured, accepting the first settlement offered can be a major mistake. You may have suffered more damages than you initially realized.
After a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention even if you believe you did not suffer injuries. Medical records obtained after an accident can help you negotiate a settlement that may help cover your damages in full. By seeking medical attention, you are not only protecting your health, but also establishing a record of damages you suffered during the accident.
When Should Consider Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?
Keep in mind, insurance companies are not always going to offer a settlement that is capable of covering your damages. Insurance companies are in business to make money. They are not in business to offer every accident victim a settlement that can actually cover their damages. For this reason, it can help to have an attorney advocate for your needs after a crash.
An attorney can help with the settlement negotiation process and can uncover additional evidence of who was at fault for the crash and the damages you suffered. In some cases, an attorney may even take your case to trial to ensure you receive the compensation you need.
About Our Hartford Car Accident Lawyers
Walsh Woodard LLC is a Connecticut personal injury law firm with experience handling car accident cases. You can read more about our experience with these cases by exploring our website. If you have questions about your rights after a car accident in Connecticut, then we encourage you to speak with an attorney at our firm. You can schedule a free consultation by calling us at (860) 785-2011 or by using our online contact form.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
Safety Tips For Your Summer Road Trips
In many parts of the country, winter was long and hard. And many of us are not quite done with a cold and wet spring. But summer will be here in just a matter of weeks. Most people are not yet ready to think about it, let alone prepare for it. We’re not just talking about finding and washing the window screens we’re talking about summer road trips. And preparing for summer road trips doesn’t just mean getting swimsuit ready or making hotel reservations.
Americans will be spending hundreds of thousands of miles behind the wheels of their vehicles this summer or as passengers, and why not? Time off + beautiful weather + predicted low gas prices means that it’s a great time to take your motorized old heap on holiday with you. But sadly, a consequence of summer luring more motorists onto the road is more vehicle-related mishaps. Some of them are the result of actual contact between two vehicles. But a surprising number of them aren’t and could have been potentially avoided altogether with more preparation. Read on for some tips on how to avoid summer road trip mishaps, and keeping your trips memorable for all of the right reasons.
Most of us wouldn’t take a trip if we were ill or had broken bones. So why are you doing so with a car with bald tires, a bad axle or dying brakes? Even if “Christine” is in generally good health, make sure that her filters, plugs, hoses, windshield/windshield wipers and air tire pressure are all in good shape.
Yes, it’s probably unlikely that you’ll encounter a blizzard at the height of summer. But severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornados, hailstorms, and flash flooding can certainly happen. Savvy road warriors check weather reports before heading out and take them seriously. Delay trips or get off of the road before bad weather strikes.
The American Automobile Association calls the days when these inexperienced and often inattentive drivers are out of school “the deadliest days of summer”. Use extra caution while driving in areas where they congregate- shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants, parks, and swimming pools and beaches.
You might think that you’ll save time and money on summer road trips by driving at night when there’s less traffic. But night-time driving often causes dangerous driver fatigue to occur. And late hours often mean fewer people to report and respond to accidents and breakdowns that might occur.
Avoid an Increase In Holiday Injuries
The holiday season is a time of year to catch up with friends and family, and it is often a time of travel. Leaving home may seem safe as most accidents occur within a five-mile radius, but the holiday season is often a time when there is an increase in injuries for many. There are a number of reasons this occurs, but staying safe and injury free is possible.
Texting and Driving Do Not Mix
Over the last few years, texting and driving has been in the news for causing accidents. People become distracted while they are on the road, and they forget about vehicle safety. This has become such an issue that the U. S. Air Force has listed it first in a post about holiday safety. No matter how important that text may seem, it will wait until later. Ignoring the phone also allows for defensive driving and watching for road hazards such as impaired drivers in other vehicles.Read More
Hartford Personal Injury Lawyer
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, what should I do?
First, if you are injured, you should seek medical care for your injuries without regard to any potential lawsuit. If you are injured due to the fault of another person, you may well have the right to pursue a claim for injuries or losses against that person, probably through their insurance company. Because every case involves individual facts, your best course is probably to contact an attorney who can help advise you of the particular claim. Before you speak to any insurance personnel, you may want to at least engage in some sort of initial consultation with an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. You should also take photographs of the damage to the vehicles before they are repaired.
You can read more on this topic here
What compensation am I entitled to?
If you are injured in an accident due to the fault of another, you are entitled to the following types of damages:
- Lost wages, profits and future earnings
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Mental and emotional injuries
For damages like pain and suffering, disfigurement, etc. that do not usually involve specific dollar amounts, compensation for those damages is based upon what constitutes fair, just and reasonable compensation. The amount of that compensation is an amount that can be agreed upon in settlement discussions, or ultimately, determined by a jury.
What is a contingency fee?
Most of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee agreement means that we are paid only if we are successful in obtaining a monetary recovery in the pursuit of your case. We typically will be paid 1/3 of the monetary amount awarded if your case involves personal injuries, including medical malpractice. With this type of arrangement, if the case is lost, and no money is awarded, you do not owe us any legal fees for our time.
See also, our Glossary of Legal Terms
Am I responsible for costs and expenses for bringing a personal injury case?
For cases handled on a contingency fee basis for personal injuries, we only require our clients to reimburse our firm for costs and expenses associated with litigation if we are successful in recovering money either by way of settlement or trial. In some circumstances, we do negotiate with a client who wants certain experts retained or cases investigated before we agree to accept the matter. However, in most instances, we only require costs and expenses for personal injury cases to be paid back out of the proceeds of the case.
Will I have to go to Court or testify?
Many personal injury cases settle before a case actually goes to trial. However, if the defendant or insurance company is unwilling to offer money towards settlement or the amount is not reasonable, the case will go to trial. If so, the person bringing the personal injury case needs to be present and involved in the case. If any other testimony is required before the trial, the attorney will prepare you for that process.
What is medical malpractice?
When a patient is harmed or suffers serious illness due to the negligence of a health care provider, he or she is a victim of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a complex area of law that requires experienced attorneys. Oftentimes until medical records are fully reviewed and investigated, it is impossible to know whether someone truly has been subjected to medical malpractice. Please see the practice areas or contact us directly for further information.
See also, our Glossary of Legal Terms
If I am injured, how long do I have to bring a claim?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. For your particular case, you should consult with an attorney to get an accurate answer to this question. In general, injuries for negligent drivers causing an accident must be filed within two years of the date of accident. Medical malpractice cases have a similar time frame, although there are certain circumstances that allow for extensions of the two year time frame. However, in some instances you may need to provide certain notice to the wrongdoers well before the two year time period. Therefore, if you are contemplating a claim, you should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible after the event to preserve your rights.
Is money received for personal injuries taxable income?
In general, damages paid for compensation for personal physical injures or physical sickness is generally excluded from taxable income. However, if a component of your settlement is for lost wages, or emotional distress not tied to physical injury or sickness, or punitive damages, those items can be taxable. We are not tax attorneys and would always recommend that any compensation you receive be discussed with your tax advisor. However, in general, settlements or verdicts that are compensation for physical injures and physical sickness caused by the negligence of another person are excluded from income. For the most recent regulation from the IRS, please see the regulation at 26 C.F.R I§I.I04-1(c).
Glossary of Legal Terms
For our Glossary of Legal Terms click here
Walsh Woodard LLC opens new West Hartford office
Walsh Woodard LLC has relocated the Hartford office to a new convenient location, 527 Prospect Avenue in West Hartford, CT. Please stop by and see our new space!