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What to do RIGHT AFTER a motor vehicle accident

Nobody wakes up and thinks, "Hmm. I wonder if I'll be injured in a car crash today." But serious accidents happen all the time. It's important to be prepared in case you or one of your family members is hurt by a driver -- whether the injury happens while you or your family member is in a vehicle or is a motorcyclist, pedestrian or biker.

What steps should you take right after a collision? Are there specific things you can do to protect yourself? Are there particular actions you should avoid? Where does the lawsuit thing come into play if the driver is negligent, distracted or drunk?

Distracted driving: It's more than just texting

While texting is vilified for being a distraction behind the wheel, there are many other kinds of distractions that can put your life at risk while you are driving. Not getting enough sleep, eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone and other actions are all potential hazards.

Not all distractions are equal. Some are more dangerous than others. For example, turning the radio on or off may take only a second, while sending a text takes an average of five. The longer you look away from the road, the more dangerous you become. Here are a few more things to consider.

Traffic and motorcycle safety: Highway traffic vs. country roads

When you first purchased your motorcycle, perhaps you had dreams about riding mile after mile across open roads, taking in majestic scenery and fresh air. Maybe things changed when you started to use your bike to commute to and from work.

Now, you spend more time sitting in traffic and avoiding distracted drivers than you do enjoying country views. Riding your motorcycle on the highway comes with a completely different set of dangers than riding through the country on the weekends. Even if you take every precaution, it may be impossible to avoid every type of accident.

The hazards of teenage driving: How can we reduce accidents?

We all want to be safe on the road. Most parents work hard to protect their kids from harm as they navigate the teen years. Sometimes it seems like we're spinning wheels when it comes to the problem of dangerous teenage drivers.

With challenging issues like inexperience, distracted driving, drunk driving and the impulsivity that seems to pervade much teen behavior, auto accidents remain the number one cause of death for 15 to 19-year-olds in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On its fact sheet, the CDC says that in 2015, an average of six people aged 16-19 died every day from accident injuries. Is there anything we can do to stem the tide of harm?

Was your pain delayed after a car accident?

Car accident injuries come in many shapes and sizes, and many problems are not apparent until well after the accident occurs. Some significant injuries take time to express themselves.

In fact, depending on the type of injury, delayed pain can indicate a serious or even fatal condition.

Springtime motorcycle accidents: It's a dangerous time of year

Many Connecticut motorcyclists are excited to get on the road after a long winter. But wet roads, rusty reflexes and oblivious drivers can make April and May rides dangerous.

Motorcyclists are already at a big safety disadvantage as compared to others on the road. According to 2014 stats provided by the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than car occupants, per mile traveled. So extreme caution is important for riders under adverse weather conditions and when seasons change.

Will technology stop teens (and adults) from texting while driving?

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States. In Connecticut alone, hundreds of catastrophic injuries have resulted from mobile use on the road. Though nearly everyone knows they shouldn't text, use social media or access websites while they're driving, distracted driving is still very common.

Teenage drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, and they may be especially vulnerable to the temptation of their mobile devices. Can technology help stop teens -- and adults for that matter -- from wreaking more havoc?

Why are distracted drivers a threat to motorcyclists?

Distracted driving is dangerous. It is a major problem on our roads. According to government statistics, it claimed more than 3,000 lives in 2014.

Research shows that drivers are simply not paying attention to the road.They might be texting, they might be eating, they might be grooming, but whatever they are doing, they are not focusing on the road. And this is deadly.

What should cyclists do after a vehicle accident?

After an accident

If you are a cyclist who has been involved in a vehicle accident, there are a few things you can do to exercise control over an otherwise chaotic situation. Knowing what to do in the moment and having everything covered on your end will not only make things easier immediately after the accident, but also further down the road.

· Get medical attention

After an accident, the highest priority should be the health and safety of everyone involved. If it is needed, call emergency medical services. Nothing else can be done if people are too injured to function.

· Document the scene

If you are able, take pictures of the scene including any vehicles involved and any damage that was caused. Having photographic evidence will only serve to back up your side of events. It may also be helpful for law enforcement agencies and insurance companies.

· Call law enforcement

Having a legal police report on record may be essential for an insurance claims. Once the police file a report, find out how to get a copy of the report to make sure that it lines up with your understanding of the event.

· Gather information

This includes the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident take place. This also includes the names and badge numbers of law enforcement officers involved, the names of the streets where the event took place, etc. The more information you have, the better.

It should be noted that just like other vehicles drivers, cyclists have a legal obligation to follow all traffic laws and regulations. Every cyclist should be familiar with the local cycling laws before they start riding.

These types of accidents can feel frightening and overwhelming. Fortunately, you do not have to deal with them alone. There is legal help in the situations and it can make a huge and positive difference. If you are involved in this type of accident, it is recommended that you obtain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional.

What to know about back injuries in the workplace

You had all the safety courses in training, including on how to lift a patient twice your size. You followed protocal, and yet, a sudden pain surged through your back, bringing tears to your eyes.

You have to give up your nursing job, but, all you care about is being able to walk down the stairs without collapsing in pain. What can you do now?

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Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC 37 Broadway, 1st Floor North Haven, CT 06473 Toll Free: 866-530-7228 Phone: 203-285-3593 Fax: 203-234-6330 North Haven Law Office Map