Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

North Haven CT Legal Blog

Can you sue a family member over a Thanksgiving fall?

What happens if you take a tumble down your aunt's unlighted steps this Thanksgiving? What if you get bitten by the family dog at your cousin's?

If you were injured in a fall or by some other means while walking through a store, you probably wouldn't hesitate to file a personal injury claim. The owner of a property has a duty to keep the property reasonably safe for visitors and to address known hazards that could endanger anybody's well-being. That rule doesn't change just because you're at a relative's home for a holiday celebration.

Be aware of winter driving dangers, not just the obvious ones

When people think about the dangers of winter driving, their minds may go to black ice or accumulated snow on the streets. Slick roads are unquestionably one of the biggest risks that you face when you drive in the winter months, but other issues that can contribute to a crash during the cold seasons.

Connecticut can have blustery winters that produce many catastrophic crashes. Adjusting your driving habits to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during the winter is a smart decision. It's important to be aware of the different dangers that the winter creates for drivers.

Talking about driving safety with seniors

As people age, it can become harder for them to drive safely. Their reactions slow down. Physical responses become more difficult. They may experience diminishing senses, like hearing or eyesight. All of these issues can make them more dangerous drivers than they were in their youth.

Talking to them about this, however, can be very difficult. They may not believe they are unsafe. They may not want to give up this freedom that they have enjoyed for so long. They may feel like it is not a younger person's place to tell them that they're putting others at risk.

What types of labeling should products contain?

Virtually every consumer product released onto the market in the United States must be labeled. What that label must list varies by product. Any manufacturer or marketer that fails to properly label an item may be forced to recall and repackage the item in addition to paying fines as high as a couple hundred thousand dollars.

Under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), all consumer commodities, or products intended for an individual's consumption, must be labeled with specific information about it.

Check your carbon monoxide detectors this winter

Whether you rent or own your home, you are likely aware of the fact that you need working smoke detectors in the major rooms of your house or apartment, including all the bedrooms. These devices help protect you from accidental death or injury in the event of a fire.

You may not be as aware of the importance of carbon monoxide (CO) testing units. CO detectors look for elevated levels of carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless gas. Symptoms of CO exposure include vomiting, headache, dizziness, coma, confusion and chest pain. People often pass out and then die.

Driving habits that make the roads dangerous

Every time you get behind the wheel, you may see at least one other driver displaying questionable driving habits. Maybe another car moved into your lane and almost side-swiped you because the driver did not check his blind spot; perhaps someone blew through a stop sign or didn't signal a turn. There are any number of bad behaviors that can make the roads dangerous for even the safest drivers.

To increase your safety on the road, it is important to be aware of driving habits that can lead to collisions so that you have a better chance of spotting these dangerous drivers. Here are some of the most dangerous habits of motorists.

Doctors frequently are sued over poor communication

Each day, patients go and see a doctor because they're not feeling well yet fail to get the answers that they're looking for. Others will go into the hospital to have a surgical procedure performed on them yet come out feeling worse than they originally did or even end up dead. We all expect our doctors to find a way to make us feel better, yet in those instances in which this doesn't occur, many of us wonder why this is the case.

A review of medical malpractice lawsuits by the liability insurance company Ultra Risk Advisors reveals some reasons why doctors get sued for poor patient outcomes. Providing incorrect or delayed diagnosis is one of those reasons.

A New Haven intersection where kids were struck to be made safer

On Aug. 6, two New Haven's Hope Child Development Center students were struck by a motorist while crossing the busy Howard and First intersection. Now city officials plan to install a raised crosswalk there to ensure that the same thing doesn't happen again.

The school that the kids attended apparently didn't have a playground of its own, so teachers routinely walked them down the street to a nearby park so that they could play outdoors. It's on their way back to the school that they were struck by a motorist. That intersection doesn't have any traffic signals present.

What a manufacturer's duty to warn consumers entails

Manufacturers or suppliers are required to label all potentially dangerous or hazardous products in an effort to protect consumers from potentially becoming hurt when using them. If they fail to exercise their duty to warn consumers of the unintentional or intentional dangers that exist from the reasonable use of their products, then they may expose themselves to being sued if someone gets hurt by them.

There are many instances in which a manufacturer has a duty to warn consumers about its product. They're supposed to tell them if it's known to be dangerous or if the danger it posed should have been clear to the manufacturers. It's particularly important for them to let consumers know if the product is dangerous when used in accordance with how it was intended as well.

Fall and winter afternoons: Dangerous times for pedestrians

When a motor vehicle and a human body collide, the vehicle typically inflicts serious damage on the human while incurring next to no damage itself. In other words, pedestrians often bear the brunt of poor decisions made by drivers on the road.

Walking on or crossing busy roads or streets is dangerous on its own. During the cooler months, there are increased risks to pedestrians related to inclement weather and lower visibility. While you should always remain alert when walking close to motor vehicles, understanding the times that carry the highest risk can help keep you and other people in your life safer as temperatures turn cooler.

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