Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

North Haven CT Legal Blog

There's a lot that qualifies as nursing home negligence

In April of 2018, Connecticut's Department of Public Health and the Advanced Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation issued an order requiring an independent evaluation of a New Haven nursing home's staff to see if they're indeed able to meet their responsibilities. They ordered this after a preliminary investigation revealed that safety breaches and accusations of patients receiving inadequate care were likely the result of staff shortages.

What's of most concern to state regulators in this instance is whether the facility upheld their requirement to have no more than 30 patients assigned to a single licensed nurse on each shift. State care ratios also allow no more than 10, 12 and 20 residents to be left under the care of a nursing aide on their first, second or third shifts respectively.

What are the most common causes of house fires?

Fires have always been a source of potential danger. We've been taught to check our fire alarms consistently. We're told to have an escape plan in place. We learn how to stop, drop and roll. We memorize the local emergency numbers.

Clearly, house fires are common, and they're a significant threat. Even with all this knowledge and education, they continue to take lives year in and year out. To help prevent a fire in your home, take a look at some of the top causes of house fires so you know what to avoid.

Dram shop laws provide additional legal protection for victims

Drunk driving remains a major concern in Connecticut, as well as throughout the United States. Every year, hundreds of people end up injured and killed in this state because other people drink before driving.

Thankfully, the law allows you to hold a drunk driver accountable for those actions. A drunk driver may face not only criminal charges but also a civil lawsuit from victims to recover financial losses associated with the crash.

How dangerous can magnetic toys be?

Now that the holidays are over, it's likely that your child has gotten past the stage where they keep jumping from one toy to the next, and they now focus their attention on the one or two that they really like.

One mother is warning parents about the dangers of toys that contain magnets. She became alarmed when a few days after Christmas this year, her son started throwing up an odd-looking substance. She said it looked like coffee grounds.

The music teens choose makes them worse drivers

Do you listen to music every time you get in the car? A lot of us do, especially during our teenage years. Some people actually feel fairly awkward if they're driving in silence, like something is missing.

However, studies have recently found that music can make people worse drivers. This is especially true for teens when they get to choose the music on their own. In one study, when they did so:

  • They turned the music up to a much higher volume
  • They felt better and said they were in a better mood
  • They made "significantly more driving errors"
  • They broke the speed limit
  • They weaved all around on the road
  • They were more aggressive drivers

Owner liability when dogs are off their leashes in Connecticut

Dogs, like other animals, need mental stimulation and exercise to stay healthy. People who live in developed areas may not have enough room in their house or yard to allow their dogs adequate exercise. For these individuals, visiting parks, nature preserves and other public areas is a great way to let their dogs stretch their legs.

Unfortunately, the tendency of owners to indulge their dogs can create some risk for others, especially when a dog is off its leash. While most dogs are friendly and well-behaved in public settings, it is possible for a dog to suddenly turn aggressive or violent with little provocation. Owners who let their dogs run free can endanger anyone the pets encounter.

Physician stress results in 66 percent of surgical errors

Each year, as many as 440,000 Americans die from medical errors. Many of them occur in the operating room.

A new study published this month by researchers at Columbia University shows how surgeons are 66 percent more likely to make mistakes in the operating room when they're under stress. This has motivated researchers to find ways to help doctors de-stress in hopes that it will reduce patient fatalities.

How you can avoid being attacked while walking to your car

When you step out to your car at night in a dark parking lot, you could put yourself at risk of being attacked. A lot of violent attacks are crimes of opportunity -- so the best way to protect yourself is to be aware of the potential for a mugging, carjacking or assault and take specific precautions.

Whenever possible, you should walk to your car in pairs. This may mean that you need to wait a few minutes for someone to be available, so give yourself plenty of time. There truly is power in numbers. Criminals look for vulnerable targets. If you're accompanied by someone else, a criminal may decide not to risk approaching you.

Whose responsibility is it to keep New Haven's sidewalks clean?

Although the weather patterns so far this year may cause many of us to think differently, winter hasn't actually officially begun yet. It's actually still a few days away. That doesn't mean that you haven't navigated snowy sidewalks and streets already though. As you've gone about doing so, you may have wondered who the city of New Haven says is responsible for shoveling sidewalk around town.

According to a spokesperson for the New Haven Public Works Department, the onus falls on property owners to remove all ice and snow that has accumulated on the sidewalks in front of their businesses. It's supposed to be cleaned up within 24 hours of any storm.

Who holds liability for injuries after a truck accident?

When commercial trucks and regular drivers collide in an accident, the resulting damage is often devastating, not only physically, but financially. These accidents may place victims in recovery for months or even years, and it may cost many thousands of dollars in medical care, recovery, property damage and lost wages. Without a strong legal strategy, the victims may feel like they are losing, no matter what the outcome is.

To add to these difficulties, it is not always simple to determine the parties that can be held liable for these losses. Even if the accident is the fault of the truck driver or it occurred because of some malfunction of the truck or the load being hauled, building a strong claim means correctly identifying the proper defendant or defendants.

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