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Bridgeport Personal Injury Law Blog

Study shows activities that lead to being a distracted driver

Connecticut drivers undoubtedly know the expansive list of concerns when they are out on the road and the danger of being in a car accident without even knowing the actual statistics. When the numbers are examined, these concerns increase exponentially. In 2015, the number of deaths on highways is believed to have surpassed 40,000. If accurate, that would be the highest number of deaths in the almost 10 years. Understanding why the numbers are increasing is important to try and prevent an accident. It is also important to know the cause of an accident after it has happened so the victims can seek compensation in a legal filing.

One issue is that drivers are taking to the road more frequently than before. The number of miles driven across the country increased for the fifth straight year. Since the number of fatalities rose more rapidly, studies are trying to determine what has changed. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) examined the causes of being a distracted driver. In their study, they found that 4 million of the almost 11 million accidents in the U.S. could have been prevented if the drivers were not distracted. This came to 36 percent.

What rights do Medicare nursing home residents have?

Medicare and Medicaid are two of the most widely utilized federal programs in Connecticut and other states throughout the country. These programs are meant to help individuals pay for healthcare when they are either older and likely not working, which is when Medicare is often used, or when they have little income or assets regardless of age, which is when Medicaid is frequently sought. One of the services often provided by Medicare especially is helping to pay for long-term care in a certified nursing home. Those Connecticut residents who use this system should know that the federal government mandates that individuals in such homes have certain rights.

First, Medicare nursing home residents have all the rights that's pertain to anyone eligible for that program, including the right to receive services for which the patient is legally eligible, protection from unethical practices and protection of the patient's privacy. However, those in Medicare nursing homes also have other rights as well.

Connecticut winter, drivers' carelessness, cause accidents

Winter in Connecticut has its advantages. Many people enjoy participating in outdoor cold-weather activities, such as skiing, ice-skating and sledding. Some simply like walking around looking at the freshly-fallen snow. Unfortunately, however, for those that have to travel during the winter, whether for a long trip or just a daily commute, snow, ice and slush can be dangerous.

Last week, wintery weather created poor road conditions across the entire state. Drivers were stopped for lengthy periods of time in several places due to crashes involving multiple vehicles. While some drivers felt that the state had done a good job treating the roads to keep them passable, some also called out other drivers for not being careful enough to deal with wet and slippery conditions.

What may be considered in a Connecticut car accident settlement?

Life in the modern world, especially in the United States, makes driving a car almost a necessity for most people. Outside large urban areas, private vehicles are the most efficient and sometimes only way to get from one place to another. Even those who live near Connecticut's cities likely need a car to commute to work or get to other places they need to go.

Unfortunately, driving a car can also be one of the more dangerous activities people can engage in. Because there are large numbers of vehicles on the roads and many different kinds of people in many different states of mind, the chances of being involved in an accident with another driver at some point in one's life are not minimal. Even the most careful drivers have no control over when they may meet a distracted, tired or inebriated motorist on the road.

Connecticut nursing homes cited for numerous violations

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is not an easy one. Families place their faith in the nursing home that their loved one will receive the best quality of care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. For example, three nursing homes in Connecticut have recently been fined for violations.

One nursing home was fined $1,160 after an incident occurred in which a resident began shouting and tried to stand up from his wheelchair. At this point, a nursing home employee pulled him from behind, so that he was forced to sit back down in his wheelchair.

Sleep deprivation can lead to fatal medical errors

Health care employees in Bridgeport may aim to provide their patients with the best possible care, but unfortunately, they may undermine this goal by not getting enough sleep. According to one report, 32 percent of health care employees stated that they only got six hours of sleep daily. This is different from the amount of sleep professionals recommend that adults get of seven to nine hours a day.

In fact, one professional claims that sleep deprivation is tolerated as part of the workplace culture for health care employees. For example, a health care employee might work for an entire one to two day shift, and see their lack of sleep as something to be proud of, despite the fact that workplace fatigue is a factor in medication errors. These errors cause the death of over 100,000 individuals in our nation annually. Moreover, according to a 2006 study, medical interns, who stayed on the clock for an additional three hours, were responsible for 22 percent more critical errors, leading to an uptick in fatalities.

Can nursing home abuse in Connecticut be 'passive?'

When many Connecticut residents hear the word 'abuse' in the context of another person being 'abused,' they usually think about an active, physical act. Punching or hitting someone, for example, may be the kind of abuse most often pictured. While these kinds of overt acts certainly are abuse in most circumstance, there are other, more insidious forms of abuse that exist, and these may be more prevalent, especially when dealing with vulnerable populations such as the elderly.

Elder abuse in Connecticut is any kind of physical or emotional injury inflicted willfully on an elderly person, but it can also consist of exploitation, abandonment or deprivation of essential services. Because actual physical abuse leaves marks and is easier to notice, many times, abuse takes these more passive forms. The deprivation of essential services means withdrawal or withholding of any service that would be essential to a nursing home resident's well-being.

How much gets paid out in Connecticut medical malpractice?

This blog has talked about the many facets of medical malpractice cases in Connecticut. We've discussed the basics of negligence and how professional negligence standards differ from the normal ones. We've touched on some of the procedural requirements for filing a medical malpractice claim in Connecticut, including getting a medical opinion letter by a similar practitioner before filing the case. We've also pointed out that, many times, the results of medical malpractice can be devastating to victims in terms of increased medical costs, as well as increased pain and suffering.

It seems that debates in the media often revolve around the fact that medical malpractice law suits make health care more expensive. There seems to be a popular idea that these suits result in huge damage awards that cost the health care system money. This is reinforced by the fact that news reports tend to focus on the biggest cases. However, the facts on medical malpractice awards in Connecticut are a bit different.

What is the Connecticut physician profile law?

As previously discussed in this blog, medical mistakes can lead to dire consequences for its victims and their families. When healthcare professionals do not meet the accepted standard of care while treating a patient, the result can be unnecessary medical expenses and longer hospital stays, as well as disability or even death. For these reasons, Connecticut takes the issue of medical malpractice very seriously.

One illustration of this is the fact that the Connecticut Department of Public Heath maintains a website containing profiles of every doctor practicing in the state. On this site, physicians are required to keep not only their biographical information updated but also disclose any malpractice judgements, settlements or awards to a complainant that occurred within the past 10 years.

What is a main question in 'slip and fall' cases in Connecticut?

Recently, this blog discussed some of the most common causes of so-called 'slip and fall' accidents on Connecticut properties. Between items left on the floor of businesses to poor lighting or wet or icy surfaces, there is no shortage of things that can cause a fall that lead to an injury. However, the mere fact of a fall occurring does not necessarily mean a property owner will be liable for it. One of the main questions to be answered in such cases is whether the property owner was at fault for the incident.

While this question can become very complicated legally, there are some basic premises we can elucidate with regard to this process. First, the cause of the fall needs to have been a 'dangerous condition', which is a condition that creates an unreasonable risk to a person entering or moving about the property. Further, the condition must have not been one that the injured person would have anticipated under the specific conditions present. Basically, an owner may not be liable if the dangerous condition was open and obvious to people present.

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