440 Main Street | Ridgefield, CT 06877

Head Injuries: Post Concussion Syndrome and other Symptoms

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

If you have been involved in a high impact motor vehicle accident or if you have experienced a sudden acceleration or deceleration of your head then you may have suffered a  post concussion syndrome. A PCS is a form of a traumatic brain injury that can cause lifelong disabilities and pain and suffering years after the time the head injury occurred. After a motor vehicle crash the injured party should be aware of a number of initial symptoms that may start to bother the victim. The problems could include, but not be limited to: varying degrees and locations of headaches, feeling very fatigued, short term memory problems or difficulty in concentrating, feelings of being out of sorts or not one’s self, impatience or irritability.

Head injury symptoms should be properly monitored by the injured party and reported to the doctor at the earliest possible moment. It is highly recommended that you should seek a referral to a specialist who deals and treats patients with concussions and other forms of a traumatic brain injury. Generally, a diagnosis of this type is made if the effects of the concussion or traumatic brain injury have lasted for several weeks to a number of months after the injury occurred. It is important to note that these symptoms can occur immediately after the accident or may be delayed until days or weeks after the accident.

If you have suffered a high impact accident or have received any type of head injury, regardless of whether or not your head stuck an object, you should immediately consult with an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer so you can be properly advised as to what to do. These types of cases are unique and without receiving the proper advice you might unknowingly do something that could seriously jeopardize your case.

You could be entitled to substantial money damages as a result of a TBI claim which could include money for past and future medical expenses, past and future rehabilitative care, vocational retraining, past and future loss of income, pain and suffering, loss of life’s enjoyment, and a spousal loss of consortium claim. Our experienced team of injury lawyers have been representing injured parties and their families, including traumatic brain injury victims, for decades.

So before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster or sign any paperwork, contact us to get a FREE copy of our book, “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims.” Our very informative book will provide you with practical advice on how to get better medical care, how to get better quicker and how you can help your attorney get you more money for your case. You have enough to worry about in dealing with your medical care. Let us worry about everything else. We are here to answer your questions. Visit us at www.hcwlaw.com or call us toll free at 888.842.8466. We will even come to your home or other convenient location you choose.

Recovering Damages When No Direct Proof of Negligence Exists

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

What happens when you are seriously injured, allegedly by the negligence of another, but you are unable to produce any direct evident of the fault of a third party?  Would Connecticut law allow you to prevail in such a case?

Enter the doctrine of res ipra loquitor, Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”, which is a legal theory that permits a jury to infer negligence when no direct evidence of negligence has been introduced.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has held that the doctrine of res ipra loquitor applies only when two prerequisites exist.  Those requirements are:  first, the situation, condition or apparatus causing the injury must be such that in the ordinary course of events, no injury would have occurred unless someone had been negligent; and second, at the time of the injury, both inspection and operation must have been in control of the party charged with neglect.

If both of these prerequisites are satisfied, a fact finder (a Judge or jury), may properly conclude that it is more likely than not that the injury in question was caused by the defendant’s negligence.  Giles v. New Haven (1997).

In Giles, the plaintiff was an elevator operator who was injured in an elevator accident.  The plaintiff sued for failing to properly inspect, maintain and repair the offending elevator.  The plaintiff did not present any direct evidence of these claims but instead relied upon the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor.  Our Supreme Court held that the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to warrant presentation of the question of negligence, under the doctrine of res ipra loquitor, to the jury.

Other Connecticut cases where the doctrine has been held to apply involve:  the cable of an amusement park ride that broke, which threw the plaintiff to the ground; a woman passing by a store who was injured when glass from the store’s window fell upon her; a person who was injured when a suitcase fell from a baggage rack onto her head; a wheel came which came off a truck and struck an indiviual who was walking on the sidewalk; and a person in a hospital waiting room had a TV fall onto her head and injure her.

It should be stressed that every case is fact specific and must be viewed in the totality of the circumstances but if you are injured and have no direct proof of negligence, you still might be able to prevail in your claim under the theory of res ipsa loquitor.

Traumatic Brain Injuries | Motorcycle and Auto Vehicle Accident CT Law

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

A traumatic brain injury or “TBI” refers to damage caused to the brain that results from an open or closed head injury the results of which are expected to continue indefinitely and creates a substantial handicap to the individual. A person is said to have a traumatic brain injury  when that person has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function.

A person can suffer a such an injury as a result of:

* Their head being struck by an object;

* Their head striking an object; or

* Their brain experiencing an acceleration/deceleration movement (usually from an accident) without direct external trauma to the head.

Motor vehicle accidents account for the majority of brain injuries. Other examples of these injuries include:

* Falls;

* Firearm related incidents; and

* Sports and recreational accidents.

Because the types and degrees of traumatic brain injuries are so varied, the general symptoms can be quite different. The physical symptoms can range from coma and paralysis to seizures to headaches and extreme fatigue. One can also experience memory loss, attention impairment, language impairment, conduct changes and disorders, motor disorders, difficulty in understanding and processing information, loss of balance, loss of sense of time and any other neurological dysfunction. A traumatic brain injury may be manifested by:

* Any period of loss of consciousness;

* Any loss of memory for events either before or after the accident; or

* Any alteration in the mental state of a person at the time of the accident (i.e., confusion or disorientation).

There are a great number of issues that must be investigated and documented regarding a traumatic brain injury. It is important to have proper tests done by medical experts to understand the nature and extent of your traumatic brain injury. It may also be helpful to employ other experts to help develop and explain how your injuries have affected you and how they will affect you for the rest of your life.

It is very important to have an experienced personal attorney who has expertise in the handling and presentation of traumatic brain injury claims. Your attorney will be able to suggest a team of experts that can range from private investigators to psychologists to vocational rehabilitation therapists to economists to help develop your case.

In most cases, the law firm or attorneys will advance all costs and expenses of the case as they are incurred. Once the case is concluded, they would be reimbursed for their costs out of the recovery. In some states, even if there is no recovery, the client is still responsible for the costs and expenses of the case even though the client owes no legal fees. In other states, if there is no recovery, the client will owe nothing for the costs and expenses, which will be absorbed by the law firm or attorney.

CT Motorcycle Accidents: Law, Cases, & Potentially Responsible Parties

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

CT motorcycle accidents occur often in Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Fairfield, and throughout Connecticut roads . While many accidents are simple “fender benders,” others may result in substantial property damage and serious injury or even death. Although motorcyclists are often stereotyped as reckless and fast drivers, it is negligent automobile drivers who cause most motorbike accidents. An injured victim of a motorcycle accident can seek damages from the responsible party for the injuries, damages and pain suffered as a result of the accident. The victim must show that the defendant was negligent and responsible for the injuries and other damages that were sustained. A motorcycle accident lawsuit must also be filed before the expiration of applicable statutes of limitation which varies from state to state. The victim can seek compensation for related medical expenses, loss of income or earning potential, partial or permanent disability, psychological suffering, and property damage.

Some motorcycle accidents can be so severe that they result in death. Each state has its own law on fatal accidents and wrongful death claims. Although independent of each other, these laws share some common features. If a death is caused by a motorcycle accident, there will losses associated with the wrongful death including medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering of the deceased, future financial support to the heirs, loss of love, society, and companionship.

For a wrongful death claim to arise from a fatal motorcycle accident, the accident must have been caused by another person who has acted negligently. The must be a wrongful act or an act of negligence in the part of the other person. Other responsible parties could include: the motorcycle manufacturer; or the maker of any part of the motorcycle; or other vehicle involved in the accident. The person or party responsible must have adequate insurance or assets to provide the basis of a recoverable legal claim.

There are different laws that apply to a motorcycle accident cases depending on the circumstances of the accident and the jurisdiction in which the accident took place. Sometimes the other driver or person might not be responsible for the wrongful death from the fatal accident. The cause of the accident will determine the type of wrongful death case, and the responsible party. It could have been caused due to a defect in the motorcycle’s manufacturing or design. For instance, the breaks fail to work when applied. In such cases, the law of product liability will apply. In certain cases, you can seek damages for wrongful death from the designer or manufacturer. Sometimes, the mechanic who did not repair the vehicle property can be held liable if the improper repairing is a factor which caused the accident. Even poorly maintained roads, messy and confusing construction, unclear signage, improperly designed roads and similar problems can be the cause of a fatal accident. The Government agencies responsible for the roads and highways can be liable for damages in such cases. However, there are special rules that apply to lawsuits against government entities which can have very short notice provisions which must be met in order to have a viable claim.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is recommended that you seek legal advice immediately.

Before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork contact Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP to get our FREE copy of our book The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut. Don’t delay, order it today!

Connecticut Motor Vehicle Insurance What Type of Coverage to Purchase

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

By, Connecticut Attorney, Richard P. Hastings

Wading through a myriad of auto insurance policies can be confusing. Each insurance company touts their advantages and it can be hard to compare between the different policies.

Being informed about what to look for and what to avoid can help when you purchase an auto policy or if you have a claim against the policy.

Before you purchase a policy, you should shop around for the best price relative to the best coverage. Perhaps the coverage you should look to spend the most amount of money on is underinsured/uninsured motorist protection which protects you if you are injured by a driver with either no insurance or insufficient limits of liability to compensate you for your injuries.

Your driving record can have either a positive or a negative effect on the premiums. If you have a good record, you can expect that you will pay less for the policy. A poor driving record can increase your premiums by at least 40 percent if you have one at-fault accident. Rather than automatically renew your policy with the same insurer every year, you should investigate annually whether you can get a better rate. Some insurance companies might rely on the odds of automatic renewal and their premiums rates may not be the most advantageous for you.

Another factor in the premium price is your credit rating. A poor credit rating is deemed a risk by auto insurers and is used as a gauge to determine if you are likely to file a claim. The attitude of insurers is that if you are irresponsible with your money, you are likely to be irresponsible driving a car. If you have missed a few payments on financial obligations and this is noted on your credit report, you can expect your premiums will be much higher than if you had a clean credit report.

If you have the misfortune to make a claim against your auto insurance, you need to be aware of the following:

· In the case of a total loss, insurers value your vehicle through any of computerized vendor quotes, value books and the market within your local area. This can lead to undervaluation if replacement vehicles are not available in your area

· If your car is not a total loss, you can file a diminished loss claim. This takes into account that your vehicle will never be the same, even once it is repaired, and will have a value less than an equivalent model of vehicle which has never been damaged

· If you are hit by another driver and the accident is his fault, his insurance policy is supposed to cover damages to your vehicle. In cases where it takes an exorbitant amount of time for the other driver’s insurer to pay, you can claim under your own auto policy and your insurer should take actions to extract payment from the other driver’s policy. Once your insurer has obtained payment, you are entitled to repayment of your deductible on your own policy

· Some insurers will delay making payment on your auto policy just so they can earn money on the investments they have made with premiums. The longer they can hold onto your money, the more money they make

The above is just a sampling of scenarios. There are other tactics employed by auto insurance companies that may ultimately be unfair to you.

If you feel you are being treated improperly by your auto insurer, you should contact an attorney experienced in auto damage claims to ensure that you receive payment you are entitled to.

Before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork contact Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP to get our FREE copy of our book The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut. Don’t delay, order it today!

CT Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Motor Vehicle Accident Law & Attorneys

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

You might be involved in a motor vehicle accident in Connecticut at some point, so it is important to find out what you should and should not be doing to help develop your personal injury case.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 6,024,000 police-reported motor vehicle accidents in 2007. There were 2,491,000 people injured on those accidents. These figures demonstrate the odds are one day you may be involved in a motor vehicle accident. After the motor vehicle accident has occurred, the first thing to think about is safety. You want to prevent another vehicle becoming involved in the collision.

If it is a minor accident, it may be wise to move your vehicle out of traffic flow. If you cannot move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and place warning cones or triangles behind and in front of your vehicle. Dependent on the location of the accident, determine whether it is safer to remain in your vehicle with your seat belt on or to stand away from traffic hazards.

Safety is a priority and good judgment is required. It is imperative you keep calm after a motor vehicle accident. This will protect you in the event you suffer personal injuries and need the assistance of witnesses and others in pursuing compensation. All drivers should have a crash kit in their vehicle. Items to include in your crash kit are a cellphone, hazard cones or triangles, pen and paper and digital camera. This article details information you should obtain after an accident and would be helpful to keep in your crash kit.

After you have ensured the safety of yourself and others, you should do the following:

1) Take photographs of the accident scene. The pictures should show the relative position of the vehicles involved, together with damage to those vehicles.

2) Note the location of the motor vehicle accident. Write down the intersection or closest address, time of day and date.

3) Exchange information with the other driver(s). List the names of the owner and driver of the other vehicle(s). Include their address, driver’s license number, telephone number, year and make of their vehicle, license plate number, whether they were wearing their seatbelt or suffered any injuries. If there are other occupants in the vehicle, obtain their names, addresses, telephone numbers, whether they were wearing seatbelts or suffered injuries.

4) If the police attend the accident scene, obtain the name of the investigating officer, law enforcement agency name and case number. Also indicate if any citations were issued and to whom.

5) Document the road conditions. Were the roads wet, dry, icy? Were your headlights on? Did the other vehicle have their headlights on? Were the brake lights functioning on your vehicle? Did the other vehicle have working brake lights? Was your turn signal on? Was the other vehicle’s turn signal blinking?

6) Detail your actions and the other driver’s actions just prior to the motor vehicle accident. Indicate the speed you were traveling, the estimated speed of the other driver and the posted speed limit. Describe any evasive actions you took to avoid the accident, as well as maneuvers by the other driver to avoid the accident. If there are traffic controls at the motor vehicle accident site, specify what the controls were, the traffic signal color, if applicable, and who had the right of way.

7) Get the full names of any witnesses to the motor vehicle accident. Be sure to include their complete address and telephone number.

A motor vehicle accident is traumatic. Being fully prepared beforehand will help eliminate some stress and ensure that you are in the best position possible to begin the process of obtain compensation for damages to your vehicle and injuries suffered.

Before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork contact Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP to get our FREE copy of our book The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut. Don’t delay, order it today!