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New Haven Connecticut Legal Blog

Could legalized marijuana result in more drugged driving?

As Connecticut lawmakers consider legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use, opponents are insisting that doing so would lead to an increase in drugged driving and other ills. While proponents in the legislature say that the tax revenues to reaped from passing the law would outweigh any detriments, an anti-marijuana group alleges that the move would actually cost the state more than $200 million in less than two years. The costs, the group says will stem from the administration and enforcement of the law.

Enforcement costs include those associated with more impaired driving and workplace accidents that lead to personal injury or even death. Impaired driving due to alcohol and the use of both legal and illegal drugs on the state's highways. Drunk drivers are implicated in about 40 percent of Connecticut's annual traffic fatalities, putting the state among the highest in the nation when it comes to the percentage of traffic deaths involving alcohol.

Brain injuries are a major cause of death in accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that almost a third of all deaths that stem from accidents involve some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Across the United States, including Connecticut, more than 150 people die every day from brain injuries. In cases where a fatal brain injury was caused by the negligent or intentional act of another, such as a car accident, assault or other personal injury, the death of the victim could give rise to a wrongful death claim.

Clearly, not all brain injuries are fatal. In fact, some may not even be obvious, with symptoms taking days or sometimes weeks to present themselves. A minor concussion is the mildest form of brain injury. But even the mildest can be dangerous: If another head trauma occurs before the firs injury has healed, it could cause permanent damage or, in many cases, death.

Winter weather and tractor-trailers make a dangerous mix

Because of their size and weight, the involvement of a truck, whether a pick-up, sport-utility vehicle (SUV) or tractor trailer, can exacerbate the amount of damage and injury caused by an accident. In accidents where there is a significant difference in size between the vehicles involved, like a big rig versus a passenger car, the damage can be catastrophic. The potential dangers that trucks pose to other drivers can be amplified by winter weather or icy conditions.

A series of truck accidents that occurred over the course of four days in Connecticut illustrates just how dangerous the mix of winter weather and trucks can be, causing delays, damage, personal injury, or even death. In one such accident, a passenger car lost control on a snowy Interstate 395, crossed the media and collided with a tractor trailer, causing the latter to jackknife. The freeway was closed for several hours.

In Connecticut, hospitals more dangerous than construction sites

When people think of workplace accidents, they probably conjure up images of construction sites, manufacturing plants, or fishing boats. But in Connecticut and elsewhere, folks who work in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities run a greater risk for workplace injury than those employed in construction or manufacturing jobs. The incidence of injury is similar across all types of health care facilities, public or private, union or nonunion.

Data that was compiled by United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that injuries to health workers occur most often in larger facilities such as hospitals, medical centers, and long-term care centers. In the health care setting, injuries and illnesses are most often caused by other people, followed by slips and falls and bodily reaction to overexertion, like sprained muscles, hernias, or ruptured discs. All health care workers also run an elevated risk of contracting an infection, illness or disease on the job.

When it’s sleepy time in Connecticut

One of the best coaches ever in the sport of hockey was Herb Brooks. Famous for his team’s Olympic victory over the “greatest hockey team in the world” in 1980, he was immortalized in the 2004 film, Miracle. From his iconic command, “Again,” as he had the team performing near-endless sprints to his pre-game speech before the Soviet game when he said, “Great moments are born from great opportunity,” Herb Brooks was an inspiration.

Unfortunately, we lost Herb Brooks to a car crash. It was a single-car accident and neither drugs nor alcohol were involved. Herb Brooks fell asleep at the wheel.

Distracted driving and the damage it causes

There is nothing more important when driving than keeping your focus on the road. Unfortunately, far too many drivers are distracted from the task at hand. There are many things which can distract from the attention needed for safe travel, including cellphones, eating, and putting on makeup.

None of this is an excuse. The problem is getting worse and more people are injured every year due to distracted drivers. If you or a loved one were passengers injured due to distracted driving you are entitled to assistance to making a full recovery.

When you're injured in Connecticut, we go to bat for you

A personal injury can change your life considerably. You will incur medical expenses, may spend time in the hospital or go through a rehabilitative process. It may even impair your ability to work, resulting in lost wages and inhibiting your ability to make ends meet. An attorney with experience in Connecticut's personal injury laws can help you recover some of what an injury has taken away.

Personal injuries, unfortunately, can happen in any everyday setting: A business, in your car, or even just walking down the sidewalk. These types of accidents are often caused by the negligence of others, whether a distracted driver in a vehicle or a homeowner who causes a slip-and-fall accident by failing to clear their sidewalk. When someone else's actions (or inactions) result in an injury to you, you need to consult a lawyer.

How to spot a distracted driver

Imagine you are driving home from work at the end of a long day. You are looking forward to unwinding at home as you enter an intersection on a green light. Out of nowhere, a car blazes into the intersection and broadsides your car. Instead of going home, you wind up going to the emergency room with serious injuries.

For too many people, this is not an imaginary scenario; it's a very real situation caused by a distracted driver. In an effort to try and prevent these devastating crashes, it can be helpful to know what the signs are that a driver might be distracted.

Whiplash: recognizing the signs and how is it treated?

Whiplash describes the motion of your head and neck when it is suddenly accelerated and then snapped backwards from swift deceleration, resulting in a whipping motion. Whiplash injuries occur when the soft tissues of your neck are over extended. The fast back and forth motion extends your tissue beyond the normal range of motion, resulting in pain and sensitivity. Most whiplash cases are the result of a car accident, especially rear end collisions.

Whiplash can result in strained or sprained neck muscles. While those two ailments are often used interchangeably a sprain refers to the stretching or tearing of ligaments and a strain applies to muscle tissue or tendon injuries.

Common injuries on construction sites

Working on a construction site can be very dangerous. Construction workers understand this better than anyone. Not only is the work rigorous, but there can be significant risks for personal injuries, as well. The CDC reports that for every 100 full-time construction workers, 4.3 will experience a nonfatal injury or illness pertaining to work.

There are a few common types of construction injuries. The specifics of these injuries can vary depending on the severity, the cause, and the location where the injury took place. These are a few common types of construction injuries:

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