New Canaan Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury actions make up a significant portion of all civil litigation in the United States. In order to be heard, such cases must feature an injury to a person (or damage to property) occurring as the result of negligence on behalf of a third party.
Common causes for a personal injury suit include vehicle collisions, animal bites, medical malpractice and construction accidents. To help illustrate the surprising prevalence and severity of such injuries, let’s take a closer look at the data.
Common personal injuries by the numbers
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 30 million people are admitted to U.S. hospitals annually for treatment of unintentional personal injuries. Auto collisions alone are responsible for more than 10-percent of these injuries.
While today’s vehicles have become safer and more collision-resistant, new behavioral issues such as distracted driving are creating hazards for motorists. According to data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 37,000 road fatalities in 2016 — the largest such number in nearly a decade.
In total, there were roughly 135,000 deaths linked to unintentional injuries last year, making it the fourth most common cause of mortality in the United States.
When we enter the care of a physician, we expect to be treated skillfully and carefully. Yet the numbers show that we can’t simply take such treatment for granted. Medical malpractice represents a significant portion of all unintentional personal injuries each year in the United States.
According to data compiled by the Journal of the American Medical Association, malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., trailing only cancer and heart disease. Malpractice is responsible for roughly 200,000 deaths annually.
Medical malpractice exists when a physician departs from the established “standard of care” in patient treatment. In other words, the physicians fails to do what another physician reasonably would.
According to data from the NHTSA, the percentage of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians has risen by roughly 25-percent over the last decade. Every year, approximately 5,000 pedestrians are killed in vehicle accidents on public roads. In nearly half of these cases, alcohol was a primary or contributing factor.
Other risk factors for pedestrian accidents include:
- Time of day. More than 70-percent of fatal pedestrian crashes are at night.
- Location. Roughly 75-percent occur in urban areas.
- Age. The elderly and children face elevated risk of pedestrian injury and should exercise additional caution.
- In addition to fatal accidents, more than 129,000 Americans were treated in emergency rooms last year as a result of serious injuries sustained during pedestrian-involved crashes.
Dog and Other Animal Bites
While virtually everyone loves animals, they aren’t always cuddly. Animals are in fact “a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Dog bites alone result in more than 10 million annual injuries, according to WHO data.
Dog bites are often the result of owners failing to secure their animals. Mistreatment is another contributing factor. Children are at greatest risk from dog bites, with the head and neck area being especially vulnerable. Rabies transmission is another serious concern with dog bites.
The WHO urges bite victims to irrigate and clean the wound and seek appropriate medical care, including rabies exposure treatment.
Personal Injury Law in Connecticut
If you’ve been injured as the result of the negligence of others, it’s vitally important to understand both your rights and the laws of your local jurisdiction. In Connecticut, for example, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury. Failure to meet this deadline will likely prevent you from being compensated through the court system.
In Connecticut, the deadline for filing a personal injury suit against government entities is even stricter. You have just six months to notify a city or county of your intent to pursue litigation and one year to notify the state government of pending civil action. Once again, missing these deadlines by even a single day can have disastrous effects on your ability to be compensated for your suffering or losses.
It should also be noted that Connecticut is a strict liability state in terms of dog bites. This means that there is no legal protection afforded to animal owners even if they had no reason to think their animal was a danger to the public. In Connecticut, owners are liable for dog bite injuries even if the animal has no history of aggression and has never bitten before.
In medical malpractice cases, Connecticut allows plaintiffs to pursue punitive damages. Connecticut also does not have caps limiting economic or non-economic compensation as a result of personal injury lawsuits. Many states have passed laws limiting the total award plaintiffs may receive as the result of an injury. This makes Connecticut law favorable to those who have been injured or had property damaged as the result of negligence.
What to do next
If you’ve been the victim of negligent behavior, it’s imperative that you seek counsel from an experienced advocate. Because personal injury cases are often deeply complex, an attorney who specializes in such cases is your best option.
By finding the right local attorney to represent your interests, you can help ensure that you receive everything to which you’re entitled under Connecticut law.
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