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Connecticut’s drunk driving laws

Despite increased efforts across the nation to curb the problem, driving under the influence continues to be a major problem on the roadways. Serious injuries and even death occur every year across the New Haven area due to an intoxicated driver causing a drunk driving accident. Here is a brief overview of the DUI laws in Connecticut.

There are two main factors in the state’s DUI law. The first is a statute that prohibits any person from operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or with a blood alcohol content that is determined to be in an elevated state. The second aspect of this law is that of “implied consent,” that is, a motorist consents to testing for alcohol and drugs just by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Those who refuse such tests can have their license suspended.

Hartford hit-and-run accident kills woman

While typical car accidents can leave drivers battered and bruised, pedestrian accidents almost always result in serious injury. This sort of accident shook a Connecticut neighborhood recently. A 60-year-old woman was struck and killed in a hit and run accident on Sunday morning. Police are still trying to find the driver responsible. These types of accidents are all too common in Connecticut and across the nation, and they can be confusing and terrifying for those left behind.

Around 2:30 a.m., the victim was found lying in the road near her home after a hit and run driver struck her and fled the scene, causing severe injuries to her head and lower body. Witnesses saw a white SUV hit her and continue northbound. She was transported to St. Francis Hartford for treatment but died two days later. 

Liability when a cyclist hits a car door

It’s been shown in countless movies and television shows. A bicyclist is zooming down the sidewalk or bicycle lane, when all the sudden the passenger or driver of a parked car opens their door. The cyclist hits it, flips over and lands on their back. Often, a laugh tracks plays as the cyclist gets up and dusts themselves off, a little shaken and dismayed at their ruined bike. Unfortunately, this type of accident is generally much more serious than what is seen on the silver screen.

Nearly 10 percent of all bicycle accidents are due to a car door opening. The cyclist either hits it or swerves to dodge it, causing some other kind of bicycle accident. While only 80 percent of these accidents result in injury, as opposed to the more than 90 percent injury rate for other bicycle accidents, they can still be quite dangerous. The most serious accidents of this type occur when the bicyclist hits another car while trying to avoid the opened door.  

Phone use laws on Connecticut roads

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol used to be one of the biggest risks faced by innocent drivers on Connecticut roads. There is now a new up and comer that is causing terrible accidents on a regular basis. This culprit is known as the cell phone. Texting and driving or talking without hands-free equipment is causing severe injuries and taking lives.

For this reason, multiple large cellphone companies have started promoting hands-free initiatives to encourage customers to put down their phones while they are on the road. Many states have also placed strict restrictions in place in an attempt to cut down on the amount of accidents that have been caused by the simple use of a cellphone.

Bicycle accident prevention focus of government initiatives

Common sense should tell you that when a distracted driver hits someone riding on a bicycle the cyclist will probably be the one suffering severe injuries in the resulting bicycle accident. Connecticut laws make it clear that motorists, pedestrians and bicycle riders must cooperate in sharing the roads safely.

Preventing situations that could lead to an auto-pedestrian accident or to a bicycle accident with either a pedestrian or a motor vehicle has been the subject of laws and public information campaigns in New Haven County and elsewhere throughout the state. For example, motorists must not travel in close proximity to bicycle riders who might be using the roadway. 

An accident investigation could offer proof of a negligent driver

It is rare that you read about a driver of a motor vehicle leaving her own vehicle in order to perform a good deed only to be struck by a hit-and-run driver and killed. The stray dog that the deceased woman stopped to help was in the road when spotted by the woman

The woman exited her car to help the animal when another struck her and the dog. Police are investigating the accident because the driver of the other vehicle fled the scene. He was, however, found by the police have not filed any criminal charges investigation against the driver who fled the scene after hitting the woman and the dog.

Lives of highway workers may be endangered by negligent drivers

It would be difficult to deny that there are many dangers on Connecticut roads. Speeding drivers, drunk drivers, distracted drivers…all can cause injuries and even death to others on the road. But some people affected by these careless drivers are not even in a vehicle. These victims are highway construction workers.

If you were traveling along I-95 on September 4, you may have been delayed in a traffic jam. That traffic situation was caused by the driver of a tractor-trailer who hit the vehicle of a Connecticut Department of Transportation worker. According to reports, the worker was standing outside his vehicle when the truck hit the vehicle, causing it to hit the DOT worker. 

Finding proof negligence of another important in fatal accident

The source of compensation to the family of the victim of a fatal trucking accident might not be readily apparent from the initial facts of a particular case. For example, a fatal accident on an interstate highway in New Haven, Connecticut, might not appear to offer hope of recovering funeral expenses or other compensation from a negligent driver.

Police reports from the accident scene indicate that the driver of a car was traveling south in the northbound lanes when his vehicle crashed head-on into a tractor trailer. This would appear to make the deceased motorist a negligent driver, but accident investigations do not end with a review of the conduct of just the parties involved in the accident.

Victim of drunk driving accident may have Dram Shop Act claim

A person injured in a drunk driving accident may have a right to sue the drunk driver for negligence in causing the accident and any serious injuries that resulted from it. Under the Dram Shop Act in Connecticut, the injured party might also have a claim against the person who may have sold drinks to the intoxicated driver.

Unlike the lawsuit filed by the victim of a drunk driving accident against the driver, the claim under the Dram Shop Act is not based on negligence. There are also special notice rules and a statute of limitations that is only half as long as the two-year negligence statute.

Is my personal injury claim affected by my own negligence?

At one time, a person suffering a serious personal injury in a car accident in New Haven, Connecticut, might be unable to receive compensation from the negligent driver who caused the accident. Under the state’s contributory negligence law, a finding that an accident victim was as little as 1 percent at fault, as in the case of a passenger not wearing a seat belt, the injured party could not recover damages.

Connecticut did away with contributory negligence and adopted comparative negligence as state law. A person who suffers catastrophic injuries in a car crash and wants to sue the negligent driver may do so and possibly recover compensation even if the injured person was also at fault. For example, if a crash reconstruction shows that the failure of the accident victim to wear a seat best caused the injuries to be worse than they otherwise might have been, the person might still recover damages.

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