A Hartford Accident Lawyer Stands up to Insurers

After a traffic collision, you often need a Hartford accident lawyer to help deal with insurance companies.  Insurers have many dishonest and underhanded tactics designed to stop you from getting full compensation for injuries.

Recently, the American Association for Justice compiled a list of the Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America.  A quick look at this list and the behavior of the insurers is enough to make clear that you absolutely should have a lawyer after a collision so the insurance company doesn’t deprive you.

The Bad Behavior of the Worst Insurers

The insurance companies that made the list of the 10 worst insurers in the U.S. included, in order:

  1. Allstate
  2. Unum
  3. AIG
  4. State Farm
  5. Conseco
  6. WellPoint
  7. Farmers
  8. UnitedHealth
  9. Torchmark
  10. Liberty Mutual

Some of these insurance companies provide only health insurance while others offer car accident insurance, homeowners’ insurance and other policies. Together, the U.S. insurance industry takes in premiums of more than $1 trillion every year to provide coverage for losses that affect you. The industry even has $3.8 trillion in assets, but still companies try to pay less than victims deserve after collisions.

The specifics of the wrongdoing vary from insurer to insurer; however, Allstate exemplifies the tactics and shortcomings of many of these companies.  Allstate has said its obligation is to “earn a return for our shareholders.”  It uses a secret claim-evaluation software called Colossus and when policyholders file a claim, they are offered a low payment without justification. This lets the company keep more money at the expense of policy holders and accident victims.

If those making a claim decline to accept the low settlement, then the “boxing gloves” come out and Allstate does everything possible not to pay. Allstate employees call its practices the “three D’s,” which stand for deny, delay and defend.

The company tries to drag out the process so people get desperate for money and accept low settlements and it tries to bury victims and attorneys in paperwork to discourage them from going forward with court action to get compensation.

Employees are told to lie, according to reports from adjusters who are no longer with the company.  Allstate adjusters are also given incentives for keeping claim payments low.

While Allstate is especially egregious, all of the companies on this list use tricks to try to deprive claimants. AIG, for example, is one of few insurance companies that make money on underwriting rather than investments of policy holder premiums. This means it has to be aggressive in paying out as little as it can in claims so that it makes more in premiums than it pays out.

AIG has locked checks in safety deposit boxes that should have gone to victims and kept the checks there until claimants complained. AIG has also delayed attorney fees; and disposed of important correspondence during special parties.   The insurer was even sanctioned by a judge for trying to block evidence in an environmental case.

Insurance companies often get away with these bad behaviors. They have consultants and experts, money and influence. You need help level the playing field and stand up for your rights by getting legal help from an experienced Hartford accident attorney.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation.

Hartford Traffic Deaths Should be a Primary Safety Focus

The elimination of motor vehicle deaths in any city is a tall order. It’s seems almost impossible in a place like New York City. Yet, Mayor Bill de Blasio is demanding just that, ordering police personnel to focus more of their energies on traffic enforcement – as opposed to violent crime reduction and enforcement.

The strategy has been controversial. It’s not that lowering violent crime isn’t a worthy or important cause. However, de Blasio has a point, particularly when you begin to look at the number of people who suffer as a result of motor vehicle crashes versus those who are victimized by violent crime.

First, our Hartford accident attorneys would point out that the number of Connecticut homicides in 2012 was 143. That’s according to annual uniform crime reporting statistics from the state. Meanwhile, the National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration indicates that the number of traffic fatalities that same year was 220.

That means the number of traffic deaths Connecticut is 54 percent higher than the number of murders.

This was true even though the number of traffic fatalities in this state dropped by 100 from 2011 to 2012. (The number of traffic deaths for the state in 2010 was 224, on par with what we saw again in 2012.) State law enforcement officials were quoted recently as saying that the higher traffic death figure was more in line with what we normally expect to see.

Now let’s explore the number of injuries stemming from traffic crashes. In 2008, state transportation officials report there were more than 36,300 injuries attributed to traffic crashes statewide. That same year, uniform crime figures reveal there were 685 rapes, 4,050 robberies, 6,000 aggravated assaults and 500 arson reports. That brings the total number of victims of violent crime in Connecticut that year to about 11,200. That means the number of traffic accident victims was nearly 2.5 times higher than the number of violent crime victims.

Again, this is not to belittle the suffering that violent crime victims endure. But in solely looking at the impact in terms of sheer volume, it’s seems clear where our resources are most needed.

What de Blasio has proposed is a combination of actions that would ultimately slash the number of traffic fatalities to almost zero. Among those measures:

  • Reducing citywide speed limits from 30 miles-per-hour to 25 miles-per-hour;
  • Expanding the red-light camera and speed-tracking camera programs;
  • Bolstering the presence of traffic-enforcing law officers;
  • Placing devices in taxi cabs that would automatically turn off the meter if the driver exceeds the appropriate speed limit.

No similar proposals are pending in Connecticut, but it seems there are a number of areas that we could stand to improve. For starters, the NHTSA reports our statewide in-vehicle restraint use is at 88 percent. There is no reason this shouldn’t be nearer 100 percent. What’s more, fines for those who fail to properly buckle in children are only a maximum of $60. If state legislators place significant value on the lives of our children, this too requires attention.

Beyond that, the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities in Connecticut increased by 13 percent from 2002 to 2011, cited as a factor in 45 percent of traffic deaths in 2011. Authorities need to prioritize this matter immediately with enhanced patrols and more sobriety checkpoints.

A combination of these effort could go a long way in helping us to further drive down the number of traffic deaths.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation.

New Haven Crash Injury Risk Heightened in Winter

At least once every day since the beginning of December, there has been at least one, multiple-vehicle pile-up somewhere in the country, according to a recent USA Today analysis.

That includes the recent  27-car pile-up on I-95 in Greenwich that resulted in six injuries and led to a three-hour closure of the Interstate. (You may also recall a few years ago when state route 110 was the site of a 50-car pileup, also in December, in which 46 people were injured.)

The New Haven personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli recognize that harsh winter weather conditions are largely to blame. However, we can’t discount the fact that far too many drivers don’t respond appropriately to driving conditions.

Some venture out on bad roads, despite the fact that their travel is unnecessary. Some fail to ensure their vehicle is prepared for the conditions (i.e., proper tire inflation, enough windshield wiper fluid, working brakes, etc.). But beyond that, some motorists don’t tailor their driving to the conditions. Specifically, drivers don’t slow down enough.

Many forget that the posted speed limit is made in consideration of optimal driving conditions. If the roads are wet, snowy or icy, people have to drive defensively. That involves allowing more distance from the vehicle in front of you, and more time to stop if you need to do so.

Multi-Vehicle Crashes Happen Quickly

Recently, video from a traffic camera in Wisconsin captured a winter weather pileup in real time. The reel shows three lanes of heavy traffic moving fairly slowly through heavy snow. But then, several vehicles traveling faster than all the rest speed past. They skid. They collide. They block the road. Soon after, several other vehicles traveling too fast for the conditions slam into those vehicles. Within a matter of seconds, police say some 70 vehicles are involved in the crash.

In some cases, these incidents result in deaths. More frequently, they end in serious injuries that necessitate astronomical medical expenses, lost wages and vehicle damage. A 2002 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that the average crash with a critically injured survivor costs about $1.5 million total.

A more recent calculation by AAA indicated that the cost of a fatal crash is roughly $6 million, while an injury-only wreck costs, on average, $126,000. (The disparity between the $1.5 million and $126,000 figures can be explained by noting that not all crashes result in permanent or serious injuries; The $126,000 figure is the average for all injuries, not just those that are critical.)

Still, the costs are sizable no matter how they are calculated.

For the victims, these cases can be difficult from a liability standpoint. A lot of times following a multiple-vehicle crash, insurance companies will conduct their own investigations, side-by-side with police, to determine which parties were at-fault. However, untangling chain reaction incidents can be tough, and it is sometimes impossible to figure out who was the first to make a mistake.

What you can bet on, though, is that insurance companies are out to reduce their own liability however they can. This is why anyone involved in a multi-vehicle accident should contact an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible.

Given the high costs of involvement in such an incident, it’s in your best interest to have an experienced advocate on your side from the start.

Contact the New Haven Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli by calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 or visiting www.salomoneandmorelli.com.

Hartford Car Accident Prevention Aim of Technology

Tragedy struck recently in Danbury, a small town just 40 minutes outside of Hartford. There, officials say a three-vehicle crash on Route 53 resulted in three deaths.

Authorities say the 45-year-old driver of a Honda Accord lost control of his vehicle, crossed the center line, crashed head-on into a Buick Lucerne, which was then pushed into a box truck.

The two people in the Buick, both in their late-70s, were taken to the hospital where they later died. Also pronounced dead was the driver of the Accord.

The crash remains under investigation. The Hartford personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli note drivers must always be held accountable for causing serious or fatal traffic collisions, even as technology continues to be deployed in an effort to reduce the risks. In particular, vehicle-to-vehicle communication devices are nearing the marketplace.

The hope is that such devices will be able to successfully intervene in future would-be crashes. Today, that future looks closer than ever.

News of this crash happened just days before the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it will begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) for light vehicles. This technology would allow vehicles to “talk” to one another in exchanging basic safety data, such as position and speed. These transmissions can be exchanged up to 10 times every second.

There is no personal information or tracking details exchanged in the transmissions. Nor is there any identification of one vehicle to another. Rather, the communications relate to basic safety information.

Lauded by safety advocates, V2V basically works like this:

Normally, a driver’s only means of avoiding a possible wreck is to see the danger and quickly react with evasive action to avoid it.

With cars that have V2V radio devices, the car itself would sense the danger. The application of brakes in one car would send an electronic signal to other cars nearby, and those vehicles would then react immediately and automatically.

Additionally, vehicles could engage in something like “group discussions.” Facts about traffic conditions, direction and speed could be sent rapid-fire to other surrounding cars.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was recently quoted as saying that this technology could potentially prevent as much as 80 percent of the traffic deaths that occur each year. In the U.S., we lose more than 32,000 people in motor vehicle crashes each year. Every 16 minutes in this country, somebody dies in a traffic crash.

In Connecticut, we’re talking 220 to 320 people annually (the number who died in 2011 and 2010, respectively).

This devices would also potentially prevent a huge number of serious injuries. The NHTSA reports that more than 5.3 million crashes are reported to police every year in the U.S. Of those, approximately 3.8 million involved major property damage and more than 2.2 million resulted in some type of injury.

Automakers have been developing V2V technology for years. The NHTSA is wrapping up on a year-long pilot program in Michigan. Agency officials say once that period is over, it will complete a research report that will estimate the cost, privacy, security and technical feasibility of a formal requirement. Then the agency will open the issue for public discussion before making an actual proposal.

Technology of course wouldn’t prevent people from engaging in distractions behind the wheel or driving while drunk or too tired. However, if they could instantaneously alert to the danger – and further initiate an immediate mechanical reaction to that danger – we may all be safer for it.

Contact the Hartford Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli by calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 or visiting www.salomoneandmorelli.com.

Have You Suffered a Concussion? Common Brain Injuries Under Scrutiny

Each year in the United States, an estimated 1.7 million victims experience a head injury and 75 percent of those patients suffer from a concussion. A concussion is a temporary disruption in the way the brain functions, and it can cause a variety of symptoms that seem to last for a short period of time, such as sensitivity to light and sound or changes in mood, cognitive function and behavior. Most concussions are caused by car accidents, falls or violence, but there are also other reasons for these types of brain injuries to occur, including sports injuries.

If you are one of the many people who has experienced a concussion, you may think that you’ve recovered fully as those first weeks and months pass. Unfortunately, brain injury attorneys in Hartford know concussions can have lasting impact. Recent studies suggest changes to the structure of the brain can still be seen on a diffusion MRI four months after a concussion occurs. Repeated concussions can also have a serious long-term impact on victims, resulting in a significantly increased risk of dementia and other complications.

The Lasting Effects of a Concussion

When a CT-scan or an MRI is performed several months after a concussion occurs, the brain may appear to have returned to normal. However, a new study published in the medical journal Neurology suggests that this is not actually the case. The study involved researchers from the University of New Mexico using a diffusion MRI to take a closer look at the effects of concussion on the brain.

A total of 26 patients who had experienced a mild trauma and concussion had a diffusion MRI performed 14 days after the concussion and then another diffusion MRI performed four months after the head trauma. At the same time as the diffusion MRI was performed, the victims of the trauma also underwent cognitive and memory testing.

A diffusion MRI works differently than other types of MRI’s because the test traces molecules moving through the brain, especially water molecules. The result is that the test paints a clearer picture of the architecture and the structure of the brain. The diffusion MRI of the concussion victims showed that compared to 26 healthy patients who had not experienced any head trauma, those who had experienced a concussion had 10 percent more fractional anisotropy (FA) in the grey matter of the prefrontal cortex. This result showed up in the test that was conducted four months after the concussion occurred, suggesting that the brain looks different for a long time after trauma.

It was not clear from the research exactly why the 10 percent more FA was present in the brains of concussed victims. It could have been a function of healing, or the increased FA may also have been caused by fluid buildup that had occurred during the concussion and not been resolved. However, the increase may also have been due to changes in the brain’s structural cells.

The behavioral tests also revealed that the victims who had experienced the concussion did not perform as well on memory tests or tests of cognitive function.

All of this is bad news for brain injury victims as it suggests that a concussion is a major injury with a lengthy recovery time and potentially long-lasting changes to the brain.

Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli in Hartford today to schedule a free consultation. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

New Haven Drowsy Driving Accidents a Preventable Risk

If you find yourself continually struggling to wake up and drive to work every day because you are too tired, you aren’t alone. Around a third of all Americans are sleep deprived as many people juggle busy lives and have work and home tasks that interfere with getting a good night sleep.

Unfortunately, car accident lawyers in New Haven know that being overtired on a regular basis is dangerous because it significantly increases the risk of an auto accident. A person who is awake for too long could experience similar levels of impairment as someone who is drunk and driving, and you could become involved in an accident that endangers yourself and other motorists.

When you find yourself at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, it is important to take steps to fix the problem and get a good night’s rest. The Fiscal Times has provided some tips from sleep experts that can help you to get a better night sleep and that can make it possible to catch up on your sleep debt in a smart way.

Take These Steps to Avoid a Drowsy Driving Accident

The best way to avoid a drowsy driving crash is to make sure you are well-rested. Some steps to take to help you do that include the following:

  • Turn off your electronic devices well before bed. If you spend the minutes and hours before going to sleep looking at a bright screen on a tablet or phone, the white light from these devices can mimic sunlight and can trick your brain into thinking that it is daytime and time to be awake. As a result, you may have a much harder time falling asleep and may not get enough rest to be alert and awake the next morning.
  • Exercise vigorously but do it early. You don’t want to exercise too close to bedtime as this can cause your body to be too alert and awake to get a good night sleep. However, it is a good idea to get an exercise routine in because the brain will be more apt to allow the body to shut off and go to bed if the brain believes the body has worked hard that day.
  • Avoid food and drink that could interfere with your sleep routine. Alcohol is one big culprit, since drinking alcohol can cause you to wake up throughout the night as the body metabolizes the sugar in the drink. Spicy foods and caffeinated beverages can also affect your ability to go to sleep. Caffeine, in fact, interferes with your sleep patterns even if you have consumed the drink as much as six hours before bedtime.
  • Stick to a steady bedtime. You should try to be consistent with the time that you go to bed and the time that you wake up so your body can get into a routine. Although it is tempting to sleep in really late on the weekends in order to get the rest you didn’t get during the week, this can actually make your fatigue worse on Monday morning. A smarter way to catch up over the weekend is to take short naps.

Following these steps is a smart way to get more sleep and to be better rested. Taking sleeping pills, on the other hand, is usually a bad choice. Not only can you be left feeling groggy and perhaps not be able to drive safely in the morning because of it, but recent studies have also shown that those who take sleeping pills tend to fall asleep just 20 minutes before those who don’t.

Auto accident lawyers in New Haven can help. Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli by calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

New England Auto Accident Risks: Who’s Watching the Watchdog?

Car accident lawyers in New Haven know that backover accidents cause the deaths of about 100 children under the age of five every single year in the United States. This is a serious problem and one that Congress ordered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address. Back in 2008, Congress told the NHTSA to establish regulations that would require auto makers to include backover cameras in all new vehicles.

The NHTSA, however, has delayed the backover camera rule five times since 2008. Safety advocates have grown so concerned with the NHTSA’s lack of effort to move forward and require this life-saving technology that a lawsuit was actually filed against the agency in September of 2013. A panel was also convened by the United States Senate to review the NHTSA’s actions and determine if the agency has been doing enough.

Is the NHTSA Issuing Regulations at a Reasonable Pace?

The NHTSA first came into existence in 1966. In the decade after the administrative agency was created, more than 50 different important regulations passed, creating a safety framework that still largely remains in place today.

In recent years, however, the NHTSA has taken much less of a proactive role and instead has taken a reactive role. Instead of creating lots of regulations and imposing many requirements on automakers, Auto Blog reports that the NHTSA is now primarily focused on recalling cars after safety issues arises.  This has some lawmakers very concerned. Senator Richard Blumenthal, for example, has indicated that the NHTSA “had to do by recall what it should have been able to do by rule.”

The NHTSA has not only failed to take initiative and create new regulations of its own accord, but even failed to create rules when ordered by Congress like with the backover cameras. The latest news indicate that the next delay may be as long as 18 additional months, which is a huge amount of time to wait since this requirement has already been delayed for so long.

The NHTSA’s delay of this regulation, and the agency’s failure to be more proactive in establishing new requirements, likely has to do with fierce resistance by auto makers. Whenever regulations are proposed, automakers stress the high costs and generally fight vigorously in opposition.

Safety advocates, however, are applying pressure from the other direction, urging the NHTSA to do much more. Safety experts not only want the NHTSA to follow through on the mandate for backup cameras but also want the agency to do other things like introducing rules on electronic controls and upgrading tire safety standards as the current requirements are described as outdated.

Although these are legitimate concerns and safety advocates may have grounds for arguing that the NHTSA should do more, not everyone agrees. Some lawmakers point to the dramatic reduction on vehicle deaths that has occurred over the last four decades and use this to argue that there is no need for additional requirements.

However, the reduction in deaths was largely due to the NHTSA forcing car manufacturers to innovate on safety and incorporate new safety features. It stands to reason, therefore, that if the NHTSA became more proactive at requiring new safety devices, even more lives could be saved by the improved features in vehicles.

Auto accident lawyers in Hartford can help. Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli by calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

Concerns About Liability Prompt Hartford to Reduce Take-Home City Vehicles

Hartford provides city vehicles to certain employees, but has significantly decreased the number of take-home vehicles in recent weeks after several high-profile accidents. In March, there were 73 vehicles used by city employees, but the Courant reports this number has been reduced to 45 and may decline further.

The mayor cited financial issues for cutting back on the number of take-home city vehicles given to police officers and general government employees. But there is also another reason for scaling back the fleet: concerns about the city’s liability. Auto accident lawyers in Hartford know special rules apply to suing the government after an auto accident, but that there are circumstances under which the city could be liable for employee crashes.

Accidents in City Vehicles Raise Calls for Change

Drivers in take-home city vehicles are not permitted to allow others to drive their cars and are not supposed to use the vehicles for personal use. Many employees, however, have been violating these rules.

The mayor’s chief of staff, for example, was caught using a city vehicle without permission and was charged with interfering with police. The city’s deputy public works director was charged with drunk driving after she totaled a city-issued car and injured another driver in an accident. The Courant also reported on an accident involving the city’s corporation counselor and acting chief operating officer. This accident was the fault of another motorist, but the city-issued vehicle was damaged and the car was being driven by the city employee’s fiancé when the accident occurred at 2:17 a.m. While the driver was another city employee, his operation of the vehicle still violated policies stipulating that “commuter” cars are supposed to be driven only by the assigned employee and only during normal duty hours.

What if an Accident Occurs in a City Vehicle?

With so many recent incidents in city-issued take-home cars, it is easy to understand why the mayor has taken action to significantly reduce the number of vehicles that city employees are permitted to take home.

When a crash happens in a city-issued car, it is possible that the victim of the accident could pursue a claim against the city for the crash damages. Car insurance generally follows the vehicle, not the individual driver of the car, so the city’s insurer could be on the hook for car accident damages simply because the city owns  and insures the cars.

City employees can also be viewed as agents of the government, which would mean that the negligence of an employee in causing a car accident could be seen as the equivalent of the government itself being negligent.  This argument would not always be a valid one for holding the government responsible for an accident, though, because if the employee was violating policy and using the vehicle for personal use, then he or she would not be acting on behalf of the government and agency rules may not apply.

The complications associated with city ownership of take-home vehicles coupled with special rules that exist providing limited governmental immunity mean that anyone injured in a crash with a vehicle owned by a government agency should consult with an attorney for advice on how to best make a claim for compensation.

Auto accident lawyers in Hartford can help. Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli by calling  1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

Connecticut Accident Claims Life of Infant

Recently, the Hartford Courant reported on a tragic accident that resulted in the death of a young baby.  The two-car collision resulted in the death of a 5-month-old as well as critical injuries to an 11-month-old passenger.  The driver of the second car was a 17-year-old.  Police are reportedly investigating the cause of the accident to determine who was to blame.

Lawyers in Hartford, CT know it is important for police to investigate any auto accident that results in serious injury or death. The driver who is to blame for the crash may face both civil liability and criminal liability if the motorist’s actions were negligent or dangerous.

Police Investigating Fatal Accident

The accident reported by the Courant occurred at around 1:20 in the afternoon. A four-door SUV carrying the two infants and their mothers was traveling west on Spencer Street.  The other car with the 17-year-old motorist was traveling north on Hillstown. The SUV and other vehicle collided, causing the SUV to roll over and hit a telephone pole.

The impact of the rollover caused the passenger compartment on the SUV roof to be crushed. The two mothers who were in the SUV were able to exit the vehicle after the accident and were waiting outside of the car when police arrived.  Police indicate that the damage to the SUV was relatively minor, even with the caved in passenger roof, but, unfortunately both infants had to be extracted from the vehicle by rescue personnel. One of the mothers was also taken to the hospital to treat emotional distress resulting from the accident and injuries to the children.

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash was reportedly unhurt. The teen driver was identified by the police at the accident scene, but it is not yet clear if this driver was to blame for the crash or if the mothers in the SUV were somehow responsible for causing the accident.

Sgt. Hank Minor told the Hartford Courant that it could take days for police to complete the preliminary part of the investigation into what went wrong.  The investigation will include interviewing witnesses as well as obtaining surveillance video from area stores and applying for search warrants for the drivers’ cell phone and maintenance records.

Sgt. Minor said the current evidence regarding the cause of the crash does not give any indication that drugs, speeding or alcohol were involved. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that the teen driver had been texting at the time when the accident happened. Telephone records should help to shed more light on whether the crash was distracted-driving related.

When police complete their investigation, the driver who was found to be at fault could potentially be sued for pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical bills, lost income and/or wrongful death.

If you or your child was injured in an accident, lawyers in Hartford, CT can help. Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli, by calling  1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

A Child is Hurt Playing Sports Every 25 Seconds

Early this August, CBS News reported on a disturbing study that strikes fear through the hearts of parents everywhere. The study showed that youth sports can cause extremely serious injury and that severe sports injuries are very common among kids.

Our Hartford injury lawyers know that coaches, schools and professional clubs and organizations need to make sure that kids play safely when they participate in sports. It can be easy for coaches to get carried away with the game, but they need to remember that kids are just kids and that they need to be properly supervised and avoid high-risk situations that could result in serious injury.

Sports Can Create High Risks for Kids

The new study was conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide and demonstrated just how common sporting injuries are for children. According to the study:

  • Approximately 1.35 million emergency room visits each year occur as a result of severe sports injuries.
  • The most common reason for emergency room visits related to sports were strains and sprains. These injuries were followed by bruises, fractures and scrapes.
  • Severe sports injuries account for approximately 20 percent of all injury-related visits to the emergency room that are made by children and adolescents.
  • A child gets hurt while playing sports an average of once every 25 seconds in the United States.
  • A total of 163,000 of the emergency room visits occur each year because of concussions. This means that 12 percent of the total sports-related visits to the emergency room resulted from head injuries. It also means that a child gets a concussion about once every three minutes.

These injuries can have serious lifelong consequences. Concussions, especially, can have a dramatic and lasting impact on a child’s life.  Traumatic brain injury has been linked to health issues such as dementia and new studies have also suggested that a blow to the head could increase the risk of ischemic stroke.

With about half of the concussions affecting children between the ages of 12 and 15, this is a major cause for concern. Safe Kids indicates that younger children within this age group may take longer than older adults to recover from concussions and that people within this age group are also more likely to develop serious and even potentially deadly brain swelling.

Kids in their formative years, in other words, could be at risk of a fatal injury or could cause themselves harm that affects their entire future.

How Do Sports Injuries Happen?

Sports injuries can occur in any sport, the study revealed. However, football had the highest concussion rate and the highest rate of overall sports injuries.  Wrestling and cheering were also sports that had a high number of injuries, and ice hockey had the highest percentage of concussions among the injuries that players sustained. In fact, as many as 31 percent of injuries that occurred while playing ice hockey were concussions.

These injuries happen for a lot of different reasons, including simple bad luck. Sometimes, however, kids are put into dangerous situations by adults who should know better. If coaches and school teams don’t provide adequate safety equipment or proper supervision to their players, the school or coach could become liable for the harm kids suffer during game play.

If you or your child was injured in an accident, contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli, by calling  1-800-WIN-WIN-1.