Archive for the ‘Accident Lawyer’ Category

Daylight-Saving Time End Means More Hartford Crashes

Daylight-saving time has come to an end for the year when the clocks changed in November. Although many people may appreciate the extra sleep, Time Magazine warns this added slumber can come at a big cost. A personal injury lawyer recognizes there is evidence to suggest daylight-saving time can make the roads less safe, resulting in an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions, especially those involving pedestrians or bicycle riders.

Drivers need to be aware the end of daylight-saving time can be dangerous. Motorists should take extra care, especially in the days immediately following the change, in order to ensure they don’t put themselves, motorists or pedestrians at greater risk.

Ending Daylight-Saving Time Can Be Dangerous

When daylight-saving time ends, there is an extra hour of sunlight during the morning and it gets dark one hour earlier in the evening. As one University of Washington professor who studies daylight-saving time has asserted that darkness is dangerous, and sunlight can save lives. This refers to the fact that when it is dark outside, there is a greater risk of crashes. Visibility is reduced and drivers are more likely not to see pedestrians or bikers on the road.

Because it is much safer for drivers to be on the road during daylight, the key question about whether daylight-saving should end or should continue throughout the year is when sunlight is the most beneficial. Those who believe daylight-saving time should continue believe it is better to have brighter hours in the afternoon while those who believe that daylight-saving time should end believe that it is better to have sunlight in the morning.

One argument for perpetual daylight-saving time is that there are more people who are awake and active at 5 p.m. than at 7 in the morning. It is better to have light out for longer when more people are active so drivers are better able to see pedestrians in the early evening.

Some evidence seems to support this position. For example, a 2004 study showed  if an hour of sunlight was added to each evening year-round, this could prevent as many as 170 pedestrian fatalities and 200 fatalities among motor vehicle occupants.

There are also concerns the abrupt shift in time caused when daylight-saving time ends could result in drivers being less safe because they have difficulty adjusting. In the immediate wake of the change, drivers tend to operate their vehicles as though it is light, even when it is dark. This means they don’t slow down the way that they should in order to be better able to avoid pedestrian or motor vehicle collisions.

The counterargument, however, is it is better for children to end daylight-saving time so it is bright in the morning when kids go to school. This argument is why the National PTA opposed moving daylight-saving time from April to March.

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 or visit  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.

Fall Driver Safety Tips to Prevent Hartford Collisions

Fall brings rapidly changing weather, as well as a change in the clocks.  These and other factors can make fall a dangerous time on the roads. Motorists need to be prepared for the conditions they’ll face when driving in Hartford and should make an effort to follow best safety practices to avoid accidents. If a collision does occur, victims should speak with a personal injury lawyer.

Safe Driving Tips for Fall

The AARP provides some information to motorists on fall driver safety. Drivers should:

  • Be careful of wet leaves on the roads. Wet leaves can lay on the road and become very slippery. If you park your vehicle too close to dry leaves, this can also be dangerous because the catalytic converter on your vehicle could cause the leaves to catch on fire.
  • Remain alert and be aware of the reduced visibility that daylight savings time can cause. Exercise additional caution even on familiar roads after the time change and be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Check the pressure of your tires. As the weather changes and there are rapid swings from hot to cold weather, this can cause your tires to expand and contract. Check to ensure that the tire treads are not too worn and that the tire’s have the manufacturer-recommended amount of air pressure.
  • Prepare for the glare of the sun. The change in time can alter the morning or late afternoon sun and cause visibility to be impaired as a result of the sun reflecting off of car windows and car hoods. Consider glasses with anti-reflective glare and have sunglasses ready in your vehicle to help you to see better.
  • Be prepared for wet roads. Fall is often a very rainy time and you could be at risk of hydroplaning when water lays on the roads. Remember to slow down when you are in a wet road or when visibility is reduced during a rain storm. You should also check to ensure that your windshield wipers are in good working order and effective at clearing the windshield.

A military safety alert also warns of the potential pitfalls of fall driving, including the risk of unexpected early snow storms as well as the dangers that a frost can present when there is dew on the roads. Fog is also a concern, especially in low places or in areas where there are lots of trees. Drivers should slow down and turn on their low beams or fog lamps.

Fall can also lead to icy conditions. Bridges in Hartford and across Connecticut tend to freeze first before other areas of the roads do and black ice can form even before the dead of winter if the weather becomes unseasonably cold in the fall. The day after the first snowstorm of the year is one of the most dangerous according to Forbes, and you need to be ready in case the snow comes early this year.

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

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 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

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.

New Hours of Service Aim To Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue

Driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes limits on the number of hours that professional truckers can drive without a break. Even with these limits, however, our New Haven accident lawyers know that an FMCSA study shows around 6,000 truck accidents each year can be attributed to tired drivers.  

To try to reduce the number of accidents and make the roads safer for everyone, the FMCSA instituted changes to the hours-of-service rules in 2011. After a two-year delay and a court battle, these new hours of service rules went into effect on the first of July and the court ruled in early August that the new FMCSA regulations would stand.

The New Hours of Service Rules

The FMCSA made several key changes to the hours-of-service rules that affect long and short haul truck drivers.

One of the changes involved reducing the average weekly hours that a trucker can work. While previously a driver could operate his vehicle for 82 hours in a work week, the new rules reduce the limit to just 70 hours. After the 70-hour limit has been reached, drivers must take a 32-hour continual rest break that includes two full overnights of rest before they can drive again.

Another change that was made mandated that drivers take a 30 minute break within the first eight hours of driving. This is essentially a meal and rest break that ensures drivers can stay focused and avoid fatigue during a day of driving.

The FMCSA first passed the new regulations in 2011 but mandated they would not go into effect until July 1, 2013 in order to give truckers time to make changes. The hope is that now that these rules are in effect, they will make the roads safer for everyone.

Some professional drivers, however, are not happy with the new limitations the FMCSA has passed. The American Trucking Association expressed its concern with how the FMCSA made the new rules, calling the process agenda driven and raising questions about the research that had been done. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), on the other hand, has long been an opponent of changes limiting hours of service because of a belief that truck drivers need flexibility to do their jobs.

Because of their concerns, professional trucking groups challenged the FMCSA regulation in court with the hope that the regulation would be struck down. In early August, however, Truck News reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit retained almost all of the rules and only struck down the 30-minute meal break requirement for short haul drivers.

This means that the regulations are now in effect and will likely stand as the law of the land. OOIDA has indicated that they’ve given up the fight, suggesting they will now get on with training drivers. Hopefully, now that these rules are in place, the number of truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers will be on the decline.

If you were injured in a truck accident, contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli, by calling  1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

NTSB Indicates Track Issues Prior to Bridgeport Train Accident

Recently, our Bridgeport accident lawyers wrote about the tragic Metro-North train accident that caused injuries and prompted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to launch an investigation. The NTSB has completed its initial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash and the findings show that there may have been advanced warning that the railroad tracks were having problems.

According to the Courant, the investigation is still underway and the exact cause of the derailment has not yet been determined. However, the preliminary information that is coming in does suggest that there may not have been adequate safety measures taken to keep the train safe and avoid injury.

NTSB Report Sheds Light on Bridgeport Train Accident

The Courant reports that the NTSB issued its preliminary report on Wednesday about the Bridgeport train accident. According to the report, an inspection took place two days before the train derailed on the Metro-North’s New Haven line.  The inspection was done on a routine schedule, and a spokesperson for Metro-North indicates that the New Haven line is inspected twice each week by professionals assigned to the area.

These inspectors become very familiar with the tracks, according to the spokesperson, since they look at the same area each time. When the inspection occurred two days prior to the accident, the inspector noted that there was an “insulated rail joint with inadequate supporting ballast and indications of vertical track movement of the track system under load.” In other words, a potential problem with the track was noted on the inspection report.

This problem was not considered serious enough to require immediate attention, according to a Metro-North spokesperson. The inspector indicated on his report that there was not a need for immediate maintenance, as there are some maintenance issues that require the trains to be stopped and others that simply need to be watched but not addressed right away.

Unfortunately, the area where this problem was noted was the same area where the train derailed. While the NTSB was cautious to indicate in its report that the cause of the train derailment has not yet been determined, it is not good news that there was a noted problem on the track at the same area where the train accident occurred.  It would be a very big coincidence if a noted break in the track just happened to be in the same spot where the train derailed but the break did not cause or contribute to the accident.

If, in fact, the NTSB finds that the train accident was caused by this broken area in the track, then the evidence of the earlier inspection report could be a strong indicator that Metro-North was negligent in not repairing the tracks.

Lawsuits have already been filed by victims who were hurt in the crash, claiming that the company is to blame and should thus be required to compensate victims. While Metro-North estimated the damage from the train accident at $18 million, the losses to the injured victims may not be immediately known as sometimes serious injuries are not apparent right after a crash occurs.

If you were injured in a train accident, contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli, by calling  1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

Construction Accident Injures 5 at UConn

On March 14, the CT Post reported that five people were injured at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. The CT Post did not indicate how serious the injuries were; however, emergency personnel were reportedly on the scene of the accident. The incident was described as a construction accident and those injured were performing work.

Our Hartford, CT accident lawyers know that construction accidents can often cause very serious injury. In many cases, when an injury happens on a construction site, significant legal complications can also occur as a result.

Construction Accident Injures Five

The March construction accident at UConn occurred in the school’s Research Development Center. A spokesperson for the school interviewed by the CT Post indicated that the Research and Development Center is currently in the process of being remodeled. Workers were making progress on the remodeling work when ceiling tiles started to come down. Five of the workers suffered injury as a result of the falling ceiling tiles, necessitating medical treatment and a response from emergency personnel.

The CT Post reported that no one was evacuated, even after the ceiling tiles began to fall, because the building is considered structurally sound. While the building as a whole may be sturdy and present no risk to other workers, the fact remains that five people got hurt on the job and may have financial and other losses because of it.

Construction Accidents and Workers’ Rights

When someone gets hurt on the job, the law aims to make sure that he or she is not left financially ruined as a result of a work injury. The law established a workers’ compensation system, which is considered an exclusive remedy system.

Basically, under workers’ comp, you can get compensation only through workers’ comp, and you cannot sue. Your coverage is a little broader because you don’t have to prove your employer was negligent, but you also don’t get damages for things like pain and suffering.With many construction accidents, however, there is an alternative to workers’ compensation. If there was any third party who was responsible in any way for causing the injury as a result of negligence, then a work injury claim can be made against the third party. This can take the form of a standard personal injury lawsuit, with its broader financial recovery as compared to workers’ compensation.

A third party responsible for a construction site injury might include a non-employer project manager overseeing the construction; an architect or engineer responsible for design or construction supervision; or the manufacturer of equipment that malfunctioned and led to the injury. Those who have suffered more serious injury should be entitled to appropriate compensation, either through workers’ comp or through a lawsuit. Incidents like the ceiling falling on the workers’ head are not isolated incidents. Falling objects and workers who are struck by objects are among the most common causes of fatal work accidents each year.

Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli by calling  1-800-WIN-WIN-1. The Hartford office is located at 100 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105.