Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Connecticut Crash-Prevention Efforts Leave Room for Improvement

The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety has released its 2015 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. Motorists in New Haven, New Britain, Norwich Manchester and the Waterbury-area should be aware of what this report says so they can make informed choices about driving risks. The report evaluates how well each of the states in the U.S. have done in terms of passing recommended safety laws designed to reduce motor vehicle accident risks.car_crash

Personal injury lawyers know that Connecticut is missing some important regulations, but that drivers can voluntarily make the choice to avoid risky driving practices and reduce auto accident risks on state roads and highways.

Connecticut Could Improve Its Traffic Safety Rules

Connecticut has passed eight out of the 15 laws that the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety recommend states have. This has earned the state a “Yellow” rating. There are three different rating levels assigned in the report. Red means that the state has a dangerous lack of effective regulations to reduce collisions. Nine states have received a rating of red. Green means that the state has made significant advancements towards implanting safety legislation that is recommended to protect the public. Ten states have a Green rating. Finally, 31 states – including Connecticut – have received a Yellow rating. Yellow means that the state has made moderately positive progress towards adopting the laws that can make road conditions safe.

The laws that Connecticut is missing include:

  • An all-rider motorcycle helmet law mandating helmets every time someone is on a motorcycle.
  • A primary enforcement law mandating rear passengers wear seat belts. Under current laws, people can be ticketed for drivers in the rear not wearing a seat belt only if there is some other reason besides the seat belt violation for pulling the driver over.
  • A law requiring that child booster seats be used until a child reaches the age of seven.
  • A six month waiting period between when a teen gets a learner’s permit and the time the teen moves to a license.
  • Better restrictions on nighttime driving for new teen drivers.
  • An open container law imposing restrictions on open bottles of alcohol.
  • A child endangerment law.

Although wearing a helmet, rear seat belts, booster seats and teen driving restrictions are not yet the law, this does not mean that motorists can’t make the smart and safe choice anyway. Parents should consider restricting their teens permission to drive at night and should make sure their teen waits a sufficient amount of time (and gets a sufficient amount of practice) before getting a license. Parents should also keep children in booster seats in cars and avoid driving drunk or engaging in any unsafe driving practices with a child in the vehicle.  Motorcycle riders should also make the choice to wear helmets when on the road.

There were 276 traffic accident fatalities in Connecticut in 2013. Perhaps if motorists make a commitment to safety and if the state moves forward with more traffic accident prevention laws, the death toll could drop in the future.

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


Connecticut Hospital Conditions Common Factor in Medical Malpractice

Federal inspectors recently issued a report citing the VA Connecticut Healthcare System Hospital in West Haven for unsanitary conditions, inadequate infection control and even an insect problem.

Despite the findings, officials say there is no “conclusive” evidence at this point that the sanitation problems resulted in care deficiencies or negative patient outcomes.

However, as Hartford injury attorneys we recognize that anytime such conditions exist, the likelihood of negligent care is significantly higher.

Part of the reason has to do with the fact that a staff that doesn’t have time to clean may be stretched thin in other areas. Doctors and nurses who don’t have enough time to spend with their patients may be more prone to commit misdiagnoses, medication errors and other substandard care.

Another reason unsanitary conditions are more likely to produce negative patient outcomes has to do with the risk of infection. When facilities, personnel and equipment are not properly cleaned, the risk of a hospital-acquired infection skyrockets.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention reports that hospital-acquired infections affect about 1 in every 20 patients who is hospitalized. The direct medical cost of these incidents is through the roof, costing between $35 billion to $45 billion in hospital resources annually.

Guess who pays those bills?

The patients who were victimized in the first place.

The CDC estimates that if hospitals were to spend about $5 billion to $6 billion annually, they could all but eliminate the instances of hospital-acquired infections. The key is proper sanitation, effective tools and staff training.

Infections can be viral, bacterial or fungal and they range from mild to life-threatening. The risk is further exacerbated by the fact that so-called “superbugs,” aggressive strains of illness resistant to antibacterial treatments, are becoming more and more common in hospital settings. One such strain was recently blamed in 16 deaths at a single hospital in Manchester, England over the last four years.

In Canada, authorities indicate that some 220,000 citizens develop infections every year during hospital stays, with some 22 dying daily as a result – costing some $2,000 to $20,000 each. That’s why health officials there have adopted vigorous methods of cleaning and sanitation at each facility.

Here in the U.S., however, a recent study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control suggests hospitals – particularly those offering intensive care unit services – have had a fairly uneven compliance rate with sanitation standards.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers from Columbia University and the CDC analyzed the practices of more than 1,500 ICUs at 975 hospitals, with special attention paid to the implementation of 16 different infection prevention measures. The study authors were especially interested in how hospitals worked to curb central-line bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and catheter-related urinary tract infections.

While all of those participating had measures in place to prevent infection, compliance ranged from 27 percent to 92 percent, depending on the hospital and the measure being analyzed.

For example, compliance with ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention actions ranged from 69 percent to 91 percent. However, compliance to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections ranged from 27 percent to 68 percent.

These kinds of figures are unacceptable. Those who have suffered as a result  may be entitled to compensation.

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.

Connecticut roads extremely hazardous due to snowbanks

You’re stopped in your car at an intersection. You’re trying to determine if it’s safe to drive ahead. But you can’t see a thing around the corner. The reason? There’s a huge snowbank blocking your view. Now, you’re forced to blindly drive ahead, unsure whether there’s another car speeding straight towards you.

Such a scenario has become far too common this winter, especially in Connecticut, one of the hardest hit areas this winter. Hartford has already received more than 80 inches of snow. That’s 53 inches more than average. And as one big snowstorm after another pummels New England week after week, huge snowbanks grow larger and larger. That means even narrower streets and even less visibility for drivers. And as temperatures rise and fall below freezing, frozen snowbanks often turn into solid walls of ice. Melting snow can also create black ice on roads and lead to slip and fall accidents.

Your safety should not be compromised because of dangerous snowbanks. Accidents happen, especially during the winter. What would you do if you had an accident because of a snowbank? What if you were unable to work? How would you pay your medical bills? You need someone experienced with handling serious car accidents. You need someone who thoroughly understands Connecticut’s complicated laws. You need someone who gets results. You need the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli.

Our skilled lawyers have years of experience defending people injured in weather-related car accidents throughout Connecticut. We know how to successfully navigate through such complex cases. Don’t be a victim. Take action. Contact Salomone & Morelli today. We mean business.

Workplace Violence- Do the Innocent Victims Have Any Rights?

As is evidenced by the tragedy in Manchester, Conn., we hear news reports on an increasingly frequent basis about workplace violence resulting in injury or death to coworkers of a disgruntled employee. Workplace violence is a serious safety and health issue, which has been studied and resulted in the compilation of several strategies and warning signs of which employers are, or should be, aware to minimize the risk to all employees in the workplace. While there is no way to guarantee that an employee will not eventually become disgruntled and become dangerous to fellow employees, there are several steps which an employer must take to minimize the risk.

These start with simple steps such as thorough pre-employment screening to avoid hiring potentially violent people in the first place, to implementation of Progressive Disciplinary systems and performance evaluations which allow the employee to address and rectify issues before they become a larger problem. In predictably stressful situations, such as disciplinary hearings or terminations proceedings, employers should consider holding such meetings off site and with the presence of security in order to lessen the risk of violence. When an employer is or should be aware of the confrontational tendencies of an employee, yet does not address or take steps to enforce company anti-violence policies, that employer may be liable to injured co-workers who become innocent victims.

In order to avoid becoming a victim twice, workers and families of victims of workplace violence should seek legal advice to explore all options available to them. Reporting to work for an honest day’s wages should not be a life and death choice.

“Lane splitting” motorcycle laws confusing. We can help.

Lane splitting. The phrase refers to a common motorcycle riding practice. It’s when motorcyclists ride in between two lanes of traffic. But is it legal? And what if there’s an accident? Whose liable?

Depends who you ask. According to some experts, this practice known as “lane splitting” is against the law in every state across the country except California. Connecticut’s laws also seem to clearly state that lane splitting is illegal. But accidents are complicated. Many factors come into play in any accident. Nothing is ever rarely clear-cut.

And don’t imagine that insurance companies are on your side. Often, insurance companies will blame motorcyclists for causing the accident, even when the accident was the other driver’s fault. The other driver may even claim you were recklessly weaving in and out of traffic on your motorcycle when the accident took place.

Motorcycle accidents happen fast. Suddenly, your life can change forever in an instant because of serious, irreversible injuries. This may be your only chance to be legally compensated for your motorcycle accident injuries.

Don’t let insurance companies push you around. Don’t leave your future to chance. Take action. You need a skilled legal team on your side that understands the law. You need the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone and Morelli. When you choose us, you get experienced lawyers who know how to navigate through the complex legal hurdles standing in your way for justice.

More motorcyclists than ever are on the road. Be prepared. Ride safe. And remember who you can trust if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident. Contact Salomone & Morelli. We’re on your side.