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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

Have you been the victim of a 'dooring' accident?

Riding bikes, whether for weekend exercise or your daily commute, is an admirable practice. It provides exercise, reduces your environmental impact and can make you feel awake and alert. The downside, however, is that you can be severely injured in an accident. Most bicyclists know to watch out for cars and other motor vehicles that could turn into their path or cut them off. A large number of potentially serious accidents are likely prevented by the diligence of those on bikes, as opposed to those in motor vehicles. Sadly, there are some kinds of bike accidents that are harder to prevent.

One of the most insidious kinds of bicycling injuries is "dooring." A dooring happens when a person in a motor vehicle opens the door of the vehicle into the flow of traffic, causing a person on a bike to hit the door. This is almost always the result of negligence on the part of the person in the motor vehicle, but sometimes it has been done intentionally. Regardless of why it happens, when someone in a vehicle causes a dooring accident, they should be held accountable. The injuries that negligence causes could completely change you life, making you unable to work or fully care for yourself in the future.

Staying safe: 4 tips for staying safe in the bike lane

You love heading out for a bike ride, but you know that when you're on the roads, you're at risk of being hit by a car. Even though you use the bike lanes, there's no guarantee that you won't get hit.

Drivers don't always pay attention, and those who are parked could fling open a door and cause you to collide with it. Biking has its hazards, but there are a few tips you can follow to stay safer.

Caregiver’s malpractice: Did your obstetrician commit negligence?

Did you come home from the hospital after a difficult birth? Did your baby suffer severe birth injuries and you’re not sure if he or she will fully recover? Clearly, you want answers and you want to know how you’re going to pay for all the medical bills resulting from the additional treatments required.

It may be possible for you to pursue a caregiver’s malpractice claim regarding the medical treatment you received from your obstetrician and the team that tended to your care during the delivery. That said, such a claim will require legal expertise and sound reasoning to achieve a successful result.

The expense of a dog bite: An adult's guide

Dog bites are not inexpensive. In fact, the average dog bite claim in 2010 cost $26,166. As someone who has been attacked by a dog, the good news is that the owner is liable for the attack so long as you did not provoke the animal on purpose. For example, hitting an animal to provoke it might invalidate your claim, but suffering an attack while riding a bike confirms it.

Whenever a dog bites you, the first thing to do is to get medical help. Bites often become infected. Dogs have strong jaws and puncture, tear and damage ligaments, bones, skin and joints. You may need surgery or other medical treatments. For example, if the dog has no vaccination records, you may need to receive the rabies vaccine. If you have not had a tetanus shot in a long period of time, you may need to receive it when you seek medical attention.

Commuter cycling: Getting exercise on the way to work

Cycling is an excellent way to get exercise into your busy workday. You work several miles from home in New Haven, but you'll save on gas and don't necessarily need to have a vehicle at home. As an avid cyclist, you know that it can be dangerous to be on the roads. Sometimes drivers don't see you, because they admittedly believe you should only ever be in a bike lane. Still, you have a right to be in the main lanes and to pass through the lane without a door opening in your path.

Fortunately, Connecticut is becoming a cyclist's destination. In 2006, a woman pushed the Connecticut Department of Transportation to install bike racks on its buses in the Hartford area, much like New Haven and Stamford already had. They obliged, and she now bikes regularly part of the way to work.

Cycling safety tips 101 - have a plan

As a cyclist, you know there are dangers involved during your training rides. Accidents happen all the time. Just last week, one of your friends hit a pot-hole, went end-over-end, and ended up in the hospital with a broken collar bone.

You have had plenty of close calls yourself. Dodging distracted drivers and packs of dogs has become par for the course when you're riding. But, no matter how vigilant you are, the ratio of drivers to cyclists keeps the odds stacked against you. At some point, no matter how closely you follow the rules of the road, you're going to be looking left while that car comes from the right.

What to do when your child is the victim of a dog bite attack

As a parent, you want to minimize the pain and suffering your child experiences. However, sometimes things happen that are simply out of your control. That can include a dog bite attack. Whether your child was bitten while visiting the home of someone you know, walking in the street, or by a roaming dog while playing in the park, your family could experience long-term negative consequences.

Being bitten by a dog can be incredibly traumatic for a child, and it can also lead to a lot of medical expenses, both for primary medical treatment as well as management of secondary issues, such as the development of post-traumatic stress or a fear of dogs.

Following rules of road doesn't always prevent bike accidents

As a bicyclist, you should follow the rules of the road at all times. When you do this, you're taking a big step toward preventing a serious accident in which you could be injured. Unfortunately, just because you follow the rules of the road, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll never be involved in an accident. Instead, all it takes is one mistake by a driver, such as running a stop sign, in order to cause a crash.

Below are several basic rules of the road:

Compensation for bike damage

One of the most frightening experiences for a cyclist is being hit by a motor vehicle while riding. For those who are able to pick themselves and their bike back up and ride on, there is often an overwhelming feeling of relief that they are not dead or seriously injured that the temptation is to get back to their day as soon as possible. But it is important for a cyclist to remember that "not dead" and "okay" are not necessarily the same thing.

Winter biking gear tips

There is nothing like a nice peaceful fall ride where you can enjoy the fall colors. Communing with nature indeed tops the list of perks for those who prefer a bike saddle to a car seat. But an increasing number of bikers here in New Haven are getting serious about winter riding and commuting (commuters click here for more information). You still don't have to pay for gas, parking or perhaps even car insurance. Biking in a snow storm can also be the fastest way around - no need to worry about getting stuck and you might have more direct options for your routes -- as well as the prettiest.

Winter biking has become a more pleasant and feasible experience in recent years thanks to the happy convergence of better biking clothing and some great new gear to get you there safe.

Mills Law Firm proudly sponsored The New Haven Grand Prix in September and looks forward to next year's event!

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