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DUI accidents a problem despite Connecticut’s ignition interlock law

Four people were taken to the hospital after a recent automobile crash in Stamford. The driver of one vehicle was traveling too fast and ran a red light, hitting the other car that contained three people. The 18-year-old driver allegedly had a blood alcohol level that was elevated and alcohol was located in the vehicle. If convicted, the driver will face a variety of penalties that may include having an ignition interlock placed on cars that she drives, once she is allowed to have an active license again.

The NHTSA has published statistics for 2010 showing that the rate of impairment from alcohol use is four times higher in relation to fatal crashes during the nighttime (37 percent), than it is in the daytime (9 percent). In addition, the percentage of alcohol-related fatal crashes that occur on weekends (31 percent) is nearly double the percentage that happens during weekdays (16 percent). The recent car accident in Stamford occurred on a Friday after 11:30 p.m.

According to MADD, in 2011 Connecticut joined the slowly growing ranks of other states in passing a law to require all drivers convicted of drunk driving to install an ignition interlock in vehicles they drive. The law has been in place since 2012. While this law should help to reduce repeat offenses by drivers with an elevated blood alcohol level, it cannot stop first time offenders from driving under the influence and potentially causing devastating accidents.

Victims of auto accidents may require legal assistance

People who have been injured in car accidents involving drunk drivers may require minimal medical treatment or their injuries may be devastating. It is not uncommon for people to lose their lives in automobile accidents involving drunk drivers. According to MADD, 92 drunk driving fatalities occurred in Connecticut in 2011, making up 42 percent of traffic deaths. Victims of such accidents or families of the victims may find that it is in their best interests to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help them through the days that follow.

There are many expenses that may be related to a car accident in Connecticut, including immediate medical treatment, car repairs, ongoing physical therapy, loss of wages because of the inability to work, and so on. While many people think that the insurance company of the offender will simply make all of the necessary payments to help them get back on their feet, this is often not the case.

When the person who caused the accident has no insurance or is underinsured, there are often issues obtaining full compensation. In addition, the insurance company is frequently watching out for its own interests and wants to pay out as little as possible so that its shareholders are not impacted. An experienced personal injury attorney will work to get a settlement that is fair.

People who have been the victim of a car accident, particularly with an impaired driver, should make it a point to contact a Connecticut personal injury attorney to help them through this difficult time.

Verdicts & Settlements

36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.

1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.

47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.

34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.

40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.

26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.

24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.

Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.

22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.

Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.

28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.

54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.

CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.

68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.

34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.

80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.

38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.

Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.

$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.

47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.

26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.