Dealing with an injury at work can feel overwhelming and complicated. In addition to needing time to heal and recover, you also need to file your workers’ compensation claim.

In some cases, your employer is not the only one liable for your injuries. When another party was part of the accident, you may need to pursue a third-party liability claim.

Here’s what you should know about third-party liability claims and when third-party liability applies.

An accident with more than one cause

When there is only one cause for a work-related injury, the workers’ compensation claim is relatively simple. On the other hand, it can get more complex when another company or another individual adds another element to the accident that caused the injury.

For example, suppose you are working in a store and are injured when you slip on a wet floor because the company that cleans the floors failed to mark the slippery area. In that case, there could be two parties liable for your injuries.

Where the liability lies

The store you work for is responsible for ensuring your workplace is safe and free from hazards. Since you fell while performing your job duties, the store carries some liability for your injuries.

In this example, there is another party who contributed to the unsafe workplace. The company that comes in to clean the floor is responsible for marking damp areas to prevent injuries. Since an additional party was responsible for both the circumstances and the resulting injury, you could also have a claim with the other party.

These claims tend to be complex, so working with an experienced professional who understands your claims is essential.

Car accidents have the potential to turn someone’s life upside down in a matter of seconds. You were commuting to work, picking up your kids from school or going to visit a friend, and suddenly you find yourself in excruciating pain, with extensive medical bills, a totaled car and an inability to return to work – all because of the negligent driving of another. In this horrific situation, what can you hope to recover from a lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident?

Compensation for monetary harm

First and foremost, you could attempt to recover compensation for your potentially overwhelming medical expenses. This does not just include any hospital bills you may have. It can also cover medications you must take, in-home services, physical therapy and any other cost required for full recovery from your injury.

Your medical expenses are probably not the only cost that you find yourself faced with after your accident. You can also include in your suit a request for compensation for any of your resulting property damage. This means damage to your car, as well as to your other personal property that may have suffered damage in the crash.

Finally, if you are unable to work and support your family, you can seek compensation for lost wages. If your disability is permanent, you may even receive compensation for loss of earning capacity.

Compensation for other types of harm

You do not need to limit your recovery to purely monetary damages. There are other types of damages for which you can seek compensation that have nothing to do with money.

For example, depending upon the circumstances, you might be able to ask for compensation for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium and things of that nature.

This accident was not your fault, but you are paying serious consequences for it. Fortunately, our judicial system affords you the opportunity to seek compensation for the harm that you suffered, so that you can start to put your life back together.

People often mistakenly believe the answer to this question is No. They think that if they had any role in an accident or admit any amount of fault, the law bars them from recovering financial damages through a lawsuit. But, this is not exactly true.

Connecticut drivers can still collect damages from a personal injury claim even if they were partially to blame for an accident. However, there are some important caveats and limits.

Understanding modified comparative negligence

In this state, we have modified comparative negligence laws. Generally, this means that even if you carry some responsibility for an accident, you can still pursue and recover damages.

The critical exceptions include situations where you are more than 50 percent to blame. In these situations, you cannot recover financial damages.

Another critical element of these laws is the difference between what is awarded and what you actually receive. The law specifies the amount you recover will be reduced in proportion to your liability. In other words, if your negligence was 20 percent, the courts will reduce any award you collect by 20 percent.

Who calculates liability?

Considering how much could be on the line when it comes to calculating liability, people often worry about who makes these determinations.

Assigning liability often involves several parties and factors, especially when there are several people involved. Among them are:

These parties investigate a crash and use the evidence to decide which parties were negligent or reckless. Typically, they will look at:

Putting these pieces together can help parties understand what happened who is liable for a severe car accident.

Making your case

Details matter when it comes to investigating the cause of an accident and calculating the damages resulting from a crash. Percentages add up to dollars, and every cent counts when it comes to compensating crash victims. 

Keep all this in mind before you dismiss your legal options or assume a settlement is good enough.

Jacobs & Wallace is proud to announce that once again, Partner, Andrew Wallace has been named as one of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s (NTLA) Top 40 Under 40. Only a select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature, and public profile are honored with this award. Recipients of this honor are chosen by the NTLA based on a multi-step process that includes nominations by peers and third-party research. Their criteria for all selected attorneys must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40.

Attorney Wallace has successfully been representing accident victims in Connecticut litigating workers’ compensation and personal injury cases for over twelve years.  He is recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers since 2016 and a long-standing member of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association.

“I am honored to receive this recognition by the National Trial Lawyers Association.” says Attorney Wallace.  “It gives me great pride to meet the accomplished qualifications needed to be added to this membership and to be named on a list of such talented peers within the Connecticut legal community.”

 

2021 St. Patty’s Day will be a bit different this year, but celebrations will still be happening across the state.  Although many parades and public events will be held virtually, people are still planning to celebrate with family and friends at restaurants, bars and at home. It is important to remember that attending gatherings does increase your risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19.  Safety should be priority when planning your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  Please remember to follow the CDC guidelines to protect yourself against the virus.  It is also vital to plan for a safe and sober ride home.

To learn about local events and celebrations within your community it is best to go online and check out the information provided by your local Patch publication.

The Annual Dangers that are Linked to St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is undoubtedly one of the rowdiest holidays of the year. There are approximately 32.3 million people in America with claims to Irish heritage, and even those with no Irish decedents love to participate in the festivities. It’s predicted that over half of the U.S. population will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year creating millions of opportunities for accidents to occur.

To help keep everyone in your group and family safe this year, review these common St. Patrick’s Day safety tips to help prevent unnecessary injuries this holiday:

Have a safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us at Jacobs & Wallace!

Jacobs & Wallace- Connecticut Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to negligence of another, contact Connecticut accident attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace. We are here to fight for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation.  No fee, unless we win!

Prior to the pandemic, with Covid-19 taking the lives of over a half a million Americans, the third leading cause of death was due to medical errors.  According to a Johns Hopkins Medicine study, it is estimated that up to 440,000 patient fatalities and millions of injuries are the cause of preventable medical errors every year. It could be said that the healthcare industry sometimes causes more harm to patients than good, due to medication mix-ups, wrongful diagnosis, surgery mishaps, poor communications, and pure negligence.  When permanent injury or death is a direct result of a deviation from the standard of care, it is known as medical malpractice.

From March 8th to March 14th, medical facilities and communities around the country observe National Patient Safety Week to help raise awareness for prevention.  During this safety week, it is a good opportunity for patients to address concerns about their medical care and address these concerns with providers to help avoid unnecessary injuries. Speaking up is often hard for patients, leaving their trust in the hands of their health care providers.  Although this seems like the right thing to do, it is important that when a patient is concerned about their care, the patient speaks up.

All patients in Connecticut have rights to safe care by competent medical workers.  It is vital for patients to be informed and advocate for these rights.

Connecticut residents can help spread awareness in their communities by knowing the facts and where to access resources to help fight for safer care and avoid injuries and even death from medical errors. Knowing the most common medical mistakes is helpful for patients and their families to detect and avoid mistakes from happening.

Top 5 Medical Malpractice Threats to Patients:

When a patient seeks medical treatment they expect the outcome of their care to feel better, not worse. Throughout the healthcare industry, medical safety protocols, best practices, policies and procedures are created to prevent medical malpractice. Unfortunately, not all hospitals, facilities and health care providers manage these standards to be strictly followed, and fall short leading to serious injuries and even death due to preventable medical errors.

U.S. Consumer Reports has highlighted a list of the top five medical mistakes patients can help avoid during care:

  1. Avoid Falls

At least one-third of all medical facilities’ falls could have been prevented if the proper precautions were enforced. Falls are one of the most common accidents in a hospital setting and often the result of negligent medical practices. A patient who is left unattended or without fall protection equipment can suffer from broken bones, crushing injuries, or internal bleeding when a fall occurs.  To avoid a preventable fall, assure that the hospital staff takes the right steps towards protecting you or your loved one. Medical personnel should be asking questions about your history of falls, stability, and current medications. They should also be testing your strength and ability to get up and stand on your own.  This information is critical to creating a fall protection plan during your care, including choosing the appropriate equipment, bed, and staff to help during your stay.

  1. Avoid Medication Errors

Over 1.5 million patients every year are negatively affected by medication mix-ups. Medical facilities have been known to make critical errors, such as:

– giving the wrong dose

– giving the wrong medication

– giving medication too often

– combining medications that have adverse effects

There are countless ways that a medication error can occur, with protocols in place to prevent most of them from causing patients harm. Ask hospital staff for information on every medication you or a loved one is taking, their side effects, and why they are needed. It is important to check to make sure the nurse or pharmacist is administering/providing the correct doses the doctor has prescribed to avoid simple errors that result in devastating consequences.

  1. Avoid Antibiotic Misuse

Too many doctors, hospitals and medical centers are relying on antibiotics as a cure-all drug. Studies have shown that up to 50 percent of antibiotic courses are unnecessary or inappropriate. Patients who receive antibiotics they don’t need can become more susceptible to “superbugs” resistant to antibiotic treatment. Additionally, patients can experience negative effects of antibiotic treatments mixing with other medications that are actually needed during care.

Before taking any antibiotics, ask your doctor if it is necessary and why. Ensure the antibiotic is specific enough to target your ailment and not too broad, where it will have little effect.

  1. Avoid Improper Discharge

Chaotic discharges can lead to several medical errors that do not surface until the patient arrives home. As many as 1 in 5 people treated in the hospital will be back within 30 days of discharge for additional treatment of the same or different conditions.

Patients discharged before they are ready or given incomplete discharge instructions increase their risk for infections and further complications. Health experts advise all patients to meet with a discharge planner one day before they are planned to be discharged to sort out their release details. Ask for a written summary and copies of all paperwork you will be given to provide you with ample time to ask questions. Make sure the paperwork includes any tests, scans, prescriptions, and future appointments.  It helps to have a some one with you when being discharged to hear the instructions, review the paperwork and ask questions.

  1. Avoid Too Little Activity

Patients who develop pressure ulcers, also known as “bedsores,” are typically suffering from neglect during care. Bedsores arise when patients are lying or sitting down for extended periods of time without moving. These injuries can worsen when left untreated, with severe cases resulting in amputations and even death.

Patients who are not moved enough may also be at a higher risk for falls. Lying or sitting down can weaken parts of the body and make it harder to move. Studies have shown patients with little movement when ill can experience trouble with balance even months after leaving the hospital.

The medical staff is responsible for making sure that you or your loved one is moved around enough to prevent bedsores’ occurrence during care. Checking to make sure this is actually happening is essential.   If bedsores do occur, a plan should immediately be put in place to address the wound and prevent sores’ occurrence in the future. Ask medical staff what the facility’s policy and protocols are for addressing immobility and make sure they are carried out to avoid injuries.

How to Get Involved to Avoid Injuries and Death from Medical Malpractice in Connecticut:

For more information on how to get involved, visit the Center for Patient Safety for additional resources!

Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Hospitals and medical professionals have an obligation to prevent their patients from foreseeable harm. If you or your family has lost a loved one to medical negligence or has been injured by a medical error cause at a health care facility or by a provider, you may be eligible to receive compensation for any damages suffered. Contact Connecticut medical malpractice attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace for a free case evaluation and explore your options. Time for filing a medical malpractice claim is limited in Connecticut.  It is important to act quickly to protect your rights. Our legal team has decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured patients and winning medical malpractice cases in Connecticut.  Contact us today at (203) 332-7700.

This winter season has been quite challenging for drivers in Connecticut.  In 2021, weekly storms have severely impacted Connecticut roads from significant snow, ice, frozen rain and slush.  According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, each year, 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15% happen during snowfall or sleet. Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually.

TEST YOUR SKILLS NOW & TAKE THE QUIZ BY CLICKING HERE: https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/6030274dcca84500176db352

Take this quick and helpful Winter Driving Safety Quiz from Jacobs & Wallace. Find out if your knowledge of driving in wintery conditions scores you high enough to be worthy of being a winter driver or not.

The National Trial Lawyers Association (NTLA) has once again recognized partner Adele Jacobs as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and a Top 25 National Women Trial Lawyer for her outstanding work as a civil trial attorney. This is a great achievement, as membership in both groups is only extended to a select few of the most qualified attorneys in America.

The NTLA is an invitation-only organization that recognizes top trial attorneys that have demonstrated exceptional leadership, reputation, influence stature and public profile.  Recipients of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state are selected through a process that includes peer nominations and objective research. This recognition is a great representation of Attorney Jacobs’ stellar career as a trial attorney.  She has been a member of NTLA’s Top 100 since 2015.

Being selected as a member of the Top 25 National Women Trial Lawyers is another well-deserved honor for attorney Jacobs. This recognition is only given to the top 25 women attorneys from each state or region who serve individuals and families who need attorneys to represent them in the legal system. Women invited to this prestigious group exemplify superior skills and qualifications, and have achieved outstanding results in their careers. Attorney Jacobs has been nominated to this distinguished group since 2019.

The mission of the NTLA is “to promote excellence and foster diversity in the legal profession through advocacy training, networking and education of trial lawyers”. As a member of this distinguished association, Attorney Jacobs will be among a prestigious group of women making great strides in the legal profession.

When asked about being honored for these recognitions, Attorney Jacobs commented; “It gives me great pride to be honored by the National Trial Lawyers Association and be recognized with an impressive group of recipients that share the same passion, commitment and values practicing law.”

Attorney Jacobs has dedicated her career to representing injured individuals and families who need legal representation. She is very committed and involved in her community, and continues her family’s tradition of charitable giving and concern for others. To learn more about Attorney Jacobs’ highly respected career, click here: Adele R. Jacobs

 

No one plans to visit the emergency room, let alone with their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.  Although this holiday is not listed as a hazardous one, there are still common risks that can land you or your loved one in the hospital.

Millions of loving couples expect to celebrate by giving one another gifts on Valentine’s Day. If you are planning to give gifts like chocolates, candy, flowers or romantic candles, you may want to add a “warning note” with your loving gesture.

A Hot Night Can Lead To Flames: 

Candles are ranked as one of the riskiest gifts to give.  Although candles are great for setting a romantic mood, they also cause fires.  According to the Safety Prevention Resource igot2kno.org. Candles cause an estimated 15,600 house fires, 150 deaths, and 1,270 injuries each year. A better candle option to use for your romantic night is LED flameless candles to avoid any accidents.

Food & Candy Allergies Can Be Deadly:

Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, candy, cakes and other treats are synonymous with Valentine’s Day.  It is important to know the ingredients of the goodies you are giving to your loved ones.  According to the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization, over 15 million Americans experience some type of food allergy.  Some common ingredients people are allergic to include milk, nuts and eggs, to name a few.  A severe allergic reaction can be deadly.  Consumption of an allergen can cause some people to go into anaphylactic shock.  It is important to always read the labels carefully and ask about allergies prior to buying treats as gifts.

Pretty Flowers Can Hurt You:  

Be careful when cutting flowers to place in a vase.  According to a study from Beaumont Emergency Center data showed that,  350,000 people are injured by kitchen knives each year.  It may be best to give flowers that are already placed in a vase.  Also, flower-filled vases can slip out of people’s hands, causing broken glass on the floor.  These types of accidents cause dozens of ER visits a year,

Driving After Having Too Much Bubbly:

For couples who plan to dine out and celebrate with a bottle of champagne or other alcoholic beverage, it is important to find another way home.  The number of drivers on the road under the influence of alcohol usually increases on holidays.  Valentine’s Day is no exception.  To avoid accidents and injuries, if you and your lover both want to drink, consider taking public transportation, an Uber or another rideshare, or stay at home where you are safe from other drunk drivers.

The best bet to avoid injuries on Valentine’s Day is to use your best judgment and don’t sacrifice you and your lover’s safety in the name of love!

With the increasing national availability of Covid-19 vaccine variants, many are seeking information concerning when and where they will have the opportunity to become inoculated. Many people are wondering, will employers have the right to require employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment?

Who is Eligible for the Vaccine?

According to the state website, as of February 11, 2021, eligibility has opened up to all individuals who are Connecticut residents, specifically over the age of 65. Currently, plans to initiate Phase 1c vaccinations are being finalized and are expected to become available to the general public. More information on eligibility can be found at:ct.gov.

Can Employers in CT Require Employees to be Vaccinated?

The answer is yes, but there are some exceptions. Currently, the State of Connecticut has not mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for its residents. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOD) and the United State Justice Department have released guidelines for how employers should address vaccine-related issues. Employers may consider their work environment unsafe due to a high risk of exposure. In fact, employees can be required to be vaccinated against diseases that could compromise health and safety standards in the workplace.

Vaccination issues are likely to cause some degree of tension and controversy with employees at workplaces throughout the state. This is reflective of the various opinions and beliefs that people have on vaccinations. Differences between employees; some will not only want to be vaccinated but will also want the assurance that their colleagues are also vaccinated. While others, for a variety of reasons, will refuse to be vaccinated. Therein lies the heavy burden of employers to determine if the vaccine is a workplace necessity.

Let’s be clear; the state of Connecticut does not mandate any employer to vaccinate employees. However, employers can legally set requirements for their employees to be vaccinated and determine it to be a necessity if there is a bonified reason. Such as a “direct threat” to the business or its employees. Given how highly contagious the novel Coronavirus and the new variants have been, the nature of the “direct threat” may force many workplaces to require their employees to be vaccinated.

If You Refuse to be Vaccinated, Can You Lose Your Job?

Before terminating an employee, an employer must determine whether the employee is worthy of an accommodation and whether they would be protected by local, state or federal regulations and if union labor rules would apply. However, if no other possible accommodation can be made, an employer could potentially terminate an employee for refusing the vaccine.

What If I Suffered A Reaction From The Covid-19 Vaccine That My Employer Required Me To Get?

If the vaccine, required by your employer has caused you harm, you may have a worker’s compensation claim against your employer. It is important to report to your employer what reaction you have suffered immediately and request necessary medical treatment.

For further information about the COVID-19 virus and vaccinations in the workplace, please refer to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website: https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws

Disclaimer:  The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting based on any content included in this blog without seeking legal advice.

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