Category Archives: Personal Injury

Personal Injury.

Fitness Trackers Can And Will Be Used Against You In Court

“We’re constantly adding more shelf space. Consumers have many options right now. So many that it’s confusing. We’re going to sell a lot of these for Christmas” said the helpful Best Buy employee to me. He’s right there really are a lot of fitness wearables on the market ranging from cutting edge to fairly low tech.

Moto 360

The Moto 360 isn’t a fitness wearable. Though it tracks steps and heart rate.

We are witnessing Act 1 of the wearable revolution.

What happens outside of the courtroom eventually finds its way into a courtroom.  Newton’s 28th law of thermodynamics or something.

We represent folks who are injured as a result of others violating safety rules.  Sometimes our clients suffer life altering injuries. We’ve represented a cyclist whose riding was limited. A musician who was unable to play and the dancer who can’t dance. And many more folks who are simply unable to move as they once did or unable to do the things they loved to do.

The very things, like running, that make us human.

Frequently, insurance defense lawyers accuse folks who have been injured as a result of their insured of faking their injuries. They try to undermine reports of treating physicians. They may hire surveillance and video tape our clients at family functions. They do this because they are looking for any discount possible on the harms and losses that their insured has inflicted.

We fight these lies with truth. One of the things we do is subpoena gym records. We call fact witnesses who can testify of our clients activities before and after a wreck. We fight back.

Fitness trackers are going to be on the front lines of this fight. Engadget reports:

Insurers couldn’t force you to wear a smart band, but they might compel you to hand over data….In that sense, fitness data is a double-edged sword. While it might save your hide in certain legal battles, it could be a smoking gun in others.

There is not question in my mind that the data that wearables collect will become one of the most significant pieces of evidence injury cases. In order to be successful in prosecuting a claim, lawyers must know both the law and the technology.

So when you put on your new “FITBONE” for the New Year do so knowing that you may one day be subject to cross examination on the data.

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If you have been injured as a result of someone violating safety rules – contact us immediately for a free consultation. 

A Connecticut Bicycle Accident Attorney On Protecting Yourself Before An Accident

Not only are drivers distracted – they are often uninsured or underinsured. Watch the video below to find out how you can protect yourself before getting on a bike.

In Connecticut, your automobile policy will cover you on a bike. Having the right insurance makes a big difference in the event of a collision. Ask your insurance agent about maximizing your underinsured coverage and purchasing a conversion policy. Protect yourself – it’s dangerous out there.

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Attorney McKeen represents injured pedestrians, runners, and cyclists throughout Connecticut. Ryan can be reached at ryan@mckeenlawfirm.com. You can read more about CT Bicyclist Accident Law on www.ctroadsafety.com

CT Lawyer Cyclists, Pedestrians, and Runners

Ryan McKeen founded ctroadsafety.com and is working to make the site a resource for Connecticut cyclists, runners, and pedestrians.

Presenting Food Bank with Check

Ryan McKeen at the 2013 McKeen Law Firm “Race To Fill the Pantry” 5k presenting the Glastonbury food bank with a donation.

Ryan enjoys running in Connecticut. He is a veteran marathon runner. What he sees on Connecticut’s roads scares him – drivers choosing to drive distracted. These drivers needlessly endanger runners, cyclists, and pedestrians.

He understands the rights of runners because he loves running.

The purpose of www.ctroadsafety.com is to educate readers of the rights of runners, cyclists, and pedestrians. Ryan believes awareness is the first step in making Connecticut’s roads and highways safe.

The second step is accountability. Ryan regularly trades his favorite running shoes and the road for a suit and court. Ryan takes great pride in holding drivers who needlessly endanger the public accountable for their choices. He represents injured cyclists, pedestrians, and runners – and their families. It is his passion.

The third step is community. McKeen Law Firm, LLC pledges 10% of any fee it earns representing injured runners, cyclists, and pedestrians will go to charity. After a settlement or verdict, Attorney McKeen and the client will meet and mutually decide on a charity.

Justice is healing and protecting the community. McKeen Law Firm, LLC relentlessly seeks justice.

Ryan can be reached at ryan@mckeenlawfirm.com or by calling (860) 560-8163.

Connecticut Wrongful Death Verdict Amount

Connecticut juries have the difficult task of assigning a dollar value to a life in a wrongful death case.

In January of 2014, a Connecticut jury awarded a total of 8 million dollars in loss of life and loss of life’s enjoyment for a middle aged man who died as a result of a defendant violating safety rules designed to protect the man.

The jury found 4 million for loss of life and 4 million for loss of life’s enjoyment.

Connecticut Wrongful Death Verdict Form

Connecticut Wrongful Death Verdict Form

The Breathalyzer In The Bar: The Adult Attractive Nuisance

In first year torts, every law student learns about the “attractive nuisance” doctrine.

Basically, if you have a trampoline on your property and a  kid trespasses on your land to use said trampoline and gets injured – you’re on the hook.  See Wikipedia.

It looked like this, except with many more lights. -Image from Wikipedia

A few weeks ago, I was in a bar that had a breathalyzer machine. For those of you on the fence about going to law school be advised this is what happens to your brain. Instead of seeing people having fun in a bar – the only thing I could see were liability issues and this was after I had a pint or four.

People were competing on said machine. Rumor has it that a .55 was blown.

For a small fee, one gets a straw and blows into the breathalyzer machine.  It provides the user with his BAC. The machine serves 2 purposes: (1) to let a user know it’s time to call a cab; and (2) to encourage drinking as users compete to see who can blow the highest number.

At the bar, the breathalyzer was placed out of sight of the bartenders (near the restrooms).  I suspect this is intentional. Do bar owners really want their bartenders knowing the exact BAC of their patrons? I think not.

In my opinion, this machine is an adult trampoline. Instead of youth rendering a person unable to appreciate risk it’s intoxication.  There’s very little utility to having such a machine in a bar. If a person is questioning his BAC – he shouldn’t drive.  The bar owner makes money by the fees generated from the machine and by selling more drinks. This machine encourages alcohol consumption.

If you were representing a bar, would the presence of a breathalyzer machine make you nervous?

 

 

 

 

 

Connecticut’s Ice Missile Law

It snowed last night.

People will drive today. Some of those people will not have shoveled off the top of their car. Said people are jerks.

Connecticut has a law requiring the removal of snow and ice from a car…….that doesn’t go into effect until December 31, 2013:

…The operator of any motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1 of the general statutes, shall remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof of such motor vehicle, so that any ice or snow accumulated on such vehicle does not pose a threat to persons or property while the vehicle is being operated on any street or highway of this state. Any operator who fails to remove accumulated ice or snow that poses such a threat shall be fined seventy-five dollars.

If the operator of a noncommercial motor vehicle violates the provisions of this section and snow or ice is dislodged from such vehicle and causes personal injury or property damage, the operator shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars but not more than one thousand dollars for each offense. If the operator of a commercial motor vehicle violates the provisions of this section and snow or ice is dislodged from such vehicle and causes personal injury or property damage, the operator shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars but not more than twelve hundred fifty dollars for each offense.

The law does not apply to parked vehicles or a vehicle being operated during a storm.

Even though the law doesn’t go into effect until one day short of 2014, don’t be a jerk, clean off your car.

In addition, a loyal reader points out that a 6 inch snow fall left on an average car adds 225 pounds of weight and reduces MPG by 4.5%.

Teen Car Accidents

by Ryan McKeen

While searching for a topic for today’s post, I came across this alarming statistic:

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that the crash rate per mile among drivers aged 16 to 19 is four times as high as for older drivers.  OLR Report on Teen Driving Behavior 08/27/2010

The correlation between a driver’s age and chances of a car accident is strong. Read the full OLR Report (linked to above) for more alarming data.

Connecticut Soccer Law

by Ryan McKeen

With most of the world’s attention is focused on “football” today, I figure it’s as good of a time as any to bang out a Connecticut soccer law post.

In Connecticut, events on the pitch have made it to our high court –  with a friendly between Jaworski and Kiernan.

On May 16, 1993, during a game,  Kiernan made contact with  Jaworski during a recreational soccer game while Jaworski was shielding the soccer ball from the opposition so that the goalie on her team could retrieve the ball. As a result of this incident,  Jaworski suffered an injury to her left anterior cruciate ligament, which caused a 15 percent permanent partial disability of her left knee.

Jaworski then sued Kiernan for her injuries claiming among other things that Kiernan should be found liable for negligence because his actions were in violation of league rules.

The Supreme Court disagreed and offered this analysis of the game of soccer:

Soccer while not as violent a sport as football, 7 is nevertheless replete with occasions when the participants make contact with one another during the normal course of the game. When two soccer players vie for control of the ball, the lower limbs are especially vulnerable to injury. If a player seeks to challenge another player who has possession of the ball or seeks to prevent another player from gaining possession of the ball, the resulting contact could reasonably be foreseen to result in injury to either player.

The Court went on to find that the defendant could not be held liable for negligence only deliberate, wilful, or reckless conduct:

A final public policy concern that influences our decision is our desire to stem the possible flood of litigation that might result from adopting simple negligence as the standard of care to be utilized in athletic contests. If simple negligence were adopted as the standard of care, every punter with whom contact is made, every midfielder high sticked, every basketball player fouled, 410 every batter struck by a pitch, and every hockey player tripped would have the ingredients for a lawsuit if injury resulted. When the number of athletic events taking place in Connecticut over the course of a year is considered, there exists the potential for a surfeit of lawsuits when it becomes known that simple negligence, based on an inadvertent violation of a contest rule, will suffice as a ground for recovery for an athletic injury. This should not be encouraged.

So have fun playing soccer and go USA!