On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, March 21, 2016. Dangerous driving behaviors like speeding, drinking and driving and driving while distracted put the lives of not only the drivers who commit such driving violations in danger, but also other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. While it's difficult to accurately assess just how many drivers are distracted prior to getting into a traffic accident, there’s growing evidence that the proliferation in cellphone use in general and among U.S. drivers is likely a major factor in the reported increase in total U.S. traffic deaths. According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths during 2015 increased eight percent over 2014 totals. U.S. billionaire and Geico Insurance owner, Warren Buffett, is among those who believe that this increase reflects the fact that, today, more U.S. drivers are driving while distracted. In addition to an increase in the number of overall traffic fatalities, preliminary data suggests that the number of pedestrians who were killed during 2015 also increased nationwide by 10 percent over 2014 numbers. While Connecticut was actually among the 21 states that reported a decrease in pedestrian fatalities, 26 states experienced an increase. Even more troubling is the fact that fatal pedestrian accidents in four states, including California, Texas, New York and Florida; accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. When it comes to suffering injuries or death at the hands of a distracted driver, pedestrians are especially vulnerable targets. A driver who is checking a text message or fiddling with a GPS device may only look away from the road for a few seconds. However, this short amount of time provides ample opportunity for a pedestrian who has the right of way to step off of the curb and into the path of a distracted driver. Source: Connecticut Post, "Pedestrian deaths rise nationwide; Drop in Connecticut," Amanda Cuda, March 14, 2016 Connecticut Post, "Buffett says distracted driving is a growing problem," Feb. 29, 2016
On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, January 11, 2016. For decades, Connecticut residents have been exposed to advertisements, billboards and public service campaigns warning of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. Additionally, most school-aged children are required to complete some sort of anti-drunk driving education as part of the public education curriculum. Now, based upon the results of a recent national survey, there's proof that all of these efforts to curb drunk driving may actually be paying off. Based on the responses of some 380,000 respondents to the government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, researchers report that, from 2002 to 2014, there was a 59 percent drop in the number of drivers age 16 to who admit to drinking and driving. Additionally there was a 38 percent decrease in the number of respondents ages 21 to 25 who say they drink and drive. Researchers largely credit the drop in the number of young drivers who are drinking and driving to increased prevention and enforcement efforts. However, despite these encouraging statistics, roughly 20 percent of drivers age 21 to 25 still admit to drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, proving that additional and alternative measures should be implemented. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, during 2011 and 2012 alone a total of 179 people died throughout the state in alcohol-related traffic accidents. In Connecticut, law enforcement officials are allowed to operate sobriety checkpoints. Criminal penalties related to drunk driving convictions have also been instituted including mandatory driver's license suspensions and stricter policies with regard to the use of ignition interlock devices. Drunk driving traffic accidents are 100 percent preventable and drivers who choose to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking should be held both criminally and civilly responsible for their actions. An attorney who handles personal injury cases can assist drunk driving accident victims in their fight to recover compensation. Source: The New York Times, "Fewer Young People Are Drinking and Driving, Study Says," Mike McPhate, Dec. 11, 2015 Connecticut General Assembly, "CONNECTICUT DUI LAW," July 17, 2012
On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, December 7, 2015. Individuals in the United States who were born between 1946 and 1964 are part of the infamous Baby Boomer generation. Today's Baby Boomers are between the ages of 51 and 70 years old. In the coming years, as individuals of this generation continue to age, they will comprise a significant percentage of the U.S. population. In addition to the expected increase in demands for nursing homes and geriatric medical specialists, many Baby Boomers will also have transportation needs. By the year 2050, nearly 84 million Americans are projected to be age 65 and older. It's unavoidable and undeniable that for most people, with age comes certain physical and cognitive impairments that can affect an individual's vision, reaction time and ability to quickly take in and process information. These are just a few of the skills that are essential to safely operate a motor vehicle and there's growing concern about a possible increase in traffic accidents related to aging Baby Boomers who continue to drive well after they should. For many of the men and women in this generation, being able to drive equates to independence and it can be extremely difficult to give that up and have to rely on family, friends or other services for one's transportation needs. For the sake of everyone with whom they share the road as well as their own safety, aging drivers would be wise to pay attention to changes in their vision and other physical and cognitive abilities. Starting at age 70, the likelihood of an individual causing or being involved in a traffic accident begins to increase. Additionally, "fatal crash rates increase remarkably beginning at age 70," as an individual's body may not be able to withstand the stress of injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. While Connecticut isn't among those states that require drivers over a certain age to undergo regular vision screens or obtain a doctor's approval to renew a driver's license, older drivers in the state must acknowledge their own limitations. Source: Eastern Arizona Courier, "Senior drivers causing more crashes," Dec. 2, 2015 Governors Highway Safety Association, "Mature Driver Laws," December, 2015
On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Workers Compensation on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Distracted, aggressive and speeding drivers pose a danger to all other drivers, passengers and pedestrians with whom they share the road. In cases where an individual is injured or killed in an accident caused by a driver who is texting, tail gating or driving recklessly; it's important to explore options for legal remedies. An accident can cause an individual to suffer extreme pain, rob one of his or her ability to enjoy life and impose financial hardships. For individuals who have suffered injuries in a car accident, the process of attempting to negotiate and settle with an at-fault driver's insurance company can be intimidating and overwhelming. Bridgeport area residents can rely upon the attorneys at Ganim Legal, P.C. Lead by attorney Paul J. Ganim, our team of legal professionals provide sound legal advice and strong representation. Attorney Ganim has a proven track record of helping car and truck accident victims recover compensation so an individual can pay his or her medical bills and account for lost wages and disability. Regardless of their claims, insurance companies are not on an accident victim's side and they are notorious for denying or attempting to settle claims for far less than the amount to which an individual is entitled. Attorney Ganim listens to clients to understand the devastating impact that accident-related injuries have had on their lives as well as the lives of family members. Armed with this information, he takes on the insurance companies to win a favorable settlement. In cases where an insurance company attempts to cheat an accident victim, attorney Ganim is always prepared to go to trial and fight in court for a client's rights.
On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Today's teenagers have numerous responsibilities and social activities competing for their attention and time. For many teens, a smartphone wins out almost every time. In fact, a recent survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 reveals that 24 percent admit to being on their smartphones almost constantly, while 56 percent admit to using their phones "several times a day." There's no doubt that today's teenagers are more connected than ever and that most rely upon cellphones to communicate with friends and family, text and post photos. What many teens don't appear to understand, however, is that there are times when it's ok and even necessary to put their cellphones down. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more U.S. teens die in motor vehicle accidents than from any other cause. This was true even before cellphones were mainstream. Today, teens are increasingly using their smartphones while behind the wheel and increasingly endangering not only their own lives, but also those of other drivers and passengers. Teen drivers are often the targets of public service campaigns warning of the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. Despite being aware of the dangers of using a smartphone while driving, the results of a recent study show thatroughly 50 percent of teens text while driving. Of those teen drivers who use a smartphone, 38 percent say they use Snapchat, 20 percent Instagram, 17 percent Twitter and 12 percent use Facebook and YouTube. These numbers have many parents and adults wondering why teen drivers willingly engage in such dangerous and distracting behaviors. Researchers note a phenomenon known as fear of missing out or FOMO as being a major contributing factor that, much like an addiction compels teens to respond to texts, calls and posts even though they know it's dangerous. Parents of teen drivers would be wise to talk to a son or daughter about smartphone use while driving. Teens in general often fail to grasp the potential consequences of their actions and having frank discussions may make a teen think twice before reaching for his or her phone while driving. Source: Time, "FOMO Is Making Teens Terrible Drivers," Katy Steinmetz, Aug. 4, 2015
On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about a survey that revealed just how bad the distracted driving problem has become for all drivers in the United States. That survey found that 61 percent of drivers admitted to texting while driving. That's a staggering figure, and the more people who are texting and driving out there, the more tragic accidents will occur. That statistic is only made worse when you hear about some other distracted driving figures. According to distraction.gov, 3,154 people died in car accidents that involved distracted driving. Furthermore, 424,000 people were injured in those distracted driving accidents. Obviously, we have a major problem in this country with our cellphone use (and our persistent need to check our phones behind the wheel of a car). As a result, most states have responded with extensive laws that forbid texting while driving and cellphone use while behind the wheel in certain circumstances. Here in Connecticut, all drivers are forbidden from texting while driving, as well as using handheld devices when driving. These laws are primary offenses. Additionally, bus drivers and novice drivers are banned from any cellphone use -- even if the device is hands-free. These bans are crucial, but there are still plenty of distracted driving accidents that occur. Distracted driving encompasses many more behaviors than just cellphone use. For those that are injured in such an unfortunate event as a distracted driving accident, you need to consider your legal options to ensure you are taken care of in the wake of the wreck. Source: Distraction.gov, "Facts and Statistics," Accessed July 29, 2015