Flying Ice Car Accidents : CT Law Requires Removal of Snow/Ice

Flying Ice Car Accidents : CT Law Requires Removal of Snow/Ice

Flying Ice/Snow Removal Statute Now Applies to ALL Drivers

A snow and ice storm has just passed, and you are feeling comfortable on the roads once again. You are merging onto the highway behind a car with a roof rack that is packed with snow and ice from the snow storm one day ago. As you both accelerate up to traveling speed, the snow and ice lifts off of the vehicle in front of you in one piece, travels 10 feet in the air, and slams into your windshield. BOOM! Your windshield is covered in snow and ice, if not totally destroyed, and your vision is obstructed instantly. This is a recipe for disaster.

The first time you experience flying ice as a driver can be very scary. Flying ice happens when built up snow and ice is not cleared from the tops of vehicles. As they accelerate, parts, chunks and sometimes sheets of ice come flying off of their vehicles. This usually happens on the highway, where high speeds create a lot of wind resistance, lifting the sheets of ice off of vehicles. Due to the high speeds of highway travel, there is less time to react to the flying ice. In dense traffic situations, avoiding the flying ice may be impossible, as you have to maintain your lane of travel in order to avoid collision.

In the State of Connecticut, drivers are required by law to clear snow and ice from all parts of their vehicle after a snow storm. Connecticut General Statute Section 14-252(a), titled “Removal of ice and snow from motor vehicle required” was enacted specifically to battle the issue of flying ice. It requires that snow be removed from the hood, roof and trunk of the vehicle.

At first, the statute applied only to non-commercial vehicles. Failure to remove snow and ice is a minimum fine of $75. Failure to remove snow and ice that results in damage to property or injury to persons can result in a fine ranging from $200 to $1000.

Starting December 31, 2013, the Statute will also apply to commercial vehicles. Due to the large and flat nature of the tops of tractor trailers, truckers have become one of the more common causes of flying ice. Starting 2014, truckers and other commercial vehicles will be held to the same snow and ice clearing standards as regular citizens. However, their fines for not clearing ice and snow that cause property damage or personal injury will range from $500 to $1250.

In addition to State fines, drivers who cause property damage and physical injury by failing to clear their vehicles of ice and snow will be liable for such damages. When an individual causes injury to another person in the process of violating State or Federal law, especially when the person injured is of the sort that the statute was meant to protect, that person is said to be negligent per se. This means that in order to recover against the liable party, the injured person does not need to prove the elements of negligence: only that a law was broken, injury was caused, and these are the resulting damages. This makes recovery much more likely.

It should be noted that drivers are not required to clear ice and snow from their vehicles (1) when they are parked (obviously) and (2) while the storm is still going on (continuing storm doctrine).

If you or a loved one is injured by flying ice this winter, you need to seek proper medical attention, attempt to get the identity of the other driver, and contact a personal injury attorney who can assist in recovering your loses from the liable party. You can contact us by phone at (203)794-6691 or by e-mail at Glouzgal@CTAttorney.us.

Click here for the entire contents of CGS 14-252(a).

Click here for a news clip about Flying Ice.

Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Wallingford CT Takes Life of 52-year-old Man from New Haven

A motorcycle accident this past Saturday resulted in the death of a 52-year-old man from New Haven. WFSB Channel 3 Connecticut reports that Timothy Rosa died on scene from injuries sustained in a collision between his Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Honda Element SUV driven by 47-year-old Debra Denhart. Denhart was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The circumstances of the accident are still under investigation.

While we do not know the cause of this particular accident, there are already lessons we can draw from these sad circumstances. The first is that fatal motorcycle accidents can happen to riders in any age group. The second is that fatal motorcycle accidents can happen at any time of day. Statistics tell us that motorcycle accidents are more common among younger riders and occur more often when it is dark. However, the horror of motorcycle accidents can strike at any time, and can injure old and young riders alike.

Google Glass and Distracted Driving

Recently, we published a post on cell phone use and distracted driving. Distracted driving causes many accidents, and comes in many forms. As technology progresses, and we access to more “toys”, the distractions surrounding a driver multiple. Just a decade ago the biggest distracting driving worries were food and drink and the radio. With the invention of MP3 Players, GPS systems and cell phones, the average driver had a plethora of electronic devices all vying for his attention. Then came along the smart phone, putting the MP3 player, GPS and cell phone all in one, creating a one-distracts-all electronic device.

Now Google has come out with their new interface called Glass. For those that aren’t familiar, Glass is a wearable computer interface similar to the virtual reality glasses of yesteryear. They contain a screen, and accept voice commands, allowing you to take pictures, record video, get GPS directions and perform many other functions hands free while wearing Glass. for more information visit the Google Glass website.

The hands-free voice-activated nature of Google Glass would seemingly make it driver friendly, right? Apparently, police officers disagree. In a situation which may set precedent for traffic tickets to come, a California police officer gave a woman a traffic ticket for distracted driving due to her use of her Google Glass. Given the police officer was siting California law that forbids any video display screen or device from being used by a driver while operating a motor vehicle, Connecticut law is similar.

Connecticut General Statute 14-296aa is that statute that governs the use of hand held mobile phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Under 14-296aa, a driver is forbidden from using a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, and defines mobile electronic devices as:

“any hand-held or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing data communication between two or more persons, including a text messaging device, a paging device, a personal digital assistant, a laptop computer, equipment that is capable of playing a video game or a digital video disk, or equipment on which digital photographs are taken or transmitted, or any combination thereof, but does not include any audio equipment or any equipment installed in a motor vehicle for the purpose of providing navigation, emergency assistance to the operator of such motor vehicle or video entertainment to the passengers in the rear seats of such motor vehicle.” CGS § 14-296aa(b)(1)

It is obvious that the features of Google Glass make it an electronic mobile device, making the use of such a device a ticketable offense.

Besides the fact that using Google Glass while driving could get you fined, it is made a traffic violation because it causes distracted driving, creating a dangerous situation for the driver and all other cars around them. Further, the effects of getting a ticket for distracted driving when in a car accident could be severe. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and receive a ticket for distracted driving, the other party is going to use that fact against you. Their insurance company will use the fact to try and put all the blame on you and deny your claim, or downplay their clients liability and pay you as little as possible for your injuries.

Please be aware that using any electronic device that falls under “mobile electronic device” under CGS 14-296aa(b)(1) could get you a ticket, or worse. We need to work together as a community, and a country, to stop distracted driving.

If you have any questions on distracted driving law in Connecticut, or if you or a loved one have been injured by a distracted driver, contact us today.

What is Title Insurance?

What is Title Insurance?

What does Title Insurance cover?  Why do buyers need Title Insurance?

When buying a home there are multiple costs associated with closing the real estate transaction. One of the items that a buyer will see on their closing summary statement, and something their attorney should discuss with them before the closing, is the purchasing of title insurance. What is Title Insurance? What does it cover? Why do buyers need it?

What is Title insurance?

In short, title insurance is a policy that protects the purchase of real estate for owners and their mortgage companies. The Title is the sum of all the documents that create the legal history of the ownership of the underlying property. With any purchase, the attorney or a title searcher will perform a title search, to check for existing defects such as mortgages, liens, easements, servitudes, etc. The title search will tell you exactly how the property is currently owned, so that a buyer knows exactly what they are purchasing…or so it would seem. This is where title insurance comes in.

What does Title insurance cover?

A title search can only show those defects in title that are properly recorded. Title insurance covers the unknown and undiscoverable defects which might eventually lead to another person make a claim against the buyers ownership of the property. This includes:

  • Errors in the title search
  • Mistakes in indexing the land records
  • Fraudulent or forged documents on the land records
  • Deeds or documents that were not properly executed and recorded
  • Mortgages and liens that were not properly released
  • Claims by unpaid contractors (aka contractor liens)
  • Claims by heirs of a selling estate
  • Claims by CT DRS for unpaid estate taxes of selling estate
  • Claims from prior owners or lien holders of foreclosure properties
  • Claims by tax collectors for unpaid property taxes
  • Theft of funds paid at closing, and
  • Attorneys fees and legal expenses for defense of covered claims.

Expanded Owner Policies, only available for owners, will add additional protection including:

  • Cost of moving or repairing a house forced by zoning violations or lack of building permits
  • Costs of removing structures because they encroach on neighbors
  • Claims that the property is not properly zoned for single family residential use
  • Expenses if neighbor builds structures on your property
  • Expenses created by violation of restrictions on the property, and
  • Expenses if your house is not located on the property described in the title.

Title insurance not only covers you while you own the property, but even covers any liability you may have to future owners.

Why do buyers need Title insurance?

Title insurance is mandated by lenders (mortgage companies) because they want to make sure the money they are lending is actually going to buy the property as described, since that acts as collateral, and the title insurance makes sure that the lender is protected from any mistakes, errors, and omissions in the title search or land record. Shouldn’t home owners have the same type of guarantee that their newly purchased home is, and will be, theirs? We believe so, and we recommend that all our clients purchase title insurance.

What is the cost for Title Insurance?

unlike most insurance policies which require a continual annual premium paid in monthly payments, title insurance is a one time premium that is paid at closing and can be added to the mortgage amount for the property. The cost of title insurance (the “premiums”) are regulated by the State of Connecticut Insurance Department. The prices between the multiple title insurance companies are similar if not identical, only varying by a few dollars.

Title Insurance can do a great deal to put a home owners mind at ease. Many times we hear horror stories of driveways driveways built on a neighbors property or additions built without zoning permits. Title insurance can cover the unknown risks of home ownership, with a one time premium that can be added to the mortgage amount, that protects you even after you sell the property, and that covers all attorneys fees and legal costs. The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal, LLC offers all of it’s clients access to CATIC title insurance. CATIC, or the Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Company, is the national leader and provides superb service and support. If you are purchasing a home and have any questions, about title insurance or otherwise, please give us a call at 203-794-6691. We are looking forward to helping you effectively purchase your new home./

Which Probate Court Do I Attend?

If a loved one has passed away, whether they left a will or not, their estate will need to be settled through Probate Court. Probate Court allows for the admission and authentification of wills, and then appoints administrators and conservators to make sure the wishes of the decedent, or the intestacy laws of the State of Connecticut, are followed.

If you are a named beneficiary, a named administrator, or are challenging a will, you will need to have a high level of involvement with a Probate Court so that your interests are protected.

The first question you will ask yourself is; Which Probate court do I attend?

Connecticut has 54 separate Probate Court districts, each of which covers anywhere from 1 to 9 towns. The districts, and the towns that they service, can be found by visiting the Probate Court website.

While the Probate Court process can be navigated by individuals themselves, the process is long and complicated. It is time consuming and mistakes can make the process last much longer. A knowledgeable and accurate estate attorney can make the probate process far less painful than it has to be, and fees can be differed until they are paid from the Estate. If you need representation in an estate or probate matter, contact us today.

Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Accidents – Cell Phone Use Decreases Driver Focus by 37%

Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Accidents

Cell Phone Use Decreases Driver Focus by 37%

Recently, police have begun to crack down on distracted driving, targeting those using cell phones, GPS systems, and other hand held electronic devices while operating their motor vehicle. The reason for the crack down is because statistics show that distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents.

In 2008, there were over half a million injuries nationwide due to motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. That’s more than 1,300 distracted driving motor vehicle accidents every day! Even scarier, is that fact that the directed driving accidents resulted in almost 6,000 fatalities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Why is distracted driving so likely to cause motor vehicle accidents? According to a study from Carnegie-Mellon University, using a cell phone while driving reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37%. The result is that drivers using hand held devices are distracted to the point of being four times more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident that is serious enough to cause injury (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

Distracted driving is one of the most negligent and reckless actions a driver can be involved in. Distracted driving is not only dangerous to the driver, but to every driver and pedestrian in their vicinity. If you, or a loved one, have been injured by a distracted driver you need to seek medical attention, and then you need to find a dedicated and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.

At The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal, we can relieve the stress of dealing with the insurance company of the drunk driver so you can focus on your health. We can locate witnesses, request phone call and text message records, and check social media for an electronic fingerprint of the distracted drivers activity. You can trust in us to make sure you are fully compensated for your losses, financial and physical. Contact us today by phone at 203-794-6691 or by using the form on our Contact page.

Causes of Rear End Accidents

Rear End Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 28% of all car accidents are rear end collisions, making them the most common type of car accident. A rear end accident typically occurs when a lead driver is stopped or quickly decelerates and a following driver approaches from behind with not enough time and/or distance to stop the motor vehicle, resulting in a crash.

Some common causes of rear end accidents include but are not limited to:

  • Distracted drivers – talking or texting on a cell phone, applying make-up, playing with the stereo, eating or drinking food; anything that takes your eyes off the road can cause a lack of attentiveness.
  • Excessive speed – Speeding or driving too fast for traffic conditions shortens the amount of time available to respond to conditions ahead, as well as requiring more time to slow the vehicle to a stop.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics – This is illegal for a reason!
  • Reckless or aggressive driving – Reckless or aggressive driving can cause issues where none would have existed otherwise.
  • Tailgating – Tailgating cause many rear end collisions. The shortened distance between vehicles does not allow adequate time to stop the vehicle. Further, vehicles that are moving slowly may be lost, looking to stop or to turn, so tail gating them is always a bad idea.
  • Failure to abide by traffic laws – Wanted to run a yellow light when the car in front is looking to stop, being anxious at stop signs, or blowing through yield signs can cause rear end collisions.
  • Texting and driving – Really a subdivision of distracted driving, texting and driving is causing so many accidents it is worth mentioning twice!
  • Bad weather conditions – snow, ice, rain and leaves can cause tire slippage, making stopping take much more time and distance.
  • Loss of visibility – rainy and foggy conditions may greatly hinder your sight distance, making it harder or impossible to see brake lights and stopped vehicles.

Rear end accidents can cause many type of injuries. Some injuries may be severe, causing long hospital stays along with huge medical bills, loss of income and sometimes even permanent disability, among other injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in a rear end accident by the negligence or recklessness of another driver, Contact us today for a free consultation.

Fatal Speeding Related Motor Vehicle Accidents in Connecticut

One of the more common negligent or reckless actions that results in a motor vehicle accident is speeding. The posted speed limits are the fastest allowable speed for those roads under perfect weather and traffic conditions. While conditions are almost never perfect, it is still very common to see people driving well over the speed limit on almost any road.

Speeding allows less time for response to unexpected changes in roadway circumstances. It also takes more time to slow down and stop a car that is moving quickly when trying to avoid roadway obstructions. When a car cannot stop in time, it will end up hitting whatever is in front of it.

Furthermore, a car moving with more speed strikes with more force. Unavoidable accidents that might only have been a fender bender at the speed limit could cause serious injury with even small increases in speed.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for the available years of 2007 to 2011, show that speeding related motor vehicle accidents are truly an issue in Connecticut. The report provides data for fatal car accidents involving speeding. Over the five year period, there were 498 total roadway fatalities due to speeding. These speeding related accident fatalities made up over 36% of the total roadway fatalities over those five years. That’s an average of almost 100 lives lost every year due to speeding related motor vehicle accidents.

The following table provides a complete breakdown of speeding related motor vehicle accidents in Connecticut by year:

Year Fatalities Total Fatalities % of Total Fatalities
2007 99 296 33.45%
2008 99 302 32.78%
2009 103 224 45.98%
2010 124 320 38.75%
2011 73 220 33.18%
Total 498 1,362  
Average 99.6 272.4 36.56%

If you have been injured in a speeding related motor vehicle accident in Connecticut, or if a loved one has been injured or killed due to the negligent or reckless behavior of another driver, we are here to help you seek compensation for damage to property and injury to body. Let us show you how we handle your claim, allowing you to focus on healing yourself or your loved ones. Contact us today for a free consultation

How Do I Pick a Real Estate Attorney?

How do I pick a real estate attorney?

Whether you are selling or purchasing a home or business location, you will need a real estate attorney to handle your closing. You may ask yourself: How do I pick a real estate attorney?

There are plenty of real estate attorney’s out there, but how do you pick just one? You should consider two things, cost and trust.

The first factor to consider is cost. You should pick a real estate attorney that you can afford. If a real estate attorney is charging above average fees, ask them why they think their representation is worth the extra money. Similarly, if a real estate attorney is charging below average fees, ask them why. In either situation, the answers might surprise you, and either way, it’ll tell you a little more about the attorney and how they handle difficult questions.

The second factor to consider is the level of trust you have in the real estate attorney. After all, this person is going to be handling hundreds of thousands of dollars on your behalf. They will be organizing and coordinating all of the paperwork regarding the sale or purchase of the real estate. They will be drafting the sales and purchase contract in an effort to protect your interests in the sale or purchase. Finally, they will be your primary point of contact for resolving any issues that arise of the sale of purchase. In essence, your real estate attorney will be the glue holding the entire deal together. You need to be able to trust them to be thorough, diligent, with good attention to detail, and most of all, honest.

You need to make sure that your attorney is right for you. That is why The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal offers free consultations with no obligation to all our clients. Contact us today for a FREE CONSULTATION WITH NO OBLIGATION by email at Glouzgal@CTAttorney.us or by phone at 203-794-6691.

Should I Speak To An Insurance Adjuster After My Car Accident?

Being involved in a car accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another can cause a lot of stress. Your vehicle is damaged, perhaps even non-operational. Your body has suffered injuries. You are soar and tired, perhaps even physically unable to work. You want immediate resolution of the issues the liable party caused. At this point, many people consider calling either their own insurance company or the liable party’s insurance company to demand compensation. You need to stop and ask yourself: Should I Speak To An Insurance Adjuster After My Car Accident?

The answer to this question is almost always a resounding NO. An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and their job is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. They will want you to make a recorded statement, which they hope to later use to somehow limit their liability. They are trained professionals, masters at eliciting information.

The liable party’s insurance adjuster will attempt to elicit information that will downplay your injuries, asking questions such as “how’s it going?” or “how are you”, hoping for replies of “I’m ok” or “Doing alright”. They will put you on the spot by asking why you reacted a certain way and not another way. They will attempt to make you seem like an inattentive driver. In short, they will try to place the blame on you, rather than the individual they insure.

Your insurance company will act similarly. While at first it might seem like your insurance is on your side, this is not always the case. Your insurance company will want to limit any liability for un-insured or under-insured motorist protection, or any other liability they might have under your policy.

Once you have sought medical attention for your car accident related injuries, you need to contact a Connecticut personal injury attorney. You need a trained professional on your side. Let us handle the insurance companies and insurance adjusters so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact us today for a no obligation free consultation.