Law Talk: How Biomechanics Affect Personal Injury Claims

Law Talk
November 23, 2019 - 3:42 pm

A response to a listener email about what happens when one party to a divorce action dies?  Answer:  it depends. The Family Court is usually without jurisdiction to proceed further.  If it comes to enforcing existing financial orders, the surviving spouse can sue the dead person’s Executor in civil court and attempt to collect there. 

We talked about a little-known law which allows Connecticut nursing homes to make a claim against the family members of residents in the convalescent home who transferred away assets in an effort to become eligible for Medicaid benefits.  We discussed a recent case where a Farmington nursing home filed suit to recover some $160,000 from the resident’s son – and how the son won at court and got his attorney’s fees paid by the nursing home on top of it!

Our Legal Word of the Week was actually a comparison of phrases:  Car crash (or something similarly vivid) vs. motor vehicle accident (or something similarly benign).  We talked about how lawyers carefully select such phrases, and how listeners (either in their own cases or as jurors) should pick up on the usage of such language.

Finally: we talked about persons injured In car accidents where there is little evidence of damage to the car in which the person is riding.  We discussed the increasing usage of Biomechanical engineers who testify and thus try to minimize the severity of the injuries in such cases.  And we talked about the Appellate Court’s response:  that only physicians are permitted to offer opinions on the effect of the impact upon a particular person (because we’re all different…).  This continues to be a major, major issue in the Courts with respect to “soft tissue” injuries (whiplash, sprains, strains, etc.).