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Boating Accidents and Intoxication

Most people understand the dangers that come with drinking and driving, from the legal consequences to serious or even fatal accidents. Public awareness of the risks and consequences of driving a car while intoxicated is high. Yet, many are willing to operate a boat after having a few drinks. However, boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, if not more so.

Boats can be dangerous. Even when traveling at moderate speeds, their weight and speed make them very dangerous if involved in an accident. They carry gasoline, which is flammable and volatile. They have no brakes or safety features like seatbelts. Furthermore, the open water lacks streetlights and lanes to travel in. Obstacles such as varying water depth, waves and wakes, underwater rocks, and other boats or swimmers must be avoided. Operating a boat is challenging and requires concentration, quick reactions, and awareness of your surroundings. If alcohol is added to this mix, accidents and death become much more likely.

Data published by the Coast Guard on boating and intoxication includes these troubling facts:

  • Alcohol is responsible for 16% of all boating fatalities
  • Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths. Alcohol is a major factor in as many as 50% of all recreational boating fatalities
  • Drunk boating is a criminal offense. Colloquially referred to as “boating under the influence” or BUI, in most jurisdictions, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater is against the law
  • A BAC of 0.10 is associated with a ten-fold increase in the risk of death from a boating accident
  • According to the Boat U.S. Foundation, the “stressors” of the boating environment – including sun, wind, vibration, and motion – increase the effects of alcohol. This means that the operator has increased impairment at any given BAC.
  • Drinking a single beer on the water is the same as drinking three beers on land.

Just as driving under the influence is illegal and dangerous, so too is the operation of a boat while intoxicated. Drinking and operating a boat not only endangers the boating operator, but also his passengers as well as the people in other boats. Potential boating accidents include:

  • Collisions with other boats, objects, or land
  • Speeding too quickly across the wake of another boat and losing control
  • Hitting underwater objects
  • Passengers thrown from boats for any number of reasons

Despite the dire risks and consequences, many people continue to cause boating accidents and injuries due to being impaired, intoxicated, negligent, and reckless. Across the nation, boating accidents due to BUI have caused injuries such as:

  • Spinal injuries resulting in paralysis and disability
  • Bone fractures and limb loss
  • Lacerations of the skin, soft tissue and tendons
  • Facial lacerations requiring multiple plastic surgical interventions
  • Concussions, bleeds, and other brain injuries

Tragically, boating accidents often lead to death due to the presence of water and potential for drowning and brain damage. If you have lost a loved one in a drunk boating accident, you can hold the responsible party accountable.

Were You the Victim of a Drunk Boater? We Can Help.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk boater, it is important to contact a boating accident attorney as soon as possible. You need an attorney with specific experience with drunk boating accidents who will defend your rights and recover the compensation that you deserve. Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers has years of experience holding drunk boaters accountable for their reckless actions, and we can do the same in your case. Contact us at (203) 397-1283 or fill out a contact form to schedule a consultation with us today.


School Bus Accidents: How do they Happen?

Recently, in a review of school bus safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), concluded that school buses are the safest vehicles on the road, safer even than driving your child to school in your car. Unfortunately, accidents can and do still happen, and as a parent, you have the right to take action to protect your child, secure fair and just compensation, and hold the parties responsible accountable for what happened.

While the thought of your child being injured on the way to or from school is unthinkable, it can happen. Some common school bus claims include:

  • Children being hit by buses
  • Collisions between buses and other vehicles
  • Drivers causing accidents while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Children dropped off at the wrong bus stop
  • Drivers failing to check for occupants at the end of a bus route
  • Failure on the part of transportation companies to properly screen drivers
  • Failure to train drivers
  • Failure to inspect or maintain buses
  • Failure on the part of the school district to protect students from harm

In the event of a catastrophic accident, error in judgment, or intentional act that harms your child, you have the right to take legal action. The goal of this is two-fold: to protect your child and to prevent incidents like these from happening to other children. The most important step you can take is to call an experienced school bus accident attorney to discuss your rights and legal options right away.

How We Can Help

The team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers have the experience, skill, and resources you need on your side if your child has been hurt in a school bus accident. We are committed to aggressively representing our clients and working tirelessly to get the best outcome possible for your case. We understand that when it comes to your children, there is absolutely no excuse for reckless, careless, or negligent behavior from those who you trusted to care for them, so we’ll fight to make sure that justice is served. Call us at (203) 397-1283 or fill out a contact form to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with an experienced member of our team today.


Dog Bites Increase in the Summer: Who is Liable?

Dog Bites Increase in the Summer: Who is Liable?

During the warm summer months, children are out of school, and more people are outside at parks, playgrounds, neighborhoods, and other public spaces. It is no wonder that researchers and public health officials have noted an increase in reported cases of dog bites during the summer months, likely due to the increased chance of encountering an aggressive dog. So who is liable if a dog bites you or someone you love?

Generally speaking, the dog’s owner is liable for the injuries caused by the dog. Connecticut law provides that the owner(s) of the dog will be held accountable under a “no-fault” theory. The essence of this theory is that it does not require the victim to prove that the dog’s owner knew that the dog was vicious or the owner was otherwise negligent. The simple fact that the dog inflicted injury is sufficient to win the case. The question of fault is taken out of the equation. On the other hand, this theory will fail if the injured party was trespassing (entering onto the land of another) or committing a crime. The law usually requires that this trespass exception must be a bit more than simple trespass. It should also include some level of provocation of the animal like cornering it, teasing it, or taunting the animal (unless the victim is a child under the age of seven).

In Connecticut, a second theory of liability is that the dog owner was negligent. For example, the defendant may have known that his dog was vicious and failed to take precautions in response to the dangers posed by the dog. Perhaps the dog owner was aware of previous aggression, which may have been a previous attack. These constitute general negligence, and the owner is liable for damages.

Are You the Victim of a Dog Bite? We Can Help

Dog bite injuries can be devastating, leaving permanent physical and psychological scars. If you have been a victim of a dog attack, you should know your rights and determine if the owner of the dog is responsible for your injuries. You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

The Connecticut dog bite attorneys of Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are ready to help you if you’ve been suffered injury from a dog. We understand the life-changing consequences that a dog bite can have on your life. We are ready to fight for you to protect your rights and livelihood. Contact us at 1-800-PERKINS to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with us today.


The Dangers of Inflatable Pools

Although they are very popular among families across the U.S., inflatable pools can pose life-threatening dangers. These products are often poorly made, structurally unsound, or have design flaws, primarily due to cost constraints. The result is often a poor design that lacks essential safety features. When an inflatable pool collapses or fails in any way, people (and often children) may suffer serious injuries.

Commonly Reported Inflatable Pool Defects

Given their low cost, inflatable pools are designed with various defects.

  • Inflatable pools are made of a flexible PVC plastic lining, which requires multiple chemical additives during the manufacturing process. These additives are what provide flexibility, heat and sunlight stability. Perfectly safe materials are available but raise the cost slightly. Instead, manufacturers opt for the cheaper materials. The problem is that the cheaper formula is well known to be cancer causing. Children are exposed – either by direct contact or by inhaling these cancer-causing chemicals. The manufacturer could easily have chosen a safe material for a few more cents, but most often will opt for the less expensive material.
  • The PVC lining itself is typically thin, flimsy and inadequately reinforced to support the stress of thousands of gallons of water. The pool can be structurally unstable and prone to collapse, trapping an unsuspecting child under water. This is particularly so when the pool is erected on a surface that is not level.
  • Inflatable pools are typically lacking in adequate filtration. Many have no filtration at all. This leads to the real threat of a child contracting a water-borne infectious disease. Severe illness and even death can result from exposure to dangerous pathogens.
  • More recently there have been numerous lawsuits based on poorly designed inflatable slide ladders that were sold as part of certain inflatable pools. There have been multiple deaths recorded.

There are many other design defects associated with inflatable pools, and this list is not exhaustive. If a design defect with an inflatable pool caused you harm, you have the right to take legal action to protect yourself and your loved ones and get the justice you are owed.

Inadequate warnings

Another way in which a product is deemed defective is if it has insufficient warnings and instructions. It is encumbered upon the manufacturer to provide reasonable warnings, particularly for risks that are foreseeable. Proper warnings are inexpensive, and therefore it is inexcusable when they are lacking. Examples of inadequate safety labeling include warnings for appropriate use, sanitation, surrounding fencing or safety covering.

Contact Us

If a defective inflatable pool hurt you or someone you love, make sure to contact an attorney right away. The team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers may be able to recover damages not just from the manufacturer, but from any party that may be involved in the product’s chain of distribution, such as the retailer and wholesaler. We will fight to get you all that you deserve.

You need an attorney who is experienced in litigating product liability cases such as defectively designed inflatable pools, and we are prepared to help you. Contact us at (203) 397-1283 or fill out a contact form to schedule a consultation with us today.


Summer Bicycle Safety

With summer in full swing, neighborhoods across Connecticut are full of children on bicycles, which unfortunately means that children are also increasingly getting hurt in bicycle accidents. Most bicycle accidents occur between May and September, and nearly 11% of bicycle accident fatalities involve children. During the summer, many children bike alone in the dark or through heavily trafficked areas on their way to and from home, to their friends’ homes, and to destinations like the neighborhood pool or park.

It is important for parents to emphasize bicycle safety when talking to their kids, and it is the responsibility of all drivers to watch out for kids on the road and drive in a responsible manner. If the driver acts in an aggressive or careless manner, they might be held liable for any injuries, property damage, or wrongful death of a child if an accident occurs.

Protect Your Children

Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to help protect your children this summer.

  • Require Helmets: The most important step a child can take to protect their life while riding a bicycle is to wear a helmet. Using helmets reduces the risk of serious injuries by up to 70%. Make sure your child is equipped with a great helmet, and ensure that they wear it whenever they ride their bike.
  • Increase Visibility: If your child ever rides their bike in the dark, you can install reflectors or lights on their bike to increase their visibility. You can also invest in bright clothes especially for biking to further increase their chances of being seen. When your child is more visible, drivers are less likely to accidentally run into them.
  • Install a Bell: Bells are useful for warning drivers and other bikers of your presence when you pass them or turn. Make sure your child’s bell is loud enough to be functional in these situations.
  • Take a Bicycle Safety Class Together: Taking a course together to get a refresher on bicycle laws and safety practices can be one of the most helpful things you can do to protect your child this summer. Getting that reminder, even if they’ve been told these rules in the past, can help your child avoid making a mistake or doing something risky that compromises their safety.

Get Help

Unfortunately, even when you take all the proper precautions, accidents sometimes still happen. In the event that your child is injured in a bicycle accident in Connecticut this summer, Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help protect your rights and get you the compensation and justice you deserve. Motorists are responsible for paying attention to bicyclists on the road, so if they collide with your child and cause an accident, you can hold them liable for the consequences. To discuss your legal options with a bicycle accident attorney who cares, contact 1-800-PERKINS today.


Child Car Seat Safety for Summer Roadtrips

This summer, families in Connecticut and across the nation will pack up their cars and will hit the road for vacation. If you have small children, it is critical that you keep them properly restrained in the car while driving. Incorrect usage of safety seats correlates to a 3 ½ times higher risk of serious injury in the event of a collision. According to statistics released by Safe Ride 4 Kids, nearly 84% of child restraints reveal critical (and potentially fatal) misuse or incorrect installation. Shockingly, 96% of parents believe that their seats are correctly installed.

How to ensure that your child’s car seat is installed properly

Fortunately, there are many resources for families in Connecticut to make sure that their car seats are installed correctly and are safe for use. Organizations like Safe Kids Connecticut are an excellent resource for parents, and they routinely host car seat check events across the state.

There are also over 70 car seat fitting stations in Connecticut, which means that a trained car seat technician is likely close to you. These technicians will have taken a 32-hour training course and must be certified by Safe Kids Worldwide. At your appointment, the technician will check the seat to make sure it has not been recalled. They will also determine your particular seat fits your child correctly based on their current height and weight. The technician will install the seat, adjust the straps, and will show you how to remove and install the seat in the future.

By making sure the car seats in your vehicle are properly installed, you can rest easier knowing that they are safely restrained while traveling on your summer road trip.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and the busy summer months show a spike in collisions across the nation. If you are hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, help is available. Call Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers at 1-800-PERKINS to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced, compassionate Connecticut car accident attorneys today.

 


Swimming Pool Accidents: Is the Property Owner Responsible?

During the warm summer months, public and private swimming pools are a popular destination for adults and children. While pools are a great way to escape the summer heat, they also present specific hazards, especially if they are not properly maintained and if guests are not supervised. If you or someone you love is hurt at a swimming pool, you could be eligible to pursue a premises liability claim against the property owner or management company. If this has happened to you, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your rights.

How is Liability Determined in Swimming Pool Accidents?

Because swimming pools are considered part of the property, premises liability laws apply to any accidental injury claims that arise. When it comes to the level of responsibility assumed by the property owner, there are three different types of entrants on the property that are recognized. These entrants include:

Invitees– In the case of a public pool, entrants are considered to be invitees, regardless of whether the pool is free or if admission is charged. The owner of the property has a responsibility to take reasonable care of the pool, which includes maintenance and repairs.

Licensees– If you are invited to someone’s private pool, you are considered to be a licensee. The pool owner has a responsibility to warn you of potential hazards like slippery deck surfaces, shallow water, and other hazards that might not be readily apparent.

Trespassers– If you are not invited to someone’s pool, you are considered a trespasser on their property. If you are hurt at someone else’s pool while trespassing, the property owner has almost no “duty of care” in this situation.

It is important to note that while premises liability laws do not protect trespassing adults, children who trespass and are injured at a pool might be protected under the state’s “attractive nuisance” doctrine. Because pools are considered attractive nuisances, the property owner might still be required to safeguard it from potential trespassing children. This could include signage warning of hazards and fences or gates to keep children out.

Hurt in a Swimming Pool Accident? We Can Help.

The swimming pool accident attorneys of Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are ready to help you if you’ve been hurt in an accident at a public or private pool. We understand the impact that an accident can have on your life, and we want you to know that you have legal options to protect yourself and your family. Contact us at 1-800-PERKINS to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with us today.

 

 

 

 


Observe National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month with the Team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers

Each May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and motorcycle advocates encourage people to recognize the importance of safe driving when it comes to sharing the road with motorcycles. Because every vehicle has the same rights and responsibilities on our highways, streets, and roads, it is important to remember to watch out for bikes while driving.

Because motorcycle riders and their passengers have little to no protection from serious injury in the event of an accident, it is the responsibility of the rider and other drivers to practice safe driving when sharing the road. Helmets and protective gear will only go so far to prevent injury, and in the event of an accident, the rider and passengers often suffer far worse consequences than those in cars or trucks.

The NHTSA website provides a few helpful tips for both motorists and bikers to keep both safe on the road. Motorists should:

  • Be aware of motorcyclists on the road. Always check for motorcyclists when changing lanes, merging, or leaving the highway.
  • Be sure to always signal lane changes to alert riders of your intent to move.
  • Motorcycles have the same rights as any other vehicle, which means they are entitled to a full-lane when driving. Do not try to share a lane with a motorcycle.
  • Always maintain a safe driving distance between your vehicle and a motorcycle in front of you.
  • As always, do not drive while intoxicated or allow in-vehicle distractions to take your eyes off the road.

For motorcycle riders, the NHTSA recommends:

  • Always wear the proper safety gear, including a helmet, boots, and protective clothing while riding.
  • Maintain a safe distance between your bike and other vehicles.
  • Do not attempt to share a lane with a car or truck.
  • Obey all traffic laws, and don’t try to pass traffic by weaving in-and-out among other vehicles.
  • Do not operate a motorcycle while drunk or under the influence of drugs or prescription medication.

If both bikers and the motorists they share the road with follow these helpful tips, severe injury accidents may be prevented.

Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers are Here to Help

The experienced Connecticut motorcycle accident lawyers of Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers have helped injured bikers get the compensation they need to get back on their feet after an accident. We know the devastation that a motorcycle accident can cause, and we firmly believe in doing what’s right and helping make sure that justice is served. Hurt in an accident? We can help. Call us at (203) 397-1283 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.


Jonathan Perkins Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2018 AIOPIA’S 10 Best in Connecticut For Client Satisfaction

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of
Connecticut’s Personal Injury Attorney Jonathan Perkins as 2018 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for
Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that
publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Personal Injury attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOPIA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client
and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOPIA’s independent evaluation. AIOPIA’s annual list
was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.

One of the most significant aspects of the selection process involves attorneys’ relationships and
reputation among his or her clients. As clients should be an attorney’s top priority, AIOPIA places the
utmost emphasis on selecting lawyers who have achieved significant success in the field of Personal
Injury law without sacrificing the service and support they provide. Selection criteria therefore focus on
attorneys who demonstrate the highest standards of Client Satisfaction.

We congratulate Jonathan Perkins on this achievement, and we are honored to have him as a 2018
AIOPIA Member.

You can contact Jonathan Perkins directly at (203) 397-1283 or www.800perkins.com.


Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers team attends Hartford Wolf Pack hockey game

It was hockey night at the XL Center in Hartford for the Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers office team. Pictured at one of the last games of the AHL season for the Hartford Wolf Pack ice hockey team are staff members Shawn Von Briesen, Bob Brinchman, Connor Lynch, Milvette Betancourt and Sara-Lynn Dickinson.

Johnathan Perkins Team

Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers Team at the Hartford Wolfpack ice hockey game.

With offices in Hartford, Bridgeport, Woodbridge (New Haven area) and Waterbury, Connecticut, Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers proudly fight for the rights of individuals who have been injured due to the negligent or careless behavior of others. This includes auto accidents, defective products, dog bites, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, nursing home accidents or abuse, premises liability, slip-and-fall accidents, and workers’ compensation cases. For more information, visit www.800perkins.com or call us at 1-800-PERKINS today.