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Wrongful Death Claims in Connecticut: Important Questions Answered

There are few times in life more emotionally-charged than losing a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person. Despite the emotions, it’s important to have the right information and important questions answered before pursuing legal action. While many will want to immediately hold the person accountable, it can pay off to take a step back and full understand what comes with the territory of a wrongful death claim.

What is a wrongful death claim?

The compensation gained from a wrongful death claim is meant to help financial aid family members following a fatal accident. This is often when the family members had been financially and emotionally dependent on the deceased.

Who can seek damages?

A good rule of thumb is whether the person is part of the estate. Surviving spouses and children are the most common, but surviving parents and other family members may also be able to seek damages.

What damages can be covered?

Damages following a wrongful death fall into two categories: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages include monetary losses and the expenses that came as a result of the death such as funeral arrangements and medical bills. Noneconomic damages cover losses and injury that are harder to quantify, such as lingering effects of injuries.

Can I be compensated for pain and suffering?

In a wrongful death suit, pain and suffering may be sought when the victim did not die instantaneously. Collecting for your own pain and suffering is much more difficult to claim.

Can I claim emotional distress as a bystander?

In some circumstances, damages can be sought as a bystander. Family members who witnessed the death or saw their loved one at the scene of the accident may be able to collect compensation for their emotional distress. They might be compensated for emotional and psychological injuries that would be expected from the loss of a loved one.

Can I seek damages for loss of consortium?

When your spouse passes away and you have children, you are losing your parenting partner. In Connecticut, you can seek compensation for the loss of the ability to enjoy their companionship such as the spouse’s affections, companionship and sexual relations.

If you have lost a loved one suddenly due to the careless actions of another person, contact the Connecticut wrong death lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to find out how we can help.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Slip and Fall Accident in Connecticut?

After a slip and fall accident, the focus is often not on getting compensation but inattention immediately after an accident can cost you. In Connecticut, it is important to understand the limitations in filing a lawsuit after your accident. Gathering the right evidence at the start, such as having someone snap a photo of the scene, can help down the line. But how long do you have to file?

Do You Have a Case?

Before getting into how long you have to file, you should first establish that you should file. Chances are, if you have fallen to no fault of your own, you should file a lawsuit. In order for someone to be held accountable for your fall, one of the following must be true:

  • A spill was caused by the owner of the premises or an employee, or there was a worn or torn spot that was not fixed or had warning signage. Slippery or dangerous surfaces or items that are placed in such a way that they are underfoot also apply.
  • Either the owner or an employee should have known about the dangerous situation. In the same situation, a reasonable person overseeing the property would have noticed and had it taken care of or provided warning.
  • The owner or employee had knowledge of the danger but took no action.

How Long Do I Have?

Each state has its own statute that governs how long a victim has to file a lawsuit. In Connecticut, the same rules apply to a slip and fall accident as they do in a personal injury case. A victim has two years from the date of injury to file the lawsuit. Specifically, the law states no action to cover damages can be brought to a court once two years from the date of injury passes.

More simply put, if you feel the owner or an employee are responsible for your injury, you must file within two years from being injured. This makes it important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible to allow enough time to build your case. Talk to one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to set up a free consultation and get started on your claim today.

How Adjusters Calculate Pain and Suffering After an Injury

Connecticut Slip and Fall LawyerWhile it may seem difficult to put a numeric value on the pain and suffering one goes through after an injury, compensation for damages has to be calculated. This type of damages is classified as compensatory damages. The compensation is calculated based on a variety of factors, including the severity and duration of pain, along with the symptoms of lingering pain and emotional distress. Unsurprisingly, lingering symptoms can be difficult to prove in general, and even more difficult to reflect in a court-of-law.

When looking to prove you have been through pain and suffering following an injury, it is important to understand how an insurance adjuster will calculate pain and suffering.

Calculations Used

After you have completed your medical treatment and therapy, coming up with the monetary amount for medical care is relatively easy. However, putting a monetary amount to your pain and suffering is much more difficult. So how do adjusters do it? The basic method used is the 1-5x multiple system, where one is the lowest pain and suffering, whereas five is the highest amount. They will consider the following aspects:

  • Severity of an injury. Soft tissue injuries tend to stay within 1 – 2x the full amount of your care. However, harder injuries, such as a broken collarbone, will likely be between 2 – 3x as much. Brain damage, however, will be put at 5x or more of the amount.
  • Liability of the insured person. If the victim is partially at fault or a third-party intervened in such a way that contributed to the accident, the question of liability may affect compensation.
  • Future prognosis. When extended medical treatment is clear and evident, the amount of pain and suffering is increased. This is because having to go through long-term treatments adds to the emotional distress of the ordeal, making the award much higher.
  • History of jury verdicts. Many find it surprising that other awards could influence their award. Geographic location plays a huge role in this aspect of calculation. Someone injured in the Midwest will likely have a lower award than someone in NYC, which an adjuster takes into consideration.
  • Exceptions. When the aftereffects of an injury are high but the cost of medical care was low, the case will be considered under its own merits.

Don’t let an adjuster be the full force in deciding what you deserve after a personal injury accident. Our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understand how adjusters work and how to present a better case for a more profitable outcome.

Common Medical Errors Made by Doctors and Hospitals

Sometimes unhappiness with a course of treatment for your ailments can be due to more than just a difference in style and bedside manner. When a medical error leads to the worsening of your condition, or an entirely new malady, you may be entitled to compensation. Knowing the common medical errors that are awarded compensation can help a victim decide whether it’s time to pursue legal action.

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis

Many medical malpractice complaints stem from misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis that led to bigger problems. For a successful malpractice case, it must be proven a reasonably skilled doctor who was acting competently would not have made the same diagnosis error.

Childbirth Injuries

There are many fetal injuries that are considered childbirth injuries. These can happen either before or after birth. Generally, childbirth injuries are classified under two categories.

  • Negligence in prenatal care. Negligence can affect a child at any point in a pregnancy. This includes:
    • not identifying birth defects
    • delayed or not diagnosing a disease that could be transmitted to the fetus
    • not identifying an ectopic pregnancy
    • failing to diagnosis a medical condition that affects the mother such as anemia or gestational diabetes
  • Negligent childbirth care. When a doctor’s negligence during childbirth leads to injury, it can have devastating effects. Common errors include:
    • failure to anticipate issues due to a baby’s large size or a tangle umbilical cord
    • not responding to fetal distress
    • not ordering a necessary cesarean section
    • improper or incompetent use of forceps

Medication Errors

When a patient receives too much or too little of a medication when a reasonable physician would not have made the error, there could be serious harm. Examples of medication errors include:

  • Incorrect dosage written on prescription
  • A correct prescription being improperly filled by a nurse
  • Equipment malfunction causing improper administration of drug
  • In a hospital, receiving another patient’s medication

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors can be among the most dangerous of medical errors. Examples of this type of mistake include:

  • Not properly reviewing patient history
  • Not properly informing patient of the risks
  • Giving too much anesthesia
  • Not monitoring vital signs
  • Improper intubating
  • Defective equipment

If you feel your physician did not use proper care, contact one of our Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We will review your case and help you take the first steps toward compensation for your pain and suffering.

Can You Sue Your Landlord for Lead Poisoning?

Lead is not as uncommon in today’s rentals as you might think. In fact, lead was in paint up until the middle of last century, along with other industrial and construction materials. If you are renting an older property, you may be at risk for lead poisoning. If you have small children and pets, it may be beneficial to use a testing kit to see if lead is present in a home before signing a lease.

But if you already have signed and are living on the property, there are health risks and signs to look out for that stem from lead poisoning.

Health Risks and Symptoms

The symptoms of lead poisoning are varied both in type and severity. This is due to the many factors of lead poisoning, such as the frequency, duration and severity of lead poisoning. Exposure to high levels of lead can affect the nervous and reproductive systems, kidneys, heart, bones and intestines.

Depending on these many factors, sufferers may experience:

  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Anemia
  • Low appetite
  • Reduced IQ
  • Constipation
  • Behavioral problems
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Pain or cramping of the abdomen
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lessened sensual responses
  • Kidney damage
  • Hearing problems
  • Slowed body growth
  • Headaches

Responsibilities of Landlords

Legally, landlords are required to let tenants know in writing that a rental unit may contain lead. If a landlord knew about the risk of lead, or should have known about it, but didn’t warn the tenant, they can be held liable for all damages that result from the exposure. Some states also hold the landlord accountable even when they don’t know or would not reasonably know about the presence of lead.

Lead poisoning can be fatal at worst but is disastrous at best, even when exposure is less severe. Because of this, many landlords are unable to cover the long-term costs of medical care needed after lead exposure, and even less can cover compensation for pain and suffering damages. In these situations, the insurance typically covers initial payments. However, some insurance liability does not cover lead poisoning.

Before talking to your landlord, contact our team of Connecticut lead poisoning lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We understand the laws as they pertain to Connecticut rentals and will put our experience to work for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Class-Action Lawsuit

Class-Action LawsuitA class-action lawsuit can have great benefits for those who aren’t even aware they have been affected by the poor intentions of a big company. However, there are also times when someone is better off opting out of a class-action lawsuit. When it comes to protecting your own rights, there are many considerations to make before signing any documents.

The Advantages

The most common advantages are related to the monetary savings and ability to have better legal counsel. Specifically, the advantages include:

  • Judicial efficiency. One judge will settle the entire case, meaning litigation will take up less of the courtroom’s time and involve fewer judges. This can make for easier and less complicated judgements.
  • Opportunity for small amounts of money. If you have only been somewhat affected, you can still be compensated when you would have otherwise let it go.
  • Lower costs. With costs divided amongst all members of the suit, less comes out of each person’s award.
  • Getting everyone on the same page and having a clear and concise defense can lead to better outcomes. This also helps legal cases by ensuring no one is left wondering how to proceed in their judgement based on someone else’s case.

The Disadvantages

With all good things comes the downside. A few of the disadvantages to joining a class-action lawsuit include:

  • Less control. These types of cases are representative in nature, meaning some of those affected most by the judgement don’t have as much of a voice. Plaintiffs may find a case will go in a direction they wouldn’t prefer.
  • Cases almost always settle for financial compensation. When a plaintiff is looking for compensation that extends beyond finances and rebates, it may not be the best choice.
  • If the case is unsuccessful, or the litigator doesn’t argue effectively on their behalf, they no longer have the right to bring an individual lawsuit later.

If you are unsure whether joining a class action case is the right choice for you, consult a Connecticut class action lawyer, today! At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we have handled thousands of class-action suits and can clarify whether the class action suit addresses your legal needs.

Types of Escalator Failures that can Lead to Personal Injury


Escalators may be taken for granted today, but in 1859 when they were first introduced as “revolving stairs,” they were considered an absolute marvel. In the century and a half that has followed they have become a common part of everyday life.  In the United States alone there are an estimated 35,000 escalators operating in public buildings, retail establishments, airports, hospitals and the like, making over 100 billion passenger trips per year through single and multi-floor buildings. Despite the fact that they are used so frequently, and we spend a little time thinking about them, escalator failures do happen and are responsible for many injuries. Sometimes these failures are caused by defects in the equipment and at other times they are a result of shoddy maintenance. When escalator injuries do occur, they can be quite serious. If you have been hurt as a result of an escalator failure, the experienced attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help.

Escalator failures happen for many reasons. In some cases, they are a result of loose or missing screws or broken or missing steps. Sometimes there is just a general malfunction and other times there is something specific that has gone wrong, such as the escalator track having missing or broken teeth or an excessive space opening up between the step area and the side walls of the conveyance. When these defects appear, they can lead to serious injuries, including:

  • Fingers getting stuck in spaces that are too large or in the handrail entry at the balustrade
  • Body parts, hair or clothing getting trapped between the comb plates or between steps
  • Slip and fall accidents, particularly at the entry or exit of the conveyance

In the worst instances, escalator failures can even lead to death. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 24 non-work related escalator deaths in the United States in the period between 1992 and 2003. In eight of these incidents, the death was a result of clothing getting caught at either the top or the bottom of the escalator or between the stair step and the escalator’s side wall. The other deaths were a result of falls, which are also responsible for 75 percent of all escalator injuries.

Despite the fact that escalators have become so common, there are still safety advocates who argue that it is their very design that leads to these accidents and deaths, though the units that have been manufactured since 2002 have been required to adhere to more stringent safety requirements than those that came before.  

If you have been injured while riding on an escalator and you believe that an escalator failure was to blame, contact the experienced attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for a free review of the details of your case. We will listen carefully and examine the specifics of your situation to determine whether the injury was a result of a design flaw, a failure to properly maintain the equipment or some other form of negligence. We are here to protect your rights and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.

Jobs that May Have Exposure to Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral that has been used since the days of the Ancient Romans. It has long been prized for its ability to insulate against heat and flame, as well as to add strength. As a result, it was incorporated into products ranging from machinery and fabric to steel and home building materials. Asbestos is used globally and could be found in nearly all industrial and construction work settings in the United States up until the mid-1970s when the Environmental Protection Agency released information showing that the material was highly carcinogenic. Since that time, the use of asbestos has been dramatically curtailed, but that decrease in use came too late for those who were exposed to the material previously. Many have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis, and others. People who have been exposed to this deadly material are often eligible to file for compensation for the damages that they suffered. This is in part a result of evidence that the companies that used asbestos in their products and work settings were well aware of the material’s dangers and did nothing to warn their employees or customers of the potential risks to their health. If you worked in one of the many jobs that may have exposed you to asbestos and you have questions regarding your legal rights, the personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers have the answers that you need.


Though today there are numerous protections in place for people whose work requires exposure to asbestos, these protections are not foolproof, and many people continue to be exposed to dangerous quantities of the known carcinogen.  The industries and occupations that are at highest risk for exposure to asbestos include:


  • Construction Work
  • Demolition Work
  • Home Renovation
  • Roofing
  • Flooring
  • Insulators
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Firefighters
  • Industrial Workers
  • Mechanics
  • Chemical Workers
  • Machinery Operators
  • Textile Workers
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Pipe Fitters
  • Shipyard Workers
  • Boiler Workers
  • Asbestos Mining
  • Asbestos Plant Workers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Hospital Workers
  • Education Workers
  • Steel Workers
  • Government Workers


Though the dangers faced by those in industrial settings may be obvious, other jobs on this list may be less so. Teachers, hospital workers and government workers are frequently exposed to asbestos because the buildings in which they work were constructed using extensive amounts of asbestos. As the material breaks down over time, tiny particles of it become airborne and are easily inhaled or ingested.  


In addition to occupational settings, people can be exposed to asbestos as a result of simply sharing a home with a person who works with asbestos. There have been many asbestos lawsuits filed by women who were sickened after years of washing their husband’s asbestos-contaminated work clothes, and children whose exposure came from climbing onto their father’s laps or hugging them when they returned home from work each day.


If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you have a number of legal options available to you. If you need an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you or answer the questions, contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to set up a free consultation.

What are the Five Vocational Questions that are used by the SSA to Determine Eligibility for Social Security Disability?

Man Holding Gradnma's handWhen a person believes that they can no longer work and applies for Social Security Disability benefits, there is a five-step process that they need to complete in order to prove that they are eligible. This process is fairly straightforward and is meant to provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) with the maximum information in the shortest possible amount of time. In order to achieve this, the SSC has devised 5 questions that provide them with key information about the condition that has prompted your application. Based on your answers, you may be deemed eligible or ineligible with reference to health.

If they agree that your health is at issue in terms of your ability to continue in your previous job, they will then move on to three other factors to determine whether you could continue working but in a different job. These other factors involve your age, your education and training levels and your work experience. Since the first step in the process is assessing the matter of your health, let’s start by looking at the five vocational questions that are used by the SSA to determine eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits.

The 5 questions that the Social Security Administration will ask are geared towards determining what is wrong with you and how severely the condition has impacted you. They are:

  1. Are you currently working? This is to establish whether or not the person’s income (or lack of income) qualifies them for disability benefits. The threshold amount in 2016 was $1,130 – those who are making more than that amount is unlikely to be approved for benefits.
  2. What is your medical condition, and is it considered severe? The threshold for this answer is whether or not a physical condition keeps a person from all basic work activity.
  3. Is the condition that you have included on the SSA’s reference list. This list covers every major body system and categorizes different conditions, with some automatically qualifying as a permanent disability or likely to lead to death. Those that do not fall under this category must have existed for 12 continuous months in order to qualify.
  4. Are you able to remain in your previous job?  This question applies to all previous work, beyond the job that was current at the time of the disability.
  5. Are you able to do any other type of work? This seeks to determine whether your qualifications allow for a smooth transition into another job.

When the SSA tries to determine whether you are indeed too disabled to move on to another job, they focus on issues of your age, your education, and training and your work experience. They tend to be much more forgiving of those over the age of 45, as well as of issues regarding education and literacy, fluency in English, and what skills you have attained over the course of your life.

If you need assistance or representation in applying for Social Security disability benefits, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are here to help. Call us or contact us online to set up a convenient appointment to discuss your particular situation.

What are the Most Common Amusement Park Injuries?

There are some things that just come with warmer temperatures, and going to amusement parks is one of them. It doesn’t matter whether you are visiting one of the big name destinations in Florida or California or the attractions at your local beach boardwalk, the sounds of people shrieking in delight are part and parcel of our happiest memories – at least that’s true for most of us. Though we generally associate amusement parks with joy and carefree days, there are thousands of people injured at these attractions every year, and whose memories of these visits are filled with horror. Some of these injuries are so out of the norm that they make the evening news, and we shake our heads when we hear of drownings at water parks or of people getting thrown to their death from roller coasters, but these events are rare. Much more frequently the people who are hurt suffer damage that may not be newsworthy, but can still be life changing. If you or your child have been injured on a ride or while in a park, you may be eligible for compensation for the damage you’ve suffered. Here are the most common amusement park injuries, as well as some information about what to do if it has happened to you.


When you picture an amusement park, the first things that come to mind are probably the roller coaster, the bumper cars, and all the other rides that move fast, whipping you around and making you dizzy. As much fun as these can be, they are also the rides that lead to the most common amusement park injuries. These injuries include:


  • Back, neck and head injuries from being thrown around in a rough ride
  • Falling from a ride
  • Being thrown from a ride
  • Stroke caused by injuries to the ligaments in the neck
  • Broken bones
  • Torn ligaments
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Brain injuries resulting from rapid speed putting G-forces on the head
  • Drowning


In addition to the physical damage that the body can suffer while rides are operating properly, there are also injuries that can result from rides being improperly operated or from mechanical failures. When a safety element such as a seatbelt or protective bar fails to work in the middle of a ride, it can lead to serious injury. Similarly, if a ride’s brakes or speed controls fail, people can be thrown from their seats. In some cases, people are injured when they fail to listen to safety instructions or misuse a ride.


When a person is injured on an amusement park ride, they may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit based on either negligence on the part of the park owner or operator, or a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the ride itself. For more information on your legal rights, contact the compassionate attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.



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