Archive for the ‘Auto Accidents’ Category

Cell Phone Usage on Connecticut Roads Increases Driver Distraction

texting while drivingThe National Safety Council issued a whitepaper on crashes that involved the use of a cellphone, which highlighted driver distraction dangers. The document also showed the issues in tracking the accidents accurately. In this report, research indicated that police reports do not accurately report cell phone usage, even when the cell phone involvement was easily observed. According to the NSC, there is enough evidence to support their case for the dangers of underreporting.

In fact, it seems underreporting has led to an underestimate of the actual threat to public safety associated with distracted driving that comes with mobile usage. In Connecticut, using a handheld device is illegal but it doesn’t seem to be deterring drivers as much as hoped. It also seems police are no investigating the use of cell phones when other infractions, such as reckless driving or intoxication, occur since the other charges are easier to prove.

Nationally, this has become an issue. Below are some staggering statistics that shed light on the impact of cellular devices on the road.

Mobile Device Statistics

  • In fatal accidents involving teenagers, 21% were distracted by a handheld device.
  • There is a 400% increase in the amount of time drivers’ eyes are off the road due to texting while driving.
  • Each day, approximately 11 teenagers die due to texting while driving.
  • Texting while driving bans are supported by about 94% of drivers.
  • Of those same drivers, 74% are in support of a ban on handheld devices.
  • Compared to adult drivers, teenagers are four times more likely to either crash or nearly have an accident as a result of cell phone usage (both talking and texting).
  • Compared to drunk driving, drivers who text while operating a vehicle are six times more likely to cause an accident.
  • Texting is the most dangerous activity in mobile usage while driving.
  • In a poll conducted by AAA, 94% of teenage drivers surveyed know of the dangers of texting and driving yet 34% admitted to participating in the behavior.
  • Teenage drivers with one passenger are at twice the risk of a fatal car accident while teenagers with two or more passengers increase their risk by as much as five times.
  • Answering a text message, on average, takes 5 seconds. If you are traveling at 55 mph, that means your eyes are off the road for the length of an entire football field.

While it is acknowledged that text messaging while operating a vehicle is dangerous, many still do it each day. If you have been in an accident due to the cell phone usage of another driver, contact us today. We will use the extent of the law to ensure your rights are protected and justice is reached.

Am I Legally Obligated to Report a Minor Auto Accident?

auto accident fender benderWith the rising costs of insurance, many times, a motorist would prefer not to report an accident. This is especially true for “fender benders” where there are no injuries and the damage is minor. However, those small damages can become big complications. Without a report filed, you could find yourself footing your own bill when you aren’t at fault. If you find yourself considering not reporting an accident, there are a few considerations to make.

For starters, there are two entities in which you might report your accident, each with their own set of considerations.

Law Enforcement

Other than the facts of the accident, which state you live in is a big consideration. Most states require any accident that results in injury to be reported. However, if the damage is over a certain amount in those states, it is also required to be reported. Typically, this is when damages exceed $1,000 or $2,500. At the scene of the accident, it’s important to exchange information such as contact and insurance. Every state requires this to be done, even when the accident will presumably not be reported.

If the other driver is hesitant or uncooperative in exchanging information, law enforcement should be called. Whether they don’t have insurance or are simply refusing to cooperate, it makes better legal sense to have the authorities involved to ensure you get the necessary information. If the other driver is cooperative, there still may be a good faith dispute later about the cause of the accident. Without having an investigating officer at the scene or to see physical evidence at the scene, later issues become hearsay in nature.

Weather is another consideration. If there is inclement weather, precaution must be taken in consideration of others on the road, making it important to get police involvement. In other cases, there might be possible injuries, since injuries don’t always immediately appear. If you don’t have a report of the accident, it will be a lot harder to claim your injuries as caused by the accident.

Insurance Company

There are two big reasons a person may decide not to report to insurance:

  • The driver assumes their premium will increase.
  • The driver assumes the two motorists can work out the cost without the involvement of insurance.

However, all insurance companies in their policies have it written that any accident must be reported to the company immediately. If the accident is not immediately reported but then later has to be reported, it could lead to bigger complications and penalties down the line.

When the two motorists decide to just work things out, which is ill-advised, and damage is later revealed in the vehicle such as an engine issue that was undetectable, the motorist will likely have to file a claim. The same is true of personal injuries that don’t immediately appear. If the motorist waits a few weeks then files for those injuries or damages that later cropped up, protection or coverage may be denied due to the lapse in reporting.

The only time when it may make sense to not file a claim is when the accident is your vehicle on your property and there are no injuries with only damage to your own property. This means there is no dispute over fault and only you are the one responsible for damages. However, such cases are rare making it a good rule of thumb to always report accidents to avoid bigger issues down the line.

If you have been in an auto accident, contact our team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today.

Why Summer is the Season of Traffic Accidents

Whether you are a motorist or a pedestrian, there is always some risk of being involved in a traffic accident. However, there are times where that risk is higher. Summertime tends to have the highest number of accidents compared to other seasons, but why is that? Regardless of your own behavior, the season comes with inherent risks for accidents.

Reasons for Increased Risk

  • More travelers. With the warm weather comes more drivers on the road. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how the season becomes a higher risk for accidents with the increase in road congestion.
  • Inexperienced drivers. When school lets out for the summer, far more inexperienced drivers are on the road. It is estimated that teenager drivers spend up to 40 percent more time on the road when school is not in session, leading to more collisions.
  • Construction and highway work zones. Since the weather is vastly better for construction and road work, there are many more construction zones set up in the summer season. This increases detours and creates driving challenges that can lead to auto accidents.
  • Vehicle-related failure. Due to higher temperatures, it is more likely to have a tire blowout or general equipment failure in a vehicle. Paired with more people on the road, accidents rise.

Reduce Your Risk

While accidents can be unavoidable, there are a few tips to stay safer on the road during these conditions.

  • Follow traffic laws.
  • Avoid driving under the influence or under high emotions or stress.
  • Invest in summer preparation maintenance.
  • Stay buckled up.
  • Allow for more time to get where you’re going.

Whether it’s the summertime or not, accidents happen. Our team of Connecticut car accident lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers know how to protect your rights. Whether you are at fault or have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another driver, we can help. Contact us online today or give us a call to find out how our experience can serve you.

Who is Financially Responsible when a Car Seat is Broken During a Car Accident?

In auto collisions, there are damages that extend beyond vehicle repair. If you have been in an accident that was not your fault and your car gets totaled, you will be reimbursed for the damages. But what happens when there are high monetary damages that go beyond the cost of your car?

In most collisions, there are three types of damages. The first category is damage is the physical harm to passengers and the driver. The second is the actual vehicle, with the third covering the property inside the car.

Despite the three levels of monetary damage, insurance adjusters will often only offer the costs for the car. For instance, if the car is totaled, they have to cut a check for the value of the car, according to the book of car values they use. When the car can be fixed, they will cover the costs of maintenance.

It is not likely an adjuster will offer to fix property or cover the damages in a car accident. However, personal items of value can be sought after. Most common of these items are child safety seats and boosters. This is because the National Highway Transportation Safety Board recommends these seats to be replaced after a moderate or severe crash, even when they are technically undamaged. This is the ensure children maintain a high level of crash protection.

The cost of replacing car seats can be steep, with many costing a few to several hundred dollars. An insurance adjuster’s job is to ensure the insurance company pays the lowest amount possible after an accident. As such, the adjuster won’t be upfront with your rights, no matter how kind or helpful they seem.

It is within your rights to have car seats replaced when they are broken during an accident. Not only is it personal property damage, which is covered, but the NHTS Board requires you to replace them following an accident.

If you have suffered damages after a car accident, we can help. At Jonathan Personal Injury Lawyers, our team of Connecticut car accident lawyers understand the law and will put our experience to work protecting your rights. Contact us online or give us a call today to find out more.

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.

With Winter Coming to an End, There are a Lot of Potholes Lurking Beneath the Melting Snow

CT Pothole Accident and Injury Lawyers Spring is officially here. The trees are starting to bud and the birds are beginning to sing that distinctive song that lets everybody know that winter is on its way out the door. Unfortunately, just because the calendar is advancing and the sun feels warmer does not mean that we’re done with snow or its aftermath, and that includes potholes. Potholes can be minor cracks or major fissures, and they can appear on small alleys and on five-lane highways. Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, you need to understand that with winter coming to an end, there are a lot of potholes lurking beneath the melting snow. Parking lot potholes can cause trip and fall injuries to those who are walking and can cause automobile accidents and severe damage to cars. In both cases, the responsibility for preventing these types of accidents lies with the owner of the property where it is located, or the person responsible for its maintenance.  If you have been involved in an accident caused by a parking lot pothole, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help you with compensation for both personal injuries and property damage.

Pothole accidents often happen because people are not aware that the pothole exists. It may be hidden under snow or may not be visible as a result of poor lighting and visibility. But even potholes that are clearly visible are the responsibility of a property owner. Premises liability laws make it the responsibility of the person who owns or maintains a property to pay attention to its condition and to take appropriate steps to make sure that it is safe for those who may encounter it. If a person suffers a trip and fall accident because they fall into a pothole or as a result of a crack in the surface of their parking lot, then a court is likely to find the property owner legally and financially responsible for the injuries suffered – and though these may be minor, in many cases trip and fall accidents cause serious injuries, and sometimes even lead to death. Likewise, automobiles that strike a parking lot pothole can be thrown out of the driver’s control and crash into a person or another vehicle; they may suffer body damage, a flat tire, or a broken axle.

When parking lot potholes cause an accident or injury that results in these types of damages, the owner of the business connected to the parking lot may be held responsible. So might the property owner, the city or the town. If this has happened to you, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help. We’ll start by determining the identity of the party who is liable for your damages, then move on to ensuring that you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today to set up a free consultation.

 

How to Safely Drive Through Construction Zones

Car Accident Attorneys In CT - Jonathan Perkins Driving is a responsibility and a right that requires training, skill and attention. There is a reason why we require new drivers to put in hours of practice and take on-the-road and written tests: It is because we want to make sure that people understand the seriousness of what they are about to undertake and have the skills that are needed to keep them and their fellow drivers safe. One of the things that every driver needs to understand is that safe driving requires special attention when driving through a construction zone. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, two percent of all fatalities that take place on American roads result from crashes in work zones. That equals almost two deaths per day. Work zone crashes happen for many different reasons, most of which are preventable. One of the best ways to avoid construction zone accidents is to learn how to drive safely through construction zones. Here are our top tips for driving safely near these work areas.

  1. Slow down! Work zones generally have reduced speed limits and signage warning of lane shifts and other hazards. If you reduce your speed and increase your level of awareness, you may save a life.
  2. Watch out for surprises. Construction zones are notorious for being the site of unexpected events.
  3. Take a deep breath. Patience is an important part of driving in general, and particularly in construction zones. You may need to drive more slowly, stop entirely, or forgive the behaviors of other drivers who are confused by the change from the norm.
  4. Respect the flagger. The men and women who are standing in work zones and guiding traffic are in a dangerous and vulnerable position. Make sure that you understand that they are there protecting the safety of their coworkers and of motorists.
  5. Shift lanes with caution. Construction zone accidents frequently require drivers to merge lanes, and this can lead to an accident if it is done without the appropriate amount of checking. Respect and patience with other drivers is also recommended.
  6. Remember your defensive driving techniques. Defensive driving is a method in which drivers are trained to anticipate what other drivers might do and to take defensive actions to prevent accidents. This means leaving proper space between your vehicle and the car that’s ahead of you, and giving a wide berth to equipment, workers and barriers.
  7. Follow the signage. Many drivers make the mistake of returning to their original speed or driving pattern as soon as they believe themselves past the work zone, then are surprised to find another worker or barrier ahead of them. Construction zones provide signage that lets you know when you are clear of the work area.

By allowing yourself plenty of time and remaining alert, you can help prevent construction zone accidents. For legal help if you have been in any type of automobile accident, contact the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to set up a free consultation.

 

The Five Most Important Things to do Immediately After an Accident

Jonathan Perkins Car Accident Lawyer In Connecticut There is nothing quite like the sound of an automobile accident, or the sickening feeling that you get when you realize that you have just been involved in one. People who have been seriously injured find that immediate decision-making is out of their hands, as they are likely to be rushed to a hospital for emergency treatment. But if you’ve been in a fender bender or incident that is serious enough to shake you up but not so serious that you can’t walk away, there are certain things that you absolutely need to do in the immediate aftermath. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we take pride in the level of advice and knowledge that we provide to each of our clients, as our primary interest is in your wellbeing. Here are the five most important things to do immediately after an accident.

  1. The single most important thing you need to do after a car accident is to see a doctor. One of the most interesting things that happens after an auto accident is that your body will manufacture a surge of adrenaline. This is likely to make you feel filled with energy – you may even shake in the aftermath. This same chemical surge will keep you from sensing any initial pain – that’s one of the reasons that some car accident injuries don’t make themselves known until later. If you seek medical attention you will not only be able to help yourself heal faster, but will also have important documentation in case it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries at a later date.
  1. Speaking of documentation, keeping all paperwork is another key thing to do after an accident. Every bit of information that you can gather may be important, whether it is the name and phone number of a witness, a photograph of the location of the accident or the vehicle that struck you, receipts for medications or doctors’ visits.
  1. Make sure that you keep all of your paperwork and documents having to do with your accident in a separate file that is easily accessible. Scanning information and keeping it online and accessible via the cloud is an excellent idea, as if you need to refer to it you will have it immediately available, but make sure that you also keep all originals.
  1. Avoid contact with attorneys or insurance companies unless they are yours. These are conversations that your attorney should handle on your behalf, as things that you may innocently say can be used against you.
  1. Make sure that you have consulted with an experienced personal injury attorney who is able to represent your rights and make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.

At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we have a record of successfully representing car accident victims, getting them the compensation that they deserve for their medical expenses, lost wages and more. Contact us today to set up a convenient free consultation.

Officers Aggressively Enforcing Ice Missile Law to Help Prevent Auto Accidents

 With the holidays and New Year behind us and spring still months ahead, we are faced with the day-to-day realities of winter’s harshest weather. Connecticut drivers know better than most that icy roads and winter storms bring real danger, especially when blizzards and fog create whiteout conditions. The nightly news is filled with horrifying videos of accidents involving dozens of vehicles and resulting in traumatic injuries. These chaotic scenes are enough to strike fear in any motorist. There are steps that every motorist can take to protect themselves and their fellow drivers, and one of the most important and easiest is to comply with the Ice Missile Law passed in Connecticut in late 2013.

The ice missile law was written to address the issue of motor vehicles that have accumulated ice or snow on their hood roof, and trunk. Drivers who live in areas that are vulnerable to these conditions are required make sure that their vehicles are prepared for driving safely and sharing the roads with others by clearing this accumulation off so that it does not present any risk to pedestrians, other vehicles, or property while the vehicle is being driven. Failure to comply can lead to a fine of seventy-five dollars. Taking care of all of these items not only will provide you with better visibility yourself, but also provide a safer environment for those around you.

In addition to being penalized simply for failing to take the ice and snow off of your vehicle, there are much more serious penalties if your failure to do so results in an accident or property damage. If you are a private driver operating your car and snow or ice on your car causes an accident, you will face an additional penalty of between two hundred and one thousand dollars. Commercial drivers face even steeper fines that can range between five hundred dollars and up to one thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars.

We have all been on the road and seen what happens when driver’s fail to clean their car off before setting out in the morning. Sometimes it’s a driver of a passenger car who has barely cleaned the snow off of their hood. Not only does snow blowing off of their car make it harder for you to drive, but these drivers struggle themselves, barely able to see past the snow blowing onto their own windshield. Even more dangerous is the risk of large sheets of ice blowing off of the top of a truck or school bus, surprising drivers of vehicles in its path.

If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by ice or snow blowing off of another driver’s vehicle, then you have been a victim of negligence and you need to speak with an experienced attorney. The professionals at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are here to help. Call us to set up a free consultation.

 

Whiteout: What to Expect from Multiple Vehicle Accidents

 Multiple vehicle accidents are horrific events. Fortunately, they are experiences that few people are familiar with outside of the nightly news, but for those who have found themselves on the highway during heavy fog or driving snow, the possibility of being involved in one of these incidents becomes all too real. In most cases, accidents that result from low visibility are chain reaction accidents that happen in an instant, leaving confusion, injury, and in the worst instances, death. Nobody wants to be involved in an accident, but when it comes to whiteouts, it’s important for you to know what to expect and what to do if you’re involved in a multiple vehicle accident. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help.

Injuries that result from car accidents often lead to lawsuits, but these issues are relatively uncomplicated when compared to what happens when you are involved in a multiple vehicle accident. When there is more than one vehicle and driver involved in an accident the issues are immediately more complicated, whether you are looking to get resolution through a settlement or in a trial. Not only do you have the injured victim working against the individual or entity that was responsible for the accident, but you also are working against other victims for what may be a limited pool of money to pay for compensation of injuries and other damages.

Multiple vehicle accidents may be nothing but fender benders, but they can also be deadly events. When a multiple vehicle accident happens it sets off a chain reaction that has the potential for going far beyond the primary impact, sending shock waves into other drivers as they are either victimized by the laws of physics or end up being involved in secondary collisions as they try to avoid the primary accident. In some cases people are both struck and then strike others, and the dual impact increases the chance of them suffering severe injury.

Being involved in a multiple vehicle accident requires a high level of engagement from your personal injury attorney. Though it may seem like an abundance of caution, the most effective strategy is often to file lawsuits against all who are involved. Doing so increases the possibility that you as the victim of the accident end up getting the compensation that is appropriate for the injuries and damages that you have sustained.

Being involved in a chain collision can lead to physical injuries as well as emotional and mental trauma, and many of those who have been in these situations report being unable to escape from the horror and nightmare of the situation. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we understand that you have been through a traumatic incident and work hard to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. To speak with us about your best next step, contact us today to set up a consultation.

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