Archive for the ‘Auto Accidents’ Category

Traveling for the Holidays? Follow these safety tips from the National Safety Council

During the busy holiday season, many people choose to drive to visit family and friends. With more cars and trucks on the road (and often in inclement weather), there is a noticeable increase in accidents in November and December.

According to the Injury Facts 2017 report, 386 people died in automobile-related crashes on Thanksgiving Day, 273 died on Christmas Day, and 355 people died on New Year’s Day in 2015. Alcohol played a role in approximately 1/3 of those fatal collisions.

If you are planning on driving this holiday season, keep the following safety tips provided by the National Safety Council in mind:

  • Be prepared for traffic on the roadways, and depending on where you are located, heavy snow
  • Make sure to perform routine maintenance on your vehicle before driving.
  • Pack an emergency kit with you in case of an accident or breakdown
  • Make sure every occupant in your vehicle is buckled up, whether you are on a long trip or just a short drive
  • Put away the cell phone and limit distractions inside the vehicle
  • Never drink and drive, and if you are hosting a holiday party, make sure all guests have a designated driver to get them home safely

Even the most cautious driver could be involved in an accident, especially one caused by the reckless actions of another person. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers want everyone in Connecticut and across the country to stay safe this holiday season, and if you are hurt in an accident, know that we’re here to help. Contact us at (203) 397-1283, fill out a contact form, or chat with us online today.

Lethal Limo: Next Legal Steps for Victims of Auto Accidents

Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers Connecticut - Logo

-Top CT Lawyer Offers Comprehensive Check List after Catastrophic Car Wreck –  

WHO?: Attorney Jonathan Perkins, one of Connecticut’s top accident and injury lawyers specializing in auto accidents.

WHAT?: Provides critical steps to take in the event of a collision caused by another driver or professional limo service in order to protect your rights and recovery. Victims’ actions after an accident can either help or significantly hurt their ability to recover damages. As a member of the New York Bar Association, Atty Perkins can comment on the legal ramifications of the recent and tragic crash that claimed 20 lives.

What to Do if You Are in a Car Accident:

  • Keep calm and move as far off the roadway as possible, but stay at the scene of the accident.
  • Warn oncoming traffic by activating your hazard warning lights and/or setting flares.
  • Never assume that a passing vehicle has called, always contact 911.
  • Exchange insurance information with the operator of the other vehicle(s) involved.
  • Exchange contact information, write down license plate numbers, and document as much as possible about the accident.
  • Take photographs, if possible, of the area where the accident took place as well as any damages to persons and property (including vehicle damage).
  • Collect information from any witnesses present.
  • Give the police a statement about the accident with details but refrain from attempting to argue a case.
  • Never admit responsibility for the accident to anyone present at the scene. This includes police officers, paramedics and any witnesses.
  • Do not speak with an insurance company prior to speaking with an attorney.
  • Wait for medical professionals to arrive on scene to assess any and all injuries.
  • Contact a Connecticut accident attorney to discuss potential legal options.

WHEN?: TODAY AND UPON REQUEST

WHERE?: By phone, in studio or at one Attorney Perkins’ five practice locations in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury or New London. Contact Alisa Picerno at (860) 217-0595 to schedule.

WHY?: While no driver is truly prepared to be involved in a traffic crash, it is absolutely essential for Connecticut residents to understand what to do after an accident. Those involved in a collision are often overwhelmed with the many stresses associated with the accident. Therefore, the better prepared and educated the driver, passenger or pedestrian is, the more likely that the aftermath will flow as smoothly as possible. As a respected and reputable attorney representing plaintiffs in all kinds of personal injury cases for over 30 years, Jonathan Perkins has collected hundreds of millions of dollars for his injured clients.

About Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers

Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers is committed to fighting for clients who have suffered personal injuries. The firm has handled thousands of cases and Jonathan Perkins has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers represents clients in practice areas including auto accidents, product liability, dog bites, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, premises liability, slip and fall accidents, wrongful death, workers’ compensation injuries and Social Security claims. Se habla Español. For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation, visit www.800perkins.com or call 1-800-PERKINS.

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.

 

Top-5 Vehicle Maintenance Tips for Winter Driving

CT Pothole Accident and Injury LawyersWinter driving means you need to be extra alert. Not only are conditions treacherous, but you can’t be sure about what other drivers are going to do, or what their level of preparation or driving skill may be. In order to make sure your vehicle is operating at peak condition and minimize your chance of getting into an auto accident, here are our top maintenance tips for winter driving.

  1. Make sure that you’re up to date on scheduled maintenance, especially on items like fluid levels and the condition of your tires and brakes. If your car has been giving you any signals that things aren’t up to snuff, be sure to mention it to your mechanic so that they can check out every knock and ping. Make sure all filters have been changed and that the cooling system has been flushed and refilled that your heater and defroster work and that all the bulbs in your brake lights, headlights and turn signals are working.
  2. Put together a winter emergency kit for your car that includes warm clothing, gloves and boots, a shovel and windshield cleaner, and ice melt, sand or Kitty Litter. You should always have a set of jumper cables handy, check the condition of your spare tire, and make sure you have a charger for your phone.
  3. Buy a bottle of fuel-line antifreeze. This product can help ice from forming in the fuel line in frigid temperatures. Another good way to prevent freezing is to keep your tank at least half full.
  4. Check to see when the last time is you bought a new battery, and if it isn’t recent, then have your battery checked. Cold weather can turn a weak battery into a dead one.
  5. Freezing temperatures can affect different car parts in many different ways. You can help fend off unexpected problems by applying graphite or WD-40 to locks, silicone to door gaskets, and installing fresh windshield wipers. It’s also a good idea to buy a fresh jug of windshield washer fluid, as wintry weather can mean emptying your tank on just about every trip.

Unfortunately, preparation can help keep you safe, but can’t guarantee it. If you’ve been in an auto accident and you’ve been injured, you need an experienced advocate to fight for your rights. Contact the professionals at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to set up an appointment to come in and speak to us.

 

Why You Should Never Try to Pass a Snow Plow on the Right

snow plowIf you live in Connecticut, then you know that winter brings snow, with all its beauty and all of its aggravation. There’s no doubt that one of the most frustrating aspects of a heavy snowstorm is getting stuck behind a slow-moving snow plow. But no matter how much you hate sitting in traffic behind one of these 70,000 pound vehicles, do not make the mistake of passing a snow plow on the right: doing so is extremely dangerous, and risks injury to you, the snow plow driver, and the others with whom you share the road. Truck accidents are always dangerous, but especially in slick, snowy conditions.

We all can agree that snow plows make our lives easier, as long as they’re not in our way. After all, snow plow drivers are the ones who are out there in the dead of night and the absolute worst weather, picking up snow and dumping salt to make it safer for all of us to get where we need to go. But plows generally don’t travel more than 45 miles per hour when they’re picking up snow, and they’re even slower when they’re spreading salt. That makes it tempting to pass them, especially on the right. This is illegal and with good reason. Most snow plows have blades called wing plows that extend past the roadway and onto the shoulder, but when snow plows are operating, these blades aren’t visible because they are throwing up clouds of snow. When you accelerate and drive into one of these blades, you risk a serious crash, made worse by slick roadways.

The simple rule is that if a snow plow operator has their flashing lights on, it means that they’re hard at work, clearing the road for you and other drivers. If you’re behind one, the extra time that is costing you is not worth your safety or the safety of others on the road. Just relax, enjoy the beauty around you, and stay safe.

If you or someone you love is involved in a truck accident of any kind, and you need legal representation, the professionals at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are here and ready to help. Call us today to set up a convenient time to meet for a consultation.

 

Distracted Driving Caused by Work Calls or Messaging

distracted drivingThe picture most often painted when it comes to distracted driving is a younger driver that simply cannot wait to post on Snapchat or send a text message. However, there are other potential culprits when it comes to taking drivers’ eyes off the road. To the surprise of many, there are a lot of accidents that could have been avoided had the driver not been distracted by a call or message from their place of work.

In fact, a survey of over a thousand people has shown that around half of those that fall between the ages of 18 and 44 have reported using their devices for work purposes while operating a vehicle. The biggest culprit in these circumstances? The 25 percent of Millennial-aged workers that are afraid of upsetting their employer due to not answering the call or message. This shows how the current economy and lack of job security has begun to affect more than our economy.

Distracted Driving Kills

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,500 fatalities and 391,000 injuries on the road were caused or somehow had distracted driving as a factor in the accident. More staggeringly, this accounts for 16 percent of all injuries and 10 percent of fatalities due to car accidents.

Overworked and Distracted

With work happened more and more from outside the office, it should come as no surprise that these new stresses on workers are having an effect on the road. In many cases, it is the employer putting the pressure on that leads these drivers to answer messaging rather than keeping their eyes on the road. In fact, around 25% of those surveyed reporting their boss contacting them via mobile device despite knowing the employee was operating a vehicle.

While the Millennial generation certainly accounts for a portion of these incidents, it doesn’t seem to be a young driver issue. In fact, employees aged 45 to 64 are also communicating with their work while behind the wheel, as one-third of those surveyed confirmed of their own driving behaviors. It seems companies need to adopt new policies that account for this type of distraction that leads to fatalities and injuries alike for their workforce.

If you have been injured due to a distracted driver, contact us today.

Study Shows Hands-Free Devices Cause Distracted Driving

distracted drivingPreviously in Connecticut, drivers had exceptions to holding their cellphones while driving but in January of this year, those exceptions were taken away. Restrictions on cellphone usage is not new. Lawmakers have acknowledged the dangers of texting or making phone calls while operating a vehicle as it takes drivers’ hands off the wheel and takes their attention off the road. However, hands-free usage has remained legal.

Increased technology has made the issue worse. The actions of snapping photographs, sending text messages, using the GPS applications on smartphones, recording videos and even asking Siri a question causes distraction in drivers. A study came out around the time these laws changed in Connecticut that was released by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia that gave greater insight into distracted driving due to mobile devices for lawmakers.

The Study

The study conducted by QUT and released in December 2016 has found hands-free devices are just as dangerous as using a hand-held phone. The findings show drivers participating in both actions have a one second longer reaction to hazards on the road. The researchers involved in the study concluded it is too early to start making legal decisions based on the findings but also noted the statistics found during the study are staggering.

In one part of the study, drivers were put in a virtual road network. During the simulation, a pedestrian entered their peripheral view and crossed the street using a crosswalk. When the drivers were using a mobile device, they took a full second longer to react. While this doesn’t sound like a large amount of time, the extra distance traveled is more concerning. If the driver was traveling 25 mph, they would have traveled an additional 35 feet or so during the second it took to notice the pedestrian. This distance could lead to tragedy under certain circumstances.

Further, the study found less experienced drivers were twice as impaired by these devices in terms of distraction. This means it takes two seconds for an inexperienced driver to notice a pedestrian, meaning 70 additional feet were traveled. Considering the focus on young drivers using their devices for Snapchat and text messages, the statistics shown in this study are concerning. More testing and showing effects of different conversation types on the phone, such as texting or using applications, will be needed before researchers at QUT will recommend legal changes.

If you have been in a car accident due to someone using their mobile device or other distracted driving, contact us today for a free consultation on your case.

Opportunities to Collect Financial Damages After Drunk Driving Accident

drunk driving accidentFinancial compensation is often the last thing on someone’s mind after escaping a serious car accident, especially a drunk driving accident. However, you may be entitled to compensation for both injuries and damages that come from such an event. Further, you could be entitled to compensation for emotional damages such as pain and suffering. However, those damages become much more difficult to recover after time has passed, making it important to find the right personal injury lawyer early in the process.

The first part of the process is discerning who is liable for the damages and can be held accountable. Examples of such persons include:

  • The driver of the other vehicle in the crash
  • Governing entities if there was a defect in the roadway that led to or worsened the conditions for the accident
  • Third parties that intervened in some way, causing a negative effect
  • Owner of the other vehicle, if not the driver
  • Owner of the vehicle the victim was driving if it was not theirs and it led to or worsened conditions leading to the event
  • The establishment that served the driver in excess prior to the drunk driving accident
  • Your own insurance company
  • Insurance company of a relative that lives in the same household to get uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits

Figuring out the best party to pursue legally can be difficult. Contact our team at Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers today. We understand the best legal strategies in any car accident. Through our years of experience, we have the knowledge needed to get the most favorable outcome in a drunk driving accident in Connecticut.

Poor Visibility Doesn’t Just Increase Car Accidents, It’s Illegal

low visibility car accidentsWhen it begins to rain, it’s time to turn the headlights on. This should be common sense, as rain makes for poor visibility when driving. While this should be incentive enough for motorists to take it upon themselves to turn their lights on, it is also illegal in the state of Connecticut to leave them off. This is because a large number of accidents happen within the state during snowstorms, misting, raining and other ailment weather, prompting lawmakers to create laws to address the increase in accidents.

The increase in accidents can be attributed to the lower visibility associated with such weather. Fog that occurs during rainstorms during hotter weather or the blindness that comes with snow can make it so motorists cannot see in front of their vehicles. Illumination can help the situation by literally shedding light on what is to come for the driver. Despite the visual aid that proper illumination gives during weather ailments, far too many Connecticut-based motorists opt not to use such lighting during the weather.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 14 – 96 (a)

As previously stated, driving in such conditions without proper illumination is not just ill-advised; it’s illegal. The relevant part of the listed law in Connecticut states each vehicle that travels on highways within the state of Connecticut is required to use lighted lamps and illuminating devices at the following times:

  • All times that fall between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise
  • When unfavorable atmospheric conditions make people and vehicles on the road imperceptible from 500 feet away. These conditions include fog, heavy rain, snowfall, and any other weather event that lowers visibility to under 500 feet for motorists.
  • Any time when there is a period of precipitation such as periods of snow, rain or fog. However, other precipitation that affects visibility is also subject to the same condition.

Poor visibility comes from a number of factors from hail and sleet to freezing rain and snow. Driving safely is the responsibility of the motorist operating their vehicle. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another motorist during inclement weather, contact our team today.

Effects of Alcohol on Driving Ability in Car Accidents

drunk car accidentsIt is pretty well-known that alcohol decreases brain functionality, but how does that affect one’s ability to drive, specifically? With reduced brain function, along with impairment of thinking, reasoning and coordination, alcohol can inhibit one’s ability to drive properly. Alcohol creates its effects once absorbed through the stomach and small intestine walls and it has been metabolized by the liver. In 2017, it was reported that 2,017 people were killed in car accidents by drivers under the influence but below the legal limit.

Age is a risk factor for drunk driving. In fact, young drivers between 16 and 24 years of age accounted for 39 percent of drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2016. In the same year, those aged 25 to 34 accounted for another 29 percent of fatal crashes that involved alcohol impairment. In those crashes, there were four male drivers to every one female driver. In lieu of figured such as this, the drinking age was raised to 21 in all states. The NHTSA estimates 31,417 were saved between 1975 and 2016 due to the drinking age.

However, repeat offenders are the biggest concern when it comes to drunk driving. Those involved in a fatal crash while at a BAC of .08 were 4.5 times more likely to have prior convictions for driving under the influence. In 2016, around one in six of children under the age of 14 that were involved in drunk-driving crashes died, with 44 percent of those crashes caused by the driver of the vehicle in which the child was a passenger. It is estimated that drunk driving crashes cost $44 billion each year in the United States.

Every 50 minutes in 2016, someone died from a drunk driving crash, yet people still get behind the wheel while impaired every day in the United States. There are steps that can be taken to prevent these avoidable accidents and fatalities.

Avoiding Drunk Driving

  • If a driver appears to be impaired on the road, you have a moral obligation to report the behavior to the proper authorities to potentially save a life.
  • If you plan to drink, plan not to drive. Designating a sober driver or using one of the many smartphone applications to get a ride may cost a bit in the immediate future but could save a lot of finances, complications and potentially your own life.
  • If you drink and your plan for a ride falls through, call a cab. If you don’t know the number for a cab service, a member of the staff at the establishment you are at will be happy to help.
  • If you see someone about to get behind the wheel and you know they are impaired, offer them a ride and take their keys away. If you are also drunk, use one of the above tips to get them a ride as well.

If you have been injured due to a drunk driver, you’re entitled to compensation. Contact our team today to learn more.

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