Archive for the ‘Consumer Alerts’ Category

Can I Seek Damages When a Product Doesn’t Have Proper Warnings or Instructions?

If you have been injured because of a product you used, you may be entitled to compensation. There are three categories that claims fall into where compensation may be available to the victim of the product: defectively manufactured, defectively designed, and failure to warn about proper use or the potential for harm.

Even products that have been created well and have no flaws in their design can cause harm when the consumer is not properly informed.

Duty of Care

When this happens, you may be entitled to compensation. Companies have a duty of care to let consumers know how to properly use their products and must warn how misuse can lead to injury. For instance, if a hair remover may cause burns if left on too long, the consumer must be properly warned about the risk. Failing to do so can put the company on the hook for damages that result from leaving the product on.

In these cases, the danger must be overt. In the case of the hair remover, a consumer may assume the product is safe since it is being used on the skin. If the company knows risks increase the longer a product stays on the body, they are required to give instructions on how to avoid the burns, along with information on how to handle a situation where the product begins to burn the skin.

Misuse of Product

While you may seek damages when the product does not have proper warnings, your case may be dismissed if you misused the product. In these cases, a product was used for something other than its intended use and the instructions were clear. For instance, a manufacturer is not liable if a consumer uses an outdoor grill indoors when it is marketed clearly for outdoor use.

Manufacturers should be able to warn against foreseeable misuse, but when there is adequate warning of misuse, they cannot be held liable. They also cannot be held accountable for not warning of unforeseeable uses. For instance, it is not reasonable for a microwave company to be expected to warn consumers not to microwave a laptop, but they should be able to foresee warning them against microwaving a plastic bowl.

If you feel your injury is due to the negligence of a manufacturer, contact our Connecticut defect product lawyer at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

What Does Connecticut’s Budget for Infrastructure Repairs Look Like for 2017?

Have you ever been driving along at a high rate of speed and suddenly found an enormous pothole looming up in the distance? It’s happened to all of us, and it immediately puts a driver into a completely untenable position. What do you do? Should you suddenly swerve to avoid the pothole, thus putting yourself at risk of hitting another car that may be in your path, or even losing control of your car? Or should you choose the alternative, hitting the pothole at 55 miles per hour and risking serious damage to your vehicle – as well as still possibly losing control? This is the Catch-22 that Connecticut’s drivers find themselves facing on a nearly daily basis. Though some dangerous road conditions may be caused by nature, a lot of them are a matter of the local government failing to provide the basic maintenance that keeps drivers safe. There is no doubt that bad roads can contribute to or even cause accidents. If you have been injured in an accident that you believe was due to Connecticut’s bad roads, contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today.

In the state of Connecticut, there is an expectation that the government agencies that are responsible will do a reasonable job of maintaining the roadways and keeping them safe for all of those that use them, including drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and those who ride in public transit. This means that signage has to be provided, roads need to be well lit, pavement markings need to be kept visible, and road surfaces need to be maintained. In most cases, failures to fulfill this responsibility are a result of budget constraints. So what does Connecticut’s budget for infrastructure repairs look like for 2017? According to the Hartford Courant, a project $1 billion shortfall for the General Fund has resulted in more than $670 million in reductions for all funds for specific programs, making cuts across the government and eliminating jobs for state employees.  Still, the Department of Transportation’s 2016-2020 Capital Plan includes almost $600 million in federal funding available specifically for highways and bridges, and another $432 million in funding available from the state for those same types of expenses. Though this seems like a lot of money, it does represent almost $200 million less than what was available in 2016, which has left our roads in their current conditions.

Cracks and potholes, fallen signs or those that are not visible as a result of overgrowth of trees and foliage, faded pain markings and inadequate guardrails all put motorists and their passengers’ lives at risk. If you have been in a car accident, it is important that you thoroughly explore the possibility that it was not your fault – negligent maintenance of the roadways may have been a contributor. The experienced attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers will carefully review the details of your accident, and if a hazardous road condition was to blame we will fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today to learn more.

Are Seat Belt Extenders Safe?

Keeping driver’s safe is a primary goal for automobile manufacturers, who are constantly being faced with new technologies and issues that need to be addressed. One concern that has increased in the last several years has been how to address the needs of larger passengers. As more and more people have been identified as obese, it has created new needs or almost all aspects of society, from clothing manufacturers to airlines.

Automobile manufacturers have not been immune to this development, as health experts and consumers have noted that standard seat belts can no longer accommodate this sector of the population. Numerous studies have revealed that obesity has a serious impact on the risk of death for drivers and their passengers. Some of this increased risk has to do with the obese person’s overall health and ability to recover following an accident, and some is due to the difference in the way that an obese person’s body is impacted within a vehicle in a crash. Yet another reason is because obese people are less likely to use seat belts because they are either uncomfortable or not big enough to buckle around their body. With seat belts being called the “single most important thing” that can protect drivers and passengers in an accident, manufacturers have begun to offer seat belt extenders for obese passengers. But are seat belt extenders safe?

According to Russ Rader, a spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Seatbelt extenders are a good option for people who can’t comfortably use regular seatbelts.” Though they have not been specifically tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fact that they both keep occupants from being thrust forward or thrown out of a vehicle is enough to make it worthwhile for them to be worn. Because studies have shown that obese drivers are less likely than normal weight drivers to use seatbelts, it is in everybody’s best interest to provide the opportunity for obese passengers to be able to put on a seatbelt and wear it comfortably, as well as to have it fit properly.

Seatbelts are most effective when they rest close to the bone on the shoulder and in the pelvis, tight across the collarbone and hip. This is not possible for those who are obese, as the belt gets pushed forward and the fit is slack. This means that the passenger gets thrown forward until the belt is connected to the bone and slows them down. This not only creates higher risk of injury, but can also cause seat belt injuries. When seat belts are not worn the risk is even greater. Further, if an obese passenger is seated in the back seat and is not wearing a seat belt, they can cause injury to the driver or front seat passenger who is seated in front of them.

Safety experts indicate that the best way to make sure that a larger passenger is belted and that the belt is worn appropriately may be to purchase a seat belt extender and to make sure that it is placed underneath soft tissue rather than over it. This makes it more effective as well as less likely to cause a seat belt injury. If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to learn more about your rights.

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