Archive for the ‘Personal Injury’ Category

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.

Safest Ways to Remove Snow and Ice from the Roof of your Vehicle

car buried in snow - personal injuryWinter means treacherous driving, and drivers need to pay extra attention when they get behind the wheel. Drivers in Connecticut have an even greater level of responsibility to those with whom we share the road: to reduce the number of personal injuries caused by winter accumulations, the state has required drivers to clear snow and ice from all parts of their vehicles after a snowstorm.

The law was passed several years ago because of accidents and near-misses caused by snow and ice blowing off cars. Though it’s common sense as well as common courtesy, it’s also more easily said than done. Here are some tips on how to do it without harming your car, or yourself.

  • Assuming that you can open your car door, always begin by starting your car. The warmer your vehicle is, the more easily the snow and ice will be dislodged. Turn the defroster on to full blast and turn on your rear window defroster too. Make sure your doors are unlocked before you close the door again.
  • Clear off the snow from the more accessible areas of the car first. Pay special attention to all windows, as well as the hood and trunk of the car.
  • When it comes to clearing the roof, remember that it is easier to pull the snow down than to push it, even though that means that it is going to fall on you. The most effective tool for clearing snow from the roof is called a foam push broom. Its soft surface won’t scratch your car’s paint, and it has a long handle so that even short people are able to reach at least halfway across.
  • Make sure your headlights and brake lights are clear of snow – and your license plate too.

Take care while doing this – the goal may be to avoid causing a personal injury to drivers around you, but you don’t want to slip and fall while you’re doing your civic duty! Wearing shoes or boots with good grips is always a good idea in icy conditions.

If you’ve been in an accident caused by another person’s failure to clear ice or snow off their vehicle, you may be entitled to damages. Call Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to learn more about your rights.

Preparing for a Personal Injury Trial

personal injury trialIf you have been injured and have sought legal representation, the hope is that you can settle without having to go to trial. Of course, this is not always the case. There are times when the two parties cannot come to terms that both can agree to. When this happens, the case will have to be overseen by a judge and jury. This can be concerning for those seeking damages in a personal injury case. For some, they assume because they have to go to trial that the outcome will not be in their favor.

This is not necessarily the case. In fact, if your legal representation has decided the offers were not good enough and has decided to go to trial, there is often a good chance you are sitting on a potentially profitable case. After all, in cases of personal injury, if you don’t get paid, they won’t get paid. It isn’t often an attorney will decide to take action in a case if they could get the money they deserve through other means as trials take more money and time, which is also money when you’re a lawyer.

Each trial is handled differently, which is the first thing someone should understand while preparing for trial. Depending on your case, your lawyer will have different experts and witnesses that will collaborate the narrative of defense you have devised with your legal counsel. In most cases with personal injury, there is an ongoing discussion between the two sides of legal representation. In some cases, you will have a trial set only to get a more appropriate offer the day prior, which is often what your lawyer is after.

By letting the other side know they are ready and prepared to go to trial, often the other party will decide to settle. If the case does move forward into a trial, your lawyer will let you know what to expect. Be sure to dress appropriately and to show respect to the judge, as this is the person with the most influence over how your trial will proceed. Further, be sure to understand the in’s and out’s of your defense and have a list of who will serve as a witness in your trial. The more you understand about your defense, the calmer and more believable you will appear in court.

If you have not yet found a personal injury lawyer that has seen success in court, contact us today. We have years of experience getting the compensation our clients deserve after a personal injury.

Nursing Home Bed Rails Cause Personal Injuries

personal injuriesBetween 2005 and 2013, there were seven deaths reported to the FDA that were associated with the use of a portable bed rail. While that figure alone sounds staggering, injuries are more prevalent with use of the devices. Between 1985 and 2013, the FDA received reports of medical devices that revealed 901 incidents of patients being strangled, entangled, caught or trapped in their own hospital beds. The reports detail 531 deaths, 151 nonfatal injuries and 220 cases of staff intervention to prevent injury and death referred to as “near misses.”

This information might prompt some to ask why these devices are used for the elderly, frail or disoriented. The devices carry many benefits such as aiding in turning and repositioning patients in their bed to avoid sores, providing easy access to bed controls and personal items for patients, lowering the risk of a fall when patients are being transported, giving a sense of security to patients, and giving patients something to hold onto in order to aid them when getting in or out of the bed.

On the other hand, these devices come with risks that can sometimes outweigh the benefits or require staff to closely monitor patients. These risks include, but are not limited to, strangulation or suffocation when a patient becomes caught between rails or between the rails and bed, skin bruises along with cuts and scrapes, feelings of unnecessary restriction or isolation, agitation when used as a restraint, minor injuries in falls that come from patients attempting to climb over the rails, and preventing patients that are capable of getting out of bed from performing their daily routine without assistance.

Considerations While Using Bed Rails

For those with loved ones that need bed rails, it’s important to be prudent when visiting. Be sure to check the bed and rails for safety. Pushing the mattress as far from the bed rails as possible and ensure you are not able to get four full fingers between the two, as this is a red flag for a lack of safety in the bed. In most cases, patients are able to be in bed without a bed rail. In those cases, consider the following:

  • Using a bed that can be raised or lowered to the floor to accommodate the patient and staff member.
  • Using the lowest position for the bed with locked wheels.
  • Using transfer aids rather than the rails.
  • Using more frequent monitoring when possible.
  • Try to anticipate needs of a patient to avoid the necessity for rails.

If your loved one has been injured due to a bed rail at a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to learn more.

Trampolines Pose Serious Personal Injury Threat for Kids

trampoline personal injuryDespite the popularity, trampolines pose a serious threat of injury for kids, both indoors and in backyards. In fact, between 2002 and 2011, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports over a million emergency calls made due to trampoline-related injuries. While the use of a trampoline comes with risk for injury and legal liability, the number of trampolines doesn’t seem to be decreasing. The organization also estimates nearly $9 billion in medical, legal, liability, loss of work and pain and suffering costs associated with such injuries in 2014.

Even still, trampolines remain a popular form of exercise for children and adults alike. Each year, thousands are injured with the majority of injuries happening in backyards. Children under the age of 6 are at the highest risk for these injuries.

Common Injuries

Whether it’s at home or at an indoor trampoline park, the most common injuries include:

  • Head and neck injuries, some leading to paralysis or death
  • Sprains and strains
  • Concussions
  • Broken bones, some of which require surgery
  • Bruises, scrapes and cuts

While not all personal injuries are avoidable, there are some tactics that can lessen the risk of injury. The first step in prevention is understanding what heightens the risk associated with trampolines. The most common causes of injury include:

  • Being struck by another person
  • Falling or purposefully jumping off
  • Attempts at stunts by non-professionals
  • Landing wrong after an attempted flip
  • Landing wrong when jumping
  • Landing wrong or falling off when trying to somersault
  • Landing on springs or frame

Recommendations for Children

The consensus is that trampolines are not worth the risk to have at home. However, if you decide to purchase one anyway, there are important safety precautions to take to lessen the risk of injury and minimize the severity of injury. Some tactics include:

  • Limit use to one person at a time
  • Regularly check equipment for loose or broken springs and other mechanical issues
  • Repair or replace damaged parts such as protective padding, net enclosures and other parts before usage
  • Constant adult supervision
  • Protective padding should be in good condition and assured it is properly placed and installed

Some personal injuries are not avoidable. If you have been injured on a trampoline due to the negligence of the property owner, contact our team today for more information.

Halloween Safety Tips for Families with Children

halloween safety tipsHalloween may be a month away, but preparations to keep children safe can start now. Having a cohesive plan to keep your kids safe is important during the holidays, as it can mean the difference between a happy holiday and a celebration gone wrong. Between unscrupulous characters, traffic while they are crossing the streets, and the activities that come with Halloween, there are a lot of inherent dangers with this holiday compared to others. However, with some safety tips, it can also be the most fun of the holidays for the younger ones.

Unfortunately, Halloween is one of the top nights for emergency room visits. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a night doomed for tragedy. Instead, follow our tips and create your own safety plan for your family to get ahead of the risks associated with the holiday.

Safety Tips for Halloween Activities

With the following tips, kids can have all the fun Halloween has to offer without any of the potential negative consequences.

  • Costumes can be the most fun part of Halloween, but they should be chosen with care. They should fit well, as to avoid getting caught or tripping a child. They also should be made from materials that are non-flammable. Accessories should be inspected for potential hazards, especially for younger children. Exercising good judgment in all aspects of a Halloween costume can lead to a happier holiday.
  • Visibility should be increased for children, as nights are beginning to get darker more quickly, just as kids are roaming the streets for candy. This can be achieved through reflective gear on costumes or by wearing glow sticks. Be sure to instruct kids not to put the glow sticks in their mouths, as it could lead to a puncture of the stick and make them ill.
  • Younger children should be chaperoned at all times while trick-or-treating. This can be a good opportunity to teach them how to use crosswalks and not dart into traffic, leading to better safety all year round.
  • Novelty makeup can be fun, but it can also be the cause of an allergic reaction. If your child has never worn such makeup before, be sure to test it on a small patch of skin before Halloween day to ensure they don’t have a reaction.
  • Using batteries rather than lit candles in jack-o-lanterns will not only make it a safer Halloween for children but will be safer for your home.

If tragedy does strike on Halloween and a member of your family suffers a personal injury due to a motorist or careless homeowner, contact us. Our team will help achieve justice for your holiday gone wrong.

Minimize Catastrophic Brain Injury Risk for Youth Football Players

football catastrophic brain injuryA paper by the researchers at Temple University, the Orthopedic Center in Rockville, Maryland, and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio suggests air bladder helmets increase the risk of catastrophic injury and that there is no evidence that new football helmet technology has reduced the risk of a catastrophic brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Their research suggests properly fitting helmets and proper inflation of air bladder linings are the most effective steps against TBI.

The paper was presented in 2012 at a meeting of the American Orthopaedic for Sports Medicine. In the paper, one of the most important specific findings was an 82% decrease in risk for concussion with a loss of consciousness in athletes that wear properly fitted helmets. In fact, the age and condition (new compared to reconditioned) and helmet lining type, such as foam, air and gel, did not have a significant impact on the risk for amnesia or loss of consciousness.

Even further, air bladder helmet might actually increase the risk for catastrophic intracranial brain injury. 84% of the injuries between 1984 and 2001 that resulted in a brain injury involved the use of air bladder helmets. According to the authors of the paper, it is possible the increased risk is due to leakage of the air bladder system, as the air bladders are prone to leaking that would lead to a compromised helmet. In a related finding, it was shown the risk of concussion with amnesia increased by 35% each higher grade level, which can be attributed to increased exposure.

New Technology in Helmets

Unfortunately, there is little to no evidence that the newer technology in helmets has done anything to decrease risk of injury. In fact, the paper mentioned above found the percentage of high schoolers and college football players that sustained concussions was pretty consistent over a 30-year period. With such a small impact, the authors of the paper questioned whether technological advances have had any positive impact on concussions. In some cases, the newer technology can be faulty, such as a deflated air bladder, and can actually put youth at a higher risk of injury.

It is also possible that some kids are simply more prone or have a predisposition for injury. Some factors include helmet fit, dehydration, medications, gender, genetics, depression, fatigue, metabolic, ADHD, history of head injuries, hormonal disturbances, migraines, prior concussions, and many other factors yet to be identified.

The only proven consistent preventative measure against such injuries lays in proper helmet fitting and maintenance, such as ensuring air bladders are properly inflated. If your child has suffered a concussion due to an underinflated helmet, improperly fit helmet, or other negligence, contact us today to find out your legal options.

Concussions Could Lead to Worse Brain Injuries

sport head injury concussionAlthough concussions are considered a mild form of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), there is nothing mild about the concern they pose. These injuries are most often caused by blows to the head, falls, or other impacts to the body that cause jerking of the head. Although these are not typically life-threatening, the symptoms can be serious for the sufferer. The most common causes of concussions include falls, auto accidents, assaults, sports, and being struck by an object, usually in the head. Even when the impact to the head is minor, a concussion could happen. In many cases, the victim is unaware an injury has occurred.

Signs and Symptoms

When someone has had an impact to the head, they could have a concussion no matter how mild the blow appeared to be. However, there are signs and symptoms to look out for that could give you a better idea of how the person is being affected. Anyone that shows the following symptoms after a head injury should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Feeling frail or dazed
  • Lingering or worsening headache
  • Speech that is slurred
  • Experiencing confusion
  • Becoming agitated
  • Losing consciousness, even for a short period of time
  • Amnesia
  • Pupil sizes not matching
  • Excessively drowsy
  • Inability to coordinate movements
  • Nausea, queasiness
  • Convulsions, seizures
  • Lack of recognition

Brain Damage

Multiple concussions can lead to cumulative effects, making getting the right amount of rest and healing for the brain incredibly important. It is a good rule of thumb not to participate in normal activities until the symptoms of a concussion have fully subsided. Even at that time, it makes good sense to slowly get back in the swing of things. While it can make a person impatient to have to gradually adjust back to normal life, it can stave off some of the severe consequences of multiple concussions.

These problems that can accrue include memory loss, severe mood swings, loss or impediment of motor skills, depression, an inability to fully concentrate, and imbalance. Unfortunately, many are unaware they have fallen victim to a concussion as symptoms don’t appear until days or even weeks after the impact. This makes it important to get proper rest every time you have such an impact, even if no signs or symptoms appear.

If you have suffered a head injury due to the negligence of another, contact us today. Our experienced team understands how to pursue TBI claims successfully.

Tips for Suing a Retail Location for Personal Injuries

retail personal injuryPursuing a personal injury case against a retail location has a similar process as any other injury-related lawsuit. However, there are some tips to make the process a bit smoother with this specific type of defendant. Depending on your own specific case, there are different steps you will have to take for a successful claim. Even still, the following tips can be helpful in determining your best move.

Seek Medical Treatment

If you refuse medical attention after the accident, not only will it hinder your ability to prove your injury, it will appear you were not hurt. Even if you believe you are fine after a shopping-related accident, it makes good sense to seek medical attention to be sure. This is also a smart move health-wise, as many injuries appear later on. But most importantly, it serves as an important piece of evidence and base for damages.

Request Surveillance Video

In many cases, facts will be disputed from the case. Video surveillance provides more concrete evidence to support one side or the other during the lawsuit. Legally, the retail store is required to provide this evidence. If they refuse or claim it has been destroyed or doesn’t exist, it could actually benefit the plaintiff’s case, as it looks suspicion on the part of the retailer.

Statute of Limitations

An important consideration for any lawsuit is the statute of limitations on it. Depending on the state in which the injury occurred, you will have a different amount of time to file your claim. In Connecticut, the law stipulates a claim must be filed within two years of the injury. This means from the date of injury, you have two years to file the claim. It does not limit how long the process can take, only when the claim must be filed by.

Witnesses

If there were witnesses to your injury, it is important to get a statement from them. Getting the actual statement can be done by your legal team, but it is important you get their information for a later statement at the time of the incident, as it can be difficult to find them later. Having unbiased third parties corroborate your story can be a powerful piece of evidence for a personal injury case.

The most important step is finding the right legal team. At Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the intricacies of a personal injury claim in Connecticut. Contact us today to learn more.

Safety Tips for Bicyclists to Avoid Auto Accidents

bicycle safety auto accidentOn average, in 2015, more than two people were killed while riding a bicycle each day, or 818 in total for the year. Compared to 2006, this was a 6 percent increase in fatalities and a 12.2 percent increase from 2014, the previous year. While the estimate of bicycle-related injuries dropped from 50,000 in 2015 to 45,000 in 2015, research into hospital records show that police records only represent a fraction of bicycle crashes that cause personal injury through auto accidents.

Breakdown: Who Are the Victims of Bicycle Accident Fatalities

  • Of those killed, 88% were male.
  • Urban areas account for 71% of fatalities.
  • Out of the states, California, Florida, and Texas have the most bicycle-related fatalities.
  • There are only two states that did not report bicyclist fatalities in 2014: Rhode Island and Vermont.
  • Of bicyclists killed, 19% had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 g/dL or higher, which is beyond the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle.

While these figures seem daunting, bicycling is not inherently a dangerous mode of transportation. These fatalities account for less than two percent of all traffic fatalities, which is a high figure considering bicycle trips only account for one percent of trips in the United States. However, there is no reliable source of exposure data to properly indicate miles traveled by bicycle, how long it takes to cover those miles, and therefore, how long they are exposed to motor vehicles. With some safety tips, this exposure and the danger of bicycling can be reduced.

Safety Tips

  • Adhere to Traffic Laws. Bicyclists are subject to the same rules and laws that other motorists must follow when using roadways. Examples include obeying red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, and yielding to pedestrians.
  • Be sure you can be seen when riding your bicycle. This can be done with reflective or brightly color clothing, along with reflectors on helmets and bikes, or a flashing light attached to either.
  • Hand Signal Usage. When stopping, turning or changing lanes, it is important to alert motorists to your next move using hand signals.
  • Take Advantage of the Entire Lane. To increase motorists’ view of you, use the whole lane and not just the side. This will help motorists not only see you on your bike but also give a better indication of where you are going.
  • Avoid Traffic Congestion. When possible, choose less congested roads to get to your destination, limiting your exposure to motor vehicle traffic.
  • Intersections and Driveways. Use extra caution when approaching intersections and driveways, where many accidents occur.

If you were struck while riding a bike, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us today about your personal injury to find out more.

Top