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Does Using Your GPS Count as Distracted Driving?

GPSThe dangers of distracted driving have become a hot topic among drivers of all ages and all levels of experience. Though the latest and most frequently blamed culprit is cell phone use, the truth is that distracted driving has been a major factor in car accidents since people abandoned the horse and buggy and got behind the wheel of automobiles and trucks. There are countless instances of drivers being distracted by a wide array of activities, including changing the radio station, raising or lowering windows, opening or closing sunroofs, putting on makeup, eating or drinking, or arguing with fellow passengers. Breaking up an argument between kids in the backseat means taking your eyes off of the road in front of you, and that’s all it takes to cause a significant crash.

One of the most recent additions to the list of driving distractions is the use of GPS systems. Whether the device is built into your car through a state-of-the-art navigation system or you’re using an application on your phone, using them often involves taking your eyes off of the road to check what your next turn is going to be, or whether you’ve missed it entirely. Though the new technology certainly is easier to follow than trying to read a map, it can still lead to an accident if misused. To avoid having your GPS take your focus off of the road in front of you, follow these simple rules:

  • Program your destination into your GPS before you start your journey. Typing a destination into Google Maps or Waze while driving is no different from texting while driving, and it’s just as dangerous.
  • If you are driving with passengers, put them in charge of navigation. Whether it’s checking to see how much farther you have to go, or changing the route to avoid a traffic jam ahead of you, ask the person who is riding shotgun to take care of the data input and oversight.
  • Keep your GPS volume high, and if you have Bluetooth technology, set it to play through your audio system. The less you have to glance at your screen, the better.

Though texting is what has gotten most of the attention, getting distracted by a GPS has caused thousands of accidents. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you suspect that use of a GPS contributed to your injury, contact the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today.


Why You Should Always Clear Snow and Ice from Your Roof

Snow on roofWinters seem to be getting harsher with each passing year, and it’s tempting to just stay inside and hibernate until spring. Unfortunately, if you’re a homeowner or business owner responsible for a property, that means you’re also responsible for clearing snow and ice from your roof in order to prevent injuries to anybody who might pass by. Premises liability laws are clear that if snow, ice, or icicles fall from your building and strike somebody, cause property damage, or lead to a slip and fall accident, you can be held financially and legally responsible.
While there’s no expectation for you to go outside in the midst of a snow or sleet storm, once it has passed and the weather has cleared, all property owners have a duty to make sure that their property is safe. This means removing:

  • Accumulated snow or ice, which can slide off of your building and hit a passerby below, or
    create a slippery, treacherous sidewalk beneath.
  • Icicles hanging from the side of a building, which can cause traumatic brain injuries or skull
    fractures if they strike a person walking underneath, or freeze on the sidewalk below.

As beautiful as accumulated snow can be when viewed in a landscape when it is underfoot or overhead it represents a significant risk to passersby, as well as to vehicles or property that may be underneath. Premises liability is a specific area of law that addresses situations where property owners fail to exercise appropriate caution on behalf of people that may be on their property. This duty is particularly
emphasized where a property has experienced previous instances of accumulation. If you know that your roof gathers snow or your gutters collect precipitation that drips to the sidewalk below and creates an icy patch, there’s an expectation that you will anticipate the problem occurring again and take action to address it.

If you’ve been injured by a falling slab of ice or snow, or have slipped on a slippery patch while walking on a sidewalk, the property owner may be at fault for your injury. Call the premises liability attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to see whether you have the right to file a claim seeking compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.


Follow all Recommended Power and Safety Guidelines for your Christmas Lights

IChristmas Lightst’s an annual tradition for many families. The weekend following Thanksgiving is spent decorating, hanging holiday lights around your property, buying a Christmas tree, and hanging wreaths and other festive holiday symbols. It’s a lot of work that brings a lot of satisfaction, but it’s important that you take the time to follow all recommended power and safety guidelines for your Christmas lights. No matter how robust defective products laws are, consumers have a responsibility to do their part and make sure that they are reading all of the precautions that manufacturers provide.

Product manufacturers have a responsibility to provide consumers with warnings of all known dangers of using their products, as well as of the dangers that may come if they are used improperly. This requirement extends to products of all kinds, including holiday lights. Though technology has provided
tremendous inroads in terms of safety, Christmas lights still rely on electricity, and that automatically means there is a risk of shock or fire when used improperly.

To make sure that your holiday decorations are safe, make sure that you do the following:

  • Make sure that they are Underwriters Laboratory-rated. Cheaper lights may not have this important testing.
  • Do not use any wiring that is frayed or damaged. Damaged lights can short circuit, and this can lead to a fire. Throw damaged lights away.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that you are using lights the way they are intended. Do not use outdoor lights indoors, or indoor lights outdoors.
  • Be cautious about where you are hanging lights and electrical wiring. They should be kept away from heat sources and flammable items.
  • Use insulated holders specifically designed for lighting rather than household items like tape or staples to hang lights.
  • Be careful when using extension cords. Make sure that they are grounded and the correct length to avoid accidents.
  • Replace burnt out bulbs with bulbs that are the same wattage as the rest of the string.
  • Unplug lights before making any repairs.
  • Follow instructions and obey limits regarding the number of light strands that can be strung together. When in doubt, limit to no more than three.
  • Turn off lights before going to bed, and do not leave lights unattended.

If you have suffered an injury or loss because of Christmas lights that were used properly but were defective, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

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.

Sobering Slip and Fall Accident Statistics

Falls accounted for nearly 32,000 deaths in 2014, according to the National Safety Council. In fact, falls are the third leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S. with the risk of falling increasing with age. In at-home settings and communities, more than 31,000 falls led to death with nearly 600 dying from a fall at the workplace. Even further, 47,000 falls that resulted in injury at the workplace in 2013.

More Statistics

  • There are more than 540,000 slip and fall injuries that require hospital care in North America every year.
  • More than 300,000 disabling injuries are caused by slipping accidents every year.
  • There are about 55 fatalities each day in North America from fall accidents.
  • Of all reported injuries, slip and fall injuries account for 30%.
  • Slip and fall injuries alone cost over $100 million each day.
  • 40% of all Workers’ Compensation claims paid out are from slip and fall accidents, accumulating over $1.8 billion in damages paid to victims every year.
  • In hotels, restaurants and public buildings, slip and falls are the top cause of accidents with 70% occurring on flat, even surfaces.
  • Slip and fall injuries are the leading cause of death in the workplace.
  • The incidence of falls increases with each decade of life.
  • Fractures are the most serious injury from a slip and fall and happen in 5% of all slip and fall incidents.


Physical aspects can be handled to help reduce the number of slip and fall accidents but there are other factors that have a major impact. The three physical precautions that can be taken include:

  • Proper and regular maintenance
  • Well-maintained equipment and guards
  • Applicable rules and regulations

In addition to these preventions, there are three major contributors to the likelihood of slipping, tripping and falling:

  • Distractions
  • Walking too fast
  • Not paying attention to where you’re walking

The human factors can be best addressed in training sessions for safety. It is also important to be prudent with your own safety and to watch for safety signs and where you are walking.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our team of attorneys today at Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.

Important Limitations of a Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust can make estate planning much smoother, but it comes with its limitations. While such a trust can have a huge impact on minimizing probate involvement when you pass away, it comes with limitations many are unaware of when going into their estate planning.

Here are some of the top myths regarding revocable living trusts that many people seem to believe.

Probate Can Be Fully Avoided with a Living Trust

This is the most commonly believed myth and can be the most damaging. Probate court procedures are, unfortunately, not fully avoidable. However, they can be significantly minimized with a proper living trust. In Connecticut, keeping your assets out of probate will lead to much less paperwork being filed, including the estate tax return, but there will still have to be some probate court involvement.

Estate Tax Can Be Avoided with a Living Trust

A living trust can certainly be made to include provisions that will address estate tax planning, but the same can be accomplished with a well thought out last will and testament. In Connecticut, the current estate tax exemption is $2 million.

Probate Court Fees Can be Avoided

It makes sense to think if you sort out your own affairs, the court won’t have fees. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even if none of your assets go through probate, there will still be a charge based on the size of your estate. This includes all non-probate assets. While it is called a court fee, it operates much more similarly to a tax, which is how the probate court system is funded.

My Assets Will Be Protected if I End Up in a Nursing Home

Unfortunately, assets in a typical living trust are not protected from a nursing home or even other creditors. If this is the goal for your living trust, there are other types of trusts that could be used instead that better address your specific needs.

If you are considering a living trust but aren’t sure where to start, we can help. Our Elder Law attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers can help from start to finish, and educate you on the best estate planning and trusts for your individual needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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.

Is it Food Poisoning or the Flu?

Connecticut Food Poisoning Lawyer There are few things to compare to the misery of being sick to your stomach.  Our digestive systems are tremendously sensitive to things that don’t belong in them, and will strenuously reject both viruses and bacteria.  A stomach virus is a contagious illness that can be spread from person to person, while other digestive system illnesses can be caused by bacteria or parasites that are generally transmitted through the food that we eat. Though the only things that can be done to protect yourself against a stomach virus are to practice good hygiene around an infected person and to carefully wash hands and all surfaces or objects where viruses may remain after having been touched by a contagious person, the same is not true of food poisoning. Food poisoning only happens when harmful organisms are transferred into food, whether before or during the time they first enter the market, the way that they are stored or handled on the way to market, or during the course of preparation. If you are feeling ill, it is important that you understand whether you are suffering from food poisoning or the flu. This is not only essential for making sure that you get the appropriate medical treatment, but also so that you know what legal options may be available to you.

The symptoms of a stomach virus generally include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and stomach cramps. Many people will also experience headaches, body aches, low-grade fever and dizziness. The symptoms generally appear over a gradual period of time, and often in an environment where other people are also ill. By contrast, food poisoning appears within six hours of eating. Though it is not something that is shared by people in the same environment, it can be shared by people who have eaten food from the same source, whether that is food purchased at a market or prepared by a restaurant (or even in your own kitchen).

Food poisoning can be minor and can clear up very quickly, often in a matter of a few hours to a few days. It can also take a much more serious turn, requiring hospitalization. It may even lead to serious physical injuries. In any given year, of the 48 million Americans who suffer from food poisoning approximately 128,000 will require hospitalization and 3,000 will die. Food poisoning is particularly dangerous for people who have weak immune systems, as well as for infants, children and the elderly.

People who have been impacted by serious and harmful food poisoning do have the right to sue those who are responsible. This may be a restaurant, a retailer or a wholesaler that sells contaminated food products. A personal injury lawsuit would seek compensation for damages suffered, including medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses incurred.

If you have suffered these types of damages as a result of food poisoning, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can provide you with all of the information you need about your rights and the compensation to which you may be entitled. Call us today to set up a free consultation.

Active Ingredient in Actos Still Being Linked to Bladder Cancer

 Actos is a medication that is prescribed to regulate blood sugar levels in those who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Though the drug has been on the market for almost twenty years, its use is extremely controversial because its long term use has been linked to a number of serious health complications. Among these is an increased risk of bladder cancer. This has led to numerous personal injury Actos lawsuits being filed against the company’s manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requiring that the drug’s label include a warning about the risk. Though Takeda has argued that their medication is safe, pointing to some studies that indicate that there is no causal link between the drug’s active ingredient and bladder cancer, more recent studies have continued to suggest a link.

The active ingredient in Actos is pioglitazone. Since concerns have been raised about the link between pioglitazone and bladder cancer, the FDA has asked Takeda to perform a 10-year study of their drug. In addition to reviewing interim results of this study, the agency has also reviewed other studies that have been done since the Actos lawsuits began to be filed, and these results have continued to point to a link. One study published in the BMJ in early 2016 reported a 63% higher risk for bladder cancer following patients being treated with pioglitazone. That study indicated that the longer the medication was taken and the higher the dose, the greater the risk. Another study published in The New England Journal of Medicine identified an additional source of concern. Patients taking the medication were shown to gain more weight, experience water retention and swelling, and be at higher risk for serious bone fractures leading to surgery or requiring hospitalization.

As a result of these negative studies and in spite of some other research drawn from a 10-year study drawn from the database of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, the FDA has indicated that they continue to believe that there may be a link between pioglitazone and an increased risk for bladder cancer, and that they plan to order that the medication’s labeling add the newer study results to its list of warnings.

Prior to the FDA’s intervention, Takeda Pharmaceutical’s own preclinical trials had already shown that in animal studies there was evidence of a link between the medication and bladder tumors. There have been thousands of Actos lawsuits filed against the drug manufacturer, as well as against its partner Eli Lilly, seeking compensation for the damages suffered by those who were prescribed the drug and who were later diagnosed with bladder cancer. Individuals have been awarded millions of dollars in jury trials and in April 2015 the company settled thousands of bladder cancer claims for over $2 billion dollars. If you have been harmed by Actos, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

What are the Differences Between a Manufactured Defective Product and a Designed Defective Product?

 Products that cause injuries to consumers are frequently the subject of legal claims for compensation. These claims are known as defective product or product liability lawsuits, and they are based on the notion that a manufacturer, designer, and supplier of a product has a legal obligation to exercise a duty of care to those who are purchasing their goods. In proving a defective products case, the plaintiff – or person who suffered the harm and who is filing the lawsuit – has to prove a few different things. They have to prove that the product was defective; they have to prove that they suffered some kind of damages or injury; and they need to prove that the product was the proximate cause of their injury. Adding to the complexity of the items that need to be proven, there are a few different generally accepted types or causes of defective products that the justice system has identified. Among these are defects in the manufacturing process, defects in the design of the product, and defects in the warning or instructional information that was provided to the consumer with the product. Though the last of these is relatively easy to understand, the difference between a manufactured defective product and a designed defective product can be more opaque. We’ll try to explain the difference.

When a product is determined to have a manufacturing defect, it means that something went wrong while the item was being fabricated. Perhaps the materials that were used were carcinogenic, or perhaps a screw was not sufficiently tightened and that caused the parts to come loose. Examples of manufacturing product defects would include medical devices designed to be implanted in the body that wear down or break, or food that sickens people as a result of contamination with bacteria during the manufacturing process.

By contrast, a product whose design is deemed defective is inherently dangerous before it ever reaches the manufacturing stage. One of the most famous examples of this is that of the Ford Pinto, a vehicle whose fuel system was designed in such a way that it would explode when the vehicle was involved in a rear-end collision.  What made the Ford case particularly egregious was the fact that the auto manufacturer was aware of the vehicle’s dangers but elected to sell the vehicle anyway. They made a cost-benefit decision weighing the value of having to pay a few lawsuits versus making a change to the automobile’s design. The jury’s original award in one of the many defective product cases filed against it was the largest against an automaker at that time.

As a consumer, you have no need to identify at what point a product’s life cycle negligence took place. All you need to do is focus on your own health and put the legal aspects into the hands of a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury as a result of a defective product, call the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today to learn more about how we can help.