Archive for October, 2015

NSC: 2015 May be Deadliest Driving Year since 2007

October 26th, 2015 at 7:00 am

deadliest driving year, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyThe first six months of this year has put 2015 on its way to being the most deadly driving year this country has had since 2007, according to statistics recently released by the National Safety Council (NSC). Between the months of January through June, there were almost 19,000 people killed in vehicle accidents. Another 2.2 million were injured.

Secondary to the tragic loss of life in these accidents is the increase in costs. The financial toll has spiked almost 25 percent higher than last year, with fatalities, injuries and damage to property already hitting $152 billion.

Two factors were cited as possible reasons for the increase. Lower gas prices—30 percent lower than last year—mean more people are on the roads. A lower unemployment rate also means an increase in vehicles on the road. People are better able to afford to travel and take vacations.

The NSC recommends that drivers take the following steps to ensure everyone stays safe on the nation’s roads:

  • Insist that all passengers—including the driver—use their seat belts every time they get in the vehicle, no matter how short the trip. In fact, statistics show time and time again that the majority of vehicle accidents occur less than five miles from home.
  • If you are going to a place where there will be drinking, make sure to have a designated driver. Never assume you are okay to drive after having any amount of alcohol. One in three traffic fatalities occur in alcohol-related crashes.
  • Prior to driving, make sure to get plenty of rest. If you are feel drowsy while behind the wheel, pull over to a safe spot. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Estimates indicate that approximately 5,000 fatal crashes happen every year because a person was driving when he or she was too tired and should not have been behind the wheel.
  • Do not use a cell phone while driving. Even using a hands-free device can still cause enough of a distraction for a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road.

If you have been injured in a vehicle crash caused by a negligent driver, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.


Your Smartphone Can Help You after a Car Accident

October 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am

Smartphone after a car accident, Westport Personal Injury LawyerCar accidents can occur in the blink of an eye. One moment you are happily driving. In the next moment, everything is a mix of motion, noise and confusion—even a fender bender can leave you shaken and in a state of shock.

However, thanks to modern technology, most people involved in car accidents now have smartphones—a technology that can be of great assistance following an accident.

Call for Help

Not every accident requires an ambulance or law enforcement to come to the scene. Still, you may need help. Whether it is calling 911 or contacting a friend for a ride after an accident, your smartphone can make it easier to obtain the help you need.

Take Pictures of the Scene

Most mobile phones are much more that just a phone—they are also equipped with a camera. Law enforcement does not investigate every Connecticut car crash. However, you can use your smartphone to take pictures of everything from the damage to the cars to the entire intersection. In some cases, you may even want to take pictures of your injuries.

The more information and pictures you can take of an accident’s aftermath, the easier it may be for your attorney to assist you in getting the compensation to which you are legally entitled.

Get Contact Information

Immediately following a car accident is generally the best time for obtaining any information about what has happened. Drivers in Connecticut are required to exchange information after a car accident. You may not have a pen and paper, but a smartphone can be used to record any insurance information for the other driver or drivers involved. Additionally, you can use your phone to store contact information from any witnesses. Once you leave the scene of the accident, you may never hear from the witnesses again.

Share Your Insurance Information

Many insurance companies have smartphone apps that make it easy to always have your insurance information with you. If you utilize one of these apps, you can then easily share your policy information with police officers and involved drivers. Moreover, within the app, you will have the phone number you need to notify your insurance company of the accident. Some carriers even let you begin filing a claim right from the app.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, protect your rights by contacting a knowledgeable Westport personal injury lawyer right away. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law at 203-226-6168 to schedule your consultation today.


Could Keyless Ignition Systems Lead to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

October 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am

carbon monoxide poisoning, keyless ignition systems, Westport wrongful death attorneyThe majority of new cars sold in the United States and abroad come with a keyless ignition option. Vehicle owners are given a key fob, which is a device that has security authentication built into it, and is used to control a network. Many people are familiar with key fobs because these devices have been use for several years as a way to unlock and lock vehicles. New cars now use key fobs in place of ignition keys.

A driver can actually start his or her vehicle without a key by pushing a button in the vehicle, as long as the key fob is close by, such as in the driver’s pocket or purse. Still, are these keyless ignition systems safe? Not according to a recently filed lawsuit, which claims that these systems contain deadly defects.

According to the lawsuit, the danger occurs when drivers leave their vehicles running and walk away, believing that by taking the key fob with them, the vehicle will shut off. However, the engines do not shut off; instead they keep running and emit carbon monoxide—a deadly gas which is odorless, colorless and tasteless. This can be especially dangerous when the vehicle owner has left his or her car in the garage of their home. Instead of shutting off, the carbon monoxide vapors seep into the home, poisoning unsuspecting victims.

So far, there have been 13 deaths attributed to carbon monoxide poisonings linked to keyless ignition systems, and many more injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received at least 27 complaints from consumers.

The lawsuit names ten major car manufacturers as defendants—BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. Attorneys for the plaintiffs claim that the defendants were well aware of the defect in these ignition systems for years and could have averted the dangers by installing a safety feature which would automatically turn off unattended running engines. They go on to claim that not only was this feature an inexpensive one to install, but that both Ford and General Motors had actually applied for a patent on the feature.

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your family’s pain and loss.


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