Archive for the ‘Westport Personal Injury Attorney’ Category

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December 16th, 2015 at 7:00 am

impaired driving prevention, Westport Wrongful Death Attorney, holiday drinkingThe month of December is known for holiday festivities. Families, friends, and even workplace parties fill up many of our weekends. With that in mind, the President has once again declared December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The annual designation began in 1981.

Despite the great strides that have been made in educating the public about drunk or drugged driving, the statistics reveal that it is still an epidemic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three out of every 10 people in this country will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lives. Tragically, approximately 11,000 of those people will be killed in those accidents.

The number of alcohol-rated fatal crashes almost doubles on weekends, compared to during the week. During the week, approximately 15 percent of all fatal car wrecks involve alcohol; however, on the weekends, that number spikes to 30 percent.

During this time of the year, December 22, December 23, December 24, and January 1 are the deadliest days for alcohol-related fatalities. During the summer months, July 3, July 4, August 3, August 4, September 1, and September 2 are the deadliest days.

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes and who are found to be under the influence of drugs has also increased. These numbers include drivers under the influence of both illegal and prescription narcotics. Almost 20 percent of fatal crashes on weekend nights involved a drugged driver. The most common drugs were marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

The NHTSA offers crucial tips for people to follow if they have been celebrating the holidays, including:

  • If you have been drinking, or under the influence of any legal or illegal drug, never get behind the wheel of your vehicle;
  • If you are under the influence, take a taxi or Uber, call a family member or friend (who has not been drinking) to pick you up, or—if available—use mass transit; or
  • If you cannot get a ride, then stay where you are for the night. Sleep until you are sober.

For people who are hosting holiday events, make sure that your guests have a plan if they are going to be drinking, such as a designated driver. If someone has been drinking, do not let him or her leave your home. Take their keys away if you have to.

If you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, please contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to see what kind of legal recourse you may have against the driver responsible for your family’s pain and loss.


The Facts About Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries

December 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am

motorcycle accidents and injuries, Westport Motorcycle Accident AttorneyAccording to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than the occupants of a car. Motorcycle accidents injure and kill far too many people every year.

Common Types and Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The most common type of motorcycle accident is a collision between the motorcycle and a car. Most of these accidents are head-on collisions. Factors such as poor visibility, inexperienced riders or drivers, excessive speed, and alcohol usually cause collisions. One common collision scenario is when cars are making a left turn and fail to see a motorcycle continuing straight.

Another common type of motorcycle accident cause is lane splitting. Often, cars do not see motorcycles riding between the lanes and then crash into the motorcycle when attempting to change lanes.

Motorcycle riders are also in more danger from road hazards than drivers in cars. Anything from a pothole to a dead animal can mean more than just a bump in the road for a motorcycle rider. Road hazards can mean loss of control and a crash.

Reasons Why Injuries Are More Severe in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles lack many of the safety features common in cars and other enclosed motor vehicles. There are no airbags or crumple zones on a motorcycle to absorb the energy from a crash. Motorcycle riders are not restrained by a seat belt and can be thrown into the roadway during a crash, therefore putting them at risk to being run over by other drivers.

Best Ways to Reduce Injuries and Prevent Accidents

Even though motorcycle riders are not any more likely than the drivers of cars to be at fault for an accident, it often falls on motorcycle riders to be the ones who work to reduce injuries and prevent accidents.

The easiest and most effective ways to prevent accidents is to be extra vigilant. Never assume another driver sees you. Allow yourself extra space when on the road. Obeying all traffic laws and regulations, especially avoiding excessive speed and any alcohol before riding, will also help keep you safe.

Study after study has shown that wearing a helmet is the best way to reduce injuries in a motorcycle accident. Because riders are so exposed, always wearing closed toe shoes, long pants, and a thick jacket also help to reduce the severity of injuries in motorcycle crashes.

If you or your loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Westport motorcycle accident attorney right away. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 to schedule a consultation today. You may only have a short period of time to protect your rights.


How Dangerous is Black Friday?

November 25th, 2015 at 7:00 am

black friday, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyOver the past 15 years or so, the day after Thanksgiving has been the traditional holiday shopping day kickoff. Retailers typically offer significant sales—particularly on high-end ticket items—attracting millions of shoppers to take to the malls. Last year, over 90 million shoppers hit retail establishments on Black Friday.

Historically, venturing out into the retail world the day after Thanksgiving meant dealing with thousands of other shoppers in search of finding the biggest bargains. With Black Friday just days away, it looks like this year will be no different. Although most people associate holiday gift giving with goodwill and peace, Black Friday has created dozens of incidents of dangerous—and sometimes fatal—situations for people who were only looking to save money on gifts.

One study determined just how dangerous Black Friday is by examining the number of reported fatalities and injuries which have occurred since 2006. According to the study, there have been at least seven people killed and 98 others injured in incidents which occurred at retail establishments on Black Friday. The most “dangerous” place to be on Black Friday was at the large discount retailer Walmart, since this is where the most number of Black Friday injuries have taken place.

One of the most well-known scenes that many people associate with Black Friday is of a retail establishment unlocking their doors and a tidal wave of shoppers comes crashing through those doors. However, those tidal waves have caused dozens of injuries to people, including the death of one man.

Although many incidents of injuries involve people getting pushed or trampled, there have been several cases where a weapon was used on a victim. The number one weapon used is pepper spray, which has caused injuries to at least 41 people.

The incidents do not only occur in the stores—there have also been numerous events in parking lots where the demand of spaces far exceeds the supply. In 2012, two people were shot in a Florida Walmart parking lot over a parking space dispute.

If a person is injured while shopping on Black Friday—or any other day—just how liable is that store for the injuries?

People may be responsible for their own actions; however, the stores where you shop may also have a responsibility to their customers to provide a safe environment. In fact, even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided a safety checklist for retailers to follow in order to keep both workers and customers safe during this annual shopping event. This checklist was developed in response to the crowd trampling to death of a Walmart employee.

Retailers do have a duty of care to their customers that falls under the premises liability theory. They are required to keep the store safe and clear of dangers and hazards. Not only does this include making sure that customers are not exposed to areas in the store where they could fall or have something fall on them, but it also applies to safety and security of customers. Knowing that certain events in the store may create chaos and mayhem if not run under controlled circumstances, but failing to hire security to facilitate that controlled environment, could cause a retailer to be liable for injuries a person receives in that chaos.

If you have sustained injuries because of the act of another person, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case and to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.

Sources: ion/cevallos-black-friday/

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