Burger King Protects Its Trademarks, and So Should You.

It’s play-off season, and for me, that means I’m glued to the television when the New England Patriots are on. I’m also a small business attorney, however, so if you’re watching the game with me, prepare to be berated with nonsense during the commercials.

One such nonsensical rambling came about during a Burger King commercial, and although no one I was watching the game with seemed to care, those interested in creating and protecting a brand just might.

The rambling? An advertisement for Burger King’s Whopper(R) sandwich.

“Whopper Sandwich?” you may say. “Why do you call it that instead of just a ‘Whopper’?”

My rambling precisely. What Burger King is doing here is protecting its trademark. You see, “Whopper” is a word mark registered to Burger King Corporation used to designate goods and services pertaining (most recently) to “hot sandwiches” and “hamburger sandwiches.”

What Burger King is working hard to prevent is losing their famous trademark due to it becoming generically associated with “hamburgers” in general (did you know that “Aspirin,” “Escalator,” and “Trampoline” all used to be brand names?).

If you own a trademark for a particular good or service, what any competent attorney will tell you is that (for the sake of your trademark) you should always refer to the item as “xxx brand yyy type of good.” This is what Burger King is doing. And if you’re a small business owner looking to expand your brand, you should to.

If you would like to learn more about protecting or developing your business’s intellectual property portfolio, get in touch!

Chris Mutchler
Christopher J. Mutchler, Esq.

Injury Damages

We’d like to share story with you. This story is made up, but it rings true for a lot of people who have been hurt or injured in an accident. It’s 5:00 a.m. on the Monday morning, and its been three weeks since your accident. You’ve pretty much given up hope of getting any sleep tonight. You try your best to count sheep as you lay tangled in your bedsheets, your entire body throbbing. In just a few hours, your alarm will sound, and it will be time to start your day.

Between the pulsing in your head and the pain radiating down your spine into your left arm, you’re unsure how your thoughts have room wander anywhere else, but they’ve somehow managed. You know how much even a little sleep would help you, but you can’t seem to stop worrying for more than a few seconds.

Your thoughts start at your injuries, then jump to the cost of your hospital stay. You know you’ll never fall asleep thinking about bills, so you try to think about something else. It’s a big day at work, and you need all the rest you can get. But you’ll need to pick your car up from the auto body shop first. That will put you right in the prime of rush hour traffic. And you have to follow up with that doctor after lunch – that’s the only time he had available this week. You’re paid hourly, and things are going to be tight this month between these medical bills, the property damage, and all the time you’re missing at work. You better start calculating in your head exactly how tight they might be. A “worst case scenario” type of deal. That should be productive…

Does that sound like anyone you know? Read on.

The Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

The term “personal injury” is not defined precisely at law. Lots of attorneys say they practice personal injury law, and almost every lawyer who says it means something a little different. Some attorneys handle areas that other lawyers will not. To help you get a better feel for what “personal injury law” may mean, below is a nice little list of the types of injury cases injury lawyers work with:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Boat Accidents
  • Bus/Train Accidents
  • Dangerous Property Conditions
  • Distracted Driving Accidents
  • Dog Bites and Attacks
  • Drunk and Drugged Driving Accidents
  • Elevator/Escalator Accidents
  • Hit and Run Accidents
  • Intersection Collisions
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Negligence
  • Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Pharmacy Errors
  • Rear-end Collisions
  • Reckless Driving
  • Running Accidents/Injuries
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Traffic Collisions
  • Truck Accidents
  • Uber/Lyft/Taxi Accidents
  • Uninsured and Uninsured Motorist Cases
  • Wrongful Death

The Different Types of Personal Injuries

There are several types of injury that the law allows accident victims to recover for. The law considers “injury” to be more than just physical injury, and if you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own, there may be legal liability for more than you think. For example, in addition to the typical “physical” injury, an “injury” could also include financial injury, emotional injury, and injury to your ability to carry out daily tasks. Only a lawyer can tell you what you may be able to recover.

Physical Injury:

A physical injury is a direct injury to your body. This is what most people think about when they hear the word “injury.” Some common examples of physical injuries people incur in traffic collisions are:

  • Head Injury or Concussion
  • Lacerations, Cuts, or Burns
  • Soft Tissue Damage or Bruising
  • Broken Bones or Damaged Teeth
  • Nerve Damage or Spinal Chord Injury
  • Sprains or Ligament/Tendon Damage
  • Ear, Eye, or Nose Damage
Emotional Injury:

People often forget that being in an accident is a traumatic experience. The law provides compensation for the emotional injury, and rightly so. If you take the same route to work everyday for ten years, then all of a sudden someone t-bones you at an intersection and you have to be taken away by ambulance to a hospital, that’s going to have a huge impact on your life. For many, the psychological impact of an accident lingers long after their physical wounds have healed. Common effects of emotional injuries include:

  • Inability or reduced ability to work and concentrate
  • Reduction or loss of interest in socializing
  • Limitations on travel due to anxiety or panic attacks
  • Feeling lost or hopeless due to sudden and forced lifestyle changes
Financial Injury:

Financial injuries are monetary losses caused by an accident. It has been reported that most Americans do not have any money set aside for emergencies. Regardless of why that is, the impact can be life changing if you are involved in a serious accident. There may be no way around suffering physically if you’ve been hurt by someone else’s carelessness, but you don’t have to suffer financially. The law allows fair compensation for the financial cost of an accident, including:

  • Payment of lost income for the time off you were forced to take
  • Reimbursement for the cost of your medication
  • Compensation for any business opportunities you lost
  • Money for your medical expenses (doctor visits, surgery, hospital stay)

Of course, every case is different, and only an attorney can tell you what you may be entitled to.

Give us a call or shoot us a text at (860) 817-7455, send us an email at cmutchler@mutchlerlegal.com, or fill out our easy to use form! Don’t be shy! We don’t bite!

Tort Law Cases

Auto Accidents– In Connecticut, pretty much everyone and their mother drives a car (literally though). If you commute to work, you’ve probably seen a lot of car accidents. Many times, those accidents are the result of someone’s carelessness. When they result in injury, attorneyhelp may be required to prove who was responsible.

Assault– At common law (a type of law based on how judges have handled lawsuits in the past), assault is defined as intentionally causing reasonable apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact. It is a threat of violence. We as a society have decided not to tolerate these types of threats (regardless of whether they are acted upon), and have provided a remedy for them. If you’ve been the victim of a civil assault, an attorneymay be able to help.

Bicycle Accidents– If you’ve ever browsed the internet, you probably know that there are a lot of ways to get hurt on a bike. When a cyclist is injured because of someone else’s careless, an attorneymay be able to help.

Battery– Battery is intentional harmful or offensive contact. A punch in the face is battery. Spitting on someone is battery. Tackling a person to the ground is battery (unless you’re playing a sport). Much like assault, we as a society have decided that its not okay to go around spitting on people or tackling them to the ground, so we created a remedy at law. If you’ve been the victim of a civil battery, an attorneymay be able to help.

Boat Accidents – They say the two best days of boat ownership will be the day you buy your boat, and the day you sell it. If you’ve researched boating and concluded that you don’t need a boat, you need a friend with a boat, this section may not be for you. Or it might be just what you’re looking for. All jokes aside, if you’ve been injured in a boating accident, an attorneymay be able to help.

Bus/Train Accidents– Ahhh, public transportation. You either love it or your hate it, but either way, a lot of people rely on it. Sometimes buses take off before everyone is seated. Sometimes people get really hurt when they do. Sometimes trains are operated carelessly, and sometimes that carelessness results in injury. Maybe an over-eager bus driver sideswiped the family sedan, or rear ended it. Everyone was fine at the time, but now its the next day, and your son thinks his neck is broken (common with whiplash). If you’ve been injured in a bus or train accident, an attorneymay be able to help.

Dangerous Property Conditions– Everyone has an obligation to make sure no one gets hurt on their property. If your walkway is covered in ice and the mailman slips and falls, you could be on the hook for damages. Likewise, if you cut your leg open on a nail sticking out from under the counter at a bar and require thirty stitches, the bar could be on the hook for damages. If you’ve been injured by the dangerous condition of someone else’s property, an attorneymay be able to help.

Distracted Driving Accidents– This one can almost go without explanation. The number of distracted drivers you see on the road these days is staggering. Suffice it to say that there is a reason why many states have enacted laws against it: the practice is extremely dangerous. If you’ve been hurt or injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, an attorneymay be able to help.

Dog Bites and Attacks– In Connecticut, dog owners are strictly liable if their dog bites someone pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22-357. Beyond that, however, a dog owner may also be liable for the actions of his/her dog at common law. Before you get all in a tizzy about “discriminating against certain species,” we feel it is important to note that the owner of any animal may be liable for the injuries caused by his animal (there are some pretty vicious cats out there).  If you have been injured by a dog bite or because of an animal owner’s carelessness, an experienced attorneymay be able to help.

Drunk and Drugged Driving Accidents– Most everyone knows that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a criminal matter, but did you know it can also result in civil liability? Well, it absolutely can. Drunk and drugged driving accidents have the potential to be quite serious. If you have been hurt as a result of a drunk or drugged driver’s criminal actions, an attorneymay be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Elevator/Escalator Accidents– Elevators and escalators are wonderful pieces of machinery. There is nothing more American than being carried up a flight of stairs instead of having to walk it. However, when these machines are not properly maintained, the results can be absolutely catastrophic. If you’ve been hurt in an elevator accident or an escalator accident, an attorneymay be able to help.

Equestrian Injuries– Horse law. Connecticut law limits liability when a person is injured while engaged in “recreational equestrian activities.” (See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-557p). A person engaged in “equestrian activities” (let’s just say it: HORSEBACK RIDING) is said to “assume the risk” for any injury “inherent” in equestrian sports (“HORSEBACK RIDING”), unless the person the horse(s) was negligent. If you ride horses, you’ve probably noticed a sign posted all around the property that says essentially this. Take note, however, that there may still be liability for a horse-related injury. Only an attorney can assess your case. 

Hit and Run Accidents– We’ve all heard this horror story. Some poor soul was out trying to better themselves on a jog or a walk when they were hit from behind by a car. Maybe the driver was drunk, or distracted; maybe his license was suspended, or the car was stolen. Whatever his reasons, the driver took off, leaving the victim laying injured on the side of the road, helpless but for the mercy of passersby. Hit and run victims are often overwhelmed with emotion: they may be angry towards the driver, fearful of future injury, grateful for whoever helped them, or some combination of this and more. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a hit and run accident, an attorneymay be able to help you get the bestjustice you deserve.

Intersection Collisions– Every town has that “one”intersection that needs to be fixed, but probably never will be. You know the one. That four-way at the top of a hill with only two stop signs; the roundabout on the exit where a roundabout has no business being. You drive by it every day, and you’ve seen countless accidents on it. If you’ve become its latest victim through no fault of your own, an attorneymay be able to help.

Motorcycle Accidents– Motorcycles accidents can be one of the most serious types of accidents, and, sadly, are some of the most common. Many drivers do not show the same respect for motorcyclists as they do for larger vehicles, and act carelessly around them. Motorcyclists are entitled to the same protections as any other driver. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, an attorneymay be able to help.

Negligence– Negligence is a legal term, and the “bread and butter” of most personal injury lawsuits. Negligence is the failure to act as a reasonably prudent person would in a given situation, despite an obligation to do so. In layman’s terms, negligence is “carelessness.” Negligence is said to be “actionable” when this failure causes another person to suffer damages. That is to say, a person may be liable for his/her carelessness if another person was injured because of that carelessness. The majority of personal injury cases involve negligence in some way. If you have suffered damages due to someone else’s negligence, an attorneymay be able to help.

Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect– Our entire country is aging, and as we do so, more and more people are taking the uncertain step of seeking care from a nursing home. Most of us would prefer not to put our parents in a nursing home, and most of our parents would prefer to continue to live at home. Unfortunately, sometimes that just can’t happen. Uprooting the life of a loved one to help them get the care they need is never an easy decision to make, but it shouldn’t be one you regret. If you or a loved has suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of a nursing home,an attorneymay be able to help.

Pedestrian Accidents– In some areas of the country, it’s not uncommon to see people dodging traffic to get across the street. In most of Connecticut, however, people generally don’t dodge traffic voluntarily. Jokes aside, pedestrian accidents are no laughing matter, and can result in major injuries. If you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident, an attorneymay be able to help.

Pharmacy Errors– Have you ever returned home from the pharmacy and found another person’s prescription in a package labeled with your name? Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are usually pretty reliable, but they are human, and sometimes make errors. Sometimes these errors are harmless, but other times they are not. If you’ve been injured by a pharmacy error, an attorneymay be able to help.

Rear-end Collisions– In Connecticut, a driver who rear-ends another person is usually liable for any injuries the other person suffers. Rear-end collisions can result in painful injuries to restrained drivers and their passengers. Physics states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. For victims of a rear-end collision, this means that your body is going to want stay where it is despite being jerked forward by the force of the impact. If you are wearing your seatbelt (as you always should), it could lock, causing your trunk to remain stationary and your head to snap forward (this is called “whiplash”). What’s worse? You may not even realize you have been injured until the next day or later. If you’ve been hurt or injured as a result of a rear-end collision, an attorneymay be able to help.

Reckless Driving– Everyone has seen “that guy” flying down I-91 at 100 miles per hour in his sports car while swerving in an out of traffic. You may have thought to yourself, “gee, I hope he doesn’t hurt someone.” We hope so too, but if he has, and that person was you, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In Connecticut, persons who injure another while driving recklessly can be subject to double or treble (“triple”) damages pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-295. If you’ve been hurt by someone else’s reckless driving, an attorneymay be able to help.

Running Accidents/Injuries– For a lot of runners, it takes a lot to prevent them from completing their daily miles. A little rain? No big deal. Sub-freezing temperatures? No sweat. Sweltering heat? That’s cool. A cold? Eh, an light jog won’t kill me. That’s why an injury is so devastating. Maybe someone backed out of their driveway into you. Maybe they were too close to the curb in an area where the sidewalk had ended. Maybe there was an uneven piece of sidewalk along a new route. Whatever the cause, you’re hurt, and more importantly, unable to go for a run. You shouldn’t have to suffer due to someone else’s negligence. If you’ve suffered a running injury through no fault of your own, an attorneymay be able to help.

Slip and Fall Accidents– Ahhh, the good ole’ slip and fall. We’ve all seen sitcoms where some jerk goes out of his way to slip on a noodle in a grocery store then drags the owners to court. But what about when its not some jerk, and he didn’t fall on purpose? What if there really was something slippery that the store should have cleaned up, but they didn’t? What if the guy got really hurt because of it, and was out of work for a few days? In actuality, this is often the case. People can get really hurt when they fall unexpectedly. Your defenses are down because you’re not expecting it. You may have things in your hand that prevent you from catching yourself. You’re falling quite a distance. At The Law Office of Christopher J. Mutchler, we take slip and falls very seriously. If you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall accident, an attorneymay be able to help you get fair compensation for your injury.

Traffic Collisions– It’s rush hour, and everything is backed up on the highway. You’re sitting patiently in traffic (okay, maybe you’re a little bit annoyed by it), but the guy two cars back on your left is not. He sees that your lane is inching forward just a bit faster than the one he’s in, so he decides to switch. About a minute later, he regrets his choice, and switches back so he’s right beside you. The grass is always greener on the other side, so after another ninety seconds, he starts to merge into your lane again. But this time he doesn’t look before he goes, and he slams into the side of you, injuring you. You shouldn’t have to suffer because the guy behind you on the highway couldn’t wait another two minutes. If you’ve been hurt or injured through no fault of your own, an attorneymay be able to help.

Truck Accidents– Ever looked in your rearview mirror and seen an eighteen wheeler barreling towards you at a stop light? Can’t imagine it would be fun. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, call a lawyer. an attorneymay be able to help.

Uber/Lyft/Taxi Accidents– More and more people are beginning to use ride sharing in Connecticut these days, and with that comes more and more accidents involving them. If you’ve been injured in a ridesharing accident, either as a passenger, a driver, or a third party, an attorneymay be able to help.

Uninsured and Uninsured Motorist Cases– Occasionally, people are involved in accidents where the at fault driver either has no insurance or not enough insurance coverage. Finding this out can be scary if you’ve been the victim of such an accident. Fear not! Instead, call a lawyer. An attorneymay be able to help you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Wrongful Death– Too often, people succumb to their injuries after having been the victim of an accident, leaving their families devastated. In such sad instances as these, the wrongdoer hasn’t necessarily escaped justice. Rather, the victim’s family can pursue legal action on behalf of the estate. If you’ve lost a loved one to an accident, an attorneymay be able to help you get the bestresolution your beloved deserves.

You can find out more about these areas and about other types of casesin Our Blog. This list is, of course, non-exhaustive, so if you have an issue that you have not found listed here, we may still be able to help. Give us a call, shoot us a text, send us an email, or head over to our Contact Us section and fill out our easy to use form!

Please keep in mind that the amount of compensation you may be awarded depends entirely on the merits of your case. Not every case has merit, and not every case withmerit is entitled to compensation. If you think you may have a case, contact an experienced attorney.