Posts made in September 2014

What does Product Liability mean?

For those who aren’t familiar with legal terminology, product liability can sound complicated or foreign. It will please you to know that it’s actually a fairly simple and common area of law. It involves cases wherein a product causes harm to a consumer, either through negligent testing practices or a defect in the design or manufacturing of the product. An example of this would be power cords that show a dangerous propensity for overheating.

In instances of product liability, wherein a dangerous product is released to the market and causes injury to one or more consumers, the responsibility could lie with any party that was involved in the distribution of the product, from the manufacturer that made it to the store that sold it. While some products bring with them inherent dangers (such as power tools that could cause serious injury if used incorrectly), injured consumers can often make successful product liability claims if they were injured while using the product correctly for its intended purpose.

Sometimes, it falls to the consumer to demonstrate that they were using the product correctly, thus proving that the injury resulted from a defect in the product. However, it is possible to place the fault on the defendant, requiring instead for the accused to demonstrate that they were not negligent, and that there is no defect in the product.

If you were injured due to what you believe was a defect in a product, you may want to consider meeting with an attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case. The law varies by state, so if you live in Massachusetts, be sure to meet with a legal professional who has experience handling such cases in your area.

Massachusetts ranks high for teen driver safety

Many of us received a driver’s license at the age of 16, and we have been driving ever since. It has been the standard for so long that it can seem strange to even consider another option, but over the past decade, there have been slight changes to the legal driving age, with some states raising the legal age to 18. The question of safety as it pertains to teenage drivers is an important one, since drivers in their late teens have a higher crash rate than any other age demographic.

The numbers don’t lie: teenagers on average get in more fatal car accidents than adults. In addition to the emotional impact of these tragedies, there is also a substantial financial concern, since drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 account for nearly a third of motor vehicle injury costs, and this despite being only 14% of the population.

But there is good news for Massachusetts parents and teen drivers. Research has been conducted to find where each state ranks in teen driver safety. The study took into account many variables, including number of teen drivers per state and teen driver fatalities. The results placed Massachusetts in sixth place, just shy of the top five states.

Much of this high safety rating can likely be attributed to Massachusetts’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) program, which requires more strict guidelines for teens to get their license. If you have a teenage child who is about to begin the GDL, do your best to ensure that they are safe on the road. If they do get into an accident, contacting an attorney can help you determine who was at fault.

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Spotlight After Two Incidents

Two recent hit-and-run incidents have put these incidents back in the spotlight in Massachusetts. Recent years have seen an increase in these accidents across the United States, with many serious injuries and fatalities occurring as a result of negligent drivers who fail to stop and assist in order to avoid prosecution.

Recent figures provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that hit-and-run accidents have increased by at least 15 percent since 2009. An estimated 550,000 hit-and-run accidents occur throughout America on an annual basis. While many of these are fatal accidents, most result in serious injuries that require costly emergency treatment and, in many cases, ongoing medical care.

WPRI recently reported on an accident involving a Roger Williams University student who was struck down by a driver from Massachusetts. The driver knocked down the skateboarder in a dormitory parking lot and failed to stop and provide assistance. Instead, the driver sped off, leaving bystanders to ensure that the victim was stabilized and transported to receive the necessary medical attention. The victim sustained neck and back injuries and received care at a nearby hospital before being discharged later that day.

In the case of the RWU student, a personal-injury lawyer may be in a position to help the victim recover damages and receive just compensation for the injuries from the guilty driver. Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin P.C. can provide a specialist personal-injury lawyer to assess the situation and assist the victim of an incident such as this. If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run in Boston, Mass., then contacting Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin P.C. is a smart step toward recovering money to pay for lost wages and medical expenses. To get started, contact us at 617-698-0253.

Serious Massachusetts Accident Leaves One Dead and Two Seriously Injured

In another recent case that took place in Massachusetts, one person died and two others were left injured when two vehicles collided. FOX reported that preliminary investigations suggest that the driver of a white Mitsubishi car collided with a parked Toyota, leaving the driver of the Mitsubishi dead. Eyewitnesses claim that the driver of the Mitsubishi was linked to a hit-and-run accident that occurred earlier that evening, and police are looking into those claims.

The driver of the parked car was not seriously injured but was taken to a nearby hospital for observation, while the passenger in the same vehicle was treated for serious injuries. The investigation is still ongoing; however, the recent spike in serious hit-and-run incidents in the region has left officials wondering how to curb the trend.

If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident and need the assistance of a specialized personal injury lawyer, then Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin P.C. is here to help. We will walk you through the entire process and provide expert advice on how to alleviate the financial burdens that often follow these accidents. To schedule a consultation with a Boston hit-and-run lawyer, give us a call at 617-698-0253.

Don’t let nursing homes get away with negligence

For some people, it is a surprise to learn that nursing home negligence is even an area of personal injury law. Perhaps it’s because admitting a loved one into a nursing home is not as common as getting into a car accident or slipping and falling on someone else’s property, but it’s important to know that nursing homes are responsible for providing adequate care, and they could be held liable if that care is not appropriately handled.

There are a number of issues that elders could face in a nursing home. Some of them fall into the realm of medical malpractice, such as misdiagnosis or medication error, and others fall into negligent or malicious practices, such as sexual abuse or negligent care. For a more extensive list of examples that elderly patients may suffer due to nursing home negligence, visit our webpage.

It’s a simple fact that elderly individuals have frailer bodies and are more prone to injuries than most people, which can sometimes make it hard to determine if a nursing home was truly at fault in an injury case. However, it is much easier to determine whether or not the nursing home took action to treat a patient in the event of an injury. Last month wereported on such a case, wherein a woman was suffering from many serious medical issues, and the nursing home did little or nothing to treat her.

Our goal is to ensure that everyone’s life is treated with value, regardless of their age. We believe that no matter how old someone gets, they still have a right to a decent quality of life, particularly if they or their loved ones are paying a nursing home specifically to provide that quality of life. If you live in Massachusetts and someone you know has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, don’t hesitate to set up a free consultation to discuss the aspects of your claim.

2 Shocking Car Accidents From the Boston Area

Every year, a variety of reports suggest that Boston is a safe place for pedestrians. The numbers support this conclusion, but it turns out the numbers are wrong, and haphazard journalism generally contributes to the misconception that Boston is one of the safest large cities for walkers.

The Boston Globe reports that the Department of Transportation believes these reports only contain a fraction of car accidents, because police officers are too busy to file the extra paperwork for every incident. However, the police department recently migrated to a new online system, which might mean that we’ll see a more accurate number in the near future.

If you’ve suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident, let us help you determine whether or not to pursue a personal-injury lawsuit. At Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, P.C., we’d be happy to sit down with you and evaluate your situation. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, we’ll aggressively fight for your right to compensation. To learn more, please call (617) 698-6000.

  1. Driver Strikes Two Children at Elementary School

Drop-off and pick-up times at elementary schools are dangerous for children. Parents in the car line are often in a hurry, and school buses obstruct drivers’ views. Furthermore, children are generally walking and running across the road to get home or to meet their parents in a different location. WHDH News reports that two young girls were involved in a car accident while walking in front of a school.

School surveillance video depicts the out-of-control car veering onto the sidewalk and running the girls over from behind. The car struck a planter during the crash, which caused it to stop and likely saved the girls’ lives. The sisters were walking with their mother at the time, and both suffered injuries that required emergency medical attention. Meanwhile, police say that it’s possible a brake failure caused the wreck.

  1. Reckless Driver Crashes Into Two Police Officers

Many studies show the dangers of riding motorcycles, but for some police officers, using them is part of the job. The Boston Globe reports that a driver attempted to make a U-turn on a busy road and caused a wreck.

Shockingly, she initiated the turn from the far lane, meaning that she was cutting across four lanes. Two officers on motorcycles were trying to pass her in the left lane when she abruptly swerved into their lane and hit both. Both officers went to area hospitals; one suffered only minor injuries, but the other is undergoing surgery for a severe broken leg.

If you are looking for a reliable personal-injury lawyer, call us. At Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, P.C., we are committed to assisting car-accident victims as they seek compensation through civil lawsuits. If you would like to arrange a consultation with a personal-injury lawyer from our firm, please don’t wait to call us at (617) 698-6000.

The Link Between Marijuana and Car Accidents

The general consensus is Massachusetts will be among the next wave of states to legalize marijuana. The Huffington Post explains our state has already decriminalized the drug and legalized it for medical use.As well, poll results show approximately half of the state supports the taxation and regulation of legalized cannabis. These facts raise obvious concerns for residents, namely the effect it will have on the safety of our roads.

The link between marijuana use and car accidents is highly contested in the media. Some experts claim the drug is just as dangerous as alcohol among drivers, warning the number of crashes will skyrocket as more states legalize it.

Some researchers say approximately 25 percent of traffic fatalities involve drug use. Others counter that marijuana users are better than drunk drivers because they tend to realize they are impaired and slow down or take extra care while driving.

Research Indicates Cannabis Produces Genuine Impairment

However, most experts agree: Marijuana can affect decision making, impede multitasking and obstruct peripheral vision. The exact extent of the impairment is less important than the fact that impairment exists.

Most researchers conclude there is no way to know the effect of legalization for certain until it happens. Even so, anecdotal evidence suggests cannabis use can lead to car accidents in some situations.

In any case, when an impaired driver causes a car accident that injures an innocent pedestrian or motorist, the victim deserves compensation. At Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, P.C., we are committed to help accident victims whether the driver was drunk, high or otherwise distracted. We carefully analyze all the cases we accept, and we conduct thorough investigations to maximize compensation.

If you are ready to speak with an experienced personal-injury lawyer in Boston, call us at (617) 698-6000.

Driver Admits to Smoking Marijuana After Striking Cyclist

Dispatch News reports Tj Justice was driving home from the grocery store when he struck a cyclist. Police interviewed Justice, who said he’d used the drug the previous night.

In response, officers conducted a blood test and found Justice most likely smoked the day the accident occurred. Police also reported Justice was speeding by as much as 10 mph. The cyclist, Eldridge Griffith, died at the hospital from his injuries.

Prosecutors looked into the case and found police had cited Justice for driving while intoxicated four times, but they weren’t sure a judge would allow that information in court. Furthermore, surveillance video shows it was possible that Justice couldn’t see the cyclist because of another driver.

Although Justice will not face any criminal charges for the crash, Griffith’s family could still file a lawsuit against him. If you are worried you won’t find justice through a criminal trial after a car accident with an impaired driver, let a personal-injury lawyer from our firm help. Contact us at (617) 698-6000.

Hewlett-Packard recalls millions of power cords

Is your laptop currently plugged in? If so, it might surprise you to learn that, depending on what type of power cord you have, you could have the potential of a house fire on your hands. Hewlett-Packard has recently issued a recall of over six million power cords following over two dozen reports of melting and overheating. The type of cord in question has prompted at least 13 reports of property damage and two reports of minor burns.

Specifically, the recall is for LS-15 power cords that were sold in the time period running from September 2010 to June 2012. Consumers who have such cords can have them replaced by HP at no cost. This is the second defective product issue regarding overheating that HP has suffered in recent years; reports arose of its Google-partnered Chromebook 11 overheating as well.

While it’s encouraging to hear that HP has noticed the issue with their power cords, the recall effects devices that have been on the market for as long as four years, meaning that quite a few people, including potentially residents of Massachusetts, could have already suffered harm as a result of exposure to the product. Many could be using a potentially dangerous product right now and not even know it.

What you might not know about defective products is that, under certain circumstances, you may be able to pursue compensation for damages through a product liability case in relation to such products. Product liability cases generally involve an allegedly defective or dangerous product that has purportedly caused damage or injury. In severe cases, a defective product can even cause a wrongful death. If a person has suffered harm due to use of a defective product and is wondering if they have a product liability case, they may want to enlist the help of an experienced attorney.

Source: Tech Times, “HP yanks 6 million laptop power cords, citing potential fire hazard,” Joseph Mayton, Aug. 27, 2014

Massachusetts Tops Newest List of States With the Worst Drivers

In a report that surprises no one living in the state, Allstate named two cities in Massachusetts as the worst for driving. Newsday reports that Boston was the second most accident-prone city in the nation in 2012. The insurance company explains that drivers in large cities must contend with unique problems related to population density such as more pedestrians and worse rush-hour traffic. Bostonians must also deal with a high rate of drunk and distracted drivers.

These factors have led to a high number of crashes and a high percentage of injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 108,379 car accidents in Massachusetts in 2012. That number represents an increase of 1,000 accidents over the previous year. Those crashes caused a total of 4,384 serious injuries and 349 deaths.

Police Arrest School-Bus Driver for Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving is a serious and growing problem in our country, and the issue is spreading into many areas of society. FOX News reports that a bus driver faces DUI charges after allegedly driving children to school while intoxicated. What’s most frightening is the driver may not have been caught if not for the fact that an officer happened to notice a slight driving problem.

The officer said he witnessed the driver, Tammy Costello, swerve onto the shoulder of the road. The officer decided to follow the bus. At the school, children told the officer that Costello had been driving recklessly and struck several curbs while taking turns. He interviewed Costello and asked her to perform several sobriety tests. She failed all of the tests, and a blood test measured her blood alcohol level at .134 percent. The legal limit while driving a commercial vehicle is .04 percent.

Every year, drunk drivers injure thousands of innocent motorists and pedestrians. Those victims are left to suffer the consequences, and they may find it difficult to secure the compensation they need to pay for medical treatment and to replace lost wages at work.

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver and are looking for a Boston personal injury lawyer to help you find compensation, call us. At Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, P.C., we offer free consultations to negligent driving victims. To learn more, call (617) 698-6000.

Costello Faces More Than 20 Charges

She faces one count of “risk of injury to a minor” for every child on her bus. She also faces a DUI charge. Both the school and the bus company have issued statements condemning Costello’s behavior and assuring parents they are cooperating with police. Everyone involved is thankful police caught her before she caused an accident and injured the children on her bus.

If you are looking for a reliable firm to handle your personal injury lawsuit, let us help. We can arrange a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Just call (617) 698-6000.