Posts made in December 2014

Understanding the complexities of truck accidents

Proving fault is often exponentially more difficult in truck accidents than it is in more traditional motor vehicle accidents. Unlike with most motor vehicle accidents, it is entirely possible that neither driver was negligent, and also possible that neither driver did anything wrong. This might lead to some confusion, as both parties argue in circles, and it may cause you to hesitate before taking legal action.

If you are involved in a truck accident, and you were not at fault, it is highly recommended that you meet with an attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case. Even if you cannot seem to determine fault on the part of the driver, if you know that the accident was not your fault, then there may be something that you are missing. Every truck accident involves more than two parties; in addition to the drivers, there is also the trucking company that owns the truck and employs the driver.

These companies have an obligation to engage in safe and secure practices when it comes to the ways in which their trucks are handled. It is these trucking companies’ responsibility to ensure that they hire quality drivers who are not overworked. It is also the companies’ responsibility to keep the trucks well cared for.

In the aftermath of an accident, it can be difficult to determine what happened, but we have found that by recreating accidents, we can discover answers to questions that you did not even know you were supposed to ask. Perhaps the truck’s tires were not adequately inflated for example. Issues like these can often go overlooked, which is why it is important to consult with an attorney when you are involved in a truck accident. Visit our webpage for more information.

Motor Vehicle/Bicyclist Accident

In August of 2014, the 67 year old Plaintiff was operating her bicycle within a clearly marked lane on Route 15 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The Defendant, a high school senior, was operating his motor vehicle in the same direction. After initially denying responsibility for the accident, the teenager ultimately admitted that he looked down at his phone in order to “unlock it” and when he did so his car drifted into the breakdown lane striking the bicyclist a glancing blow. Ultimately, the teen was charged with both Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Use of a Cell Phone When Operating a Motor Vehicle for a person under 18.

The Plaintiff suffered significant injuries as a result of being thrown from her bicycle. She was brought by ambulance to Harrington Hospital where a helicopter awaited to med-flight her to UMass Memorial Medical Center. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with a lower leg fracture and two spinal fractures. Thankfully, the spinal fractures were non-displaced and did not in any way affect her spinal cord. The leg fracture required surgery for the implantation of a rod. While in the hospital, the Plaintiff fell while in the bathroom fracturing her right shoulder. This injury also required surgery with the implantation of hardware.

The Plaintiff’s hospital course was difficult. She had a wound on her lower leg that ultimately required a wound-vac due to the onset of infection and had to undergo a third surgery to close the wound.

In all, Plaintiff incurred $200,000.00 in medical expenses, but was able to return to full-time employment within four months of the accident.

The parties agreed to mediate the matter pre-suit. The Defendants stated that their trial strategy would be to stipulate to liability in order to keep out of evidence any information about the Defendant’s cell phone use. Plaintiff’s counsel countered by stating that the parents would be brought in on a negligent entrustment count and that the cell phone use would be brought in under that claim.

The case was settled at mediation for 1.5 million dollars.

Boston’s O’Neill Tunnel seems to cause many accidents

You may not know it, but the O’Neill Tunnel is one of the most problematic parts of the road in all of Boston. Residents of our city may have experienced the poor design that has caused one man to claim that he has trouble navigating the exits. For those of you who are not familiar with the area, consider that the O’Neill Tunnel is responsible for 22 times the number of accidents in two other city tunnels, Callahan and Sumner, combined.

These statistics were reinforced recently when a multivehicle accident caused massive traffic clogging in early December. This despite Massachusetts transportation officials claims that the signage and lighting were increased in an effort to prevent such accidents. There are other options being considered in an effort to try to reduce or eliminate accidents in the tunnel, such as slowing down speeders at the entrances with rumble strips. Unfortunately, until such a fix is implemented, the O’Neill Tunnel will likely remain a traffic collision hot spot.

While there are certainly other areas of the city that play host to accidents, this news is particularly relevant for those who often drive through the O’Neill Tunnel. If you often drive through the tunnel, it may feel like it is just a matter of time before you are involved in an accident. This is why it is important to be prepared to take legal action in the event of an accident.

Even minor accidents can be a serious strain on finances. Insurance rates could go up along with unexpected bills required to fix your car and recover your health. If you have been in a car accident, consider meeting with an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Source: Boston CBS Local, “Keller @ Large: O’Neill Tunnel Trouble,” Jon Keller, Dec. 3, 2014

Premises liability cases can be difficult to prove

We often talk about premises liability strictly within the context of accidental personal injury, such as slipping and falling and suffering broken bones or bruises. It may surprise you to learn that this is not the only applicable scenario of premises liability law. Being bitten by an aggressive dog, striking an obstacle that couldn’t be seen due to low visibility, suffering injury at an amusement park, all of these issues could fall under the umbrella of premises liability depending on the circumstances.

Ultimately, premises liability law refers to any personal injury sustained as the direct result of an unsafe property condition which you were unaware of. This could include obvious things like falling through a rotted wooden staircase, but it could also extend to being injured in a fire that you could have avoided if the smoke detector had been working properly.

Because the nature of premises liability claims is so wide and varied, it can often be difficult to prove your claims. After all, you cannot sue someone if you have a moment of clumsiness and happen to fall on your own. This is why it is important to enlist the aid of an attorney who is familiar with premises liability law in your area.

Boston residents who believe they have a valid premises liability claim are encouraged to visit our webpage to find out more about premises liability, as well as how we can help you prove your claims. Modern technology has given our society access to technology that can make it easier to prove these difficult claims. For example, by recreating the circumstances of an accident and examining it from different angles, you may be able to prove beyond a doubt that there were dangerous property conditions that contributed to your injury.

The importance of doing your nursing home research

We all care about the well-being of our elderly loved ones, and we want to make sure that they are taken care of in the later years of their lives. For many, this love manifests itself in finding a good nursing home that is capable not only of taking care of the elderly, but providing them with medical attention in case of an emergency. Some people may be comfortable in the knowledge that a nursing home has never had any notable cases of injury or negligence, but that does not mean that such a nursing home is the best option.

A recent analysis that took data from 34 different New York nursing homes uncovered nearly 700 infractions between them all, and while many of the infractions were minor, it hardly bolsters one’s confidence. Some are concerned about a ripple effect wherein the infractions get more serious over time. It is a fear that these infractions indicate a level of laziness or lack of respect for sanctions that could lead to larger, more devastating issues over time.

Many of these infractions were discovered by unannounced inspections. This begs the question of how much nursing homes are getting away with when they think they are not being watched. Even in Massachusetts some nursing homes could be failing to adhere to laws and regulations, which could result in injury or negligent care. Some people may not put much stake in a slippery slope argument, but that does not take away from the fact that investigating different nursing homes can only benefit loved ones.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home and you believe that they are being mistreated or that negligent care is causing them harm, consider meeting with an attorney to discuss the aspects of your case. You or your loved one could be entitled to compensation.