Posts tagged with "negligence"

No lawsuit can happen without these three components, no matter how terrible the conduct of the people involved.

No matter how outrageous a defendant’s conduct may be, there’s one thing you can never sue for:

Picture this: A person is walking down the sidewalk, enjoying a warm Spring day, when out of nowhere a drunk driver hops the curb and strikes them over from behind. The pedestrian flies through the air, lands on his feet and finds himself to be completely unharmed. A miracle occurred, as most people would have been permanently injured or killed.

On what grounds can that pedestrian, unharmed only by a stroke of luck, sue that driver, who clearly acted negligently and was at fault for what happened.

The answer is, none. There is no chance of a lawsuit here. The pedestrian does not have a case.

Why? Because you can’t sue for what could have happened, only what did happen. In this case, no one was injured.

Lawsuits aren’t some kind of bad luck lottery ticket, where people profit off of their own misfortune. No, personal injury lawsuits are about compensating people for their suffering and to help them adjust to life-changing events.


The three elements of a lawsuit

A lawsuit requires liability, causation, and damages. In this example, the driver was liable for what happened as he got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, which is a clear case of negligent behavior. He is also the one who caused the pedestrian to be struck, it wasn’t a faulty steering wheel or other mechanical problem. Both of those elements are required for a case, but so is damages. In this example, there were no damages as no one was injured.

Sometimes people say things like “I could have been killed.” They rightly find themselves shocked by how terribly things could have gone because of someone else’s bad behavior. Those issues shouldn’t be ignored. There may be some kind of legal consequence that will fall on the person who caused that problem. However, a lawsuit is not the solution for things that could have happened but didn’t.

Colucci, Colucci, Marcus and Flavin recently handled a tragic case involving daycare neglect

Few people know the intricacies associated with Daycare center operations. There are a host of CMR’s and Best Practices precepts that set the standard for daycare operators as well as their day-to-day operations. The firm successfully argued that this particular daycare provider had violated numerous standards and regulations in their conduct relative to the care of this infant. It was a painful ordeal for the parents to learn of such neglect, but thankfully the case was resolved relatively quickly by Dino Colucci. The amount of the settlement, which was impressive, is subject to a confidentiality agreement.

Massachusetts bicyclist killed in truck accident

Most of the talk around truck accidents covers the impact that the massive vehicles can have when they collide with smaller cars. Amongst all of this, we sometimes neglect the possibility that large trucks are just as capable of striking bicycles or pedestrians. Considering the substantial damage that cars and drivers might suffer in a truck accident, pedestrians and cyclists are lucky to survive the accident at all. Unfortunately for one Massachusetts man who was cycling in Wrentham, he was not lucky enough.

The accident occurred recently on a Saturday evening as the cyclist was attempting to make a left turn. Police are currently investigating the accident, but they believe it?s possible that the victim was blinded by the sun before taking the turn. A dump truck struck the cyclist before veering off the road and smashing into a tree. Police intend to inspect the truck to ensure that it was not suffering from mechanical issues.

In the wake of a truck accident, it is vital to inspect the truck in such a way, since a truck being in a state of disrepair could mean liability for the owner of the truck. Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure that their trucks and the people they hire to drive them are in optimal operating conditions at all times. If it is discovered, for example, that the truck in this accident had a known brake issue, and the trucking company did not have the issue repaired, they could be liable for this bicyclist?s death.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident and you believe that the truck or its driver was at fault, you could be entitled to compensation. Consider speaking with an attorney to help you build a solid case to bring before the courts. You don?t have to suffer because of a truck company?s negligence.

Source: CBS Boston, “Cyclist Struck And Killed By Dump Truck In Wrentham,” Sept. 27, 2014

Massachusetts sparkler ban controversial, often ignored

Despite the fact that sparklers are banned in Massachusetts, many residents travel across state lines before the Fourth of July holiday to purchase sparklers. Massachusetts is one of only two states to ban sparklers, which are popular among children during summer celebrations.

One Massachusetts politician has spoken out against the sparkler ban, calling it “anti-American” and an overreach of government power. However, sparklers burn at a scorching 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause major burn injuries to hands, eyes, faces, and other body parts that come in contact with it.

Amidst the criticism of the ban and the public apathy towards the danger of sparklers, the Holliston Fire Chief reminds residents that the risks of playing with sparklers are very real.

Nationwide, about 9,600 people are treated for injuries from fireworks each year, many around the Fourth of July holiday. Eighteen percent of those injuries involved sparklers.

For parents or property owners who allow kids to play with sparklers on the Fourth of July, it’s important to be aware that this illegal activity could lead to civil liability for any injuries. Property owners have a duty to keep the area free of hazards that present a foreseeable risk to visitors, or to warn them of known hazards. Adults who are supervising a group of children are also responsible for keeping hazards out of the way, and that includes small explosives such as sparklers.

The sparkler ban may not be a popular law, but safety officials urge Massachusetts residents to leave the firework displays to professionals.

Source: CBS News, “Sparkler ban ‘anti-American,’ says Mass. State rep candidate,” July 3, 2012.

Truck accident kills 2 Massachusetts construction workers

Two Mass Bay Electrical Corp workers who were working in an aerial bucket were killed when the truck supporting them upended into a ditch. The ditch runs along the Cape Cod Canal and is close to Scenic Highway in Bourne. The reach of the kind of truck being used is said to be 142 feet, which is a very dangerous height to fall from. A chaplain with the Bourne Fire Department was on the scene of the trucking accident to comfort the surviving family.

It is believed that the men were working with high-tension power lines at the worksite. Their contract was with NStar to work on a utility project. While it is not known what the exact cause of the accident was, there were other workers around when it happened, and reports indicate that there were no high winds at the time.

Mass Bay Electrical has had problems with Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations in the past, but their most recent inspection was nearly a decade ago. In that 2005 inspection, Mass Bay Electrical netted three serious violations, two of which were in relation to the aerial lifts.

The type of work the two men were doing is dangerous, which is why there are workplace safety standards in place. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Department of Labor Standards for the state reports that about 80 percent of deaths from platforms mounted on vehicles are due to some kind of contact with electrical sources. Other risks to workers include trucks being on ground that is unstable, not using fall restraints, and slips and falls from the bucket.

Families of individuals killed in on-the-job truck accidents have options to help them seek justice and compensation to cover related expenses. Medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses can be compensated for so those left behind do not also have overwhelming financial burdens adding to their suffering. A Massachusetts attorney may be able to assist you and your family in pursuing some sense of retribution if working conditions were poor, proper safety precautions were not taken or machinery was not well maintained. If an employer’s negligence resulted in a fatality to your loved one, you don’t have to be alone in your pursuit of justice.

Source: Cape Cod Times, “Two workers die in fall when truck tumbles into ditch,” Haven Orecchio-Egresitz and Mary Ann Bragg, April 13, 2014

Boston bicyclist killed in hit-and-run trucking accident

“Accidents happen” is a common phrase that we tell our children when they do small things such as spill milk or knock over a vase of flowers. Unfortunately for those who find themselves in automobile accidents, the phrase doesn’t have quite the same comforting feeling. Instead, it only serves to remind us of the frequently tragic reality of daily life. No matter how careful we are or what precautions we take when driving, accidents can happen.

A Massachusetts bicyclist was killed in a trucking accident when a garbage truck driver struck him and left him on the side of the road. A Swampscott man was later charged in connection with the hit-and-run accident, which happened in Charlestown. Tragedies like this often have far-reaching consequences for the families of those involved. If, for example, the bicyclist had a family that relied on his paycheck, their financial future may now be called into question.

While nothing can bring back the life of the unfortunate bicyclist, monetary compensation can help any family members the victim may have left behind. In addition to funeral expenses, the victim’s family will be able to stay afloat long enough to pursue other financial avenues. However, in order to receive any compensation, parties must prove their loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence.

Particularly in cases where there are no witnesses, it is extremely important to secure legal assistance to help prove your case. Modern technology and some creative thinking can help a family meet the burden of proof needed in civil cases. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, and you believe that you were not at fault, effective legal counsel can help you present your case to the courts and hopefully get you the compensation you deserve.

Source: Boston Herald, “Truck driver charged in fatal Charlestown accident,” John Zaremba, April 4, 2014

Nursing home fails to provide residents with heat, hot water

As our loved ones age, we put our trust and faith in nursing homes to provide them with the care they need. Unfortunately, nursing home negligence is a very real matter that has the potential to cause victims and their loved ones serious physical injuries and mental anguish.

The 25 residents of a Massachusetts nursing home have been relocated after a disturbing discovery was made. Apparently, the facilities were operating without heat or hot water for several days, due to a broken boilerplate. The situation was discovered by the daughter of one of the residents, who during a recent visit observed residents eating off paper plates and wearing coats indoors. In addition to sanitary concerns involving the lack of hot water for activities such as cooking and bathing, the lack of heat itself was of particular concern, due to unseasonably cold temperatures.

Town health officials promptly shut down the nursing home, and the residents were sent to other nursing homes in the state owned by the same company. The Board of Health had jurisdiction to take these drastic actions without seeking a court-order, because it was deemed necessary to protect the health of the public.

While the residents in this situation made it through the ordeal in good health, many of those suffering from nursing home neglect are not so lucky. Neglect can take many forms, but any actions or conditions that result in the failure to provide for the health and safety of residents, whether intentional or not, may be considered neglect.

Fortunately, there are legal actions that a victim of nursing home neglect can take. Victims may pursue a civil lawsuit on the grounds of negligence or in certain cases breach of contract. In the most extreme of cases, some states allow criminal charges to be brought against those engaging in elder abuse.

Elderly people can be particularly vulnerable to nursing home abuse, especially if they are already physical or mentally frail. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide more insight as to what actions a victim of nursing home neglect may take.

Source: woonsocketcall.com, “Nursing home shut down,” Joseph Fitzgerald, April 23, 2013

Boston bus accident injures dozens, one in critical condition

As you go under overpasses or into buildings that specify height requirements, you are probably like most people and wondering if anyone has ever ignored or failed to heed those warnings and clipped their tops? Well, unfortunately for one bus company owner, one of his drivers did so in the Boston area recently with a 10-foot-high concrete overpass.

The commercial bus accident which resulted in dozens of injured passengers, and has left one in critical condition at Boston Medical Center, is supposedly the result of a failure on the part of the GPS system to warn the bus driver of the overpass height according to the company’s owner. The owner has great confidence in the driver and has suggested that the GPS device failed to warn of the height restrictions under the Western Avenue Bridge overpass.

According to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (“DCR”), this could be a plausible argument as there have been a number of incidents of vehicles hitting overpasses in that area each year. They plan on contacting the GPS system manufacturers to discuss updating their information.

Whether or not the GPS may have failed to warn the driver, there still may have been some sort of negligence on the driver’s behalf which resulted in the injuries sustained by the passengers in the accident. If so, each individual injured may have a legal claim to some sort of remedy for their injuries and any time off work that may have resulted.

When involved in these types of accidents, an injured party should talk to a personal injury attorney prior to making any statements to insurance agents as the attorney will have your interests and recovery in mind rather than their company’s bottom line. An attorney practiced in the area of personal injury will be able to deftly guide an individual through the complex legal options that may be available under the unique circumstances that present themselves.

Source: Boston Herald, “Bus owner sorry for accident,” Feb. 5, 2013

Nursing home negligence suspected in Massachusetts

Recently, an 87-year-old patient was injured in a Massachusetts nursing home. The police report states that the patient suffers from dementia. It was noted that the patient had a laceration on her lip. The cause for the injury is suspected to be nursing home negligence.

The nursing home staff stated that the patient is unable to communicate with the staff due to severe dementia. A certified nurse assistant was supervising the woman during her breakfast feeding. According to the staff at the nursing home, the patient has a history of clamping down her jaw during meals. They also stated that this laceration on her lip was caused by clamping down.

A surprising fact noted in this case was that the woman’s injury was only reported to police after more than 24 hours. The nurse assistant is on administrative leave pending an investigation. Also, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will file an elder abuse report for the concerned authorities.

Although family members try to choose the best nursing home for their loved one, incidents like this cannot always be predicted. Sometimes, nursing homes may be negligent in performing their duties. This negligence may prove costly for the loved one. An injury to a loved one may also cause mental trauma to the family members. Hence, it is important that the people responsible for injuries be held accountable for negligence and carelessness.

The family of the loved one can file a claim for compensation. The family may put in a claim for medical expenses, pain and suffering and mental trauma. It is advisable for the family to seek advice from a legal professional to be able to obtain the correct guidance in the matter. The professional may explain the various processes involved in the claim and help the family understand the various possible outcomes. The professional may also help in negotiating the correct compensation from the liable parties.

Source: Gloucester Times, “Gloucester Police/Fire: Nursing assistant on leave after injury at home,” Marjorie Nesin, Jan. 23, 2013