Posts tagged with "personal injury law"

What Should I Bring to My Personal Injury Case Initial Consultation

What Should I Bring to My Personal Injury Case Initial Consultation?

Suffering a serious injury can often be a traumatic experience, and in the days following the injury, you might experience anger, confusion, and stress. Take the time to get the rest you need and be sure to seek proper and thorough medical treatment. And once you are better able to think clearly, schedule an appointment for a consultation with a personal injury law firm.

Remember—experienced and professional personal injury attorneys will understand that you’ve been through a great deal. They also know that there is a way to lessen the stress. The number one thing you can do to ensure that a personal injury episode is not what defines you for the remainder of your life is to prepare for your personal injury case consultation. Simply follow these instructions and have the following items on hand for your initial consultation, and the process will go as smoothly and stress-free as possible.

Gathering Together Important Documents

Documents and records relating to the personal injury incident are of vital importance in your case and will serve to ensure you get the just compensation you deserve. Your first step in preparing for your personal injury case consultation is to gather together all the necessary documents.

Medical Records

Any medical records pertaining to your injury should be collected from the facilities you have visited for examination or treatment. You have a right to have copies of all your medical records—if they haven’t already been provided to you, you need only ask, and might possibly be required to sign a release form.

As medical records are often the basis for whether or not you have a substantial case, they are probably the most important documents you will need. The medical records will contain details of the medical provider or facilities you have been to, what help was provided, how much your care cost and the contact information for the professionals who administered treatment or oversaw your examinations.

The extent of your injuries and the cost of your care, as well as any possible costs for future care if needed, will serve to determine the strength of your case and what compensation you may be entitled to.

Police Reports

If police were called to the scene, you will also want to obtain a copy of the police report to bring to your personal injury consultation. The police report may contain important details pertaining to the incident that you are unaware of.

Receipts

If, as a result of your injury, you needed to purchase specific items (medical equipment, prescription pills, special clothing or items needed for in-home care) you should also bring the receipts for those items in order to claim them as additional expenses.

Paystubs

If your injury has caused you to miss work, your paystubs can show the financial loss you have suffered, which can also be used to strengthen your claim as well as recoup lost monies.

Records of Correspondence With Other Parties Involved

If there were other individuals involved when you suffered your injury and you have records of related correspondence, you should bring those as well. These can be emails, text messages, voicemail messages, legal documents that you were served by the other party, letters that were written, and even messages sent over social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

 

Preparing Your Own Notes and Documents

In addition to the above, you will want to be prepared with your own documents. These will include:

A Written Timeline of the Events

Write down everything you remember about the event—what time it occurred, where it occurred, the reason why the injury occurred, who was there, etc. All the details and circumstances surrounding the incident are very important when your attorney attempts to prove another party is at fault for your personal injury.

Photographs and Evidence

If possible, bring photographs of the area and any evidence relating to your case. Photographs and evidence can help prove that an area was unsafe, for example, or can help to corroborate your story if there is no police report. Your attorney will also gather their own photographs and evidence, but having your provisions early on will ensure that nothing is overlooked, especially if the scene is changed before the attorney visits it.

Any of Your Own Questions

You are likely to have plenty of your own questions. Write them down so that you are sure not to forget any of them on the day of your personal injury consultation. Asking questions will also give you a better feel for the attorney and help you to make an informed decision as to which attorney you would like to represent you in your personal injury case.

Contact us

At the Boston law firm of Colucci Colucci Marcus & Flavin, PC, our attorneys will help our clients recover the maximum possible compensation for their injuries. For a free initial consultation with one of our professional and experienced personal injury lawyers, call (617) 698-6000, or contact us online via our email form.

How do federal hours of service regulations prevent truck accidents?

Though many people may not be familiar with them, federal hours of service regulations play a key role in preventing large truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. These HOS rules, implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, govern the working hours of commercial truck drivers in the U.S. who move goods from one state to another.

According to the FMCSA, fatigue is a significant factor in commercial truck accidents. The longer a truck driver remains behind the wheel without an eight hour break, the greater the risk that he will be involved in a crash caused by fatigue. Commercial trucks are, of course, much larger than passenger vehicles and the effects of these crashes can be devastating.

The federal HOS regulations focus on when and how long a driver may remain behind the wheel by placing specific limits on the amount of time a person may drive and how many hours he can work before he is no longer allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. There are three general on-duty limits that truck drivers must follow at all times:

  • Fourteen hour duty limit: drivers are allowed a period of 14 consecutive on-duty hours after being off-duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. This period begins whenever a driver starts any kind of work. Once a driver reaches the 14 hour limit, he may not drive again until he has been off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours. Even if a driver takes some off-duty time during this 14-hour period, his driving time is still limited to 14 hours.
  • Eleven hour driving limit: a driver may be behind the wheel for only 11 of the 14 consecutive on-duty hours. Once a driver has been behind the wheel for a total of 11 hours, he must be off-duty for at least 10 consecutive hours before driving again.
  • Sixty/Seventy hour duty limit: this rule is designed to limit a driver’s weekly driving hours and differs according to trucking companies’ schedules. If a driver’s company does not operate every day of the week, he is not allowed to drive after being on-duty 60 hours for seven consecutive days. If a driver’s company does operate every day of the week, he may not drive after he has been on-duty 70 hours in eight consecutive days. In either case, the regulations allow a driver to reset his on-duty calculations after spending at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.

Truck drivers subject to the FMCSA’s HOS regulations must keep log books to keep track of their time worked and distance traveled, among other information.

Massachusetts Nursing Home Injuries May Increase Due to Budget Cuts

Massachusetts Nursing Home Injuries

As the U.S. population ages, more and more people have to confront the decision regarding whether to put a loved one into a nursing home. People want the best care for their loved ones and look for facilities that will be a good fit for their loved ones’ needs. In the current difficult economy, however, many states are considering budget cuts that will threaten the safety and quality of care of nursing home residents. Massachusetts is looking to reduce its Medicaid budget, which could lead to more seniors suffering nursing home injuries.

The Dangers of Nursing Home Injuries

Injuries are a serious problem for many nursing home residents. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics, an average-sized nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls per year. About 1,800 seniors die each year from injuries sustained during falls, the CDC reports.

Another common condition among nursing home residents that can be deadly is bed sores. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that approximately 60,000 people die from complications related to bed sores each year.

The Impact of Budget Cuts on Nursing Home Residents

As challenging as conditions already are in nursing homes, budget cuts are only making them worse. Massachusetts cut the state’s Medicaid funding in an effort to make up budget shortfalls, which could have a detrimental effect on the quality of care that seniors receive in nursing homes.

One of the first programs that Medicaid eliminated under its reduced funding was funding bed-holds to guarantee that nursing home residents who leave the nursing home for short periods of time, such as a sudden hospitalization, will have the same bed when they return to the nursing home. As of November 1, 2011, Medicaid will no longer pay to hold seniors’ beds in Massachusetts.

Federal law mandates that nursing homes must readmit a resident who leaves temporarily, but it does not require that the patient go back to the same bed. Many advocates for seniors argue that changing rooms for nursing home residents is the equivalent of putting them in an entirely new facility, because so many suffer from dementia. The confusion that results from being in an unfamiliar room increases the likelihood of falls and other injuries for these residents.

The federal government is also cutting Medicare and Medicaid funding to the states. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it will reduce its reimbursement rates to nursing homes by 11.1 percent beginning in October 2011. Nursing homes will be pressured to make up the funding elsewhere, either by cutting costs or raising rates for residents. One of the primary ways that nursing homes cut costs is by firing staff or paying them less. Understaffed nursing homes have the potential to lead to neglected patients and an increase in injuries such as falls, bed sores, malnutrition and dehydration.

Times are tough across the country and it is understandable that governments need to cut spending in a difficult economy. However, balancing the budget on the backs of senior citizens in nursing homes will cause unneeded suffering and possibly more deaths.

There are many types of nursing home abuse

When we put our loved ones in the care of a nursing home, we do so with the expectation that they will be given the utmost standard of care, and that their every need will be attended. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, this does not always happen. There are many things that can go wrong in a nursing home, and negligence at any stage can cause harm to the residents.

Obviously, the purpose of a nursing home is to provide residents with exceptional care, using a team of experienced, qualified staff members who are capable of providing this care using medical equipment and products designed to facilitate the care of the residents. However, any one of these facets of nursing home care could become an issue, which could affect the care that your loved one receives.

For example, if a nursing home is negligent in its hiring practices, then the staff members may not be able to provide adequate or necessary care to the residents. Being unable to administer an injection, for example, could cause your loved one to be injured or even killed depending on the circumstances. Additionally, negligence in properly maintaining equipment could cause a critical part of a patient’s care regimen to fail, leading to serious injury.

We all want what is best for our loved ones, which is why we place them in nursing homes in the first place. As we become unable to care for our loved ones, we entrust their well-being to others, but when they fail in their duty to provide adequate care, the consequences can become disastrous. If you live in Massachusetts, and your loved one has been injured while in the care of a nursing home, consider meeting with an attorney. You could be entitled to compensation.

Vertical roasters recalled after reports of shattering

The truth is that most companies are very aware of the potential dangers with their products, and they do all that they can to minimize or eliminate those dangers. Companies are aware that when a dangerous product is released onto the market, and someone is injured or killed as a result, not only will the company be forced to recall the product and likely payout a settlement to the victim, the public’s perception will shift against the company. Because a defective product can be so damaging to a company, both financially and publically, they often issue recalls as soon as they are aware of potential dangers. Vertical roasters recalledTCC Cooking Company recently recalled a line of vertical roasters after receiving more than two dozen reports of breaking or shattering. Though no injuries were reported, such breaking can easily cause lacerations or burns to consumers. The company has recalled nearly 4,000 units in an effort to prevent such injuries, offering full refunds to customers who purchased the defective product.

It is always refreshing to see a company recall a product when it is made aware of potential safety hazards, before any serious injuries occur. Unfortunately, not all companies issue such recalls, and sometimes the company simply does not know about the danger until it is too late. In such cases, victims of injury by defective product may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, Boston MA to be compensated for their injuries.

Like nearly every injury, if another party’s negligence is responsible, then that party will likely have to pay for medical expenses and other damages. When companies release dangerous or defective products, they can often be considered negligent in their business practices. If you have been injured by a defective product in Massachusetts, consider meeting with an attorney to help you learn more about how you can prove that a defective product caused your injury.

Source: cps.gov, “TCC Cooking Company Recalls CHEFS Vertical Roasters Due to Burn and Laceration Hazards,” Oct. 14, 2015

Outside factors can affect car accidents

We have all heard that accidents happen, and while this may be true, accidents including car accidents are always caused by something. A child spilling milk is an accident in the sense that the child likely did not mean to make a mess, but at the same time the accident was directly caused by the child doing something that resulted in the spilled milk. The same can be said of car accidents. Even though they may happen unintentionally, there is usually someone who was doing something that was the catalyst to the car accident.

Often, we turn toward the drivers involved in the car accident and attempt to determine which of these drivers was engaging in reckless or negligent driving behaviors. However, there are accidents in which neither driver was truly at fault. In these instances, we must look to factors outside of the drivers themselves to determine who was at fault. There can be many options.

Sometimes a driver was allowing plenty of space to stop in the event of unexpected circumstances, and yet even though they see an obstacle and attempt to stop, they cannot because their brakes fail. In this instance, the driver was not at fault, but the vehicle itself. If the driver knew that his or her brake pads might fail, then the driver should have made an attempt to fix the problem. However, if the driver did not know about the defective brake pads, an investigation could be launched to determine if the manufacturer of the vehicle is at fault for using defective brake pads.

Similarly, poorly maintained roads could contribute to an accident, as well as traffic signals that do not work as intended. All of these factors must be considered when investigating a car accident to determine who was truly at fault. This is yet another reason that victims are encouraged to seek legal assistance, so that they are able to fully investigate all factors and determine who or what was truly at fault. If you have been injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, consider meeting with an attorney to build a strong claim for compensation.