Posts tagged with "wrongful death"

Pharmacy Error

Who’s to Blame for a Pharmacy Error?

Modern medicine is expensive, and that’s especially true if you’ve ever had to pay out of pocket. Pharmaceutical costs can be particularly high, and that’s why we expect workers at pharmacies to meet the highest standards. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way in the real world and people can get seriously hurt or killed from a pharmacy error.

A pharmacy error is when a person gets a prescription filled at a pharmacy and unknowingly receives the wrong drug. They may come in for a painkiller and instead receive something that changes their blood pressure. This can easily be a lethal scenario, and unfortunately, patients usually can’t tell they received the wrong drug when they open the bottle.

 

Who causes a pharmacy error?

 

Pharmacy errors include any inconsistencies or deviations from the prescription order, such as dispensing the incorrect drug, dose, dosage form, wrong quantity, or inappropriate, incorrect, or inadequate labeling

We’ve never seen a case where a doctor wrote down the wrong medication. We’ve also never seen a case where the prescription note was misread because of poor penmanship. If the pharmacy staff can’t read it, they always call the doctor’s office to double check.

What’s far more common is someone inside the pharmacy is paying more attention to their coworker than to the important prescription drug task they are working on, and they end up putting the wrong medication in the bottle.

There could be other issues, like if a pharmacy is understaffed and employees rush to fill orders, work when fatigued, or receive poor training. Regardless, the mistake always comes down to human error inside the pharmacy, and that is the responsibility of both the staff and the owner of the pharmacy.

 

What do you do now?

 

If someone in your family has been hurt by a pharmacy error, give us a call at 1 (888) 330-6657 or contact us and we can talk to you about your rights and possible next steps.

The Wrongful Death Double Whammy

No event is as painful and life altering for a person as the sudden loss of a loved one. The unexpected and preventable wrongful death of a family member is emotionally scarring and often financially devastating.

There are frequently many unanswered questions which tend to anger and frustrate surviving family members and these questions complicate the grieving process. Additionally, vulnerable family members are forced to abruptly confront anxiety provoking issues like unpaid medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income and other unexpected and substantial financial consequences.

The stark financial realities that a family must face can be overwhelming — particularly at a time when they are struggling to cope with such devastating news. Not only did you just lose someone you love; you could be on the cusp of losing your home too.

Our firm, Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, P.C., can help.

 

No Time To Spare

“Time is of the essence” is our informal motto. From the first moment we are consulted, our team employs an urgency that is truly unique in the legal profession. Our aggressive investigations find critical witnesses before they disappear, secures evidence that would otherwise have been lost or gone unnoticed, and ultimately uncover the truth so that our clients can eventually begin to achieve some measure of acceptance and peace of mind. Our long case track record of holding accountable those responsible and obtaining maximum recoveries for our clients speaks for itself.

The sudden loss of a loved one always causes more questions than answers. We can make your life a little less uncertain.

Over the years, many hundreds of vulnerable clients have honored us with their trust to guide them during some of their most difficult days. During all of that time, our philosophy has remained unchanged: “Do today what others won’t do so that tomorrow you can do what others cannot.”

It’s Time to Act

If you’ve lost someone close to you, give us a call at 1 (888) 330-6657 or contact us and we can get started right away and help you get through this difficult time.

Why so many smoke detectors fail

We’ve come to learn that the smoke detector manufacturers continue to sell ionization smoke detectors. People are simply unaware of the difference, and the fact that if they rely on ionization they may be left with too little time to escape a fire in certain circumstances.

The two types are based upon the technology that operates the alarm mechanism. One is ionization, the other is photoelectric. In a smoldering fire situation where people may be asleep and unaware of the fact that the smoke is building up, a photoelectric will give you approximately, on average, 30 to 33 minutes earlier alarm sounding than an ionization.

The difference between the cost of a photoelectric and an ionization ranges from $2 to $4 per unit.

It’s amazing that that small cost can ensure the safety of your family in a situation where they need an early warning from a smoldering fire that they’re unaware of simply because they are asleep.

We have gathered a team electrical engineers, toxicologists, and experts in the technology of activating smoke alarms so that we’re prepared to handle these types of cases. You can reach us at 1 (888) 330-6657 and we’ll let you know what your options are.

Jury members and judges are supposed to keep their emotions out of settlements in the courtroom. We don't let them.

The Power of Infuriating a Courtroom

Years ago I sat through a criminal trial where a judge threw the book at two young men who casually murdered a house cat.

That’s not what the charges read for the case. Officially, they were tried for an armed robbery case. There were no animal cruelty charges in the trial. The two men allegedly held up a corner store, then piled into an old car to get away. Right after they left the store the passenger aimed his gun out the window and shot someone’s kitty cat that was lounging on a porch.

Like I said, officially they were tried for the hold up, but it was clear that what really motivated the judge to issue the maximum sentence was knowing that they killed that cat.

There’s a lesson for us in the personal injury world. Most people absolutely despise people who text behind the wheel. If someone causes a car accident while texting, a judge or jury may respond differently than they would to a driver who reached down to pick up a CD off the floor boards.

This is an example of the human factor coming into law and impacting court results in way not intended by the law, unless there is a specific law that distinguishes texting while driving from other forms of distracted driving. It’s not supposed to work that way, but in practice it does.

It’s often irrelevant what distracted a driver. They could have been looking at birds or just not paying attention. The opposing counsel doesn’t have to prove what distracted the driver, but that they drove negligently. Drivers have an obligation to look at the road ahead of them, read street signs, obey traffic lights and leave space between vehicles. That is the most important thing to prove.

But if we can prove they were texting, we will. That involves subpoenaing the phone company’s meta data on when texts were sent from the other driver’s phone. We know that texting while driving can infuriate a courtroom and help our case. Even if we don’t plan to take the case to trial, we know opposing counsel or the insurance company will make a more generous settlement to avoid risking a wrathful courtroom.

Don't waste any time calling a lawyer if you've been hurt in a car accident

Distracted Driving Lawsuits – Why Victims Need To Contact a Lawyer Within 10 Days

After going through a serious car accident, most people naturally want to focus on healing and are not focused on their future distracted driving lawsuit. Some people need time to recuperate or may be stuck in a hospital bed for months. Family members may need to care for the victim at home. Survivors of fatal accident victims will need time to mourn. Many of these people will struggle to figure out how they’re going to pay their bills with one less paycheck coming in.

Because of the unexpected tragic nature of these issue, it’s common for people to put off contacting a lawyer. That’s a big mistake when filing a distracted driver lawsuit or any other kind of personal injury lawsuit.

You really want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Not only are there potential deadlines to file legal documents, but as time passes it becomes harder to gather evidence to demonstrate what caused the car accident. Skid marks fade, damaged cars get destroyed. Witnesses scatter to the wind.

Say you were struck by someone who was texting while driving, it is important to pursue distracted driving lawsuits within 10 days. The victim’s attorney can subpoena the phone company for a record of when texts were sent from that phone. If the crash happened on a highway 10 miles from the nearest exit and the driver who caused the crash was alone in the vehicle, and the driver’s phone had sent messages every 30 seconds right up to the crash, that’s a great piece of evidence for distracted driving. That helps the distracted driving lawsuits and cases remarkably.

But there’s a hitch. The phone company usually deletes text message data 10 days after it is sent. It’s expensive for the company to store that much information. Some companies wait 30 days, but most wipe the information in 10 days. If the victim waits too long to call a lawyer that evidence is lost in distracted driving lawsuits.

We fully understand how a personal tragedy can dominate someone’s priorities and that people need time to grieve. No matter what your situation is, if you do need to contact an attorney, you should to do so immediately to best protect your family and loved ones. It won’t be the disruption that you may imagine it to be, and what’s more, It’ll allow you to concentrate on your family while someone else handles the legal issues.

 

Bicycle safety is much easier when you pay attention to your surroundings

Bicycle safety is everyone’s responsibility

Now that the nice weather is returning, the streets will again soon be filled with bicyclists who are out to get fresh air and/or get back in shape.  Biking is more popular than ever.  One study reveals that between 2000 and 2009, the number of bike commuters grew 70% across the entire United States.

Returning to an outdoor lifestyle after enduring a typically frigid New England winter is a special if fleeting experience.  As any New Englander knows, a return to the outdoors is something that is treasured and earned with patience and endurance during the many cold, dark days that preceded.  You’ll want to ensure that you are safe as you enjoy the return of summer and by observing a few simple tips, you can increase your odds

  1. Most experts agree that bicyclists should alwayswear a helmet.  Your chances of surviving an accident are exponentially increased if you take care to wear a safety helmet.  Today, there are many to choose from .  You should do some preliminary research before you buy.  You should hold your vanity in check.  Remember that the helmet that looks best on you may not necessarily be the safest.
  1. Bike on the road in the same direction as traffic.  Bicycles are considered “vehicles” and are usually expected to observe the same traffic controls as cars.  This means you need to “stop” at a stop sign, etc.
  1. Whenever possible, get off the beaten path.  You’ll find that the beauty of your surroundings increases proportionally to the decrease in traffic.
  1. Make sure your bicycle is equippedwith a light, a mirror, a bell and a water bottle.  The light will increase your visibility; the mirror will allow you to see vehicles that are approaching your position; the bell will remind those traveling in proximity that you are nearby; and the water will keep you hydrated on those humid New England days.
  1. Refrain from wearing headphones.  You should use all of  your senses while biking.
  1. Be aware that even motorists who make active use of their mirrors still have to contend with blind spots. Avoid finding yourself in an area where a motorist can’t see you.
  1. Wear bright, reflective clothing and bike in a straight, predictable path.  The more steady and visible you are, the less likely you are to be in a collision.
  1. Don’t become distracted by your phone.  Texting or prolonged talking while biking is a recipe for disaster.
  1. Learn and use hand signals.  Like driving a car, you want to “telegraph” what your intentions are before you actually turn.
  1. Make sure your bicycle is in good repair. It is wise to have your bike “tuned up” at the end of the biking season to make sure that everything is working as it should.

Observing these simple tips will keep you safe, enhance your biking experience and give you piece of mind.

This design from may have contributed to the death of Trooper Thomas Clardy

This auto design defect contributed to a state trooper’s death

Unfortunately, in our business we deal with tragic events. It’s hard to imagine a sadder situation than what recently happened to one of our State Troopers. Although pulled over on the side of the road in a Ford Explorer, his vehicle was rear-ended by another motorist and as a result, the Trooper was killed. A Ford Explorer is one of the largest non-commercial vehicles on the road, so the question goes begging: How could someone sitting in the driver’s seat of such a big SUV suffer a fatal injury from a rear-end impact? We have looked extensively into this precise fact pattern and have learned some unfortunate truths about the automotive industry as a whole.

It’s clear that front seats in nearly all cars found on the road are inadequately constructed and fail catastrophically in rear end accidents. More specifically, the seats break and thrust the occupant backwards toward the back seat. When the seat is thrust into this reclined position, the seatbelt is rendered ineffective, allowing the occupant to slide backwards, (or “ramp”) most often striking his or her head on the back seat. The result is often a fractured neck leading to either paralysis or death.

Research shows that this problems has existed for nearly 50 years. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has admitted that their standard is woefully inadequate but has refused to change it due to lobbying efforts from the automotive industry. A renowned expert that we’ve had the pleasure of working with has made it his life’s crusade to expose this problem in an effort to stop these senseless deaths and life changing events. Dr. Alan Cantor has actually constructed seats out of cardboard that have passed the strength test required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, literally.

Please also know that children in rear car-seats have been killed by the driver’s seat breaking and the driver’s body mass being thrust rearward. Dr. Cantor suggests that parents place child seats in the third row of any SUV that has one, or be placed behind the lighter of the two front seat occupants.

I haven’t had the opportunity to view the Explorer that the Trooper was seated in just prior to his death, but I intend to. I’m willing to bet that, predictably, the seat failed leading directly to his death. As a consumer, please be aware. And if you are wondering, the seat strength of any particular car is not listed anywhere in the car’s specs or in any consumer report because it’s not required to be. Based on our extensive research it would appear that only Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo have seats that are reinforced in a way that addresses this ongoing dilemma.

Workplace Fatalities under reported by OSHA Database

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the division of the U.S. Department of Labor charged with protecting the safety of employees in the workplace. OSHA’s mission is to prevent construction accidents, industrial injuries, and other workplace accidents. It seeks to do this through setting and enforcing safety standards, designing and delivering education and training programs, and engaging in outreach activity.

Unfortunately, OSHA sometimes falls far short of accomplishing its mission. For example, OSHA officials admitted in November 2011 that one of the ways the agency uses to monitor workplace safety – a database tracking workplace fatalities – is deficient in several key respects. OSHA’s lack of information is troubling because people need to know how many workplace deaths occur and the reasons for them in order to improve workplace safety.

Causes of Workplace Fatalities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 4,547 workplace fatalities in 2010. Massachusetts saw 51 workplace fatalities in 2010, down from 59 in 2009. The BLS reported that the causes of deaths in the workplace for 2010 were:

• Transportation incidents – 39 percent

• Assaults and violent acts – 18 percent

• Contact with objects or equipment – 16 percent

• Falls – 14 percent

• Exposure to harmful substances – nine percent

• Fire or explosions – four percent

OSHA Database Failure

OSHA has a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), wherein OSHA partners with employers who have injury and fatality rates below the BLS average for their industries. In exchange for proactively working on safety measures, the employers in the VPP are exempt from regular OSHA inspections.

One of the main deficits in OSHA’s workplace fatality data is that it does not include deaths that happened at employers in the VPP. By cross-referencing OSHA data and BLS data, the Center for Public Integrity discovered that OSHA data did not include 15 workplace fatalities that occurred between 2000 and 2010 because these deaths happened at VPP participant employers.

Another area in which OSHA does not have data is workplace fatalities that occur in the 21 states that administer their own version of OSHA’s VPP.

These are major gaps in the database and make it difficult for OSHA to do its job properly.

OSHA officials say they are taking steps to fill the information gap regarding workplace fatalities in VPP participant employers. OSHA’s second-highest official concedes the importance of following up on fatalities at VPP participant employers and including that information in OSHA data. OSHA’s main office has issued memos on the topic to regional offices in the past few years.

Preventing Workplace Fatalities

OSHA and employers can take steps to make the number of workplace deaths decrease further. Some ideas include:

• Make safety a key value for owners and managers

• Train employees in safety techniques

• Engage employees in making the workplace safer

• Monitor employees’ actions to ensure compliance with safety regulations

• Analyze “near-miss” accidents so that they do not happen again and to discover any safeguards that functioned properly to prevent fatalities

People have the right to demand safe workplaces. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help pursue proper compensation for your injuries.

Most people don't understand Massachusetts no fault car insurance laws that have given way to Personal Injury Protection plans for car accidents

How Massachusetts Car Insurance Laws Can Limit Your Settlement

 

We handle a lot of car accident cases here in the greater Boston area. They’re fairly common because they can happen to anyone, even people who consider themselves safe and responsible, and the cars involved have both a large capacity for destruction and are driven frequently. That’s why you see a lot more people who have been hurt in car accidents as opposed to crashes from smaller, less frequently used vehicles like bicycles or snow mobiles.

Massachusetts does have some limits on what car crash victims can receive in settlements. If you’re injured by someone else’s dangerous driving in Massachusetts, you can attempt to receive compensation for your medical bills, damages to your vehicle and for your pain and suffering. However, you won’t be able to receive any medical reimbursements if your medical bill comes under $2,000.

Massachusetts has a minimum threshold of $2,000 for medical expenses from crashes. If one of our case comes under that threshold and no money ends up exchanging hands, we handle that case for free. We only get paid when our client receives a settlement and we’re willing to use the experience for outreach so people know they can trust us the next time they need a lawyer.

To get a little more technical, in Massachusetts we have Personal Injury Protection, or n- fault insurance, where the insurance company will pay for damages regardless of who caused the accident. Part of the idea behind the law is to make insurance available for policy holders even when the are struck by an uninsured driver.

If the injuries of all the people in your vehicle during an accident exceed $2,000, your auto insurance will pay that first $2,000 of medical bills. Not your health insurance company, but your car insurance.

A Personal Injury Protection plan  in Massachusetts will pay for costs after $2,000 but before $8,000, and that can include lost wages, medical copays and funeral expenses. If you have health insurance, PIP will pay up to $2,000 for medical expenses. If you lack health insurance, PIP will pay whatever is needed until it reaches that $8,000 cap.

There is one wrinkle that can have a big impact on a case. When a car crash victim receives a settlement, the health insurance company can take some of that money for reimbursement for the medical bills. PIP benefits do not need to be reimbursed from a settlement. This won’t make much of a difference if the settlement is for $1 million dollars and the medical expenses were $5,000, but it will if the medical expenses are $5,000 of $15,000 settlement.

PIP insurance is confusing and obtuse to most people, and we’re happy to walk people through their options. Our firm will also deal with the insurance companies directly for you so you can concentrate on your recovery.

Our firm takes on small cases, not just big ones, even minor car accidents.

Why We Take on Even the Smallest Car Accident Cases

Car crash injuries are the most common type of car accident cases we take, and they can happen to absolutely anyone who so much as steps near a public road.

Our firm is eager to take on any of these cases and make sure people are compensated for the losses and injuries they suffer, which can make a crucial difference to a working family who suddenly can’t pay the bills with their breadwinner unable to work. Some people unfortunately assume that we only want to take on the big cases where large amounts of money are at stake and that we pass over smaller cases.

That’s absolutely wrong. We are eager to take on any case with merit, no matter how small. It’s good business for us, as there’s more at stake than the settlement fee.

We only accept payment for cases that we win, and while the profits from these cases helps us keep the lights on in our office near Boston, the cases also help us train new attorneys.

We put a partner from the firm and an associate attorney on every case, and these smaller cases give our younger lawyers valuable experience that only comes from pursuing real cases. We’re not leaving the client solely in the hands of a rookie, as an experienced partner collaborates on the case and provides insight and guidance when needed. These cases are good for our firm’s skill level.

They also act as a referral service for the firm. We’re confident that the solid results and attention to detail that our clients receive will make an impact. We know that if one of our clients ever gets into a situation where they need help or know someone who does, they’ll remember us.

There are no small cases for us. Our reputation is made, for better or for worse, by how we treat the latest client. We believe anyone who comes to us will come back if a future need arises. That’s why we’re eager to take on cases regardless of size.