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Massachusetts Personal Injury Law Blog

Whiplash is a common and painful result of rear-end crashes

As winter sets in and people in Massachusetts begin to face wet and icy weather conditions on the road, there is an increased risk of getting into an accident. At Finbury & Sullivan, P.C., we know that one of the most common types of crashes is the rear-end collision. Rear-end fender benders and more serious crashes frequently occur throughout the year, but are particularly common when the roads are slick and drivers underestimate their vehicles’ ability to stop before hitting the car in front.

Even if you’re in a minor rear-end crash, you can suffer long-lasting injuries, according to Consumer Reports. One of the most well-known results of a rear-end collision is whiplash. This painful condition occurs when a person’s head is rapidly snapped back and forth in a collision, especially when the car is hit from behind. This motion damages the neck’s muscles, ligaments and nerves and can result in chronic pain and stiffness. Women and tall people are particularly prone to experiencing serious whiplash injuries, which can occur even at speeds as low as 10 miles per hour.

How do I protect myself after a car accident?

A car accident is a traumatic event for any Massachusetts resident to live through, especially if someone has been hurt. The whirlwind of emotions and confusion that follow a crash can make it difficult to think straight and know what to do. Still, understanding the steps to take immediately after an accident can help to get you and your family through this difficult time.

There are several steps that State Farm has listed, which can help you after a car accident:

Faulty wiring causes deadly apartment fire in Lawrence

Apartment property owners and managers in Massachusetts have a responsibility to ensure their buildings and grounds are safe for those who live on and visit the property. This responsibility includes making sure walkways and handrails are in good repair, as well as keeping the grounds and sidewalks well-tended and lit to avoid accidents such as slipping and falling. Failing to do this can result in serious injuries, which in turn may lead to premises liability lawsuits.

Some people may not realize that avoiding a dangerous property condition goes beyond keeping the apartment complex safe on the outside. There are numerous obligations an apartment owner should address inside each unit, such as safeguarding windows on upper floors from children falling out, keeping smoke alarms and detectors properly functioning, and ensuring that electrical wiring in the building is in good repair.

Understanding the effects of a traumatic brain injury

At Finbury & Sullivan, P.C., we understand how serious a concussion can be. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be worried about the potential short-term and long-term effects of a brain injury. Even a small collision can result in moderate to serious damage to the brain: When the head is suddenly jolted or bounced back and forth, the brain can be bruised by the action, resulting in a traumatic brain injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of a mild to moderate concussion can be subtle and easy to miss, but may worsen over time if not treated properly. Sometimes brain injury symptoms don’t show up until weeks or months after an accident. The signs of a traumatic brain injury can include:

  • Irritability, anxiety and nervousness.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or thinking clearly.
  • Dizziness, headaches, trouble balancing or vision problems.
  • Lack of energy, trouble falling asleep or excessive sleeping.

National Teen Driver Safety Week in October

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to find out a child has been involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, auto accidents are the main cause of death for teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, more than 2,600 teenagers were killed and almost 292,000 were injured in car accidents throughout the U.S. To try to raise awareness of this preventable danger, Congress has designated the third week of October as National Teen Driver Safety Week in Massachusetts and every other state.

During National Teen Driver Safety Week, many communities across the country will be participating in awareness activities and other efforts to keep families from experiencing the devastation of losing a child in a car accident. State Farm, which worked with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2007 to promote the designation of National Teen Driver Safety Week, is one of the many companies involved in getting teens to recognize the importance of safe driving habits.

Dump truck crash kills bicyclist in Wrentham

It’s common to see large trucks on highways across Massachusetts, but people may not realize there is also a danger of being harmed in a truck accident on city or country roads. One of the most common types of trucks to encounter on a residential street, increasing the potential for serious injuries, are dump trucks.

In late September, a 48-year-old man was struck and killed by a dump truck while riding his bicycle in Wrentham. The truck accident occurred in a rural area, where the two-lane road was very narrow with a speed limit of only 15 miles per hour. It was unknown whether speeding was a factor in the crash, but authorities believe that the late afternoon glare from the sun could have been a contributing cause. Creating an additional dangerous scene was the fact that the dump truck severed a utility pole in the crash, and electrical wires were reportedly almost touching the ground in some places.

Is it important to have uninsured motorist coverage?

If you’re injured in an auto accident, one of the worst nightmares you can face is not being able to pay your medical bills. Massachusetts residents who have been in an accident through no fault of their own may assume they’re covered by the other party’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Just because a minimal amount of auto insurance is required by law doesn’t mean that people abide by this law. And in many cases, the lowest liability coverage may not be enough to cover the medical expenses of someone who was hurt in a car accident.

Fortunately, Massachusetts has the lowest number of uninsured drivers in the country at only 4 percent, the Insurance Information Institute states. Even so, it’s impossible to predict if the driver who causes a car accident is going to be one who’s uninsured. Is there any way to further protect yourself if the person who hurts you is uninsured or underinsured?

Injured employee has right to file for workers’ compensation

There are many jobs that come with a high risk of being injured, including the construction and maintenance industries. Depending on what an employee is tasked with, he or she can be injured at work from falls, burns, debris, chemicals, contagions or even seemingly harmless office equipment. Employers in Massachusetts have a duty to keep their work sites safe and to ensure those working for them are educated on safety procedures. Despite such measures, workplace accidents still occur frequently throughout the U.S.

Recently, a Comcast employee who was working on cable wiring in Somerville received serious head injuries from a fall. According to authorities, the man fell two stories off of a ladder and hit his head on a retaining wall, requiring hospitalization. Serious head injuries typically take a long time to recover from, and in some cases may cause permanent disability. During his recovery, the man and his family would be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to help with their expenses while he is out of work.

Determining fault in a slip-and-fall accident

Slips and falls are not an uncommon occurrence; according to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the top cause of accidental injury in the U.S., accounting for more injuries than car accidents. Over two million people are injured every year from slipping or tripping on a ground-level surface.

But just how much of the responsibility should rest on the shoulders of the property owner? In some cases, the fault could just as easily point to a careless customer. In this post, we’ll discuss the factors that can help an attorney decide if an injured client may have a case for compensation.

What should you do after a hit-and-run accident?

Dealing with the aftermath of a hit-and-run can be traumatic and confusing, especially if you have been seriously injured. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are becoming increasingly common across the U.S. According to USA Today, fatal hit-and-run accidents, particularly those involving pedestrians, have risen by nearly 14 percent in the past few years. Meanwhile, overall traffic fatalities have been decreasing in comparison.

The following are some important steps you should take if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident:

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