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Massachusetts Personal Injury Law Blog

Dozens of people injured during icy weather in Massachusetts

With the winter weather setting in, Massachusetts residents face an increased risk of accidents due to wet and icy conditions. These include slip-and-fall accidents as well as car accidents. Parking lots, sidewalks and store entrances are areas that frequently accumulate ice. This can result in a slippery surface that’s particularly dangerous in the early morning hours.

A storm that rolled in on December 10 resulted in numerous schools throughout western Massachusetts being delayed or closed because of the dangerous icy conditions. In fact, area hospitals and fire departments took care of more than a hundred people who had suffered accidents as a result of the weather. Some people were injured in car crashes, although the majority were hurt in slip-and-fall accidents.

Do I qualify for workers' compensation?

If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness in Massachusetts, one of the biggest concerns you may have is whether you qualify for workers’ compensation. According to The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, most employers in the state must provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees to cover their medical treatment and other expenses after being injured at work. Your line of work will determine whether your employer is required to provide this coverage. For example, if you work in a domestic service job you are not eligible for workers’ compensation if you work fewer than 16 hours per week.

To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to prove that your injury occurred while on the job. If, for instance, you were struck by a falling object while working on a construction site and sustained a brain injury, this would qualify for workers’ compensation. If you were in a car accident while off the job site, but had been running a work-related errand for your employer, it could also count as an on-the-job accident.

Injured employees have right to workers’ compensation in Massachusetts

Many industries, such as construction, truck driving and agricultural work, are known for their high accident rates. Workers in these high-risk positions are regularly hurt on the job. However, any Massachusetts employee can receive a job-related injury or illness regardless of the job he or she does. For example, repetitive stress injuries are common for office employees. Food servers or retail workers may be injured in a slip-and-fall accident. Employees can become ill by long-term exposure to asbestos or harmful chemicals that are prevalent in the workplace.

Employees in Massachusetts are protected by laws that allow them to receive compensation for a workplace injury or illness. According to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, every employer in the state must provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees. This is to ensure that a worker receives necessary medical care after being injured at work. Workers’ compensation may also pay for lost wages after an employee is fully or partially disabled from a work injury. Additionally, the insurer is responsible for legal fees if the employee wins in a workers’ compensation dispute.

Motorcycle collision proves fatal for Agawam man

Enjoying a motorcycle ride through Essex can be quite a thrill. Such a ride does not come without its risks, however. Due to the lack or protection that a motorcycle provides in a collision, motorcyclists will often emerge from accidents involving other vehicles in far worse condition than the motorists involved. Thus, it becomes imperative that motorcycle riders do all that they can to avoid collisions. Yet the responsibility for accident avoidance doesn’t fall solely on their shoulders; motorists must also be mindful of those on the roads around them. A failure to do so will often produce catastrophic results.

Such was the outcome of a recent motorcycle accident in Agawam. According to reports, a car traveling westbound along a city street in the early evening collided with a motorcyclist while attempting to make a left turn. Law enforcement officials are still investigating the accident to determine who was at fault. The motorcyclist was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died from injuries sustained in the crash. The condition of the car driver was not reported. 

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.

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