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Massachusetts Personal Injury Law Blog

How are criminal activity and premises liability related?

When something like theft or vandalism occurs in Essex, Massachusetts, authorities work hard to determine who committed the crime. There are instances, however, where liability for criminal activity can fall not only on perpetrating parties but also on property owners and/or managers. If you or a loved one were the victim of a crime, it is important to understand when and how premises liability may apply to your case.

The National Institute of Justice discusses the complex relationship between criminal law and premises liability tort, and explains that the two are becoming increasingly interconnected. Victims of crime in several high-profile cases have successfully held property owners and managers liable for their injuries and losses, setting precedents for other cases. While common law guidelines traditionally functioned on the assumption that one person cannot be held liable for the wrongdoing of a third party, civil tort law has evolved to recognize property owners’ obligation to ensure that their premises for reasonably safe for guests.

Motorcycle accident causes and risk factors

Most motorcycle riders accept the fact that they are more vulnerable to sustaining injuries than other motorists. After all, motorcycles provide little in the way of padding or safety devices in the event of being involved in a collision. That is why it is up to motorcycle riders to be proactive about understanding not only how accidents happen, but also what they can do to help prevent becoming an injury victim.

According to Rider Groups, there are three primary causes of motorcycle collisions. Vehicle failure and/or malfunction are attributed to causing a small percentage of motorcycle collisions every year. Issues like poor motorcycle maintenance and part defects can contribute to dangerous conditions for motorcycle riders, so they are encouraged to perform all necessary repairs and maintenance on their bikes before taking to the road. There are other factors that play a significant role in accident rates as well.

What to do in the case of a large truck accident

Some people have a fear of sharing with road with large trucks. This may be because the size and weight of large trucks make any accident involving one potentially lethal. If you or your loved ones have sustained injuries in a truck accident, we at Finbury & Sullivan understand that you want the responsible parties to be held accountable.

Fortunately, big rigs are held to very strict inspection standards. This is because manufacturers and employers are aware of the amount of damage they might do to other cars on the road if there is a malfunction or an accident. Many different logs are kept on file, such as maintenance logs and driver logs. These logs can be inspected after your accident and examined for possible clues as to why the collision occurred. It may also help determine which party was responsible for the accident. Different causes can include negligent driving on the part of the truck driver, poor management or maintenance of the vehicle, or even manufacturing errors.

Workers’ compensation survivors’ benefits in Massachusetts

At Finbury and Sullivan, we understand how difficult it is to cope with the loss of a loved one. If a family member dies as the result of a workplace accident, we can help the deceased’s surviving relatives seek workers’ compensation benefits. This may provide these families with the financial relief they need to move on with their lives.

Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers an explanation of survivors’ benefits, which are also known as death benefits. As these names imply, this type of compensation is provided to a deceased worker’s family members.

Creating a monetary cushion after your workplace accident

If you have been denied a claim by your insurance, you may find yourself in a bind. You may be wondering where to go from that point or what options are even available to you. At Finbury & Sullivan, we understand that you would like to see justice when you take your claims to court. We will do what we can to help you along the way.

If you were involved in an accident at the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. This is especially true if you were severely injured. You may have needed to take time off of work in order to recover. You may have also needed surgery, medicine, or other types of medical treatment. Combined, these all cost a large sum of money. If you have been on leave in addition to that, your bills can stack up quickly and become overwhelming.

Car accident victims often suffer persisting pain

In assessing the damage caused by car accidents, most Massachusetts residents probably do not take into account that they may have suffered whiplash. This pain may require car accident victims to undergo extensive treatments. In addition, those with severe whiplash disorders may not be able to work. The combination of these can result in a serious decline in the quality of life for these victims.

As explained by the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a type of neck injury. It is often the result of rear-end car crashes. The usual recovery time for whiplash patients is a few months. However, some continue to have persistent neck pain for much longer than this.

Looking at the limitations of workers’ compensation coverage

Every year, we here at the offices of Finbury and Sullivan see countless clients who’ve been injured in work-related accidents in Essex County. They, like many people, often assume that all of their expenses will be paid by workers’ compensation insurance, no matter the circumstances of their accidents. Yet they, again like many others, are often disappointed to discover that there are indeed limitations to this coverage. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at which accident expenses may or may not fall under workers’ compensation.

Most are shocked to learn just how much is paid in workers’ compensation benefits. The Office or Workers’ Compensation Programs reports that in this current year, over $73.7 million has already been paid for workers’ compensation claims. These funds are meant to cover those expenses directly related to returning an injured employee to being able to either return to work or at least support him or herself. Such expenses include:

  •          Medical bills
  •          Rehabilitation costs
  •          Disability payments
  •          Career retraining (if needed)

How can sudden-stop motorcycle collisions be avoided?

While there’s no doubt a certain thrill that only comes from riding a motorcycle, Georgetown motorcyclists should also understand the increased risks that they face from this activity. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 80 percent of cases involving a motorcycle accident end with either an injury or a fatality. Thus, if you choose to travel on motorcycle, accident avoidance should always be at the forefront of your mind. After all, your first motorcycle accident could very well end up being your last.

Among the more common type of motorcycle accidents are sudden-stop collisions. These occur when the vehicle traveling directly in front of the motorcyclist abruptly stops for an unexpected reason. When this happens between two cars, the result is often a simple rear-end collision that may result in few damages and little to no injuries. However, when a motorcycle is involved, the momentum of the motorcyclist going forward will often continue once he or she is stopped, throwing him or her onto the ground or into the stopped vehicle.

The dangers posed by speeding semi trucks

A common complaint that Lawrence drivers may have regarding the commercial trucks and big rigs that they share the road with is that not only do these massive vehicles take up a lot of space, but they’re also slow. For safety reasons, semi truck drivers are strongly encouraged to watch their speeds. However, the demands of meeting strict delivery schedules and the perceived need to travel as many miles per day as possible can often lead drivers to exceed safe highway speeds.

The danger posed by speeding trucks is that the sheer size of these vehicles makes them much more difficult to maneuver and stop on the road. Stopping distance takes into account three factors:

  •          Perception distance
  •          Reaction distance
  •          Breaking distance

Reviewing the rules for adequate lighting

Here at the offices of Finbury and Sullivan, we’ve seen a number of clients come through our doors suffering from the effects of a slip-and-fall accident. Most are surprised at just how easily these can occur, particularly when an element of neglect on behalf of a property owner may have been involved. Sometimes, something as simple as poor lighting can create the ideal conditions for a potentially serious accident. In this post, we’ll examine what the guidelines are that spell out the responsibility that people have to keep their properties well lighted in Massachusetts.

Most would likely assume that there are strict regulations in place that spell out the liability that commercial property owners have to provide good lighting in their buildings and parking lots. Yet what about the responsibilities of residential property owners? Title 105 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations Section 410 spell out the minimum standards residential property owners must meet in order for homes and apartments be deemed fit for human habitation. Subsections 250-254 set the expectation for the minimum number of outlets and fixtures required in each room in order to avoid an accusation of inadequate lighting. They are:

  •          Kitchens: One light fixture, two wall outlets
  •          Bathrooms: One light fixture
  •          Habitable rooms: Two wall outlets, or one outlet and one light fixture
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