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Massachusetts Personal Injury Law Blog

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

Why wear a motorcycle helmet?

Haverhill residents who are also motorcyclists know just how little protection their bikes would provide them should they get into an accident. Most may be willing to accept this fact in order to enjoy the thrill that comes from riding their motorcycles. Plus, the lack of protection that their bikes provide may be made up for by wearing the appropriate safety gear while riding. Information compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and shared by SaveMoLives.com estimates that over a twelve year study period, motorcycle helmets saved 7,940 riders from death or catastrophic injuries. It goes on to say that had all riders across the country worn helmets during this same time frame, that number would have doubled.

Yet even in the face of these statistics, some question the need for motorcycle helmets. There are those who claim that they’re uncomfortable, that they limit their peripheral vision, or even that the increased strain that they put on the neck actually increases a rider’s risk of injuries should they get into a motorcycle accident. The common answer to that is that over time, one becomes accustomed to riding with a helmet, thus avoiding the aforementioned inconveniences. In the end, the added safety may just prove to be worth putting up with not being able to feel the wind blowing through one’s hair.

Security guards, property owners, and premises liability

Those who take a walk through any sports arena, office building, or entertainment or concert venue in Essex County are likely to see private security guards spread out amongst the crowds. While not typically law enforcement officers, these men and women have been tasked with keeping minor incidents from becoming major problems. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 20,860 people are employed as security guards in Massachusetts.

Unfortunately, the presence of security guards doesn’t necessarily guarantee that accidents won’t occur. In some cases, these accidents may not even necessarily be due to a shortage of security personnel, but rather the actions of the security guards themselves. In any event, if and when people are injured due to the actions or inactions of security guards, the question becomes who is ultimately responsible: the security guards themselves, or the people who employ them.

Assigning liability for intermodal equipment failures

Whenever Lawrence residents come to us here at the offices of Finbury and Sullivan following a truck accident, they typically want to know who is ultimately responsible: the truck driver or the trucking company. The easy answer may seem to be the truck driver, yet that’s assuming that the accident was a direct result of his or her negligence. However, most truck accidents are rarely that simple. In some cases, neither the trucker nor the trucking company may be responsible. In this post, will examine this scenario.

Many of the large trucks that people seen on the road are carrying their cargo in intermodal containers. While most have probably seen these containers, few have probably heard them called by this name. Intermodal containers are the large rectangular or cylindrical steel storage containers one often sees on cargo ships, trains, and (as was mentioned earlier) tractor-trailers. Often, these containers are the property of the freight company, and not the trucker or trucking company.

How do you file a complaint with OSHA?

Most everyone employed in Haverhill no doubt goes to their jobs everyday confident that their employers have done all that they can to make sure that their workplaces are safe. The common assumption when workplace accidents do occur may be that such incidents were due to random events outside of an employer’s control. Yet in some cases, investigations following those accidents reveal that negligence on the part of the employer could have contributed to the outcome.

If you or one of your coworkers is injured at work due to hazards that are preventable, you may feel obligated to ensure that no one else suffers the same fate again. Yet what should you do if your observations and concerns are ignored by your employer? The next step may be to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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