Gaines v. K-Five Constr. Corp. - Truck Safety Must Be Priority for Companies

As federal authorities continue their efforts to bolster the safety of big trucks through the MAP-21 initiative, it's imperative that owners of these vehicles also incorporate leadership on this issue. oldtruck.jpg

Reducing incidents of Boston truck accidents will mean an investment of time, money and commitment on the part of these companies. It's going to mean ensuring that the updated hours of service rules are honored. It's going to take the careful implementation of policies that will guarantee drivers are properly-trained and trucks aren't overloaded. And finally, it means making sure the trucks are in good working order.

Unfortunately, as the case of Gaines v. K-Five Constr. Corp. would suggest, we can't expect that kind of commitment from all truck companies.

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High-End Bicycle Recalls Highlight Risks of Defective Products in Cycling

When looking for a new bicycle, most of us want one that fits our needs. Whether that's our color preference, the size or the way it rides, we all want a bike that will work for us. But how many of us think about safety when purchasing a new bike? We kind of just assume that it's made properly and default free upon purchase.

But often we're wrong.
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Officials with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have recalled a number of bikes in recent weeks. These recalls have been because of faulty brakes, fall hazards and serious injury risks.

Our Boston defective products attorneys understand that consumers were deluged with 2,363 recalls last year, or about 6.5 recalls each day, covering consumer products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food, according to data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Many of these recalls involve expense bikes aimed at serious riders.

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CPSC Strengthens Bedside Sleepers Standards

To help protect our youngest family members, officials with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a new federal standard to make bedside sleepers a whole lot safer.

The standard was passed unanimously, with a 3-0 vote earlier this month.
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When we talk about bedside sleepers, we're talking about bassinet-like products that connect to adult beds. They're the ones that can have a lower side that's adjacent to the full-sized adult mattress. These sleepers are meant to provide infants under the age of 5 months with a safe and comfortable sleeping environment. Typically, parents stop using these devices when the child is able to push up on hands and knees.

Our Boston child injury lawyers understand the new standard is incorporating the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bedside Sleepers, which requires these kinds of sleepers to comply with modifications make under the 16 C.F.R. part 1218 federal standard. Also, the new standard includes new modifications to eliminate entrapment hazards from the fabric-sided enclosed opening and to help to stop consumers from improperly assembling these sleepers when materials are missing.

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Staying Safe After a Winter Car Break Down

Whether your vehicle has mechanical difficulties, you blow a tire, or get stuck in the snow, it is important to stay safe when your car breaks down on the side of the road. Throughout the year, but especially during the winter months, drivers in Boston and nationwide face the potential dangers of a winter break down. In addition to inclement weather, the dangers of hypothermia and frostbite, drivers and their passengers have to stay clear of oncoming traffic and other road hazards. One of the most terrifying events can be a car break down on the interstate--do you know what to do?

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While you have seen driver stranded on the side of the road, have you considered your own action plan in the event of a roadside emergency? Our Boston personal injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and to preventing future injuries. We will investigate accidents or injuries on behalf of our clients and work to recover maximum compensation for victims and their families. In addition to our advocacy, we are committed to raising awareness to prevent future collisions, injury and wrongful death.

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High Chair Head Injuries a Serious Risk to Infants

High chairs are supposed to be safe products that help to keep infants from getting hurt when they are eating. Unfortunately, evidence indicates that there are as many as 9,400 infants who are injured every single year in the United States as a result of an accident in a high chair. According to Fox News, many of the injuries suffered by children in high chairs are brain injuries, which can be very serious and have lifelong affects on a child's cognitive functioning. Studies have also indicated a significant increase in the number of high chair injuries in recent years. vitals-monitor-294066-m.jpg

Boston personal injury lawyers know that high chair injuries can happen because of defects that make it easy for kids to fall when chair restraint systems do not work. Parents need to be aware of the risk of high chair injuries and should supervise kids at all times while in high chairs and check the Consumer Product Safety Commission's list of recalled products to ensure they are using a chair that is safe.

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Pedestrian Killed in Freak Meridian Street Drawbridge Accident

The bridge operator of the Meridian Street drawbridge was reportedly a good employee. At the time of the fatal accident, he had an excellent performance record and was known for following the rules and regulations.
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"I think he did all he thought he could do to make sure it was a safe opening," said Joanne Massaro, commissioner of the city's Public Works Department, which runs the bridge.

Our Boston pedestrian accident attorneys understand that there is a 20-step procedure to make sure that everyone gets through the drawbridge safely. This procedure helps to protect not only passing boats, but also the vehicles and pedestrians passing overhead. When the recent incident happened, the 34-year-old operator allowed a boat to pass on the Chelsea River. A woman from East Boston, who was on the bridge, fell and was crushed to death when the operator lowered it again after hearing her screams. According to witnesses, there were flashing lights and a loud foghorn set off before the bridge began to rise.

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Boston Winter Storm Safety Tips

As temperatures hit record lows nationwide, it is important to remember that winter storms create a host of safety issues. When out on the road, sending your children to the bus stop, or bundling up at home, there are ways that you can prepare for the worst when a winter storm hits. Remember that a winter storm can last for several days and you could face extreme weather conditions, including winds, freezing rain and sleet, an accumulation of snowfall, and dangerously cold temperatures. In addition to listening to the radio and television for winter storm warnings, you can also be prepared in advance to prevent winter storm accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

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Our personal injury attorneys in Boston are aware of the severe risks and injuries related to winter storms. We are committed to raising public awareness to prevent such injuries and to help victims seek necessary medical attention and treatment. In addition to advocating for injured persons and their families, we are abreast of safety issues to help members of our community be prepared in the face of a winter storm.

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Protecting Loved Ones in Boston's Winter Blowout

This week's winter weather has bought inconvenience to many of our lives, to say nothing of the significant risks for weather-related mishaps. According to The Boston Globe, at 10,000 to 18,000 feet high in the atmosphere, strong winds carry weather systems, generally west to east in this part of the world. These belts of wind circle the globe. The highest level winds are known as the jet stream, but the winds at 10,000 feet are very important in moving cold and warm air. Arctic air pushing down from the north is responsible for this week's terrible cold.
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Throughout this weather, many residents throughout the country have lost power, and are feeling the dangerous cold. Many families have turned to generator power to warm up. According to the NBC News, the treacherous conditions have led to at least 13 deaths in the eastern United States. These have resulted from traffic accidents, struck-by accidents and hypothermia. Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that the weather we're experiencing is affecting each and every one of us in one way or another. We're asking you to be safe out there.

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New Tests for Brain Injury Trauma Could Provide Better Solutions for Injured Victims

Our brain injury lawyers recently wrote about hockey player taking legal action against the NCAA. The players allege that the collegiate athletic association should be held responsible for its role in contributing to brain injuries. Brain injuries are a major concern among athletes, but athletes are not the only ones who can suffer trauma to the head that leads to a brain injury. Car accident victims and slip and fall victims are also at risk of injury to the brain that can have a devastating lifelong impact. thinking-out-of-the-box-1-1083010-m.jpg

Brain injuries are damaging to victims for many reasons including the fact that a blow to the head can cause potentially permanent damage to the brain and can increase the risk of dementia and other serious medical conditions. A part of the problem associated with severe brain injury, however, also stems from the fact that it is often difficult to know just how badly the brain was harmed by trauma or what the lasting effects of the trauma will be. The New York Times recently discussed new tests for brain trauma that could create new hope among victims, but that are also being met with skepticism.

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Massachusetts Driving Safety: Resolve to get a Better Night's Rest

Drowsy driving is a major problem on America's roads, with as many as a third of all Americans reporting that they are sleep deprived and not getting sufficient rest. A driver who is dozing off could cause a head-on collision or other accident and is a menace to himself and others on the roads. sleeping-1094329-m.jpg

Our personal injury lawyers encourage you to resolve to get a better night's rest in 2014. Many people depend upon sleeping pills to try to get the rest they need. Unfortunately, new studies indicate that those who take sleeping pills fall asleep just 20 minutes prior to those who do not use these sleep aids. Sleeping pills could also increase the risk of a crash if you are still groggy from the pills on your morning commute. Because of the risks associated with sleeping pills, it may be better to explore other alternatives for making sure you get enough rest so you can stay awake and alert when driving.

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Brain Injury Lawsuit: National Hockey League Players Headed to Court

Over the last two years, the media has widely covered litigation involving NFL injuries and wrongful death involving repeat head injuries over the course of a career. These players have suffered serious and permanent brain injury, resulting in loss of cognition, memory loss, loss of motor skills, and other defects. In some cases, the repeat head injuries have resulted in wrongful death. Now, players from the National Hockey League are following suit. According to Sports Illustrated, 10 former NHL players have entered into a class action lawsuit claiming that the National Hockey League failed in their duties to prevent concussions and long-term damage caused by brain injuries.

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Though lawsuits involving sports injuries can be complicated, plaintiffs who can demonstrate that an individual or entity failed in their duties of care or acted negligently, they may be entitled to significant compensation for their losses. Our Boston brain injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of injury victims. We also are committed to raising awareness about the dangers of brain injury and repetitive brain trauma.

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Toyota Moves Forward in Sudden Acceleration Settlements

In previous posts we have discussed the injuries and deaths involving Toyota's "sudden acceleration" accidents. While Toyota once objected to the notion that the vehicles automatically accelerated and caused accidents, the company has now agreed to move forward in an intensive settlement process on behalf of accident victims and their families. As with most large-scale product liability and defective products cases, the facts can be complicated and involve numerous victims. In this case, the company is likely moving forward to prevent additional public exposure and to prevent an extended trial period for these cases.

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Any car accident case may involve a defective part or product. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident, you should consult an experienced advocate who can investigate your case and uncover the cause of the injuries or fatalities. Our Boston personal injury attorneys are experienced with complex car accident and products liability claims and can effectively protect your rights and interests. We are also dedicated to staying abreast of cases involving multiple injuries and accidents caused by defective products.

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Holiday Season Accident Prevention

For children and adults, the holiday season is exciting but can carry some additional risks. To prevent accidents and injury, it is important to keep in mind some potential dangers that could lead to property damage, personal injury, or fatality. While Christmas and New Year's can inspire a carefree and cheery atmosphere, you should focus on safety first to prevent injury and keep your family away from harm through the holidays.

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Every year, the National Safety Council urges families to stay safe while celebrating through the holiday season. Our Boston personal injury lawyers are dedicated to keeping our communities safe and raising awareness to prevent accidents. Whether you are at home, on the road, in the office, or taking a holiday trip, here are some accident prevention tips to help you stay safe.

Driving hazards. During the holidays, families will be rushing around for last-minute gifts, visiting family, and creating heaving traffic. All of this hustle-and-bustle will be combined with some dangerous driving conditions. Always practice safe driving, be aware of additional risks, and remember that other drivers are under stress. As always, you should keep in mind safety wherever you are. Holiday travel should be limited when road conditions are bad. If you must drive in dangerous conditions, reduce speed and never drink and drive.

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Massachusetts Injury Risks Abound this Holiday Season

It's one of the most joyous times of the year, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. According to officials with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were close to 20,000 emergency room injuries that involved holiday decorating through the months of November and December in 2012.
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This is the fourth year in a row that the number of these injuries has increased. Each year since 2009, there have been roughly 12,000 E.R. visits as a result of injuries from holiday decorations. Stepping on broken ornaments and falling off of ladders may be funny in the movies, but are real dangers in real life. These kinds of accidents happen each and every day in homes across the country. We've also got to be cautious of fires during this time of year. With beautifully-lit Christmas trees and lights and candles to brighten our holiday spirits, we're also facing some serious risks for fire-related accidents.

Our Boston personal injury lawyers note the U.S. sees close to 300 injuries each and every day throughout the holiday season. The most common types of injuries throughout the season involve falls, lacerations and back strains. There are also about 200 fires reported every season, causing about 10 fatalities, 20 injuries and more than $16 million in properly loss. From 2009 to 2011, candle-related fires killed about 70 people, injured another 700 and cost close to $310 million in properly loss.

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Understanding Risks of Carbon Monoxide in Massachusetts Homes

On average, more than 165 people are killed each year as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there are thousands more who end up in hospital emergency rooms from the odorless, colorless gas. This dangerous gas interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels. Kerosene heaters, generators and other winter heat sources are a primary threat.
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Breathed over long periods of time, low concentrations of CO may also contribute to other illness. Luckily, there are a few simple measures that you can take to prevent these problems and injuries. One of the most common of the preventative measures is to install a CO alarm to detect potentially deadly conditions.

Our Stoughton personal injury attorneys know this dangerous gas can come from many devices we have in our homes. They can include fuel-burning devices such as furnaces, gas or kerosene space heaters, boilers, gas cooking stoves, water heaters, clothes dryers, fireplaces, charcoal grills, wood stoves, lawn mowers, power generators, camp stoves, motor vehicles and some power tools with internal combustion engines. Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever).

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