Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog
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The trucking industry as a whole has gotten very savvy with the way in which it has structured operations in order to limit liability.
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By hiring independently-contracted drivers, they seek to reduce the chance of a vicarious liability claim for employee negligence. By having separate firms owning the tractors and the trailers, they attempt to shield themselves under the Graves Amendment — federal law written to protect rental car companies from renters’ negligence but which truck companies have used to their advantage.

Despite a powerful trucking lobby that actively seeks to erode public safety protections and limit liability, there are still several key laws that hold trucking firms accountable in these instances.
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When we first leave our kids at daycare or with an after school childcare program, it is sometimes an emotional experience. Whether it is the first time the child has been away from his parents, or at high school sports program, we are worried something bad could happen. While these concerns are completely normal for any parent to have, we generally assume he or she will come home safe at the end of the day.

to-gym-536402-m.jpgUnfortunately for one family, this was not the case. According to a recent news feature from North Jersey.com, a child’s life was forever changed when he was only six years old. His mother says she had her son in an after school program when a serious accident occurred. The young victim was sitting on the floor working on a puzzle when a collapsed cafeteria table fell on him. The table was folded up along the floor and was supposed to be secured, but it was not. When the table hit the young victim it fractured his femur and skull.

While he eventually made a full physical recovery, the victim, who is autistic, now fixates on accidents and must visit the place where he was injured almost every day after school. This accident occurred eight years ago, and her son is still affected by what happened. His mother learned another young boy had recently died in similar accident at another school, and she could hardly believe this happened again.
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After all the snow were are getting in the Greater Boston Area this winter, many families are buying or making a sled and heading to a local hill to have some fun. However, according to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, parents should be putting a helmet on their children before sending them down the hill.

boy-on-the-sledge-5-1134783-m.jpgWhile parents often make sure to bundle their kids up so much they can barely move their arms, a helmet is rarely considered when sending a child out sledding. While years ago it was perfectly acceptable to send your child down the ski slopes without a helmet, these days it is rare to see a child not wearing a ski helmet. In sledding, however, helmets are a rarely worn, and this is troubling because a person on a sled is traveling at high rate of speed, often around trees or cars, and has far less control than he or she would on skis or a snowboard. As the article points outs, bike helmets have also gone from hardly seen to absolutely necessary safety equipment for both child and adult riders.
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While predictions for the next “Storm of the Century” have proven wrong in much of the county, over the past two weeks Massachusetts has been slammed with heavy snowfall. With heavy snowfall comes the responsibility to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, streets, and parking lots. While many homeowners and store owners are good about making sure their property is safe for pedestrians, some are not.

icewalk.jpgIf you are on someone else’s property and suffer a fall as a result of snow or ice that has not been properly cleared, you have a case if you are seriously injured. Falls on snow or ice can lead to broken bones, nerve damage, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other serious health conditions.
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A Bobcat is a compact tractor commonly used by homeowners with significant acreage and during smaller scale construction projects. They can be fitted with a variety of attachments to dig holes, hammer through concrete, move dirt and shovel snow. With all of the snow storms hitting our area this winter, people are using Bobcats and other similar machines to clear driveways and plow streets across the Commonwealth.

snow-emergency-route-576083-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from the Boston Herald, a 12-year-old Pepperell boy was seriously injured when hit by his family’s Bobcat. Witnesses say victim’s juvenile brother was operating the machine to clear snow after a recent storm. The victim was walking behind the Bobcat when he slipped on an icy path left by its tracks. The young operator did not see his brother had fallen behind him and backed over his brother.
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According to a recent news article from NECN, a twenty-year-veteran MBTA inspector allegedly crashed a company vehicle into a bus operated by the T, and then was allowed to the leave the scene of the accident without submitting to drug or chemical testing as required by United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and Massachusetts law.

tram-car-in-san-francisco-1188963-m.jpgAuthorities say T bus was waiting at crosswalk for a pedestrian to walk across the street when inspector rear-ended bus with his T owned vehicle. Police were called to the scene, as were T supervisors. At this point, it is required T inspector be taken to a testing laboratory certified by the Office of Drug and Alcohol Testing for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and submit to drug and alcohol testing. This normally involves blowing into a breath-testing instrument, and providing a urine sample for chemical testing at a state-approved testing facility.

For reasons not entirely clear, inspector was allowed to leave the scene of the accident without submitting for testing. Authorities later found inspector at his friend’s house and took him for testing. This was at around 4 p.m. and accident had occurred at around 9:30 in the morning. The concern is any alcohol, which may have been in his system, could have been excreted by the time he was eventually tested. It should be noted no reports have suggested any evidence he was actually under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or drugs at time of the T accident.
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Skiing is a very popular winter sport, especially in New England. While skiing can be a lot of fun, accidents can occur. Many of the accidents are what one might consider normal skiing accidents such as falling when getting off a chairlift and breaking a bone or staining a muscle.

sunpeaks-1-1307370-m.jpgEveryone who goes skiing should know there are risks associated with the sport. However, some skiing accidents, while they don’t occur frequently, are much more serious and can result in death of a skier.

According to recent news article from the Lowell Sun, a 13-year-old boy was killed at ski resort in Massachusetts. Authorities say young victim had died when he hit a tree in what appears to be this particular ski resort’s first fatal accident in its operational history.
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Every winter in Massachusetts and throughout New England, people head outdoors and look for fun family activities to do in the cold snowy weather. One of the more popular winter activities is riding a snowmobile.

snow-mobile-at-sefsen-sweden-1-596152-m.jpgWhile some are lucky enough to own a snowmobile, many choose instead to rent one for the day. Snowmobiling can be a lot of fun and excitement, but it can also be very dangerous. According to a recent news article from the Union Leader, a New Hampshire man was seriously injured in a snowmobile accident, and is said to be in a life-threatening condition at a local hospital.

Witnesses say the crash occurred early Tuesday morning on a local pond. The 53-year-old victim was a passenger on a snowmobile being operated by someone else around 3 a.m. Driver crashed into a rock, which was partially exposed from icy surface of the pond. The snowmobile flipped over when it hit the rock throwing female operator and victim off the machine. Victim then crashed into more exposed rocks after being thrown from snowmobile. It should be noted neither victim nor driver were wearing a helmet at the time of this serious accident.
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In Hyundai Motor Co. v. Duncan, plaintiff suffered a serious closed-head injury when he lost control of his car. After losing control of the car, he left the road, hit two snow banks, crashed into a large hay bale and ultimately hit a tree on the driver’s side of the car. His vehicle was equipped with a side airbag, but it did not deploy during this accident.

airbag-control-743960-m.jpgFollowing his injury, conservators of victim filed civil lawsuit in victim’s name. Defendant was car manufacturer who produced the car. Claims were initially made for negligence, failure of the implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, breach of express warranty, and failure to warn. Boston personal injury attorneys may also have the ability to seek triple damages in a defective products claim pursuant to Chapter 93A of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.

The case proceeded to trial, and plaintiff pursued only the claims for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and unreasonable dangerous design. Plaintiff argued if the airbag sensor had been put in a different place, it would have deployed and prevented claimant from being seriously injured in the crash.
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Martin v. Dematic, a wrongful death case from Supreme Court of Washington, involved plaintiff who was killed by a machine at a paper plant. Decedent’s wife filed a wrongful death and survival action in civil court naming several defendants. One defendant was the company that installed the tissue-making machine that killed decedent.

piles-of-paper-3-834457-m.jpgTwo weeks later, defendant filed a response in which it demanded indemnification from another company. This company had actually installed the tissue-making machine and, under the stock tender agreement, was still liable for any actions resulting from negligence occurring prior to 1996. This machine had been installed in 1980, so defendant claimed this company was actually responsible for any damages to plaintiff.
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