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download-3-3With the continuing proliferation of mobile devices, distracted driving is quickly becoming the most common form of reckless and inattentive driving that we encounter on a daily basis.  Many people do not realize just how distracted they are when they choose to look down at the phone while driving on a street or highway. Did you know that taking your eyes off the road while driving 55 miles per hour, for even one sec means that you will have missed traveling the length of a football field?  A typical text messages takes up to five seconds to send. If a child runs out into the road or a car in front of you suddenly brakes that means you are probably going to be involved in a car accident at high speed, with no time to react or avoid the collision.  That should be a scary thought for anyone.

Evaluating The Risks

It is important for all drivers to keep a cell phone out of their hands while operating a motor vehicle. The latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015. More than 40,000 people were killed in car accidents last year. There is no doubt that distracted driving contributed heavily to many of the fatalities experienced across our nation.

download-3-2Self-driving cars are on the rise across Boston. Just this past week, it was announced that the self-driving car company nuTonomy had received permission to test self-driving cars throughout our city.  With this news, it appears that the self-driving car revolution is not slowing down any time soon. Typically two issues arise when it comes to self-driving cars: Are they actually safer, and who is liable if a self-driving car crashes?

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Administration released a 6-level classification system for autonomous cars. Level 0, the lowest level, means the automated system may issue warnings to the driver, but the driver is completely in control of the vehicle. Level 5, the highest level, means that no human interaction is required – the vehicle completely drives itself.

At a level lower than 3, the level at which a driver can safely focus their attention on tasks other than driving, a driver must remain in control of the vehicle and its movements.  Therefore, if an accident occurs in a Level 3 vehicle, the driver is accountable for their negligence. At level 2, it is required that a driver keep their hands on the wheel and be able to take action if the car begins to go out of control.

download-2-2Premises liability accidents can present a host of complicated legal issues.  We have all likely experienced or witnessed a slip and fall at a store or else we know someone that has.  Everyone has gone shopping at one point in their lives and seen a sign which warns them of a wet floor or some other slipping hazard.

Slip and fall accidents come within an area of law known as premises liability.  Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of the owner or person in control of a piece of property to maintain the property in a safe condition for lawful visitors.  When an owner fails to uphold this duty and a visitor is injured, the owner can be legally responsible under a premises liability theory.

Negligence in Premises Liability Cases

download-1-3-300x168With the sharing economy on the rise in recent years, ride-sharing companies are becoming equally as popular across Boston and other large areas.  Companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have become prolific over the past few years as alternative to a traditional taxi service. With their rise in popularity, problems are constantly arising with regard to liability for accidents.

Many individuals are using ride sharing companies on a frequent basis. However, many of those people are unsure about what to do if they are involved in an accident in an Uber or Lyft. With the influx of users and consumers, more problems are becoming apparent with these companies. One problem that has yet to be solved is the legal responsibility for damages when a ride sharing crash occurs. Ride sharing companies have established some rules for responsibility but the area still remains confusing and unresolved in many instances.

A driver for one of these ride sharing services will have his or her own personal insurance. The ridesharing company may also have supplemental insurance to cover crashes. If the driver is in an accident and the rider is injured, the plaintiff can have a difficult time collecting on his or her injuries.

17123248749_877f17713f_b-300x173In Massachusetts, drivers frequently choose to take irresponsible risk by not purchasing automobile insurance or simply purchasing coverage that has only minimal coverage in case of an accident. By law, all drivers are required to have insurance.  However, car insurance can be expensive and many feel as though they can save money by purchasing only minimum coverage or buying no coverage at all.  However, if you are in a wreck you quickly become aware of how important it is to have good insurance coverage.  For that reason, it is crucial to protect yourself by making sure you have sufficient automobile insurance coverage.

Drivers can protect themselves from uninsured or underinsured drivers by purchasing uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage as part of their own insurance policies. In Massachusetts, UM coverage is required while UIM coverage is optional.  In many situations, these two coverages are purchased together by drivers as an addendum to their regular policy.

UM coverage is especially helpful in situations of hit-and-run accidents. Many times, in a hit-and-run, the responsible driver is never located and the injured victim must turn to their own policy for recovery.  In these cases, UM coverage is invaluable.  UM coverage pays damages for bodily injury to people injured or killed in certain accidents caused by uninsured or hit-and-run drivers. Massachusetts law requires you to carry UM coverage of at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.  However, in most cases you will want to elect a much higher coverage limit as medical bills alone can easily exceed these totals in a serious car crash.   It is not unusual to find UM policies with $150,000 to $200,000 of coverage.

Alleged Drunk Driver Arrested in Three-Car Crash that Killed a 63-Year-OldOUI has become a serious problem in recent years across our state.  A 2012 study conducted by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System revealed that there 1,370 people killed in Massachusetts OUI crashes in a 9 year period from 2003 through 2012.  Of course, during that time the number of non-fatal OUI crashes experienced in the state would have been much greater.

OUI crashes tend to involve more serious and catastrophic injuries than other types of crashes.  One reason for this is that these accidents usually happen due to a complete loss of vehicle control by the impaired driver.  Whether because of drugs or alcohol, impairment means that the driver’s mental and physical capability are slowed considerably which also reduces critical factors such as reaction time, ability to perceive objects in the roadway and the ability to make judgments on matters such as depth perception and proper distance between vehicles.  When a driver loses control of these faculties, they lose control of a 2,000 pound piece of metal that can quickly become a deadly weapon.

In Massachusetts, it is illegal drive with a blood alcohol concentration of more than .08%.  It is also illegal to drive with any amount of a controlled substance such as a prescription medication or an illegal drug that impairs the ability to drive.  In drug and controlled substances cases, the opinion of the officer as to a driver’s impairment is critical.

download-4A single-vehicle accident can be every bit as serious as a crash involving multiple cars.  Some people think that single vehicle accidents mean that the driver is always at fault and that there is nothing they can to recover for their injuries, including pain and suffering, medical bills and missed time from work.   That is simply not true.

Many factors beyond the control of the driver can lead to single vehicle collisions,including poor weather conditions, road conditions, and defects in your vehicle either from the manufacturer or from a negligent repair by a mechanic.  Any of these problems may have caused your accident and injuries. At The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, our Boston accident attorneys have helped many clients recover for their injuries sustained in single-vehicle accidents and can help you as well.

Single vehicle accidents are more common than you may think. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveal that approximately 55 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2016 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. In many states, that number climbs to over 60 perecent. Some common examples of such accidents include but are not limited to: running off the road, debris in the roadway, a dangerous object left in the road, poor road repairs and evasive maneuvers to avoid crashes with another driver.

When a loved one dies, more often than not they are survived by dependents who, in addition to having to deal with the emotional loss, also have to deal with the resulting financial hardships.  

In situations where the deceased would have had grounds for a personal injury claim had they survived their injuries, surviving loved ones may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.

Under Massachusetts law, for example, an individual or organization can be held liable for wrongful death if they cause a fatal accident by:

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January 2017 to March 1, 2018, saw an 11 year high in occupational death for the state of Massachusetts as more and more residents were injured and killed while on the job. According to a new report, construction work remains the most dangerous field, one that accounts for 33% of all job-related deaths. Transportation-related deaths continue to be a large contributor to death rates within the state and a majority of those correlate with seatbelt misuse.

 

While the death toll cannot be marginalized, these numbers are dwarfed by the number of non-fatal injuries and illnesses which reached more than 79,800 recordable incidents.

 

Have you been injured on the job? At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, we are here to help you receive the care and compensation you deserve.

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Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a building material made of mineral fibers. It is a strong, affordable, and fire-retardant material, making it ideal for use in insulation, ceilings, tiles, and many other products used in construction.

Unfortunately, chronic exposure to asbestos is highly toxic. This fact was unknown for many years, partly due to the fact that a good deal of time must pass before an exposed person becomes ill.

This time lag between exposure and illness also complicates matters from a legal perspective.