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shutterstock_1274312725-e1622138775946-300x232Hit-and-run accidents present unique challenges for victims and their families. Massachusetts accidents involving a fleeing driver tend to result in serious injuries and, in turn, significant legal consequences. Victims and their families often face visceral anger towards the fleeing driver and the aftermath their reckless negligence caused. The feelings are understandable, as these accidents can leave victims in a precarious financial and medical situation. Those who have suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident should contact a Massachusetts personal injury attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

Under Massachusetts’ hit-and-run statute, drivers who knowingly get into an accident that results in injuries or property damage must provide the other driver with their relevant identifying information. Pertinent information includes the driver’s name, address, and vehicle registration number. The failure to do so may result in significant civil and legal penalties. There are many reasons individuals leave the scene of an accident. In some rare cases, a driver may not realize they were involved in an accident, or they might be frightened of the consequences. However, in the overwhelming majority of instances, the driver leaves because they are engaged in illegal activity, do not have insurance, are under the influence, or have a warrant out for their arrest.

If a driver is identified, their defense attorney will likely purport various defenses to avoid liability. In some cases, a defendant may argue that they were unaware they caused an accident. Further, they may claim it is a case of mistaken identity. These cases are complicated and require plaintiffs to prepare a compelling and legally sound case, especially when the facts and circumstances are unclear. For example, police are investigating a recent New Bedford crash involving a 19-year-old. Officials received a call around 2:30 a.m. reporting a car in the woods near an off-ramp. Emergency responders discovered that the car had struck a metal pole and hit a tree in the woods. Tragically, the driver was ejected from the vehicle and succumbed to his injuries later in the day. Officials are investigating whether another vehicle was involved in the accident.

shutterstock_1753657874-300x204Most drivers and passengers who have driven on a large highway have probably experienced the fear of a fast-moving large truck or tractor-trailer. These instances are especially frightening when traffic is slowing, and a truck is quickly approaching from behind. In some cases, the driver can maneuver their vehicle to get out of the truck’s path. However, despite safe driving techniques, some drivers cannot avoid an accident with a negligent truck driver. These Massachusetts truck accidents tend to result in the most severe injuries and damages.

There many ways that a Massachusetts truck accident can occur. However, the most common types of collisions are jackknife accidents, tire blowouts, unsecured load accidents, underride accidents, and hazmat accidents. These accidents tend to result from distraction, alcohol or drug use, speeding, driver fatigue, unsafe driving and techniques. Although any accident can result in serious damages, these accidents often result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, organ laceration, and death.

For example, recent news reports described a harrowing Massachusetts tractor-trailer accident. Preliminary investigation reports state that as traffic was slowing, the tractor-trailer slammed into the back of the sedan; the sedan then slammed into a van. The driver of the sedan died from his injuries, and the van driver suffered serious injuries. The tractor-trailer driver did not sustain any injuries in the accident. In addition to potential civil charges, the District Attorney announced that their office would be pursuing criminal charges against the tractor-trailer driver.

shutterstock_614637563-300x200Those who travel by car understand that there is a certain level of risk that driving entails, because, despite safe driving habits, motorists cannot control the behavior of other drivers. However, in some cases, drivers can modify and adapt to traffic conditions to ensure their safety or mitigate their harm. In contrast, passengers usually maintain a total lack of control to avoid an accident. Those who suffer injuries as a passenger in a Massachusetts car accident can file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. In some instances recovering compensation is more straightforward for passengers because they usually do not share liability for the accident.

Massachusetts law provides passengers with rights and remedies if they suffer injuries because of another’s negligence. In effect, passengers maintain the same rights as the non-negligent driver, and in some cases, they have additional rights. Generally, a passenger in a car accident may be able to sue the at-fault driver for damages. Further, if the driver of the vehicle the passenger was traveling in was responsible, that driver may be held liable as well. In essence, a passenger can file a lawsuit against any responsible party that contributed to the accident or damages.

Drivers will often claim that the passenger somehow contributed to the accident or their damages. However, in most cases, a passenger cannot be responsible for the driver’s negligent actions. For instance, a driver may claim that they became distracted because the passenger was talking to them. Even if that is the case, responsibly hinges on the driver’s decision to take their attention off the road.

shutterstock_643457788-300x168Hit-and-runs are accidents in which the at-fault party leaves the scene of the incident without providing identifying information or rendering care to the victim. Massachusetts hit-and-run victims often face severe and potentially life-threatening injuries as well as significant expenses. The inherent nature of these accidents leaves victims and their families in a precarious position because the victim may face a long road of recovery with little recourse against the culpable driver.

For example, recently, a local news source reported a Massachusetts hit-and-run accident resulting in a fatality. The police department is asking the public to help identify the driver that hit the pedestrian. Grainy security footage depicts the driver crashing into the pedestrian and fleeing the scene of the accident. The 54-year-old pedestrian was taken to a local hospital but has since tragically succumbed to his injuries.

Hit-and-run accidents are more complicated than typical collisions because victims often need to undergo significant medical procedures and extended rehabilitation. Insurance coverage rarely meets the treatment costs that victims accrue. Many victims decline appropriate treatment because they cannot afford these expenses.

shutterstock_738975676-scaledSpeeding is one of the most common causes of Massachusetts car accidents. Speeding occurs when a motorist drives over the posted speed limit or drives too fast for the weather or road conditions. Massachusetts speeding collisions often result in serious and potentially fatal injuries due to the significant forces involved went the cars collide. The faster a car is traveling, the more force it creates upon impact. Additionally, speeding drivers have less time to prevent a crash when they are traveling at accelerated rates.

For instance, recently, a Boston news source reported that the District Attorney identified the teen who died in a speeding accident. When officers arrived at the accident scene, they discovered a mangled car wrapped around a pole. Emergency personnel transported a young girl to a local hospital, and an 18-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle was split in two, and the utility pole cracked, causing a power disruption for several hours. Given the vehicle’s state, local mechanics estimated that the car was likely traveling over 100mph at the time of the accident. Local residents explained that despite the stoplights, people often speed down the stretch of roadway where the accident occurred.

There are many reasons drivers speed; however, these individuals should be held liable for their actions despite the reasons. Drivers often speed because they do not pay attention to posted speed limits or are otherwise distracted. Further, drivers may speed when they are engaged in road rage or emotional situations. Drivers also speed when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Construction sites are inherently dangerous places that pose significant dangers to construction workers and those in the vicinity. Although many health and safety protocols are in place, many people suffer severe injuries and even death related to Massachusetts construction site accidents. Massachusetts workers’ compensation system limits recovery for employees who suffer injuries at a construction site. However, in many situations, the dangerous condition or circumstances surrounding the accident involve the negligence of an outside party. Construction workers and others who suffer injuries at a construction site should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies after an accident.

Construction is a critical component of the economic and societal growth of an area. As such, those who engage in this crucial industry should receive protection and compensation after an accident. Many construction site injuries result from electrocution, falls, blunt force trauma, burns and exposure to various worksite toxins.

For instance, a national news report recently described a devastating Boston construction site accident. Police responded to a call alerting them to a motor vehicle accident. When they arrived, they discovered that a dump truck hit two people, causing them to fall into a trench. Unfortunately, both individuals were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

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Construction sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces in Massachusetts. There are countless dangerous situations in on a construction project. Not only workers are in danger, individuals walking, or even driving by the worksite can be injured as well. Accidents happen all too often.

Construction site injuries are often serious and sometimes fatal. Negligent operation of heavy equipment, falls, or electrocution are just a few life-threatening events that happen on construction sites. Even a small hand tool falling from height can change someone’s life forever with loss of life, loss of limb, or other permanent disability. The impact of a serious injury extends well beyond the worker to their family and dependents.

If you have been injured, you should promptly report the injury to your supervisor, or if you are a self-employed contractor, the general contractor or landowner. Interviewing witnesses in the immediate aftermath when their memory is fresh may be critical to a legal case–experienced attorneys are trained to ask the most important questions in these situations. It is also imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Delay in medical attention is often used against the injured party at a later date, claiming the injury is faked or not severe. Additionally, the accident should be reported to the appropriate governmental authorities. However, interactions with entities like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, should be handled with care. Legal counsel can help you navigate these meetings.

michael-jin-ipHlSSaC3vk-unsplash-300x200Auto accidents can devastate lives. A collision can lead to death or life altering injuries in the blink of an eye. What happens if the person who has changed your life forever does not have insurance? What if they speed away without a word while you are incapacitated? What if you’ve been severely injured and they have minimum insurance coverage?, Fortunately, there are insurance policies designed for these events.

In Massachusetts, insurers offer two types of coverage options to provide individuals injured in auto accidents a means of recovery when the driver causing the accident is unavailable, uninsured, or underinsured. Ensuring you have enough coverage under both types of policies is imperative to protect you in the event of an accident involving one of these types of drivers.

Uninsured Motorist insurance, referred to as ‘UM’ coverage, is mandatory under Massachusetts General Law c.90, s.34A-34R regarding Compulsory Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance. If you are injured by a driver that does not carry insurance, which is against the law, your UM coverage will provide you benefits for bodily injury. Similarly, if after an accident, the responsible party drives off before being identified, the UM coverage stands in the shoes of the absent party, paying claims for bodily injuries.

prodcuts-200x300When deciding what product to purchase, the average consumer considers price, effectiveness, or even the product’s branding. The inquiry rarely extends to whether using the product as instructed will cause bodily harm. Typically, using a consumer good, whether it’s a pressure cooker or a jack stand, will not result in injury, but when it does, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit.

Massachusetts is a strict liability state. You do not have to prove a manufacturer acted negligently in order to successfully sue it for an injury. A plaintiff does not need to prove the company sued is sloppy or careless. The plaintiff must only show that the product caused an injury when used in the manner for which it was intended.

Although a plaintiff does not need to prove negligence, the claim will need to fall under one of several established product liability categories. The three main types of product liability claims are (1) manufacturing defects, (2) design defects, and (3) failure to warn.

Soldier-200x300On July 28, 2020, a Florida federal court ruling breached the central defense against claims certain military earplugs were defective, damaging the ear and causing hearing loss. The lawsuits claim the earplugs were improperly designed, and did not completely block loud noises common to the military, such as gunfire and or the operation of heavy machinery or vehicles. Neumann Law Group has previously written about the earplug litigation, and you can read that article here.

The defendant, 3M, attempted to invoke the ‘government contractor defense,” a doctrine that would relieve it of any liability even if it were proven to have produced and sold a defective product to the military. The Supreme Court articulated the government contractor defense in Boyle v. United Technologies Corporation, 487 US 500 (1988), which involved a wrongful death complaint made against a company that produced military helicopters—the plaintiff alleged the escape system in the helicopter was poorly designed, causing the death of a pilot.

The jury in Boyle found that the manufacturer was in fact negligent when it designed the helicopter, but the Supreme Court would eventually uphold an appellate reversal of the verdict. It outlined the strong federal interest in military equipment and concluded those interests outweighed any state law claims, but only when the federal government gave reasonably precise specifications for the equipment, the equipment conformed to the specifications, and the supplier warned the federal government of the danger involved in using the equipment to the best of its knowledge.

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