Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

The Dangers of Falling Snow and Ice

As the weather gets colder in New England, many people are already carrying out winterization measures to protect their homes and businesses. Road salt purchased, shovels dug out of garages, and tires swapped out. All this attention paid—and rightfully so—to the hazards of traveling on foot or by car through a winter wonderland. However, paying attention to snow on the ground should not come at the expense of preparing for snow on roofs and eaves, which poses an entirely different set of risks to guests, neighbors, customers, and all pedestrians.

While slip-and-fall, or slip-and-crash, accidents immediately come to mind as common winter hazards, falling ice and snow from roofs can also cause serious injury to the unsuspecting traveler. Serious head, neck and back injuries, including severe concussions, can result from a snowpack sliding off a steep roof and onto an unlucky passerby. Along with the possibility of a concussion and neck injuries, if the passerby is knocked off his or her feet, there might also be injuries typical of a slip-and-fall accident.

If a sliding snowpack is heavy enough, or includes a hefty chunk of ice, it may very well knock the person unconscious or cause deep lacerations. Even a small amount of falling snow and ice from a sign, building ledge, or scaffolding can cause serious bodily damage and long term injury.

In general, the responsibility for keeping roofs reasonably clear, or marking off potential “falling ice” areas as a warning to pedestrians, falls to the party also responsible for clearing walkways and driveways of snow. Homeowners bear full responsibility and liability, as do people renting houses or other single-family options. For triple-deckers and larger multi-family units, the responsibility falls to the landlord. The same general principles apply to a business—a freestanding business takes responsibility for property maintenance, while one inside a strip mall or shopping center passes that responsibility onto the property owner or manager.

Unfortunately, not all business owners or landlords take care of this winter maintenance task. As a result, pedestrians, tenants, and customers are unknowingly put at risk, with serious injuries resulting. In a worst-case scenario, a landlord or business owner’s refusal to remove snow and ice from above can lead to long term injuries and even death.

If you have been injured by falling ice as the result of someone else’s negligence, call our office today to discuss your case and learn your options.

Joyce, Vigliotti And Gambaccini Named Super Lawyers For 2019

The Worcester, Massachusetts law firm of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. announces that three of its attorneys, Austin Joyce, John Vigliotti and Andrew Gambaccini, have been selected as Super Lawyers for 2019 by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Austin Joyce, the firm’s senior attorney, has been practicing law since 1979.

John Vigliotti receives the award for the fifth time, one for each year he has been eligible. Prior to being named a Super Lawyer, Vigliotti twice was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Andrew Gambaccini receives the honor for the third time in his third year of eligibility. Previously, Gambaccini was named a Rising Star in eight years by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in Massachusetts are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

Know The Legal Steps To Take After A Wrongful Death Caused By An Auto Accident

Struggling with the loss of a loved one is never easy. Figuring out the legal steps when dealing with a wrongful death due to an auto accident is difficult, which is why we’re here to help ease this troubling time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more than 32,367 fatalities annually as a result of car crashes. Such collisions often result from the negligence of another person.

Many drivers falsely believe that car accidents are always “accidental” and are something unfortunate that just happens. From the carelessness of another driver, the negligence of a company that has hired the driver, or the negligence of the company that manufactured the vehicle or its parts, there are many reasons leading to fatal auto accidents.

Who Is At Fault

The first step is to determine who is at fault. This can be a difficult and complex process. Massachusetts has a rule of law called joint and several liability. This means that you can sue multiple parties to recover damages. When multiple people are at fault for a wrongful death claim in Massachusetts, you can recover 100% of your damages against one or all of those defendants.

As a defendant of a wrongful death claim, you could be paying more than your proportionate share of the damages under Massachusetts law. This means it’s the defendant’s responsibility to pursue other defendants for reimbursement.

Determining Damages

When assessing damages in a wrongful death case, you’re entitled to a broader range of damages than in your standard personal injury case.

When a person is hospitalized following the accident, this is considered a period of pain and suffering, and it can be included as part of the damages. A forensic accountant can determine the loss of future earning capacity. Other damages that you may recover include funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.

When To Get Legal Advice

It’s important to talk with an attorney immediately after the incident or the loss of a loved one. Gathering information on what happened and how it happened, as well as having the documents available to calculate recoverable damages, can be a lengthy process. Additionally, experts may be needed to quantify and calculate damages.

Seeking legal advice may not be a top priority when grieving the loss of a loved one. However, the sooner that your attorneys can get involved, the sooner they can determine and assess the damages to present to the at-fault party.

If you or a loved one has experienced a wrongful death caused by an auto accident, our office is well-equipped to help you handle your Massachusetts wrongful death claim by ensuring no stone goes unturned in pursuit of damages.

Rear-end collisions and the rush to settle

Rear-end collisions are not uncommon, but they are not simple or routine. Repeat after me: there is no such thing as a “simple” rear-end collision. Again, there is no such thing as a “routine” rear-end collision.

Rear-end collisions come on a sliding scale, ranging from the annoying to the frightening to the downright devastating. A long-haul trucker whose brakes fail at an off-ramp can total cars, wreck bodies, and take lives. On the other hand, a distracted driver letting his foot off the brake in snail’s-pace traffic will probably result in a dinged bumper and frayed nerves. What rear-end collisions often have in common is insurance companies’ haste in settling. Why could this be?

Liability in rear-end collisions is clear: whoever was in the second, following car assumes liability. This is true across the board: if someone slams on the brakes on the highway, going from sixty to zero, without warning, the driver of the following car is held liable for not maintaining “a safe following distance.” Without the need for much investigation to establish liability, there seems to be a reasonable explanation for why a settlement could be quickly reached.

Not so fast—insurance companies, whether representing the at-fault party or not, are for-profit entities that are not necessarily concerned with a just settlement. Often, a fast settlement is a way of foreclosing the possibility of greater damages being paid out later.

In the case of a catastrophic collision, like the hypothetical eighteen-wheeler mentioned above, expediting the settlement process may be to the benefit of the at-fault party’s insurer for a number of reasons. Accepting a settlement typically involves a signed agreement by the injured party not to seek further compensation. This could mean accepting payment before the full extent of injuries is known and then having no further recourse to the civil courts to pay mounting medical bills. Additionally, limiting the period of discovery prevents the uncovering of key evidence that could extend the circle of liability, such as proof of shoddy maintenance by the trucking company that makes them at-fault as well.

For less-catastrophic accidents, like the fender-bender in traffic, there is still a strong profit motive for insurance companies to settle quickly. Again, the full extent of injuries, such as whiplash, may take weeks to months to become known. Additionally, while fender-bender rear-end collisions may be “an annoyance” they are never “just” an annoyance. Days without a car, paying for a rental, worrying about a big road trip or family event that was scheduled for just a few days after the collision—all of these are stresses and anxieties that the injured party deserves compensation for and for which the at-fault party’s insurance does not want to pay.

No matter its scale, accidents are always nerve-wracking and stressful, to a greater or lesser degree. While you are emotionally vulnerable, you may be inclined to “get it over with” and accept the first settlement offered. Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you when you are in a difficult place in the aftermath of an accident: call our office today to discuss your options.

I was injured as a passenger of an Uber driver, who is responsible for damages?

If you’re injured in a ride-sharing vehicle, such as Uber or Lyft, you have a right to get compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Financial responsibility typically falls on the insurance company of the at-fault driver, which may be the ride-sharing company’s driver or another driver involved in the accident who caused the crash.

The ride-sharing driver’s car insurance coverage will apply to passenger injuries only, if the driver has a commercial insurance policy or a personal car insurance policy with a special provision providing coverage while engaged as a ride-sharing driver. However, many ride-share drivers do not have such coverage. Additionally, personal car insurance policy usually has a “business use exception” that won’t cover damages and injuries that occur while the insured is acting as a for-profit driver.

If the driver’s insurance will not cover passenger injury, Uber and Lyft carry third party liability insurance coverage, which pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident. The third-party liability insurance will only cover costs when the ride-sharing driver is at fault for the accident; the ride-sharing driver’s own insurance has been exhausted; or the responsible driver is unknown, doesn’t have car insurance, or doesn’t have enough car insurance to pay for your injuries.

If the above insurance policies do not fully compensate you, or the insurance companies refuse to pay out, you can try going after the ride-sharing company itself. However, this should be considered a last resort option.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and specifically while riding in an Uber or Lyft, contact us immediately to discuss your options.

I was leaving the construction site after a day’s work and was struck by falling debris causing injury. Do I have a workman’s comp claim?

Workers’ compensation is a benefit used by states to compensate employees when they are injured at work. Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) oversees the workers’ compensation system. Quality transcription services are a great way to accurately log important meetings and interviews, workers’compensation insurance covers almost all employees in Massachusetts.

You are entitled to file for workers compensation benefits, if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, or are a dependent of a worker killed on the job, the workers compensation attorney in bozeman mt can help you get all those benefits. Employers must display the name and address of its Workers’ Compensation insurer and mandated policy information. We work with advanced technology to keep our private cases, SodaPDF is our new support work tool.

To qualify for workers’ comp benefits, you must have a work-related injury or illness causing disability for five full or partial calendar days. However, the days do not need to be consecutive. Injuries need to be reported to your employer, who is then required to file the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality (Form 101) with the insurer.

In the event your employer does not send the Form to the insurer within 30 days of your injury, you need to report your injury in writing to the insurance company yourself. Keep documentation of when and how the injury occurred and all records related to the injury such as medical visits.

According to the workers comp attorney alexandria mn, employers or insurers do not dispute most injured worker claims, but, in the event your claim is disputed, having legal counsel to protect your rights and interests is highly recommended due to the complex nature of the workers’ compensation law.

Food Related Injuries Under Massachusetts Law

Here’s a little-known fact: under Massachusetts law, if you’re injured by a bone lodged in your throat after eating a prepared dish, whether you can recover for your injuries may depend on what kind of bone it is. If it’s a bone from a chicken pot pie, then you may have a viable claim. If it’s a fish bone from a bowl of chowder, then you probably don’t.

To explain why that’s the case, in this article we examine how Massachusetts law addresses claims of physical injury resulting from ingesting food. (We exclude from this discussion foodborne illnesses, which, though they involve similar legal basic issues to those described below, also typically feature some evidentiary and causal complexities that are beyond the scope of proving injuries from chicken and haddock bones.)  [Read more…]

Massachusetts Personal Injury Claims Explained

You could be driving down I-290 during rush hour when, suddenly, a person driving a large SUV whips into your lane, causing you to rear-end him. However, there were multiple witnesses who reported to the Massachusetts State Police trooper that the other driver was speeding. Three witnesses reported he was weaving in and out of traffic. Suddenly, what could have been your fault is a clear case of reckless driving, because, thank goodness, people were willing to share what they saw with the police. Now, you’re laid up in a nearby hospital awaiting surgery for multiple hip and leg fractures. This type of car accident is more common on Massachusetts highways than one might think.

How Much Time Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?

A car accident can be devastating, causing you and your dependents to lose your economic stability due to debilitating injuries, so how to choose a lawyer for personal injury protection. In Massachusetts, there is a statute of limitations that limits how long you have to file your claim. Here, as an injured victim, you will typically have three years beginning on the accident date to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and his or her insurance company. Your lawsuit may be for economic (such as lost wages or income, medical expenses and car rental expenses) and non-economic damages (such as bodily injuries, pain, and suffering). If you’re trying to sue a government entity (i.e. a city, county, or state agency) within this state, then your statute of limitations to file a claim demand letter with the government entity is only two years, although your time to file a lawsuit is still three years. In cases where there’s a latent injury, which means you didn’t know about the permanent bodily damage caused by the accident until a later date, there may be a three-year statute of limitations beginning on the date you discovered it. [Read more…]

What You Need To Know If Your Child Suffers an Injury Due to Negligence

In Massachusetts, if a child suffers an injury due to faulty playground equipment, a bike accident, a slip and fall accident, or any type of negligence, that child’s parents or legal guardians have the right to pursue a claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer from places like https://personalinjurylawnewyork.com/ on the child’s behalf. For serious injuries not being cared by your health insurance a life settlement may be your best option.

It is often a challenge determining whether your child was injured due to the negligence of another party. Ask yourself:

  • Did your child simply fall, or did he slip on ice or snow that property owners neglected to clear? Property owners must make reasonable efforts to ensure that snow and ice are cleared for pedestrian traffic and may be liable for not doing so.
  • Did your child get injured at the pool due to unsafe conditions? Was there a lifeguard on duty who could have prevented the accident? Was the injury due to poor maintenance in the pool area, such as damaged or uneven cement, missing drain covers or broken ladders?
  • Did your child get injured by a product or toy that could have been defective? Did parts come off easily that your child swallowed or that punctured her skin?

[Read more…]

After a Car Accident: Three Facts About Massachusetts Law

If you have been injured in a car accident, there are several things you should know.

First, if you suffer personal injuries or damaged property caused by a car accident, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in court for damages. Following a collision or other traumatic accident, it is common to ask: who is the best accident lawyer near me? Texas residents who ask this question commonly turn to The Cobos Law Firm for help.

Second, Massachusetts law provides that car accidents are adjudicated under modified comparative fault. This means that the amount of your damages is decreased by any percentage of fault you are found to have had in the accident. For example, if a jury finds the other driver 85% at fault and you 15% at fault, then the total damage award of $10,000 gets reduced to 85% of $10,000.

Third, modified comparative fault in Massachusetts also means that a plaintiff can only be awarded damages if he or she is found to be 50% or less at fault for the accident. This is quite different from many other states in the U.S., which operate under a pure comparative fault rule. That rule means that a plaintiff can be awarded whatever percentage of damages a jury has decided they are not at fault. Get the best claim from your Boston’s insurance agency by discussing your accident injury case with the certified Car accident attorney in who can get you a car insurance quote the same day. For example, if a jury found a plaintiff 60% at fault and the other driver 40% at fault, the plaintiff would still receive 40% of any total damages under pure comparative fault. That is not the case in Massachusetts, where the plaintiff would not be entitled to any damages.

If you have been injured in car accident and would like a free case evaluation to learn your options, please call our Worcester law office and speak directly to an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney.