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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

A tire blowout can be extremely dangerous, especially at high speeds. When a blowout occurs, the incident often leads to damage, motor vehicle accidents, and injuries. However, determining liability is rarely an easy task. Negligence on the part of the vehicle owner / driver may have been a contributing factor, but it’s also possible that the tire was defective. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a tire blowout, a MA injury lawyer can help you determine who’s liable for any resulting injuries or property damage.

Do You Have a Product Liability Claim?

If your tire blowout caused an accident, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the tire or wheel. In these types of cases, it is common for experts to be consulted. They can analyze the details of the blowout and testify to how it most likely occurred. If the tire was relatively new, properly installed, and recently inspected, your chances of success will be much greater than if the tire is old and worn. Improper installation may have also played a role in the blowout. If a new tire blows out on the road, it is likely due to improper installation or driver negligence.

Driver Negligence

If you are injured or suffer a financial loss due to another driver’s tire blowout, you may have a claim against the driver. Did negligence play a role? This is generally easier to prove than a product defect or improper installation because you only need to show negligence on the part of the driver. And proving negligence, as it pertains to a tire blowout, may be a relatively easy task. The fact is, drivers rarely inspect tires as often or thoroughly as they should, even though they are bound by duty to do so. However, even individuals with brand new tires, a solid tire-maintenance schedule, and whose tires were properly installed can have a blowout due to driver negligence. If you have been injured due to a tire blowout, a Boston injury attorney can help.

Common Tire Defects

A tire can be defective for multiple reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects
  • Improper or inferior materials
  • Old tires that appear new
  • Improper tires for the vehicle type

The side effects of the above defects may include:

  • Tread separation
  • Bead failure
  • Belt separation
  • Tire explosion or blowout

In most single vehicle accidents and rollovers, tire blowouts are to blame. When an older tire is sold as “new,” the tire may appear fine until the driver reaches high speeds. This can be especially dangerous in hot weather. If you are concerned about the safety of your tires, have them professionally inspected as soon as possible. Don’t let something as simple, and inexpensive to fix as a faulty tire, cost you your life. Continue reading

If your negligent landlord has caused you physical injury or financial loss, you may be able to sue him or her to recover your losses. However, proving that negligence can be a complicated matter. In some cases, negligence is apparent. For example, if your landlord ignored multiple emails and phone calls about a propane smell in the home and a propane explosion occurred weeks later, proving negligence is likely to be a straightforward process. However, injury and property damage claims are rarely this cut and dried. A Boston injury attorney can help you determine if you have a successful personal injury claim.

Proving Landlord Negligence

If your landlord acted carelessly without regard for the consequences of his or her actions, and you were injured or suffered financial losses as a result, you may have a successful personal injury claim on your hands. When injury or property damage occurs on the property of another, the property owner may be found negligent under premises liability laws. To prove that your landlord’s actions caused your injury or property damage, the following conditions must exist:

  • The landlord owed a duty to you.
  • The landlord breached that duty.
  • The breach of duty caused the injury or property damage, and
  • An injury or property damage occurred.

In personal injury claims against landlords, the most common question is whether or not the landlord actually owed a duty to the injured person. What does that mean, exactly? Basically, a landlord generally has a duty to tenants and their guests. Landlords may even have a duty to the public if the public has access to common areas. The duty owed is generally to maintain the common areas in a safe and habitable condition at all times. For example, hazards such as live wires and broken steps should be remedied as soon as possible, railings should be secure, doors should open and lock properly, and there should be a plan in place for dealing with snow and ice. Consult with a MA injury lawyer if you’ve been harmed due to landlord negligence.

Was Notice Given?

Although remedying these hazards is a landlord’s responsibility, the landlord must have notice of the hazards in order to remove them. For example, if you are renting a house in New York and your landlord lives in California full time, how is she going to know when a formerly-intact step breaks? If you fall down that step and suffer injuries, can you sue? Well, if you never notified your landlord of the problem, your chances of success are limited. However, you may be in luck if you called and emailed your landlord for weeks, offering to pay for a renovation if she deducted it from your rent, but she failed to respond. There are some exceptions to the notice rule, however. For example, if the dangerous conditions were present before you moved in, it is possible that the landlord “should have known about” the conditions. Continue reading

This stretch of unseasonably warm weather has many thinking about spring. With spring comes longer days, warmer temps, greener landscapes, and the infamous Spring Break! For many of us, spring break has taken on a very different meaning than it had during our college years. But even mild spring break celebrations and vacations carry some inherent risks. Read on for more information about spring break hazards, and how you can protect yourself from serious harm.

Common Spring Break Injuries and How to Prevent Them

A little R&R may be just what the doctor ordered, but the spring break-related health risks below can ruin your vacation, and could even cost you your life. A Boston injury attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been harmed by another’s negligence. By taking the following safety precautions, you can dramatically reduce your risk of serious injury and death:

Snowmobiling accidents? Slipping on icy walkways? Shoveling injuries? Although all of the above would make sense, they are not more likely to happen in MA than other states. And the actual answer comes as a bit of a surprise. It’s concussions. MA reports more concussions than any U.S. state. Why? Read on for more information about this surprising statistic and why MA seems to have such a high rate of concussions.

Amino, a company that analyzes electronic insurance claims, recently conducted an analysis of claims for each U.S. state. According to the company’s data, Massachusetts reports more concussions than any other state in the nation. Now, to be clear, this does not mean that concussions are the most common injury in MA, only that they are more commonly reported in MA than in other states. The most common injury in nearly every state was actually open wounds or bruising. Whatever the injury, consulting with a Boston injury lawyer can be instrumental in helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Amino studied about 244 million health insurance claims filed from 2012 to 2016. If nothing else, the results were interesting. New York reports more fist fight-related injuries than other states and residents of Missouri suffer more animal bites than residents of other states. So what’s the deal with MA’s high rate of concussions? Interestingly enough, many conditions were seen with abnormal frequency in multiple states, but MA was the only state with a higher-than-average rate of concussion diagnoses. So, it must be more than a coincidence, right?

Could Increased Awareness be the Reason?

A 2016 Blue Cross Blue Shield report may shed some light on these results. According to the report, MA diagnoses more youth concussions than any other state. In states with strong concussion education campaigns (such as MA), patients may be more likely to seek medical attention immediately after a head injury. Early treatment is extremely important when it comes to concussions. However, seeking medical attention for head injuries more often than other states may also raise the rate of concussion diagnoses. Basically, we may not get more concussions, we may just diagnose more concussions. The strong medical and health community in MA is likely at least partially responsible for our high rate of reported concussions. But that’s actually a good thing.

Beyond the medical community, other contributing factors could be regulations imposed by the state (to seek medical attention or test for concussions, for example), higher participation in sports than some other states, and higher rates of physical activity than many other states. If you have suffered a concussion due to another’s negligence, it is in your best interest to consult with a Boston injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

What seemed like a bit of bad news may actually be quite positive. Stricter regulations, strong healthcare, and a physically-active community all contributed to the Amino study’s findings. That being said, it’s still a good idea to be aware of the risk for concussions and to watch out for warning signs and symptoms following a car accident, any type of head trauma, or if you engage in high-impact sports. Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Thinking and remembering symptoms: Inability to think clearly or concentrate, a general feeling of “slowness”, difficulty remembering new information.
  • Physical symptoms: Nausea and vomiting, headache, blurry vision, problems with balance, a feeling of dizziness, sensitivity to noise or light, fatigue.
  • Emotional or mood symptoms: Feeling sad, nervous or anxious, becoming easily upset, generally feeling more emotional than usual.
  • Sleep symptoms: Sleeping more or less than usual, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Continue reading

What is a hernia?

The use of surgical hernia mesh is the one of the most commonly-utilized medical devices used to repair hernias – which occur when a muscle or organ protrudes through another piece of muscle or connective tissue due to increased amounts of pressure in the area of the body where the hernia occurs.

There are six common forms of hernia, and they can occur throughout different areas of the body; from hernias that erupt through a surgical scar to hernias that occur near the belly button. Hernias can happen to anybody, from those who are chronically obese to Olympic athletes and can occur regardless of age or gender.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.4 million people in the U.S. suffer some type of brain injury annually. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. If your brain injury was caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Most Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Any type of trauma to the head, or sudden, violent “jostling” of the body, can result in injury to the brain. However, the causes below account for the majority of reported brain injuries annually.

  • Slip and fall accidents: Falling accounts for about 40 percent of all brain injuries in the US. The very young and the very old are most at risk. In children between the ages of 0 and 14, more than half of brain injuries are a result of falls. More than 80 percent of these types of injuries in the elderly are fall-related. A skilled Boston slip and fall attorney can help you determine whether to file a lawsuit for your injuries.
  • Blunt trauma: About 15 percent of all brain injuries in the US are caused by unintentional blunt trauma to the head. Blunt trauma usually occurs when the victim is hit by an object. For example, if a child “sneaks up” on mom or dad while they are golfing and gets hit in the head with a golf club, the child could suffer blunt trauma, and thus a brain injury. Nearly one-quarter of all brain injuries in children are caused by blunt trauma.
  • Motor vehicle accidents: Car crashes are the third leading cause of brain injuries, accounting for about 14 percent annually. However, they are the second leading cause of brain injury-related fatalities, at about 26 percent. Brain injuries can occur even without blunt trauma to the head. For example, if a car accident causes the body to jostle back and forth violently, the brain could move within the skull, resulting in brain damage.

Types of Brain Injuries

An individual’s prognosis following a brain injury is largely dependent on the type and severity of the injury. A mild concussion, for example, will likely heal well on its own without long-term side effects. But the most serious types of brain injuries can result in cognitive and physical impairments, and even death.

  • Concussion: When sudden movement or impact results in injury to the brain, the victim may experience a concussion. This is the most common type of brain injury and can be caused by direct trauma to the head or through violent shaking or force. Car crash-related whiplash is a common cause of concussions, as are sports injuries. A brief loss of consciousness may or may not occur, and concussions can range from mild to severe.
  • Contusion: This type of brain injury is characterized by bleeding on the brain, and is generally caused by blunt trauma to the head. Some contusions may need to be removed through a surgical procedure.
  • Coup-Contrecoup: These injuries occur when the brain suffers damage at the site of impact as well as on the opposite side. If blunt force to the head causes an injury at the site of the impact, but is forceful enough to slam the brain into the opposite side of the skull as well, the victim may suffer a coup-contrecoup injury.

All of the brain injuries above can be mild or serious, even fatal. If you are concerned that you may have experienced a brain injury, seek immediate medical attention. If your injury was the result of another’s negligence, you may wish to consult with a Boston brain injury attorney to determine whether you have a successful lawsuit on your hands. Although it’s always best to file a lawsuit as close to the injury incident as possible, even an older injury may be worth looking into. Continue reading

Slip and fall accidents are the most common injury suffered at shopping malls. They can occur due to uneven pavement in parking lots, spills in food courts that haven’t been mopped up, and ice and snow on walkways. Shopping malls also have escalators, which can result in serious injuries if poorly-maintained. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at the mall, contact a Boston personal injury lawyer today.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at the mall, you are likely to have two personal injury claims, one against the mall and one against the retail store you were in at the time of the incident. In a situation involving a retail store, you will file a claim against the store first, and the mall second. For example, if you are injured when you trip over an electrical wire in Old Navy, you will file the primary claim against Old Navy and the secondary claim against the mall in which Old Navy is located. If, however, your injury occurs in a common area, such as the food court, restroom, or parking lot, the claim will be against the mall alone. There is also the possibility that the mall brings in third parties to provide services such as  clean, provide maintenance, plow, and they too may be liable if the cause was their fault.

Who is Liable?

Hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses have been linked to asbestos exposure in the now-defunct W.R. Grace and Co. mine in Libby, Montana. Recently, more than 1,000 victims were awarded a $25 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging that Libby miners were never warned about the contaminated mine. The settlement, which involves nearly 100 lawsuits, claims that Montana health officials failed to protect victims. The state, however, argues that it had no legal obligation to warn workers.

What is Asbestos?

This settlement serves as a reminder that asbestos-related illnesses and deaths are still a significant problem in the United States. Exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral made up of fine fibers, can lead to serious health conditions, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and cancer. Before its health risks were known, asbestos was commonly used in everyday products, including insulation and protective gear, due to its heat and fire-resistant properties. If you have suffered harm due to asbestos exposure, contact a Boston personal injury lawyer today.

A New Jersey family is filing suit against Simon Property Group and an escalator manufacturer after a terrifying escalator incident in a Pennsylvania mall resulted in the amputation of a 7-year-old’s toes on his right foot in 2014.

According to NJ.com, the boy and his family were shopping at the Oxford Valley Mall (owned by Simon Property Group) in Langhorne, Penn. on Dec. 14, 2014 when the boy’s foot became trapped in the escalator while he was riding it down.

The boy’s foot became trapped off the side of one of the steps, and then kept moving downward, but luckily somebody was vigilant and responded quick enough to hit the emergency stop button on the escalator, preventing more tragic damage.

The 2016 holiday season is in full swing. For all the wonder, joy and excitement that comes with it, so too does potential hazards to your health (and your bank account). There are a more than a few ways to be injured, or negatively affected, even in the most wondrous of wintry worlds.

As you navigate winter wonderlands, go riding in one-horse open sleighs, or even make a trek to the North Pole to see what this Santa fellow is all about, please be wary of these five potential hazards this season.

1. Perilous conditions

The biggest holiday hazard could be nothing else for us New Englanders. With the unparalleled good of the holidays comes the brutal beginnings of another northeastern winter.  Whether it’s black ice and snow causing deadly conditions on the roads and highways, frosted stairs and sidewalks providing a slipping hazard, or snowfall causing dangerous roof cave-ins and ice dams, the weather conditions of the holiday season alone provide enough dangers to fill up emergency rooms across the region.

Always make sure that you have road-worthy tires on your vehicles (winter tires if you can afford them), that your brakes are in order and that your headlights are functional. Always exercise extra caution and go slow when the weather turns for the worse.

2. More traffic means dangerous traveling

A simple and unfortunate fact of modern life is that you are much more likely to get involved in a vehicular accident when there are more people on the roadways. With the craziness of the holiday shopping season, people flock to stores, malls and outlets like moths to a flame. People also travel more during the holiday season to visit relatives and loved ones.  The added traffic will certainly cause much frustration, but it can also cause harmful and deadly accidents when combined with poorer visibility (since it gets dark earlier) and dangerous road conditions from snow and ice. Always exercise defensive driving tactics and keep alert!

3. Online scams

The allure of online shopping is obvious. It’s convenient, simple, and oftentimes the best deals can actually be accessed from your computer chair rather than a mall kiosk. However the simplicity and accessibility of online shopping has also opened up a door for scammers, identity thieves and cyber attackers intent on stealing your personal data for their own benefit.  Always be wary of offers that seem too good to be true (you are NOT the one millionth customer and you did NOT win a free iPad), never give our your personal or financial information to strange websites, and always use your instincts to avoid places and situations that just feel fishy.

4. Decoration complications

Who doesn’t love a beautiful light display or a jolly inflatable Rudolph adorning the roof ? Decorations are part of the magic of the holiday season, but they can also spell disaster for the decorators. Lights need strung to rooves, which puts you at risk of a serious fall. Christmas trees with old, incandescent lights are potential fire hazards. Somebody may have negligently secured their tree to their car, causing it to spill onto the road in front of you and make you crash.

5. Holidays lead to more alcohol consumption

For some people, the holiday season is the time to be merry. And what gets people merrier than a little spiked eggnog? Unfortunately, an abundance of holiday parties also leads to an abundance of intoxicated driving, which only makes the wintry conditions more dangerous. Never drink and drive! Besides, it’s cold outside. Wouldn’t you rather stay the night by the fireplace? Continue reading