Articles Tagged with Boston Accident Lawyer

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Erica Pereira
Erica Pereira

508-822-2000


Under current Massachusetts law, drivers may carry as little as $20,000 in liability insurance. This can compound upon the otherwise unspeakable tragedy of losing a loved one to a fatal motor vehicle accident with economic hardship. In the event of an automobile accident resulting in death caused by negligence, most of the liability insurance would be consumed by hospital and funeral expenses. This would leave the family of the deceased with very little. It will also leave a family with dependent children in a serious economic predicament.

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On June 12, 2015, An MBTA bus struck a car in a Revere parking lot, causing significant damage to the car and injuries to the driver and a bystander.  On Monday, September 21, 2015, an MBTA red line train hit and killed a middle aged man at JFK station.  The man was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. On October 1, 2015 Wellesley Police and the MBTA Transit Police responded to an incident involving an elderly woman struck by a train between the Wellesley Square and Wellesley Hills commuter rail stops. Non-life threatening injuries were reported.

If you live in or around Boston, you are familiar with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, also known as the MBTA or simply the “T”.  The MBTA is one of the many government agencies overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  In January 2015, Governor Charlie Baker appointed Stephanie Pollack Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and Chief Executive Officer to address issues involving finances and customer service.

Although the MBTA provides invaluable services to Massachusetts residents, it is frequently the subject of news stories involving injuries to riders, pedestrians or others.  The typical MBTA accident story often involves a bus or a train, but there are other types of personal injuries involving the MBTA.  Such injuries include slips or trips and falls at one of the many MBTA stations or facilities in and around Massachusetts or automobile accidents involving other types of MBTA vehicles such as “The Ride” vans or MBTA maintenance vehicles.   From minor injuries such as sprained or fractured wrists and ankles to neck and back injuries and even wrongful death, the MBTA has a long history of injuries and claims.  Finding the right attorney to represent you is crucial in obtaining a fair resolution of your claim against the MBTA.

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Many employers have complained about the nuisance and cost of certain workplace safety regulations.  While the effectiveness of any regulation must continually be evaluated, there is no question that government regulations requiring safety compliance have reduced the number of workplace injuries and deaths.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) publishes commonly used statistics regarding workplace injuries.  Sadly, there were 4,585 reported worker fatalities in 2013.  As noted, that equates to an average of 12 per day.   Eight hundred and seventeen (817) of these fatalities were Hispanic or Latino workers.  One in five of the fatalities involved construction accidents.   See https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html.

No amount of money can make up for a lost loved one.  But pursuing all possible benefits may lessen the financial toll.  Family of workers’ killed and injured employees may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Such payments may not be sufficient to make up for lost wages and lost fringe benefits during a disability.  Moreover, workers who are self-employed or work as independent contractors may have difficulty even qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits.

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1518320_13264313_1George N Keches                Brian C Dever

A 50 year old carpenter was employed installing sheet rock at a construction site.  Plaintiff was working in a staircase with a co-worker who was passing the sheet rock down to the Plaintiff from the floor above.  The Plaintiff fell off the ladder and onto the mid-floor landing below sustaining head injuries and a fractured wrist.  The precise manner of the fall was unknown.  The co-worker heard the fall, responded and found the ladder upright in the designated location.  The Plaintiff was unconscious lying on the lower mid- floor landing, approximately three feet below the upper landing.

Plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of the General Contractor for failing to conduct a Job Hazard Analysis and by allowing the use of a ladder and not scaffolding while the Plaintiff was installing the sheet rock in the stairwell.  Further Plaintiff alleged that Defendant failed to provide fall protection, as Plaintiff was exposed to a fall of more than six feet based on the open stairwell behind the Plaintiff.

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3668152_1Sean C. Flaherty       508-822-2000

If you or someone you know owns their own business in Massachusetts, it is important to know  several things regarding Worker’s Compensation coverage. Sole proprietors and partners in a partnership are not automatically covered under worker’s compensation insurance.

A recent Department of Industrial Accidents decision denied coverage to a man who operated a home construction company. As a sole proprietor, he, alone, was the only person working for the business. Because he had a worker’s compensation insurance policy, he assumed he was covered. However, the policy only covered his employees in the event that he decided to hire people in the future. Given the seriousness of his injury, the man is now in an unfortunate situation.

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3264313_1In January of this year the First Circuit Court of Appeals decided a Massachusetts case entitled Cracchiolo v. Eastern Fisheries, Inc., et al 740 F 3rd 64. That case involved the death of crew member of a ship that was docked in New Bedford. After a night out, the crew member was returning to the shipyard where the ship was docked. Ordinarily he would go through a gate but that evening it was locked. There was a second unofficial way into the facility. There was a gap in the fence near the water that allowed crew members to access their boats after hours. Even if a crew member came through this passageway there was a safer way once through the fencing to proceed to the boat. It was a longer route. There was a shorter and more dangerous way used on the night in question. It was icy and snowy which made this more dangerous route a fatal choice as the seamen slipped, fell into the water and drowned.

The court said that “to prevail on the negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care, that the defendant breached this duty, that damage resulted, and that there was a casually relationship between the breach and the duty and the damage. The court stated that the question of breach, damages and causation are the “special province of the jury”. However, the question whether or not the defendant owed a duty of care in the first instance is an issue of law, and may be settled on Summary Judgment if the risk posed by the defendant’s actions were not foreseeable”. The court went on to say Massachusetts may also make this determination after trial in light of all the evidence.

In this case the court sited Soederberg v. Concord Greene Condominium 76 Mass.App. Ct. 33 (2010) stating that “landowners do have a duty to remove snow and ice accumulations even though those accumulations present open and obvious hazards to visitors. The court explained that the open and obvious nature of the hazard does not negate an owner’s duty to remedy the hazard”.  Rather a landowner must remedy snow and ice hazards when he can and should anticipate the dangerous condition will cause physical harm to the invitee notwithstanding it is known or an obvious danger. It went on to say “ the plaintiff’s unreasonable decision to enter into an ice hazard could bear on the issue of comparative negligence but that this is a jury question in the plaintiff’s unreasonable behavior will not bar recovery as a matter of law even when other options that voided the ice hazard were available”.

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aileen1Aileen C. Bartlett

508-822-2000

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited a Massachusetts excavation company for willful and serious violations of excavation safety standards.  The Wakefield contractor faces over $144,000 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection of a Milton work site last August.  According to OSHA’s Braintree office, the workers were installing water mains in a trench over six feet deep, with no cave-in protection or means of egress. The workers were also exposed to falling debris that accumulated above the trench.

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4380849_1By: Erica L. Pereira, Esq.

508-822-2000

I’m sure all drivers out there are aware of the recent crackdowns on “distracted driving”, most specifically, texting while driving. In today’s technological age, it is nearly impossible for a person to go anywhere without receiving a text message, phone call, tweet or facebook post. This constant receipt of information via our phones has made it increasingly more likely that drivers will receive such information while driving and feel the immediate need to respond to the information, text or post. All drivers are aware that this practice of texting while driving is dangerous, but in this age of immediate gratification, drivers will take that risk to respond immediately to a text message.

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Mode of Operations

Massachusetts has long worked under a traditional constructive notice test on slip and fall cases involving Commercial Premises like a supermarket. That is, does the defendant know of the condition or did they have a reasonable opportunity to know and correct the condition.

In 2007 Massachusetts developed a “Mode of Operations” test to apply to a slip and fall accident at a supermarket self service section. Under the mode of operation the injured party must show that their injury was reasonably foreseeable based upon the supermarket self service mode of operation. If the plaintiff can prove the defendant failed to take reasonable measures involved with the self-service mode of operation than liability may rest with the supermarket.

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By Jason R. Markle

The coming of a new year is often an occasion for people to look at changes they can make to better their lives. People often look at how they can lead healthier lifestyles, save money or improve their relationships. It’s also a good time to look at how protected you are in the case of an accident in which you or someone else is injured. One of the best ways to do that is to take a look at your automobile insurance policy and determine if you have enough coverage. And in looking at your coverage, there’s much more to consider than just price. For example, will your medical bills and lost wages be covered following an accident? What happens if you’re seriously hurt by someone without enough coverage? Who pays for damage to your vehicle as a result of vandalism?

To answer these questions, it’s important to know that the Standard Massachusetts Automobile Policy offers 12 types of insurance. By walking through them individually, hopefully you’ll have a better idea of what’s covered and, more importantly, what’s not covered.

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