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Salem MA Personal Injury Law Blog

Motorcyclist injured when ladder falls from truck

Motorcyclists in the Boston area are usually aware of the hazards that they face while they are riding on city streets and Interstate highways, but those hazards are usually posed by other vehicles. Colliding with an automobile or truck can expose a motorcyclist to very serious injury. Trucks with open beds, such as pickup trucks, pose an additional risk if their contents are not adequately secured. A recent accident apparently caused by an unsecured load in the back of a pickup truck has inflicted serious injury on a motorcycle rider.

The victim was apparently following the pickup truck on Route 495 in Haverhill when a ladder that was being carried by the truck flew out of the bed. The ladder struck the motorcyclist and knocked him from the bike. The cyclist was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and then flown to a hospital in Boston for treatment of his injuries, which were described as serious. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured. He was, however, cited for driving with an unsecured load.

Appealing the denial of a workers' compensation claim

Any Massachusetts worker who suffers an injury or illness whose cause is related to the worker's occupation can obtain benefits through the state's workers' compensation system. Unfortunately, some claims are disputed by the employer and are totally denied or granted only in part. If a person's claim is denied by the employer or the employer's workers' compensation insurer, the employee has the right to appeal this decision and seek its reversal. An employer also has the right to seek a modification or cancellation of the award.

The appeal must be filed with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). The DIA will schedule an informal meeting of the employer and employee, which normally takes place within 12 business days of the filing of the notice of appeal. If the claim is not settled at this meeting, the DIA will refer it to a conference conducted by an administrative law judge (ALJ). After the conference, the ALJ will issue an order either affirming the denial or reversing the denial and ordering the employer or its insurer to pay the claim. An employee who disagrees with this order may file a request for hearing before an ALJ. This request must be filed within 14 days of the date of the order from the Conference. If this appeal is based on medical issues, the employee must pay a fee that is used to retain an independent medical expert to evaluate the evident.

Two truck accidents cover sections of I-495 with packages

When Massachusetts residents hear about a truck accident, they usually wonder if anyone was hurt and how serious were the injuries. Damage to the cargo carried by a truck is often overlooked. Two recent truck accidents involving vehicles carrying packages appear not to have caused any serious physical injuries, but somewhere between 400 and 1,000 packages were scattered across different parts of I-495. Many of the packages appear to have been damaged by the collisions.

The first of the two collisions was reported at about 10:30 p.m. in Chelmsford. According to Massachusetts State Police, a UPS truck carrying packages collided with a semi tractor-trailer. One side of the UPS truck was pried open like a can, and the truck's contents was spilled across the freeway. The two truck drivers and the driver of a passenger vehicle were taken to Lowell General Hospital for evaluation and treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. State police estimated that about 1,000 packages were spilled from one of the vehicles, a UPS truck. UPS sent another vehicle to aid in clearing the packages from the highway. The accident closed two lanes of the Interstate while the spilled cargo was collected.

Misdiagnosis as leading reason for medical malpractice claims

In the popular mind, severing the wrong limb or leaving a surgical instrument in the patient are probably the two most common stereotypes of medical malpractice. Two recent studies by insurance companies that insure physicians against malpractice claims provide information that rebuts these stereotypes. In fact, both studies found that mistaken diagnosis and not some form of erroneous procedure is the leading reason for medical malpractice claims.

Boston contractor sued by Department of Labor for retaliation

Massachusetts has a comprehensive workers' compensation system that is designed to compensate individuals who suffer injuries or illnesses that result from conditions in the workplace. The system requires an injured employee to file a claim before benefits can be paid. In order for the workers' compensation system to work, employees must feel free to report an injury or illness. For that reason, both federal and state statutes impose penalties on employers who discourage or deter their employees from reporting injuries. The United States Department of Labor has recently commenced a lawsuit against a Boston contractor that is alleged to have taken retaliatory actions against an employee who filed an application for workers' compensation benefits after falling from a ladder in 2017.

The employee reported his injury and filed an application for workers' compensation benefits payable by his employer, Tara Construction Co. According to the complaint filed by the Labor Department, Tara caused a law enforcement investigation of the worker's immigration status that led to the worker being arrested and incarcerated. The employee had scheduled a meeting with the company president at the company offices. When he arrived, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were waiting, and they arrested the worker. According to OSHA officials, the owner of the construction firm cooperated with ICE in arranging the arrest.

Preventable nursing home elopement leads to tragedy

One of the most frightening moments an adult child faces when a parent has dementia is when the parent goes missing. You may have stopped by your parent's house to find the doors open and the stove on, or someone contacted you after finding your parent wandering in a section of town where he or she should not have been. These moments are often the catalyst for a family seeking a nursing facility with appropriate care for patients with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

Unfortunately, just because the nursing home claims to have a secure facility does not mean your loved one is safe from wandering. Wandering outside the walls of the nursing home, called elopement, is so common that experts say a nursing home staff should expect it, especially of new residents. Therefore, you may have many questions and concerns if your parent managed to elope from the facility where you placed him or her.

One worker killed, two injured by falling scaffolding at MIT

Scaffolding is a common sight on most construction projects. It enables workers to construct exterior walls and install windows and balconies. Scaffolding can also pose a significant hazard for workers if any part of it should become detached or should collapse. A recent construction accident on the campus of MIT in Cambridge shows how devastating such an accident can be.

At about 3:00 p.m., scaffolding and construction materials fell from the third floor and hit three workers who were on the ground level. All three were taken to area hospitals. One worker died after he arrived at the hospital. The other two workers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

What is comparative negligence in Massachusetts?

Most residents of Massachusetts understand that a person can recover damages in a car accident or other kind of mishap that was caused by the negligence of another person. But what happens if more than one person is at fault for the accident?

As the common law developed in England and then traveled to the colonies, this situation was covered by the doctrine of contributory negligence. If the plaintiff was partially at fault for the car accident, the claim would be barred even if the degree of fault assignable to the defendant was far greater. In other words, a plaintiff who may have been 5 percent at fault could not recover damages from a defendant who may have been 95 percent at fault. The unfairness of this rule bothered judges, commentators and plaintiffs' attorneys well into the 20th century. During the middle years of the century, state legislatures began to revise the rule by substituting the rule of comparative negligence.

Construction worker dies in on-site accident in Salem

As many residents of Salem are aware, construction work can be very dangerous. On-site accidents can cause serious and permanent disability and even death. A recent accident on a construction site in Salem took the life of a construction worker who was apparently standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

According to police reports, the man was killed when a Bobcat excavator rolled over onto him. Fellow workers were able to lift the Bobcat, but the man had suffered serious internal injuries. The man was alive when emergency responders arrived at the site, and he was taken to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, he died shortly after arriving. Very little additional information has been released. Police have not commented on the cause of the accident, and they have also not commented on whether the decedent was operating the equipment when the accident happened. The accident is being investigated by the Salem Police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

How to report elder abuse

Senior citizens deserve our respect and our protection. Aging can bring certain difficulties with it, making older people susceptible to poor treatment or even abuse. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 10 percent of seniors suffer abuse of some kind. This abuse could be physical, but it also includes abuse that is sexual, emotional, psychological, or financial. Another less thought of form is neglect from another person or even from the senior him or herself.

Sadly, authorities receive reports of only a very low number of cases of elder abuse. The victim may be reluctant to report because the perpetrator is a family member or close friend. If you think that a senior citizen in your life has suffered abused, there are ways to get help.

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