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Salem MA Personal Injury Law Blog

Can my employer fire me for filing a workers' comp claim?

Even though a worker injured on the job has the right to file a workers' compensation claim with their employer, the reality is that many employees may hesitate to do so. This is because they are afraid they might lose their job as a result. Already an employee is struggling their injury, with taking time off of work and either losing out on a project or promotion to someone else who-add to this the anxiety of a workers' compensation claim and an injured employee is likely to balk.

There is no federal law prevent an employer from retaliating against an employee, but Massachusetts is one of the states that does have this protection. This means employers are prohibited from retaliating against a worker who has filed a workers' compensation claim. Retaliation can take many forms and does not only include termination-it could be giving an employee a bad review, intimidation in the workplace or a negative reassignment.

Recovery is possible, with the help of experienced professionals

There is nothing that can undo a car accident once it takes place and no way to quantify the losses, both physical and emotional, one endures when they or their loved one has been in a crash that turned their whole life upside down. What can be done, though, is hold the responsible parties accountable for the reckless behavior that caused the crash. Additionally, there may be certain steps that can be taken to make life easier in the future, by dealing with the financial burden that is associated with the crash.

One way to do so is by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties, which may include social hosts and bartenders in Massachusetts' drunk driving accidents, as discussed in last week's post.

Is there a liquor liability law in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts residents may not be aware that the state has what is known as a Dram Shop Law. This means that it is illegal to serve or sell alcohol to anyone who is already intoxicated. But, who does this apply to and how can it be used to hold someone liable for violating it?

This law applies to commercial establishments that serve liquor and could include bars and sporting events as well. Section 69 applies to managers, servers and owners to ensure that they do not serve alcohol to someone who is demonstrating signs of intoxication. This places a responsibility on them to look for signs, such as slurred speech or trouble walking. The responsibility is so important that if it is skimped on and a drunk person goes on to injure someone in a drunk driving accident, the people serving the drunk driver could also be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

The threats posed by electronic health records in pediatrics

Technology has improved many aspects of the various fields of medicine nationwide, including in Massachusetts. However, system errors and operator mistakes can lead to medical malpractice claims. Following an assessment of electronic health record systems in pediatrics, several areas of concern arose.

While EHR can assist in achieving better health care at lower costs, identification of weaknesses and potential errors in the various systems is essential. A national insurer reported that 42 percent of EHR-related medical malpractice claims resulted from system software errors, while over 60 percent involved operator error.

Stricter drunk driving laws could reduce crashes

According to data available in 2016 for Massachusetts, there are 119 deaths annually that can be attributed to drunk driving. This accounts for around 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in Massachusetts. This could be one of the reasons that Mothers Against Drunk Driving ranked the state as the 36th worst state in the country for how it handles drunk driving accidents and prevention.

Their report focused on drunk driving counter measures, specifically the ignition interlock law. There is no all-offender ignition interlock law in the state. This means that only repeat offenders are subject to an in-car Breathalyzer test that they must pass before they can start their car. Currently, the law does not subject first-time offenders to install this system in their vehicle, unlike the law in other states.

General contractor should have known of safety violation: court

A recent ruling by a federal appeals court regarding a fine imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for workplace safety violations may significantly affect workers' compensation law in Massachusetts.

A Massachusetts based company acting as a general contractor appealed a fine imposed on them for violations that were related to a workplace accident at a construction site a couple of years ago. The general contracting company argued that it was wrongfully fined, as it was held responsible for the acts and omissions of a subcontractor.

Are all injured employees eligible for workers' comp?

Readers of this blog may be aware that when they are injured on the job in Massachusetts, they may be able to receive workers' compensation benefits from their employer. However, there is an important aspect to keep in mind-one must be eligible to receive them. How does one determine eligibility?

The first thing to keep in mind is that only employees may receive workers' compensation post workplace injury accident. This may seem pretty straight-forward but not everyone who is working is considered an employee for the purpose of workers' compensation law. For example, independent contractors and free lancers are not considered employees of the company they are working for and therefore would not receive compensation. Similarly, there are certain types of worker categories that are exempt from receiving workers' compensation, such as seasonal workers and agricultural workers.

Automobile-bike crash results in serious injuries

For some, it does not matter how warm or cold it is outside, they will still ride their bicycle. While this mode of transportation could be used for fun, exercise or a primary source of transportation, it is important that cyclists understand how to travel safely on the roads. Even when a person is equipped with the knowledge to ride a bicycle safely on or near a road, this does not protect them from negligent drivers.

A bicycle accident can be a major crash, causing a cyclist to suffer traumatically. An automobile beats a bike in size, weight and speed and, when the two collide, the automobile will win every time. A cyclist could be thrown from the bike, causing serious and life-threatening injuries.

Nursing errors can cause just as much harm as doctor errors

If you are like most people here in Massachusetts, you probably think of doctors and surgeons when you think about medical malpractice regarding medication mistakes. However, another class of medical professionals exist, whose errors can cause just as much harm -- nurses.

Many people rightly consider nurses to be the unsung heroes of the medical industry. They work tirelessly, and often without thanks, to help ensure their patients are comfortable, cared for and safe. Unfortunately, they are human, which means that they can make medication mistakes that could lead to substantial harm or even death.

The link between fault and rear-end accidents

Though the term car accident is commonly used to refer to all types of collisions, in reality there are different types of crashes that could possibly have different legal ramifications. For example, rear-end collisions carry the assumption that the person who hit the car from the back is the driver who is at fault. But this assumption does not mean that the case is clear-cut.

Rear-end collisions are very common in the country. Louisiana residents may be surprised to hear that there are around 1.7 million rear-end crashes across the country annually. These crashes lead to 1,700 fatalities and more than 50,000 injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 87 percent of rear-end accidents take place because the driver was not paying attention to the road.

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