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Salem MA Personal Injury Law Blog

How important is evidence to getting compensation post-crash?

As mentioned in last week's post, evidence plays a crucial role in the success of a personal injury lawsuit. It is crucial to begin supporting one's case soon after the crash, as every day that passes means eyewitnesses forget things and skid marks on the road become less prominent. Acting quickly is key, but when has just been involved in a unexpected car accident, getting compensation or holding a negligent professional accountable may be the last thing on their mind. By the time an accident victim gets around to considering the possibility, valuable evidence may be lost.

Why is evidence important? Because it points to the other driver's negligence. And, in Massachusetts, recovery is possible only if the accident victim is 50 percent or less at fault. Recovery is reduced by the percentage of one's fault, but recovery is still possible. If it is found to be 51 percent or more, then the victim is not eligible to recover any damages.

How important is evidence to getting compensation post-crash?

A car accident brings with it not only physical and emotional injuries, but also an unexpected financial burden. Hospital stays, treatments and car repairs are just some of the expenses car accident victims find themselves facing after a crash. One way to cover these costs is to get compensation through a personal injury lawsuit and Massachusetts' residents planning on going down this route should know that evidence adds value to their claim.

Once an accident victim can ascertain that their health and the health of everyone else at the accident scene is alright and the relevant authorities have been notified, he or she should survey the scene to gather evidence. Contact information of everyone present at the scene can be useful, as witness testimony can help support one's claim of negligence or distraction.

Vicarious liability and truck accidents

Massachusetts' drivers often share the roadways with different sized vehicles, but all vehicles must respect the rules of the road, regardless of their size. This includes big rigs and 18-wheel trucks that often cross state lines carrying people and freight with disturbing speed. Size disparity means that a motorist or motorcyclist involved in a crash with a truck is more likely to be severely injured than the truck driver.

As has been mentioned previously on this blog, it may be possible to hold a truck driver accountable for their negligence while operating the truck. Unfortunately though, the injuries sustained in a truck accident can often lead to expensive hospital treatment that a truck driver, usually earning hourly wages, cannot cover. What alternatives are available for truck accident victims?

Substandard nursing home care is never acceptable

Your parent may be one of thousands in Massachusetts who recently transitioned to an assisted living facility. Hopefully, you were able to carefully research and visit numerous nursing homes before choosing a good fit for your loved one. Then again, perhaps you loved everything about the first one you checked out and signed an agreement without looking at any other facilities. Either way, you and your family member will likely face various challenges as you both adapt to his or her new lifestyle.

If your parent has specific medical needs or a physical or mental condition that impedes his or her ability to function independently, you'll undoubtedly rely heavily on staff members to provide the attention and care he or she needs on a daily basis. There will likely be good days and some bad; however, one bad day, or even a bad week, doesn't necessarily mean staff members aren't doing their jobs. There are signs, however, that should raise your concerns regarding possible neglect or abuse.

Woman pinned by vehicle in tragic crash near her building

When a loved one is lost suddenly and through no fault of their own, it is difficult for family members to come to terms with their loss. One way to get closure is to hold the party responsible for causing the car crash accountable. But, when there are multiple vehicles involved in the car accident, it can prove to be challenging, as each party can claim it was the other's fault.

A multi-vehicle accident crash killed a 32-year-old victim outside her residence in Massachusetts recently. According to her husband, he heard a crash and left his apartment to inspect it, and was stunned when he found his own wife pinned against the wall. When her husband arrived, the driver who struck her was instructed to place the car in neutral, so it could be moved off of her. According to reports, his wife left their residence a while ago to go to a store and was likely walking back when the crash took place.

Misdiagnosis of sepsis can cause fatalities

There are many medical conditions that are not deadly by nature. But, misdiagnosis or failure of a timely diagnosis escalates the situation into one that can cause fatalities. Sepsis is one such condition.

Massachusetts' residents may not be aware that sepsis is quite common, with some estimates placing its occurrence at 30 million annually leading to six million deaths globally. It is an overreaction where chemicals that were released to fight an infection, instead trigger a widespread inflammatory response in the body. These responses can damage organs and even result in organ failure.

Company fined by OSHA, following workplace accident

Much has been said about an employer's obligations to create a safe working environment for their employees. This means a working environment free from serious hazards, and one that follows the standards are rules created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA requires that employees find and correct safety and health problems. This is done by making changes to the working conditions, such as switching to safer chemicals, rather than simply relying on personal protective gear to reduce the risk of injuries or illnesses.

This also means that employers must inform OSHA within eight hours of a workplace fatality. When this happens, OSHA can conduct an inspection of the workplace through highly trained compliance officers. Employers are not informed of when the inspection will occur and where. When the inspection is completed, the OSHA inspector will meet the employer and point out the violations, issue a citation and notify the employer of the proposed penalty. This is perhaps what happened following a workplace accident in Massachusetts where five people died.

Don't be the victim of a prescription mistake

Massachusetts residents go to their doctors for a number of reasons. They may be sick and in need of treatment or they may just want a physical to make sure their health is on track. If you go to the doctor and end up coming out with a prescription for a medication, you want to trust that your medical provider and pharmacist are going to do right by you. Unfortunately, prescription mistakes happen all too often.

What are some of the most common prescription mistakes? Can they be avoided? If I suffer an injury due such a mistake, can I seek compensation?

Falls at construction sites, a common cause of workplace injuries

The construction site fall that left workers injured in Massachusetts discussed in last week's blog highlights one of the most common types of injuries suffered in construction site accidents -- those caused by falls. Construction workers experienced 4.3 non-fatal injuries and illnesses per 100 workers, amounting to more than 9 percent of the 3.3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses experienced in a year. Of the reported injuries and illnesses, falls accounted for more than 22 percent. When a worker is injured at a worksite during the course of their employment, they may be able to file a workers' compensation claim to cover their medical expenses.

Since they are often working from heights, falling from the height is one of the most common type of workplace accident that takes place at a construction site. Additionally, the fall could be from a roof, ladder, scaffolding or a crane. When working from heights, workers are supposed to be wearing the proper protective gear and be strapped in, after receiving proper training on how to complete one's job. Unfortunately, employers often do not always do this, resulting in subsequent falls.

Construction site fall injures two

Though some workplaces are definitely more dangerous than others, this does not mean that an employer is excused from their obligation of removing hazards and minimizing risks in that place. Even where it is not possible to remove all possible dangers, employers need to take steps to educate their workers about them and train them as to how to avoid them. This is the employer's duty. The employer must create a safe working environment and when this duty is neglected, a workplace accident that could lead to serious workplace injuries is often the result.

Officials recently alerted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about a technical rescue they performed in Massachusetts at a prestigious university's construction site. Firefighters were called to the scene where two workers fell around 20 feet. According to officials, the workers were working on the fifth floor when the scaffolding collapsed.

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