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Salem MA Personal Injury Law Blog

Don't hurriedly settle a workers' comp claim without legal help

When one is injured on the job, the last thing they may want to do is hold their employer accountable through a workers' compensation claim. However, most employees do not realize they are barred from filing any other form of claim against their employer and, as a result, may give up their right to get the compensation they legally deserve for an injury they have sustained while performing their jobs. On the other side, rather than file a claim, an accident victim may find it easier and be more relieved if offered a settlement and may end up getting less compensation than they deserve and need in the long run.

Many accident victims do not realize their injuries do not manifest themselves immediately-some take time to form and appear. As a result, one does not factor them into their calculations and ends up paying from the pocket for something that could have been claimed at the time.

Unsafe working conditions prevail in winter

As most Massachusetts' residents prepare to bunker down in their homes during the winter, many others take to the streets to make it safer for others to travel to and from work. But, as one can imagine, snow and ice make for unsafe working conditions and certain precautions must be taken to ensure that workers exposed to extreme conditions do not get injured or contract an illness.

Winter driving is especially dangerous and, though it is a tricky area for employers to provide safe working conditions, they are not exempt from their responsibility. They must ensure drivers have received training for driving in winter conditions and are also properly licensed for the vehicle they drive. Maintenance is also an important angle for employers to look into, ensuring vehicle systems such as the brakes and tires to ensure everything is functioning properly.

Signs that all may not be well in your loved one's nursing home

As an adult child of an aging parent in Massachusetts, you probably worry about your mother's or father's overall well-being as much as you worry about your children's. When parents enter their Golden Years, the parent/child relationship takes on a whole new perspective. In your youth, your parents worried about you as you navigated life's stages, such as your toddler years, pre-teens and into young adulthood. Now, it's you who worries whether your mother or father is safe and in good health.

Many people understand what it's like to worry about a parent whose age or health presents significant daily living challenges. You can't be there 24/7, so you visit as often as you can and try to keep close watch on things. You thoroughly researched available resources when the time came to help your loved one transition to a nursing home. It's one thing, however, to be unsatisfied with the food or other amenities in a nursing facility; it's quite another to suspect that your parent is in danger.

What rights do employees have?

Workers may often feel like they are under their employer's thumb and cannot question or challenge any of the unsafe or dangerous decisions made by their employers, but this is not the case. Massachusetts employees, along with those across the country, have various rights that they can enforce to ensure their workplace is free from hazards.

Perhaps the most important right they have is that of a workplace without any harm. Additionally, they have the right to be given instructions and information in a language they understand. This information could be about workplace hazards, how to avoid them and the standards that apply to them. Similarly, they also have the right to inspect records of workplace injuries and illness. If the workplace does indeed pose a risk, they have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration confidentially and OSHA will inspect the workplace as a result.

Which procedure is most commonly wrong-site surgery?

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has defined a wrong-site surgery as an event that is not related to the patient's natural course of illness, rather they are unexpected events that cause serious physical or psychological injuries. According to the Commission, around 50 wrong-site surgeries take place in the country weekly.

As the above demonstrates, wrong-site surgeries are much more common than Massachusetts residents are expecting. Between 1990 and 2010, 9,744 wrong-site events were settled in medical malpractice cases-six percent of the patients involved in these cases died, 32.9 percent suffered permanent injuries and the remaining were temporarily injured. The problem persists in every medical field, but studies demonstrate that it happens the most frequently in spine surgeries, with single-level lumbar laminotomy being the most common wrong-site procedure.

Understanding fault in a Massachusetts car accident

Though the term 'fault' is brandied out quite a bit when discussing culpability in a car accident, the reality is that this term has a legal meaning and it is important to understand the concept in order to figure out legal liability and compensation in a personal injury suit.

In Massachusetts, a party is considered at fault for a car accident if their driving behavior is said to contribute to more than 50 percent of the accident. That means if someone is found to be 51 percent or more responsible for the crash, they can be considered to be at fault and have to compensate the accident victim.

One dead, two injured in multi-vehicle crash

One of the ways car accident victims get closure after an accident is by identifying the person who caused the crash and then holding them accountable. When the car accident is between two vehicles, it is somewhat easier to identify the negligent party but when there are multiple cars involved, then distributing blame and fault are often tricky-not just for the accident victim but often also for the courts.

This could be the challenge facing investigators as they look into a three-vehicle crash that has left one dead and two drivers injured in Massachusetts. The crash took place in the afternoon and according to some officers, they saw one vehicle speeding down the street right before the crash took place.

Nearly 1000 deaths due to hospital errors daily

Massachusetts' residents may be unaware that rather than getting better at the hospital, thousands of people end up either getting worse or dying of a hospital error, not their original condition. Almost 20 years ago, a shocking study revealed that almost 100,000 people were dying annually due to hospital errors and, in 2010, another study corrected them, estimating almost 180,000 people died in Medicare alone. This number was further elevated in 2013, when another study claimed almost 440,000 deaths were the result of preventable errors in hospitals.

It is a tragic state of affairs when the third leading cause of deaths in America is death by hospital errors-after heart disease and cancer. Given that 440,000 people are estimated to die annually due to this, that translates to about 1,000 preventable deaths a day. If the patient is more than 65 years old, then there's a 14 percent chance that a hospital visit will make them more sick rather than better.

Building a strong claim for nursing home abuse victims

It is disheartening and frustrating to learn that a loved one may have experienced mistreatment while staying at a Massachusetts nursing home. If you suspect abuse or neglect of any kind, you may want to take legal action, but you may not know what to do next. Building a claim for nursing home abuse or negligence is not an easy process, but it is not something you have to do alone.

If your loved one experienced physical, emotional or financial harm at the hands of a nursing home, you may take action on his or her behalf. It may be possible to secure financial compensation and damages by filing a personal injury claim. 

Crowd management to avoid workplace injuries is boss's duty

As mentioned previously on this blog space, it is an employer's responsibility to create a safe working environment for all employees at all times, regardless of the type of workspace. One time an ordinarily safe working place can become unsafe is when a big sale or event is advertised and expected to attract a lot of customers in a store. At this, workers unprepared to deal with the crowd could sustain crush injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recognized the difficulties employers may face in these situations and have provided certain guidelines Massachusetts' employers may want to follow to ensure their employee's safety during a frenzy. It is important to note that they have provided steps that should be taken when planning the event, before the event and during the event to ensure minimum workplace accident injuries.

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