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Massachusetts Personal Injury And Workers' Compensation Blog

Fireworks and traffic accidents

Over Memorial Day weekend, some people celebrated the holiday by getting together with family members, barbecuing and lighting off fireworks. Firework usage across the country will increase in the coming weeks as many people celebrate the Fourth of July. Fireworks, both those that are used legally and illegally, can present a number of dangers. In some instances, a firework may even lead to a traffic collision and there are a number of risk factors for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to be aware of during these holidays.

For starters, a firework may cause a driver to become startled behind the wheel, which could cause them to hit another vehicle or swerve off the road. This is certainly not the only way in which firework activity could cause an accident, however. Some people may not be paying attention to the road while they are lighting fireworks, which can be especially dangerous at night and may result in a pedestrian accident. Moreover, a driver may even be hit by firework debris while they are on the road.

Understanding the scope of your workers' compensation policy

When you are going through the process of being recruited for a new job in Massachusetts, you will spend as much time interviewing your potential employer as they will spend interviewing you. One of the areas that you should ask about is how their workers' compensation policy works. Once hired, a good employer will spend considerable time making sure you understand your rights in the event you are injured on the job. At Ellis Law Offices LLP, we have been able to help injured workers to utilize the maximum of their workers' compensation policy. 

Preventing an accident and its subsequent injury from happening in the first place is a team effort between you and your employer. As you begin receiving training for your job, you should also be educated about the risks and hazards of the responsibilities you are required to perform as part of your job description. Additionally, it is your responsibility to abide by the regulations and protocols that have been given to you, to protect your own safety and well-being, as well as that of the people around you. 

Did your loved one experience nursing home abuse?

When a loved one is physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself, your family may have to make the difficult decision to move that individual to a Massachusetts nursing home. This is a hard choice, and you likely did a significant amount of research before moving forward with the process. You may have been confident that the facility you chose would provide adequate care and support. 

It can be frustrating to learn that the nursing home you chose for your loved one failed to provide a standard of care. It is devastating and infuriating to learn that your loved one experienced abuse or neglect at the hands of the people you trusted with his or her care. If your family is walking through this difficult situation, there are legal options available to you.

Job success may fuel distracted driving

For many people in Massachusetts, the amount of time they spend in their vehicles getting to and from work every day has become almost an extension of their workday. This has been fueled by the ability to remain in communication at virtually any time. Cell phones have become so common that many employees find themselves on conference calls or receiving messages while on their daily commute. This, in turn, may well be increasing the urge to use phones while behind the wheel.

USA Today recently published a report that indicates the urge to respond to incoming messages is exceptionally high among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34. In this demographic, 37% of people say they feel strongly compelled to check or return messages even while they are actively driving. The desire to be available to bosses and colleagues is part of this desire, making some people feel that the need to compete at work may be contributing to dangers on the road for others. 

Work injuries down, but workplace violence up in Massachusetts

Hearing that the number of workplace injuries and fatalities is down in Massachusetts is good news for employees all around the state. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported the good news, stating that the number of fatal accidents has remained nearly the same over the last few years.

No increase in fatal work accidents is a positive note, but the same report also revealed that the rate of workplace violence has nearly doubled.

Just how dangerous are drowsy drivers?

So much attention is paid to the dangers posed by drunk driving in Worcester that you might think that intoxicated motorists are the only dangerous drivers you may encounter on the road. The fact is that there is another type of driver that poses just as great a danger as those that are intoxicated. This is the driver that gets behind the wheel after having only had a few hours of sleep or taking a medication that is known to cause drowsiness. The risk that such a motorist presents might be even greater than you would think because people are much more likely to drive while drowsy than while drunk. 

Just how prevalent are drowsy drivers? Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that as many as 800 fatal accidents were attributed to drowsy driving. Experts, however, believe that number to much higher (potentially as high as 6,000) due to the fact that few people report being drowsy while driving. Even the numbers that are known are shocking. Indeed, 1 in every 25 respondents to researchers admitted to having fallen asleep behind the wheel in the last 30 days. 

Man dies in running engine of crane

Anyone in Massachusetts who works in the construction industry knows that there are many dangers on a job site. Working in close proximity to or even directly with large and heavy machinery items like cement mixers, forklifts, backhoes, excavators and more is one of the things that may put a construction worker in harm's way. Safety protocol should always be in place to ensure that workers are not inadvertently injured or killed.

Unfortunately for construction workers, their colleagues and their family members, there are times when even the best safety program fails to protect a person from an accident and its effects. Such seems to be the case for one family who lost their loved one in an incident on a site in New Hampshire recently.

What factors go into spinal cord injury recovery?

Damage to the spinal cord can result in dramatic life-altering consequences. Some injuries result in varying forms of paralysis from which there is no chance of recovery. However, other spinal cord injuries can be less severe in nature, and regaining some independence and quality of life is possible. According to John Hopkins Medicine, whether a patient in Massachusetts can successfully complete spinal cord rehabilitation will depend on a number of factors.

The nature of the injury itself is going to be a critical factor. Some spinal cord injuries are so severe that full healing is not possible. The nature of the disabilities resulting from the spinal cord damage will also impact a person’s ability to rehabilitate. The general health of the patient may make it easier or harder to undergo rehabilitation. A person who is otherwise quite healthy will generally find it easier to regain independence than someone who is sickly.

A strong site-specific safety plan might protect your safety

If you are a construction worker in Massachusetts, you will likely rely on your employer to provide a safe work environment that is free of known safety hazards. Although this is what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration expects from employers, ensuring workplace safety is a massive task. Construction company owners handle large numbers of contractors, and hundreds of construction workers -- each with his or her own level of training and competency -- and each construction site poses unique hazards.

If you gain some knowledge of safety challenges, how to manage the risks and how to mitigate the hazards, you might have a better chance of staying safe. Knowing the requirements of site safety plans can provide additional protection.

Can worn out tires make you crash?

If you have been conflicted about whether or not you should invest in some new tires for your vehicle, you may be wondering just how much more use you can get out of your current set. The truth is, when you are driving in Massachusetts, a dependable and safe set of tires is imperative to your safety and to the efficiency with which your vehicle is able to operate. 

Unsafe tires can still roll and allow your vehicle to move, but that is about the extent of their ability. If you encounter inclement weather or make contact with a hot surface, your tires may not be able to withstand the conditions and they may pop or shred and fall apart. While the risks of something happening to your tires while you are driving are significant, the outcome can be extremely dangerous and result in serious injury or even death, especially if you are traveling at a high rate of speed. 

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