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Massachusetts Personal Injury And Workers' Compensation Blog

The ongoing effort of overcoming anxiety after a car accident

Being involved in a car accident in Massachusetts can present victims with many trying challenges that can range in difficulty depending on the severity of the accident they were involved in. While some may be significantly injured from a physical standpoint, others battle the ongoing issue of severe anxiety associated with driving after they have been involved in a traumatic crash. 

Anxiety tied to the experiences that victims have had is an inevitable part of the healing process. For some people, it does not last very long and with timely intervention and early recognition, it can be managed and overcome in a relatively short period of time. For others, however, their fear of getting behind the wheel may be so severe that it interferes with their ability to safely drive and make decisions while behind the wheel. 

Dealing with a repetitive strain injury

People sustain many different types of injuries while they are working, whether someone is injured due to debris falling on them while they are working on a construction site or someone is involved in a motor vehicle collision while performing their job duties. However, some injuries may occur after prolonged exposure to various job-related stressors. Repetitive strain injuries may seem relatively minor, at least in comparison to falling off of a building or being struck by another vehicle at high speeds. However, these injuries can be very debilitating and have shattered the lives of countless workers across Massachusetts.

People employed in a variety of fields may suffer a repetitive stress injury. For example, an office worker may suffer an injury because they are frequently typing, or someone who has to lift large objects throughout the day may sustain an injury to their back after years of working. These injuries can not only keep someone from continuing in their position, but they can disrupt life in a lot of different ways. For example, they may not be able to participate in physical activities they enjoy and they may have a lot of financial problems due to their condition.

Following an employee death, coworkers push for adequate safety

When people think of industries that pose the biggest threat to workers' safety, one that may not immediately cross their mind is aviation. While flying can certainly pose risks to everyone on board, what about the workers who manage safety protocols on the ground and are actively loading and unloading aircraft? These workers in Massachusetts face unique risks as their job requires significant physical exertion, close contact with large machinery and potentially dangerous equipment and sometimes difficult visibility. 

In a recent accident at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, a worker was killed in what coworkers said was a preventable accident created by several factors including poor visibility. An investigation showed that the man was transporting luggage and turned quickly when he spotted a piece of luggage in his path. His sudden movement caused the vehicle he was operating to overturn and he was pinned underneath. His coworkers contend that had better lighting been installed, he may have seen the luggage before it turned into an unavoidable hazard. 

Look out for aggressive drivers on the road

It is not unusual for drivers to get angry while navigating the roadways. In fact, at least 80% of drivers in the United States confess that they have lost their temper while behind the wheel at least once within the past year. While a little anger may be natural for motorists, it can become dangerous if that anger develops into road rage. When people become enraged while driving, they tend to engage in risky and hazardous driving behaviors that can put their lives and the lives of others at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatal Accident Report System claimed that aggressive driving behaviors were involved in 56% of deadly car accidents within a five-year period. 

It is imperative that drivers understand what these aggressive driving behaviors are so they can avoid them or alert authorities if they happen to come across a driver with road rage. Hazardous behaviors include the following:

Why C-sections should be medically necessary

Advanced technology and increased knowledge and experience have prompted advances in the medical industry that may help you and your family stay healthier. For instance, surgeons can perform operations today that no one had even heard of a few decades ago. When man's progress moves so fast, however, there's a danger of taking certain things for granted or overlooking potential risks.

If you're pregnant, you've hopefully been attending prenatal visits with a Massachusetts obstetrician or midwife who is carefully monitoring your and your baby's condition. You may have heard of people scheduling C-sections out of convenience. Most medical safety experts agree, this is not a good idea. If your doctor recommends a C-section, you have the right to question the recommendation to make sure it is medically necessary.

Do you really have to stay off social media during a lawsuit?

Do Massachusetts courts really take your social-network evidence seriously? In short: They could.

There are a variety of factors that could potentially make your social media posts dangerous to the strength of your case. For example, posts are often publicly available, timestamped, permanent and tied directly to your identity. In fact, the first thing that some defense attorneys do when they get a case is type the plaintiff's names into a search engine and comb their online accounts, taking screenshots as they go.

Study: Voice-activated devices can be distracting

New technology has made it possible for drivers to operate certain functions in their vehicles by simply speaking commands. Voice-activated technology is designed to minimize manual and visual distractions by allowing drivers to perform certain tasks, such as changing the radio station, making phone calls and composing texts, by speaking. Many manufacturers have incorporated this technology into their vehicles. While voice-activated devices help to reduce manual and visual distractions, however, researchers looked into whether it helps with cognitive workload

In the study released by AAA, researchers asked participants to drive through a closed course while performing certain tasks using voice-activated technology. Six systems were tested in all. While drivers were engaged in the tasks, researchers measured their cognitive workload by observing reaction times, brain activity and heart rate. They also asked participants how distracted they felt while completing the study. The results showed the even while drivers could keep their hands on the steering wheel to initiate and complete tasks, their focus was taken off driving and the road. This, in turn, causes delayed reaction times and makes it difficult for drivers to respond to other hazards, such as objects in the road, bad weather conditions, other drivers, stop lights and pedestrian crosswalks. 

Are hands-free cellphones safe to use while driving?

Although it is still legal for you to talk and text on a hand-hand cellphone while driving in Massachusetts, these acts are prohibited in many other states. At least 20 states in the nation have banned drivers from using hand-held devices because they contribute to catastrophic car accidents. In 2017 alone, more than 3,166 people were killed and even more were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. As a result, many people have started using hands-free cellphones to lessen the distraction and help them focus on the road. Yet, studies show that even hands-free devices cause a significant amount of cognitive distraction, which could also lead to an accident. 

The study, published by AAA, looked at the amount of cognitive distraction drivers experienced when they engaged in certain activities, including the following:

Teen drivers and motor vehicle accidents

When teens in Massachusetts pass their road tests, they are very excited about the independence a driver’s license imparts to them. However, with that privilege also comes an enormous amount of responsibility. It is important that parents or guardians of young drivers have frequent and serious discussions with them about the best way to prevent motor vehicle accidents.

The New York Times notes that parents should model good driving behavior for their teens years before they start learning to drive. When adults consistently follow the rules of the road, including driving within the speed limit, children are able to observe the best practices for operating an automobile. Also, these behaviors need to include refraining from using a mobile device, wearing a seatbelt at all times, and never using substances such as drugs or alcohol before driving. 

Pit bull owners in denial over risk of dog bites, injuries

Pet owners often have deep connections with their four-legged friends. After all, as the old saying goes, dogs are man's best friend. While a dog might certainly be his or her owner's best friend, that same rule does not always apply to other people. Unfortunately, pet owners can be biased towards their own dogs and ignore the risk of dog bites.

Dog bites are not as rare as some people in Massachusetts might think. Every year, dogs bite millions of people. Some of society's most vulnerable individuals are also most at risk when it comes to dog bites.

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