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Worcester Personal Injury Law Blog

How can cargo weight factor into a truck accident?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates many aspects of trucking and how truck drivers may operate their rigs. The rules of the FMCSA apply to big rig drivers in Massachusetts and throughout the rest of the United States. While our readers may be familiar with trucking regulations related to driver training and hours of service, truckers are also regulated with regard to how much cargo they may haul by weight in their trucks.

For example, a truck with a single axle may haul 20,000 pounds of cargo, while a truck with tandem axles may haul up to 34,000 pounds. These rules are in place in part to preserve the national highway system and to prevent trucks from causing damage to the roads they travel on, but they are also important rules when it comes to preventing accidents and proving liability when they occur.

Holiday accidents can lead to serious pain and suffering

The Fourth of July holiday is often an event that Massachusetts residents celebrate with exuberance. Many individuals travel to see family and friends while they watch fireworks, enjoy cookouts and embrace the festivities of summer. However, the Fourth of July holiday is also a time when some families are plagued by accidents and tragedies, often brought on by the negligent conduct of others.

Drinking and driving and intoxicated boating can be serious problems for individuals who elect to be on the roads or water over the holiday week. Even if a person is sober they can still become the victim of a collision when a drunk driver smashes their car or boat into the automobile or watercraft of the victim. These collisions can be deadly when negligent parties fail to take care in their actions.

Car accidents that happen while on the job

Getting into a motor vehicle accident is a real risk for anyone behind the wheel. However, for someone who drives for a living, the risk is even higher simply from being on the road more. Also, the vehicle size makes it hard to stay safe. Workers such as truckers, delivery people and taxi drivers often receive the blame for these accidents, but they are also victims of other motorists' bad driving.

If another vehicle hits you when you are on duty, you may be eligible for both workers' compensation and a claim against the party responsible for the collision. It is important to know this because workers' comp only covers certain expenses, such as lost income and medical bills, with a cap on the amount. A third-party lawsuit allows you to pursue higher damages and additional avenues of compensation, such as pain and suffering.

Driver causes fatal accident when attempting to make pass

Every time that drivers in Massachusetts change lanes, they should put on their turn signal to notify other drivers of their intended action, check their mirrors and blind spot and wait for space before executing their move. Too often, however, impatient and dangerous drivers fail to undertake these potentially life-saving steps and put others in danger with their erratic driving behavior.

Recently a Brockton man was killed while attempting to do the simple task of turning into his driveway. The 54-year-old victim was making a turn onto his property when a vehicle attempted to pass him on his left side. The passing driver caused a collision with the victim's vehicle and exposed him to serious injuries.

Drug and alcohol testing after a serious truck accident

There is no question that drinking and driving is a dangerous practice and that too many Massachusetts residents have been harmed in collisions involving impaired individuals. As such, the state has implemented a number of laws that penalize men and women who have been found to have driven while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, private drivers are not the only ones who are expected to abide by safe driving practices. Commercial drivers, such as those who drive large trucks, must also remain sober when they are performing their operating duties.

In fact, if a large truck is involved in a crash and either personal or property damage is suffered by a victim, the driver of the truck should be tested for alcohol or drug impairment. Under the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the tests must be performed in a timely manner so that any consumed drugs or alcohol do not pass out of the driver's system and render the information collected from the testing inaccurate with regard to the driver's condition at the time of the incident.

Are dog bite laws different for children than adults?

In Massachusetts, dog owners are strictly liable for the harm that their pets cause when those animals attack and bite. This means that the owners are responsible for the harm their animals cause even if they had no prior knowledge of their pets' dangerous propensities. There are exceptions to this general rule, however, if, for example, a court finds that the bite victim provoked or antagonized the animal into action.

However, these exceptions presuppose that the victims should have known better than to irritate the animals that attacked them. While adults are generally expected to have this knowledge, children are not. In fact, in Massachusetts, children under the age of 7 cannot be accused of instigating the animals that attack them.

Motorcyclist killed in collision with car

According to reports, a recent accident in Worcester claimed the life of a 31-year-old woman. The victim was riding a motorcycle on Plantation Street when it appears that a vehicle turned in front of her to access the Interstate 290 on-ramp. The victim and her motorcycle crashed into the passenger side of the vehicle and in the collision the motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries.

Although she was taken to a hospital the motorcyclist succumbed to her injuries and passed away. Investigators are looking into possible causes of the crash, including liability and possible mechanical issues with the victim's motorcycle and the driver's car. No criminal charges have been filed in the matter.

Road conditions that can cause auto accidents

Most motor vehicle accidents tend to be the result of driver error and sometimes due to poor weather conditions. However, another culprit that deserves more attention is the road itself. The very surface that you drive on can pose a danger and cause you to get into an accident.

Even if other factors are present, bad road conditions may still have played a role. Following a collision, check for one of these defects or hazards, as it can broaden liability in your case and help you receive more compensation. Take pictures of the accident scene to use as proof that you are not completely at fault, if at all.

Are punitive damages available in wrongful death actions?

When a person is hurt or killed due to the actions of another person, certain personal injury legal claims may arise that give the victim or victims options for seeking compensation for the harm they have suffered. When a Worcester resident is hurt in a car accident, they may sue the responsible party under the theory of negligence. If that individual is killed in the crash, their estate may be entitled to sue on wrongful death grounds.

As previously discussed on this blog, a wrongful death claim arises when a victim dies due to another party's conduct. Negligence, reckless or wanton actions and breaches of warranty can all serve as the grounds for wrongful death claims. A wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the victim's estate by the estate's administrator or executor.

Wrongful death claims based on water accidents

Over the Memorial Day holiday, readers of this Worcester personal injury legal blog may be ready to embrace the coming of summer. For many, summer means freedom from school, cookouts with friends and family and time in the water. Water time can include boating and swimming in local bodies of water, visiting the neighborhood pool or enjoying sports on the river.

However, despite the fact that most people will enjoy their water time without incident or injury, some families will experience the ultimate loss of a loved one through a water-based accident. Drownings are a devastating reality during the summer and when they occur liability may be assigned to those who are responsible.

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