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Worcester Personal Injury Law Blog

What damages may I seek after an animal attack?

Although many of the animals that Worchester residents maintain as pets are harmless, loving creatures, some harbor latent dangers that their owners may not even be aware of. Dog bites and attacks are unfortunately common, and when they occur, they can leave victims with serious injuries, significant expenses and even lost income.

Victims of animal attacks should always seek medical attention after their incidents. Animals can carry diseases that can, in comes cases, be fatal in humans if left untreated. At the very least, victims should have their wounds properly dressed and their injuries documented as soon as possible after being bitten.

Motorcycle accidents are often caused by right of way mistakes

Massachusetts has codified a set of rules that govern how drivers on the roads should act in the event that they approach intersections at the same time as other motorists. Deciding who will go first and how others should follow concerns the drivers' right of way, or the right of a driver to go before others.

Right of way is an incredibly important aspect of driving as following the rules prevents a multitude of accidents each year; however, it is often the case that drivers fail to acknowledge the right of way of motorcyclists and for this reason many car-motorcycle accidents occur.

Types of damages in a Massachusetts accident case

If you were injured in a Massachusetts car accident, you may be wondering what kind of compensation you would be able to get through a lawsuit.

Knowing how the general principles of compensation work for an accident due to negligence can help you understand what to expect in your case. A qualified attorney can help you further by assessing the facts of your case and advising you about the best way to proceed.

Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers

Practically any Worcester resident who has driven or been a passenger in a car has seen it: a driver with their head down as they read, write or send a text message on their smart phone. Technology like cellular telephones, navigation devices and smart watches are touted as tools that make people's lives easier. However, in many cases, they are the devices that make American roads more dangerous.

Smart devices are a major cause of distracted driving in America. Distracted driving occurs when a person allows a distraction, such as their phone, another passenger, or eating, to take their attention away from the road. Distractions can prevent drivers from seeing obstacles in their paths, stopping their vehicles before colliding with other automobiles or pedestrians or even noticing traffic signals and signage that are intended to keep them from running into other cars, trucks and motor vehicles.

Holiday car accidents are a bad way to start the New Year

Millions of Americans take to the roads each holiday season. Many travel to visit friends and family members so that they may celebrate with individuals that they love. Others travel in order to go on vacations that they may not be able to take during other times of the year. Massachusetts residents may take long or short drives in order to reach remote destinations in order to fulfill their holiday plans.

With so many people taking to streets and highways, it is not uncommon for drivers to become overwhelmed by traffic. Many vehicles on the roads coupled with variable weather conditions can make holiday travel a frustrating and sometimes dangerous undertaking. It is not uncommon for accidents to happen when individuals brave the elements and get into their vehicles to travel for the holidays.

Can I get sick from a dog bite?

Dogs are great companions to many Massachusetts residents and enrich their owners' lives through love and companionship. However, it is not uncommon for dogs and humans to have aggressive and sometimes even dangerous interactions. When dogs bite ,the consequences can be medically and emotionally significant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 4.5 million dog bites happen every year in the United States. Of those 4.5 million, around 900,000 bites will result in infections in the victims' bodies. Infections are not the only threats that dog bite victims face, however, as emotional trauma, scarring, disfigurement and other diseases are all also possible threats.

Negligent drivers put motorcyclists in harm's way

The following scenario is not an uncommon sight to witness on Massachusetts roads: two drivers approach an intersection in opposing directions, and the vehicle that must yield to oncoming traffic hurries through the intersection so that it does not have to wait any longer than necessary. The actions of the vehicle's driver are dangerous because the driver's conduct is potentially negligent and their hurry to get across the intersection may put others in the path of collisions.

While collisions between vehicles in situations like this do happen, this is one of the most common ways that collisions between vehicles and motorcycles occur. In around two out of every three automobile-motorcycle crashes the vehicle's driver failed to yield or otherwise respect the motorcyclist's right of way and created the dangerous situation that led to the vehicles' crash.

Are truck drivers subject to distracted driving laws?

In order to operate a large commercial truck or bus on a Massachusetts road or highway a driver usually must possess a special license that demonstrates their capacity to handle such a massive vehicle. This special license is an important element of gaining the right and responsibility of truck driving as 18-wheelers, semis and other large rigs can be incredibly dangerous when they are poorly operated by their drivers. The possession of the special license is a sign that a driver understands the rules and regulations that apply to them when they are operating their commercial automobiles.

One of the important rules that extend to truck drivers is the prohibition on their ability to text and drive. Texting and driving involves using a handheld device such as a smartphone while behind the wheel of a vehicle and keying in text to send to another party. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration prohibit texting and driving for drivers of all commercial vehicles.

Strict liability applies in dog bite incidents

People like to say that a dog is a man's best friend and for many Massachusetts residents canine companions make their lives better. Wet noses and warm fur are only a few of the traits that draw individuals to dogs as pets. Additionally, some people feel safer knowing that dogs are on guard in their homes and are listening for possible threats.

While most dogs and their owners live their shared existences without any legal complications, problems can develop if the dogs attack or bite other people. In Massachusetts, dog owners are strictly liable for the harm their pets inflict, subject to a handful of exceptions.

Why it is a bad idea to assume you are at fault for an accident

It is easy to feel responsible for something, especially if the apparent facts point a certain way. However, it is important to remember that you know only your side of the story, and even that may not be as accurate as you think it is. For example, if you had two beers over two hours and then got behind the wheel, you might think that would have been enough to make you too drunk to drive. For some people, it would not be, so it is unwise to admit something such as, "I was drunk," to the police.

All that said, Massachusetts has a general policy for determining fault in an auto collision. The guidelines say that a driver is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident in situations such as colliding while backing up, colliding while leaving a driveway, failing to signal and colliding into the rear end of another car. The policies are in place to help streamline the insurance process. They are not set in stone, though, and in many cases, both complicated and apparently simple, you can have violated one of the "more than 50 percent at fault" triggers and still recover compensation in court.

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