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Worcester Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Filing a civil action following a dog bite

Owning a pet is a fairly common practice across the nation. Domesticated animals, such as a dog or a cat, are not only viewed as a pet or a companion. To some, a pet is like a family member. No matter what a pet means to an individual, however, the reality is that a pet owner is responsible for their pet. This goes beyond providing the animal adequate care. It means being responsible for one's pet, whether that means paying for damage the pet causes to the property of others or when a pet bites or attacks another.

Being bit or attacked by a dog can be a very emotional event. Because people often equate dogs with friendly and cuddly, it can be a very scarring experience. Additionally, the injuries that result can be severe. A person could experience lacerations, bruises and even disfigurement. At the Law offices of Bailey & Burke, our attorneys understand how traffic animal bites can be. Thus, we are dedicated to helping victims of animal bites in the Worcester area.

An attorney can be an asset in a truck accident case

Accidents that happen on Massachusetts roads can range from annoyances to life-changing events. While some who are involved in collisions are able to walk away from their ordeals, others may spend the rest of their lives coping with the devastation that their accidents imparted upon them. Accidents with large trucks and commercial vehicles can be especially damaging and can leave victims unsure of where to turn.

A truck accident victim may be barely into their recovery before they receive communications from the trucking company involved in the crash. They may receive notices regarding possible settlements of their potential claims, or they may be pushed to respond by arbitrary deadlines that force them to act without sufficient time to weigh their options. These tactics can be stressful and unnerving to individuals who have dealt with serious accidents, and victims should not have to confront these matters alone.

When negligent pet owners blame victims for their pets' attacks

A responsible pet owner is generally a person who understands and meets the needs of their animal, trains their pet to act appropriately when around others, and who uses appropriate control devices, such as leashes, fences and collars, to ensure that their pets cannot annoy or harm others whether they are in their homes or out in public. Incidents happen, though, where Worcester residents come into contact with domestic animals that are not properly under the control of their owners. When animals attack, it is often the fault of their owner for allowing the incident occur.

From time to time, however, a victim's actions may play a role in the instigation of an attack. Provoking or harassing an animal into action may suggest that a victim prompted the animal to attack. A negligent pet owner may pose this defense to a victim's allegations if the victim attempts to sue for their animal attack-related losses.

After the crash, do not post on social media

When you are behind the wheel, you should stay off your phone. Your chances of being in a wreck increase if you try to post something on Facebook or Twitter while driving. 

However, it is also a good idea to stay off social media before you receive money from your insurance company for the car accident. The things you post on Facebook can come back to hurt you if the incident goes to court. You should not post anything related to your injuries, your insurance company's settlement offer or details about your communication with your attorney. 

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