Articles Posted in Personal Injury

One type of medical device that is becoming increasingly common here in the U.S. are joint replacement devices. According to a recent study, around 7 million Americans have either a knee replacement or a hip replacement. This works out to over 2 percent of the country’s population. It is anticipated that this number will continue to rise.

A likely contributor to the growing popularity of joint replacement devices is the success that such devices have shown at helping with certain types of joint pain. Many people suffer from joint pain and such pain can impact a person’s life significantly. Knee and hip replacements have led to significant quality of life improvements for some joint pain sufferers.

One hopes that, as the use of hip and knee replacements becomes more and more common, manufacturers of such medical devices will do everything they can to ensure that the devices they produce are free of faults. For, just as a properly working joint replacement device can be a very helpful thing, a defective one can be very harmful. Life-changing injuries can occur when a joint replacement device implanted in a person contains defects.

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As our readers have likely heard, an accident recently occurred involving the Green Line of Boston’s subway system.

The accident happened early in the afternoon on March 10. A Green Line trolley that was traveling near Kenmore Station derailed and struck a tunnel wall. The accident resulted in 10 people getting hurt. These individuals were brought to a hospital following the crash.

What caused this public transportation accident? According to the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, the cause was driver error. The MBTA says that they found through an investigation that the driver of the trolley had failed to comply with requirements regarding signals and speed. Purportedly, the driver has since been fired.

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The actions of a motorist can change a bicyclist’s life in an instant. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that drivers make sure to not engage in careless conduct, such as driving too close to a bicycle, when they share the road with bicyclists.

The matter of whether a given bicycle accident was caused by motorist negligence is one of the things personal injury attorneys can conduct investigations into for accident victims. Whether or not motorist negligence was a factor in a given collision between a car and a bicycle can have significant impacts on the issue of liability.

Currently, a technology is being developed that is aimed at helping prevent bicycle accidents. Four mechanical engineering students from Northeastern University are the technology’s developers. The technology is called the Interactive Bicyclist Accident Prevention System and it could be referred to as a “smart bike” system. The system is a pair of sensor-containing consoles that are to be put on a bicycle’s rear and front.

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This winter has been a particularly cold one here in the United States. In such conditions, some individuals here in Massachusetts have likely found keeping the house warm to be a somewhat bigger challenge than usual. One device that some individuals sometimes buy to help keep the house warm during the winter season are space heaters.

It can be a serious matter when space heaters intended for home use contain faults. Given that such devices contain heating elements, faults can sometimes cause space heaters to become dangerous fire hazards.

Recently, concerns regarding fire risk have led to a recall of a certain model of Duraflame-brand electric space heater. The model in question is the DSF-220 model. The model was sold nationwide. The number of heaters covered under the recall is upwards of 30,000. Under the recall, individuals who own a heater covered by the recall are instructed to unplug and stop using the heater and contact the product’s manufacturer, Twin-Star, about how to get a refund.

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The visible wounds from cat bites tend to be fairly small and not nearly as gruesome-looking as the wounds from dog bites. This can lead people to assume that cat bites lack the potential to be very harmful. Such an assumption would be wrong.

One of the major health risks that can go along with cat bites are infections. The puncture-like nature that cat bites generally have can make them particularly effective at injecting infection-causing bacteria into a person. Infections caused by cat bites can have serious effects on a person; in some circumstances, they can even lead to a person needing to undergo surgery.

A recent study underscores the potentially serious nature of cat bites. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic, focused on 193 individuals who suffered a cat bite on their hand and ended up seeking out treatment for the bite. During the study, around a third of these cat bite victims ended up getting into a serious enough condition that they required a hospital stay. Of the cat bite victims that required a hospital stay, around two-thirds ultimately needed surgery in relation to infections they suffered from the bite.

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On Sunday evening, the TV will be the primary center of attention in many homes here in Massachusetts and throughout the nation, as it is Super Bowl Sunday. Gathering around the TV with friends and family to watch the big game, or even just the commercials, is a tradition that many people have. Some people will even go out and get a bigger TV with the Super Bowl in mind.

We tend to view TVs as very safe things. However, TVs can pose a safety risk if they fall. Given the large size of many TVs, people can suffer serious injuries when they are hit by a falling TV.

What can cause a TV to fall? One thing is when products that are used to hold TVs, such as display stands or wall mounts, contain defects and break.

Recently, a recall was announced of certain models of TV wall mounts. The models in question are eight models of mounts sold under the Ergotron brand that are intended for use with flat panel TVs or displays. These models were sold between February 2012 and January 2013.

The recall was issued in regards to concerns that a problem with one of the welds on the mount could cause the mount to break while it is holding a TV, and thus could cause a TV to fall. Under the recall, owners of the mounts can receive a free repair kit to address the weld issue.

No reports of injuries have been made in relation to the wall mounts, but there have been some reports of property damage.

One hopes that all companies that make or sell products designed to hold TVs take all proper precautions to ensure that their products do not have any faults that could cause the TV-watching experience to be anything other than a safe one.

Source: WLTX, “TV Wall Mounts Being Recalled For Faulty Part,” Jan. 27, 2014

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Sometimes, an apartment tenant will notice a potentially dangerous condition on a stairway in their apartment and report it to their landlord. Some examples of things that can cause a stairway to be hazardous are broken or defective railings, broken or defective steps and loose or worn carpeting on steps.

It is very important for apartment landlords here in Massachusetts to respond properly to reports of hazardous conditions on stairways on apartment premises. When landlords fail to take steps to correct a hazardous stairway-related condition that they have been made aware of, tenants can get hurt. Landlords should be held accountable when this occurs.

A lawsuit involving an apartment and a stairway accident has recently arisen in another state. The case involves a woman who, along with her husband, was a tenant of an apartment in Belleville, Illinois.

The woman and her husband allege that there was some loose carpeting on a set of stairs in the apartment they were renting. According to them, they informed their landlord of this loose carpeting. They claim that, despite this, the landlord did not take actions to address the condition.

The woman says that she then suffered a slip-and-fall accident due to the loose carpeting. The accident caused her to suffer injuries which required her to undergo surgery, according to her and her husband.

In relation to the accident and the alleged negligence, the landlord is being sued by the woman and her husband. The lawsuit is asking for damages, including damages for loss of consortium.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, “Belleville tenants sue landlord over trip on stairs,” Jack Bianciotto, Jan. 21, 2014

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One type of tool that many individuals here in Massachusetts use are saws. It is very important that saws contain proper safety features to protect users from accidental contact with a blade. When manufacturers act negligently in regards to safety features when designing a saw, it can result in a saw being dangerous. Unsafe saws can cause users to suffer significant injuries.

Recently, a product liability case involving a saw has arisen in another state.

The case involves a man from Pennsylvania and an accident he said he suffered involving a certain type of table saw.

The man claims that negligence occurred in relation to the table saw’s design. He alleges that this negligence resulted in the saw having a blade guard that was very difficult to use and the saw lacking certain safety technologies that it should have had.

According to the man, these faults with the saw resulted in the saw’s blade making contact with his fingers while he was using the table saw on Jan. 11, 2012. He says that he suffered severe injuries to his fingers in this accident.

The manufacturer of the table saw is being sued by the man in connection to the above accusations.

Accidents involving tools can be very serious. There are many questions that can come up in connection to an injury-causing accident involving a tool, such as:

  • What are the likely short-term and long-term effects of the injuries the victim suffered in the accident?
  • Was the accident caused by a fault or defect in the tool?
  • Did negligence by a product manufacturer or a product seller contribute to the accident?

Product liability attorneys can investigate such questions and can help victims of accidents involving tools or other products figure out if they can pursue compensation in relation to the injuries they suffered.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Pa. consumer injured by table saw sues Japanese manufacturer Makita Corp.,” Jon Campisi, Jan. 14, 2014

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Two major slipping hazards that can arise on properties here in Massachusetts in winter are snow and ice. It is very important for property owners to take proper steps to protect guests from such slipping hazards. This includes properly clearing out snow and ice from areas in which guests are likely to walk. It also includes not allowing defective conditions to exist on a property which could increase the chances of snow or ice hazards arising.

People may be tempted to view slips on snow or ice as minor things. However, slip-and-fall accidents caused by ice or snow can actually have substantial repercussions. People can suffer impactful injuries in such accidents. Thus, negligence by property owners when it comes to snow and ice on their property can be very harmful to guests.

Recently, in another state, a settlement was reached in a slip-and-fall case involving ice and allegations of property owner negligence.

The case involved a man who leased an apartment in New York. The apartment was next door to the home of his landlords.

Purportedly, on Jan. 31, 2011, the man went to his landlords’ home to make a rent payment. A representative of the man has said that there was a leaking drain pipe on the landlords’ property and that this caused an icy condition to develop on the driveway of the landlords’ property. According to the man’s representative, while the man was walking on this driveway, he suffered a slip-and-fall accident due to the ice and fractured his ankle.

The man brought a lawsuit against his landlords in connection to the accident. As we mentioned above, this case was recently settled. The man will receive a monetary payment under the settlement.

Source: silive.com, “Slip-and-fall in icy Staten Island driveway results in 250G settlement,” Frank Donnelly, Jan. 6, 2014

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Far too often, the headlines in the Boston area talk about a major semi truck accident that injured or killed innocent people. Sometimes the truck accident is truly that — an accident. But sometimes the crash is due to negligence on the part of the truck driver. Maybe the driver was tired or intoxicated; maybe the driver failed to observe road laws or signage specific to trucks; or maybe the driver just made a bad driving decision, resulting in a costly accident.

In any case, the truck driver usually takes a lot of heat in the wake of an accident, and it is usually in relation to the driver’s performance behind the wheel. But sometimes a truck accident can arise for another reason: an unsafe or inadequate vehicle.

Again, just like with a truck driver’s fault in an accident, an unsafe semi truck can occur for a variety of reasons. The truck company could be at fault for ignoring truck maintenance regulations; the truck driver could be at fault for failing to perform a proper pre-trip inspection of his or her vehicle; or the truck could fail due to cheap or insufficient maintenance work. When a truck mechanically breaks down, it can have a catastrophic effect on traffic. A crash is likely.

That’s why it’s not hard to imagine that the numbers revealed in a recent truck safety crackdown in Canada would be similar to those in the U.S. The crackdown, which spanned two days, forced a safety inspection on 403 trucks. After the inspections, Canadian police discovered that almost 40 percent of the trucks (157 out of 403) failed.

Source: Global News, “Police say 249 charges laid during truck safety blitz,” Oct. 19, 2013

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