An undergraduate student who attended Harvard University reported died in a car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike early Monday morning. That accident occurred when a minivan veered into the oncoming lane, hit a guardrail and then went back into the center lane where it was struck by a big rig. The impact reportedly ejected the driver from the minivan, which resulted in his death.

In addition to the driver’s death, three passengers in the minivan were injured, one seriously so. All of those in the minivan were reportedly students at Harvard. 

At some point in the process, another big rig was involved in the crash. The accident is still under investigation, so it wouldn’t be right to make any conclusions. News sources seem to suggest that the minivan initiated the crash, but we’ll have to wait for any definitive determinations.

Accidents involving big rigs are obviously risky because of the sheer size of those vehicles. There are number of circumstances that can lead to truck accidents. One common reason for truck accidents is the truck driver’s failure to abide by hours-of-service rules and subsequently falling into a fatigued state. Driving while fatigued is, of course, quite dangerous and puts other drivers at risk.

When a motorist is harmed by a truck driver’s negligence, he or she has the right to seek appropriate compensation, if necessary through litigation. In doing so, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure the best possible outcome in the case. 

Source: Nj.com, “Harvard student dies in crash involving 2 tractor-trailers on Turnpike in Robbinsville, officials say,” Mike Davis, February 10, 2014. 

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Suffering from a severe burn can prove to be absolutely life changing. In addition to the initial pain from the injury, individuals dealing with severely burned skin often have to go through the process of grafting. While burn injury treatment can be successful, scars from this type of injury may never disappear.

Generally speaking, there may be a tendency to associate most burn injuries with fires. While this is certainly a way many people are burned, a recent release from Massachusetts public safety officials notes that the most common burn injury in the state is actually hot-liquid burns sustained by children under the age of 5.

Scalding injuries can be caused by a variety of substances, including hot beverages, boiling water, hot oil and steam. The Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System indicates that 46 percent of burn injuries in 2012 involved scalding liquids injuring young children.

Unfortunately, many of these injuries are caused by hot liquids falling off of a countertop or stovetop, but there are a number of other scenarios in which scalding injuries might be caused. For example, those who work in the food-service industry are frequently exposed to hot liquids and oil. If a person suffers an on-the-job burn injury, it may be possible to seek workers’ compensation as they would after other types of workplace accidents.

In the immediate wake of a severe burn injury, seeking treatment is obviously the top priority. The reality, however, is that medical expenses can add up very fast. In order to ease the burden of medical bills and focus on getting better, it may be helpful to see what legal options are available to burn victims.

Source: WWLP.com, “Hot liquid scalds is the leading cause of burns,” Feb. 1, 2014

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Workplace safety should always be a top priority at manufacturing plants. Accidents at manufacturing plants can have severe consequences; in some instances, they even lead to explosions occurring. Explosions at manufacturing plants can result in workers suffering a variety of serious injuries, such as burn injuries or injuries caused by being struck by flying debris.

On Monday afternoon, a pair of explosions occurred at a manufacturing plant in another state in the New England area, New Hampshire. The plant is a ball bearing factory.

According to a fire official, the two explosions happened in a chemical mixing area of the manufacturing plant. The two explosions happened in rapid succession, with the second one being larger than the first.

The exact cause of the explosions is still unclear, and the explosions are under investigation.

According to the Boston Globe article which reported on this story, the explosions caused 13 people to get injured. Two of the individuals suffered critical injuries and four of the individuals suffered serious injuries. The 13 hurt individuals were hospitalized following the explosions.

Being the victim of an explosion at one’s workplace can be an incredibly traumatic experience for a worker. The long-term and short-term impacts of such workplace incidents can be numerous.

The process of seeking financial relief for such impacts can be a very complex one. However, workers don’t have to go through this process alone. Personal injury attorneys can help individuals here in Massachusetts who have been hurt in a workplace explosion with the relief-seeking process.

Source: The Boston Globe, “13 injured in blasts at factory in N.H.,” Travis Andersen, Haven Orecchio-Egresitz and Derek J. Anderson, Feb. 10, 2014

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A rail worker was recently hurt in a workplace accident here in Massachusetts.

The worker in question is a man from Greenfield who works at a rail yard in Deerfield. An accident occurred while the man was working by some railroad tracks at the yard on Jan. 28. The article on the Recorder’s website which reported this story did not have any details on the specific nature of the accident.

The man suffered a traumatic leg injury in the accident. He was transported by air to a hospital in Springfield, where he was listed in fair condition.

Leg injuries suffered in the workplace can have major care and medical costs connected to them. Such injuries can also sometimes take a person out of the workforce for awhile, thus impacting their ability to bring in income.

Consequently, workers who have suffered work-related leg injuries can find themselves in a difficult financial position. Thankfully, there are several different options for pursuing monetary relief that an injured worker may have access to, such as: workers’ compensation claims, disability benefits claims and third-party personal injury claims. Which specific options are available for a given worker whose leg was hurt in a workplace accident can depend on several things, including: what the cause of the accident was, what parties contributed to the accident and what specific impacts the injury is having on the worker. Experienced workplace accident attorneys can help injured workers come up with a relief-seeking strategy that is appropriate for their given situation.

Source: The Recorder, “Deerfield Rail Yard worker gets injured,” Jan. 28, 2014

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There are many different types of misconduct by dump truck drivers that can cause accidents to occur. One is failure by the driver of a dump truck to take proper steps to prevent the objects their truck is carrying in its bed from being at risk of falling out. Accidents caused by objects that fell out of a vehicle, such as a dump truck, while the vehicle was traveling on a road sometimes have deadly results.

Recently, a fatal auto accident occurred in Massachusetts involving a mattress. According to authorities, last Tuesday afternoon in Burlington, a car and a pickup truck that were traveling on Interstate 95 got into a crash with each other. In the accident, the driver of the car was fatally injured and the driver of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries. According to authorities, the crash was caused by a mattress that was on the freeway.

How did the mattress end up on the freeway? Authorities suspect that the mattress fell out of a dump truck. According to authorities, the dump truck kept going after the mattress fell out. According to the article on CBS Boston’s website which reported on the accident, police are in the process of trying to find the dump truck.

As this collision illustrates, there are many different ways that fatal motor vehicle accidents can occur. Personal injury attorneys can investigate the causes of a given fatal traffic accident and can help the accident victim’s family determine what parties can/should be held responsible for the crash.

Source: CBS Boston, “Mattress Causes Deadly Crash On I-95 South In Burlington,” Jan. 28, 2014

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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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After living for an entire year at the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center located in Northbridge, a 58-year-old dialysis patient got the news that she was going home. She wasn’t just leaving the facility, she was returning to a home where her husband and her two children waited.

When the day came, the patient’s stretcher was loaded onto the ambulance and pulled away from the nursing center. Ready for their wife and mother to return home, the family was shocked when they learned that she wouldn’t be coming home at all. The family was notified that the ambulance that was transporting her home was involved in an accident.

According to the Milford police, the driver of a Mercedes-Benz failed to stop at a stop sign on Route 140. When the Mercedes went through the intersection, it struck the ambulance with such force that the large vehicle flipped over, rolling upside down once and then right side up again. The ambulance stopped moving when it hit the guardrail lining the roadway.

During the accident, both the woman and a paramedic were tossed about in the back of the vehicle. The paramedic survived the accident with non-life-threatening injuries, but the woman’s proved to be fatal. Police said that it appeared as though the woman’s stretcher had “come loose” when the vehicle flipped over.

The victim’s family has said that they are “going to miss her.” It is a statement that likely doesn’t describe what they are feeling in this time. It isn’t just the medical bills or lost wages that a wrongful death lawsuit helps cover. It can’t bring a person back into a family’s life, but it can help compensate them for the loss of companionship and uncertainty created by the fatal incident.

Source: Boston Herald, “Patient killed in ambulance accident,” John Zaremba, Jan. 22, 2014

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Large machinery is a common sight at industrial plants. Workplace accidents involving such machinery can be catastrophic. One thing that can lead to such accidents occurring is failure by a company that runs a plant to comply with applicable safety standards when it comes to the machinery at the plant. Thus, it is incredibly important for companies with industrial plants here in Massachusetts to keep appraised of what safety standards apply to the machinery at their plants and to follow such standards.

Recently, a fatal industrial accident involving a piece of large machinery occurred here in Massachusetts.

The accident happened at a New Bedford seafood processing plant last Thursday while an employee of the plant who was working the night shift was cleaning a piece of machinery. The piece of machinery in question was a shellfish-shucking machine. According to authorities, the employee, a 35-year-old man, became caught in an engine in the machine and this resulted in him dying.

This fatal accident is under investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. One of the things OSHA will be looking into is whether the company which runs the plant followed applicable safety standards when it came to the shellfish-shucking machine. The company has had safety violations issued against it by OSHA in the past.

Fatal industrial accidents can have vast impacts on the families of the victims. Families of individuals killed in an industrial accident may wonder whether they can take any actions to seek relief in relation to the accident, such as bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Experienced personal injury attorneys can review the details of fatal workplace accidents and go over potential relief-seeking options with the families of victims.

Source: boston.com, “Man dies in shucking machine accident at New Bedford seafood plant,” Maria Sacchetti and Catalina Gaitan, Jan. 17, 2014 

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Here in Massachusetts, a blood alcohol content of 0.08 is the legal limit for drivers of regular passenger vehicles who are of legal age to drink. The fact that driving with a BAC under this level is legal may lead some to assume that driving with any BAC below 0.08 is safe. A recent study indicates that such an assumption would be quite wrong.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Diego. In the study, the researchers looked at the details of 570,731 fatal auto accidents. The researchers found that driving with any BAC other than zero, even a BAC in the 0.01 to 0.07 range, is associated with increased accident severity and is unsafe. For example, they found that driving with a BAC of 0.01 rather than zero increased a person’s likelihood that they would be found solely to blame in a traffic accident by 46 percent.

The study’s results raise some questions regarding buzzed driving (driving with a BAC above zero but below the legal limit) here in the United States. Is enough being done to inform drivers of the dangers of buzzed driving? What should states be doing to discourage such conduct? Should states lower legal limits?

The head author of the above-mentioned study said that states should consider lowering their legal limits and suggested a BAC of 0.05 as a possible compromise level for legal limits here in the United States.

Do you think that Massachusetts should consider lowering its legal limit to 0.05?

Source: NBC 7 San Diego, “Study: “Minimally Buzzed” Drivers Often Cause Fatal Crashes,” Rory Devine and Monica Garske, Jan. 18, 2014

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