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Worcester Personal Injury Blog

A holiday road trip is fun, also full of potential trouble

There's no better feeling than packing the car, jumping in the driver's seat and taking a road trip during the holiday season. It doesn't matter if you're visiting your family for Thanksgiving, your friends for Christmas or simply getting away from the daily grind, you're sure to be excited.

As fun as a holiday road trip may be, don't overlook the potential trouble lurking around every corner. It's critical to properly prepare for the time you'll spend on the road, as doing so decreases the likelihood of an accident. Here's what you need to do:

  • Prepare your vehicle: From checking your tire pressure and windshield wipers to changing all necessary fluids, don't leave home until you're 100% sure your vehicle is ready for the road ahead. If you don't know what you're looking at, visit a local mechanic or dealership before hitting the road.
  • Get enough rest: Drowsy driving is a leading cause of accidents, so you don't want to find yourself fatigued when behind the wheel. Bank as much sleep as possible before you embark on your holiday journey.
  • Avoid distractions: From texting to turning around to see what your children are doing in the back seat, there are many distractions that have the potential to cause an accident.
  • Share the road: You can't control the decisions that other drivers make, but you can share the road to lessen the likelihood of an accident. For example, rather than try to speed past a truck in the right lane, sit back and wait until you can safely pass in the left lane.
  • Keep an eye on the sky: If you're one of our Massachusetts readers traveling in the northeast, rain, snow and strong winds can move into the area without much notice. Inclement weather calls for you to adjust your driving style.

How do I know if I have a whiplash injury?

Whiplash injuries are serious injuries car accident victims may suffer if their head has been thrown violently back and forth in a car accident. A whiplash injury can occur at any speed, including at low speeds, and because victims may not always know they have suffered a whiplash injury right after the car accident, victims should know what to watch for.

In addition to not always being immediately evident, whiplash injuries can also worsen over time and be difficult to treat. Whiplash injuries are a type of soft tissue injury to the vertebrae, muscles and ligaments in the neck. Whiplash injuries are also referred to as cervical sprain, cervical strain or hyperextension injury. As victims are able to relax somewhat following the immediate trauma of an unexpected car accident, the signs and symptoms of a whiplash injuries they have suffered may become more obvious.

How people end up with brain injuries in car crashes

There are many different ways in which vehicles can collide. There is the so-called T-bone crash, which happens when the front end of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. There is the rear-end crash, where one vehicle hits the back end of another. Head-on collisions occur when two drivers collide front end to front end.

The kind of crash isn't the only issue that can impact the injuries you might sustain. There are a variety of secondary factors, such as whether a vehicle spins or rolls as part of the crash that will affect the kinds of injuries people suffer.

Legal resources for victims of preventable medical errors

Surgical never events refer to surgical errors that should never happen but, unfortunately, do because of the medical negligence of a medical care provider. Greater than 4,000 preventable errors occur in surgeries every year at a great cost to victims.

Examples of never events that can happen during surgery include performing surgery on the wrong site of the victim's body, performing the wrong medical procedure on the victim or leaving a sponge or other foreign object in the victim. Researchers found that foreign objects are left in the victim's body 39 times each week; that the wrong procedure is performed on the victim 20 times each week; and that the wrong site of the victim's body is operated on 20 times a week.

The costs of brain injuries can be overwhelming

Because victims of brain injuries can suffer physical, financial and emotional trauma and harm, they should be familiar with the legal resources to help them with the trauma and costs of a brain injury. Brain injuries are not uncommon in vehicle accidents and can take a hefty toll on victims, their lives and their families.

Brain injury costs can easily climb into the millions and it is estimated that the lifetime cost of treating a brain injury can range from $600,000 to $1.875 million. This can depend on the nature of the brain injury and whether it was considered mild, moderate or severe. A mild brain injury can cost $85,000 to treat, a moderate brain injury can cost $941,000 to treat and a severe traumatic brain injury can cost and estimated $3 million to treat. Hospital costs to treat brain injuries in the United State are estimated at $31.7 billion and the costs of acute and rehabilitative care for brain injury victims costs between $9 and $10 billion annually.

Educating kids on bike safety

Bike riding can be great fun for all of the family. Not only can it be an eco-friendly and affordable form of transportation, but it is also a fun recreational activity, and is a great form of exercise. However, as with all forms of transportation, certain safety risks need to be observed.

If your children ride bikes, you must take the time to educate them on how to ride safely, no matter their age. This can go a long way toward preventing accidents and injuries. The following are some key bike riding safety tips that apply to children of all ages.

How to prove that a driver was distracted

If you have been involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim to get justice and to claim damages. If you want to do this successfully, you will need to show that the other party acted in a negligent way that resulted in the damages that you suffered.

One of the common causes of negligent behavior and collisions is distracted driving. Distracted driving is a broad term to describe any type of behavior that causes the driver to take their attention off of the road. It's common for distracted driving to occur in the form of texting or eating behind the wheel. But it is perhaps equally common for distracted driving to occur through less obvious behavior, for example, through rumination or through attending to upset children in the back of the car. If you believe that your car accident was caused by another person's distracted driving, you must take steps to go about proving this.

Legal resources for victims of medical misdiagnosis

When a medical mistake such as a misdiagnosis, failed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis leads to the lack of medical treatment or the wrong treatment, victims may suffer harm. As a result, it is important for victims and their families to be familiar with the legal resources available to help them with their damages when they have been the victim of a failure to diagnose or incorrect diagnosis.

In general, if a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis results in disease or injury progression beyond what would have resulted from a timely diagnosis, the medical care provider may be liable for the harm caused to the victim. The standard that is used to determine if the medical care provider was negligent is what a reasonably prudent medical care provider in similar circumstances would have done. If the care the doctor, nurse or other medical care professional provided fell before the standard of care, they may be liable for the damages the victims suffers.

Rubbernecking puts lives at risk: Pay attention

If you've never heard the term "rubbernecking," then you might think it's unusual. However, it's a simple term that refers to people who turn their heads to look at car crashes or other accidents outside their vehicles. By looking away from what's happening in front of them, so-called rubberneckers actually slow down traffic and are a major cause of traffic jams. In some cases, they look away from what they're doing for so long that they cause rear-end collisions or other crashes.

It is safe to say that rubbernecking isn't intentional. The fact that there is a serious crash or accident near you would make you want to look. It is a problem, though, if those few seconds looking away from the road cause another crash.

The dangers of distracted driving in Massachusetts

Distracted driving has been in the news in Massachusetts lately, as the state legislature considers a distracted driving bill. Currently, there are restrictions on distracted driving in Massachusetts and it is important for drivers to understand what distracted driving is and that they may be civilly liable to victims they injure in a distracted driving-related car accident.

Distracted driving is dangerous activity that places drivers, passengers and those they share the roadway with in danger. This blog recently discussed the dangers of eating while driving, and that eating while driving is considered distracted driving behavior. Unfortunately, there are a variety of behaviors drivers engage in each day that are considered dangerous distracted driving behaviors. Distracted driving behaviors include any activity drivers engage in that removes their attention and focus from the roadway while driving.

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