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Worcester Personal Injury Law Blog

Legal assistance for compensation after nursing home abuse

For Massachusetts residents who make the difficult decision to put an elderly loved one in a nursing home, the end goal is that the person will be cared for and treated well. This is for the benefit of the elderly person and the family that might not have the capacity to care for someone who needs professional assistance and medical care. It is an unfortunate reality that some nursing homes do not provide the proper type of care to these older people. When there is a belief that a person was abused, became ill or died due to nursing home abuse, a lawsuit can help to receive compensation for that mistreatment.

There are times when it is obvious that a loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home. At other times, it is not as clear. Some signs include bruising, burns or other unexplained injuries; the loved one seeming to be acting differently than normal with fear and confusion; a lack of communication; the loved one showing signs of dehydration or malnutrition; a decline in the elderly person's health with no explainable reason for it to be happening; or other signs of distress.

Work accident victim suffers leg injury after trench collapses

Construction and maintenance are a constant in Massachusetts or any municipality. This is vital for the safety of the public and functionality of basic services. However, it is important to remember that whenever there is a project underway, there is the danger of a work accident. This is when it is important to remember how workers' compensation benefits are essential to help a work accident victim cover lost wages and pay for medical expenses. When there is a problem with the workers' compensation or any other issue, having legal help for the case is imperative.

A worker for the Water Department was injured after a trench collapsed. The accident occurred at around 8:40 a.m. Emergency crews went to the scene and found the worker had a leg injury. The trench was being dug in the road for a new water main. The director of the Department of Public Works stated that the worker was in a shallow trench when part of its side collapsed. It hit his leg and knocked him over. Most deeper trenches will have a sidewall to prevent collapse. This is done when the trench is four to five feet deep. This portion of the trench was not that deep, but still collapsed and injured the worker. The worker was placed on a backboard and removed from the trench. He was taken to the hospital. His injuries are not viewed as life-threatening.

Driver fleeing police causes crash and injures woman

One of the most dangerous times for drivers, pedestrians and others on the road in Massachusetts is if they get caught in the middle of a police chase and another driver is trying to flee law enforcement. These dangerous behaviors can lead to a car accident with injuries and fatalities. It is in incidents such as this that recklessness and the desperation to get away can spark a serious crash. Those caught in the middle can suffer various injuries like broken bones, whiplash, lacerations, head injuries and even injuries that cause fatality. When there is a car accident due to a driver escaping police, a legal professional should be contacted to consider a lawsuit.

A man who is suspected of being a local gang member flipped his vehicle and injured a woman in a parked car. A law enforcement officer was on patrol as part of the gang unit. He was going around a construction area when a vehicle sped toward him. The 23-year-old driver of that vehicle stopped. The officer knew the driver as a gang member who was operating the vehicle with a suspended license. He was ordered to stop, but took off. There was no police chase, but the officer sent radio communication about the incident when the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a parked car that crashed into another parked car where the woman was.

Rise in auto accident fatalities in Massachusetts is concerning

Massachusetts drivers who keep track of the fatality rate on the road should be concerned about the latest findings. A rise in fatal crashes is raising the scrutiny on driver behavior. These behaviors when behind the wheel can place other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists at risk of being injured and killed in an auto accident. The latest statistics show than almost 400 people were killed in the state in 2016. This was the highest increase for any state in the whole Northeast and has led to demands that a crackdown on texting and driving and other distracted driver behaviors be done. It is also suggested that people should be forced to wear their seatbelts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 44 more deaths in Massachusetts in 2016 than there were in 2015. This contrasts with a reduction in fatalities in New York and New Jersey. State lawmakers are concerned about these numbers and are seeking to strengthen laws for seatbelt use. The bigger issue, however, is believed to be smartphone and device use while driving. Across the nation, the number of deaths has risen by about six percent. In Massachusetts, there were 389 deaths. That was a rise of 13 percent from the previous year - twice the rise across the nation.

Proposed law protects public workers from an OSHA violation

In Massachusetts, workers who are injured might believe that they are protected by a variety of laws providing them workers' compensation benefits and that any violation for safety would be investigated based on federal laws under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. That, however, is not the case for public sector workers. Currently, workers in the public sector are bound by the standards that state and local governments set. For a work accident victim or those who are concerned about dangerous conditions on the job, this can be problematic.

Changes could be on the horizon for public sector workers so they would be granted the same protections against an OSHA violation and an OSHA investigation can be conducted if an accident does happen. Private sector workers are protected by the standards that OSHA accords them. The same cannot be said for those who are working in the public sector. In 2014, the law was changed for those in the state executive branch to be protected by OSHA. That does not filter to other workers employed by various cities and the state.

Study shows car accident dangers of infotainment in vehicles

Massachusetts drivers who are concerned about the increased number of people who are distracted by their smartphones behind the wheel should also be aware of other reasons why drivers might be distracted. These go beyond texting and driving and performing other activities on their phones. Given that failure to pay attention to the road can cause a car collision with the accompanying injuries and even fatalities, being cognizant of the various dangers with a distracted driver is essential. A new study has detailed a specific danger that was not thought to be a distraction, but a benefit.

A study by AAA has shown that infotainment technology that is now present in many vehicles is causing distractions to drivers. Two dozen people were recruited to drive 30 vehicles on the road as a test. While they drove, measurements were done to see how frequently they looked at a screen and needed to use cognitive ability as they made calls, sent texts, used it for navigation or for the radio. It was found that these advancements are still hard for the driver to operate while driving.

What if workers' compensation is denied or not paid in full?

Massachusetts workers who are injured on the job might expect workers' compensation benefits to cover their losses and pay for treatment. However, it is not guaranteed that the insurer will approve of the benefits. There are certain steps to take if the insurer denies the claim or does not provide all the workers' compensation benefits that the person believes he or she should receive. When this happens, it is imperative to understand what to do and to have legal help in getting what is owed.

When the insurer denies the claim, the claimant will be informed via an Insurer's Notification of Denial, also known as Form 104. The reasons for the denial will be listed and there will be information as to the claimant's right to file an appeal. After the denial or if the claimant does not get all the benefits he or she believes should be provided, there is the right to file a claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents.

Your step-by-step car accident action plan

In the moments following a serious auto accident, you're going to be frazzled, in shock, nervous and dealing with a host of other emotions as you try to navigate the accident scene. Being in such a state could prevent you from making wise choices, but having an action plan will prevent you from making a mistake regarding the important things to which you must attend.

You may want to print this step-by-step car accident action plan and keep it in your glove box. At the very least, make your own unique action plan and have it handy so you can stay clear and organized after a collision.

Many incidents of nursing home abuse go unreported

Worcester families who decide that they must place a loved one in a nursing home so the person can receive proper care will expect that there be a certain standard applied. Unfortunately, it is disturbingly common for there to be allegations of nursing home abuse or negligence against nursing home staff. These acts can range from theft to intimidation to physical, emotional and sexual abuse and more. Those who have a loved one who has been mistreated or abused have the right to seek compensation in a personal injury case.

A problem that often hinders a family's ability to seek compensation is not knowing about the abuse. A report released by the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services states that in more than 25 percent of nursing home abuse cases, law enforcement is not contacted despite the legal requirement that this be done in such incidents. Nursing home abuse can send a resident to the hospital, but certain incidents elucidate the point that these go unreported. One woman was bruised after suffering a sexual assault, but the facility did not tell the police. Instead, they cleaned the woman and contaminated any evidence that law enforcement might have accrued. The family was told and they contacted the police. The nursing home is said to have tried to cover up the incident.

Car accident with pedestrian sends man, 28, to hospital

If there is a car collision in Worcester or anywhere else in Massachusetts, there can be serious injuries, long-term damage, significant medical expenses and worse. When these accidents involve a vehicle and a pedestrian, the danger of the person who was hit being injured badly or even killed are much higher than they are if the accident is between vehicles. After a pedestrian-car accident, the injured person should know that a full accident investigation must be conducted and that it is possible to receive compensation through a legal filing to cover all that was lost.

In a mid-afternoon accident, a pedestrian was hit by a car. The man, 28, was hit by a 2015 Toyota Sienna being driven by a 52-year-old man at around 3 p.m. He suffered serious injuries. The initial investigation states that the vehicle was heading south in the left lane at the time of the crash. The pedestrian hit the hood and the windshield and flew up in the air before landing in the road. He was physically stabilized at the site of the crash and taken to the hospital. The driver stayed at the scene. The case is still being investigated.

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