Articles Posted in Other Personal Injury

Understanding “Pain and Suffering”

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident and you’re seeking compensation from a liable defendant, chances are very high you may have heard the phrase “pain and suffering” being used by Attorneys. While, most all of you reading are familiar with the use of these words, their use as legal terms carries a fair share of subtle distinctions.

Pain and suffering resulting from an accident is used as an umbrella term that encompasses the physical and emotional damages that are a result of the accident. To elaborate further, “pain” would include bruises, a broken arm, fractured rib, etc, while “suffering” would be the emotional fallout resulting from those injuries, emotional and mental injuries would be one way to understand “suffering.” These emotional injuries would include feelings such as depression, grief, anxiety, and even fear to name a few.

Negligence is defined as a failure to use the level of care someone of ordinary prudence would have used under the same circumstances. Negligence consists of actions or omissions where there is an expected duty or responsibility owed by one person to another person. Events which cause injury not due to fault of another person involve negligence, and the elements of negligence are as follows.

  • Duty of Care: This boils down to, does the defendant have a responsibility to the plaintiff that it must legally uphold? Is it a responsibility of which the plaintiff is the intended recipient of the defendant’s actions? Establishing a legally defined duty and recognized responsibility of the defendant is the first step to determining a defendant’s negligence.Negligence
  • Breach of Duty: After the duty of care has been established, it must be determined whether or not the duty of care was breached. For example was the plaintiff lawfully on a premise owned by tenant? Did the person injure him or herself on the defendant’s premises? Did the owner of the business fail to reasonably prevent the injury? These are but one example of many situations involving a breach of a legally recognized duty.

firefighter

Firefighter exposed to toxic smoke

The Massachusetts Senate approved a firefighter cancer bill that will enable firefighters and other state workers, such as police officers who are regularly exposed to dangerous fire related conditions, to treat cancer as a work related/line of duty injury. This change offers increased protections to first responders who put their lives at risk for the safety and security of our society. Before this bill, first responders suffering from cancer related illnesses would utilize their sick time while treating for cancer. After the finite amount of sick leave ends, payroll and healthcare benefits cease, making an already difficult financial, physical, and emotional battle all the more challenging.

“We accept the sacrifice of our job as a part of our calling, but when we get diagnosed with cancer, and we run out of sick leave, and we go off the payroll, and we lose our healthcare that is just wrong,” said Ed Kelly of the International Association of Firefighters. Firefighters, and other first responders, especially in Massachusetts have an increased risk of being exposed to carcinogenic chemicals, more so than any other state. Massachusetts mandates flame-retardants in their fire code in hopes of preventing out of control fires and deaths attributed to fires. Boston had one of the lowest national rates of firefighters killed in action, which influenced Massachusetts decision to keep flame retardants a part of the fire code. (Boston Magazine)

It’s five o’ clock on a Friday and you’re heading home after an exhausting week of work. You’re practically on auto-pilot with the thought of the impending weekend being the only fuel guiding you home, and then BAM-it happens. You find yourself in a car accident. Everyone understands when you get behind the wheel you run the risk of finding yourself in a surprise collision, yet we never think about the odds of it actually happening to us, and even worse we don’t know the steps to take to protect ourselves in the event of an automobile accident adapted from the Massachusetts DMV site.

Car Accidet

EMS Clearing A Car Accident

  1. First and foremost, you must never leave the scene of an accident. It seems obvious and trite, but flight is a guttural reaction to stimuli. You must remain as calm and reposed as you can, given the circumstance. Find a safe place to pull over your car, staying as reasonably close to the vehicle, or property you collided with without obstructing traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and any other potential dangers, such as fire, or a downed electrical wire.

It is very common to discover (especially after a recent auto accident or similar surprise trauma) alternative health treatment services such as visits to a chiropractor or acupuncture treatments are not covered by your average health insurance policy. According to health insurance expert Louise Norris, a contributor to Healthinsurance.org and Medicareresources.org chiropractic visits and services are commonly excluded from many health insurance policies. “In the under-65 market, individual health insurance is not specifically required to cover massage therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care,” says Norris in an article at the Huffington Post addressing the things insurance companies do not cover.

chiropractor, alternative treatment, pip, injury, personal,

Seeking alternative treatment with a chiropractor

This lapse in coverage might be deemed inessential to most; however, after experiencing trauma from an automobile accident or similar event, one may find themselves in dire need of such treatments. One such person in need of chiropractic treatments, resulting from a car accident, became a patient at Dupilka Family Chiropractic.

A “cold joint” or “construction joint” is formed during the process of laying concrete when the second batch of concrete is placed after the first set of concrete has begun to settle. As a result of the delay, the two batches are unable to form a completely uniform mix, resulting in a possible “plane of weakness.” This definition is according to The Concrete Society a website dedicated to providing independent concrete advisory services that include impartial technical advice on concrete.

cold joint

A common cold joint

While cold joints happen during the concrete process, sometimes due to the limits of how much concrete can be poured in a day or in some cases additional support such as rebar is needed before continuing; regardless of these circumstances proper planning and execution is required to ensure the cold joint will not jeopardize structural integrity, or cause harm to a civilian. Claire LaPosta was one such civilian who had the misfortune of tripping over a negligently placed cold joint resulting in her injury.

Legal News GavelWhen you’re hurt outside Massachusetts, your case potentially presents an extra layer of complexity. You may have the choice to sue where your injury occurred or to sue back home in Massachusetts. Even if you sue here, the law may dictate that the courts here apply the legal rules of the state where the accident occurred. For example, you could possibly sue in Massachusetts but be required to follow legal rules like the statute of limitations established by the laws of the state where your injury took place. Determining where the most advantageous place to bring your injury lawsuit is can be an extremely important choice and is just one example among many of situations in which it pays to have representation from skilled Massachusetts injury counsel.

One case that presented a choice between multiple states was that of Susan, a phlebotomist at the UMass hospital in Worcester. Susan decided to book a Labor Day weekend vacation at a romantic resort in the Poconos. While on a boat ride tour operated by the resort, an extremely bumpy ride resulted in Susan being thrown about. By the end of the ride, she had suffered fractures to her T-12 vertebrae, along with bruises to her back, buttocks, and thighs.

The injury took place in early September 2012. Almost exactly two years later, she sued the resort in state court in Pennsylvania. Some time later, she chose to voluntarily dismiss that lawsuit and refile a different lawsuit, alleging the same claims. She filed this second lawsuit in state court in Boston in June 2015.