Take Caution in the Bike Lane

Bike Lane Traffic TipsThe average sedan’s driver-side door arcs four feet outward when fully extended. Why does this statistic matter? If you live in Massachusetts and ride a bike in any of its urban cities, you’ll want to prepare for the off-chance that a rushing commuter whips his door open at the last second. In light of warmer months, it’s the perfect time to think about proper bike lane habits.

When a driver opens his or her door suddenly, there is little time for the bicyclist to brake. In 2016 a woman was fatally struck by a landscaping truck while riding her bike through Inman Square in Cambridge. Swerving to avoid a parked car’s open door, the bicyclist entered the street where the truck collided with her at full speed. Sometimes a bicycle injury has more to do with the placement of a bike lane than anything else.

Adding More Bike Lanes

protected bike lane in BostonThe Massachusetts Department of Transportation has recommended that cities construct protected bike lanes to decrease the risk which motorists pose to bicyclists. The issue lies in the planning of Boston’s architecture. While cities such as New York can implement solutions to street layout in a relatively uniform way, Boston (as well as other major cities in Massachusetts) needs to create bike lane solutions which differ across each street. This difference means it will take state and city departments of transportation longer to implement permanent solutions for bike lane safety.

Image: The above image is a rendering of the proposed Mass Ave protected bike lane from the Harvard Bridge to Symphony.

5 Tips for a Safer Bicycle Commute

  1. Study Hotspots: Areas such as Inman Square and Porter Square in Cambridge are notoriously congested, and therefore, dangerous to bicyclists. Keep an eye out for such areas in your route and be sure to exercise extra caution while riding there.
  2. Slow Down: Most avoidable accidents in the bike lane take place because the bicyclist didn’t have enough time to react. When riding on main streets, stick to the middle of the bicycle lane and pump the brakes a bit.
  3. Suit Up: Accidents are called accidents because they go unplanned. Make sure you’re adequately protected by a strong, secure, and comfortable bicycle helmet.
  4. Know your Lane: Riding alongside other bicyclists can prove tricky. Make sure you’re aware of bicyclists both in front of and behind you. You’ll be prepared to move if someone’s door flies open unexpectedly.
  5. Keep up to Speed: Keep track of developments in your town towards building safer bike lanes. If there isn’t one, ask why. You deserve a safe commute from beginning to end as a bicyclist, make sure that your town or city representative knows it.

Ride with Confidence in the Bike Lane

Peter Ventura has extensive experience in this area of practice and has helped his clients realize significant compensation in personal injury cases over the years. For peace of mind during a steady bike ride, retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Peter Ventura toll-free at 888-251-7535 for a free and always confidential consultation today.

Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Test-Driving a Car: Who’s Responsible in an Accident?

Test-driving a car is easily the most fun part about car shopping and buying. But what happens if you get into an accident while driving the dealer’s car?

test-driving accident dealership insurance policiesWhile most people know to use extra caution when driving an unfamiliar vehicle, accidents can and do still happen on test-drives. On April 10th, two motorcyclists were injured on Gold Star Boulevard by a test-driver in a Toyota RAV4. The test-driver attempted to cross all four lanes of traffic from the Harr Toyota dealership toward Ruthven Road. Riding in the left-most lane, the motorcyclists attempted to avoid a full collision with the Toyota, both suffering non-critical injuries. The first rider clipped the front of the Toyota and crashed the bike into a Honey Dew Donuts. The second rider hit the back of the Toyota, suffering a leg injury.

The legal ramifications of this particular accident are unknown, but the police said that they expect the injured parties will want to press charges. Knowing this, who would be liable for the motorcyclists’ injuries?

Test-Driving: Liability for Damages or Personal Injury

Typically, car dealerships carry a “Garage Policy” which insures their vehicles and covers bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured motorist coverage; personal injury or medical expense coverage. Dealership insurance policies may vary by state, but generally, dealership insurance will cover any liability claims. The test driver’s personal insurance would be secondary. Depending on the dealership, there may be a deductible required of the test-driver. However, if the test-driver was at fault in the accident, the dealership may seek to have the damages paid by the test-driver or the test driver’s insurance (a process known as subrogation).

If you get into an accident during a test-drive, whether or not you have your own personal auto insurance policy, you will want to speak with a local attorney with experience in automobile accident claims. The law offices of Peter Ventura will help you make sure that the dealership covers what it is responsible for, and that you are not wrongly held at fault.

Holding Dealerships Accountable

Test-driving rarely ends in an accident, but there is always a risk. Talk to your auto insurer for more information on how they handle claims for accidents during test drives. If you do not yet carry personal auto insurance and you get into an accident with a dealer-owned vehicle, for your protection, call for a free consultation with Peter Ventura so that your rights are protected against the interests of the dealership’s insurance company.

Peter Ventura has extensive experience in auto claims and has helped his clients realize significant compensation in personal injury and car accident cases over the years.

The bottom line is if you’ve been in a car accident while test-driving a dealer-owned car, and especially if there were any injuries to you or other motorists, you need to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Peter Ventura toll-free at 888-251-7535 for a free and always confidential consultation.

Posted in Accident Types

Moped Accidents – Raising Awareness

Mopeds and Scootersdriver safety moped accidents

As the weather heats up and residents head outside to enjoy the warmer temperatures, mopeds and scooters will start to appear on Worcester’s streets. Mopeds are cost-efficient and comfortable during the warm summer months and may be an increasingly popular option for city drivers in Worcester, along with the increasing possibility for scooter and moped accidents.

Moped Safety Risks and Precautions

However, keep in mind that these smaller vehicles create unique safety risks that are relevant to all motorists. Mopeds are easy to miss in a quick glance to the rear-view or side mirror, and moped drivers are much more vulnerable to injury than drivers in cars. If you drive a car or truck, take extra care when changing lanes in summer months to avoid scooter or moped accidents.

If you or a family member owns a moped, motorcycle, or motorized scooter, it is critically important for your safety that you always wear a helmet (required by law in Massachusetts). As bad as injuries can be in car accidents, with these smaller vehicles, there is no airbag or car interior to soften the impact of a collision. What would be just a fender-bender in a regular car accident can result in devastating injuries, or even death, for the driver of a moped or scooter.

Moped Accidents In the News

Last summer on Cape Cod, a young woman rented a moped from Ride-On Mopeds in Oak Bluffs and crashed into a 10-wheel dump truck. Her injuries were such that her leg had to be amputated. Police in Oak Bluffs determined that the crash was due to operator error.

However, recently the woman’s attorney notified the Town of Oak Bluffs that he will be filing a claim on her behalf against the town for failing to enforce its moped by-Laws in regard to moped rental companies.

Traffic Laws and Mopeds

The heightened risks for bodily injury to drivers in scooter and moped accidents make it extremely important to take reasonable precautions, such as wearing a helmet and following traffic laws. Mopeds and scooters must obey all traffic laws, rules, and regulations that cars are subject to; however, a study from 2014 suggests that existing laws may not account for the safety of moped drivers.

Mopeds are permitted to drive in the bicycle lane where available and are denied access to any highways where bicycles are not allowed. Because there is not typically a brake light, moped drivers must signal with their hand when they are coming to a stop. All moped drivers must be at least 16-years-old and have a valid driver’s license.

Legally, mopeds cannot be operated at a speed faster than 25 mph in Massachusetts. If lanes are tight, the slow speed of these little vehicles may cause other drivers to attempt to pass a scooter or moped, creating risks for the passing car as well as the drivers in other lanes. Some scooters are designed for highway travel and may reach speeds over 60 mph – these are typically considered motorcycles in terms of registration.

Legal Aid for Moped Accidents

If you have been in a scooter or moped accident that required you to seek medical attention, know that you may be entitled to some compensation if any other party was at fault. The offices of Attorney Peter Ventura can help you to claim what you are owed so that you can focus your attention on recovering from your accident, not on medical bills.

If your loved one was tragically killed in an accident, you may want to seek an attorney’s opinion on whether your case should be filed as a Wrongful Death Claim. It may seem too soon to consider such action while you are still reeling from your loss, but it is important to not let too much time pass, as evidence and witnesses may be harder to gather as time goes on.

Consultations

When you have a free consultation with Attorney Peter Ventura, you will be treated with the respect and care you deserve. Attorney Ventura has extensive experience in accident claims and has helped his clients realize significant compensation in personal injury and car accident cases over the years. Contact Peter Ventura toll-free at 888-251-7535 for a free and always-confidential consultation.

Posted in Accident Types

Increased Truck Traffic on Grafton Street in Worcester

tractor trailers Grafton Street risksLiving near an industrial freight facility is more than a mere inconvenience for residents of the Grafton Hill neighborhood in Worcester. The Worcester Telegram reports that since the expansion of the CSX Intermodal freight yard on Grafton Street near downtown, neighbors have seen a discomforting increase in the number of tractor-trailers using residential streets.

In 2010, Florida-based railroad company CSX expanded its intermodal freight storage and transportation facility on Grafton Street, and lately, there has been growing concern from residents and business owners worried about the noise pollution and the wear and tear on residential roads.

This increased truck traffic in residential neighborhoods inevitably has some unpleasant consequences for locals beyond just noise pollution from truck horns and tractor-trailer engines. The prevalence of tractor-trailers on smaller roads may be contributing to higher accident rates on Grafton Street.

Traffic Accidents in Worcester

Taking a look at our traffic map showing the most dangerous intersections in Worcester based on the number of accidents, you can see that Grafton Street is one of the spots where car accidents are most frequent.

To add to the problem, rather than turning right out of the driveway to get on I-290, CSX truck drivers are frequently attempting a left turn out of the Grafton Street driveway to follow a shorter route using residential roads. This left turn leads the tractor-trailers to residential roads including Hamilton Street, Plantation Street and Lake Avenue, which were not built to withstand heavy traffic. This shorter route also leads the tractor-trailers past five schools, where schoolchildren are frequently crossing.

Some members of the City Council have recommended building a barrier to prevent CSX trucks from turning left toward residential roads.

Tractor-Trailers on Residential Roads

When tractor-trailers use smaller residential roads, the risk of collisions increases because there is less space for them to maneuver and pedestrian crossings are more frequent. Always take extra caution when driving near an 18-wheeler, as it takes longer for such a large vehicle to break or react to the unexpected.

Check out our FAQ on Truck Accidents in Massachusetts for information on what to do if you’ve been in a collision with a commercial truck.

Claim The Compensation You Deserve

If you have been injured in a car accident involving a commercial truck or other vehicle, or incurred monetary losses from a collision with a tractor-trailer, it’s important that you speak with a local personal injury attorney.

After an accident, it’s essential that you act immediately to make sure that your rights are protected. Peter Ventura has extensive experience in this area of practice and has helped his clients realize significant compensation in personal injury and car accident cases over the years, including:

  • $3 million in a fatal Worcester County auto accident involving a minor
  • $1 million in a case involving serious injuries to an elderly couple
  • $500,000 in a wrongful death case involving a tractor-trailer

The bottom line is, if you’ve been in a car accident with a tractor-trailer or any other commercial vehicle, you need to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Peter Ventura toll-free at 888-251-7535 for a free and always confidential consultation.

Posted in Accident Types

Research Shows Suicidal Behavior Increases after Traumatic Brain Injury

If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, your risk of dying young may be elevated by 300%, according to a new research study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

It happened to pro athletes like Junior Seau and Ryan Freel — both of whom committed suicide and were diagnosed with serious brain injuries after their deaths.

So it’s worth asking: Who are the victims of TBIs, and how can you know if you’ve suffered such an injury?

suicide risk with tbiHeightened Risk of Depression, Suicide

Recent research has confirmed earlier findings, including:

  • TBI sufferers have higher risk of mental health problems, including depression.
  • The risk of suicidal behaviors increases in TBI patients.
  • More mental health treatment and routine screenings are needed for individuals with TBIs.

Brain Injuries in the Military

TBIs hit military members especially hard:

  • Suicide rates are higher among military personnel with even one mild TBI.
  • Older veterans with mild TBIs are at increased risk of developing dementia later in life.
  • Nearly 267,000 military personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq suffered a TBI, and many more went undiagnosed.

Where Do TBIs Happen?

In addition to sports and military service, TBIs also can happen:

  • In a workplace.
  • In a car accident, motorcycle accident, or bicycle crash.
  • In an assault or violent crime.
  • At work sites, especially in high-risk industries, including: Construction, Fishing, Emergency medical services, Agriculture, and Forestry.
  • In an office, if you trip, fall and strike your head on a desk or other hard surface.

Diagnosing a Traumatic Brain Injury

A TBI happens during a hard hit to the skull and are a leading cause of serious injuries and deaths, especially among children and younger people. If you’ve suffered a TBI, there are 3 levels: Mild, Moderate, or Severe. Symptoms may include:

  • Brief loss of consciousness.
  • Headache.
  • Balance problems or dizziness.
  • Vomiting or nausea.
  • Blurred vision and ringing in the ears.
  • Confusion or disorientation.
  • Drowsiness or tiredness.
  • Sleep problems, including sleeping more than usual.
  • Mood changes, depression or anxiety.

Get Immediate Attention After a TBI

If you or a loved one have experienced a blow to your head that could cause a brain injury, it’s important to get a doctor’s assessment as soon as possible. The next step is working with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Posted in Injury Types

Slip and Fall Cases in Winter Conditions

slip and fall in winter on ice

Every winter in Massachusetts, we face the inevitable risks that come with snow and ice. Slips and falls on the ice are extremely common and can lead to painful injuries and costly medical bills.

If you have been injured due to a slip or fall on commercial or private property, it is essential that you immediately retain the services of a personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. You could be entitled to compensation to cover your healthcare costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other monetary losses you may have incurred as a result of your injury. Remember, the statute of limitations is three years to file a suit for personal injury.

slip and fall in winter on iceProperty Owners’ Liability

Property owners have a duty to ensure that their sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and walking areas are safe for visitors. In the winter, responsible property care means that snow and ice is removed in a timely manner with reasonable precautions, like salting walkways or posting warning signs.

In Massachusetts, snow removal regulations may differ by municipality. Use this Sidewalk Snow Removal Map by mass.gov to determine if your accident resulted from a violation of snow removal policies in your town. Keep in mind that these policies may differ for homeowners, business owners, and cities/towns.

The responsibility to keep walkways and public areas free from snow and ice extends to your employer as well. Nationally, slip-and-fall accidents comprised a quarter of work-related injuries in 2015 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), and there are federal guidelines per OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act; see §1910.22(d)) which require employers to meet specific safety standards. If you believe that your workplace injury occurred because your employer failed to follow federal guidelines intended to prevent dangerous working conditions, you need an attorney to represent your interests and make sure you receive the compensation you’re owed.

Accident Statistics

Falls are a major cause of injury, particularly among older adults (age 65 and over). A study by the Injury Surveillance Program and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health showed that just among older adults, there were 61,466 fall-related injuries treated in Massachusetts hospitals in 2010. This statistic does not even include injuries treated at a doctor’s office.

In the winter time, the risk of falling increases for all age groups, though the risk of serious injury is heightened for older adults. If you have been injured from a fall on the ice due to negligent property care, know your rights and seek the help of a professional attorney.

Claim The Compensation You Deserve If You’re Injured from a Slip and Fall

If you’ve been injured by a slip and fall on someone else’s property, it’s important that you speak with a local personal injury attorney. You may not think much of your injury at the time, but down the road it could develop serious complications. It’s essential that you act immediately to make sure that your rights are protected. Peter Ventura has extensive experience in this area of practice, and has helped his clients realize significant compensation in personal injury cases over the years, including:

  • $475,000 in a case where a woman sustained permanent injuries from a fall at a supermarket that failed to post warning signs after waxing the floor
  • $180,000 in a case where the plaintiff required ankle surgery after a fall on the ice on a poorly lit sidewalk at an apartment complex
  • $126,000 in a case where a tenant fell on the snow and ice on a sidewalk at her apartment and had to undergo ankle surgery

The bottom line is, if you slip and fall and sustain injuries on someone else’s property, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation you are owed. Contact Peter Ventura toll-free at 888-251-7535 for a free and always confidential consultation.

Posted in Personal Injury

Recreational Marijuana & Driving in Massachusetts

Well, it’s official. On December 15th, 2016, Massachusetts will join a growing chorus of states and legalize recreational marijuana use. The new law will have an impact on Massachusetts in many ways, both good and bad, not the least of which will be the number of people driving under the influence of marijuana, and the potential for accidents that goes along with it.

marijuana legal in massachusetts not while drivingDetails Of The New Law

As reported by Boston Magazine, there was some question of whether the votes from November’s election would be certified in time for the law to go into effect before the end of the year. Voters approved the ballot measure 53-46.

Under the new law, marijuana use and possession will be legal, with a few restrictions:

  • Buying and selling marijuana will still be illegal, but you can give it away free of charge.
  • You must be 21 years of age to use it.
  • Public use will be illegal.
  • 10 ounces will be allowed in your private residence, but only one ounce can be in your possession in public.
  • Growing marijuana will be legal, up to 12 plants for each household, as long as they’re out of sight.
  • In an automobile, marijuana must be kept in the trunk or inside a locked glove compartment.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Marijuana-Impaired Driving?

Though the new law will be a boon to marijuana entrepreneurs and to state and municipal coffers as soon as new regulations governing retail operations are drafted , there is some concern about the downside to legal weed, especially the potential increase in impaired driving.

A recent fatal accident in Suffolk County highlighted the dangers of driving while under the influence of marijuana. A driver with both a high blood alcohol content and high levels of THC in his system crashed into a Logan Airport shuttle bus, killing two passengers. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the ingredient in marijuana that causes intoxication.

A Call To Action

Massachusetts has no clear law for addressing marijuana-impaired driving. County district attorney Daniel Conley said, “Cases like this one speak to the urgency with which lawmakers should address marijuana-impaired driving. It’s a proven fact that driving under the influence of marijuana is every bit as dangerous as it is for alcohol, but unlike alcohol, we don’t yet have a way to quantify a driver’s impairment from marijuana. Massachusetts has neither an established impairment level nor an efficient means to test for one. Policymakers should be aware of this knowledge gap and take steps to bridge it if we expect to identify and prevent THC impairment among drivers.”

So what are the true risks from drivers operating a vehicle under the influence of weed? A look at the experiences of one state can give some insight.

What Has Been Colorado’s Experience With Marijuana-Impaired Driving?marijuana plant in Mass

Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012, legalizing recreational and medical marijuana use as well as production and retail operations. However, due to regulatory delays, the law wasn’t implemented until 2014.

The measure has proven to be an economic windfall for the state, resulting in a total impact of over $2.39 billion in 2015 alone, along with a significant increase in new jobs.

It’s been estimated that at least one in eight Colorado residents over the age of 12 have smoked pot recently, and millions more who travel there as ‘pot-tourists’ each year also consume while visiting. This has led, perhaps predictably, to a significant increase in the number of people driving while high.

According to statistics compiled by the Colorado Department of Transportation, although there has been a decrease in auto accident fatalities of 25% since 2005, the number of fatal accidents involving a drugged or marijuana-impaired driver has climbed 79% over the same time period.

Ignorance Of The Law

Although the penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado can be severe, possibly resulting in a DUI conviction and fines of more than $10,000, as well as time in jail, many drivers are unaware of the laws governing pot use and driving.

Even after a widely publicized awareness campaign called “Drive High, Get A DUI”, 21% of drivers surveyed didn’t know they could get in trouble for driving while high on pot.

Clearly, one of the pitfalls of legalizing marijuana is that many residents will have the impression that there are no limits on its use, and they can consume anywhere and at anytime, even while driving.

What If Someone Is High And Hits You?

Although the laws in Massachusetts concerning drivers that are impaired from marijuana use need further consideration and definition from the legislature, if you are in an accident caused by such a driver you may be entitled to significant compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of mobility and quality of life, and other damages. It’s important that you retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

Peter Ventura has almost three decades of personal injury experience. Contact him today for a free and confidential consultation.

Posted in Massachusetts Laws

Bicycle Accidents Continue to Mount in Massachusetts

With bicycle riding in Massachusetts at an all-time high, it’s more dangerous than ever. In 2012, the state saw a staggering 13% jump in accident rates in just 3 years.  Worse, nearly 70 percent of the crashes resulted in injuries.  While most of these accidents were in heavily trafficked cities like Boston and Worcester, there is a growing concern for the nearby suburbs as well.

bicycle-crashes-map-massachusettsBicycle accidents are particularly dangerous because the cyclist is often traveling at a high rate of speed, but has little or no protection from harm in an accident. Even a car door opening at the wrong time or a vehicle making a turn could cause traumatic injury and broken bones. According to research from the City of Boston, the majority of bike accidents with injuries involved a collision with a motor vehicle of some type.

According to the City of Cambridge, better awareness on the part of both cyclists and drivers could be the key to trimming the area’s climbing accident rates. The city calls for drivers to look for cyclists while in motion, while making turns and even while opening car doors to reduce the amount of accidents on the busy shared streets. Cyclists who are aware of the danger and who follow the rules of the road are less likely to be involved in an accident.

Bike Accident Cases

According to the Boston Globe, 13 cyclists have been killed in city traffic in the past 5 years; the victims ranged from just 8 to 74 years of age.

In a Bicycle Accident? Here’s What to Do Next

Seek out medical help: Even though you wear a helmet, a bicycle exposes you to a higher risk of injury. You don’t have the same amount of protection offered by a car, but can achieve car-like speeds and enter areas with heavy traffic. See a doctor after any crash, even if there are no visible injuries; Injuries to your neck, head or back may not be immediately apparent but your doctor can help determine the extent of the damage and document your injuries as well.

Document the incident: If possible, take photos of everything, including your bike and any damage done to it, the location and conditions where the accident occurred and the car or vehicle that struck you. This documentation can help you if you need to file a lawsuit or deal with the insurance company later and can clearly show what the day was like and the conditions of your accident.

File a police report: Make a police report to comply with the law and document your claim; the officer will collect the contact information from all parties and witnesses. You will need this information later.

Gather witnesses: Who saw your accident or even the aftermath? Take down the names of those involved in the crash, those who witnessed it and those who arrived to help; you may need this information if you file a lawsuit later.

Don’t apologize or accept blame: Even if someone accuses you of being in the way or contributing to the accident, never apologize or accept responsibility without having a full and complete picture of all relevant facts which you will typically not have without an attorney’s thorough investigation; a bicycle accident is a complex case and accepting blame could undermine your eventual lawsuit.

Check out your bike and gear: Don’t ride the bike again without getting it checked out; the impact could have caused significant damage and even contribute to another accident. If you fell from the bike, replace your helmet as well (but keep it to show the damages if needed).

A bicycle accident can have catastrophic injuries with far reaching consequences. If you have been injured and need help, contact us. Our bicycle accident attorneys can help you gain insight into your case and ensure you are being treated fairly by the other party and the insurance company.

Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Recent lawsuits over sports injuries highlight the danger

Clark University student suing over crew team practices

A Clark University student, Brennan Ross, recently sued the school after suffering injuries sustained while training for the rowing team; Ross describes the injuries as debilitating and life changing. He is suing both the school and the coach, along with several former teammates.

The case comes after the New Hampshire resident was injured and in pain during crew practice, but was forced to continue to work, even after informing the coach of his pain levels. According to the Telegraph, the training included over 100 jump squats in a 5-minute period and a 5km rowing session; Ross continued to experience extreme discomfort and eventually sought medical attention.

Doctors at Exeter Hospital diagnosed Ross with “severe rhabdomyolysis and acute kidney injury,” which he feels is directly related to the overexertion and overtraining incident. Surgery was required, and resulted in a painful recovery period with additional complications. Both Brennan Ross and his parents have incurred significant costs related to his surgery and injury.

The lawsuit against Clark University and the other defendants accuses them of negligence, unsafe training practices and hazing of new team members. While the suit does not specify a specific dollar amount, the family has already spent almost $30,000 on treatment and care and are estimating his loss earnings potential at $500,000.

rowing injury in massachusetts

Sports injuries can have devastating consequences

The Clark University case shines a light on the potential harm that can occur in a sports program or training environment; you don’t have to be on the Crew team to sustain a significant injury or be impacted by a neglectful staff.

Other sports, including baseball, basketball and football can cause traumatic injury with devastating consequences, particularly if the coach or staff does not respond appropriately to player complaints or injury reports. Athletes don’t have to be in college to sustain lifelong injuries during training; elementary, middle and high school students can be significantly injured due to negligence as well.

Even the NFL is under fire for concussion injuries; in 2013, about 5,000 retired players joined a class action suit related to concussions and head injury while training or playing in the league. The cost for the settlement could be as high as $1 billion. The league stands accused of underplaying the risk that players face while training and playing the game; traumatic brain injury related to repeated impact caused long-term, irreversible injury to the professional athletes included in the settlement.

What do After a Sports or Training Injury

From professional athletes to school children, training for a sport under an undertrained or negligent coach can have a catastrophic impact on your health and wellbeing. It’s important to be aware of the role that the organization or school must play in informing players about the risks of training and the potential negligence that could result from overtraining, hazing or overworking players.

  • Record the details: If you or your child has been forced to continue training after reporting an injury, make specific notes about the incident, including what happened, the witnesses and the outcome.
  • Report the incident: Report what happened to the school or organization to document the incident.
  • Seek out medical treatment: Brennan Ross’s case involved the overworking of the thigh muscles, but resulted in kidney damage due to rhabdomyolysis. Seeking out medical treatment can ensure you are getting the proper care and document your claim as well.
  • See an attorney: If the school is not taking responsibility for your child’s injuries, it is time to seek out professional help and explore your options.

If you or your child has been injured while training or participating in a sport, a personal injury attorney can help you get the information you need about your potential case. Never accept a settlement or sign an agreement without seeking professional advice first; some injuries have far reaching implications on your health, wellbeing and livelihood and you deserve to be compensated accordingly.

How we can Help

Our personal injury team understands sports injuries and the role that a school, coach or even teammates can have in an injury case. Contact us if you or a loved one has been injured while practicing or competing;we’re here to make sure you are treated fairly by the organization and their insurance company.

Posted in Sport Recreation Accidents

Massachusetts Boating Accident Statistics

With boating accidents in the news after Jose Fernandez’s death, and summer coming to a close here in Massachusetts, we’re reviewing boating accident statistics, accidents, and fatalities in 2015. We urge boaters to remain safe & vigilant while on the water and anyone who was injured in a boating accident to contact an experienced attorney to discuss their options for compensation.

Recent Boating Accidents in Massachusettsboating accident

Recently, at the Bill Giles Memorial Regatta on Watson Pond State Park in Taunton, Massachusetts, three boats crashed while racing at speeds in excess of 65 miles per hour, which claimed the lives of two long-time and experienced boat racers.

Earlier this summer at Scituate Harbor, a woman was sitting on the back of a boat when it jerked forward. She was thrown into the water where one of her legs became caught in the boat propeller. She suffered a life-threatening injury, but fortunately, her companions were able to pull her back into the boat and stem the bleeding and save her life. Unfortunately, she faces multiple surgeries as doctors work to save her leg.

Every year in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the great pleasures of boating are sometimes offset with the great sorrow of fatal or disabling accidents. The Coast Guard reports that almost all of these boating accidents are due to someone’s negligence.

Boating Accident Statistics in Massachusetts

The Coast Guard reports that in 2015 in Massachusetts, there were 89 reported boating accidents. Federal law requires a boating accident to be reported to a state or Commonwealth reporting agency when one of the following occurs:

  • A person dies.
  • A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury.
  • A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more.
  • There is a complete loss of any vessel.

Massachusetts law requires boaters to comply with all federal reporting laws. Boating accidents are to be reported to the Boat and Recreation Safety Bureau. In 2015, five people were killed in Massachusetts boating accidents. Another 37 were reported to have been injured.

The Causes of Boat Accidents

The Coast Guard compiles statistics as to the main causes of all boating accidents in an attempt to provide education to boaters, both drivers and their boating guests, on how to prevent accidents from happening. The statistics are divided according to accidents in which people died and those that caused injuries.

Main causes of accidents resulting in a death

The top five contributing factors to boating deaths in 2015 were, in the following order:

  • Use of alcohol.
  • Operator inattention.
  • Inexperienced boat operator.
  • Excessive speed.
  • Improper lookout.

Alcohol use was a contributing factor in 3 of the 5 boating accident deaths:

Main causes of accidents resulting in injuries

The top five contributing factors to boating injuries in 2015 were, in the following order:

  • Operator inattention.
  • Inexperienced boat operator.
  • Improper lookout.
  • Excessive speed.
  • Alcohol use.

The Coast Guard lists 25 more causes of accidents involving injuries or death. Almost all are based on negligence.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Boat operators have a duty to safely operate their boats. When they fail to comply with this duty and act negligently, they are liable for paying damages to those who were injured or to the surviving family members of those who were injured or killed.

If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, contact Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law for a free consultation. He has a 25-year track record of success in helping clients receive compensation. There is a legal time limit for when you must file your claim after the incident occurs, so do not delay.

Image via flickr

Posted in Boating Accidents

DO I HAVE A CASE?

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

CASE RESULTS

3 Million Dollars - Motor Vehicle Death
2 Million Dollars – Medical Malpractice
$1,024,892 – Motor Vehicle Accident
$675,000 – Accident at Work
$650,000 – Medical Malpractice
$525,000 – Tractor Trailer Accident
$500,000 – Accident at Work
$475,000 – Fall at Supermarket

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Client TESTIMONIALS

Attorney Ventura was excellent. I was injured in a car accident and he really looked out for my best interests. He is thorough and professional as well as easy to reach and always there when I needed him. His support team was outstanding. They kept me well-informed throughout the process. I would highly recommend Attorney Ventura for any of your personal injury needs. He’s the best.
Ann J.

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