The Dangers of Leaving Kids in Hot Cars

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As a driver, there are a number of precautions that you take every day to avoid injury and accidents. Safe-driving practices include avoiding cell phone use or texting and driving, following traffic regulations, and remaining rested and alert. While moving cars can seem like the biggest threat, there are also hidden dangers in and around your vehicle, even when it is parked. During the summer, parents must also be aware of the risks of leaving their children in a hot vehicle. According to reports, nine children have already died this summer after being left in a parked car.

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The National Safety Council is warning parents of the dangers of leaving their children in parked cars. The death toll is already significant and is expected to climb over the summer. Our Boston car accidents attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent accidents and injury. While car accidents and collisions will remain a significant risk throughout the summer, parents should also be aware of the potentially deadly consequences of leaving children in a hot car.

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The High Cost of Car Accidents

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Motor vehicle collisions have an $871 billion economic and societal impact in the United States. According to a recent study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the economic costs of motor vehicle crashes amount to almost $900 for every single person who is living in the United States. grungy-money-4-1361620-m.jpg

The losses caused by motor vehicle accidents should not cause innocent victims to face financial consequences on top of the emotional and physical pain. Those responsible for causing accidents should compensate victims. An experienced Boston car accident lawyer should be consulted for information on how to pursue a claim for losses and damages.

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A Close Look at Bicycle Accident Fatalities

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The League of American Bicyclists collected data on bicycle rider deaths from February of 2011 to February of 2013. The data was analyzed and a detailed report on the causes of bicyclist fatalities has now been released. The report was published in May of 2014 and is entitled Every Bicyclist Counts.

The findings showed that fatal bicycle crashes are frequently caused by motorists driving passenger vehicles. Bicycle riders who are injured or killed by drivers need to understand their right to obtain compensation from those responsible for collisions. A Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help.

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Lockwood v. Geico - Bad Faith Claims & Auto Insurance

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No person injured in a Boston car accident should have to suffer further injury fighting with the insurance company to receive what is rightly due. Unfortunately, it happens a lot.highwaynewengland.jpg

Many times, hiring an experienced auto accident lawyer is enough to prompt the insurer to simply pay what is owed. However, there are some cases in which insurers will continue to fight, in certain instances even knowing that doing so results in an unfair and unnecessary delay or denial of a rightful claim. When this happens, it's called acting in bad faith, and it's not only unethical, it's illegal. Accident victims in Massachusetts who have endured such a scenario have the right to pursue a bad faith insurance claim, in addition to seeking compensation for the original damages.

In the recent case of Lockwood v. Geico General Insurance Company, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that a bad faith insurance claim, dismissed by a lower court, should be allowed to proceed, as there was a genuine question of material fact as to whether the insurer had a reasonable basis to delay the claim.

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MBTA Collision Blamed on Sneezing

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The driver of an MBTA bus who was involved in a collision in May claimed that the accident occurred because of a sneezing fit. According to Boston Magazine, the bus slammed into a guard rail, leaving its front wheels hanging off an overpass above the Massachusetts Turnpike. The driver claimed that her allergies caused her to sneeze with such excessive force that it caused her to lose control of the bus and hit the guardrail. She also indicated that her eyes were closed at the time of the collision. tissue-box-672786-m.jpg

Unfortunately, the driver's story about sneezing may be untrue in this particular case because surveillance cameras on the vehicle show that she had an item in her left hand that looked like a cellular phone. An investigation is still being conducted to determine if holding the phone contributed to the crash.

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Bell v. Progressive Direct - Shared Insurance With Cohabiting Adults

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Car insurance companies are notorious for finding loopholes in policy language with which to deny coverage.
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One that Boston car accident injury lawyers have seen with greater frequency is the denial of coverage to non-married, cohabiting spouses, even when they are technically on the same plan. Coverage in these cases can be a minefield, as evidenced in the recent case of Bell v. Progressive Direct Insurance.

This was a case that recently made its way all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court for review. Ultimately the court sided with the insurance company, illustrating why policy language must be read very carefully. Many policies grant coverage to "household members," but the definition of that may in fact be quite narrow.

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How Big is Your Risk of a Collision During Memorial Day?

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Our Boston car accident lawyers recently provided tips for safe travel over the Memorial Holiday. Driving carefully is especially important because there will be more motorists on the road, which leads to an increased risk of accidents. For those who are heading out to visit friends or enjoy a vacation weekend, the news that travel will be heavy this year raises an important question: just how dangerous is Memorial Day and how big of an increased risk of collisions is there? memorial-day-flags-1013698-m.jpg

The National Safety Council (NSC) recently took a close look at just how much of an impact Memorial Day has on traffic deaths and injuries. Memorial Day was defined as beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Monday. The holiday always spans 3.25 days.

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Memorial Day Traffic Expected to Be Heavy This Year - Stay Safe

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Memorial Day is always a time when many people hit the road to celebrate the start of the summer season and the end of the school year. Travel is expected to be especially heavy this year, with more people on the road than in 2013. road-1214570-m.jpg

With more drivers out for the holiday weekend, there is an increased risk of collisions. Motorists need to remember best practices for safe driving over the Memorial Day weekend in order to reduce the chances of a motor vehicle accident occurring. If a collision does happen, a Boston car accident attorney should be consulted to provide assistance with a legal claim for damages.

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Another Wrong-Way Collision: Fatal Accident on I-495

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Wrong-way accidents are being studied as one of the most common causes of highway fatalities. In a recent Boston case, 7 vehicles were involved in a fatal wrong-way collision on I-495. According to CBS Local, the driver who was at fault for the seven car collision on Interstate 495 was killed and identified the day after the collision. The case illustrates the significant risk posed by wrong-way motorists and points to the need for additional study and preventative measures.

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Though not all accidents are preventable, studying the underlying cause of collisions can help to prevent them in the future. In cases involving wrong-way collisions, the cause may involve improper signage, the use of alcohol, or other unforeseeable issues that may guide the driver the wrong-way on an exit or on-ramp. Our Boston car accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of accident victims and to staying abreast of safety issues throughout Massachusetts. We are committed to raising awareness and accident investigation to prevent future injuries and fatalities.

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Pregnancy Increases the Risk of Injury Accidents

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Pregnant women must take certain precautions to keep themselves and their babies safe. In addition to proper nutrition, avoiding alcohol, scuba diving, hot tubs, and not boarding an airplane in the final trimester, women should also be careful when getting behind the wheel. According to a recent Canadian study, pregnant women are more likely to be in a serious car crash. The report, which was recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and highlighted on NPR, indicates that the risk for pregnant women is highest during the second trimester. Research shows that expectant mothers are as likely to be involved in an accident as someone with sleep apnea.

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For pregnant women, being aware of accident risks could help to prevent collisions and subsequent injuries to themselves, their babies, and other motorists on the road. Our Boston car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims maximize their compensation in the event of an injury or the loss of a loved one. In addition to providing experienced and strategic representation, our firm is also abreast of scientific research and studies that may impact drivers and other motorists sharing the road.

The data looked at more than 500,000 mothers in Ontario and followed driving records and data for five years, including 4 years before the baby was born and a year after birth. During the second trimester the accident rates spiked and some researchers believe it may have to do with hormonal changes during pregnancy. Researchers and safety advocates are not recommending that pregnant women do not drive, only that they be more careful when behind the wheel. Expectant mothers should take extra precautions including the following:

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Massachusetts DOT to Bostonians: "Use Yah Blinkah"

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) is revamping an old message to Boston drivers. In a dialect that locals will understand, the DOT is urging drivers to, "Use yah blinkah." The agency is hoping to get the attention of drivers and remind them to use a blinker when changing lanes. While the localized slogan is catchy and clever, it is also critical, as failure to signal a lane change can cause serious accidents and injuries.

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Communication with other drivers on the road is important to preventing accidents and injuries. While we can take clues from drivers through their speed, direction and other factors, we also expect drivers to use their blinkers to indicate when they will be turning or making a lane change. Failure to do so is a leading cause of accidents. Our Boston car accident attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent accidents and injuries. We are also experienced advocates who provide strategic counsel to victims in the event of a pedestrian, bike, car or truck accident.

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Christensen v. Bowen - Vicarious Liability for Vehicle Owners

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In the event of a car accident, Boston injury attorneys will often explore the possibility of vehicle owner liability - even when the owner wasn't driving and may have been nowhere near the site of the crash.
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This is due to the legal principle of vicarious liability, which under English common law was referred to as "respondeat superior." Essentially, a "superior" can be held liable for the negligent actions of a "servant." It's under this principle that companies employing reckless commercial drivers can be sued. It's also under this principle that a parent could be sued for handing over the keys to a teen who has a history of making poor decisions behind the wheel.

However, it also allows that simple ownership of a vehicle makes one responsible for its use. Further, simply having one's name on the title could indicate liability, at least according to a recent decision by the Florida Supreme Court.

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Insurance Coverage of Ride-Sharing Services Questioned

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It was recently announced that RideScout, a technology platform that focuses on smartphone applications to connect people who need a ride with people who can supply it, is partnering with Zipcar to launch a new ride-sharing service in Boston.
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It will join others, like Hailo taxi, Sidecar, Uber, Lyft and Hubway.

These services are featured as fast, convenient and usually cheaper than paying for a taxi. However, car accident attorneys in Boston note there is growing concern in a number of municipalities regarding not only the safety of such services, but also what kind of insurance coverage is available to victims when the event of a traffic accident.

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Mass Bike Safety: Smart and Trendy Gadgets for the Road

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With advances in technology, bicyclists are safer on the roads. As cycling becomes more popular, inventors are getting savvy about the needs of the riding community. The Guardian reported some of the top safety gadgets that are going to keep Boston bikers safe. While bikers are still often victims of negligent driving, they can take necessary steps to protect themselves. Our Boston bike accident attorneys are committed to raising safety standards and helping prevent future accidents and injuries.

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Here are some of the newest inventions in bike safety to keep you both safe, and trendy:

Retro-reflective paint: One of the main safety tools is increasing visibility for bikers. Mission Bicycle is one company that has made reflective or glow in the dark bikes available to the masses. Other bike companies have also developed and branded similar styles to keep bikers safe at night.

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Trucking Accident Litigation: $100 Million Lawsuit Filed Against FedEx

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In the event of an accident involving a large commercial trucking company, it is likely that there will be an investigation and potentially civil or criminal penalties depending on the circumstances and cause of the collision. In the recent FedEx accident that killed 10 people when the truck burst into flames, the company is already facing wrongful death claims, including one filed this week by the mother of a student who was killed in the fiery crash. The lawsuit alleges that FedEx trucks are known to catch fire and that the company was negligent in resolving the dangerous defect.
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This is the first lawsuit filed in the action and the mother-plaintiff is seeking $100 million in damage on behalf of her daughter, the young female victim, one of five students killed in the crash. Our car accident attorneys in Boston are experienced in handling complex claims involving deadly collisions. We understand the gravity of every case and work strategically to maximize compensation for victims. In similar cases throughout Massachusetts, we have helped victims and their loved ones bring justice against negligent parties and recover the compensation they deserve.

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