Articles Posted in Injuries to Children

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A car crash resulting in the death of a child is one of the most traumatic events a family can experience. According to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, a 17-year-old boy was riding in the back seat of a sedan when it was involved in a fatal car accident in Northbridge.

american-cemetery-normandy-1434187-5-m.jpgThe driver of the sedan slowed down as a school bus was passing the car when a large pickup truck, also driven by a teen, slammed into the rear of the sedan. Witness say EMS first responders quickly arrived on the scene and transported the young victim to UMass Memorial Medical Center, where he died from his injuries sustained in the car accident.
Authorities have not released the name of the allegedly at-fault driver but stated he was being charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, operating to endanger, and speeding. It is not known whether defendant was also injured in the crash, and police are still investigating the cause of the accident.
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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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In recent government reports touting a decline in child traffic deaths over the past decade, the government gives itself a lot of credit. Unfortunately, while it is true that there has been a decline in the number of kids dying in accidents,the government could be doing a lot more to prevent child deaths in motor vehicle collisions seat-424212-m.jpg

The sad fact is that motor vehicle collisions continue to take the lives of hundreds of kids each year, and there is a long way to go to improve safety for young passengers. The death of even one child in a car crash is a devastating loss for a family, and victims should consult with a Boston car accident lawyer for legal help.
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Recently, officials with the Patrick Administration joined local leaders, parents and students to celebrate the completion of pedestrian access and safety improvements at Swampscott’s Stanley Elementary School.
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According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), officials spent nearly $300,000 on the project to help create better sidewalks that are better connected to the school. The project walk helped to improve sidewalks and modified curbs to help reduce the number of pedestrian crossings. There were also new pavement markings throughout that school zone and traffic will now flow “one way” during school hours. All of these improvements were designed to help to eliminate the risks of child pedestrian accidents in Swampscott.

“MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program is a critical part of our commitment to healthy and sustainable transportation options, resulting in healthier students, happier parents and safer roads for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Richard A. Davey, MassDOT Secretary and CEO.
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Parents must make countless decisions everyday to keep young children safe in the event of a car accident. Purchasing the right car seat, making sure children are buckled up, and practicing safe driving habits are some of the necessary precautions. According to a number of recent reports, parents may now have an additional consideration when buckling their kids into car seats. After a tragic accident, investigators have determined that babies in heavy winter coats or snow suits may not be safe in car seats.

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While many accidents cannot be prevented, following regulations and heeding safety warnings can prevent injury and fatalities in the event of a collision. Our Boston car accident attorneys are experienced in handing claims on behalf of accident victims and their loved ones. We are also dedicated to staying abreast of safety issues and concerns that can impact motorists and our community.
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It’s getting warm out there and it’s time to listen up! We’re seeing temperatures in the 80s and that’s warm enough to pose some serious risks for heatstroke for children who are left in a vehicle.
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According to NBC News, there have already been at least 8 children who have been killed this spring after they were left in a vehicle by a caregiver. Most of them were children under the age of 2. That number includes 7 that happened in the month of May alone.

Our Boston injury lawyers understand that car collisions are not the only types of car accidents involving vehicles. Leaving a child in a vehicle can have serious or fatal consequences, too. Most of these fatalities occur after a parent, babysitting or other caregiver “forgets” to remove a child from a vehicle.

“It has everything to do with our brains letting us down at the worst possible moment,” said Janette Fennell with KidsAndCars.org.

On average, close to 40 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can overlook a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or death.

Since 1998, there have been close to 600 children who have died in cars after being left inside. Each year, these cases begin to climb in May.

Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.

A: Avoid heatstroke accidents by remembering to never leave your child inside an unattended vehicle. Don’t even let them stay in the car if you’re only running in “for a minute.” Seconds matter when we’re talking about children and heatstroke.

C: Create some reminders that will help you to remember to look in the backseats every time you get out of the car. Put a stuffed animal in the passenger seat, or stick up a sticky note. Whatever it is, make sure that it reminds you to check all seats before getting out, locking up and walking away.

T: Take action. If you happen to see a child inside a vehicle alone, call 9-1-1 right away. Emergency responders are trained to handle these kinds of situations.

Remember that it doesn’t have to be scorching out for it to get too hot inside your vehicle. Remember that most of these accidents happen on days with relatively mild (i.e., ~ 70 degrees F) temperatures and that vehicles can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly.

“We hope everyone who cares about the safety of our children – parents, grandparents, caregivers and others – will follow the simple, and important, safeguards that can save lives and avoid unnecessary heartache,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
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A spate of Massachusetts car accidents recently has resulted in numerous child injuries and, tragically, at least one child death.
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Our Boston car accident attorneys hope those children who have survived these incidents will have the legal and medical help they need to make a full reovery.

As parents, we know that we take every precaution to keep our children safe and healthy. When someone comes along with total carelessness and utter disregard for those around them, it is beyond infuriating.

In a crash out of Worcester, a 3-year-old boy was killed, his two other young siblings injured, in a collision in which the driver was reportedly fleeing the scene of a minor accident – at speeds of 70 miles per hour. The 7-year-old sibling, who along with his mother was thrown from the vehicle, also suffered critical injuries.

In another crash out of Middleboro, a mother and her three children – ages 10, 6 and 2 – were rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital after a crash on Rocky Meadow Street. The cause of that incident is still under investigation.

And yet another accident out Fitchburg recently resulted in the death of both a mother and son, age 16, who were struck head-on by a pick-up truck on Ashby Street. The roads were apparently slick with rain, and investigators are still working to determine if the weather played a significant role in the crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 12.

You can’t control whether other drivers choose to be responsible, but you can take every precaution to ensure your child’s safety just in case.

To begin with, you want to make sure that your child is riding in the right type of car seat for his or her weight and height. If you aren’t sure whether the seat has been properly installed, the NHTSA offers information on child car seat inspection station locators.

Keep track of the height and weight limits, and know when it might be time to upgrade. However, you want to try to keep your child in a car seat for as long as possible.

From birth to 12 months, kids should be in a rear-facing seat, no exceptions. Kids from 1 to 3 years-old should be kept in rear-facing seats too, until they are are no longer able to fit facing backward. When you do decide to upgrade to a forward-facing seat, make sure it has a proper harness.

Forward facing seats can be used for several years thereafter. Even once the child outgrows a seat, he or she should be placed in a booster seat. He or she should stay there until able to properly fit into the regular seat. Even then, he should remain riding in the back seat until age 12.

No matter how short your trip, use a car seat every single time.

Also, just in general, you never want to let your kids play in or around cars or leave your child in or around a vehicle that is not attended by an adult. Be mindful not to leave your keys in the vehicle, and keep your emergency brake on whenever you park your car.
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Winter is the season for outdoor fun in the snow. For many, this means that winter is the season for snowmobiles. Snowmobile riding can be a fun pastime and a great winter activity, but is also can be a very dangerous activity. In one tragic case, for example, Boston.com reported on December 21, 2012 that a Massachusetts’ woman was seriously injured in a snowmobile crash after she rode the snowmobile off of a drop-off and fell about 20 feet.596152_snow_mobile_at_sefsen_sweden_1.jpg

If you are planning on riding a snowmobile this winter season, our Massachusetts injury attorneys urge you to exercise caution. By being prudent when it comes to snowmobile operations, you can hopefully avoid becoming another victim involved in a tragic snowmobile accident.

Snowmobile Safety Tips
There are a variety of different tips that you should keep in mind in order to minimize your risk of becoming involved in a snowmobile accident. For example:

  • You should always stay on approved and signed trails when you are out snowmobiling. This was the advice provided by the Fish and Game Department in response to the accident involving the Massachusetts’ woman who drove the snowmobile over a drop-off. When you veer off the designated path, you put yourself at risk of something unexpected like that happening.
  • You should always be alert for open water or thin ice. Ice can cause you to go out of control, becoming involved in an accident. Water, too, can cause your snowmobile to get out of your control.
  • You should always skip ice riding, which is riding on frozen rivers or on frozen lakes. It is difficult to tell when these lakes and rivers are frozen solidly enough for you to try this. As such, there is a strong chance that the ice won’t hold the weight of a snowmobile and that the snowmobile may fall through the cracks, likely taking you with it.
  • You should never drink and drive your snowmobile. Having too much to drink impairs your ability to drive your snowmobile safely just as it makes it impossible for you to drive a car without risking being seriously hurt as a result of your diminished faculties.
  • You should skip the night riding whenever possible. At night time, you are less visible to others who could potentially cause a crash. You are also unable to see signs of danger such as thin ice or open water.
  • You should not ride alone. If you are out on a snowmobile by yourself and something happens to you, you’ll have no way to get help. You could be trapped in the woods alone, cold and hungry, with no way to seek medial assistance.
  • You should skip riding in adverse weather. Bad weather conditions can increase the chance of an accident and there is no sense in taking a foolish risk just to be able to ride after dark.

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With the summer weather, we’re getting to hang out outside, enjoy some barbecues, get a tan at the pool and enjoy that sunshine that we look forward to all year. Unfortunately, this is also a common time when children are left in vehicles and face serious risks for injury in Boston and elsewhere.

The unprecedented heatwave has also sharply increased the risks of work accidents in Massachusetts.

Unintentionally, children are left in hot cars each and every day. In 2011, there were nearly 35 kids who were under the age of 14-years-old who died because a parent or guardian left them alone inside a hot vehicle.
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Safe Kids Worldwide and officials with the National Transportation Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have recently teamed up to help to prevent these kinds of accidents. The duo will be hosting a number of events throughout the entire month of July to help to raise awareness and to prevent child deaths from heat stroke in the U.S.

Our Boston car accident lawyers understand that heatstroke is the top cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children 13-years-old and younger. Parents, guardians and caregivers are the first line of defense against these kinds of accidents. Everyone has a role to play in helping to keep our kids safe, too. We’re in one of the hottest months out of the entire year and everyone needs to be aware of these incidents. It’s important to spread the word about the basic safety precautions that can be taken to make sure that our young ones are safe.

The recent announcement works to build on the 2011 campaign, “Where’s baby? Look before you lock.” More than 530 kids have died in these kinds of accidents since 1998.

“Everything we know about this terrible danger to children indicates heatstroke in hot cars can happen to any caregiver – and the majority of these cases are accidental tragedies,” said David Strictland, NHTSA Administrator.

Even when the temps are in the low 80s, children are at serious risks for heatstroke when left inside a vehicle, even when the windows are cracked. In just 10 minutes, the temps can reach deadly levels for a child’s small body. It’s the kids who are under the age of four who are at the highest risks for a heat-related illness in these circumstances.

Safety Tips:

-Never leave a kid alone in a vehicle, for any amount of time.

-Always check the front and the back seats before getting out, locking the doors and walking away.

-Notify your childcare provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up when they’re expected.

-Consider placing your briefcase or purse in the back seat to force yourself to look back there before getting out.

-Teach your child that a car is no place to play.

-Keep your car keys out of the reach of children.

-If you see a kid alone in a car, call 911 immediately.
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As we recently reported on our Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to bring out a lot of drunk drivers.

The National Safety Council (NSC) says that there will be more than 400 people who will die in car accidents in Boston and elsewhere over the Memorial Day holiday weekend because of the increase in overall traffic. For record keep purposes, this weekend is defined as the time from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25th through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 28th. In addition to the predicted 400+ fatalities, officials predict that more than 40,000 people will be injured in auto accidents during this same time, during the traditional summer kick-off weekend!
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During this long holiday weekend, drivers are not only urged to practice their safest driving habits, but they’re urged to make sure that everyone in their vehicle is properly buckled during every car ride. Officials with the NSC believe that about 150 people might survive the weekend because they’ll be wearing seat belts during an accident. Officials also believe that another 110 people could be saved if everyone were to wear their seat belt.

Our Boston car accident attorneys understand that the Memorial Day holiday weekend typically sees 12 percent more fatal auto accidents than similar non-holiday weekends. Many driving experts believe that this is because there’s such an increase in travel on our roadways during this time. Over this summer kick-off weekend, residents and visitors hit the road in route to friends’ houses, family members’ houses and holiday parties. The long weekend provides just enough time for that much-needed road trip.

During the long weekend, officials nationwide will be pushing the “Click It or Ticket Campaign” to make sure that motorists are not only buckled up, but to also make sure that drivers are on their best behavior. The nationwide campaign will be taking place from the 21st of May through the 3rd of June.

To help make your Memorial Day road trip as safe as possible, the NSC offers you these few simple safety tips.

Safe Driving Tips:

-Keep distractions out of the driver’s seat. Keep your attention on your vehicle’s surroundings.

-Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is properly buckled in and that kids are in the right child seats. Keep kids under the age of 12 in the back seat.

-Allow yourself with plenty of time to get to your destination. Extra time will reduce the impulse to speed.

-Get plenty of sleep and avoid driving while drowsy.

-Adjust your driving habits to the current road and weather conditions.

-If you plan on drinking, be sure to designate a sober driver.
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