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Auto Accidents

On the Flip side

For most people, being in a car accident can be pretty dramatic. Even worse, most people that I know would be terrified after being in a car that was flipped over on its side during the accident. But, not this brave and young- in spirit- couple. After being unhurt in a serious accident in California, an elderly couple even posed for pictures, with the wife still stuck inside the vehicle. At one point, the wife even asked her husband for her purse so she can snap pictures of the pretty unbelievable moment. Both walked away unscathed from the seemingly terrifying experience.

Car flipped on side accident

As lucky as these two were, not many are so lucky as to walk away from such a serious accident. While car accident fatalities have decreased in Massachusetts over the last few years as well as nationally, they still occur. In fact, hundreds of fatal car accidents still occur statewide. Over 30,000 people are killed in crashes each year in the United States.

In Massachusetts, there were over $350 million dollars spent in crash-related death costs last year, including $6 million in medical costs and $388 million in work loss costs. While the senior’s photo-op was unbearably adorable, it is important to remember that crashes are preventable by being vigilant and following the rules of the road. Although we cannot decide how everyone is going to drive around us, we can do our part by being defensive drivers. Educating young and old drivers regarding preventative measures, seat belts, impaired and/or distracted driving and motorcycle safety should be on the forefront of everyone’s mind when out on the road.

Even so, accidents do happen. At the  Mazow|McCullough, P.C. we will aggressively pursue the responsible person(s) in question in order to hold them accountable, whether through mediation and arbitration, or by means of a jury trial. The injuries resulting from a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident can result in serious injuries, often death. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or rem@helpinginjured.com. The Right Lawyer Makes All The Difference.

3.2 Million General Motors Cars Recalled

GM recalls

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors (GM), appears before Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill in April 2014 regarding the slow GM recall response.

General Motors has recalled 3.2 million cars for faulty ignition switches, cars including popular models like the Buick Lacross and the Chevy Impala. This latest recall is in addition to the 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts that General Motors had previously recalled for a similar problem. The main problem is in the ignition switch, which experts say could cause inserted keys with extra weight to slip out of position and shut the vehicle off abruptly during a “jarring event”.

GM has issued 44 recalls in North American this year alone and more than 20 million vehicles have been affected worldwide. In a statement released by General Motors, the company said it was aware of eight crashes. The defect has been linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashed and an internal investigation revealed GM knew about the problem for at least a decade before the recalls began. Fifteen employees have since been fired since the investigation began and federal and state criminal investigations are pending.

GM’s chief executive Mary Barra is set to testify today in Congress about why the company waited so long to recall the first 2.6 million vehicles they knew had the defected ignition switches.

Photo credit: Senator McCaskill / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Motorcycle Accidents

Attorney Lawyer vehicle harm

Being injured in a motorcycle accident can cause great bodily harm to the rider, including head, neck and spine injuries, limb amputations and broken bones. Even wearing a helmet cannot fully protect the motorcycle rider from harm in a collision. Riders and passengers may be thrown off the bike to collide with other vehicles or inanimate objects like trees or signs. The chance of escaping injury when you are in a motorcycle accident is very low.

One of our clients, Ramon, broke his ankle in a motorcycle accident. He knew he needed an attorney, but wasn’t sure where to turn. Once he found Mazow | McCullough, he says, he felt like part of the family. He was frustrated, and we helped him through that. We also secured compensation for things he hadn’t even thought of.

What to Do First

If you are in a motorcycle accident, your first concern should be treatment of any injuries. Do not speak with insurance company representatives; they never have your best interests as a priority. In fact, many companies and insurance investigators will jump to the conclusion that a motorcycle accident is the fault of the rider. Call or speak only with experienced Massachusetts motorcycle accident attorneys at Mazow | McCullough to preserve your rights.

How We Help

At the law firm of Mazow | McCullough, we use expert witnesses, engineers and investigators who will thoroughly investigate all evidence from your accident, and calculate injury expenses and future monetary costs. We’ve shown many insurance companies that riders were not to blame for their accident. There could have been outside factors such as defective equipment, poor road conditions or collisions caused by another driver. It is clear that insurance investigators only want to save their company money by denying your claims and trying to prove you were at fault.

Massachusetts Motorcycle Laws

Massachusetts has many laws to regulate the ownership and use of motorcycles, including helmet laws. Our motorcycle accident lawyers are current with knowledge of all Massachusetts motorcycle laws. We are ready to help motorcycle operators who have been injured in a collision get results from their insurance companies and other responsible parties.

Personal injury law allows persons injured in motorcycle accidents to seek compensation for their damage claims from all parties who may be responsible. This includes parts manufacturers, motorcycle manufacturers and others. We can help you track back responsibility and gain compensation, so you can have financial relief from accident injuries due to negligent behavior or mistakes in the manufacturing processes.

Call Mazow | McCullough

We’re happy to consult with new clients about their motorcycle accidents that have caused personal injury. Please call our Salem, MA law office to speak with our experienced motorcycle accidents attorney today. Phone us now at (978) 744-8000 for legal representation you can count on.

Cooperating with the Insurance Company

Car insurance cooperate

If you’re dealing with an insurance company following a motor vehicle accident, your insurance policy has a “cooperation clause” that states that you must cooperate with reasonable requests from the insurance company. This means that you may need to provide them with medical authorizations, recorded statements, and examinations under oath and be generally available to answer questions. All the requests, of course, have to be within reason, and there are boundaries that an insurance company can’t cross when requesting information. You should carefully review each and every request from the insurance company before simply agreeing to provide what they’re looking for.

While there is a contractual obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company (and cooperation is also required of any passengers in your car who are seeking insurance benefits through your insurance company), you don’t owe the same obligation to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This is important to understand, because the at-fault insurance company may not tell you that you do not need to voluntarily provide them any information. The insurance company may simply send you forms to fill out and medical authorizations to allow them access to your private medical history and demand that you provide a recorded statement. You are under no obligation to do any of this. Be very wary if the at-fault insurance company sends you documents and asks you to sign them. You could be signing away your rights without even knowing it.

Be aware of the distinct obligations that you owe to the different insurance companies.

Dangerous Defect in Recalled GM Vehicles

Automaker Lies to Victims’ Families

More than five years ago, the automaker General Motors became aware of a dangerous flaw in many of the vehicles it was producing. They learned that a faulty ignition switch in hundreds of thousands of their vehicles was a hazardous and potentially fatal defect for the drivers and occupants of the affected vehicles. Because of this flaw, the vehicle may turn off while running, causing the airbags to fail to deploy in a collision and increasing the likelihood of serious injury or death. Despite this knowledge, G.M. repeatedly told families of victims and the consumers still driving the vehicles that there was no problem with the vehicles, and any claims were wholly baseless. Those statements were willful and knowing lies to the very people who had suffered a loss due to a General Motors vehicle.

Vehicle crash lawyer help

The vehicles being recalled are the 2005 – 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5; the 2003 – 2007 Saturn Ion; the 2006 -2007 Chevrolet HHR; the 2005 – 2006 Pontiac Pursuit (in Canada); the 2006 – 2007 Pontiac Solstice; and the Saturn Sky vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision while driving a vehicle recalled by General Motors, it is imperative that you speak with a product liability attorney at Mazow | McCullough, P.C. today. Even if the collision causing the injury or loss may have been the fault of the person injured, if they were occupying one of the recalled vehicles it is extremely likely that they suffered injuries much more severe than they should have due to the defect in the vehicles. The product liability attorneys at Mazow | McCullough, P.C. have decades of experience pursuing justice for those injured by the negligence of large businesses. You and your family need an attorney on your side that will fight for the justice you deserve. Contact Mazow | McCullough, P.C. today for a free consultation, The Right Lawyer Makes All The Difference.

What to Do in Case of a Car Accident

Vehicle crash lawyer help

The unfortunate reality in today’s world is that there is a very good chance that you, a family member, or someone you love will be involved in a car accident. There are so many cars on the road full of distracted drivers who are texting, talking on cell phones, drinking alcohol, or simply not paying attention or following the rules of the road that the likelihood of a car accident is greatly increased. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that in 2012, motor vehicle crashes and fatalities increased after six years of declining fatalities on our nation’s highways (www.nhtsa.gov/NCSA). The United States suffered more than 33,000 fatalities on the roadways. Traffic fatalities due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes totaled more than 10,000. In Massachusetts alone, there were several hundred fatalities on the road and countless injuries.

Texting and driving has likely been the cause of increased car accidents and fatalities. According to the National Safety Council, there are nearly two million accidents per year as a result of texting while driving (www.textinganddrivingsafety.com). The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study revealed that texting and driving cause 330,000 injuries per year. Nearly 25% of all car accidents are the result of texting while driving!

What these numbers reveal is that, with all the distractions facing drivers, the likelihood of being in a car accident has dramatically increased. Therefore, it is best to be prepared. While this list is not exhaustive, it will give you at least some ammunition to prepare yourself for the eventuality that you may be in an accident.

In general:

Always wear a seatbelt

We cannot emphasize this enough. It seems so obvious, but there are times when many of us don’t wear a seatbelt. Sometimes, you might be making a quick trip to the store. Other times, you might be sitting in the back seat of a car and not be worried about a seatbelt. While it is true that seatbelt use has risen over the last few years due to better enforcement and education, not wearing a seatbelt leads to more severe injuries and fatalities due to ejection (www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/). The bottom line is that you should always wear a seatbelt, no matter where you are sitting in a vehicle and no matter how long or how short the travel time.

After an accident occurs:

Make sure everyone is safe

After a collision, the very first thing you need to do is make sure that you, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the collision are OK. Does anyone need immediate medical attention? Are the cars stopped in a dangerous place on the road? Is there anything about the situation that needs immediate attention and action? A motor vehicle accident can cause life-threatening injuries or can place you, your passengers, or the other vehicle’s occupants in a precarious position on the roadway that could cause further harm. It is imperative that the first thing you do is make sure that everyone is safe.

Call the police

If you or anyone involved in a car accident is hurt, even if the injury seems minor, the police should be called. The police are trained to investigate car accidents and to help sort out what happened. Oftentimes, people will tell the police what happened, and their versions will be documented in a police report. Further, the police can help with the exchange of critical information such as drivers’ names, addresses, and insurance information. Additionally, the police can cite drivers, provide written warnings, or even make arrests if necessary. All this information can become incredibly important if a driver later decides to change his or her story when reporting it to an insurance company. Insurance companies are quick to believe whatever story most helps them save money and will use their insured’s story, even if it conflicts with what the insured may have told the police at the accident scene.

Document

Whether the police come to the scene or not, it is imperative that you document as much as you can about the other driver and the facts of the accident. Memories fade and people can be less than truthful if they feel that they may have been the cause of an accident and injuries. Insist on getting the driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, car make and model, and license plate number. If the driver refuses to provide that information and the police are not available, do not engage the other driver. Simply write down his or her license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle. If you have a camera or one on your smartphone, take pictures of the cars. Document where the accident happened, what time of day it is, and whether there were any traffic controls. If there are any witnesses, get their names and phone numbers. Their versions of the accident are often the most helpful, as independent witnesses have no stake in the outcome of the case – their versions will often be used by the insurance companies when there is a difference of opinion between the drivers as to what happened in the accident.

You can download a helpful accident reporting form from the Mazow|McCullough, PC website at www.helpinginjured.com.

Report the accident

You should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurance policy requires that you cooperate with them and report the accident as soon as you can. In Massachusetts, you should also prepare an Operator’s Report, which needs to be sent to the police department of the city or town where the accident happened, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, and the insurance company. An Operator’s Report can be picked up at any police station or can be downloaded right here – Massachusetts Operators Crash Report.

Notify the insurance company

If you’ve been hurt, you should notify your insurance company that you and any passengers have been injured.

Fatal Car Accident on Route 128 Southbound in Framingham, MA

A Framingham woman died yesterday after a mattress flew off of the roof of what is being described as a large white dump truck with a white cab and dark, wooded sides. The vehicle travelling directly in front of the now deceased woman stopped abruptly to avoid the mattress, which in turn caused another vehicle to crash into its rear bumper.

The accident caused all but one lane on Route 128 southbound to close for an hour while the State Police accident reconstruction and crime scene units were on the scene as the woman was taken to Lahey Burlington and was listed in “grave condition”. The victim died later that day.

Police are now looking for that dump truck that lost the mattress and are asking anyone with any information to come forward.

If you have suffered a personal injury or a loved one has been killed as a result of a serious car accident or hurt because of someone else’s negligence, please contact the law office of Mazow|McCullough, P.C. today so that the matter can be properly, efficiently and successfully handled. We can help you to feel empowered again as you seek justice for you or your loved one’s injuries and/or wrongful death. The right lawyer makes all the difference. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or rem@helpinginjured.com.

Deadly Week in MA

Marlborough road Highland Avenue Car Accident

Intersection between Marlborough Road and Highland Avenue

A 21-year-old Lynn man was killed on Saturday, November 16, 2013, and his girlfriend is listed in critical condition in Mass. General Hospital when they were struck on Marlborough Road off of Highland Avenue in Salem at 9:28 p.m. as they crossed at Scenic Avenue, according to police. The Salem Police captain reported the accident happened a few feet after a sharp turn on Marlborough Street, hitting the young couple once. The young man was thrown to the opposing lane of traffic when he was subsequently hit a second time. State Police are investigating this accident as reconstruction efforts take way.

In another fatal accident, a Wrentham woman was dragged for 3 miles under a pickup truck on Route 1. After striking both pedestrians, the vehicle fled the scene. The suspect, who is now in custody, struck the woman and a man outside of her workplace in Wrentham and then dragged her until coming to a stop near Patriot Place in Foxborough. While the second pedestrian suffered minor injuries, a state trooper who found the woman’s body on Route 1 at around 10 p.m. described her injuries as “traumatic.”

If you or a loved one have been the victim of another person’s negligence while driving, or if you have any questions, contact the personal injury lawyers at Mazow/McCullough, P.C. for a free consultation. The right lawyer can make all the difference. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or rem@helpinginjured.com.

Motor Vehicle Collision Results in Fatality

An 88 year old Carver, MA woman was pronounced dead at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, MA after being involved in a head on collision with a pick-up truck on Main Street in Carver on August 25, 2013.  Due to the seriousness of the accident, everyone involved in the collision including a passenger in the pick-up truck were taken to the hospital.

Carter police and emergency personnel responded to the scene shortly after 4 p.m. finding both vehicles heavily damaged and with at least two people who sustained serious injuries. The collision remains under investigation, according to Carver police and no one has been charged in the crash.

If you have suffered a personal injury or a loved one has been killed as a result of a serious car accident or hurt because of the reckless driving please contact the law office of Mazow|McCullough, P.C. today so that the matter can be properly, efficiently and successfully handled. We can help you to feel empowered again as you seek justice for you or your loved one’s injuries and/or wrongful death. The right lawyer makes all the difference. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or rem@helpinginjured.com.

Green Line Trolley Crash Injures Several

According to Metro.net, the MBTA had an estimated 39 million person ridership in the month of January alone, making it the most widely used form of public transportation in the state of Massachusetts.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Monday, February 25, 2013, authorities reported an outbound Green Line trolley collided with a car near the Pleasant St. stop in Allston. The collision left several passengers and the conductor injured. The conductor was reported to be “shaken up” and taken to a hospital, one trolley passenger was transported to a hospital by ambulance and the driver of the vehicle was reported to have some lower back pain upon impact.

After Transit Police conducted an investigation, it was found that the driver of the vehicle was at fault for the collision and was cited for failing to yield to a trolley at an intersection. The report written by the Transit Police concluded “there is no traffic control device at the intersection and trolleys have the right of way”.

If you or someone you love has recently been involved in a MBTA accident, contact the law office of Mazow|McCullough, P.C. today. We have experience dealing with the complicated cases that can arise out of being injured while riding the MBTA. We can help you to feel empowered again, as you are compensated for you or your loved one’s injuries. The right lawyer makes all the difference.

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