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Auto Accidents

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.

Bus Accident Leads to Serious Injuries

A weekend tour through Harvard University quickly turned into chaos when the bus carrying more than 40 passengers, high school students and chaperons alike slammed into a 10 foot high overpass in Boston on Saturday night. The Calvary Coach bus crashed into the overpass on Soldiers Field Rd., a road officials describe, as having height restriction warnings “all over the place”.

The crash, while injuring more than 35 people, was coming from Bristol, PA carrying students from A Dream for a Dream Foundation based in Bristol, PA that provides opportunities for at risk youth in the Philadelphia area.  A 17 year old remains in critical condition and was listed as having “life threatening injuries” while 3 other passengers were listed as having serious injuries. Police and the Boston Fire Department worked to get the passengers out for over an hour while the driver remained unharmed.

If you or someone you love has recently been involved in a bus accident, contact the law office of Mazow|McCullough, P.C. today. We have experience dealing with the complicated cases that can arise out of the negligence of both a company and an employee. 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.

Who pays if I’m involved in a crash with an uninsured driver?

In Massachusetts if you’re a pedestrian and you’ve been struck by a car that does not have insurance, your own automobile insurance coverage can provide a payment for your medical bills and your lost wages and for your pain and your suffering. If you own an automobile and you’re struck as a pedestrian, you contact your own insurance company and you make a claim against them for what’s called uninsured motors coverage. It will pay for your medical bills, your lost wages, and your pain and your suffering.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney in Salem, MA

My name is Robert Mazow. I’m a partner at Mazow McCullogh. If you’ve been hurt, or a family member’s been hurt as a result of somebody else’s negligence, call us. The right lawyer makes all the difference.

Dangerous Crash In NH May Be Due to Road Rage

The F.E. Everett Turnpike in Merrimack NH was closed for several hours due to a serious accident that may have been the result of a road rage incident.  When Police arrived on scene, they discovered two cars that had apparently lost control and one of the vehicles involved, an Isuzu, had rolled onto its roof.

The driver of the Isuzu was ejected from the car and was transported via med-flight to a Massachusetts hospital.  The driver has extensive life-threatening injuries. The other driver involved didn’t suffer any injuries.  Authorities are still investigating this accident as to whether or not this was indeed the result of a road rage incident and are currently trying to piece everything together.

If you have any questions or you or a loved one have been a victim of someone driving negligently, please contact the law office of Mazow|McCullough, P.C. for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.  You can contact us at (978) 744-8000 or info@helpinginjured.com.

The right lawyer makes all the difference.

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