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Auto Accidents

Moped Hit and Run in Lynn

Over the Memorial Day weekend, a man riding a moped was seriously injured when he was the victim of a hit and run in Lynn, Massachusetts. Police are still searching for the car and the driver responsible.

Details Surrounding the Crash

On Monday, May 25 at around 9:30 PM police responded to a hit and run crash involving a man in a moped. The crash occurred on Union Street in Lynn.  Witness’s state that the car involved in the crash was driving very fast and took off immediately after the crash occurred.   The man driving the moped suffered severe burn injuries due to the gas from the moped catching on fire. Witnesses from the stores surrounding the area ran to extinguish the fire with fire extinguishers. The victim was taken by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital.  At this time there are no updates as to how the victim is doing.

Increasing your Safety on the Road

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) the majority of accidents occur for the following reasons:

  • Collision at an intersection
  • Rider inexperience
  • Excessive Speed
  • Alcohol

In order to reduce the chances of being involved in a crash, one must be vigilant at intersections while at the same time making sure you increase your visibility to everyone on the road, especially at night.

Remember to ride within your ability. If you are new to riding, avoid riding at times when heavy traffic is expected or when conditions are not safe due to weather or visibility.

Bear in mind to keep your speed in check. The faster you are traveling the less reaction time you have which, in return, also limits the reaction time of other drivers to you.

And last but certainly not least, do not drink and ride. There is little room for error when on two wheels. When riding, a “fender bender” is not the likely outcome of any crash. Now that summer weather seems to have finally arrived and everyone is out an about, it is even more important to take extra steps to remain safe on the road.

If you have been injured as a result of a moped, motor scooter or motorcycle crash, Contact us today for a consultation and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

motorcycleIt’s Spring Time!

Longer days, warmer weather, bugs coming out to do whatever it is that bugs do, cabin fever in full effect , and, oh yeah, motorcyclists on the road. You’ve been cooped up all winter; casually strolling by your bike and waiting for this glorious time of year to approach, only to endure a disappointing first few weeks of spring [insert wrong answer game show sound effect here]. Well I am here to tell you that I have confidence that in the next two weeks, Mother Nature will give us spring back. So get ready to ride! But first, let’s take a look at the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving drivers on the road, and how to prevent them.

Car Turning Left in Front of You

These types of accidents account for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car. Most of the time a car fails to see you or judges your speed incorrectly, usually the turning car strikes the motorcycle when the motorcyclist is either passing a car or going straight through the intersection. Of course, there are several other reasons for this sort of collision happening, one of them being as simple as your mind playing tricks on you. Maybe some of you have gone to the fridge and opened it up and put your phone in the fridge instead of the milk [guilty]. If a driver is looking for cars he/she may simply only notice the absence of cars and not the presence of a motorcycle. Your best defense against this happening is that you just need to see it coming. Part of your job as a motorcyclist is to develop a sixth sense; you need to see danger where you usually wouldn’t if you were driving a car. You need to take something as simple as a car waiting to change lanes or a car waiting to exit a parking lot as an immediate threat to your life. The faster you learn to ride defensively the better off you will be.

A Car Changes Lanes into You

You’re riding in traffic, scratch that you are riding period. When a car in the lane next to you decides that, right at that moment, it would be a good time for him/her to switch lanes. There’s only one way to help you avoid a collision in this situation and that is, to keep in mind that motorcycles are much smaller than cars, making it that much easier for you to be in someone’s blind spot. You need to be aware of how different cars have different blind spots. A car’s blind spot size will be considerably different than that of truck. Know the blind spots and spend as little time in them as possible. Be extra cautious when you see situations that are going to favor lane changing. Chances are if you would change lanes; know that someone else is having the same thought. People are going to want to be in the lane that is moving at a faster speed. When riding, look for signs that a car is about to change lanes. A blinker, a car speeding up or slowing down, and my favorite tell-tale sign, a driver looking over his or her shoulder. Be aware of this at all times, and your chances of not getting into an accident will be strongly diminished.

A Car Hits You from Behind

You come to a stop, a yield, the car in front of you hits his/her breaks unexpectedly warranting for you to hit your breaks and come to speedy stop.  Brace for impact! This type of accident in a car would usually result in a “fender bender” meanwhile on a motorcycle, a “fender bender” can have drastically worse consequences. How can you avoid this? Instead of stopping in the center of the lane, try coming to a safe stop on the side of the lane if possible. When coming to a stop, pay attention to what’s coming up behind you. Use your side mirrors to observe the cars behind you, and determine if they are coming up too fast and could possibly collide with you. Always keep your bike in first gear and right hand on the accelerator in order to be ready to take action in a moment’s notice. Be particularly vigilant in situations where there’s bad visibility, bad weather, poor lighting etc.

When ridden safely, motorcycles are a great option to get around; they are fun, fast and fuel-efficient, and did I mention fun? As stated above, the key to making sure your experience remains enjoyable is to respect the road and remain vigilant. Being vigilant and wearing the right equipment will go a long way in helping prevent bumps and bruises or worse consequences that come along with accidents. Enjoy motorcycle riding responsibly, while you feel the pavement underneath glide on by.

In the unfortunate event that you, or a loved one, are involved in a motorcycle accident don’t hesitate to contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Mazow McCullough.

Snow Storm Safety Tips: Driving

driving along a snowy road

It’s best to avoid driving in snowy weather if at all possible.

You can’t seem to turn on the news these past two weeks in New England without hearing about the next snow storm or blizzard that will be progressing through the area. In Boston, there has been about 72 inches (6 feet) of snow within the last 18 days. Mother Nature has managed to help us beat the record for the snowiest 30-day period, which was previously occupied by a record of 58.8 inches in a stretch that included the infamous Blizzard of 1978. Even more notable is that fact that we still have 12 days to try and bump that number up.

As the snow piles continue to grow, the safety concerns grow with it. Everybody is dealing with a sequence of inconvenient snow storms, which add on day to day tasks: shoveling every day, getting up earlier than usual to try and get to work on time, scurrying to try and get a parking spot that isn’t being saved by someone’s patio chair, cooking pot, or fan. We must remember that it can get pretty bad out there as everyone tries to continue with their daily lives, which likely includes spending some time behind the wheel. With the snowfall accumulation forecasted to continue throughout the week, some safety measures should be taken while driving in order to try and survive this record-breaking snowfall that we seem to have been gifted with.

Snow Storm Safety Tips

  • Drive slowly and be aware of children playing in the street and/or around snow piles.
  • Clear exterior exhausts vents and vehicle exhausts to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Avoid driving at night if possible.
  • If you are out at night and walking, try wearing bright colors or reflective gear.
  • Stay inside during storms unless absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid shortcuts; shortcut paths may be dangerous as it is less likely that snow has been removed.
  • Do not use cruise control when you are driving on a slushy or slippery road.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires provide less traction, which is already an issue with snow and ice covered roads.
  • Remain calm in a skid.  Do not over steer or slam on your breaks. This will make it harder to regain control of the vehicle.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding.
  • Increase your following distance. This will give you plenty of time to respond hazards on the road and changing conditions.
  • Clean all the snow off of your car. Make sure to clear the rear windows, mirrors, and roof as well as the windshield.
  • Clean off your headlights and taillights so that you can see and be seen.
  • Do not pass snow plows.
  • Remember bridges, ramps and overpasses are likely to freeze with temperatures dropping.

Whether you’re enjoying the current snowfall apocalypse that has invaded New England, which I don’t presume to be many of you, or wish you could pack it back up and send it elsewhere – or better yet, pack your own bags and go elsewhere – the sorrowful fact is that we have to deal with it. We have been glued to our TVs watching the weather forecast for the next snow storm or blizzard and as they have become more and more frequent, we dismiss the importance and urgency in becoming prepared.  Here in New England, many of us have a “we can handle anything” outlook on things, or still have a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. The Boston Globe compared the snowfall totals to the heights of some of Boston’s favorite athletes. Rob Gronkowski is still peeping over the snow but others weren’t so lucky. Let’s not mistake the “we can handle anything” attitude for a “we have seen it all” attitude. Stay alert and stay warm.

Massachusetts Motorcyclist Laws

motorcycle in sunlightAs a new motorcyclist myself, and with spring looking further and further every day here in New England, I know fellow motorcyclists are getting eager for the start of the new “riding season.” In all of the anticipation for spring and the hope for a miracle of a short winter, don’t forget to take some time to review and become familiar with the Massachusetts motorcyclist laws. It can help make this year’s riding experience safer and as a result more enjoyable.

Helmet Law

In the State of Massachusetts, every motorcyclist must wear a DOT (Department of Transportation) certified helmet. This law applies to riders of every age and operators of low-powered cycles such as mopeds and scooters as well. Despite the law, and the hundreds of tests and studies that prove that a helmet can strongly diminish deaths and serious injuries, too many motorcyclists still choose to ride unprotected. Some argue that wearing a helmet impairs vision and hearing while riding. Even though I can see how this concern materialized, it has been proven that it is simply not the case. Helmets provide a field of vision of more than 210 degrees which is substantially above the 140 degrees standard that is used by licensing agencies to identify vision problems. When it comes to helmets impacting hearing, it is simply not true. On the contrary, a helmet allows the rider to be able to hear his/her surroundings in a more equally proportioned way. The overwhelming fact is that helmets save lives, so use your head and wear a helmet.

Lane Splitting

If you’re a motorcyclist, you know the temptation is there. You’re sitting in a line of traffic, bumper to bumper, on a hot summer day (with some protective gear I hope) and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I could just sneak on by in between the lanes of cars; no harm, no foul.’ Truth is, there may very well be harm and it is a foul.  The foul being that in the state of Massachusetts it is illegal for a motorcyclist to participate in lane splitting. The fact is that lane splitting is illegal pretty much EVERYWHERE except in California. The number one reason being the level of risk of getting injured is very high. Motorcyclists are already in potential danger due to the lack of visibility on the road. When you add the lack of visibility and the notorious driving of Massachusetts drivers you should very well be thankful for this law.

Besides these established laws in Massachusetts, there are several other ways to help you remain safe on the road while riding. Take a quick moment to look over the Motorcycle Manual which is available online at www.massrmv.com/rmv/mcmanual. This will help you refresh your memory on the rules of the road, and will remind you of important things to look out for in order to remain safe. Whatever steps you take to remain safe while riding, enjoy yourself. Fingers crossed for an early end to what seems to be a cruel joke by Mother Nature on New England.

Avid Motorcyclists Continue To Ride Despite Cold Temperatures

motorcycles in cold weatherEven though we are turning the heat up in our cars and scraping the frost off of our windows, there are many avid motorcycle riders in Massachusetts who continue to ride despite the dip in temperatures.  Whether motorcyclists continue to ride in the cold is because of necessity or desire, the fact is that motorcycles continue to share the road with all of us.

With the drop in temperatures come icy roads, darker mornings and evenings, and frost or snow covered car windows.  Car and motorcycle riders must take extra caution to make sure that they are aware of each other on the roads of Massachusetts.  Mazow & McCullough have seen too many horrific injuries and deaths as a result of careless drivers shifting lanes too fast and crashing into riders, driving without properly clearing their windows, or simply not paying attention to their driving.

Take another few minutes in the morning to defrost your windows.  Scrape your front and back windshields from frost.  Drive a little slower if the roads are icy.

Remember that motorcycles are everywhere.  Even in the winter.

Worcester: Worst Drivers in America?

Worcester MA has worst drivers in America according to AllState report

Worcester City Hall

According to a new study by AllState Insurance Company, Boston was ranked as having the second worst drivers in America. The study further alleges that on average, Boston drivers have a motor vehicle accident roughly every 4.4 years. Unfortunately, the study also says that the number one riskiest drivers in the entire country are also in a Massachusetts city: Worcester.

The study, dubbed The Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report, received its information from property damage collision claims by and against its policy holders and analyzed the 200 largest cities in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual estimates of the population. That information was used to rank the best and worst drivers in America.

The report, although not used to determine auto insurance rates, is made “solely to boost the country’s discussion about safe driving and to increase awareness of the importance of being safe and attentive behind the wheel”. If so, it looks like Massachusetts is up for a long overdue discussion about keeping safe.

The cities ranked the safest included Fort Collins, CO and Brownsville, TX with an average 14.2 years between collisions. With cities having populations as dense as New York City and Los Angeles, it’s a wonder how they almost doubled in the amount of years between their accidents at 7.8 and 6.5 years respectively.

What gives, Massachusetts?

Photo credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

What Happens to Your Body in a Car Accident

see a doctor after a car accidentEven the simplest car rear-end car accident can leave the human body seriously injured. Few people know what actually happens to them when they are involved in minor rear-end collisions. Rarely do people seek medical treatment when involved in fender benders. But, doctors recommend that you do anyway for the following reasons.

Possible Car Accident Injuries

First, the fact that your vehicle has suddenly stopped does not mean that our body will as well. Whether you are hit from behind, the front or sides, your body, including your head, continues to move at the speed you were driving until it hits something or is stopped by your seatbelt- if you have one on. Your brain crashes against the inside of your skull on impact and then rebounds and smacks into the other side, having nowhere else to go. At the very minimum, a human being will have a headache or a concussion. At worst, the human brain begins to swell, which leads to more serious complications and could cause death.

Now let’s talk about the neck. The weight of your head on top of your neck jolting back and forth at such an unnatural speed for it can cause whiplash if it’s a minor impact. At much higher speeds, however, the motion could break the neck.

The human spine goes through a similar reaction, whipping back and forth and ultimately causing whiplash. This could lead to bulging discs and radiating pain to all limbs, joints and shoulders. The higher the speed, the more serious the injury to the driver and passengers. However small or big the accident, it’s repercussions are almost always the same; they impact people’s lives tremendously.

What to do if you’ve been injured

If you have suffered a personal injury or a loved one has been killed as a result of a 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.

At Mazow McCullough, we recognize every single car accident, at every single speed. Whether you were in a high speed accident or a fender bender, if you were hurt because of the negligence of another, your injuries deserve a voice.

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 After a Motorcycle Accident

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 Victims of Motorcycle Accidents

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.

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