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Auto Accidents

5 Ways to Make a Hospital Stay More Comfortable After an Accident

Hospital Stay Staying in the hospital after an accident is never fun, but there are steps you can take to make your stay more comfortable. Take a look at these tips.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Extras

In a lot of cases, if you make a special request, the hospital will be more than willing to accommodate you. For instance, if your spouse, parent, or other relative is staying with you, ask for a rollaway cot for your room. Don’t like the meal option? Ask for a substitute. Whether you want extra pillows, more toiletries, or time with a specialist such as a physical therapist, don’t be afraid to ask.

2. Walk Around

Unless your doctor has prohibited movement, try to walk around. Getting out of bed can make you feel better, even if you just take a short walk down the hall or to the hospital cafeteria. According to one study of 500 patients over the age of 70, those who walk around during their hospital stay get released 36 hours sooner than average.

3. Take Notes

If possible, get a small notebook and keep notes. As you think of questions, write them down. That way, you don’t forget what you wanted to ask when the doctor comes to your room. Also, consider writing down your symptoms, medications you take, and which healthcare professionals you see.

In particular, if you’ve been in an accident caused by another person, notes can be helpful if you need to make a claim against the other person’s insurance policy.

4. Rest as Much as Possible

After an accident, remember that your doctor has required a hospital stay for a reason, and you should rest as much as possible. Sleep can be a powerful healing force.

If your condition is stable, you may even want to ask your doctor to let you sleep undisturbed throughout the night. If the doctor agrees, they can tell the nightshift nurses to not do tests during the night so you can get an uninterrupted chunk of sleep.

5. Find a Patient Advocate

Many hospitals have a patient advocate or an ombudsman who can help to ensure you get the most from your stay. If the hospital attempts to discharge you before you’re ready, consider requesting one of these professionals.

One of the best ways to make your hospital stay more comfortable is to not worry about the bill. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we may be able to help. Contact Mazow | McCullough P.C. at 855-693-9084 to learn if you may be entitled to compensation. In addition to hospital expenses, we are often able to help clients obtain compensation for lost time at work, pain and suffering, and many other accident-related expenses.

How to Navigate a Truck Accident with a Package Delivery Service

Navigate a Truck AccidentPackage delivery services are commercial staples in every city and neighborhood. While their delivery trucks are highly visible and considered a permanent part of the urban landscape, their large size and heavy weight make them formidable if you have the misfortune of being in an accident with one.

Truck accidents lead to serious injuries and extensive property damage due to the sheer mass of these vehicles. While a delivery truck is not the size of a semi-truck, you still face damage that you would not suffer from a typical auto collision. Here are the causes of delivery truck accidents and the challenges they present to plaintiffs.

Causes of Accidents With Package Delivery Trucks

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large trucks caused 150,033 accidents in 2016. This was a slight increase from 145,310 accidents in 2015. Of those accidents, there were 4,422 deaths and 74,957 injuries. This suggests that if you face a collision with a truck, there is a 50% probability that you will sustain injuries.

When a commercial truck is at fault in an accident, the cause is often linked to inadequate driver training and unrealistic schedules. Delivery drivers are not unique. Package delivery services often increase hiring during the holidays to secure enough drivers for inflated demands, leading to training shortcomings when drivers are pushed into working before they are fully trained.  Once they start work, delivery drivers are placed on strict delivery schedules which encourage speeding, tailgating, and other unsafe driving behavior.

Long schedules also plague delivery drivers as they would a semi-truck driver. Not only are drivers expected to hurry but they may be doing so under the influence of fatigue. Since they frequently park in precarious areas like small driveways and alleys, crashes may occur due to an improper lookout that arises from a combination of feeling tired and rushed.

Other causes may include poorly loaded cargo and driving in unfamiliar territory. New drivers especially may be distracted by GPS and fail to notice cars stopped in front of them or a red light ahead of them.

Challenges of Bringing Forward a Commercial Truck Accident Claim

If a delivery driver was at fault for an accident, both the driver and the company they worked for can be considered liable. Known as vicarious liability, this legal theory holds employers responsible when employees cause injuries while completing their job duties.

Although both parties would generally be named in a lawsuit, it will likely be the employer, or principal, who would be responsible for any judgment. The employer will refer the claim to their insurance carrier or in-house legal department. Negotiations start there and if the claim escalates, the company may hire outside counsel to handle the case.

Being large corporations, you can rely on these companies to hire expensive and experienced legal counsel. For individuals, paying an accident claim results in higher insurance premiums. But companies have more to lose. An accident is more than just an insurance premium. In some cases, it is bad public relations, often making it worthwhile to them to fight your claim to the end.

If your accident involved the postal service, the case may become more complex. The post office must be sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which includes additional procedures for suing any federal government agency. Unless you complete the correct forms and adhere to procedure, your claim will likely be dismissed, and you will not be able to pursue it again in other courts.

No matter what entity you’re facing, you can expect these claims to take time. With a statute of limitations of only three years, you need to act as soon as possible after a truck accident. It can take a while to establish parties, start a dialog, and follow the right procedures.

It is likely your claim will require filing a lawsuit. Not only will the private carriers fight these claims, but since your matter can take a long time, filing a lawsuit is necessary to preserve the statute of limitations. Otherwise, you can lose all rights to pursuing just compensation.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today

Securing damages against a delivery company is not an easy matter. These cases are not handled like normal auto accident claims and you need experienced legal counsel on your side. Mazow | McCullough, PC offers the experience and dedication you need to file a successful accident claim. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment at (855) 693-9084.

Consider These 3 Safe Driving Tips for Winter Before Hitting the Road

Winters in Massachusetts provide numerous driving challenges, such as snow, ice and longer periods of darkness. It’s a dangerous combination even for the most experienced Northeastern drivers, and certainly for anyone who’s operating a vehicle in Winter conditions for the first time. Ask any insurance adjuster, or personal injury lawyer for that matter, and they’ll no doubt tell you that the incidence and severity of auto accidents increase from December through March.

There are a number of safe driving tips that can be employed during the Winter months to improve the odds of keeping yourself, and other drivers on the road, safe. Every driver has a responsibility to be more cautious during Winter driving conditions.  Not doing so when involved in a traffic accident, and especially when personal injuries result, may leave you or the other driver exposed to legal action.  To help ensure that doesn’t happen, here are 3 safety tips to implement during wintertime driving.

Winter Safe Driving Tip #1: Visibility Works Both Ways

An absence of normal daytime sunlight, referred to as a low light condition, encompasses not only driving at night, but also wintertime weather manifestations like snow, sleet, rain and fog that can happen during the day. In any low light situation, your vehicle’s headlights should be on. Additionally, before setting out in your car or truck, make sure that your headlights and taillights are cleaned off so that other drivers can see them. For example, if it snowed while you were at work and your vehicle parks outside, take a few minutes and scrape the snow or ice off your light covers before heading down the road.

Secondly, always make sure that your windshield wipers are operational, and the blades actually clean off the glass without streaking. It’s always prudent to replace your wiper blades twice a year.  Scrape off your windshield carefully, and also all of the side and rear windows too. In addition, Massachusetts law requires your lights to be on anytime your wipers are being used. Failure to do all of these things sets you up to not see another vehicle, or help other drivers to see you, when Winter conditions are impacting driving.

Winter Safe Driving Tip #2: Adjust Your Driving Technique

We’re all in a rush nowadays, and that’s just a factor of our busy lifestyles. When the pavement is dry and the sun is shining brightly, hurrying about is not as big of an issue as in the Winter months. To ensure safe travels for all, there are some vehicle operating changes that you can implement when driving conditions are poor. Those include:

  • On wet pavement double your normal dry pavement vehicle following interval from 4 seconds to 8 seconds.
  • Avoid sudden stops or jamming on your brakes.
  • Don’t accelerate quickly or attempt to stop abruptly while climbing a hill.
  • Reduce your speed. Speed limits are for dry roads!
  • Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses.
  • Prepare yourself for what to do in the event of skidding or sliding.
  • Make sure your tires are for all-weather applications and that the tread is good.
  • Use your headlights during all low light driving conditions.
  • Just stay home if road conditions are bad.

The above list outlines actions that you can take as a more responsible driver. Auto accidents while driving in Winter weather are going to occur, but implementing these steps may help reduce the odds of those taking place. However, if another driver causes an accident during the Winter that damages your vehicle while also causing injuries to you or your passengers, you may be entitled to compensation under the law.

Winter Safe Driving Tip #3: Know Your Rights When an Accident Happens

When you suspect that you or your loved one have been involved in a Winter driving-related car crash due to negligence by the other driver, you have legal rights. Your personal injuries stemming from that accident, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages may be eligible for compensation under the law. And then you have the repairs or total replacement of your vehicle that must be addressed through a property damage claim. The responsible party’s insurance company will fight against your rights which may result in your case dragging on for months or years in the courts.

At the law firm of Mazow McCullough, P.C., we understand the situation when a driver ignores safe driving tips for Winter and involves you, through their negligence, in an accident. Liability must be proven, and that’s where our experienced attorneys come in. And, we will always go to bat for our clients whenever personal injury and/or property damage is involved, while adamantly seeking any compensation you’re entitled to under the fullest extent of the law. Contact us today at (978) 744-8000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our proven lawyers.

3 Obstacles Faced After a Truck Accident

Truck AccidentTruck accidents can be devastating on many different levels, especially physically and financially. Because truck accidents tend to result in critical injuries and fatalities at a higher rate than other types of auto accidents, the effects of a truck collision can be much more challenging.

While it’s clear that victims of truck accidents are going to deal with medical bills, physical injuries, and emotional suffering, here are some lesser known obstacles that families often face after a truck crash.

Insurance Companies and Aggressive Legal Teams

One of the most challenging issues that people must deal with after a truck accident is insurance companies and aggressive legal teams. This can be quite different than dealing with an insurance company or the private lawyer of a motor vehicle driver after an accident.

Trucking companies often have lawyers on standby. In fact, many people who were involved in an accident report that they saw lawyers on the scene even before all the debris was cleared away. Because trucking companies often deal with accidents caused by their drivers, they have attorneys ready to dispatch at a moment’s notice to help ensure that any questionable evidence is retrieved.

Insurance companies are also difficult for truck accident victims to deal with because insurance adjusters will often attempt to intimidate or bully victims. Adjusters may make victims feel like it’s impossible to go up against such a large company for a fair settlement. They often pressure victims to accept the lowest settlement possible in order to put the case to bed and save money – even if the settlement offered is nowhere near what the victim deserves.

Falsification of Records and Poorly Kept Records

Trucking companies make money by transporting goods from one place to another as quickly as possible. Drivers are usually paid by the mile, meaning that the more miles they log in the shortest period of time, the more they earn. This leads drivers to push themselves past what is legal (e.g., driving over the limit of legal consecutive hours).

Trucking companies know this and may even encourage drivers to falsify the records on their logs. This is an attempt to hide the fact that many drivers break the law to earn more money for themselves and, ultimately, the company.

If a truck malfunction caused the accident, it may be difficult to determine who is at fault if records were poorly kept. Trucking companies should keep records of any and all service and maintenance performed on a truck, what was done, and who performed the service. However, victims may find that these records are missing or poorly kept, therefore making it impossible to determine when the truck was last serviced. Ultimately, this means that the truck could be too dangerous to safely operate.

Missing Evidence

After a truck accident, it’s not uncommon for evidence to “disappear.” This includes written logs kept by the driver of the truck or even the recorded information on the truck’s black box. Currently, there are no laws against trucking companies deleting their own records or destroying them, unless there’s a legal action filed that prevents them from doing so. For this reason, it is absolutely critical to retain an attorney soon after a truck accident. An attorney can file a motion making it against the law for the trucking company to destroy potentially pertinent evidence.

When to Contact a Truck Accident Attorney

Even though it may be difficult to reach out to an attorney after a truck accident, especially if you or a loved one were critically injured or a loved one was killed, it is in your best interests to contact one as soon as you are able. Although insurance companies may attempt to make it look like they are on your side, rest assured that they are not. Their job is to help the trucking company pay out as little in damages as possible.

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we can help you go up against large trucking companies with zeal after an accident. Our aggressive approach can help you preserve evidence and let trucking companies know that you won’t be pushed around. Call us today for a consultation to discuss your claim in detail at (855) 693-9084.

 

Why Driving in Low Light Conditions Can Be Risky

As Autumn settles in and transitions into Winter, the amount of available sunlight diminishes during the average person’s normal daily activities, including driving. Seasonal daylight changes, creating more dusk-to-dawn hours of darkness, account for one type of low light driving condition. However, there are other examples of low light driving conditions, including smog, fog, snow, sleet, smoke and rain.  Combining nighttime driving with any of these additional factors simply makes traveling more unpredictable and dangerous.

Statistically, your odds of being involved in an auto accident, and even sustaining injuries, increase significantly during any of these low light driving conditions. Just taking night driving as an example, the National Safety Council points out that car crash fatalities are threefold more likely while operating a vehicle at night. In the essence of keeping you safe while driving, there are additional precautions you can implement during low light driving conditions. Being a safe and responsible driver, while not exposing yourself to potential litigation, are dependent upon adhering to the following recommendations.

Tips for Driving During Low Light Conditions

One of the easiest ways to drive responsibly during times when the sun is not out, or its light is otherwise diminished, is to turn on your headlights. In fact, Massachusetts law dictates that anytime your windshield wipers are in operation, your lights should be too. Further, the law mandates that your headlights need to be on when driving conditions prevent you from seeing approaching vehicles that are 500 feet or more away. This includes from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise, or when any of the low light driving conditions mentioned above are present.

These laws have been put in place as important safety measures for all drivers on our roads, and for various reasons. For one, a person’s eyes have to accommodate to light changes and that takes a while to happen. For example, you may have just left a well-lit parking lot at night and then driven onto a poorly-lit road. Before your eyes have fully adjusted you need to take precautions, including the aforementioned step of turning your lights on. Other safety actions recommended by driving experts during low light conditions are:

  • Reduce your speed
  • Assume that other drivers can’t see you
  • Carefully watch the road without distractions
  • Remove your sunglasses

Implementing these safe driving tips while operating a vehicle in poor visibility conditions, especially at night, will greatly improve your odds of making it to your destination without incident. A failure to heed these measures, however, opens a driver up to potential legal action if they are involved in a vehicle accident which results in property damage and/or personal injury to another.

Personal Injuries Received While Driving in Low Light Conditions

If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident during a low light driving situation, and the other driver did not have their lights on, they could be at-fault for negligence within the law.  Perhaps personal injuries may have been sustained by you or by a passenger in your vehicle. Without a doubt your vehicle sustained damage that will require repairs or even possibly being replaced. In addition, there are other legal factors to be considered when another driver was at-fault during poor visibility circumstances.

In cases involving low light driving condition accidents, it’s prudent to know your rights and under Massachusetts law you may be entitled to compensation. Property damage and personal injury awards you may receive include lost wages, medical bills, vehicle repairs, and pain and suffering. The key to moving the process forward is first knowing and understanding your legal rights, and whether or not you have a viable case against the other driver.

Liability Must Be Proven in Low Light Driving Accidents

When you or a loved one have been involved in an accident during low light driving conditions, and the other driver may have been negligent, the first step in the legal process is to hire an experienced accident attorney. This is especially the case when personal injuries are involved. The other party’s insurance company will step in, and they could drag the legal proceedings out for months and even years. Don’t roll the dice when potential compensation, along with your personal well-being, weigh in the scales of justice.

In all vehicle accident personal injury cases involving possible negligence by one or both drivers, determining who was at-fault must be proven in a court of law. This is referred to as liability in the legal profession. Don’t go it alone. The proven lawyers at Mazow McCullough, P.C. have experience in personal injury negligence cases and we know, and will defend, your legal rights. We will also fight for any due compensation under the law that you may be entitled to. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident during low light driving conditions, contact us today at (978) 744-8000 for a free case evaluation.

Parental Responsibility for Intoxicated Teen Drivers

Intoxicated Teen DriversAlthough teen drinking and driving is a real concern, there is good news when it comes to teen DUIs. According to a report by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, fatalities caused by underage DUI offenders have dropped 83% since 1982.

While it’s good to know that education efforts are making an impact, it’s little comfort if you or someone you love is injured by an intoxicated teen driver. Here are the underage DUI laws in Massachusetts and how they affect collecting damages against a teen driver.

Underage DUI

Like the rest of the country, the legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21 and consumption of alcohol by anyone under this age is against the law. The only exception to this rule is consumption on private premises with the permission of a guardian. Even then, parents and guardians may be held liable if their underage charges commit criminal or negligent acts while intoxicated.

Teen drivers are inexperienced and already a risk on the road. This is why parents pay higher insurance premiums if they have teens added to their policy and invest in driver’s education for their children to lower those costs. Once alcohol is added to the scenario, teen drivers can become downright dangerous. A combination of impairment and inexperience is indeed a deadly mix. For this reason, penalties for an underage DUI are much stiffer.

If tests show a teenager has a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or above, they will likely be charged with underage DUI. For adults, that threshold increases to 0.08%. Other charges that may arise from this offense include minor in possession or child endangerment against any enabling adults.

Parental Liability

Often, DUI accidents by teen drivers injure or even cause the wrongful death of others one the road. Who can be held responsible for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering?

In civil cases, parents are vicariously liable when teenagers commit negligent acts. Since teenagers are not adults and cannot be sued directly, any action against them is through their parents. Parents can also be held directly responsible if they supplied the alcohol and failed to supervise their underage drinker. There are cases where parents are held liable for their teenager’s negligence, but also their own.

As with other auto accident claims, collisions involving DUI are often settled through the insurance company. Teenagers are covered on their parent’s auto insurance policy and that is where the negotiation and settlement process typically starts. If damages exceed policy limits, then parents’ personal assets can be garnished to ensure victims receive full compensation.

If you face DUI-related injuries due to a careless teen driver, contact Mazow | McCullough, P.C. to schedule a free case evaluation. We can help you determine what avenues of compensation may be available to you and how to pursue the full and fair financial restitution you deserve.

Common Ways Bus Companies Can Put Passengers at Risk

Buses are an efficient and cost effective mode of transportation for trips both short and long. From charter services for trips and tours to local transportation, buses serve an important role in transporting thousands of passengers daily. While many bus companies do follow federal safety guidelines, others do not, leaving unwitting passengers in potentially hazardous situations. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration there were 67,000 crashes involving buses in the US in 2015. Let’s explore some of the common ways that bus companies can put passengers at risk:

Poorly maintained vehicles

Buses have to be properly maintained and regularly serviced in order to be safe for the roadways. A bus that’s been poorly maintained and neglected is a danger to all, not just passengers and the driver. It puts others on the roads at risk, since bus accidents can occur as a result of a malfunction. Drivers also need to maintain a level of responsibility in reporting known or potential mechanical issues with the vehicles that they operate.

Hiring unqualified drivers

In order to operate a bus, drivers need to have obtained their CDL, or commercial driver’s license. In 2012, a nationwide investigation by federal authorities discovered that multiple major bus companies had hired unqualified drivers who did not have the proper license. Drivers should also undergo drug and alcohol screenings to ensure that they’re safe to get behind the wheel. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to the hiring of unskilled drivers who have not received the proper training.

Overworked drivers

Another issue with some bus companies is overworking their drivers. There are limits to how many hours drivers may be behind the wheel. Companies dealing with a lack of qualified drivers may make their employees work more hours in a single shift than are legally permitted. Drivers who are behind the wheel while tired pose a significant risk to passengers and other motorists. Regulations have been put in place to ensure that drivers are not impaired by fatigue while on the road.

Lack of proper registration and insurance

Just like car owners are required to have their vehicles registered and insured, bus companies must also obtain the proper registration and have insurance on all of their vehicles. They need to maintain continuous coverage while operating, including personal injury, blanket contractual liability, and comprehensive liability insurance. Failure to obtain and keep current the proper registration and insurance puts their riders at risk, especially in the event of an accident. Bus companies that do not register their vehicles and hold the proper insurance policies can be considered negligent.

Many people across the country rely daily on the services that bus operators provide. From city and local transportation services to charter companies operating tours and interstate trips, bus companies should be in compliance with all applicable laws. Bus companies have a duty to follow safety guidelines and regulations. When they fail to do so, they put passengers and others on the roadway at risk, and should be held accountable.

If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. The experienced attorneys at Mazow| McCullough PC can get you the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact us today at (978) 741-8000 or (855) 693-9084.

Where to Find Support as a Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident

In an instant, your life can change forever if you or a loved one were involved in a drunk driving accident. If critical injury or death occurred, the accident will have an impact on your entire family. Support groups are often a good way to recover emotionally after an accident.

Fortunately, Massachusetts has resources available for victims, and their family. MOVA, which is the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance provides a database of available services. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) also offers services to victim’s families all over the country and has chapters in New Hampshire as well. While these resources can help with emotional support, the financial devastation of these accidents are equally problematic for victims and their family.

Financial Costs After a Drunk Driving Accident

While these resources are helpful for emotional support, the financial costs are often overwhelming. Even for families who have sufficient insurance, the out-of-pocket costs can exceed insurance limitations. If the injured person was a breadwinner in the family, the financial burden may be even more difficult to deal with. Insurance companies tend to minimize their risk by denying claims; this is assuming the at-fault driver has the proper insurance.

Drunk driving accidents can result in serious financial hardship; expenses resulting from an accident include vehicle repair or replacement, medical care, and in cases of wrongful death, funeral and burial expenses. Indirect costs often include loss of wages, loss of assistance with household duties, and loss of child care. The emotional impact for victims of drunk driving accidents can often be eased through victims’ advocates, or through family, friends, and clergy. The financial impact is far more challenging to deal with.

Recovering Financially After a Drunk Driving Accident

When insurance companies are dragging their feet and your expenses are out of control, you need financial relief. Whether you or a loved one are hospitalized, recovering from critical injuries, or a loved one has passed away, the person responsible for the injuries may be financially liable. A personal injury attorney who handles drunk driving accident cases, including wrongful death can help you hold the responsible parties accountable.

We understand that money cannot make up for the emotional losses you have suffered; however, we can help you recover financially from an accident. We can also make sure that those who suffered injuries in the accident are getting the medical care they need. Our team has extensive experience dealing with auto accidents, and we will do everything possible to help you through the process of recovering your financial losses.

When you or a loved one has been injured, or the unthinkable has occurred and you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Mazow | McCullough, PC. Call us for a free consultation at 978-744-8000 and see what difference the right lawyer can make.

Common Mistakes People Make After a Car Accident

The tense moments immediately after a motor vehicle accident, even a minor one, can be scary and stressful for everyone involved. Both drivers and passengers may feel confused and unsure of what to do and how to proceed. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make after a car accident that you should avoid.

Teenage Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident

Fleeing the scene

Leaving the scene of an accident could land you in some serious legal trouble. You may be in shock, but the most important thing to do is stay where you are. Check on your passengers, and once you exit your vehicle, check with the other driver involved in the accident. Try to remain calm and wait for law enforcement to arrive on the scene. If you can, use your cell phone to take photos of your vehicle to document the damage that resulted from the accident while you wait for police.

Not calling the police

For minor accidents, many drivers may mistakenly think that a simple exchange of contact and insurance information is sufficient. In order to protect yourself and your rights, you should always contact the police and give them your account of the incident. Don’t take blame, but rather explain what happened from your point of view. They will take down a written report, which can play an important role in determining who was at fault.

Not seeking medical attention

Failing to seek proper medical attention immediately after an incident, no matter how minor the accident may have been, can be a costly mistake. If first responders are on the scene, don’t refuse to get checked out or tell them that you’re okay. You may not need a trip to the hospital, but you should describe what you’re feeling and allow them to evaluate your symptoms.

Downplaying injuries

Don’t underestimate the extent of your injuries or the level of pain that you may experience as a result of those injuries. Often times in less severe motor vehicle accidents, the real physical pain may not become obvious until hours or days after the accident has occurred. Severe medical issues can result from an accident, even if they aren’t initially obvious.

Giving insurance companies too many details

Don’t trust the insurers to be on your side and see things your way. After all, they’re in the business of making money. There is some basic information that you are legally obligated to share with your insurance company after being involved in an auto accident. The risk is in sharing too many details, such as taking blame or accepting fault. After you have an accident, it’s not uncommon to be confused or unsure of key details. Seek legal counsel before allowing the insurance adjuster to make a recording of your account of the events.

Failing to hire a skilled lawyer right away

Waiting too long to hire a skilled attorney can make your case much more difficult. Take action quickly to ensure that your claim is handled as swiftly as possible. Keep in mind that not only does it take time to prepare a strong case, but there are also legal limits, known as the statute of limitations, that give you a window of opportunity you need to take advantage of in order to receive compensation for injuries and damages.

Car accidents are nerve wracking, sometimes chaotic experiences, even when they’re minor. Avoid making these common mistakes, and contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.

Do you have questions about a recent collision? Call for a free consultation toll free at (855) 693-9084 or locally at (978) 744-8000, or contact us online.

The Scary Statistics Between Texting and Driving

Texting while driving can be deadly. It only takes a few seconds of having your eyes off the road to cause a serious crash that can claim the lives of drivers and innocent passengers in just moments.

In 2015 alone, over 3,400 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving. 391,000 individuals suffered injuries in vehicle crashes that involved distracted driving. Let’s break down the shocking stats behind distracted driving in America:

(All of these scary statistics come from the US government’s NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), unless otherwise noted.)

Teens & Texting Behind the Wheel

16 to 24 year olds use their cell phones far more than any other age group. When it comes to car crashes, teens are the largest group to report distracted driving as the cause of fatal accidents. While picking up the phone to read or send a message may not seem like dangerous behavior, the consequences can be deadly. It takes just 5 seconds to avert your eyes and read a text message, but when going along at 55 MPH, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. No text message is worth that risk.

It’s not only cell phones that pose a potential distraction for teens, but it’s important to be aware that as cell phone usage and reliance increases among many age groups, the risks increase, as well. Compared to adult drivers, teenagers are four times as likely to be involved in a crash or to nearly crash while talking and texting.

Devastating Consequences

Federal data demonstrates that about 16% of all fatal crashes involve some type of distraction. An estimated 660,000 drivers use their cell phones during daylight hours in the US. With so many on the roadways easily distracted by mobile devices, the risks and devastating consequences are all too real. As a result, the NHTSA has created a national campaign to raise awareness and provide tips and information designed to help save lives. They are specifically targeting teen drivers in social media campaigns aimed at helping our youth understand the legal and moral consequences associated with texting and driving.

Laws On Distracted Driving

Many states are creating their own laws about distracted driving, specifically targeting cell phone use behind the wheel. In some places, it is now illegal to text and drive. While you simply shouldn’t engage in this behavior for safety reasons, you should also be aware that you could be breaking the law.

In Massachusetts, texting while driving has been banned since the law was passed in 2010, and drivers under the age of 18 are also banned from using a cell phone at all while behind the wheel. Police have stepped up enforcement efforts in recent years, issuing thousands of citations to drivers who violate the safe driving law. Parents should be sure to inform their teen drivers of the potential legal consequences of texting while driving.

Remember that distracted driving doesn’t only involve texting and using a mobile device. There are many simple, common activities that drivers engage in that can lead to preventable accidents, including eating, drinking, applying makeup, and changing the radio station. For your safety and the safety of everyone else on the road, please focus your attention on driving, and encourage other drivers to do the same.

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