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Auto Accidents

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

What Will a Car Insurance Company Pay for in the Event of an Accident Related Death?

Insurance companies may cover some of the costs of an accident related death, but dealing with insurance companies is no small task. Learn more about who can help you after an accident related death in this podcast with attorneys Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough.

John: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the Law Office of Mazow | McCullough. Today our topic is “what will a car insurance company pay for in the event of an accident-related death?” Welcome Robert and Kevin.

Robert: Thank you John.

Kevin: Thank you John

Are Medical Expenses Covered After an Accident Related Death?

John: So, will a car insurance company pay for medical expenses such as an ambulance ride or an air flight if that’s necessary after an accident?

Robert: Absolutely. In Massachusetts, when you’re involved in a motor vehicle crash, regardless of who is at fault, if there’s an injury or a death, the vehicle that the person who is injured or dies is in, the insurance company is responsible at least initially for payments related to any medical treatment that might happen. [This includes] an ambulance ride, any med flight, [or a] helicopter ride if necessary. Any accident-related medical expenses are paid for by the insurance company of the motor vehicle that the person was in.

There’s certainly at least a limit to that though. In Massachusetts, the outward limit to pay for medical expenses related to either an injury or a death is $8,000, and if medical bills go beyond that, you’ll be dealing with private health insurance or you’ll be dealing with the at-fault person’s insurance company to be reimbursed for medical expenses or all expenses related to a person’s death.

John: And those expenses can add up very quickly, especially when you’re talking about ambulance rides, med flights, or things like that.

Robert: Without question. The more serious an impact and the more serious an accident, the more significant that the medical bills are. So, you need to get right on top of that to make sure that any insurance that might be available – automobile,  health or otherwise is immediately accessed by the person themselves or their family members [so they] can [be] reimbursed for those medical expenses.

John: Okay. What about in the case where somebody has died. Will a car insurance company pay for the funeral expenses for the deceased?

Kevin: John, the easy answer to that is yes. But it often requires a different analysis. What I mean by that is Robert and I are both licensed in Massachusetts and Hampshire, and the law can vary dramatically from state to state, including what forms of coverage are required. For example, in Massachusetts, they have two different types of insurance that may be available to you immediately after a collision involving a wrongful death.

That includes personal injury protection as well as medical payments coverage. In New Hampshire, they don’t have the personal injury protection coverage, but they do offer medical payments coverage. In either Massachusetts or New Hampshire, those types of insurance may be immediately available to you.

However, there could be liability insurance involved for the at-fault party, which often times doesn’t kick in immediately. You have to do the investigation and the analysis and the presentment of those funeral bills or expenses to get paid. There are numerous different types of coverage that may come into play that would provide payment for funeral expenses.

Personal Injury Coverage in Massachusetts

John: Okay. Can you explain a little bit more the personal injury coverage that’s in Massachusetts?

Kevin: Yes, Massachusetts is a state that has some compulsory coverages, and what I mean by that is, in order to have a motor vehicle lawfully on the roadway in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you have to have what’s called personal injury protection coverage. There are different types of deductible options available to a driver or a purchaser of that policy, but in essence, personal injury protection provides coverage, no matter who’s at fault, for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle collision.

Personal injury protection coverage also provides loss wage payments, co-pays, deductibles, and as we discussed already, funeral expenses.

John: And in the event that a car insurance company doesn’t cover the full cost of the accident, what request does a family have?

Robert: Because there’s a limit to the amount of coverage available to pay for medical bills or funeral expenses, often times, probably most the time, a family member who’s been [put] in a situation where a family member died, is going to be left with still significant medical and funeral bills to pay for. If the accident and the death was the fault of somebody else’s negligence, that person will be left with the option to sue them or make a claim against their insurance company to pay for any outstanding medical bills or funeral bills.

That’s something that they would need to certainly consult with a professional to make sure that all options of excessive bills and payments are looked at.

Kevin: Our own insurance and our own medical coverage can help a lot in the case of an accident or a death due to an accident, but once those bills go over and above what our own insurance coverage can cover, then that’s where we really need to get into that situation of looking to find the at-fault driver and make sure that they pay their share.

Robert: Absolutely, because, to add insult to injury, a person’s family member or loved one is injured, or killed in a car accident, and they’re left with astronomical bills. And, if it was somebody else’s fault, and that somebody else has his assets or insurance coverage, then that has to be looked at.

John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Robert, and Kevin. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Robert: Thank you, John.

Kevin: Thanks, John.

John: And for more information, visit helpinginjured.com, or call (978) 744-8000.

What Makes Car Accidents Deadlier than Other Types of Accidents?

Car accidents can be particularly deadly, especially compared to other types of accidents. Learn about the factors that make car accidents fatal from attorneys Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough.

John: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the Law Office of Mazow | McCullough. Today our topic is “what makes car accidents deadlier than other types of car accidents?” Welcome Robert and Kevin.

Robert and Kevin: Thank you John.

Types of Injuries in Car Accidents

John: What type of injuries are typically sustained in car accidents?

Kevin: With motor vehicle collisions and car accidents, we see a large spectrum of potential injuries. The factors that are involved in that can vary dramatically, such as the type of vehicle that somebody is in, where they’re positioned in the vehicle, if they’re at the driver seat versus a front seat passenger or a rear seat passenger, the size of the vehicle, and the speed of the motor vehicle. The analysis that goes into the types of injuries and the factors that are involved in the injuries can be very large. That’s why each case is very fact specific. When we meet with clients and sign up new clients, it’s very important to get all of the detailed information regarding that particular collision.

But as I mentioned, John, some of the things that we look for immediately when assessing the extent of an injury would involve the speed of the motor vehicle at the time of the collision and the type of roadway that it’s on.

What Increases the Risk of Fatalities in a Car Accident?

John: Okay. What makes this type of car accident injuries deadlier than in other types of accidents?

Robert: Most certainly when you’re dealing with motor vehicles and thousands of pounds of steel crushing into either a fixed object or another moving object coming at you, you’re going to have significant damages. You’re going to have horrific injuries, you’re going to have fire and burn victims, you’re going to have people ejected through windshields. It’s horrible to think about and horrible to discuss, but people are on the roadways and they’re acting careless, and they’re speeding, and they’re drinking, and they’re texting. You’re going to have significant, significant issues as a result of that kind of behavior.

John: Right and like Kevin said, just the speed that you’re at, especially on the highway but on any road, even just 40, 50 miles an hour on a side road, hitting something that’s immovable . . ..

Robert: Not just an immovable object but another 40 or 50 mile an hour vehicle coming headfirst.

John: Right, that doubles the amount of impact.

Robert: It doubles the amount of impact and people aren’t going to walk [away] from those kinds of impacts, even with the air bags and even with the extra safety features we have. You get an impact at that speed and there’s likely going to be fatalities involved.

John: Correct.

Kevin: John just to add to that, to what Robert’s mentioning, we talk about speed and the size of the vehicles, but we also handle motorcycle collisions and motor vehicle versus pedestrian or motor vehicle versus bicyclist. Speed is a huge factor when we see these collisions, but often times we represent passengers on motorcycles, the operator of a motorcycle who it may not have been [in] a high speed type collision, but because of the nature of that machinery, the motorcycle itself, [and] the lack of protection, we see severe horrific injuries. [This includes] road rash, scarring, head injuries, [and] broken bones. Although speed is a huge element to it, it’s important to know the type of collision that’s involved and the type of motor vehicles involved, or the motorcycles involved when handling that.

What a Family Can Do When a Loved One is Killed in a Car Accident

John: Right, so what can a family do if their loved one has been killed in a car accident?

Robert: First and foremost, the family needs to get through the grieving process and handle any of the emotional impact and aftermath of that, and seek professional help if they or their children continue to have post-traumatic stress [and] things like that. They should work with the police and the District Attorney’s office if there’s going to be a criminal investigation as to the cause of the accident. They should consult a civil attorney, a personal injury attorney that specializes in [that field] to make sure that all of their rights are looked at, that all the recovery is accessed, that all the medical bills are taken care of by the at-fault party. To make sure that if somebody was at fault, that there can be some amount of justice that can come from the incident.

John: Okay, well, that’s really great information. Robert and Kevin, thanks again for speaking with me today.

Robert: Thank you John.

Kevin: Thank you John.

John: For more information, visit helpinginjured.com or call (978) 744-8000.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Death in an Auto Accident?

Many car accidents are unfortunately fatal. In this podcast with car accident attorneys we discuss the most common causes of death and what you can do if your loved one has been killed in a car accident.

John: Hi. I’m John Maher. I am here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the Law Office of Mazow | McCullough. Today we’re talking about the most common causes of death in an auto accident. Welcome Robert and Kevin.

Kevin: Thank you John.

Robert: Thank you John.

Common Causes of Death in Auto Accidents

John: What are some common causes of auto accident deaths that you tend to see in your office?

Kevin: The most common causes of death for the cases that we handle at Mazow | McCullough include ejection type injury cases, crush type injury cases and head injury cases. It can be related to the speed of the motor vehicles at the time of the collision, the roadway that they’re on, the angle of the crash and also the type of vehicle that the parties [are] in. But I think that with the cases that we’ve handled over the years, the most common ones that we see involve serious head injuries.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident Case

John: Okay. How can it be determined that the other driver is responsible for the death of an individual in an accident?

Robert: John, in the cases that we handle in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, any time there is a fatality, the state police accident reconstruction team are immediately called to the scene to take measurements, to take witness statements, [and] to take photographs. They do a complete accident reconstruction analysis to determine what happened. Each time there is a fatality involved, the state police come with an accident reconstruction team, they put together a complete report, [and do] a complete investigation. They get blood tests of the drivers and then make a determination of what happened.

Then what we’ll do is; we’ll get our own accident reconstruction team. A private team together to go out reconfirm [and] to make sure that everything was done properly and to give us an extra opinion to determine who is at fault and what happened. They give us complete picture of the accident.

What Can a Family Do If They’ve Lost a Loved One in a Car Crash?

John: Okay. Then what recourse does a family who has lost a loved one in a car accident have?

Kevin: John, the recourse that the family members have is to be directly involved with the investigation in the accident reconstruction analysis that Robert had mentioned. Typically, the family does have some input. [They] may have been witnesses to the incident itself. Further recourse would be retaining a law office like Mazow | McCullough to also work closely with the state investigating authorities and also what Robert had mentioned. We often times conduct our own investigation just to make sure that things are done thoroughly [and] properly, and also to have that extra analysis if a case ultimately moves into litigation.

[When a] family wants to retain our firm, we present the claim to the at-fault party or their insurance company or family members. Most cases do get resolved as part of a claim. Often times unfortunately, we do have to file lawsuits and the family members are directly involved in the pursuit of the claim, the damages through that claim and [the] litigation process. They may learn information that wasn’t readily available at the scene or within those initial reports. Witness statements and depositions that get conducted during that investigation phase or [the] litigation phase that the family members are directly involved in sometimes provides further light or evidence as far as how a collision may have happened [and] who’s at fault. Things like that.

John: Okay. Great information Robert and Kevin. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Robert: Thank you John

Kevin: Thanks John.

John: For more information, visit helpinginjured.com or call (978) 744-8000.

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