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Should You Lay Your Bike Down to Avoid an Accident?

Many motorcyclists believe that the best course of action is to lay down their bike — and themselves — when an accident is imminent. The theory is that this action helps to avoid a full-on collision with another vehicle. While laying a bike down used to be taught as a safety measure in the early days of motorcycle enthusiasm, it’s no longer a wise choice. In fact, it may result in more serious injuries. Here’s what you need to know.

Injuries Caused by Laying Your Bike Down

If you lay your bike down to try to avoid an accident, you may avoid one collision, but face an equally significant problem. You could be left with a totaled motorcycle and serious or critical injuries like:

  • Broken bones
  • Amputated limbs
  • Road rash or severe friction burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries, especially if the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet
  • Neck injuries

If such serious injuries can occur from laying a bike down before an accident, why was it recommended as a safety measure and still encouraged by many motorcyclists today?

Improved Motorcycle Technology

Over the years, motorcycle technology has improved exponentially. Today’s motorcycles have safety features that make swerving to avoid a collision possible, as well as:

  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Improved tires with increased traction
  • Improved mirror technology that allows for motorcyclists to see to the side and back of them
  • Better steering and maneuverability

This technology allows motorcyclists to avoid accidents more easily, and when coupled with motorcycle safety techniques like always wearing a DOT approved helmet, it’s no longer necessary – or advised – to lay your bike down to avoid a collision.

When to Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you or a family member were hurt in a motorcycle accident, or if your loved one died in a crash, don’t wait to get the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. The insurance company’s job is to save as much money as they can on the claim, and they’ll often attempt to offer you a settlement much lower than you deserve for the damages you incurred. With the help of a lawyer, you can put pressure on the insurance company and pursue litigation if necessary in order to ensure that medical bills, lost wages, emotional suffering and other damages related to the accident are covered.

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we are committed to providing victims of motorcycle accidents and their families with zealous legal representation. We will examine every facet of the incident to determine who may be held legally liable for injuries to you or a loved one. Call us now for an appointment to learn more about your legal rights after a motorcycle crash at (855) 693-9084.

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The Difference Between Economic & Non-Economic Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

When filing a wrongful death claim, knowing how much your claim is worth can be a challenging issue. Taking the time to figure out the different types of damages while dealing with the grief of losing a loved one makes the task even more daunting. Sorting out the differences between economic and non-economic damages can be key to figuring out the amount of compensation you may be able to expect.

the-difference-between-economic-and-noneconomic-damages-in-wrongful-death-cases

Here is what you need to know.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the expenses that can be concretely calculated. This can include property damage, medical bills, and funeral expenses. As a rule of thumb, if there is an explicit bill for it, it is an economic damage. Economic damages are typically easy to calculate by totaling the costs involved with a wrongful death.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more subjective than economic damages. These are damages that cannot be easily quantified or translated into monetary values. As a result, they can be difficult to calculate for a wrongful death claim.

These can include, but are not limited to:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering includes the physical and emotional consequences of losing a loved one, including but not limited to:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lack of Energy
  • Mood Swings
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in more extreme cases

Pain and suffering damages might also include lost wages if the emotional repercussions prevent the victim’s immediate family from returning to work. In a wrongful death case, the pain and suffering of both the victim and their loved ones may be compensable.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is a compensation for losing a family member. This type of damage is only recognized in cases involving extreme, permanent injuries or wrongful death. Loss of consortium seeks restitution for the loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, affection, love, or sexual relations that a family member provided.

In many jurisdictions, only spouses are allowed to seek loss of consortium damages. However, other jurisdictions have expanded their rules to include children in cases involving the loss of their parents.

Punitive Damages

If the court determines that the negligence or recklessness that led to a wrongful death was particularly egregious, they may also award punitive damages. These damages are meant as both punishment for the defendant and as a deterrent to future defendants in a similar position. Punitive damages are often capped at certain amounts, and they can also have minimum amounts. In Massachusetts, punitive damages for a wrongful death are at least $5,000 by law.

Proving Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages must be proven in court, and because they are rough monetary estimate of a personal experience they require a more diverse set of support than economic damages. Physical or mental therapy bills, medical reports, expert witness testimonies, photos of injuries, or prescription information can all help prove the extent of pain and suffering. For loss of consortium claims, courts often require a valid marriage license for spouses.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages

Calculating non-economic damages can be tricky by their very nature. There is no formula under Massachusetts law to assist in determining such damages. Jurors are only asked to use their wisdom, judgment and sense of basic justice to translate into dollars the amount which will fairly and reasonably compensate the plaintiff for his/her injuries. Only very recently, the Massachusetts legislature has changed the law to allow attorneys to suggest to a jury specific dollar amounts for a damage award. What this means as a practical matter is that, in addition to providing figures for medical expenses and lost earnings, a lawyer in Massachusetts can assist a jury in calculating non-economic damages.

Because non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are so subjective, and an attorney can suggest whatever dollar figure he or she can support with that evidence, there is a wide range of damage awards for seemingly similar injuries. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff’s lawyer to convey to the jury how each specific plaintiff has uniquely endured the consequences and hardships of an injury.

In order to understand the extent to which a jury would assess damages in a personal injury trial, the lawyer must understand the human and individual nature of a plaintiff’s damages.

Furthermore, it is imperative to provide credible support for such damages, including a well-prepared plaintiff who can articulate the damages, documentary support, and supportive, credible witnesses.

Conclusion

Receiving a fair compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death cannot bring them back, nor can it truly fill the void they leave behind. However, it can help ease the expensive medical bills and funeral costs that arise from a sudden death. Further, knowing that the liable parties have been held legally responsible can give some peace of mind in a time of great turbulence. If you’ve lost a loved one, contact Mazow | McCullough, P.C. today. We can help you seek justice by determining the value of your wrongful death claim, helping you file a claim, and assisting you through the civil suit process. Call today for a free consultation at (978) 744-8000.

Orlando Shooting

They range in age from 18 to 50.  Each one had a life, a story, a family.

49 innocent human beings were massacred on Sunday, June 12, 2016 by a crazed gunman. What started off as a joyous night full of dancing and laughter turned into an unimaginable horrifying scene leaving 49 people dead and 53 more injured.

With some of the survivors still in critical condition, we pray that the count does not rise.

As details of the life of the shooter emerge and questions increase amongst the public, it is important to keep all of those affected by this tragedy in mind.

Our hearts are with the victims and their families.

We stand with the people of Orlando, the victims and their families.

Peace.  Please.

Mazow | McCullough, PC

Deadly Hanscom Airfield Crash

The crash, which happened at about 9:40 p.m. on May 31, 2014 at the Hanscom Field, Bedford, MA killed all of those on board, including the passengers and the flight crew. Investigators are now trying to determine why the private jet, which was attempting a routine takeoff it had completed dozens of times, was never able to get off of the tarmac.

The victims included well known business men and women returning home to New Jersey after attending a nonprofit fund-raiser event at the Concord home of former presidential advisor Richard Goodwin and wife. The crash was described by witnesses as a “loud explosion and then a mushroom cloud” and the scene as “absolutely horrific” as coroners removed the seven bodies from the fiery scene. A pungent smell, similar to that or burning tires could be smelled as far away as Cambridge and Boston late into Saturday night.

Initial investigations are underway as crew members search for the jet’s flight recorders to shed some light into what may have caused the fiery Hanscom Airfield crash. Flights into Hanscom Field were being diverted into Logan Airport, as reported by Mass. Port Authority Director Ed Ferin during a press conference on June 1, 2014.

Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of those lost in this tragedy.

Plane

Photo credit: Chris Devers / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Boston Firefighter’s are True Heroes

It is hard to imagine a more noble and heroic profession than that of the firefighter.  It takes an extremely special person to dedicate his or her life to the purpose of saving lives and property.  Can you imagine waking up every day to go to your workplace where you wait for the opportunity to save a human being?  To prevent the loss of homes, and memories, and valuables, and pets?  This is the role of the firefighter.

Fallen Heroes in Beacon Street Fire

Last week in Boston we were reminded just how dangerous it is for these heroes.  On March 26, 2014, Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy died while trying to battle flames in a home on Beacon Street.  According to Deputy Fire Chief Joe Finn, he had never seen a fire travel as swiftly as this fire.  Additionally, there were tremendous windy conditions that afternoon and night which caused the fire to travel fast.

But large flames, icy weather, and treacherous conditions did not stop Lt. Walsh or firefighter Kennedy from doing their jobs.  They did what they were trained to do – fight a dangerous fire.  They did this so that the rest of us could rest safely, or have dinners with our families, or work at our desks, or go to cocktail parties.  These firefighters literally risk life and limb so the rest of us are safe.BFD Logo

Unfortunately, Lt. Walsh and firefighter Kennedy paid the ultimate sacrifice in their valiant attempt to put out the massive fire.  A total of 13 other firefighters suffered injuries including broken bones and burns.

Lt. Kennedy was 43 years old and was a Hyde Park resident and Marine veteran.  Firefighter Walsh was 33 years old and leaves behind three children, all under the age of 10, and a wife.

Mazow | McCullough, PC salutes Lt. Kennedy, firefighter Walsh, the entire Massachusetts Fire Department community, and firefighters around the world who dedicate their lives to saving ours.

In dedication to the heroes, Mazow|McCullough, PC will be donating a portion of settlements to the Wounded Warrier Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org).

 

 

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