Driver calling on a cell phone

The Massachusetts hands-free driving law bans this action. Fines start today, April 1, 2020.

As of today April 1, Massachusetts police departments can start to issue citations and fines to drivers who violate the Massachusetts hands-free driving law. We encourage you to follow the Massachusetts COVID-19 “Stay at Home” advisory. But if you have to go out, you can help yourself drive more safely and avoid a fine by checking that your car is set up for hands-free mode. Even better? Read this update, but turn off your cell phone while driving. Many of us are exhausted and out-of-routine. Focus on the roads and what you need to get done, so you can get back home.

So far, many drivers are still picking up phones, despite the new law. During the initial grace period from Feb. 23-Mar. 31, police issued 4,500 written warnings across Massachusetts, according to a state official interviewed by WGBH. The official said drivers must become aware of both the law and that police are watching.

“What seems to be the case is the word has gotten out (about the law) because the police officers I’ve talked to seem to say that everyone who is pulled over says, “Yes, I’ve heard about it. Sorry. My mistake,” said Jeff Larason, director of highway safety at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety. (Listen to the WGBH segment in full).

Massachusetts passed a texting while driving law in 2010 but lawmakers spent nearly 10 years debating the handheld cell phone ban.

The Massachusetts hands-free driving law was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in November 2019 and quickly signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Nov. 29. To help drivers get ready, the state granted an initial grace period. Larason told WGBH 4,500 drivers had received written warnings (broadcast date: March 13). The Boston Globe reported State Police had issued 578 warnings to drivers, in just the first week. On Cape Cod, local police reported 150 verbal or written warnings in the first week (Source: South Coast Today via Cape Cod Times).

What the law allows and bans:

  • The law states drivers cannot use any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is being operated in hands-free mode.
  • Drivers can only touch cell phones and mobile phones once to activate hands-free mode.
  • Cell phones must be properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard or center console and not impede with operation. This is the only way drivers are allowed to use GPS or voice to text technology such as Bluetooth.
  • Drivers are specifically not allowed to touch phones for texting and emailing. Use of apps, video or Internet is also prohibited.
  • Drivers who are 18 and younger are not allowed to use cell phones behind the wheel. Hands-free is illegal and can result in violation of their Massachusetts Junior Operator’s License.
  • You may be stopped. But you are not allowed to pick up your phone at red lights or stop lights.
  • You can pick up your cell phone and make a call if you are in a stationary position, outside a travel lane or bicycle lane.
  • There is also an exemption for emergency professionals who need to pick up the phone for calls and those calling 911. 911 calls must be taken seriously. The state advises drivers to make every attempt to pull over before calling 911 – even if you are in hands-free mode.

Violations of the Massachusetts Hands-Free Driving Law
Police in Massachusetts can now start issuing tickets. Here are the penalties:

First offense: $100 fine.

Second offense: $250 fine and distracted driving education.

Third offense: $500 fine and distracted driving education.

With a third offense, you may face an insurance surcharge.

Related:

Massachusetts hands-free driving law, Mass.gov


Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers: 800-379-1244

With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck specializes in representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling cases for clients injured by negligent use of cell phones and texting while driving. We represent clients across the state of Massachusetts in car accident cases, including in Boston, the North Shore, the South Shore and Cape Cod.

We are open and working remotely for our clients during the state’s COVID-19 advisories. If you have been injured, we are providing free legal consultations at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also use our contact form.

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Ways to Help during COVID-19We all want to get through the COVID-19 crisis. The best way to make a positive impact is to stay home as much as possible. As you wait it out, remember you are living with temporary restrictions. But there are still some important steps you can take to help yourself, your family, community and local businesses now and in the weeks to come.

Wash Your Hands. This is a critical step, especially now. Read the CDC’s page, “When and How to Wash Your Hands.”

Protect  Your Home and Family Members. The CDC has published an easy-to-print COVID-19 household checklist.  Put this on your refrigerator or somewhere visible so everyone in your family can see it. Check out these other CDC advisories too: cleaning and protecting your home and managing stress and anxiety. Share these with family members so you can help each other keep up a routine, along with regular exercise and proper rest.

Social Distancing. Stay home as much as you can. If you have to go out, stay at least six feet away from others. Don’t shake hands, hug or make physical contact.

Look for COVID-19 Messages on Business Websites. Look for COVID-19 messages on websites – before you visit the grocery store, pharmacy or any business. Many businesses are closed due to Gov. Charlie Baker’s “Stay-at-Home” – Essential Services Only order. Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open as essential services. Do your part as a customer and follow their guidelines to protect their hardworking employees and the public.

Connect. Stay connected to friends and family, especially older adults who live alone. Not just by social media or text messaging. Make regular contact by phone or even better, through a video chat tool. This way you can really see and hear how your loved ones are doing – and if they need your help in some way.

Follow State and Local Orders and Updates. As a Massachusetts resident, the best way to to stay informed is to watch the daily briefings from Gov. Charlie Baker. You can follow the Massachusetts state briefings on TV or online (www.mass.gov/covid19). You can also sign up for text messages (COVIDMA to 888-777). Another resource is the Massachusetts 211 website or you can call 2-1-1.

Also follow your town, city or child’s school on Facebook and local websites. Sign up for email newsletters. If you have an older parent – or a grown child living away from home – sign up for alerts about their community as well. Mention these notices to them and ask if they need help following the orders.

Housing. You should not have to move during this time. Landlords should not pursue evictions. The Housing Court has rescheduled all non-emergency matters until April 21, 2020 or later. The court vacated all default judgments entered between March 1 and April 21.

Everyone is struggling right now. Keep your cool, but also keep good records. Ask your landlord to put any instruction or request in writing even if that’s not your normal practice. Digitally file all e-mails or letters by date so you can easily access them (save them as PDF files). Still take photos and report serious safety violations so you are safe staying in your apartment.

Encourage family members who rent to keep neat files too – and ask them to share communications with their landlords with you as they come in. This way, you will know if they are safe, if  you need to help and you won’t have to play catch up learning what happened.

This is also a stressful time for homeowners. Again, take a deep breath and remember you have legal rights. In Massachusetts, to start foreclosure, a mortgage lender must issue a homeowner a default notice and a 90-day “right-to-cure” period, during which you must make all your missed payments. Homeowners can also use this time to apply for a loan modification.

Legal Assistance. Breakstone, White & Gluck may be able to assist you with an injury claim.  But there are many issues arising during the COVID-19  outbreak – about unemployment, housing, health insurance and other public benefits. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the best way to solve your problem is to look online first. If you have a question, visit the Massachusetts Legal Answers website, operated by the American Bar Association, or the Massachusetts Bar Association website. Find online resources and look for “Dial-A-Lawyer” dates, where you can call in and speak to a lawyer who practices here in Massachusetts. These resources can help you gain a few insights about Massachusetts law. With that knowledge, some good record keeping and a commitment to be patient, you may be able to handle your problem without a lawyer.

Another resource is Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, which accepts consumer complaints and can help explain your legal rights. Having trouble with a certain company? Call and ask how many others have lodged the same complaint and what steps you can take.

Donate Blood. The American Red Cross is looking for healthy individuals to donate blood or platelets.

You can help by making an appointment to donate. Visit the American Red Cross website and search for blood drives in your area. Be prepared to be flexible and schedule an appointment a few days or weeks out due to the emergency situation. The American Red Cross has outlined safety protocols for collecting blood during the COVID-19 crisis. It also offers American Red Cross mobile apps to help you track blood donation appointments and follow other relief work.

Make a Financial Donation. We understand there is great financial uncertainty right now. But if you can, consider these funds and organizations which are helping Massachusetts residents. If you can’t donate, visit their websites and keep their work in mind.

Boston Resiliency Fund

The Boston Foundation

United Way Mass Bay and Merrimack Valley

The YMCA of Greater Boston

The Greater Boston Food Bank

Mayor’s Disaster Fund in Cambridge

You can read about more organizations in this Boston Globe article. 

About Breakstone, White & Gluck

Our Boston personal injury lawyers have over 100 years combined experience representing those injured by the negligence of others. Recognized by Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Breakstone, White & Gluck specializes in all areas of personal injury law, including medical malpractice, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, traumatic brain injuries, product liability, premises liability, construction accidents, chemical exposure and gas explosions.

Our attorneys are committed to serving our existing clients and new clients remotely during the COVID-19 state of emergency in Massachusetts. For a free legal consultation, please call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also use our contact form.

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Free Legal Consultation: 800-379-1244

Main: 617-723-7676

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we want to assure you that Breakstone, White & Gluck is committed to providing uninterrupted service to all of our clients. We will be limiting staff in our Boston office while state and federal advisories are in place. But our attorneys are available by phone and email to our clients. We will continue to provide free legal consultation and case review by phone.

Please call us at 617-723-7676 or toll-free at 800-379-1244. You can also contact us through our website, www.bwglaw.com.

Our Practice Areas:

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Bicyclist riding in Boston

Safety reminders for drivers as cyclists return to the road in Boston.

In Boston, many cyclists take a winter break. As this nears an end, drivers should get ready to commute alongside cyclists again.

Drivers must remember that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Here, we share a few safety tips for drivers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Obey the speed limit. 
  • Drive defensively. Cyclists may need to leave their lane for safety reasons and may not give you much notice.
  • Yield to cyclists just as you would another motor vehicle. 
  • When turning right on a red light, check for cyclists to the right and behind you. Stop completely and look in both directions – left, right, left and behind.
  • Provide cyclists with adequate space. 
  • Pass cyclists with care. Do not pass too closely and only do so if you would pass a motor vehicle in the same situation.
  • Check before you pull out or back up in parking lots.
  • Check for cyclists when at stop signs. Expect that a cyclist may come up behind you while you wait for your turn to go.

Driving Safely Near Bicyclists in Massachusetts

Gone are the days when drivers rarely saw a cyclist on the road. It’s critical for drivers to be informed about their responsibilities near cyclists, particularly in intersections, and the potential for bicycle crashes.

As a driver, if you are near a bicyclist, the best approach is to slow down and give them room. Do not take your eyes off the cyclist or the road. Leave the bicycle lane for cyclists – this is the law in Massachusetts and if you neglect to follow it, you could hit a cyclist, causing serious injury and confusing other drivers. And this could lead to domino-effect collisions with other vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians in the area. 

Expect cyclists will be traveling in front of you, as well as behind you. In fact, they are more likely to be behind you, to the right (though they are allowed to travel in the center of the lane in Massachusetts if they need to). Checking your mirrors is essential, as is left-right-left and behind checking. This is true even after you park because cyclists could be riding by and by opening the door at the wrong time, you could cause a bicycle dooring injury.

Finally, remember cyclists may not be visible behind commercial trucks and other traffic. The cyclist may be out of your view, but just approaching the large vehicle behind you.

For more information, read our articles, “Facts About Bicycling Laws in Massachusetts,” or “Tips for Safe Bike Commuting in Boston.”  You can also visit the MassBike website, which explains more about cyclist and motorist responsibilities or the NHTSA web page on bicycle safety.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Breakstone, White & Gluck has extensive experience handling personal injury cases involving bicycle injuries in Boston and across Massachusetts. After a bicycle accident, our attorneys are here to provide clients with thorough investigation and aggressive representation. We understand the stakes are high when you have been injured on a bicycle because medical bills can mount quickly and no one expects to suffer an injury. But we have attorneys who are experienced as lawyers and as cyclists. We are committed to partnering with our clients to obtain the best financial result in every case.

For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also use our contact form.

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March is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Massachusetts and across U.S.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Take the opportunity to learn

Today, there is greater awareness around brain injuries. As a result, many people are treating brain injuries earlier and living healthier lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes Brain Injury Awareness Month in March, to provide education about potential concussion symptoms, ongoing research and the needs of those living with a brain injury. This comes at the right time for families, as many children and teenagers plan to participate in spring sports.

Many brain injuries are caused by car accidents, falls or violence. But over the past decade, we have learned more about young children and student athletes suffering concussions on the sports field. In fact, from 2010 to 2016, nearly two million children were treated in emergency rooms for sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI), according to the CDC website. Sports associated with the highest number of ER visits: football, cycling, basketball, playground activities and soccer.

Among males 17 and younger, football was involved in 27 percent of all sports-related TBI visits to the ER, more than any other activity. In the same age group, females playing soccer, playground activities and basketball made the highest number of ER visits for TBI. Among children under 5, playground activity resulted in the most ER visits for TBI.

As we continue learning about injuries to children and student athletes, research continues to show older Americans are highly vulnerable to brain injuries. They are the most likely to be hospitalized for TBIs, according to the CDC.

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our attorneys encourage you to look at the CDC website so you can be informed about the symptoms of traumatic brain injury and concussion. If you observe symptoms in yourself or your children, immediately call your doctor to be examined. Also guide older family members to medical treatment. This is paramount because a brain injury left untreated can result in long-term impairment or death. When someone receives immediate treatment, effective diagnosis and management early on is critical.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to the CDC, a traumatic brain injury can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. There are traumatic brain injuries and mild traumatic brain injuries, which are often called concussions.

What are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Centers for Disease Control Concussion Symptoms Chart

Concussion Symptoms. Courtesy CDC Website

 

You may observe some of these symptoms immediately after someone sustains a brain injury. Or symptoms may not emerge for several days. It’s also important to note that not everyone experiences the same symptoms.

Symptoms include difficulty thinking, concentrating or remembering or feeling slowed down.

Physical symptoms may include headaches, nausea, vomiting or fatigue. Some people are sensitive to noise or light. Others have trouble balancing themselves.

When someone suffers a head injury, it’s common for their sleep to be disrupted. They may sleep more or less than normal. Another sign is having trouble falling asleep. More extreme emotions are another symptom. The person may be irritable, sad, more emotional or exhibit high anxiety and nervousness.

Younger children may exhibit some of the above symptoms, but parents should also watch for crying inconsolably, more temper tantrums or getting easily upset and having trouble keeping up with skills they are learning (toilet training for instance). They may also lack interest in their normal activities.

Sports-Related Concussions and TBI in Massachusetts

Be aware of how concussions happen. After a car accident or truck accident, always receive immediate medical attention to make sure you have not suffered a TBI. When an elderly relative slips or a child falls on the playground, check in with the doctor. Do this anytime you observe someone suffer from any type of physical impact to the head.

When you sign your child up to play a sport, ask the coaches for the concussion protocol. In Massachusetts, middle and high schools are required to have documented procedures regarding concussion injuries and prevention. Passed in 2010, M.G.L. c.111 § 222 requires parents and students to participate in concussion awareness training so they can recognize symptoms and receive early treatment. The law also requires students to be removed from play if they may have suffered a concussion. They can only return with medical clearance.

Under the law, public middle and high schools and those subject to Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) regulations must have concussion protocols. Other sports leagues are not required under Massachusetts law, but they should all have a concussion policy on their website.

Final Note

  • At home, educate older children about TBI symptoms. Ask them questions when you sense something may be off and use the above chart to determine whether you may need to call the doctor.
  • Ask for concussion safety protocols at schools and daycare centers, and when children participate in sports leagues. Attend concussion trainings.
  • Watch younger children and older adults closely. Remember young children may not be able to communicate symptoms and pain with you and older adults may not recognize symptoms in themselves, especially if they have other medical conditions.
  • Recruit as many family members as you can in watching for signs in young children, teens and the elderly.
  • Visit some of the online resources below and share them with family members.

Concussion Prevention Resources for Families

Massachusetts Law on Concussion Prevention in Sports

105 CMR 201.00: Head injuries and concussions in extracurricular activities 

M.G.L. c. 111, § 222

Additional Resources

Heads Up to Brain Injury Awareness Training, CDC

TBI-Related Emergency Room Department Visits for Sports – and Recreation-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Children in the U.S., 2010-2016

Facts About Concussion and Brain Injury – Where to Get Help, CDC (a resource for all ages)

Sports Related Concussions and Head Injuries, Mass.gov

Concussion Trainings, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Returning to School After a Concussion, Mass.gov

About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers

With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston is one of the most respected personal injury law firms in Massachusetts. Our attorneys represent individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries or mild traumatic brain injuries due to the negligence of another individual, organization or corporate entity.

If you have been injured, learn your legal rights for seeking financial compensation and obtaining medical care. For a free legal consultation, call Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or you can use our contact form.

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red light cameras

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering legislation to allow communities to install red light cameras.

In Massachusetts, drivers are getting a strong warning to slow down this week as the state Senate debates red light cameras.

The state Senate is scheduled to debate legislation proposed by Sen. William Brownsberger and redrafted by the Ways and Means Committee.

The proposed bill would grant Massachusetts cities and towns new authority to install automated camera systems to capture vehicles that violate traffic laws at intersections, according to The Boston Globe. The goal is safer roads; the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has reported red light cameras have contributed to a 14 percent reduction in traffic deaths at intersections.

Drivers who violate traffic laws could end up receiving a citation and fine, without ever being stopped by a police officer. The fine would be $25 and tied to the vehicle registration. The person listed on the vehicle registration will receive the traffic citation, not necessarily the person driving at the time. Violations would not count toward Massachusetts auto insurance surcharges.

This is an important proposal and drivers, cyclists and pedestrians want to watch this week. Many, many traffic crashes happen in intersections, when drivers speed through lights, veer out of their lanes or neglect to give cyclists and pedestrians enough space. At the same time, there are many concerns about privacy and how broad laws should reach.

Beyond Massachusetts, 20 states have passed laws allowing red light cameras, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. These states stand divided on authority; 11 states fully permit use while 9 states only allow use in specific situations.

Massachusetts Red Light Camera Legislation 

Under the Massachusetts proposal, communities could install one traffic camera for every 2,500 residents. Signs must be posted and visible warning drivers approaching the intersection. 

To address privacy concerns, communities would be directed to capture photos without identifying the driver or passengers in the vehicle, or any of their belongings. Photographs would be destroyed within 48 hours.

Drivers can be cited for failure to stop for a red light, making an illegal turn at a red light or speeding. Drivers may be cited for traveling at least 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. There will be an appeals process for drivers.

The law should not impact green light or yellow light laws. Lawmakers wrote in language that says a vehicle can be across the line during a yellow light, according to the Globe report. 

Communities will be compensated for the costs of installation and operating the camera system. The state’s Transportation Trust Fund will receive the rest of the revenue from citations.

History of Opposition for Red Light Cameras in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has long opposed the idea of red light cameras due to privacy concerns. More than a decade ago, individual communities attempted to lobby state legislators for the right to install traffic cameras, without success.

But now, growing traffic safety concerns has rekindled proposals in Massachusetts and across the country.

  • Last year, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported red light running crashes have reached a 10-year high in the U.S. 
  • Fatal red light car crashes have increased 28 percent since 2017. 
  • About 35 percent of the victims were the drivers who thought they could race through the red light.

AAA Recommendations for Red Light Camera Use

AAA recommends communities install traffic cameras at intersections with demonstrated patterns of red light violations or crashes. Before launching red light cameras, communities should have established overall traffic safety and engineering plans, AAA says. Law enforcement should directly supervise red light cameras and drivers should be given fair notice with traffic signs and other outreach.

Breakstone, White & Gluck – Free Legal Consultation

Breakstone, White & Gluck provides aggressive and experienced representation to those injured or killed by the negligence of others. Our attorneys have been consistently recognized for their results for our clients, including as Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and by Best Law Firms as a Tier 1 Firm in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice in the Boston Metropolitan region. 

If you have been injured, learn your legal rights. Contact our car accident lawyers today at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also use our contact form.

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Patient with cast worried about medical billsBecause we represent clients in personal injury and medical malpractice cases, we know medical bills are a huge stress. Many people leave the hospital and actually feel worse, anticipating all the medical bills.

In most cases, you can ask your health insurance provider to pay and they will at least cover a portion. Except if you receive a bill for an “out-of-network” doctor or hospital. These are “surprise medical bills,” often incurred during emergencies, when patients may not have a choice about where to receive care. You can also get hit with these bills if an out-of-network physician treats you as part of your care at an in-network hospital or medical office.

This is a stressful situation for anyone. Not only is a patient asked to pay the medical bill, they are often charged more than an insurance company, with all its resources, would ever pay. Which isn’t at all fair.

What can be done? Gov. Charlie Baker is working to prohibit surprise medical bills as part of the health care bill he introduced in January. Federal lawmakers have also made two proposals.

Massachusetts Legislation on Surprise Medical Bills

Patients have been left bruised and aching by surprise medical bills in Massachusetts. We saw a small glimpse in March 2019, when The Boston Globe reported patients filed 115 complaints over two years about surprise medical bills.

As a result, the attorney general’s office found patients were being treated in either a physician’s office or urgent care center. But it was the parent company which sent the bill. Partners Health Care and its hospitals settled with the AG over this practice and should have changed practices to better inform patients.

In 2019, Massachusetts lawmakers proposed B.967. This legislation would require patients to provide specific consent to receive out-of-network health care service. Providers would no longer be able to bill consumers for more than in-network cost-sharing. Gov. Charlie Baker has also included the measure in his health care legislation proposed in January.

Federal Legislation on Surprise Medical Bills

Meanwhile, we saw surprise medical bills come in Congress last week. On Feb. 11th, the House Education and Labor Committee approved a bill to protect patients from surprise medical bills. This was a bipartisan vote, split 32-13 to send the measure to the full House of Representatives. Rather than overcharge a patient who is out-of-network, the bill would set payment for surprise medical bills based on the median amount for the geographic area.

The House Ways and Means Committee is working on different legislation. The approach is to bring in an outside arbitrator to make payment decisions. Hospitals and physician groups have supported this bill, but others say it risks driving up health-care premiums.

Tips for Protecting Your Wallet When Receiving Medical Care in Massachusetts

Here are our suggestions to help you protect against unsafe medical billing and care:

Always use electronic medical record systems. Request access at  your primary care physician’s office and at any doctor you see.

Massachusetts Patient’s Bill of Rights. M.G.L. c. 111, § 70E details the Massachusetts Patient’s Bill of Rights. This law states you have the right to inspect your medical records and the right to make decisions about privacy in your medical care.

Request an estimate for your medical procedure. While you cannot plan for every emergency, in Massachusetts, you have the right to ask, “How much does that cost?” before many procedures. You have this right because Massachusetts passed a health pricing transparency law in 2015. You can now request estimates from several doctors and decide where you want to be treated based on costs, ratings, online patient reviews and travel time from your home.

Under M.G.L. c. 111, § 228, you can request pricing from a doctor, health care provider or hospital. They must provide you with the following: how much the health care provider will be paid by an insurance carrier or what the charge will be if you self-pay or have an out-of-network service. Health care providers are given two business days to provide the information.

When doctors and hospitals cannot provide specific pricing, they must provide you with an estimated maximum charge.

You can ask the health provider directly. If you have health insurance, you can ask the company for assistance if you think it will be beneficial. We suggest that you request the price on your own first.

Some medical providers have online forms you can easily fill out and these provide examples of what information you may need. For example, while it’s helpful to have your surgery scheduled for a certain date and time, it’s not required when you request an estimate. Here is one example from Massachusetts General Hospital website.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 100 years combined experience representing those injured by medical malpractice an surgical errors in Massachusetts. If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, learn your legal rights for seeking financial compensation at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also use our contact form.

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Infantino Baby Carrier RecallsParents place a great deal of trust in baby carriers to support their children. However, you should now check yours because it may not be as safe as you think.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a Feb. 6th recall notice for about 14,000 Infantino baby carriers sold by Amazon and Target between Nov. 15 and Dec. 20, 2019. Because the recalls took place over the holiday season, parents could have purchased a baby carrier or received one as a holiday gift.

While no injuries have been reported, the buckles on the infant carriers can break, causing a child’s fall. Parents should stop using the front-facing baby carriers and request a free replacement.

The Infantino carriers have a black or gray body, with black straps, and a front pocket. Look for the code sewn inside the carrier. This is the place to start because baby carriers often look similar.

Go Forward 4-in-1 Evolved Ergonomic Carrier

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Go Forward 4-in-1 Evolved Ergonomic Carrier

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Flip Front2back Carrier

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Up Close Newborn Carrier

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High Rate of Children’s Products Recalls

As you check if your baby carrier was recalled, look around your home for other children’s products, such as strollers, car seats, cribs and other baby furniture. Take a minute to visit the CPSC website and type in the product name. This is a good time of year to check children’s products because you may be using some of them more in the nice weather.

Children’s products have a high rate of recalls so it is best to check a few times of year and follow the news and the CPSC website. Manufacturers do not always contact parents directly and there are times parents may be using a hand-me-down recall product, making it harder to track product recalls or news about injuries.

But so far, 2020 has been a year to follow recall news. Just as the holiday season ended, a series of children’s product recalls began. On January 16th, the CPSC announced the recall of 2,000 “Baby Trend” strollers sold by Amazon and Target. Those too could drop children should the stroller hinge joints release and collapse under pressure.

Then on January 29th, the CPSC announced the recall of 165,000 infant sleepers from Summer Infant, Graco, Delta Enterprise Corp. and Evenflo. The inclined sleepers are the latest recalls in the wake of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play, which was recalled in April 2019.

As authorities continue to investigate, families have reported more than 70 infant deaths in inclined infant sleepers. University of Arkansas researchers have studied these sleepers and recommended infants sleep on flat surfaces or less than a 10 degree incline if any. The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play and other sleepers placed children at a 30 degree incline, creating a risk for suffocation when infants attempted to turn.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Product Liability Lawyer

Breakstone, White & Gluck has obtained record results for plaintiffs in Massachusetts cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and product liability. If you or a loved one has been injured by an unsafe or defective product, our attorneys can advise you of your legal rights to seek compensation. For a free legal consultation, contact our product liability attorneys at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper

Nearly a year after the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play recall, the work continues to remove unsafe sleepers from the market.

After more than 70 infant deaths involving inclined sleepers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and lawmakers continue working to prevent injuries.

The CPSC recently announced the recalls of over 165,000 infant sleepers from four companies: Summer Infant, Evenflo, Delta Enterprise Corp. and Graco. Thankfully, these recalls are not related to any deaths or injuries. They are part of the CPSC’s ongoing work to protect children after Fisher-Price’s startling revelations about its Rock ‘n Play, which has been linked to dozens of infant deaths. However, these models have not been linked to injuries, according to the CPSC and at least one company initially refused the CPSC’s efforts.

Graco is recalling the largest number of units, 111,000 Graco Little Lounger Rocking Seats. Sumr Brands is recalling 43,000 SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleepers. Delta Inclined Sleepers is recalling about 5,900 units and Evenflo has about 3,100 units involved in the recall. 

If you own one of these sleepers, you can read the recall notices on the CPSC website. You should be able to contact the manufacturer and return your sleeper for a cash refund or a voucher. 

Consumers are urged to stop using the inclined infant sleepers. It is better to return the infant sleepers, rather than discard them in the trash.

Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play

Parents received the first frightening warning about inclined infant sleepers last April, when Fisher-Price issued an advisory for parents, initially announcing 10 babies had died in the sleeper after turning from their back to their stomach, then suffocating. The company warned parents not to let children use the sleeper after 3 months old.

Within days, facing outrage from parents and new allegations, Fisher-Price acknowledged more deaths and had to replace its advisory with a recall notice for 4.7 million Rock n’ Play sleepers. Because this product was sold for 10 years, this has been a massive recall. Adding to the challenge is so many companies have followed Fisher-Price’s lead and developed similar inclined sleep products. 

After Fisher-Price, we learned that Kids II was also facing allegations that several infants had died in its sleepers. The company recalled 700,000 products in late April, just a few weeks after Fisher-Price took action. 

Federal Legislation to Ban Inclined Sleepers

The CPSC has been working with other companies to identify unsafe sleepers while advising consumers not to use inclined sleep products. The Fisher-Price sleeper and other models are dangerous because they sit at a 30 degree incline. Babies can roll over and suffocate. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to put infants on flat surfaces to sleep and remove blankets, toys and other items. Researchers from the University of Arkansas have also recommended flat surfaces for sleeping and have said any incline should fall under 10 degrees.

Federal legislation has been proposed to ban inclined these sleepers altogether. According to Consumer Reports, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act has already passed in the House of Representatives. If this happens, the CPSC will not have to pursue product recalls one by one and negotiate with each manufacturer. 

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