Articles Tagged with “Massachusetts personal injury lawyers”

beer-125 copy.jpgAs prom and graduation season begins, parents are asked to speak to their teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Anyone under 21 who drinks or possesses alcohol in Massachusetts can be charged criminally. Anyone who furnishes alcohol to a person under the age of 21 can also be prosecuted. Parents who allow underage drinking in their home may be held financially liable

But many people are unaware of their responsibilities under the Massachusetts social host responsibility law. Anyone who provide alcohol to teens and allow them to consume alcohol in their home may face serious consequences, including imprisonment and fines.

“Safety is the most important point in any conversation about drinking and driving,” said Boston attorney David W. White. “It is particularly important that parents have zero tolerance for underage drinking in their homes, and obviously they must not supply any alcohol to minors. Providing even a small amount of alcohol to an underage drinker may result in a large civil judgment if it contributes to an accident.”

White urged parents to intervene to ensure that prom celebrations do not include alcohol and to make sure that prom season does not result in needless injuries or loss of life.

Click here for questions and answers about the Massachusetts social host responsibility law.
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turkey.jpgAt Thanksgiving, the focus is on enjoying good food and family. But attention must also be paid to fire safety because Thanksgiving sees more residential fire deaths, injuries and property damage than any other day of the year.

These fires are preventable with solid planning and good communication among those who are preparing the meal and others in the home. The Massachusetts personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston offer these tips to keep your holiday safe:

  • Never leave food cooking unattended. If you have to leave the kitchen, turn the stove off or ask someone to watch the food.
  • Make sure you have properly working smoke alarms near your kitchen.
  • Keep oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels and other materials away from the stovetop.
  • Use a timer to remind you when to stop cooking.
  • Avoid using candles, especially near young children.
  • Make sure cords to electrical tools and appliances, such as electric knives, are not dangling within reach of a child.
  • Make sure children stay away from liquids and soft foods such as gravy and vegetables until they cool down. If these foods are too hot, they can cause skin burns.

What To Do If You Have A Cooking Fire
Keep a small fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen, either under the sink or close by in a closet. Inspect it periodically and make sure it is properly charged. If you have a cooking fire, it is best to call 911, wait outdoors for the fire department.

If it’s an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. For small grease fires, smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is cool. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. You could be badly burned.

If you try to put out the fire, be sure everyone else is out of the home and you have a clear exit path.
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trio.jpgBreakstone, White & Gluck announces its lawyers have been recognized as 2011 Super Lawyers by Boston Magazine. It is the eighth consecutive year the firm’s lawyers have been honored.

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone has been selected as one of the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers for 2011 and one of the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2011. This is the second time Attorney Breakstone has been selected as one of the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and the fifth time he has been selected one of the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. In addition, Attorney Breakstone has been named a 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyer for the seventh year in a row. Attorney Breakstone is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Click here to read his bio.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck has been named a 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyer. He was selected to the list for the seventh consecutive year. He was also selected to the list of New England Super Lawyers for the fifth year in a row. Attorney Gluck specializes in catastrophic personal injury cases stemming from automobile accidents, public transportation disasters, construction accidents and medical device and pharmaceutical product liability. He is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Click here to read his bio.

Attorney David W. White has been named a 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyer. He has been selected for the list each year since 2004. He has also been selected twice to the list of Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and four times to the list of Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Attorney White is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice and bicycle accident cases. Click here to read his bio.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC
Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC, is a Boston law firm which represents injured plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. The firm has established a reputation as one of the top Massachusetts personal injury law firms. Notable cases include the case against a surgeon who left a patient on the operating table to cash a check, and several multi-million dollar cases arising from medical malpractice, EMT malpractice and motor vehicle accidents.

About Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase process that includes peer nominations and evaluations and independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. The object is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for counsel.
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carcrash.jpgYou may think winter snowfall makes for treacherous driving. But government figures show August is actually the most dangerous month on the roads, making it an important time to take precautions.

Based on records dating back to 1994, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports more Americans die in car crashes in August than at any other time of the year. In August 2009, that number totaled 2,864 deaths.

September had the next highest rate of traffic fatalities, followed by July. Weekends are the deadliest time on the roads throughout the year. Nationwide in 2009, there were an average of 123 deaths each day on Saturdays and 107 deaths on Sunday.

Experts say motor vehicle deaths rise in August because more people are on the road traveling for vacation, taking day trips and attending summer events.

Because of these factors, it is paramount to practice safe driving. Here, our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers offer safety tips to protect you and your family:

  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Travel slowly at night and make sure you are familiar with your route.
  • Reduce distractions by putting away your cell phone and GPS.
  • When traveling with children, explain you must concentrate on the road.
  • On the highway, make sure children have distractions such as books and games.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
  • Wear your seat belt.
  • Do not speed.
  • Talk to teenagers about taking safety precautions such as limiting passengers and avoiding night driving.

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inflatablepoolB.jpgA surprising study published last month revealed that one child in the U.S. dies every five days in portable swimming pools during the warm weather months.

The study published in the journal Pediatrics challenges the popular idea that in-ground swimming pools pose a much larger safety risk. This study is significant because drowning has become the second leading cause of death among children age one to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study reports 209 deaths and 35 near-drownings of children under 12 in portable pools from 2001 through 2009. More than 90 percent of the children were under 5 and 81 percent of the swimming pool accidents occurred during the summer months.

The study’s classification of portable pools includes small wading pools less than 18 inches deep, inflatable pools and other soft-sided pools up to four feet deep. The study was conducted by National Hospital and Independent Safety Consulting in Rockville, Maryland. Researchers say the findings are comparable to in-ground pool drownings.

Researchers say owners of portable pools often fail to take the same safety precautions as those who own in-ground pools. They set pools up quickly without taking the time to install fencing, pool alarms, safety covers and lockable ladders.

The numbers also show in many cases, children are swimming in portable pools without adult supervision. Children were supervised by parents in only 43 percent of the drownings and swimming pool accidents. Parents were home 73 percent of the time.

Read more about the study published in Pediatrics. Continue reading

helmet.jpgParents are advised to check their children’s bicycle helmets after a widespread recall involving popular models sold at Walmart and Amazon.com. The recall may affect families and cyclists in Massachusetts.

Bell Sports of Scotts Valley, California is recalling 33,600 of its Bell Exodus full-face helmets with a plastic buckle on the chinstrap. The defective bike helmets have an angled visor and came in multiple colors in youth size. They were sold at Walmart stores and Amazon.com for $50 to $60 between August 2009 and March 2011.

The helmets pose a head injury hazard in the event of bike accident. The plastic buckle that connects the chin straps can fail and cause the helmet to fall off the person’s head, leaving them unprotected in bicycle accidents. The company has received one report of a buckle failing, resulting in a personal injury that required facial stitches.

Some 31,100 of the defective bike helmets were sold across Massachusetts and the United States. Another 2,500 helmets were sold in Canada.

Consumers are advised to stop using the helmets immediately. Read about the bike helmet recall on the Consumer Reports website. You will find a list of model numbers.

Contact Bell Sports if you have a defective helmet and request a free replacement. Call Bell Sports toll-free at 866-892-6059 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

If you are a cyclist, wearing a helmet is critical to reducing the risk of head injuries. It is also critical for your children. It is important to purchase a helmet which is safe for use, meets CPSC standards and to learn how to properly fit your helmet. To learn more, read this brochure from the NHTSA – and share it with your friends and family members who ride.

Another important safety tip is to replace your helmet regularly. We hope you never fall or are injured in a bicycle crash, but if you do fall, your helmet should be able to absorb the fall and provide protection. Once a helmet hits the ground in a crash, it should be replaced right away. If you don’t crash, you maybe able to use your helmet for a few years. You have to carefully inspect your helmet, evaluate the condition of the helmet and the wear and tear on helmet straps. Some people should replace helmets every year and others may work for two or three years.

In Massachusetts, cyclists who are 16 and younger are required by law to wear bicycle helmets. Bike share programs in the Boston area typically have language in their rider contracts, requiring cyclists to wear helmets at all times. Wearing a bicycle helmet is a step every cyclist can take to protect themselves, so we hope you and your family take time to purchase helmets and commit to wearing them. Continue reading

Major League Baseball has opened its season and baseball players of all ages are stepping up to the plate across Massachusetts. Breakstone, White & Gluck wants you and your family to play it safe and enjoy the game.

Here, our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers offer safety tips on equipment, pitching and recovering from injuries:

Equipment and Field Safety

  • Batting helmets must be worn whenever a player is waiting to bat, is at bat or is running the bases.
  • Players should be instructed to have their attention focused on the batter, even when they are not actively involved in the game.
  • Younger players should use balls that are partly rubberized to minimize the risk of injury.

Click here for more tips on bats, fielding balls and staying safe in the dugout.

Excessive Pitching

  • Make sure pitchers follow league requirements for the number of innings they throw.
  • You should also check the pitch count limits recommended by Youth USA Little League and the American Sports Medicine Institute.

Click here for the pitch count limits recommended by those organizations.

How Coaches Can Identify Concussions

  • The player appears dazed.
  • The player is confused about their playing assignment.
  • The player is unsure of the score or who the opponent is.
  • The player moves clumsily or has poor balance.

Click here for more tips on how coaches can identify concussions in players and similar tips for parents.
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snowroof_180.jpgWhen you think of winter, you may envision a beautiful white snow fall. But in Massachusetts, we know after the snow comes the hard cleanup.

For homeowners, the cleanup starts with frequently traveled areas, such as your front steps, driveway and sidewalks. It’s best to keep these areas shoveled and salted during the snowstorm as well as in the hours afterward, when freezing and snowdrifts occur. Staying vigilant is the best way to prevent slip and fall injuries on snow on your property.

Next, remember your roof and rain gutters. Neglecting your roof can be a safety hazard for your family and cause significant damage to your home.

When snow piles up on a roof, it acts as a sponge for sleet and rain. This will eventually leak and cause roof deterioration over time. The snow also puts weight on your roof, posing a threat for collapse.

More immediately, the snow can leak and freeze on driveways and walkways where someone could slip and fall. Minimize the risk with these tips:

  • Check your roof throughout a snowstorm so you are aware of snow accumulation and remove it as soon as possible.
  • Purchase a snow rake at your local hardware store so you can stand on the ground and clear snow.
  • Do not purchase a metal snow rake. It can conduct electricity if it crosses an electrical line.
  • Do not use a ladder to clear snow from your roof. The snow and ice on the ground and on your home are not stable enough to support a ladder.
  • Clear large icicles from roof overhangs, doorways and walkways.
  • Make sure you are capable of handling this cleanup yourself. If not, contact a local snow removal company.
  • Check your rain gutters for snow accumulation. Remove snow from visible areas.
  • Clean your gutters twice a year to prevent snow from clogging up.

It is important to keep your property safe by promptly removing snow after a snowstorm. Slip and falls in snow can result in severe personal injuries to you, your family and others. The law on cleaning up snow and ice have recently changed in Massachusetts, putting a greater responsibility on property owners. Click here to learn more.
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Heading back to school is always a big event, no matter how old a student is. Students look forward to meeting new teachers, starting new classes and being reunited with friends.

But all this activity brings safety concerns. Yet if parents, teachers and students recognize the risks and work together, the Back-to-School season can be an enriching time. Here are some tips to keep your children safe:

Playgrounds. Each year, more than 200,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for falls on the playground. The goal is to implement preventative measures in your playground and make it as safe as possible if falls do occur.

Start by inspecting playground equipment for any defective or broken parts.There should be a 12-inch depth of wood chips, mulch or sand. Mats should be made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material to prevent head injury if a child falls.

Drawstrings on Jackets and Sweatshirts. Many pieces of fall clothing come with drawstrings. Most people think nothing of these until a child endangers himself or a classmate, often unknowingly.

Prevent a dangerous situation where a child gets strangled. Remove drawstrings on hoods. Cut drawstrings from the waist or bottom of jackets, coats and sweatshirts to three inches.

Loops on Window Blind Cords. Visit your child’s classroom to ensure it’s a safe environment. Look at the windows to see if they have blinds with a long cord. If there are blinds with cords, this is a safety hazard. A child could strangle himself when the teacher’s not looking or swallow the plastic piece at the end of the cord.

Bikes. Many students ride their bicycles to school. It’s important for drivers to watch out for them, but parents also need to educate students on how to avoid bike accidents. The first rules is bike helmets. Massachusetts has a mandatory bike law for minors under 16. Beyond the law, bike helmets prevent and reduce head injuries should your child take a fall.

To learn more about school safety, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission web page, “American Goes Back to School Program.”
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Massachusetts has banned the commercial use and sale of lacquer sealer, a highly flammable wood floor finishing product linked to deadly home fires.

Gov. Deval Patrick signed the safety bill into law this week. The bill had strong support from MassCOSH (the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health), which convened a Floor Finishing Safety Task Force to investigate the problem.

The task force was convened after a 2004 house fire in Somerville claimed the lives of two Vietnamese floor sanders and burned their co-workers. Shortly after, a Vietnamese flooring contractor died in a Hull house fire. Both fires involved the use of lacquer sealer used in floor finishing.

“This groundbreaking law will save lives and end floor finishing fires that have caused so much pain and destruction,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of MassCOSH. “We owe a great deal of thanks to the Governor and Legislature for recognizing these grave dangers and taking action to protect workers and residents.”

Following the three fatal fires, the Floor Finishing Safety Task Force issued a 2005 report stating Boston had seen 25 fires involving lacquer sealer over the 10 previous years and Needham had seen two in the prior year that threatened worker safety.

In the 2005 report, the task force recommended the state promote use of non-flammable water-based finishers to protect Massachusetts worker safety and prevent worker deaths.

The task force observed the problem of flammable lacquer sealer was targeting Massachusetts’ Vietnamese community, which has a large concentration of workers in the floor finishing industry.

The bill proposing the ban was jointly filed by state Rep. Martin Walsh and Sen. Patricia Jehlen.

Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston is a supporter of MassCOSH and its work to protect Massachusetts construction workers and other employees.

To learn more, visit the MassCOSH website.
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