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North Adams Legal Blog

Asbestos ban sought by state's attorney general

Asbestos exposure is recognized as dangerous and, according to the EWG Action fund, causes 12,000 to 15,000 deaths every year. But, the United States, unlike 50 other countries, does not have a federal ban on asbestos despite its potential for causing serious personal injury. Following the issuance of a report, the Massachusetts Attorney General has asked Congress to ban asbestos.

During the 20th Century, asbestos was widely used in construction because it is a natural fiber that strengthened objects, made materials fireproof and was an effective insulator. But it could have serious health consequences because it can act like needles when it gets lodged inside a person's lungs and other body parts.

Electronic heath records causing burnout

Until a few years ago, Massachusetts health care practitioners were still scribbling notes to document patient care. Electronic health records (EHRs) were developed to improve care, share patient information and eliminate unclear or incorrect notes. But, according to eight recent studies, EHRs have caused stress among heath professionals and were involved in medical malpractice actions.

EHRs may not always work as intended. Electronic record documentation of patient visits to emergency rooms do not always correctly show doctor actions and examinations with their patients, according to this recently released information. In fact, there were 216 medical malpractice claims involving EHRs closed between 2010 and 2018.

Claiming emotional damages after a car accident

Being involved in a car accident can impact every aspect of your life profoundly. If you suffered any injuries at all, you will need to seek medical attention and possibly undergo surgery. This will prevent you from going to work or caring for your children, and it will also mean that you suffer considerably, both from a financial and emotional perspective.

This is why it is so important to consider taking action to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. Even if you did not suffer significant physical damages, you will have probably suffered emotionally as a result of the incident, and you will have almost certainly suffered financially. The following are ways that exemplify how a car accident affected you emotionally.

Contractor can face lawsuit despite using customer's specifications

A contractor who installs something exactly according to the customer's specifications is not necessarily off the hook if someone gets hurt, as a roofing contractor who worked on the Chicago White Sox's ballpark recently discovered.

Cyclist deaths reach 30-year high

Cities across this country and Massachusetts have recognized the health and ecological benefits of bicycling and taken measures, such as bicycling lanes, to respond to and encourage their popularity. But, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicycling also poses a risk of serious personal injury because bicyclist deaths in traffic accidents reached a 30-year high in 2018.

Late last month, the NHTSA issued a report on fatal motor vehicle crashes from last year. It found that cyclist fatalities increased by 6.3 percent from 2017 to 2018. The number of these deaths reached 857, which was the highest since 1990 when 859 bicyclist deaths were reported.

Massachusetts woman awarded over $1M for botched surgery

Anytime one has to go under anesthesia and have a surgery performed, there is anxiety related to the medical event. All surgeries have unavoidable risks, however, each patient is owed a duty of care by the medical provider, doctor and others. When a local woman went in for a gallbladder surgery, she never guessed what the outcome would be. She is now the recipient of a medical malpractice award of over $1M related to the events of her surgery.

When the patient went in to have her gallbladder removed, the doctor was to cut only the gallbladder out. Instead, she severed a wrong artery, wrong hepatic duct and the wrong bile duct. This injury cost the patient to lose out of 9 months of work and had to have reconstructive surgery to fix the surgical errors. The victim alleged that it was a failure to follow safe and proper procedure that led to the woman's unnecessary medical malpractice injury.

Serious personal injury can be compensable if due to negligence

Have you ever gotten the flu or sprained your ankle? Then you know how much more difficult everything in your life can be when your health isn't well or your body isn't injured. These injuries are fairly common and most everyone who suffers them ends up making a full recovery. However, when injuries and illness occur on a larger scale, it can have much more serious impacts on an injured person and their family.

Oftentimes, when a person is injured it is due to an accident. Accidents are generally sudden, unexpected and can leave the injured and their family reeling. Car accidents, work accidents, medical injury and many other incidents can leave a person injured. In all of these scenarios and more, a person, business or other related third party could have played a role in causing or failing to prevent a person's serious personal injury.

Semitruck crashes have many causes

The roads that stripe this country were designed to improve safety, but each driver has a direct impact on this. Large semitrucks pose a significant risk to smaller vehicles, so these drivers need to be especially careful as they drive down the highways and roads.

Crashes between 18-wheelers and passenger vehicles can leave the victims with catastrophic injuries, which can involve the spinal cord or brain. The factors that cause these wrecks vary greatly.

The dangers of distracted driving

Today, most drivers in Massachusetts are aware of the dangers associated with using a cell phone while driving. Despite this knowledge, some drivers still decide to reach for their phone while driving. Even if it is for a second, the reality is that using a cell phone takes the driver' eyes off of the road, hands from the wheel and their mind off of the task of driving. And in that short moment, an accident could ensue because that motorist was distracted.

The idea of distracted driving is not new, and the dangers associated with it are continually emphasized. Nonetheless, automobile collisions are the result of drivers being distracted. This has resulted in certain traffic laws being passed, sometimes making texting and driving a primary offense. Despite these efforts to penalize these acts, the reality is that distracted driving still occurs and many victims suffer severe injuries or even death because of it.

What are common birth injuries suffered?

The birth of a baby is a very joyous event for parents in Massachusetts and elsewhere. While it is a positive and happy moment in the lives of parents, it is also a time where the unexpected could occur. Complications are not uncommon; however, when a medical professional acts quickly and properly, some harms and medical issues can be avoided. In contrast, when a medical professional makes an error or does not uphold their duty of care, this could result in significant harms to the mother, newborn or both.

While America is a developed country, there is an alarming rate of maternal deaths due to medical malpractice. Based on current data, roughly 60% of these deaths are preventable. The rate of birth injuries in the U.S. is also shockingly high, amounting to roughly 3 per hour.

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