Articles Tagged with Boston personal injury lawyers

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Holiday gathering with alcohol

Make a commitment not to drink and drive this holiday season. Plan your safe way home before you head out.

Make a Holiday Safety Plan

It’s the holiday season, a time to enjoy family and friends. But the mood quickly turns somber when you make the wrong decision about alcohol. Commit to use good judgment and avoid causing drunk driving injuries.

If you drink, consume alcohol responsibly. As personal injury lawyers, we have seen how drunk driving changes lives forever.

Many crashes are fatal. In 2020, approximately 32 people died in drunk driving crashes each day in the U.S. and the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s saw the highest number of crashes (Source: NHTSA).

Here in Massachusetts, drivers can also expect to face criminal and financial consequences, as can restaurants and other establishments which serve underage or intoxicated drivers. Massachusetts law recognizes that dram shops – businesses and other organizations – have legal responsibilities to serve alcohol responsibly and can be held liable by victims of drunk driving crashes. Homeowners can also face criminal charges and liability under social host laws.

When you head out, remember a few critical points:

  • First, remember to drink responsibly to protect yourself and others on the roads.
  • Use good judgment. You do not have to be legally drunk to cause an injury and be held liable. Alcohol has different effects on each of us, especially when you factor in fatigue or medications.
  • Re-read prescription labels. Follow warnings not to consume alcohol and drive while taking prescription medication.
  • Plan your transportation home before you go out. Remember Uber and Lyft can help.

Consider the Legal Limit Just One Measure of Unsafe Driving

In Massachusetts, drivers must be 21 years old to legally consume alcohol. Drivers of age can be criminally charged for operating under the influence of alcohol if they have a .08 or greater blood alcohol content. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is .04.

Massachusetts, 48 other states and Washington D.C. have all set the legal limit at .08 for most drivers.

But the long discussion about the legal limit continues. In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended all states lower the legal limit to .05. Utah went onto pass a drunk driving law, which lowered the legal limit in 2017. This new law took effect in 2018.

In 2020, approximately 32 people died in drunk driving crashes each day in the U.S., the NHTSA reports.

The law has contributed to safer roads. In early 2022, the NHTSA reported Utah’s fatal crash rate had declined 19.8 percent between 2016 and 2019.

Utah residents are also more aware of their responsibility not to drink and drive. A 2018 survey found 27 percent of drinkers and 13 percent of non-drinkers were aware of the law, which was about to take effect. In 2019, 22 percent of the drinkers reported they had changed their approach. Most said they were now planning transportation when they drank outside their home.

Learn the Impacts of Alcohol

The NHTSA has published an informative chart on how alcohol can impair your driving, even if you are not legally drunk.

This chart is hard to ignore as we start the holiday season. The NHTSA reports alcohol can impact us at .02 BAC, causing a decline in visual functions and one’s ability to manage two tasks at once. And driving definitely requires multi-tasking – not just mirrors, pedals and brakes, but watching for pedestrians, cyclists and other conditions.

At .08 BAC, drivers can suffer a wide range of symptoms, including poor muscle coordination, reduced concentration, short-term memory loss and impaired perception. It becomes harder for drivers to control their speed and recognize and respond to dangerous conditions.

The effects are even more severe at higher BAC levels. In that state, drivers may not even be aware of their surroundings, raising their risk of running red lights or causing wrong-way crashes.

Fatal crashes in Massachusetts rose by 33 percent

Drunk driving contributes as fatal crashes are on the risk across the United States. In Massachusetts, the number of fatal crashes has risen 33 percent in 2022, based on the NHTSA’s first quarter report.

Massachusetts has seen devastating cases of drunk driving crashes in recent years, including the case of an employee who left a holiday work party at a private home in Pembroke intoxicated. The employee was accused of driving through a red light, hitting a car and killing a 13-year-old girl from Plymouth. He was later criminally charged.

Grieving, the girl’s family also filed a civil lawsuit in Plymouth Superior Court seeking unspecified damages from the driver and the two individuals who owned the home, according to The Boston Globe.

Consult a Lawyer After a Car Accident

If you are injured in a car accident, you may not be able to tell if the driver has been drinking or was operating negligently in another way.

Once you receive medical attention, it is vital to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you, take steps to protect your rights and launch an immediate investigation.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Car Accident Lawyers

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we specialize in representing clients in personal injury cases in Boston and across Massachusetts. As part of our practice, our attorneys represent clients who have been injured in car crashes, including in cases involving drunk driving and liquor liability.

We wish you a safe holiday season. We hope you are never injured, but if you are, it is important to learn your legal rights.

For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck and review the facts of what happened with one of our attorneys. Call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Vulnerable road users legislation in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts House and Senate have sent a bill to protect vulnerable road users to the Governor’s desk.

At long last, the Massachusetts House and Senate have now sent Gov. Charlie Baker a bill to protect vulnerable road users. One of the bill’s proponents announced the news on his blog, saying the legislation follows 10 years of collaboration among lawmakers and road safety advocates. We encourage readers to call the governor’s office and urge him to sign the bill!

3-Foot Safe Passing Distance for Vulnerable Road Users Proposed in Massachusetts

First, Bill H.5103, protects pedestrians, cyclists and others as vulnerable road users. From now on, drivers must give vulnerable road users at least 3 feet when passing in Massachusetts.

The phrase vulnerable road users would include pedestrians and cyclists, as well as those who work on a public way or utility facilities or are engaged in emergency response services.

Among others, the legislation also protects those operating wheelchairs, tricycles, skateboards, in-line skates, motorized bicycles and scooters, both motorized and non-motorized.

The bill would add language to M.G.L. c.90 § 14, which states in part, “In passing a vulnerable user, the operator of a motor vehicle shall pass at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet when the motor vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour or less.” At higher speeds, drivers would have to give vulnerable road users more clearance, starting with a foot for every additional 10 miles per hour.

This language is critical, as it provides a guide for both drivers and those building safety infrastructure to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents.

Statewide Requirement for Truck Safety Equipment to Protect Pedestrians and Cyclists

Starting in 2025, the legislation would require state-owned and contracted-trucks to be outfitted with sideguards, convex mirrors and other equipment designed to protect cyclists and pedestrians from being swept under trucks.

Currently, the City of Boston has an ordinance that requires city-owned and contracted trucks to use this safety equipment. The City Council passed Boston’s sideguard ordinance back in 2014. The cities of Somerville and Cambridge also took steps, but advocates have long pushed for a state-wide requirement. The required equipment will include truck sideguards, back-up cameras, convex mirrors and cross-over mirrors.

Extending Lower Speed Limits to State Roads and Parkways

In 2016, the state of Massachusetts passed legislation which in part, allowed cities and towns to lower the default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on local roadways in thickly settled or business districts. This bill would allow the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to establish post 25 mph speed limits when state highways and parkways fall within thickly settled or business districts.

New Reporting for Pedestrian and Bicycle Crashes

The legislation would require MassDOT to develop a standardized form and system for reporting crashes involving vulnerable road users. The reports would be published in a publicly accessible database.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck

Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Business awardWith more than 125 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck has been consistently recognized as one of the top personal injury law firms in Boston. We have made a special commitment to encourage safety in Boston through our Project KidSafe campaign, now in its 10th year. To date, we have given away more than 36,000 bike helmets to children and families in partnership with local police departments, MassBike, Massachusetts Safe Routes to School and community organizations. The League of American Bicyclists has recognized our firm as a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Business.

For a free legal consultation, contact our personal injury lawyers at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

 

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Boston personal injury lawyers Breakstone, White & Gluck

Ronald E. Gluck, Marc L. Breakstone and David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is proud to announce our three partners have been recognized in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America©. The rankings were publicly announced on August 18, 2022. Marc L. BreakstoneDavid W. White and Ronald E. Gluck were recognized for their experience and expertise in these practice areas:

  • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
  • Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
  • Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Insurance Law

This recognition comes after Breakstone, White & Gluck celebrated 30 years of practicing law in Boston this summer. Combined, all four of our attorneys offer more than 125 years experience.

Best Lawyers has released these widely-respected rankings annually in partnership with U.S. News & World Report and other media partners since the early 1980s. The rankings are compiled as a guide to help inform consumers as they hire an attorney. The lists are based on an extensive peer-review evaluation. Breakstone, White & Gluck and our attorneys were selected based on the feedback of other local lawyers and those whom they have opposed in court. Best Lawyers was founded upon “the principle that the best lawyers would know, and be able to recognize, the best lawyers in their location and practice area.”

The rankings recognize just 5 percent of attorneys in private practice across the United States for their skills and abilities. Read about our partners:

Marc L. Breakstone
David W. White
Ronald E. Gluck


Attorney Marc L. Breakstone

Reza Breakstone

Marc L. Breakstone

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone has been recognized in the 2023 Best Lawyers in America rankings in these specialties: Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Medical Malpractice Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Attorney Breakstone has represented seriously injured clients in personal injury and medical malpractice cases since 1986. He has a reputation for working tirelessly to ensure his clients receive full and fair compensation as well as the most favorable medical result.

In his practice, Attorney Breakstone represents victims of personal injury and wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, MBTA bus accidents, medical malpractice and propane gas explosions. His awards include a $10.2 million settlement for his client who was the victim of ambulance negligence and $7.5 million for his client who lost their loved one in a propane gas explosion.

David W. WhiteAttorney Breakstone has been consistently praised by his clients and recognized, including by Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the specialty of medical malpractice. He has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell for 25 years, an honor recognizing attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards. Read more about Marc.

 


Attorney David W. White

David W. White - Boston Personal Injury Lawyer

David W. White

Attorney David W. White has been recognized in the 2023 Best Lawyers in America rankings in these specialties: Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs, Insurance Law and Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs.

A past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Attorney White specializes in helping victims of personal injury, wrongful death, bicycle accidents, motor vehicle crashes, dog bites, construction accidents, premises liability accidents and defective products.

Attorney White’s settlements and verdicts include a $4.35 million award for his client who fell from an unsecured cooling tower on a construction accident site. He recovered $2.5 million for his client injured by a homeowner’s negligent use of a fire pit.

Ronald E. GluckAttorney White has been consistently praised by his clients and recognized, including by Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the specialty of personal injury law. He has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, an honor recognizing attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards.  Read more about David.

 


Attorney Ronald E. Gluck

Ronald E. Gluck

Ronald E. Gluck

Attorney Ron Gluck has been recognized in the 2023 Best Lawyers in America rankings in his specialty of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. Attorney Gluck has practiced law in Boston for more than 30 years. He offers his clients a unique combination of compassion and strategic abilities in developing cases to achieve the best financial result.

In his practice, Attorney Gluck represents victims of personal injury and wrongful death, traumatic brain injuries, car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents, including crashes caused by the operators of large vehicles and commercial trucks.

Attorney Gluck has been consistently praised by his clients and recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the specialty of personal injury law. He has been rated AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, an honor recognizing attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards.

Attorney Gluck’s verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients include $3.75 million recovered for a motorcyclist who was hit by a negligent driver and $2.5 million for a driver who was struck and seriously injured by the driver of an 18-wheel truck. Read more about Ron.


Free Legal Consultation – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we fight for justice for those who have been seriously injured by the negligence of others. We represent clients in Boston, Cambridge and across Massachusetts. With more than 125  years combined experience, our personal injury lawyers have won numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements for clients in negligence, car accident, product liability and medical malpractice cases.

If you have been injured by someone’s negligence, learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 1-800-379-1244 or 1-617-723-7676 our use our contact form.

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MaMaRoo Swing with Defective Strap

Two million MaMaRoo baby swings have been recalled after a child died due to asphyxiation caused by a loose strap.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recall of two million infant swings due to the risk of entanglement and strangulation. The recall comes after a child was caught in a restraint strap and died from asphyxiation.

Thorley Industries, LLC – using a d.b.a of 4moms – recalled two million MamaRoo swings and 220,000 RockaRoo rockers on Monday, August 15, 2022. The Canadian government has also announced a recall for 60,000 infant swings and 10,000 rockers.

The recall covers MamaRoo swings and RockaRoo rockers sold between January 2010 and August 2022. Consumers may have purchased one of these defective products online through Amazon or 4moms or at a Target or BuyBuy Baby store.

The swings and rockers have unsafe straps and and consumers are urged to stop using these products immediately. Place the products out of the reach of young children. While 4moms is not offering a product replacement, consumers can request a free strap fastener.

Injury Reports Involving MaMaRoo Swings and RockaRoo Rockers

There were no injury reports associated with the RockaRoo rockers, which are designed to sooth children with an adjustable gliding motion.

As for the MaMaRoo, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported a 10-month-old died after becoming caught in a restraint strap that fell loose under an unoccupied swing. A caregiver intervened in a separate incident, saving another child’s life. But the second child – who was also just 10 months old – suffered visible neck bruising.

The MamaRoo is a button-control baby swing which features multiple speeds, motions and sound options. 4moms is recalling versions 1.0 through 4.0, which are built on a 3-point harness. Parents should note the recall does not cover models using the 5-point harness.

Do You Own a Defective Infant Swing or Rocker?

It is easy to forget your past purchases. However, it is important to check your home after a product recall. Make it a goal to act quickly and remove unsafe products before an injury.

When a children’s product is recalled, families may have to take a few extra steps.  You may have purchased one of the recalled children’s swings, then moved it to storage, thinking you could reuse it again someday.

Another possibility is you may have shared one of these products with a friend or relative. If you did so, take a moment. Let them know about the MaMaRoo recall before they give the swing to another family or attempt to sell it used. Your goal is to stop any distribution of a recalled product.

Check the model numbers. Start by checking the names and model numbers of any infant swings or sleepers you are currently using or may have in storage. Read the CPSC recall notice for MaMaRoo swings for the list of model numbers.

Check your digital records. The best scenario is if you registered the product with the company at the time of purchase. If so, you may have already received an email about this week’s recall. If not, you may find what you need by reviewing your online shopping history with Amazon or you may want to search for the product names and retailers in your email account. You never know – you may have received a marketing email.

What You Can Do: Always Report Injuries Caused by Defective Products

Manufacturers have a responsibility to thoroughly test products before distribution to consumers. When a defect is uncovered, companies must promptly notify consumers to prevent other injuries. But this doesn’t always happen and it is difficult to hear another defective product has caused injury or death.

Consumers can help protect the public by reporting defective products and injuries as soon as they happen. You can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or your local police or fire department. If you have been injured by an unsafe product, you should also consult an attorney who specializes in product liability. An attorney can help you report your injuries while investigating and protecting your legal rights should you need to seek compensation later for your medical expenses and recovery.

You should also report past injuries involving any product under recall, even minor injuries. It is about injury prevention and your report may provide the company and the CPSC with relevant information to prevent future injuries.

Free Legal Consultation – Top-Rated Boston Product Liability Lawyers

Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 125 years combined experience obtaining successful results for our clients in personal injury cases in Boston and across Massachusetts. Our firm has extensive experience representing victims of defective products. Read about our recent results in product liability cases.

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

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Cycling dooring accidents

Drivers can use the Dutch Reach and reduce their chances of causing a cyclist a dooring injury. This approach calls on drivers to reach for their door with their right hand, across their body so they have a better view of the road and oncoming cyclists.

Drivers are sharing the road with cyclists as we enjoy August here in Massachusetts. Whether you are at home in the Boston area or vacationing on Cape Cod, we hope you give cyclists extra room when you drive and turn through intersections. We also want to remind you to use the Dutch Reach.

What is the Dutch Reach? It is a simple safety approach to help drivers park, look for cyclists and open their car doors safely. The goal is to prevent dooring injuries to cyclists. Using the Dutch Reach can raise your awareness of cyclists and save you from the trauma and shock of opening a car door into a bike. In our experience, we have heard many drivers say they look for cyclists on the road. But this changes when drivers park; many say they never even saw the cyclist coming.

The Dutch Reach can also save you from having to pay a costly auto insurance claim and fine. Opening a car door and interfering with a cyclist – or a pedestrian – is a traffic offense in Massachusetts. Drivers can be fined $100 for dooring under M.G.L c. 90, § 14.

Five Years of Encouraging the Dutch Reach in Massachusetts 

Massachusetts added an advisory on the Dutch Reach method to its driver’s manual in 2017, with a push from a local safety advocate following a cyclist’s tragic death. The cyclist was killed in a bicycle crash involving a car door in Inman Square in Cambridge in 2016.  Massachusetts was one of the first states to add this advisory, which calls on drivers to park and:

  • Check your rear-view mirrors.
  • Check your side-view mirrors.
  • Open the door with your far hand. 

Drivers should open their doors with their right hand; front-seat passengers should use their left. When you do this, you have a better chance of seeing cyclists approaching from behind. You become more aware of what’s known as the “door zone” and bike lane. By pausing and checking, you are less likely to seriously injure a cyclist in a dooring accident. 

Watch a demonstration:

 

This approach has become part of the culture in the Netherlands, which has one of the lowest rates for bicycle accidents in the world (Source: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Bicyclist Safety on US Roadways: Crash Risks and Countermeasures, NTSB/SS-19/01). Children learn this approach early and it is covered in driver’s education classes.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended all states include Dutch Reach advisories in their driving manuals.  As of 2021, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington and Washington D.C. had all done so, according to the Dutch Reach Project.

Share the Dutch Reach Method With Family and Friends

Try the Dutch Reach next time you drive to the local post office or to pick up dinner. Then take time to share the Dutch Reach with your family members and passengers. Sharing the Dutch Reach may just help someone else in your life, especially during August and September, when many of us are on vacation and driving unfamiliar roads. Or we may be moving into new apartments for the Fall semester in Boston and venturing out. Unfortunately, many drivers and pedestrians do not really see cyclists on the side of the road. We are more focused on the cars and trucks in the traffic lane.

Before we sign off, a few more safety reminders for drivers and car doors. Remember, you have a responsibility to close the car door when you take in groceries or unload your car. You should never block or interfere with the bike lane. Cyclists may see your door open yet still be unable to stop. You could cause not one, but multiple bicycle accidents.

Last, use your cell phone with caution. When you park, you may want to reach right for your phone. More and more, drivers are using mobile apps to pay for parking or to pick-up take out or groceries. Someone may be sending you an alert or two.

But think twice and pause. You want to enjoy the month of August and focus on your September ahead. Reaching for your cell phone can be highly distracting as you exit your vehicle – and seriously injure a cyclist.

Learn About Breakstone, White & Gluck

bwg-1200×628With more than 125 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck has been consistently recognized as a top-rated Boston personal injury law firm. Our lawyers specialize in representing cyclists and others who have been injured by negligent driving in Boston, Cambridge, Quincy and across Massachusetts. If you have been injured, feel free to contact our firm. We offer a free legal consultation and one of our attorneys will take time to review the facts of your case with you and help you determine whether you have a potential legal claim. You can call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

kidsafe-1200We also invite you to learn more about our Project KidSafe campaign for bike safety, which we began 10 years ago! To date, we have donated over 36,000 free bicycle helmets to children in Boston and across Massachusetts. Our goal with this campaign is to encourage children to protect themselves by wearing a helmet every time they ride.

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In Massachusetts, dog owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control so no one is injured. But families should also be proactive and come up with a summer safety plan to protect children.

In Massachusetts, dog owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control so no one is injured. But families should also be proactive and come up with a summer safety plan to protect children.

Children are naturally curious about dogs. But come summer, it’s important to remember that children, free time and dogs can be a dangerous combination.

In Massachusetts, dog owners have a responsibility to keep pets under their control to prevent a dog bite injury. But they may not always do so and the risk for injury may rise come summer, when children and families have more free time. If a dog attacks, a child could be very seriously injured or even killed.

Dogs attack more often than many of us realize. Each year, more than 4.5 million people suffer dog bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children suffer at least half of all dog bites and are more likely to be severely injured, according to the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AMVA).

While dog owners should keep control over their pets, here are some steps you can also take to protect young children and try to reduce their risk for injury:

Find out if you live near any dogs

Start by asking your neighbors if they own a dog. Check whether they have adequate fencing.

In Massachusetts, dog owners are required to apply for an annual dog license. Ask your town’s animal control office how many dogs live nearby. Have there been any recent dog bite reports? This can be valuable information as you plan your summer.

Keep children within arm’s length when visiting family and friends who own dogs

Don't underestimate small dogs; they can also cause very serious injuries to children

Don’t underestimate small dogs; they can also cause very serious injuries to children

The safest approach may be to invite family and friends over to your home, where you can control the environment. If you end up visiting friends or family members, ask if they have a dog before you visit. Ask how the dog will be secured during your visit.

When you arrive, keep your young child away from the dog. Give your child time to grow and develop social skills with people first. As for older children, watch the situation closely. If the owner lets the pet out, they should be present and have control of their dog. The safest approach is for the owner to keep their dog on a leash.

Watch your child. Stay within arm’s length of your child when a dog is nearby – just as you would if you were supervising a young child in a swimming pool.

Expect your child will want to approach a dog

If a dog ever approaches, you may be surprised at your child’s response. Even if they have no experience with dogs, a child may attempt to pet and play with the animal. Your child may allow a dog close to their face. This is frightening. Many people have large dogs, such as Labradoodles, Golden Retrievers and Pit Bulls. But small breeds also have a strong and fierce bite.

What’s more frightening: the dog may not even need to approach your child. Your child may get very excited just seeing your neighbor’s dog and just run into their backyard.

Never let your guard down because you know your child and have spoken to them about safety near dogs. And never let your guard down because you have seen a dog behave well in other situations.

Build a backyard fence

Put up a backyard fence to protect your child’s play area. Keep your child’s focus away from your neighbors’ yards, pets, pools, floats and landscaping equipment.

Walk with children

Walk with your children and watch them play outside. Be vigilant about this. Schedules change during the summer. Your neighbors may not own a dog, but their guests may bring a pet over for the afternoon.

Park your car when you pick your child up at summer camp or a friend’s house. Walk and meet your child. You can expect at least one dog may live nearby or other parents may take their dogs along to pick up children.

Wild animals are another possibility during the summer. This could be the day a wild animal, such as a coyote, walks out of the woods in search of water or food. If this happens, you want to be there and slowly guide your child away.

What to Consider After a Dog Bite Injury in Massachusetts

Dog bites are traumatic and life-changing for children. These are true emergencies and it is critical to seek immediate medical attention.

Because of their size, children often suffer dog bites to their face and neck, resulting in severe injuries. Dog bites can also be fatal. If a dog bites a child, they can puncture the carotid artery or jugular vein, resulting in a high loss of blood, according to The Mayo Clinic.

It is critical to seek medical attention, even if you believe your child only suffered a small scratch. Have your child’s pediatrician examine them and help you determine if the dog was vaccinated.

Then, there is the question of what type of medical care will your child need and who will pay the medical bills. Children may need to undergo surgery – or multiple procedures – and need ongoing medical care for physical injuries and the emotional trauma.

In Massachusetts, one may file a legal claim against the dog owner to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages, under M.G.L., Chapter 140: Section 155. Most dog owners pay compensation to victims through their homeowner’s insurance policy.

Massachusetts has strict liability when it comes to dog bites. When a dog bites, the victim must prove the dog caused the injury and that the defendant was the owner or keeper of the dog. But one does not have to prove the dog had a history of attacks.

Massachusetts law recognizes that young children cannot appreciate the dangers near dogs. The law presumes the child was not trespassing or teasing an animal at the time of the attack.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers

Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 125 years combined experience successfully obtaining record recoveries for clients who have suffered serious dog bites and other injuries. We are here to help clients and families with every aspect of the difficulties they face after the trauma of a dog bite attack. We invite you to read about our results for clients in dog bite cases.

Learn your legal rights after a dog bite or attack. For a free legal consultation, contact the dog bite attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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construction accident fall

Boston has seen a frightening number of injuries and deaths in construction accidents and falls since March.

Boston has seen a number of workers injured and killed in construction accidents and falls since March. The spotlight is now on workplace safety, but construction accidents – especially those involving multi-story buildings – can also endanger pedestrians, cyclists and drivers at street level.

We have seen these dangers before in Boston. In July 2019, a woman was seriously injured by falling debris while taking a morning walk in the North End. According to news reports, the investigation found she was struck by a railing a roofing company had failed to secure atop a 5-story building nearby.

Another serious accident happened back in 2006, when two workers on an Emerson College project fell 14 floors in a scaffolding accident. The construction platform fell, suddenly hitting and killing a doctor driving by.

As a pedestrian, you may not be aware you are walking past construction work. Not every project has signs or pedestrian protection tunnels. Some projects may be smaller than others, with just a few workers.

Unfortunately, you really have no way of knowing if a construction company is following safety protocols inside or on top of a building. Because of this, it is critical for construction companies to take steps and protect workers and the public.

Timeline: 2022 Construction Accidents in Boston

Worker Dies in Parking Garage Collapse. In March, a construction worker fell nine stories and died after a concrete slab collapsed in the Government Center Parking Garage, according to a NBC Boston report.

Worker Injured in Power Plant. On May 4, a worker was seriously injured under a floor collapse at the former Thomas Edison Power Plant on Summer Street. Nearly 100 firefighters played a role in the massive response, according to news reports. Two other workers escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.

Worker Falls in South End. On May 5, another worker was reportedly injured when he fell 30 feet at a construction site in Boston’s South End.

Truck Driver Killed in Construction Accident. One person was pronounced dead at a construction site in the Seaport District on the morning of June 9th. CBS News reported the victim was driving a truck which had been hauling large pieces of concrete. Another person was reportedly injured.

Construction Companies Have a Responsibility to Use Fall Protection

Under state and federal laws, construction companies are responsible for providing a reasonably safe work environment. Under OSHA guidelines, companies have a responsibility to provide working conditions free of known dangers, to keep floors in a safe condition; and provide workers with the proper equipment and training.

Falls are the leading cause of work-related death on construction sites, according to the CDC.

OSHA specifically requires employers to ensure employees have fall protection.

This applies to all workers, not just construction workers. Fall protection must be at least four feet in general industry, five feet in shipyards and six feet in the construction industry, according to the OSHA website.

Construction workers must have fall protections to support their assignments and machinery, regardless of how high up they are. Employers have a responsibility to provide fall protection for crane operators, just as they do workers on street level, though the tools and approaches will vary.

Depending on the assignment, fall protection may include safety harness and lines, safety nets or stair railings. Guardrails and toe-boards are additional tools to prevent construction site falls and injuries.

By taking these steps, construction companies can protect workers and prevent construction site accidents and injuries. By extension, this helps protect the public and pedestrians passing by as well.

A Responsibility to Protect Workers Against Struck-By Injuries

Struck-by injuries are the second leading cause of fatal injuries among construction workers, according to the CDC.  These injuries occur when a worker is struck by a vehicle, equipment or a falling object.

Construction companies can reduce the risk of struck-by injuries by utilizing barriers to separate different parts of the construction site and to separate the work area from the public.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers Who Specialize in Construction Accidents

Experience matters when you hire a personal injury lawyer. Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 125 years combined experience successfully obtaining record recoveries for our clients who have been injured by negligence in Massachusetts. We provide aggressive representation to workers, family members and others after construction accidents and premises liability accidents.

To learn more, we invite you to read our past case results for clients and to contact us to learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated bike helmets to support the International Institute of New England and Bikes Not Bombs as they work to collect bikes for Afghan refugees.

Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 60 bicycle helmets to support the International Institute of New England (IINE) and community groups as they give Afghan refugees bikes for transportation.

IINE has been working with many companies, organizations and individuals to help Afghan refugees resettle in the Boston area. IINE and Bikes Not Bombs in Jamaica Plain are now seeking donations of used adult bicycles (in good or repairable condition). Bikes Not Bombs and other volunteers will conduct safety checks and make minor repairs before bikes are distributed to those in need.

Each bike will be given away with a helmet, lock, light, and bike safety literature. Bikes Not Bombs will donate free bike lights and provide discounted bike locks while Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated a supply of helmets. MassBike helped IINE prepare the bike literature in the Dari and Pashtu languages. Others, such as Rozzie Bikes and Temple Emmanuel of Newton, have also been involved or have expressed interest in collecting bikes or supporting the effort, IINE’s volunteer coordinator said. The organization is not sure how many bikes they will need or ultimately give away over the next few months.

According to Bikes Not Bombs and IINE, hundreds of refugees have arrived since the fall of Afghanistan and are in need of assistance to be mobile in their communities, to access various resources, and to commute to work — all vital first steps towards self-sufficiency.

“Breakstone, White & Gluck is happy to provide bike helmets to families who are making new lives in America after having recently escaped from Afghanistan,” said Attorney Ron Gluck of Breakstone, White & Gluck. “We hope that these families enjoy safe riding and have a peaceful transition to their new surroundings in the Boston area.”

“The refugees have a real need for bicycles,” said Alan Wright of Rozzie Bikes, who is repairing bikes along with Bikes Not Bombs. “Transportation is a big barrier. In the first few months, the refugees have to get to doctor’s appointments, go out and do groceries and attend English as a Second Language classes. Then they need to find work. And it can take six months to get a driver’s license.”

Bikes Not Bombs and IINE are collecting adult bikes which are in good or repairable condition. If you are interested in donating a bike, please fill out the IINE’s form: https://iine.wufoo.com/forms/z6cvn5q0go3y5q/.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck partners

From left: Ronald E. Gluck, Marc L. Breakstone and David W. White.

We are pleased to announce that Breakstone, White & Gluck has received the highest rankings among Boston personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the 2022 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers released the 12th annual edition of “Best Law Firms” on Nov. 4th, recognizing our firm with Tier 1 rankings in personal injury law – plaintiffs and medical malpractice law – litigation in the Boston Metropolitan region.

According to the publishers, a tiered ranking reflects a firm has earned the highest level of respect and ratings from clients and other local attorneys. The rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process which includes client and lawyer evaluations along with peer review from other leading attorneys in the Boston area.

To be considered for “Best Law Firms,” at least one attorney at a firm must also be recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, which released its 2022 rankings in August. This marks the 12th year our attorneys have earned individual rankings.

Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck have been recognized across these specialties:

  • Personal injury law – plaintiffs
  • Medical malpractice law – plaintiffs
  • Professional malpractice law – plaintiffs
  • Insurance law

Reza Breakstone has been named to the Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch in the following specialties:

  • Personal injury law – plaintiffs
  • Medical malpractice law – plaintiffs
  • Professional malpractice law – plaintiffs

Read about our attorneys:

Mark L. Breakstone
Marc has established a reputation as one of the top personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers in Massachusetts and New England. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and has represented serious injured clients for more than 30 years in Boston. His settlements and verdicts for clients include a $10.2 million settlement for a young child injured by ambulance negligence, $7.5 million for the wrongful death of a worker in a propane gas explosion and $7.1 million for a woman who was struck by an MBTA bus in a crosswalk.

David W. White
David has been recognized among the top personal injury and insurance bad faith lawyers in Massachusetts and New England. He has distinguished himself for his advocacy among clients and his leadership among Massachusetts lawyers as a past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association. David is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and his settlements and awards for clients include $4.35 million for a worker who suffered a serious construction accident fall and $2.5 million for his client who suffered severe burns as a result of a homeowner’s negligent use of a fire pit

Ronald E. Gluck
Ron is an accomplished trial lawyer who is highly respected by colleagues as one of the top personal injury lawyers in Massachusetts and New England. He is a graduate of Boston College and the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His verdicts and awards for clients include $3.75 million for a motorcyclist injured by a driver’s negligence and $2.5 million for a driver who suffered spinal injuries in a truck accident.

 

Reza Breakstone
Reza has been recognized as one of the top personal injury lawyers in Boston in the Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch and Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars rankings. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northeastern University School of Law. He represents clients in all areas of our personal injury practice, contributing to some of our firm’s most significant settlements and verdicts for clients over the past six years.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers

With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck is known for our results for clients who have been seriously injured or killed by negligence across Massachusetts. We specialize in the handling of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including when negligence results in car accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian crosswalk accidents, traumatic brain injury or construction accidents. Our firm offers extensive experience in representing clients injured by bus accidents and commercial truck crashes caused by driver negligence.

If you have been injured, learn your legal rights before making any decisions. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Green Line crash resulting in serious injuries in Boston area

Breakstone, White & Gluck represented a passenger who survived the Green Line D branch crash in Newton on May 28, 2008.

Boston travelers are taking a deep breath after several dangerous incidents on the MBTA.

If you have been injured on the MBTA or another common carrier, these injury claims are distinct from other negligence claims. Common carriers owe their passengers the “highest degree of care,” a higher duty than other drivers or private carriers.

MBTA accidents are highly traumatic for everyone on board. If you have been injured, promptly consult a lawyer experienced in investigating MBTA crashes, derailments and other transportation accidents. As police and safety agencies investigate, a MBTA accident lawyer can launch an independent investigation and help you obtain coverage for medical care while protecting your legal rights.

What is a Common Carrier?

A common carrier holds itself out as willing to provide transportation services to the public for a fee. Common carriers may include the MBTA, train companies, airlines, regional transportation agencies, privately-owned bus companies or limo services.

Common carriers owe passengers the “highest degree of care” because passengers have little control over the operation of their transport, the actions of the employees, the conduct of the business and their own safety. Holton v. Boston Elevated Ry., 303 Mass. 242, 244, 21 N.E.2d 251 (1939).

Common law recognizes both common carriers and private carriers. A private carrier offers transportation services by special arrangement or contract. When someone is injured on a private carrier, such as a friend’s car, the ordinary rules of negligence apply, not the heightened duty of care that applies to common carriers. Houle v. Lewonis, 245 Mass. 254, 255, 140 N.E. 427 (1923).

Passengers Suffer Injuries on Green Line Crash on July 30, 2021

In addition to local and state police, the National Transportation Safety Board has the authority to investigate accidents involving common carriers.

In Boston, authorities have been investigating the Green Line trolley crash which injured 27 people, including 4 train operators, along Commonwealth Avenue on July 30, 2021. A 50-year-old train operator is accused of driving 31 mph – three times the speed limit – and then running into another train (Source: NBC Boston). The MBTA has reportedly placed the operator on unpaid leave, as he faces charges.

On Oct. 6, 2021, the MBTA operator was arraigned in Brighton District Court on charges of gross negligence of a person in control of a train and gross negligence of a person having care of a common carrier.

Common carriers can be held liable when their employees act in an unsafe manner and put the public at risk for injury. The MBTA has a responsibility to hire employees who are qualified to operate large vehicles, and is also responsible for providing proper supervision.

There are questions about the driver’s experience prior to the July 30th crash. WCVB reports the driver had been suspended by the MBTA at least six times over seven years!

Troubling History of Green Line Crashes in Boston

Over the past 15 years, MBTA trolley operators have caused many serious crashes and injuries in Boston. Breakstone, White & Gluck represented a survivor of the May 28th, 2008 Green Line crash on the D branch in Newton. The Green Line operator died in this crash. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded the cause was both operator error and lack of automated systems, according to WBUR, “NTSB Faults T Safety Systems in Deadly Trolley Crash,” July 15, 2009.

Then on May 8, 2009, a Green Line operator was texting his girlfriend and crashed between Government Center and Park Street, injuring 50 passengers. The crash caused nearly $10 million in damage to three trolley cars, according to news reports.

While prosecutors sought jail time, the 24-year-old ultimately pleaded guilty to negligence and was sentenced to serve two years of probation and perform 100 hours of community service.

The Green Line derailments and crashes have continued. In 2019, The Boston Globe reported the MBTA had seen 43 train derailments over a five-year period, the second-worst safety record in the country.

The Globe reported this in the wake of June 8, 2019, when a Green Line derailed between the Kenmore and Fenway stops. The train went off the tracks around 11 a.m. on a busy Saturday. The Red Sox were just about to open a double-header against the Tampa Rays at Fenway Park. Eleven people were injured and 600 riders were displaced.

The MBTA placed the operator – who was among the injured – on leave pending an investigation. The MBTA initially cited operator error as the likely cause, according to the Boston Herald.

Consult a MBTA Accident Lawyer – Free Legal Consultation

Breakstone, White & Gluck has extensive experience representing those injured by the MBTA and other common carriers. We have successfully recovered multi-million awards for clients injured in major transportation accidents, including Green Line subway crashes and bus accidents. Read more about our results for clients injured in MBTA crashes.

If you or a loved one has been injured by negligence, learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation with our attorneys, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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