BWG Consumer Alert: March / April 2012
The start of the bicycling season is an optimal time for both drivers and cyclists to make sure they understand Massachusetts' cycling laws. Our bicycle accident lawyers provide a few safety tips:
- Bicyclists are allowed to travel on the same roads as drivers (unless the road is a limited access highway) and must follow the same laws to avoid bicycle accidents.
- Cyclists should generally ride on the right side of the road, but may use the full lane and the left lane when turning to the left, and cyclist may travel two abreast in the lane. They should not impede traffic.
- Many communities, such as Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, offer bike lanes or Shared Lane Markings (also known as Sharrows). Bicyclists are encouraged, but not required to use them.
- When drivers are turning left, they must yield the right of way to any bicyclist.
Protecting Our Young Athletes from Sports Injuries
Parents of young athletes watch their children play with both excitement and concern. There is legitimate reason for this. Seven million sports and recreation-related injuries occur each year in the U.S. and more than half of these are sustained by youth ages 5 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is parents can help protect their young ones by keeping informed and being proactive:
Proper Sports Gear. Ask your child's coach what gear is required and recommended. You can also ask what the league or sponsoring school recommends. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, the league for the state's high schools, posts many recommendations online.
Appropriate Playing Techniques. Talk to your child and coach about safe sports techniques, such as how to appropriately head the ball in soccer.
Pay Attention to Temperature. Make sure children are properly hydrated and have time to warm up gradually to prevent heat-related injury or illlness.
Concussions. Make it a top concern to protect your child from a head injury. In 2010, the state of Massachusetts mandated training and new guidelines to protect high school and middle school athletes from concussions, a mild form of traumatic brain injury which can have long-term effects on functioning if not properly treated. One requirement is students who sustain concussions or are suspected of having one must sit out until they are cleared by a medical professional.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules for Consumers in Insurance Case
On February 10, 2012, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued an important and strongly pro-consumer decision in the case of Rhodes v. AIG Domestic Claims, Inc., 461 Mass. 486 (2012). The case involved an insurer which did not respond to a settlement offer until a few weeks before trial and then filed a frivilous appeal after it lost the trial. The court held that plaintiffs were not required to demonstrate that they would have accepted or rejected a reasonable pre-trial settlement offer, if it had been made. The court used the amount of the judgment as the basis for multiple damages. This decision affirms the duty of insurance companies to negotiate in good faith, and the rights of consumers to collect multiple damages for bad faith settlement practices.
Attorney David White said, "The delay in the settlement of this case was unconscionable, and the penalty paid by the insurance company--$22 million-was the harshest ever handed down for a c. 93A violation in Massachusetts. The penalty fit the deed. It will be a strong reminder to insurance companies that they have a duty to settle meritorious claims."
Click here to read more about this decision.
Recent Case Results
We are proud of the results our personal injury attorneys deliver for clients and share these two recent settlements:
Motorcycle Accident: $3.75 Million
Attorney Ronald Gluck settled this case involving a motorcyclist who suffered facial fractures, concussion and loss of vision in one eye.
Premises Liability: $900,000
Attorney Ronald Gluck settled this case involving a plaintiff who suffered skull fractures when a balcony rail collapsed at a shopping mall.
The Boston personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck are experienced in handling cases involving car accidents, bicycle accidents and other injuries. If you have been injured, learn your rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us today at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our form.