Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, here come the drones! Drones are not just for the U.S. military to target foreign terrorists anymore. They are being tested for use by Amazon to deliver packages, by real estate agents to take aerial photos of homes, by search and rescue crews to quickly and more extensively look for lost individuals, for media coverage, and by others to enable them to view otherwise inaccessible areas for safety or other reasons. But these are also the newest toys in town, especially for amateur aviators, and can be purchased by nearly anyone from $50 to thousands of dollars for more sophisticated users. Drones have the ability to fly at altitudes well over 400 feet and can approach speeds of 140 miles per hour.
In previous blogs on my website, we have discussed the mind-boggling fact that Massachusetts drivers rank among the worst users of seat belts! As of 2017, we moved to 45th in the nation from a low of 48th, but our usage dropped. Just last year, our drivers were restrained an average of 78.2% of the time while driving. Current statistics have our drivers buckling up at only 74 %. Our sister state, New Hampshire, is dead last at just over 70%.
The Office of the Bar Counsel reports to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Since 1974, The Board of Bard Overseers hears attorney discipline cases prosecuted by the Office of the Bar Counsel. The Bar Counsel’s findings in their report to the SJC for 2016, if reviewed carefully, provides important insight for legal malpractice attorneys, and the victims of legal malpractice, in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had the ultimate authority regarding discipline for attorneys in Massachusetts. Cases against attorneys, since 1974, are heard by The Board of Bar Overseers and prosecuted by the Office of the Bar Counsel. The 2016 Report to the SJC Bar Counsel provides us with insight as to who the serious cases were against.
Periodically, we get reports of Uber drivers assaulting passengers. A number of cases have been filed across the nation alleging that passengers or riders were sexually assaulted by their Uber driver. This begs the question of what kind of background checks Uber is conducting of its drivers so as to protect the public?
In Massachusetts the wild turkey population is out of control. Sure, it’s sometimes delightful to see wild turkeys, especially this time of year, in suburban, and even some urban places. But what about if they cause someone to swerve off the road and cause a motor vehicle accident?
In September 2017, a horrific accident in Methuen took the life of an 11-year old girl when she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing at an intersection. The girl’s stepfather who was with her at the time had looked before crossing but the vehicle failed to stop and hit the young girl who was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Fortunately, diligent efforts by police who distributed news of the tragedy to the community led to the arrest of a 22-year old Lawrence man within 48-hours after someone recognized the vehicle from photos and videos that police made available. Apparently, cameras either overhanging or adjacent to the intersection, recorded the event.
Are rotaries safe? Traffic engineers who designed these traffic flow systems seemed to think so, but sentiments are changing. Rotaries, also called roundabouts, are a common feature in many European countries. The difference between a roundabout and a rotary is that the former has one lane for traffic to circle and the later has multiple lanes. The theory behind these systems is that they facilitate the smooth movement of vehicles into a constantly moving circle at reduced speeds.
If you are a pedestrian struck by a motorist who was attempting to park or exit from a parking space, or you are a motorist hit by another vehicle that was parking, attempting to park or exiting a parking space, you may have a claim for compensation. Although parking accidents are often low-impact or occur at low speeds, the injuries that can result are very real.