Massachusetts Drivers Beware of Prescription Medication

In a French study published in PLOS Medicine, of 72,685 drivers involved in serious motor vehicle accidents, 27% had taken at least one prescribed medicine the day of the crash. Drivers that had taken more serious drugs, including antihypertensives, diabetes drugs, opioids and antidepressants were at a higher risk of being responsible for a motor vehicle crash than drivers taking less serious prescription drugs. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the study did not take into account non-compliance in prescriptions; folks that were supposed to be taking the medication, but were not. Nevertheless, the study is instructive to Massachusetts drivers.

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Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney Fee Agreements to Change

The news from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is that car accident lawyers and other Massachusetts personal injury lawyers must use a new form for the contingent fee agreement, effective March 15, 2011. The focus of the new format is on full disclosure of out of pocket fees on contingent fees cases. The changes to Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct,1.5 was proposed by an SJC advisory committee, with input from the various bar associations.

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Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Death Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, for 2009 (the last year with full data), indicates that the number of total motor vehicle deaths in Massachusetts was 334. Of those, 280 people were occupants; 54% of the occupants’ deaths were in car accidents, 23% in “light trucks” and 19% were deaths to motorcycle passengers. The highest number by county was 66 in Middlesex County, 42 in Worcester County, 37 in Bristol County, 33 in both Norfolk and Essex County, 25 in Plymouth County, and 21 in Suffolk County.

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Ten Winter Driving Tips for Massachusetts Drivers

Whether we like the weather or not, winter conditions make for more dangerous and more variable conditions on Massachusetts roads. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents can occur more often. We have taken some of the driving safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Washington State Department of Transportation to give Massachusetts drivers winter driving safety tips.

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National Driving Statistics Shows Massachusetts Fatalities Declining

With the numbers out on Massachusetts driving fatalities published by the US Transportation Department, we note that there were 334 total fatalities in Massachusetts in 2009, 30 lower than 2008. There was an 8.2% decline between 2008 and 2009 in alcohol impaired driving fatalities. There were still too many deaths on Massachusetts highways and on US highways: 33,808 in 2009, down 9.7% from 2008, when there were 37,423 deaths on highways.

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Paying for Massachusetts Automobile Injuries

You’re driving back from a Boston Bruins game, you’re a Massachusetts resident, and you are seriously injured in a car accident. You’re taken to the hospital and you’re naturally worried about your health and being okay. And then you start thinking about work, bills, the mortgage, your family–you were seriously injured in that car accident.

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Massachusetts Teenagers Involved in Fewer Fatal Car Accidents

There is good news for Boston and Massachusetts residents concerning car accidents. Massachusetts had the lowest fatality rate from all crashes (i.e. car accidents, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents) involving passenger vehicles in 2008, according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, teenage traffic deaths declined nearly 17% in 2009 compared to 2008 for youths aged 15 to 19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says in a new report. The Boston car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Neil Burns are excited to share this news showing a decrease in teen car accident fatalities.

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Texting Ban to go into Effect in Massachusetts

On October 1, 2010, the new law on texting while driving will go into effect. The Safe Driving Act, enacted by the legislature in June and signed into law by Governor Patrick on July 2, 2010, makes Massachusetts the 29th state to ban texting while driving. The fine is $100 for adults but $100 plus 60 days loss of license for juniors; the fines and time loss of license increases with each offense. The law forbids all drivers under the age of 18 to use cell phones. We have previously published an article on texting while driving.

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Distracted Death Rate Reduced in Massachusetts

The death rate for distracted drivers fell in 2009, according to a report by the US Department of Transportation. The Transportation Secretary announced that this was as a result of a national effort using federal and state regulations. The focus is on drivers talking and texting on cell phones. In 2009 over 5,000 people died, and a half of million were injured from collisions as a result of distracted drivers. We have seen, in Massachusetts motor vehicle collisions an increase in crashes where our clients were injured as a result of a distracted driver. Our prior blog articles have talked about the new Massachusetts anti-texting law.

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