Few accidents in life are as tragic as that of young child killed by an event or conduct that was entirely preventable. Recently, the life of an 11-year old North Carolina boy ended when carbon monoxide from a defective pool heater leaked into the motel room where the boy and his mother were staying. Two other guests had been killed just a few months earlier while staying in the same motel room as a result of the leak. The motel owner has been charged with criminal negligence. Such negligence, unfortunately, may be just as likely in a Boston motel where old heaters are in use or in any residence or motor vehicle where fuels such as kerosene, gasoline or wood are burned.\
We are all aware of the Massachusetts statute that requires everyone in a passenger motor vehicle to wear a seat belt. And we are all aware of the (minimal) civil penalties. Further, most folks are aware that Massachusetts’ seat belt law is “secondary,” meaning that a police officer cannot pull a driver over for apparent failure to wear a seat belt. A police officer can only give a ticket to someone neglecting to wear a seat belt if he or she was pulled over for some other “primary” reason.
Turning 16 and getting a driver’s license is something teens have been looking forward to for generations. But just like President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “great power involves great responsibility.” The Centers for Disease Control reports that drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk for crashes and that risk is especially high within one year of obtaining a license. Read more
Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is sitting in Bristol County prison in North Dartmouth awaiting trial on a murder charge, has just been hit with two civil wrongful death cases for an unrelated matter. There have not been any criminal charges filed against Mr. Hernandez associated with these wrongful deaths. It is understood that the District Attorney’s office is investigating and that a Grand Jury has been convened. Read more
Massachusetts averages 319 motor vehicle collisions every day, with one wrongful death from motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 102 Massachusetts residents are saved each year by seat belts.
Thirty three states have “primary seat belt” laws. These laws allow a police officer to pull over a vehicle when the officer sees that occupants are not wearing seat belts. The NHTSA has statistics to show that states with a primary seat belt law have lower fatality rates. Read more
Boston attorney Neil Burns has handled hundreds of car accident cases for Massachusetts residents, including those clients who suffered neck or whiplash injuries. According to iemc2005.org, many neck injuries, including whiplash, are the result of rear end collisions.
The Boston Municipal Court, and all Massachusetts District and Housing Courts have implemented important changes to small-claims procedure effective October 1, 2009. The Law Office of Neil Burns knows the importance of keeping up to date with rules, practices and procedures. These changes create new burdens and, in some instances, pose dangers for small-claims plaintiffs.