COVID-19 Update: Click Here

Articles Posted in Car Accidents

5-300x251
Today, traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. While some cases of TBI are obvious to the patient and their caretaker, other cases of TBI are more complicated and develop over time. So, how do you know if you or a loved one may have suffered a TBI?

Nine Most Common Physical Symptoms of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI):

  1. Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes

TBI: Tips for a Successful Recovery

TBI3-300x150

  1. Find doctors that you trust and follow sound advice.

This seems like obvious advice but, some doctors know more about TBI than others. As explained in the blog, Who You Treat With Can Make All The Difference, there’s a striking difference in the quality of care provided to TBI and MBTI patients at different hospitals and by different doctors. There are some very good institutions in the Massachusetts area such as: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Cantu Concussion Center at Emerson Hospital. On the other hand, some institutions have been known to misdiagnose, under-treat, or ignore patients’ symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury. Where you seek treatment is a huge determining factor in your recovery so, do not rush this decision. Do your research, talk to previous/current patients, and utilize all your resources before you make a decision for yourself or for a loved one.

What You Should Know About Neuropsychological Testing

TBI-300x200

When is Neuropsychological Testing Appropriate?

Neuropsychological testing is frequently ordered in cases of suspected brain injury. This is because even if brain damage can be seen on an MRI or CT scan or by some of the newer, more sensitive imaging studies, this will not tell you what effects the brain damage is having on the individual. The leading textbook on neuropsychological testing explains, “Even when the site and extent of a brain lesion have been shown on imaging, the image will not identify the nature and residual behavioral strengths and the accompanying deficits; for this neuropsychological testing is needed.” Lezak, et al, Neuropsychological Assessment, 5th Edition, 2012 at p. 5.

TBI-2-300x132

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Advice from an Expert

I make it a rule not to intervene in my client’s medical treatment decisions. The most important thing is for clients to get the best medical care they can and recover from their injuries as fully as possible. I usually encourage them to consult with their primary care physician and do what they would do to get better if there were no lawsuits. The one situation I sometimes make an exception is where someone may have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

Although an MTBI will not show up on conventional imaging studies like an MRI or a CT scan, it can cause severe and permanent symptoms.

Last week, a 19-year-old Plymouth man was killed in an automobile accident while on leave from the U.S. Coast Guard. According to Kingston Police Chief Joseph Rebello, Chad Kierstead was riding in a Ford Explorer driven by 19-year-old Pat Donnelly when the sport utility vehicle (SUV) struck a utility pole while headed east on Route 80 in Kingston. The force of the crash reportedly snapped the pole into two pieces and sent the Explorer flying into a tree before the vehicle rolled and landed on its side. Chief Rebello stated the driver was walking around outside of the SUV when emergency responders arrived at the crash scene. Meanwhile, Kierstead, 19-year-old Tyler Barrows, and 19-year-old Chris Corbo remained inside of the vehicle. Two of the young men were transported to Boston area hospitals via emergency helicopter and the other two were taken to South Shore Medical Center by ambulance. A few hours after the crash, Kierstead was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

An accident witness reportedly told police the Explorer was speeding at the time of the crash. It is unclear whether Donnelly was racing another vehicle when he lost control of his SUV. According to Chief Rebello, police are currently investigating whether drugs or alcohol played a factor in the fatal crash. The cause of the accident is presently under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit.

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury and death in Massachusetts each year. Collisions like this one are often caused by reckless, careless, distracted, or impaired drivers. Unfortunately, motor vehicle crash victims frequently suffer devastating and costly injuries. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an automobile collision, you may be eligible to receive damages for your medical costs, suffering and pain, permanent or temporary disability, lost wages and benefits, and funeral expenses. Contact a capable Massachusetts automobile accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options for recovery.
Continue reading ›

In what is being heralded as a landmark case, an 18-year-old Haverhill man was recently ordered to serve a one-year sentence in the Essex County House of Corrections after a jury convicted him of causing a deadly crash while driving and texting behind the wheel of a car.

In February 2011, Aaron Deveau was driving when his car allegedly crossed the center line of a roadway and struck a vehicle headed in the opposite direction head-on. 55-year-old Daniel Bowley reportedly suffered extensive injuries in the crash and died in a Boston hospital 18 days later. Bowley’s girlfriend, Luz Roman, was also injured in the crash.

In 2010, Massachusetts passed legislation making it a crime to harm someone in an automobile accident while texting behind the wheel. In addition to charging Deveau with motor vehicle homicide, prosecutors also charged him with violating the recently enacted law. In a bench trial, Deveau testified he was not texting and driving at the time of the collision, and that he did not remember doing so at all that day. According to prosecutors, evidence that Deveau was in fact texting two minutes before the crash proved his negligence.

District Court Judge Stephen Abany reportedly imposed the maximum sentence on Deveau in an effort to deter other would-be texting while driving offenders. A portion of Deveau’s 2-year and 2 ½-year concurrent sentences were suspended, however, because he was only 17 at the time of the accident and had no prior criminal history. Deveau’s driver’s license was also suspended for 15 years.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police, David Procopio, said that the criminal case was important and the maximum sentence sought by prosecutors was appropriate. He also said it was vital for drivers to remember that distracted driving is both dangerous and deadly. According to Judge Abany, although a criminal sentence normally takes into account punishment, rehabilitation, public safety, and deterrence, his primary concern when he handed down Deveau’s sentence was deterrence. Judge Abany said that his goal was to send a message that all drivers need to “keep their eyes on the road.”

Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and wrongful death in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Crashes are frequently caused by distracted, careless, inattentive, or impaired drivers. Unfortunately, car accident victims often suffer devastating and costly injuries. If you were hurt or a family member was killed in a motor vehicle collision, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses, pain, suffering, disability, lost wages, and funeral expenses. A qualified Massachusetts auto and motorcycle accident attorney can help.
Continue reading ›

Richard Silvia was driving down Route 28 in Falmouth, Massachusetts, last week when he choked on some raisins he was eating. He passed out. His truck crossed the road, hitting two cars, and nosed into an embankment. The impact stopped the truck and his airbag deployed. The force of the airbag expelled the raisins, and Silvia regained consciousness with only a scraped wrist. The other drivers also suffered only minor injuries. The incident made national news.

Silvia was ticketed for impaired driving. I guess he should have pulled over as soon as he choked and died safely by the side of the road.
Continue reading ›

On I-495 near the US Route 1 interchange in Plainville, a 1996 Toyota Avalon went off the road and crashed into a tree last Saturday, according to the Attleboro Sun Chronicle. The 18 year old driver was not wearing a seatbelt. She was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she died. The 21 year old passenger was wearing a seatbelt. She was treated for minor injuries at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro. Seatbelts save lives — but only when they are worn.

Massachusetts has a law requiring that all drivers and passengers over 11 years of age must wear a seatbelt when riding in a car. But not everyone obeys this law. A recent Massachusetts study found that on average more than one out of four front seat drivers and passengers were not wearing their seat belt. There were some interesting but predictable variations on the rate of seatbelt use among different groups.

The rate of seatbelt usage among women was 79%; among men it was 68%. The rate for people over 65 was 82%; for other adults it was 73%; for teens it was 67%. People driving commercial vehicles buckled up only 50% of the time, and pickup truck drivers only 61%. Those figures are depressing and somewhat scary. We have worked hard to make manufacturers put out safer cars by forcing them to pay for the injuries they could have prevented by providing airbags and seatbelts. But we have to do our part and use these safety features, too.
Continue reading ›

On September 30, 2010, the new, highly publicised Massachusetts law banning texting while driving takes effect. The same law bans any cell phone use while driving for those under 18 except for certain emergency calls, generally 9-1-1 calls for police or medical assistance.

Everyone agrees that texting while driving is dangerous. If you look at your phone for three seconds to read or compose a text message while you are driving on the highway at 65 mph, you travel the length of a football field without looking at the road. Of course the same is true for checking out who is calling you on the cell phone or scrolling through your contacts list to make a call, or entering a phone number to call, none of which seem to be prohibited by this new law.

The Governor’s press release makes it seem like we can expect much safer roads now. “Without question, this new law will save lives on our roadways,” the Governor is quoted as saying. On the other hand, a new study released today by the insurance industry shows that such bans have no effect on crash statistics, and seem to have no effect on how much people text behind the wheel. The Boston Globe reports that texters may be causing more accidents by holding the phone down near the seat to avoid detection, and that police departments are talking about getting SUVs so they can ride higher and look down into potential suspects’ cars. Of course if it’s the police car driver who is doing the looking, that is pretty unsafe, too.

Some have suggested that parents have to set an example and stop using cell phones — texting or talking — if they expect their children to obey the law, and that they have to talk to their children about the dangers of distracted driving. Maybe the “shotgun texter,” a friend in the passenger seat who will text for the driver, will become as popular as the “designated driver,” who stays sober and drives his drinking friends where they need to go. It seems that education may be the best way to fight texting while driving, and that the new law may be more important as an expression of what is the right way to behave than as a means to prosecute violators.
Continue reading ›

Contact Information