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People in Cape Cod, and throughout the world, are increasingly accessing the Internet for many different purposes. According to a 2010 report by the United States Department of Commerce, more than three-quarters, or 77 percent, of all American households had a computer at home. Technology offers countless benefits — from instant information to social media and access to movies and other forms of entertainment. But these advantages often come with a hefty price, namely, the potential loss of privacy, which many of us acknowledge and accept. Take a Facebook account, for instance. Although people can choose among various privacy settings from very private to “not-so-private,” simply having an account exposes a user’s privacy to some extent.

While privacy matters to most of us, it seems that people are forgoing certain privacy rights when they post information on their Facebook page. According to a recent American Bar Association Journal article, a judge in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has ordered parties in a slip-and-fall lawsuit to hire a “neutral forensic computer expert” to sift through a plaintiff’s Facebook account. In the personal injury case at issue, the plaintiff brought an action against Lancaster Regional Medical Center (the “LRMC”) and Hospital Housekeeping Systems, alleging that she slipped and fell in a puddle of liquid in an elevator at the LRMC.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff claims that she sustained serious injuries to her back and knee, requiring surgery that she is unable to afford. The defense argues that the plaintiff was photographed playing in the snow after the fall – and would not be able to have done so with the injuries that she is claiming to have. In fact, the defense asserts that the photographs of plaintiff exhibit “no visible indications of pain whatsoever.” In response, the plaintiff argues that the videos and photographs were taken before the slip and fall at the hospital. The court ordered limited discovery, granting the neutral expert authority to review the plaintiff’s private Facebook page for a limited time period of 17 days after the date of the alleged accident.

The article suggests that whether a person makes available information on their public page — has become the “predominant standard” among state court judges in deciding whether to grant or deny access to a person’s entire Facebook account. This evolving standard may cause people to think twice about what images they post to their public page.

Slip and fall cases can take many forms and cause many kinds of injuries. As in this case, there could be liquids that leaked onto a floor, debris left in store aisles or even a design defect as it relates to some equipment or structure. People can be seriously hurt in a slip and fall case. It is important to determine whether the negligence of another, be it a business owner or an individual, caused your accident to occur, and to be fully aware of all resulting injuries. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you are encouraged to contact a local personal injury attorney who has the experience to handle your case and achieve the maximum recovery for your damages.

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Car accidents in Cape Cod occur as a result of many different potential factors: distracted driving, speeding, failing to obey other traffic safety laws, and one of the most deadly — driving under the influence of alcohol.  Victims of any of these kinds of accidents are usually entitled to compensation for injuries sustained. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, it is essential that you contact a local personal injury attorney to help secure the fairest recovery for your suffering.

The government is currently trying to reduce the number of accidents due to drivers who have been drinking alcohol. The National Transportation Safety Board (the “NTSB”) recently announced a recommendation that states cut the permissible blood-alcohol concentration by a third, from .08 percent to .05 percent.  The change is suggested due to the number of deaths and injuries caused by drivers who have not reached the current legal standard of .08 percent, but who nonetheless are driving impaired with a compromised ability to make decisions, see or operate a vehicle.

According to the news article, approximately 30 percent of all vehicle fatalities are linked to drunken driving.  To put it another way, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that each day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Sadly, these numbers translate to one death every 48 minutes. On a more local level, in 2011, the State of Massachusetts recorded 114 alcohol-related fatalities. Continue reading

A tragic fatal collision on Cape Cod that occurred over six years ago has resulted in a civil settlement. The surviving family of the 63-year-old male victim recently agreed to terms settling a lawsuit brought against a trucking company, a motor vehicle inspection company and the truck driver. The claim arose from a Sept. 2006 fatal accident in West Yarmouth on Route 28.

The crash occurred when a car entered Route 28 from the parking lot of a local restaurant. A truck headed west and owned by a West Bridgewater construction company crashed into the car, killing its driver. Subsequent investigation disclosed that the nearly two decade old truck had inoperable rear brakes. Though the truck was apparently inspected less than two weeks before the fatal accident, it was documented that a Massachusetts inspection company failed to test the brakes in the field.

The lawsuit was waged by the victim’s widow and four children. They will all receive part of the $750,000 settlement proceeds. The terms of the settlement were recently finalized in Plymouth Superior Court.