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Rhode Island construction workers have been impacted by the opioid epidemic, according to recent state data

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Deaths related to opioid overdoses have grown to epidemic levels over the past few years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 47,600 died in 2017 after using prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl — marking the highest number of opioid-related deaths in a single year. What’s more alarming, 37 percent of these deaths involved opioids prescribed by doctors.

Those who work in occupations that are physically demanding are at a heightened risk of opioid overdoses. That’s because doctors often prescribe opioids for work-related injuries — many of which are severe. This is done in order to manage pain while an injured worker recovers. It does, however, put workers at risk of addiction.

Rhode Island construction workers affected by opioids

According to preliminary data released by the Rhode Island Department of Health in August, construction and extraction workers accounted for nearly 20 percent of all statewide drug overdose fatalities. From July 2016 – June 2018, approximately 569 people died from overdoses — 103 of which were construction and extraction workers.

The report lumped construction in with the maintenance and natural resources industries, which together had an overdose fatality rate of 176.7 per 100,000 workers. Roughly 140 overdose deaths occurred among those who work in construction, maintenance, and natural resources. About 80 percent of those deaths were linked to fentanyl — a synthetic opioid deemed 50 times more potent than heroin.

National figures on workers’ comp-related opioid prescriptions

The CDC cites figures from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health which estimates that 66.7 percent of “self-reported illicit opioid users” were either full- or part-time workers.

Workers’ compensation data cited by the CDC says:

  • 44 percent of 2016 workers’ compensation claims involving prescriptions included at least one opioid prescription. This figure, however, has declined 55 percent since 2012.
  • 15 percent of workers’ compensation claims (as of 2016) with at least one opioid prescription had a date of injury in 2010 or prior, 30 percent from 2011-2014, and 55 percent no earlier than 2014.
  • Between 2008-2013 across 28 states, opioids prescribed to workers’ compensation recipients who had sustained back injuries (more than 7 days away from work) resulted in triple the recovery time in contrast with those who didn’t receive prescriptions.

If you have been injured on the job or have suffered complications due to an opioid prescription, it’s critical that you discuss this matter with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you weigh your legal options. The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl serves clients in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. To find out how we can help you, contact us online and set up your free case evaluation.

Workers’ lack of sleep is leading to more workplace injuries

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Let’s be honest. Getting a full night of sleep is easier said than done. It’s recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but many people, including those who work full-time, have a lot to juggle — jobs, family, health, finances, and a social life.

Sleep deprivation is a common problem that impacts a third of adults across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to WebMD, common symptoms of sleep deprivation include:

  • Poor memory
  • Depression
  • Increased perception of pain
  • Reduced hand-eye coordination
  • General fatigue that is worse than being alcohol-impaired

How does fatigue impact workplace safety?

The consequences of not getting enough sleep can spill over into the workplace and often worsens when employees are overworked, according to Safety + Health Magazine.

“We have a history of incentivizing people who work long hours with extra pay, promotions and recognition.” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager at the National Safety Council.

Data from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in 2012 breaks down the percentage of fatigued workers by industry. According to the report, these workers don’t get enough sleep:

  • 34.1% in the manufacturing industry
  • 44% of all night shift workers
  • 52.3% of health care and social assistance employees who work the night shift
  • 69.7% of transportation and warehouse employees who work the night shift

According to Whitcomb, roughly 13 percent of all workplace injuries are the result of workers not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, fatigue doesn’t get the attention it deserves from employers.

“When employers fill out paperwork for an incident in the workplace, most are not asking about fatigue, how much sleep the person got or how many hours they worked in the last couple of days,” Whitcomb said.

Aside from not getting enough sleep at night, other common risk factors in fatigue-related injuries include:

  • Night shifts: Night workers are particularly at risk of workplace injuries. That’s because, biologically, we’re not wired to work overnight. Our circadian rhythm (our internal clock) naturally programs us to sleep at night and be active during the day.
  • Shifts longer than 8 hours: Research also shows that when employees exceed eight-hour work shifts, their likelihood of sustaining an injury increases. The risk increases by 13 percent at 10 hours and more than 27 percent at 12 hours. Experts even link longer shifts with decision-making errors and reduced attentiveness.
  • Workplace stress: Extended physical exertion and mental concentration can result in fatigue. When working long hours without adequate breaks, workplace stress can be dangerous and lead to chronic diseases.

What are the solutions to workplace fatigue?

Workplace accidents related to fatigue are preventable. Safety + Health offers tips that employers and workers should consider, including:

  • Establish a fatigue risk management system: Employers should consider implementing a set of policies, practices, and programs relating to workplace fatigue into an existing safety management plan.
  • Offer education and screening: Employers should educate employees on the dangers of workplace fatigue and promote healthy sleep habits. In addition, employees should be screened for potential sleep disorders and offered treatment options.
  • Focus on shifts: Employers should consider reducing overtime and offer frequent breaks for night workers. In addition, demanding tasks for night workers should only be given during times when employees are most alert and night shift workers should be given adequate time off between shifts.

If you were injured on the job due to fatigue, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits while you recover. This process, however, must be done right in order to avoid having your claim denied. That’s why you should consult with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl. We can ensure that all paperwork is filled out correctly and advocate for a fair settlement.

Contact us online today to find out how we can help you.

New study: Construction workers aren’t getting enough sleep

Construction workers often endure hours of physically and mentally taxing labor and to perform their daily job functions and prevent injuries, they need to get enough sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, reports that one in three adults don’t get enough sleep. Adults 18-60 years old are urged to sleep at least seven hours per night but the average American only gets 6.8 hours of sleep per night and 40 percent of Americans sleep six hours or less. This culture of inadequate sleep impacts everyone, including construction workers.

Researchers find that construction workers need adequate sleep

A study conducted by researchers at Colorado State University concluded that many accidents and injuries in the construction industry are caused by lack of sleep.

Researchers collected data from three surveys over the course of 12 months involving construction workers from two public works departments in Portland, Oregon. The survey — which was part of an Oregon Healthy Workforce Center study — determined the quantity of sleep each participant received and matched it up with workplace injury data.

Construction workers who reported insomnia symptoms were more likely to experience:

  • Poor attention and memory on the job
  • Poor safety-related behavior
  • Forgetting common work procedures, such as ensuring equipment is turned off
  • Inadvertently pressing wrong control switches on machines
  • Unintentionally stopping or starting wrong machines
  • Daydreaming on the job and not listening to co-workers

Preventing fatigue-related workplace accidents

Inadequate sleep doesn’t just impact construction safety. It can put workers across all industries at risk of being injured. That’s why more awareness must be raised in the workplace.

“Organizations, especially safety-sensitive ones like construction, should care about their employees’ sleep because it can impact the safety of the workplace and put workers at risk,” said Rebecca Brossoit, the study’s co-author, in a press release.

If you were injured on the job due to a careless, fatigue-related workplace accident, your injuries may be serious enough to require immediate medical attention. What’s worse, you may not be able to return to work for months while undergoing surgery and physical therapy. The x-rays, pain medication, and other medical procedures can be costly. You may be wondering how you will afford to make ends meet during these difficult times.

That’s why you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which cover your medical expenses and lost wages. Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, however, isn’t easy. A minor misstep in your paperwork or in the claim-filing process can result in a denial. Let the experienced Massachusetts attorneys at Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl do the work for you. We know how the system works and can maximize your chances of receiving benefits. Contact us online today to get started.

Best ideas to protect workers from heat-related injuries

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyThose who work outdoors during the summer months or in hot indoor environments, don’t have the luxury of air conditioners or fans to stay cool. Some often endure hours of extreme heat and sweltering temperatures that can compromise their health.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), roughly 50-70 percent of outdoor worker fatalities happen within the first few days of working in hot temperatures. This is often due to the body not yet building a tolerance to the heat — also known as heat acclimatization.

The body naturally gets rid of excess heat through sweating and increased blood flow to the skin. Once the body reaches its threshold, however, serious injuries can occur. The warning signs that it’s time for workers to cool down include thirst, irritability, rashes, cramping, and heat exhaustion.

Failure to cool down can lead to heat stroke, which is the most severe heat-related condition. The symptoms of heat stroke include unconsciousness, confusion, disorientation, or slurred speech. If not treated immediately, it could lead to death.

Most common risk factors

OSHA cites the most prevalent risk factors that lead to heat-related injuries. These include:

  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Working in hot environmental conditions
  • Lack of heat tolerance
  • Clothing that holds body heat
  • Increased humidity
  • Working in sunlight
  • Working around heat-generating sources, like ovens, furnaces, and hot road surfaces
  • Pre-existing health conditions

Outdoor workers who are the most at risk of sustaining heat-related injuries include:

  • Farmers and other agricultural workers
  • Construction workers — especially those who do roofing or road work
  • Landscapers
  • Mail and package delivery workers
  • Oil and gas well operators

Heat-related injuries don’t always occur during the summer or during heat waves. Indoor workers who are the most at risk include:

  • Those who work around ovens or other heat-generating appliances
  • Electrical utility workers
  • Firefighters
  • Iron and steel mill workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Warehouse workers

Keeping workers safe in hot environments

It’s important that employers promote and accommodate the safety of workers in hot environments. Heat-related injuries and illnesses in the workplace are preventable. OSHA suggests that employers encourage workers to do the following within the first few days of working in a hot environment:

  • Frequently drink water or sports drinks
  • Work shorter shifts
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Be aware of heat-related symptoms

If you notice any minor heat-related symptoms, it’s important that you stop working, drink water and find a place to cool off immediately. You should never take a chance with your health, no matter what your job demands.

In the event of a worker-related injury or illness caused by a hot environment, you should discuss your matter with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your time away from work, and in recovery, can be costly. The legal team at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl will work tirelessly to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

What NOT To Do When Obtaining Workers’ Comp Benefits

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyIf you’ve been injured on the job and are collecting workers’ compensation, you could be your own worst enemy. After some time has passed, you may think you’re well enough to take on some work “on the side” to earn a little extra cash at the same time you are receiving benefits. You may do so out of a sense of guilt that you are not providing enough support for your family. There’s no harm in that, right?

You couldn’t be more wrong.

Doing so is considered workers’ compensation fraud and can result in fines, paying restitution and even facing criminal charges. The Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts last year referred 256 cases to federal, state, and local prosecutors – a record.

“Most of them do have injuries, there’s some form of injury that happens to that person. The question becomes, how long are they out with that injury?” said Tony DiPaolo, vice president of investigations.

The Road to fraud is paved with good intentions

You may think your intentions are good, but fraud investigators are going to view you the same as other workers who cheat the system. Here are three examples:

  • A man injured falling off a ladder began collecting workers’ compensation. A month later, he was caught climbing a ladder while operating his own window and siding business. He fraudulently collected $18,668.
  • A man who suffered a back injury at a restaurant was caught working at another restaurant 10 months later, while still collecting workers’ compensation. His fraud totaled $31,729.
  • Another man with a back injury collected both unemployment and workers’ compensation while actively operating his own construction company. He was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution.

Tough questions? Hire a tough attorney

The workers’ compensation bureaucracy can seem intentionally designed to frustrate you and prevent you from legally collecting benefits. Maybe your claim was denied. Maybe an adjuster doesn’t believe you were injured on the job. Maybe you’re confused by the red tape and legalese. You are under tremendous physical, mental, emotional and financial stress – perhaps unable to provide for your family as your case drags on. You need expert help.

For three decades, the workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl have been handling cases just like yours in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We will combine our thorough knowledge of the workers’ compensation system with our extensive experience to answer all of your questions and secure financial compensation for you and your family (you also may be entitled to lost wages and Social Security Disability benefits). Contact us today for a free case consultation. You pay nothing unless we win your case.

Are more injury claims filed when unemployment is low?

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyAs the unemployment rate continues to drop in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, more people are working now than in recent memory. Insurance Journal reports that the number of workplace injury claims has declined over recent years as a result of improved safety, among other reasons.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that unemployment in Rhode Island and Massachusetts is at historic lows (less than 4 percent).

It’s a double-dose of good news, but researchers at the National Council of Compensation Insurance have found that injury claims could rise during times of low unemployment.

The reason? Companies are hiring less-experienced workers and people who may be physically out of shape to do the job, according to Insurance Journal.

What are the common types of workplace injuries?

According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every 7 seconds. While an accident can happen to any worker, workplace injuries tend to happen to people whose jobs require physical labor. The top five occupations with the most workplace injuries are:

  • Firefighters and police officers
  • Transportation and shipping (drivers who deliver packages)
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair
  • Construction

The top three events that result in on-the-job injuries are:

  • Overexertion
  • Contact with objects and equipment, such as being struck by equipment or crushed by a collapsing structure
  • Slips, trips, and falls

Report the incident and seek medical attention

If you’re injured on the job, your No. 1 priority is your health. Obtain medical treatment as soon as possible. Once you are stabilized, contact the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl to speak with an experienced workplace accident attorney. You will also need to report the incident to your supervisor.

Your next step is to request workers’ compensation forms and other paperwork. Our attorneys can help ensure the paperwork is completed properly. Our law office can protect your rights every step of the way.

Be sure to continue following up with medical treatment and following your doctor’s orders. You may need to stay home from work. If your employer is pressuring you to return to work, talk to your attorney to determine the best course of action.

Why is an attorney necessary for a workplace injury claim?

An injury on the job can lead to a dispute between employee and employer. Employers and their insurance companies may fight a claim. They might argue the injured worker was hurt outside of work, or the worker filed the claim too late or improperly.  They may even reject a legitimate claim for reasons that are a mystery to the injured worker.

That’s why it’s wise to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after the injury. The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl puts experience and resources to work for clients who have been injured on the job. Your attorney will be your advocate when the employer and insurance company are giving you a hard time about the claim. Injured at work? Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Best Ways to Avoid Hearing Loss in the Workplace

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyListen up!

You could be at risk of losing your hearing because of where you work, according to EHS Today, an occupational safety and health magazine.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to damaging noise levels at work, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says workplace-related hearing loss is the most commonly reported injury.

Jobs where workers are regularly in danger include manufacturing (hearing loss is the most commonly recorded occupational injury), construction, carpentry, mining, entertainment, military and agriculture.

There are many risks associated with hearing loss:

  • Hearing protects us from harm by alerting us to possible dangers, such as an approaching vehicle or broken machinery.
  • Injuries are more common among workers who cannot hear warning sirens or other alerts.
  • Hearing loss negatively impacts quality of life – for example, making interpersonal communication difficult and straining relationships.
  • The ringing of ears associated with hearing loss interferes with sleep and concentration, sometimes leading to depression, anxiety and stress.

Other symptoms range from social rejection and loneliness to impaired memory and the inability to learn new tasks.

Is Your Employer Listening?

The key is prevention. Steps employers can take include:

  • Regular, ongoing observation. Employers who monitor sound levels can help employees understand when the risk of hearing loss is highest.
  • Annual audiograms. Results can be compared to previous tests to protect workers.
  • Employee training. Minimally, employers should conduct annual training, including one-on-one sessions for workers exposed to louder noises. Regular reminders throughout the year are also recommended.
  • Protective equipment. Many options are available, including different styles of earplugs and earmuffs.

Contact Someone Who Will Listen

Unfortunately, some employers play down the importance of hearing safety. They may reason that a certain amount of hearing loss is acceptable among workers as part of the job. They may think safety programs are too expensive. They simply may not care. If you’ve suffered workplace hearing loss, your life is changed forever because your hearing is not coming back. In the end, it comes down to your word vs. the word of your employer, their attorneys and their insurance company as you’re trying to navigate the complex world of workers’ compensation.

You need a workers’ compensation attorney to cut through the red tape and fight for your rights. The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl have handled every type of comp claim in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, from Fall River and Foxborough to Providence and Newport. They will aggressively pursue justice for you and your family while treating you with the compassion you need and deserve. Put your mind at ease by putting your case in the hands of experienced professionals. Contact them today for a free case consultation.

Take workplace safety to new heights

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneySome workplaces require employees to work on ladders, cranes and steel beams on high-rise buildings, which are certainly red flags for safety. What can also be a safety hazard at work are objects falling from above. Workplace heights are something that should be taken seriously when it comes to the safety of employees, as well as anyone else in the area.

For example, in April, a crane fell in Seattle, killing four people and injuring others. Several years ago a worker on a high-rise dropped a tape measure from 50 stories and killed a passerby below.

Most common height-related hazards

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that being struck by falling objects or equipment resulted in 45,940 injuries in 2017, accounting for 5.2 percent of all workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), dropped objects are the third leading cause of injuries in construction.

In addition to dropped objects, workplace falls are a huge problem. BLS reported that in 2017, “fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), accounting for 887 (17 percent) of worker deaths.”

How to improve height safety

EHS Today offers the following tips:

  • Employers need to follow best practices. That includes implementing the American National Standard for Dropped Object Prevention Solutions (ANSI/ISEA 121-2018) developed by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), in conjunction with industry stakeholders.
  • Employers need to jettison the crass and counterproductive notion called “acceptable risk.”
  • Education is vital for improved safety. ISEA — in partnership with the National Association of Tower Erectors and The Associated General Contractors of America — launched SafetyAtHeights.org, an educational website.

At the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl, our team fights for construction workers and all others who have been injured on the job in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We believe that a successful case starts with building a strong, trusting relationship with our clients.

From your first call to your last court date and beyond, we work tirelessly to get you the care and compensation you so rightfully deserve. If you were injured at a job site, don’t wait. Contact us today. We’ll take care of the rest.

Best Ideas to Avoid Injuries in the Food Manufacturing Industry

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyIn 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers. Approximately 19,740 happened in the food manufacturing industry.

As the population increases, so does the demand for the food manufacturing industry. This demand places increased pressure on employees to work faster and more efficiently.

As production increases, employers must find effective ways to promote employee safety, including:

  • Understanding what usually causes workplace accidents
  • Implementing employee safety training
  • Maintaining oversight to remove or reduce workplace hazards
  • Regularly offering safety tips and reminders to workers

Injuries likely to occur in food manufacturing

The most common injuries to occur in the food manufacturing industry include:

  • Sprains and strains: Workers who perform repetitive and awkward motions for long stretches of time are at a heightened risk of sustaining sprains and strains. Tasks may include portioning, cutting, and operating machines and tools. The likelihood of sustaining sprains and strains can be reduced by performing warm-up exercises and stretches prior to a shift.
  • Slips and falls: Slippery floor surfaces caused by spilled oil, water, and other liquids can put workers at risk of slipping and falling. These accidents often result in sprains, muscle tears, bone fractures, and lacerations. Slipping hazards can be reduced by installing nonslip flooring, requiring workers to wear non-slip footwear, and clearing debris from floors.
  • Machine-related injuries: Workers who operate machinery could be at risk of coming in contact with sharp blades or having body parts stuck in a machine. This can result in serious cuts, lacerations, bone fractures, and amputations. Machine-related injuries can be reduced by implementing guards and covers on certain machine components, as well as lockout processes to prevent equipment from automatically turning on when being serviced.

Safety first

Adequate training is key for safety in the food manufacturing industry. Employers should focus on the following areas:

  • How to properly use machines and tools
  • How to properly cut, prepare, portion, and package food
  • How to work efficiently with others to avoid accidents
  • How to maintain a safe and clean workspace
  • How to spot and remove hazards

Taking these precautions can only reduce the likelihood of injuries occurring on the job. Accidents happen unexpectedly, and sometimes in the safest work environments. That’s why if you been hurt at work, it’s important that you consider your legal options when pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.

The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl can help guide you through the process and negotiate for a fair settlement. Contact us online today to get started. Consultations are free of charge.

Saving Lives and Preventing Catastrophic Fire Damage: What to Look for

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyFire departments across the nation respond to about 13 calls from business and industry every hour, according to the National Fire Protection Association, in addition to the average of 43 calls from residential properties that come in hourly.

When it comes to workplace fire hazards in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Occupational Health and Safety Online the following factors:

  1. Clutter: Dust, shavings and waste in work areas.
  2. Improper Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers are not designed for all types of fires.
  3. Electrical Issues: Extension cords, daisy-chained connections, overloaded outlets and blocked electrical panels.
  4. Inadequate Sprinkler Clearance: Items stored too close to sprinkler heads spray and the system’s ability to douse an area.
  5. Improperly Stored Chemicals: Hazardous substances that are not properly stowed, handled and utilized.
  6. Open Waste Containers: Lids not on containers that prevent the unintentional mixing of waste and dangerous vapor emissions.
  7. Improperly Rated Appliances and Tools: Household appliances, not industrial-rated tools, used for workplace tasks.
  8. Defective Detectors: Smoke alarms, carbon dioxide detectors and hazardous gas sensors not tested and, when necessary, calibrated. Emergency exit lighting, alarms and signs should be checked periodically.
  9. Blocked Aisles: Emergency exit paths not always kept clear.
  10. Unmanaged Hot Work: Safety procedures for welding, cutting, brazing and other hot work not followed.

Fire Dangers Far Too Common

Burn injuries occur under countless work-related circumstances, ranging from construction sites and restaurant kitchens to building fires and radiation exposure. Less obvious are fire injuries caused by exposure to toxic spills, hazardous chemicals, gas leaks and dangerous dusts. These pose a risk for workers at hardware stores, home supply stores, factories, gas stations, hospitals, pharmacies, and even schools, government buildings and in public transit jobs.

Symptoms include:

  • Dizziness, headaches, fatigue
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Chemical burns in the lungs and on skin
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Itchy, burning eyes
  • Racing heart or palpitations
  • Fever

Don’t Get Burned by Your Employer, Too

Burn injuries can be painful, debilitating and disfiguring, requiring extensive treatment or preventing the victim from ever returning to work. While victims are eligible for worker’s compensation benefits, the claims process is complex. A company attorney may try to blame the injury on you or downplay its significance. An insurance company may pressure you into accepting a financial settlement that comes nowhere close to meeting your needs because they know you are desperate. Furthermore, proving you’ve been injured by hazardous fumes or chemicals can be particularly difficult without the help of experts.

The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl have been handling cases just like yours in Rhode Island and Massachusetts for 35 years. Their legal team will assist you in every step of the process, from filing your claim to negotiating with insurance companies. They have offices in Providence, Rhode Island, and Fall River and Foxboro, Massachusetts. Contact them today for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation.