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When someone is injured in a Massachusetts car accident, they can pursue a personal injury claim against any party they believe to be at fault for their injuries. Most car accident cases are brought under the theory of negligence, and as a result, many car accident claims raise similar issues. Of course, there are many different types of accidents, and claims based on the same kind of accident frequently raise related issues.

Take, for example, Massachusetts pedestrian accidents. These accidents typically involve severe injuries because, in many cases, motorists hit a pedestrian while traveling at a high rate of speed. However, even a low-speed collision can cause significant injuries, especially if the pedestrian strikes their head against the ground or a part of the car. Being able to substantiate the extent of a pedestrian’s injuries is a critical component of a pedestrian accident lawsuit.

Another issue that frequently comes up in Massachusetts pedestrian accident cases is the comparative fault of the pedestrian. Generally, motorists must yield to pedestrians. Thus, when a motorist strikes a pedestrian, the motorist will likely be primarily at fault. However, under Massachusetts law, a defendant can argue that the accident victim’s comparative negligence should reduce the victim’s total recovery amount. In some cases where an accident victim is found to be at least 51 percent at fault, they will be prevented from recovering anything for their injuries. Thus, it is also crucial for pedestrian accident victims to minimize their responsibility to preserve the ability to recover.

Every fatal Massachusetts motorcycle accident is tragic. However, the New Hampshire motorcycle accident that occurred this year was among the worst in history. Earlier this year, a 23-year-old man was driving a pickup truck westbound when he inexplicably crossed over the center median, crashing into a group of motorcyclists. The tragic accident claimed the lives of seven of those motorcyclists, many of which were former Marines. Additionally, several others were seriously injured.

After the accident, detail after detail came to light, showing just how preventable the accident was. For example, shortly after the crash, authorities determined that the driver was under the influence of an unspecified substance that may have contributed to the accident. The driver later admitted to reaching for a drink in the moments immediately before the crash.

Then, a subsequent investigation revealed that the driver had been convicted of several offenses that should have raised questions about whether he should have been able to keep a driver’s license. Finally, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MDOT) revealed that the man’s license should have been suspended based on an out-of-state DUI conviction, but, due to an oversight, it had not been. In fact, MDOT explained that there were likely hundreds of drivers with out-of-state convictions that went under the radar and were able to keep their licenses. It seems that the accident was the tragic culmination of systemwide failures. According to a news report from earlier this month, the driver was indicted on 23 counts, including reckless manslaughter, negligent homicide, and driving under the influence. Each of the manslaughter counts carries a potential sentence of 30 years.

Massachusetts tort laws require injury victims to establish negligence if they wish to collect damages against the wrongdoer. Typically, Massachusetts plaintiffs who want to recover damages must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, that they breached, and that breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries. However, defendants will often utilize the Massachusetts comparative negligence doctrine to limit their degree of fault and reduce the amount of damages they owe.

Comparative negligence applies when the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the plaintiff was negligent and contributed to their own injuries. When a Massachusetts defendant meets their burden, a jury will decide what percent of fault each party had in the accident and injuries. For example, after a jury finds that a defendant in a Massachusetts car accident was responsible for the accident, they will then determine the total amount of damages. If they find that the total losses equal to $50,000, they can then assess each party’s level of fault in the accident. In this example, if they find that the plaintiff was 20% responsible, the total award would be reduced by 20%.

It is important to note that Massachusetts follows “modified comparative negligence.” Modified comparative negligence only allows plaintiffs to recover damages if they are less than 51% responsible for their injuries. Unlike other states, where damages are proportionate relative to fault, in Massachusetts, plaintiffs who are more than 51% at fault cannot recover any damages. Modified comparative negligence is an affirmative defense, and as such, the defendant bears the burden of proving the plaintiff’s negligence. In Massachusetts, plaintiffs need to establish that the accident was 100% the defendant’s fault to recover the total amount of compensation for their injuries.

Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued an opinion in an appeal originating from a Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit. The case arose after a man struck and killed another person in a parking lot. The victim’s estate brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the culpable party. The family alleged that the man’s gross negligence caused their loved one’s death.

The defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the victim’s estate. The settlement provided that the plaintiffs would only seek recourse from the defendant’s insurance company and release him as long as he admitted to negligence.

The defendant’s insurance company provided coverage for bodily injury to others up to $20,000 and additional coverage up to $480,000 per person. However, the company reserved the right to refuse to pay the additional coverage if the insured’s intentional act caused the accident. As such, the man’s insurance company sought to intervene in the parties’ lawsuit and settlement in an attempt to provide evidence that the crash was intentional. The insurance company claimed that they should be allowed to intervene because neither the victim’s family or the insured driver had any incentive to offer evidence that the accident was intentional. They argued that the parties would much rather agree to settle based on negligence to easily collect a large portion of the damages from the insurance company. The trial court denied the insurance company’s request resulting in their appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

After a Massachusetts car accident, those injured in the collision are entitled to bring a claim against the at-fault driver. Typically, a claim will accrue when the accident victim suffers injuries as a result of another’s negligence, regardless if the at-fault party is alive by the time the case goes to trial. Importantly, in situations where the at-fault party dies in the accident or before trial, accident victims are permitted to file Massachusetts car accident lawsuits against deceased defendants. However, in these situations, an injury victim may face challenges in establishing liability and collecting damages. Injury victims should have a Massachusetts injury attorney to assist them through these complicated lawsuits.

Typically, after a person dies, their assets and debts go through probate. Probate is a legal process designed to distribute assets and pay off debts to creditors before the decedents’ heirs and beneficiaries receive their intended gifts. When a decedent owes damages to an injury victim, the decedent’s estate is vulnerable to a personal injury lawsuit. In these cases, personal injury victims are possible creditors, and their damages are debts against the estate.

Generally, the burden of proof in negligence and wrongful death lawsuits is the same, regardless of whether the defendant is alive or has passed away. However, there are specific procedural requirements that plaintiffs must follow to preserve their right to recover against an estate. First, the statute of limitations in personal injury lawsuits against an estate is significantly less than when the defendant is alive. Massachusetts General Laws ch. 190, § 3-803(a) requires plaintiffs file their claims against an estate within one year of the incident giving rise to the complaint.

E-cigarettes seem to be all the rage these days and while they are often marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, the reality is that e-cigarettes pose their own health and safety hazards to users. If you have been injured by an exploding e-cigarette, our Massachusetts products liability attorneys are here to help. We understand the pain, shock and horror that the victim of an e-cigarette burn or explosion experiences, which is why we are devoted to fighting for your rights through each step of the legal process.

Injuries arising from hazardous and faulty e-cigarettes, commonly known as “vape pens”, have increased all over the country. In Massachusetts, the attorney general recently filed a lawsuit against a nationwide seller of e-cigarette and vaping products, claiming that the company violated state law by targeting underage individuals for sales of such products through marketing and advertising designed to appeal to young people. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the retailer did not verify the ages of online buyers for a number of years and also failed to make sure that shipments of these products were obtained by individuals over the age of 21, the state’s legal age for purchasing smoking products. Unfortunately, not only have e-cigarettes led to a significant increase in teenagers and young adults “vaping” – there have also been numerous reports of e-cigarettes exploding across the country, leading to burns, scarring and other severe facial injuries to users.

If you have been injured by an exploding or defective e-cigarette, you may be able to recover compensation through a products liability lawsuit. These claims are complex, but we know how to navigate them effectively. Product manufacturers are required to make sure that their products function as advertised and do not pose any extraordinary danger to customers when used as intended. They are also required to include sufficient instructions for use and safety warnings. When a defective product causes injury or death, there are a number of parties that may be liable including the manufacturer, distributor and retailer. Product defects can be categorized in one of three ways:

Most drivers obey traffic laws but when they do not, the consequences can be devastating for everyone involved. Anytime a driver runs a red light, innocent motorists and pedestrians moving through the intersection can suffer serious, even deadly injuries. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving someone disregarding a red light, our Massachusetts auto accident attorneys can help you sue the at-fault party and help you recover the compensation you need to move on with your life. We are committed to holding negligent drivers responsible for the harm that they cause.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that the number traffic deaths related to people running red lights are the highest they have been in 10 years. AAA finds that more than two individuals die each day in red light running accidents, including drivers (35 percent), passengers (46 percent), pedestrians and cyclists (5 percent). Accidents caused by drivers blowing through red lights killed 939 people in 2017, indicating a peak and a nearly 30 percent increase since 2012. The reasons for running red lights range from drivers being distracted and not paying attention to the road, to speeding and deliberately breaking the law. The study also found that while 85 percent of drivers acknowledge that running a red light is dangerous, about one-third of drivers say they flew through a red light within the preceding 30 days when they could have stopped in a safe manner.

Red lights are designed to safely control the flow of traffic and keep drivers safe. All motorists have a legal obligation to obey traffic laws, including following traffic signals so as not to endanger other motorists and pedestrians crossing the street. Sadly, those who run red lights cause and contribute to many intersection and T-bone accidents.

If you’ve been hurt on the job, you might be eligible to recoup workers’ compensation benefits. Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers will meticulously examine the facts of your case and assist you in filing your claim. With over 25 years of experience, our firm is well versed in the state’s workers’ compensations laws and can help you pursue the compensation you need to deal with your injuries and move on with your life.

Work injuries range from broken bones to back injuries to disfigurement. Disfigurement, in this context, is the state of having one’s appearance spoiled by a workplace injury. A prominent facial scar, for instance, would be one example of disfigurement. In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals weighed in on a claim involving a worker who sustained a left-knee injury that resulted in a limp. Specifically, the employee said he suffered multiple disfigurements due to the accident. The lower court awarded the worker $8,205.53 in damages. Both the insurance company and the injured employee appealed.

As part of the appeal, the employee went through a medical examination by an independent doctor who determined that the worker walked without an obvious limp. Following this, the insurance company withdrew the appeal that it submitted in response to the original damages award. At this point, the only issue left in the case pertained to how much compensation the employee should receive.

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Motorcycles lack the protective features that are readily available in most cars, leaving riders more prone to serious injury, even death. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident, our Massachusetts motorcycle accident advocates are here to help. We are dedicated to representing you for injuries sustained from a motorcycle wreck. We understand the serious emotional, physical and financial toll a motorcycle crash can have on a person and his or her entire family, which is why we will fight for your rights at each stage of the legal process.

A Bedford man was critically injured when his motorcycle was rear-ended by a car earlier this month. He died from his injuries. According to law enforcement, the 59-year-old army veteran was heading west on a Massachusetts highway when a sedan struck him from behind. The motorcyclist was thrown off the vehicle and suffered life-threatening injuries and was immediately taken to the hospital. The driver of sedan refused medical treatment at the crash scene.

Sadly, motorcycle collisions are a common occurrence in Massachusetts and across the United States. There are over 160,000 registered motorcycles in Massachusetts and these vehicles are much more likely to be on the road during warmer months. Data from the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlights that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly crash on the road than those in passenger cars. In Massachusetts, there were 2,017 motorcycle accidents in 2016 resulting in 1,635 injuries and 42 deaths. In addition, motorcyclists in the state account for 1 out of every 7 traffic deaths.

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Personal injury cases are complex at every stage. If you’ve been hurt in an accident that you believe was caused by someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Our Massachusetts injury attorneys understand the both the substantive and procedural aspects of the law that are critical to every case, and we will make sure that absolutely nothing is overlooked.

In a recent case, the Massachusetts Appeals Court concluded that “garden variety oversight” by defense lawyers was not sufficient grounds to permit more time to file an appeal. The plaintiff in the case was hurt while working as he maneuvered a pallet from a truck onto a loading dock over a dock plate. The incident led to the man needing hip surgery and he was not able to go back to work. The man sued alleging that the defendants were negligent in failing to maintain the dock plate, thereby causing the accident and resulting injuries. The plaintiff stated that he was told by a coworker that there had been an issue with the dock place for “some time.” At the end of the trial, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

The defendants filed a motion, within the proper time frame, requesting a new trial or a remittitur. On February 12, 2018, the trial court judge denied the defendant’s motion and the 30 day clock for filing an appeal began to run. The defendants, however, failed to file a notice of appeal within the 30-day time frame. Rather, approximately 8 days after the 30-day deadline, they filed a motion to extend the time to file notice of appeal. The trial court granted the motion. On April 2, 2018, an estimated 49 days after their post-trial motion was denied, the defendants filed an appeal. In response, the plaintiff filed a cross appeal, challenging the trial court’s judge’s decision to permit the defendants to file their late appeal.

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