Posts tagged with "Personal Injury Lawyers"

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Personal Injury Trial? – What to Expect

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in which another party, entity or organization could be at fault, you have the right to file a personal injury claim in order to receive the compensation you deserve. When seeking a consultation with a personal injury attorney in Massachusetts, the attorney will advise you as to whether or not you have a case.

In many situations, the other party may choose to settle the personal injury lawsuit out of court. However, there are also many instances in which the proposed settlement doesn’t seem fair, and insurance adjusters refuse to negotiate any further. At this time, you may decide that you prefer to take the case to trial. This is an important decision because a personal injury lawsuit that goes to trial can last anywhere from several days to several months, and possibly even longer than a year or two.

Your personal injury attorney can certainly advise you as to the best course of action, but it also helps to have a very good idea of what to expect at a personal injury trial. A lengthy process can sometimes be stressful and daunting, but with knowledge of what might happen if you choose to go to court, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision and limit any frustrating surprises.

What to Expect at the Beginning of a Personal Injury Trial

Unfortunately, the beginning of a personal injury trial isn’t very exciting, though there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Your attorney will be working diligently on your behalf to research all aspects of the case.

This involves visiting the scene of the accident, interviewing witnesses, taking photographs, and collecting and researching the police reports, medical records, witness statements, as well as conducting any additional investigation as deemed necessary to put together a strong case.

This process can typically take anywhere from one to six months. When all this has been completed, the personal injury lawsuit can be formally filed. The court then has a period of one to two months to serve the summons to the defendant, who then has 30 days to file a response. At this time, it is still possible to ask for a settlement, and many defendants may ultimately decide to settle in your favor than go to trial.

At the Start of the Personal Injury Trial

If a settlement is not agreed upon, the trial proceedings will continue. Both your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyers will send investigatory questions to each other regarding the facts of the case and the claims being made. Depending on how complex the case may be, this could take several months to complete.

It is also probable that the defense will require their own examination of your injuries or condition by a physician they appoint. The examination will be done in the presence of an attorney. At this time or shortly afterward, oral depositions occur in which witnesses and other individuals inherent to the case are interviewed by both sides. This can take a long time to prepare and complete — approximately three months.

If at this time, both sides cannot reach an amicable negotiation, the personal injury trial will proceed to go to court.

Preparing for Court in a Personal Injury Trial

The first step when proceeding to court for a personal injury lawsuit would be to select a jury. Both your attorney and the defense will conduct interviews with potential jurors. The jury selection process can take some time, unless, both sides manage to agree on jurors in a fairly quick manner.

When jury selection is complete, a date will be set for the beginning of the trial. Depending upon the complexity of the case, the trial can be over in as little as one day or as long as a few months. Both sides will have opening statements prepared, and then all involved parties and witnesses will be called to testify. Essentially, stories will be told as to how the accident occurred, how negligence on the part of the defendant was the cause, what injuries were sustained, and how those injuries will have affected your life or the life of a loved one.

Witnesses will also be called to testify, and the defense will be allowed to cross-examine them, as well as present their own experts or parties to attempt to expose any weaknesses or fallacies in your case.

Both sides will have a chance to call witnesses, cross-examine witnesses and experts, and then make closing arguments, leaving the verdict in the hands of the jury. At this point, your judgment is in the jury’s hands. However, if your case is just and you have chosen an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you in your lawsuit, it is possible to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, future medical treatment, lost wages, and other monetary losses due to the accident.

At the Boston law firm of Colucci Colucci Marcus & Flavin, PC, our attorneys help our clients recover the maximum possible compensation for their injuries. For a free initial consultation with one of our professional and experienced personal injury lawyers, call (617) 698-6000, or contact us online via our email form.

What to do if your child was injured on the school playground

What to do if your child was injured on the school playground

A playground is supposed to be a place where children can go and enjoy themselves while engaging in a range of activities on swing sets, slides, jungle gyms and other common recreational equipment. The interaction with other children while under the supervision of their parents is fun and beneficial, and playgrounds are also a great place for children to exercise and make friends.

However, as fun as the school playground might be, it is also a place where accidents can occur and where children can sustain injuries. Sometimes such an incident might be just an accident, but quite often it can be the result of negligence on the part of the school. The last thing you want to hear as a parent entrusting your child to a school’s care each day is that your child sustained an injury, especially if it is a serious one. Your child’s welfare is, of course, your main concern and should be the school’s as well.

School, city, and county playgrounds are supposed to be properly maintained in order to ensure safety for your children. The playground equipment should be in proper working order, and school playgrounds should be supervised at all times children are present. Negligent supervision, improperly maintained or manufactured equipment, damaged equipment, and unsafe grounds, in general, can put your child at risk for an injury.

If your child has been hurt at a school playground, as a result of negligence, improper supervision, defective equipment or improperly maintained equipment, you may be able to take legal action against the school district, an individual employed by the school or the school board.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a School for Injuries Sustained on a School Playground

There are many different scenarios that may give you the right to take legal action if your child sustained an injury on a school playground. These include:

  • Negligent supervision
  • Staff and/or teachers who have not been properly trained
  • Bad maintenance of grounds
  • A lack of proper security
  • Poorly maintained, poorly manufactured or damaged equipment
  • A failure to protect children against risks of foreseeable harm
  • A failure to repair defective equipment
  • An act of bullying that was not prevented

The school has a duty to ensure safety for all the children in and around a school playground. Failure to provide proper supervision or security and a safe environment can make the school legally liable for any injuries or accidents that occur on its playground. If your child has sustained an injury, it must be proven that the responsible party at the school acted in a negligent manner or failed to provide a safe and secure environment for the children.

If the injury was sustained as a result of an act of bullying, the offending child’s parents might also be held liable for the injury, as well as the school staff members who were negligent in preventing or stopping the incident of bullying.

Additionally, if the school is private, then there will likely be different parties or organizations that could ultimately be held responsible.

When seeking to file a claim, it is important that you speak with a lawyer who is experienced in playground injury cases. The attorney will know what questions to ask and what to investigate in order to find out who was ultimately responsible and whom the case should be filed against.

The playground injury lawyer will also investigate many of the facts of the case by traveling to the playground, inspecting the grounds and equipment, taking pictures, and building a case of evidence so that negligence or another cause of injury can be successfully proven, ensuring that you receive the compensation you need and deserve. Compensation can cover medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any future medical bills or expenses for care that may be incurred as a result of the injury.

It is important to file a claim or lawsuit in a timely fashion, as cases such as this often have strict deadlines. Keep all records of the incident, including any photos you might have taken, notes on responses or communication with school staff and officials, any school or police reports, and medical paperwork and expenses. Having all this information organized and available will make it easier for the lawyer to file the necessary claim and paperwork in a timely fashion.

If your child has been injured at a school playground and you wish to know what your legal options might be and who might ultimately be held responsible, contact the experienced and professional attorneys at the Boston law firm of Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, PC. You’ll find that our attorneys are experienced in cases involving school, city and county playground injuries and will fight hard for you to ensure that you receive the maximum possible compensation for your child’s injuries. For a free initial consultation with one of our seasoned personal injury lawyers, call us at (617) 698-6000, or get in touch with us via email.

Should I sue after a dog bite?

Let’s get one thing clear: No case is guaranteed. There is always a risk factor from the human element involving the whims of a judge or jury. That being said, dog bite cases are some of the easiest cases to win and victims have the best odds of prevailing.

In fact, Massachusetts has a strict liability for dog bites: The owner of the dog is responsible for the injury. It’s written right into the general laws. Chapter 140, Section 155 to be exact.

Some people think dogs are entitled to one free bite; they’ve never bitten a person before and the owner couldn’t possibly have known that they would bite someone. That won’t protect you. Your dog bit a person causing a serious injury to someone who was minding their own business and you own that dog, that’s your responsibility.

If you’re an adult and your dog bites someone, you are responsible. If you’re a minor and your dog bites someone, your parents are legally responsible. The damages will usually be covered by homeowners insurance.

That cover the overwhelming majority of dog bite cases. There are two big exceptions, however, spelled out plainly in the law.

 

The Exceptions to the Dog Bite Law

The dog owner is not responsible if you were bitten while being cruel to the dog. The exact words of the law are that you can not be “Teasing, tormenting or abusing” the dog. If that was happening, it’s entirely expected (and possibly justified with adults) for the dog to fight back.

The law also says the dog owner is responsible so long as the bitten person was not “committing a trespass or other tort.”

If you jump my fence and my dog bites you, I have a good defense. You’re on my property. If you’re attacking me and my dog jumps in to protect me, the only thing I expect to pay for is a steak for Fido.

If you have a “Beware Dog” sign it probably won’t protect you from a lawsuit. If you verbally warn a person that your dog bites and they reach out and get bitten, the person would probably be found to be 40 percent responsible for the bite, and you would be 60 percent responsible as the dog’s owner. That’s still a majority of responsibility and you would still be liable for damages.

 

Have You Been Bitten?

If someone from your family has been hurt by a dog, give us a call at 1 (888) 330-6657 or contact us and we can talk to you about your rights and possible next steps.

Summer Camp Negligence – What to Watch for

There are two usual reactions parents have when seeing their kids off to summer camp: One is a relief that everyone will have a fun vacation, especially the parents who can focus on unwinding and having more time to themselves. The other is fear and worry, as their children could be in danger and they won’t be able to help them.

Without exception, it’s more fun to be in that first group, but the parents in the second group have a point: When you sign up with a summer came, you are giving control of your child’s safety over to the staff, and if that staff isn’t prepared to take the problem seriously, then you should be worried.

What A Safe Camp Looks Like

 

If you want to stay in the happy, carefree first group, look over the camp in person when the camp counselors are there. Make sure there are enough people old enough to show maturity and responsibility, instead of a pack of young teens who are going to have their eyes on other counselors the entire time.

Are there enough counselors to look over all of the kids, is there a nurse on staff who can treat any minor injuries that do occur? Does the camp have a good reputation with other parents? These are all important questions to answer before the summer begins.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a day camp or an all-summer camp: Your kids will be under the care of someone else, and there will be chances where a negligent person could fail to keep them safe. It’s no different than a daycare center, where children don’t go overnight but can still be at tremendous risk if not looked after carefully.

Camps needs to have the correct safety gear for the activities they promised they will perform. It would be pretty egregious to take kids out on a boat without life jackets, and fortunately, safety regulations are so well known on that subject that we’re not aware of anyone who has done that. You should be more concerned about games of tackle football played without helmets and pads.

Negligent behavior, where summer camp staff fail to protect kids from common, preventable risks are the makings of a lawsuit. Some injuries, like a twisted ankle, are fairly hard to prevent and would generally not be appropriate for a civil suit.

Now, What Can You Do?

 

If someone from your family has been hurt at summer camp, give us a call at 1 (888) 330-6657 or contact us and we can talk to you about your rights and possible next steps.

 

Defective Smoke Detectors: After the fire Claims for Injuries Caused by Defective Smoke Detectors

Defective Smoke Detectors

Fire is an ancient danger. According to Greek myth, fire had to be stolen from the gods, and it remains devastating, dangerous and unpredictable. Over 3,000 people are killed every year in residential fires in the U.S as smoke, flames and deadly gases race through their homes.

These deaths are tragic because a very simple modern technology – properly designed, tested, and installed smoke alarms – should be able to keep the ancient danger of fire at bay. The tragedy of a fatality is compounded immeasurably when a smoke detector is installed, but it fails to work. If that happens in your family, you may have a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer of the defective smoke alarm.

Why Smoke Detectors are Vital

Smoke alarms are vital in houses because fires can break out for so many different reasons. The cause could be spontaneous combustion of old building materials left behind by a contractor. It could be a clogged chimney, a candle or a short in electrical wiring somewhere in the house. And of course it could be a kitchen fire, the result of a burner inadvertently left on.

Smoke detectors are supposed to warn of fires caused by these things. This is especially important because, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, most fatal fires happen at night, when people are asleep.

We are all at our most vulnerable when sleeping. That’s why it’s terrible when a defective smoke alarm not only fails to provide protection, but also lulls us into a false sense of security.

Types of Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms come in two main types. Ionization detectors sense smoke particles and use an electronic current. Photoelectric detectors sense beams of light, which diminish when smoke is present. Some commercial smoke alarms contain a combination of the two types; these are called dual sensor smoke alarms.

A stable power source is needed for the smoke alarm to be effective. Alarms can be directly connected to a home’s electrical wiring or run on batteries. They can also be wired into the house with a battery backup.

The batteries can be replaceable, or they can be sealed-long life batteries. Not surprisingly, in the digital age, smoke alarms based on wireless technology are now found in many homes.

After a Smoke Alarm Failure

It doesn’t matter which type of smoke alarm or power source is chosen. The bottom line is that if a smoke alarm fails and an injury or death results, you may have a cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death. There are several possible legal grounds to consider, starting with a products liability claim against the manufacturer. Talk with an experienced products liability attorney in your area to learn more about your rights and legal options.

Avoid Nursing Home Negligence – Check out the nursing home over the holidays

Most people know about the trick of checking the batteries in smoke detectors when they set their clocks back. Well, how about a similar idea where you check the quality of care your loved ones in nursing home facilities and care centers are receiving each year when you see them for the holidays? To avoid nursing home negligence and abuse, it’s time to check in and monitor your loved ones care.

Nursing home negligence and abuse can happen over the holidays

Some people in nursing homes are medically capable of being picked up to spend time with their families on Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday they celebrate. Other people need more help and their family gets to visit them inside their assisted living community.

Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse Lawyers, Boston Massachusetts

 

Nursing home care is important to monitor to avoid nursing home negligence, abuse or death

Whatever your family’s situation is, stop in and spend some time in your elderly loved one’s home. Pay attention and look around for little clues. Are there people placed in wheelchairs and left in a corner for a few hours? Does a call button go off for 15 minutes before someone answers it? Does something just seem off? Nursing home negligence can take many forms.

You might think the staff will put on their best behavior when they know families will come by, but that’s not always the case. Family members drop by nursing homes all the time so many staff members won’t see the point of concealing something that was already out in the open.

Holidays often mean a skeleton crew is working, and when the safety of your mother, father, aunt, uncle or other elder relative is at stake, don’t you want to know what things look like in the worst-case scenario? Emergencies can happen anytime.

Don’t forget to talk to your loved one about their own experiences. Does the staff respond to requests? Are they happy there? Are their needs being met? What do they think?

One evaluation will not be enough, however. The quality of a nursing home can fall over time, so make sure you check back from time to time. The quality of care of your loved one depends on it.

The danger of modding an e-cigarette device

We’ve previously written about the design flaws in an e-cigarette device that can cause them to explode and harm users. On their own, these flaws can be standard product liability cases, where the companies that made and sold the products are liable for harm causes by the normal use of the product.

However, there is a subculture of e-cigarette device vape users who “mod” or modify their e-cig device. Most of those modifications are to allow the user to practice “sub ohm vaping,” where the device consumes the vaping chemicals at a faster pace, allowing the user to have larger volumes of vapor or vapor of a higher concentration.

Some of these modified devices have exploded, which may or may not mean the modder is the one responsible for the accident. It all depends on the details of the case.

e-cigarette device “modder”

While an automobile manufacturer could be sued for selling a car with a design flaw that leads to fires, the manufacturer would likely not be held liable if someone were to add aftermarket parts that ultimately cause the car to catch on fire or fail in some other way. In the same manner, it’s possible for an e-cig modder to make the device unstable and likely to explode or ignite.

However, that does not mean all mods eliminate responsibility from the manufacturers and sellers of the e-cig device. It’s possible that the modifications people made were minor or unrelated to the parts that caused the accident.

Modifications certainly can make it harder to prove a product liability case, but they need to be sorted out on a case by case basis. We’re happy to go over the details with you and help determine if you have a case if you call us at 617-698-6000.