Articles Posted in General Massachusetts Insurance Information

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Al respecto, cuando se compra un coche o se alquila un apartamento, hay que tener en cuenta muchas cosas, como el seguro, la calidad, el vecindario, etc. Es lo mismo a la hora de contratar a un abogado. Así como es importante contratar al abogado correcto, también es importante no equivocarse de representante. Hay algunas cosas en las que uno se debe fijar cuando está buscando el abogado adecuado. 

Para empezar, ¿tiene el abogado un historial de quejas éticas? Si es así, quizás sea el momento de buscar otro abogado. Hay una gran cantidad de abogados que no tienen ningún cargo disciplinario presentado contra ellos. Siempre, revise el sitio web “www.massbbo.org’‘ para buscar un abogado que le interese y guste, para representarse. Si él o ella tiene un historial disciplinario manchado, puede ser una señal mala e indicación que debería seguir buscando otro abogado. 

En segundo lugar, ¿le promete el abogado un acuerdo rápido? Eso también puede ser una señal de alarma, no hay duda de que los casos de lesiones personales y de compensación de los trabajadores pueden tomar un tiempo considerable para resolver, a veces el proceso puede tomar muchos meses y a veces incluso años para resolver un caso. Cualquier abogado que le diga lo contrario, no está siendo sincero con usted. 

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Similar to buying a car, or even renting an apartment – there are many things to consider when hiring an attorney. Just as important it is to hire the right lawyer, it is equally important to avoid hiring the wrong one. Here’s some things to look out for as you search for the right lawyer to handle your case

To begin with, does the lawyer have a history of receiving ethical complaints? If so, maybe it’s time to look for another lawyer. There’s an abundance of lawyers that do not have any disciplinary charges filed against them. Always, always check out www.massbbo.org to search for an attorney that you were interested in hiring. If he or she has a spotty disciplinary history, that may be a red flag. 

Secondly, is the attorney promising you a quick settlement? That too may be a red flag to look out for, there is no question that personal injury and workers’ compensation cases can take a considerable time to settle. Sometimes the process can take many months and sometimes even many years to settle a case. Any lawyer who tells you differently, is not being upfront and honest with you. 

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They say dogs are a man’s best friend, and while it’s mostly true, like everything else in life there is an exception to the rule. Without notice or warning, a dog can attack and it’s neither enjoyable nor pleasant for the dog, owner, or victim. In Massachusetts, the dog bite law is set forth in MGL c 140, s 155. Majority of the time, the owner of the dog is liable for injuries suffered in the attack with exceptions including if the victim was trespassing, committing a crime, or abusing the dog. While most states require the plaintiff to show proof of previous aggression from the dog, Massachusetts does not. State lawmakers were so prevalent in creating strict guidelines in reference to dog bites given how serious and common they are in the state.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than half of all Massachusetts residents own a pet, and 1 in 4 households own a dog. Moreover, there are an average of 6,300 dog bite injuries reported annually, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The most common dog bite injuries include fractured bones, scars, infections (including rabies), tissue loss, and lacerations. The Department of Health reports that head and facial injuries are more common in children, while adult injuries usually consist of arm and leg injuries. Once it occurs, the victim has three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit.

In order to prevent a dog injury bite, it is important that the owner socializes the dog, reducing the risk of the dog biting out of fear. In cases where the Dog Bite law does not apply, the owner has two main defenses: trespassing and provocation. If the victim of the bite was trespassing on private property without permission, the owner cannot face a dog related injury lawsuit. Similarly, if the victim was provoking the dog (purposely teasing and tormenting- or even abusing the dog), the owner is not liable. 

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How Insurance Companies Value Personal Injury Cases

How insurance companies value personal injury casesAlthough no two insurance companies have the same approach, there are some common elements on how insurance companies value personal injury cases.  Here are some, but not all of them:

1) Is liability on the part of the insured person(s) or company clear, and if not, is there any liability at all? An example would be a a slip and fall accident claim.  The insurance adjuster will closely analyze and evaluate whether or not the insured could be considered negligent in causing, or contributing to the accident.

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Each and every day Massachusetts auto insurance companies, upon learning of an auto accident in which they may have to pay out money damages, will send an insurance adjuster to the home of the injured party and attempt to have him/her sign a release.  The insurance adjuster shows up, big smile, and explains there is no need to get a lawyer.  Then, as is very common, the adjuster will offer some small money, maybe $500, maybe $1000, to the injury victim in order to settle the case as quickly as possible. 

This scenario gets me upset - and I see it all the time - because most people, after an accident, don't know their rights, unless he/she first speaks with an attorney.  The insurance adjuster know this, and capitalizes on it, in order to save the insurance company money (better for the insurance company to get rid of case fast before it has to pay out much more money when an attorney becomes involved in the case).

By signing a release without first speaking with an attorney basically guarantees that you are severely limiting your rights and potential compensation.  Do not sign ANYTHING the adjuster gives to you.  When the adjuster (still with the big smile) tells you there is no need to get a lawyer, tell him or her that you disagree.  End the meeting, and find a lawyer to consult with about your rights, should you be injured in a car accident in Massachusetts. 

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This story is from today's edition of BostonGlobe.com:

After fall, insurers’ auto rates up again

New competition isn’t guaranteeing price cuts

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Health Insurance Liens and Your Personal Injury Case

If you have been involved in a personal injury accident in Massachusetts, and your health insurance company has paid some, or all of your medical bills relating to your accident, then they are entitled to be paid back if you receive a settlement.  The money they are paid back comes out of the settlement.

This is often referred to as a ‘lien’ or a ‘right of recovery’ that your health insurance carrier has, by law, against the money that you recover from the accident.  Often, your attorney can reduce the amount that you owe to the health insurance carrier.  Many times, the health insurance carrier will take a 1/3 reduction of their lien to reflect the attorney’s fee that you must pay out of the settlement.  At times, the 1/3 reduction of the health insurance lien can be reduced even more by your attorney.

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