Articles Posted in MBTA Personal Injury Claims

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What Is Negligence?

Negligence in Massachusetts, and in all states, means failing to act reasonably in a situation and causing injury to a person(s) as a direct result.  As a Boston accident lawyer, negligence is the lynchpin of each case my office handles. Whether it be a Massachusetts car accident, slip and fall, or any other type of personal injury case, the injury victim must prove the following elements in order to win a negligence case against a defendant:

1) The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.  This means that the one who caused the injuries had a legal duty to act in a reasonable manner toward the victim.  An example of a duty of care is that we all have a duty while driving not to drive into the rear of the car in front of us.

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Massachusetts Personal Injury Cases and Settlement Funding

This is a topic I deal with quite frequently when representing personal injury victims. Often, my clients will call me and tell me the accident they were involved in has financially harmed them so much, they are willing to take a loan out.  For example, suppose the client was riding a bicycle and was hit by a car.  The person may be really injured, racking up medical bills, and maybe lost wages, too.  Sometimes the client will see an ad on television from companies that provide funding to people injured in an accident and that have an open case pending with an insurance company.

The loan is typically financed by a pre-settlement funding company. When my clients ask me about this option, I try very hard to persuade them not to take out such a loan, because the interest rates can be very daunting.  Basically, the way it works is this: the pre-settlement funding company will closely analyze the client’s case, and loan application, and then decide whether or not the case is strong enough to guarantee the company will recoup their money, once the case settles.

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Millions of Americans have Medicare health insurance coverage.  Oftentimes however, when a Medicare beneficiary is involved in a personal injury event, dealing with Medicare can be a tedious and interminable process.

By law, Medicare has an automatic lien for any medical bills they paid out on your behalf in connection with medical treatment you received stemming from a personal injury case.  There is no way to avoid such a lien, and myself, and thousands of personal injury attorneys throughout America deal with the Medicare behemoth daily.

Therefore, if you have been injured in an accident in Massachusetts, or any other state, and you are a Medicare beneficiary, your attorney (or yourself if you are pro se) will have to work with Medicare to see to it that their lien is satisfied out of any settlement or verdict proceeds.  Because even if a case is concluded, Medicare can still pursue the beneficiary, and even the attorney, if Medicare discovers their lien was not satisfied.

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Absolutely.  The attorney/client relationship is based on a mutual and voluntary contractual relationship.  The client can exit the relationship at any time.  In fact, you are allowed to fire your Massachusetts personal lawyer at any time and you don't even need a reason for doing so.

I find that many people who call me and are interested in changing lawyers are doing so because they feel their lawyer is not communicating with them.  If your lawyer is not calling you back and/or not keeping you updated on your case, you have the right to change lawyers.  You may, however, be responsible for paying the lawyer back the expenses the lawyer put into the case. 

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Absolutely.  The attorney/client relationship is based on a mutual and voluntary contractual relationship.  The client can exit the relationship at any time.  In fact, you are allowed to fire your Massachusetts personal lawyer at any time and you don't even need a reason for doing so.

I find that many people who call me and are interested in changing lawyers are doing so because they feel their lawyer is not communicating with them.  If your lawyer is not calling you back and/or not keeping you updated on your case, you have the right to change lawyers.  You may, however, be responsible for paying the lawyer back the expenses the lawyer put into the case. 

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Most if not all Massachusetts personal injury, medical malpractice and products liability cases are taken on a contingency fee basis.  What does this mean?  I found the following informative and articulate post over at injuryboard.com authored by attorney Scott E. Smith.  Here is the post:

Abraham Lincoln once said, "A lawyer's time and advice is his stock in trade." In essence, asking an attorney for his advice is no different than asking an accountant to set up a business plan or do your taxes, a doctor to examine you, render a diagnosis and prescribe treatment or hiring an electrician to fix the wiring of your home. Nonetheless, many people are under the impression that calling a lawyer and asking a question is free. Although most lawyers will gladly answer preliminary questions regarding a legal matter, when it is determined a lawyer is needed, a fee contract is required.

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Most lawyers charge by the hour, as do most professions. Depending upon the lawyer's qualifications, experience and expertise, the hourly rate will vary. However, there are situations attorneys will work for a client on a contingent basis or on a reduced hourly rate and negotiated lower percentage. A contingency fee allows a lawyer to charge a client a percentage of money recovered in behalf of the client in a given case. A contingent fee contract has been referred to as the "poor man's key to the courthouse" because many individuals who are in need or require the assistance of an attorney cannot afford an hourly rate.

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Injured As A Tourist In Boston?

According to USA Today roughly 19 million visitors pass through Boston each year. It is no surprise given all that Boston has to offer. With such a huge number of visitors, it is no wonder that many are injured. Many visitors are injured in car accidents, slip and falls, and other types of accident cases. Visitors are sometimes more prone to accidents given their lack of familiarity with Boston. However, the fact that you do not live in Massachusetts does not mean you cannot hire a Massachusetts lawyer to represent you.

My office has represented out-of-state clients injured in motor vehicle accidents, hotels, stores, trains, on escalators, etc. If you or someone you know has been injured while a visitor in Boston, feel free to call my office. We would be happy to provide a no-obligation phone consultation.

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Whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant in a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit, there is a good chance you will be deposed.  The American Bar Association provides 10 tips for deponents which I feel can help you if you are facing an impending deposition.  Here they are:

  1. Tell the truth.
  2. Listen to the question. Pause. Think as long as necessary before answering.
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