Articles Posted in MBTA Slip and Fall Claims

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There are a number of factors that come into play when an attorney

decides whether or not to take on a personal injury case for a client. 

Here are some, but not all, of those factors:

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Slip and fall cases can be challenging to win at trial in Massachusetts.  Each county in Massachusetts is unique and within each county sits jurors with unique life experiences with their own opinions regarding whether or not injury victims are deserving of compensation.  Defense lawyers and insurance claims adjusters, when evaluating a claim, consider the county where the action is pending in evaluating a claim's value.  Here is a link to an informative survey that reveals generally the juror tendencies of the various counties of Massachusetts:

http://www.harmonie.org/user_documents/massachusetts.pdf

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Oftentimes slip and falls are caused by inebriation. Does that mean the injury victim does not have a case? No.
Generally, if the injury victim is deemed less negligent than the company or person responsible for the accident, then she or she can pursue a claim. So who determines who is at fault, and whether the injury victim or property owner is more to blame for the accident? A jury does.
Intoxication therefore is not a bar to recovery. But, intoxication will bar any recovery when the injury victim is greater than 50% responsible for the accident.

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Not to worry.  One of the hallmarks of personal injury law is that the injury victim does not get billed an hourly rate.  Rather, the legal fee is a percentage of the gross amount recovered for the client. 

Nearly all Massachusetts personal injury lawyers – as well as personal injury lawyers in other states -  take slip and fall cases on a contingency fee basis.  What that means is that your attorney will take 33 1/3% (or possibly more if your case goes into suit) of any settlement or judgment amount as his/her legal fee at the conclusion of the case.  If your attorney advances any costs in prosecuting your claim, it is you that is ultimately responsible for any such costs. 

With contingency fee cases, your attorney is required by the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct to provide you with a copy of the signed, contingency fee agreement.  This is the agreement that formalizes the attorney/client relationship.  If your attorney does not provide you with a copy of the fee agreement, ask him/her for a copy of same.

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Not to worry.  One of the hallmarks of personal injury law is that the injury victim does not get billed an hourly rate.  Rather, the legal fee is a percentage of the gross amount recovered for the client. 

Nearly all Massachusetts personal injury lawyers – as well as personal injury lawyers in other states -  take slip and fall cases on a contingency fee basis.  What that means is that your attorney will take 33 1/3% (or possibly more if your case goes into suit) of any settlement or judgment amount as his/her legal fee at the conclusion of the case.  If your attorney advances any costs in prosecuting your claim, it is you that is ultimately responsible for any such costs. 

With contingency fee cases, your attorney is required by the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct to provide you with a copy of the signed, contingency fee agreement.  This is the agreement that formalizes the attorney/client relationship.  If your attorney does not provide you with a copy of the fee agreement, ask him/her for a copy of same.

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One of the first questions I ask a potential personal injury client is whether he has made any claims in the past.  Whether it be a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall or some other claim, it is important for me to know this information.  The reason is that the claims adjuster and the defense attorney (if the claim goes into suit) has access to a claims index.  If you have made claims in the past, they will appear in the claims index and will come up on a search.

Therefore, before meeting with your attorney for the first time, think back to any claims you have made in the past and write them down on a piece of paper.  Write down the approximate date of the accident, the type of accident it was, and any injuries you suffered as a result.

It is better that your attorney learn of these accidents at the beginning of the case, rather than during your deposition when the defense attorney will be sure to bring them up to weaken your case.

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A statute of limitations is the period of time set through law in which you are allowed to sue someone in court.  Generally, in Massachusetts, personal injury claims such as auto accidents, slip and falls, and dog bites, have, respectively, a three-year statute of limitations.

But be very clear that not all accident/personal injury claims have a three-year statute of limitations.  Some have shorter or longer periods depending on the facts and the applicable law.  If you have been hurt in an accident, I suggest you call an attorney immediately in order to protect your legal rights.

Please contact me with any questions of comments you may have in connection with Massachusetts personal injury law.

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ere is an article from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly about how the vast majority of personal injury plaintiffs are losing at trial in Massachusetts.  Keep in mind the old adage, "the good cases settle, and the bad cases go to trial" while you read the article.  Here is the article:

Odds against tort plaintiffs in Massachusetts

Success at trial poor, especially in suburbs

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All Massachusetts personal injury lawyers, as well as all practicing Massachusetts lawyers in general, have certain ethical requirements they must meet when representing injury victims. Whether your lawyer represents you in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, dog bite case, products liablity, medical malpractice, or any other type of personal injury case, your lawyer has to do certain things. Some of these things are the following:

1. All personal injury contingent fee agreements must be in writing;

2. Your lawyer must give you a copy of the written contingent fee agreement;

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If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at a retail store, the store does not have a legal duty to provide you with a copy of the video.  The only real way to obtain the video of your fall is by suing the store for your injuries.  At that time, during discovery, the store is required to provide you, or your attorney, with a copy of the video.  Regardless of whether or not the case is in suit, my office always sends a 'spoilation letter' advising the store to preserve the video, as it is evidence that can be introduced at trial.  The failure of a store to preserve the video can result in serious sanctions and penalties by the court. 

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