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When Trends Persist

In more than 30 years as a personal injury attorney, I have seen the practice of law change as cultural concerns and methods of handling disputes have evolved.

Technology has come to drive my area of practice. For example, personal electronic devices have fueled an upswing in serious automobile and other accidents involving distracted operators, drivers or pilots.

In the same light, advances in medical technology have provided new drugs, treatments and the development of new devices — some of which turn out to be dangerous and defective. In these cases ¾ such as the recent meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated drugs or the defectively designed hip implants that caused widespread injury and hardship — marketing and distribution improvements deliver these dangers to more consumers around the globe than ever before.

But despite an increasingly sophisticated and dangerous world, in Massachusetts, and likely elsewhere, the number of cases brought to court continues to decline and level off as they have in the past decade. In Massachusetts Superior Court, there were 486 fewer cases pending by July of 2012 than the year before.

Is the world less dangerous? Certainly not. Are fewer people pursuing compensation for injuries? Not likely, but at the same time litigation has declined, alternative methods of resolving serious disputes have become commonplace. Mediation and arbitration are processes now commonly known and used to settle cases that might otherwise have ended up on a court docket.

Though a great deal has changed in the practice of law over time, one thing remains the same. If you are injured by the negligent or reckless actions of another person or entity, get good legal advice today. This is what our system allows yet many people are embarrassed about proceeding. If I may say, that is a mistake.

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