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Thoughts on the Processing of a Personal Injury Case

Over the past several years the point of these blogs has been to try to educate the consuming public, to those who might have a case or those wondering about the lawsuit/litigation process. As in any profession, there can be misconceptions about what happens. In the past I’ve discussed how long a case takes. Certainly there are no hard and fast rules on that.

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A Short Primer on Consortium Claims

We know that the law often changes or, as academics are fond of saying, evolves. Yes, over the years more claims have been permitted by the highest court of Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court, and the Massachusetts state legislature. Of course, sometimes the pendulum swings the other way, that is against the rights of victims.

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Federal vs. State Cases

In terms of which courts adjudicate personal injury cases, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction by the terms of the constitution. They can only hear certain cases. Those cases include the United States as an active party, cases that bring into question violations of the constitution, other federal questions and then a big catchall: diversity cases.

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Four Elements of Negligence

Negligence by any other name is… negligence. Of course, to be sure, there are terms that we can use to illustrate what negligence is: a civil wrong, fault, failure to act as a reasonable and prudent person, individual, corporation, professional, etc. Negligence can entail acting (not just failing to act) but in a way that is below the commonly accepted standard. To prove negligence, the client must have sustained an injury that falls either under bodily harm, or harm to property.

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A Terrible Set of Facts; An Unfortunate Result

A recent and tragic case brings home the proposition on just how cruel the law can be, or at least seem to be. A fourth grader in a Lynn public school had been the target of ongoing bullying. One morning, when the class was lining up to enter the school, he was pushed down the stairs. The child suffered a severe spinal injury, resulting in paralysis.

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When the other party speaks, we all should listen

In past blogs I’ve discussed important issues relating to evidence. The arguments about evidence, and the admissibility of certain documents and/or testimony can make or break a case, especially a serious personal injury case. I think I can say that with a fair degree of confidence based upon my experience, now approaching almost four decades of doing just personal injury work.

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The two claims in a personal injury accident

In a serious personal injury accident, the victim may have two claims. The first claim would be for workers’ compensation and that comes about if the injured party was working at the time of the accident. If there is yet another entity who was negligent, then there is the possibility of a second claim.

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Statute of Limitations

A phrase familiar to us is the statute of limitations. Lay people are thoroughly familiar with that term and its meaning. As is commonly known, if you start a court action after that date, your claim is forever barred. Needless to say, no one wants to be in that position.

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The importance of using the tools of the legal trade

A discredited politician from the 1930s was fond of quoting an expression that children regularly hear: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Hopefully, I’m not discredited and hopefully that credo stands for something of value and use.

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Law in Sports

It seems to me that the more you watch sports these days the more it calls for legal thinking. I’m not trying to elevate the profession of lawyers, but I am trying to say the interpretation of the rules in sports has become a complicated matter.

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