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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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Concerns when the other side is holding back records

Once again we’ll look at the concerns that a plaintiff may have as to whether the other side is altering and/or holding back certain documents or information that could be helpful to the plaintiff. When I say plaintiff, I mean the person who is pursuing his or her personal injury action. In the last blog we talked about ethical rules, rules that impose on the other side’s attorney, as well as your own, a duty of good faith in the pursuit or defense of a case.

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Ethical Rules Imposed on Lawyers will be of Big Help

Over the years, I’ve heard a legitimate question from my personal injury clients. Let me start off by assuring you as the would-be client that the other side and its lawyer has a duty to be ethical and candid. The highest court of Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court, has established and promulgated ethical rules. They are contained in Supreme Judicial Court Ethical Rule 3.07. Specifically, let’s look at two.

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OSHA Did Not Investigate This Construction Site Accident But Maybe

In a recent blog I talked about ways to prove your construction site accident case and I ended with a discussion of OSHA. I said if they came and investigated, that would be a fertile ground of material for your lawyer. However, there are circumstances, in fact many, where even if a serious accident occurred, OSHA will not come to investigate. Recently, there are more stringent requirements on having OSHA investigate. Let’s assume that we are dealing with those times where there has been no investigation of the construction accident.

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