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Car accidents can result in serious wounds and property damage. While injured individuals can pursue reimbursement from the drivers who caused the incidents, they frequently file claims with the motorists’ insurance companies as well. Insurers have a responsibility to examine claims promptly and, if applicable, make reasonable settlement offers; if they fail to do so, damaged parties may pursue claims against them. However, as explained in a recent judgment delivered by a Massachusetts court, such claims must often be fought after the claims against the negligent motorist have been addressed. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a careless driver, you should consult with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to determine your legal options.

The Case’s Details

The plaintiffs were allegedly driving on a highway in New Hampshire when they were struck by a car operated by the defendant. Both claimants were injured severely. The police investigating the accident decided that the defendant driver was at fault and issued him a citation for driving while intoxicated. Following that, the plaintiffs filed a claim with the defendant insurer, which was the firm that insured the defendant driver.

Tragic accidents that result in the death of persons happen all too regularly in Massachusetts. Often, such accidents are the result of harmful conditions that the deceased party experienced on someone else’s property. However, just because a hazardous condition existed near where a person died does not prove that the condition caused the fatal damage. A Massachusetts court recently reviewed what evidence is required to prove causation in negligence claims in a case involving a tragic fall down a flight of stairs. If you or a loved one has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer about your legal options.

The Death of the Decedent

The plaintiff’s deceased allegedly attended a party at the defendant’s residence. He fell down the stairs into the partially finished basement at one point during the evening. He sustained serious brain damage and was unable to communicate as a result of his accident, which was witnessed by no one. He passed away a week later. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death action against the defendant, claiming the decedent died as a result of the defendant’s negligent failure to keep the steps in good repair. The defendant moved for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiff had failed to establish causation. The plaintiff appealed after the court agreed and granted the defendant’s request.

Causation in Negligence Cases

A plaintiff alleging negligence has to prove that the defendant breached the obligation to exercise reasonable care, that the plaintiff suffered an actual loss, and that the loss was caused by the defendant’s breach, according to Massachusetts law. The plaintiff’s burden of proof includes proving causation. However, in the case at hand, the plaintiff’s only proof that the stairs were defective and that the deficiency caused the decedent’s fall was an unverified expert opinion letter. Continue reading

Broadly speaking, property owners have a responsibility to ensure that people who lawfully enter their buildings do not encounter dangerous conditions. As such, if they neglect to do so and people suffer injuries as a result, they may be deemed for damages in a civil proceeding. The duty to protect invitees from harm does not carry over to the property’s insurers, however, as indicated in a recent judgement set forth in a Massachusetts premises liability case. If you were hurt in an accident that happened on property owned by another party, you may be entitled to compensation, and you should speak with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer promptly.

The Injuries Suffered by the Plaintiff

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a plumber. While fixing a boiler at a residence, he slipped into a sump pit in the basement that was filled with scalding water. When the sump was installed in 2001, it was connected to the boiler’s drain valves, permitting water to drain from the boiler. Following his injury, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit, alleging claims against the the insurance and reinsurance companies that provided coverage for the premises, as well as the insurance adjuster who performed a boiler check in 2015.

Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to those who are injured on the job. They may also be entitled to seek civil claims for damages if their injuries were caused by the negligence of someone other than their employer. The defendant will frequently try to submit evidence of the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation benefits during the civil proceedings, but they will almost always be barred from doing so since it would be detrimental to the plaintiff. A Massachusetts court recently addressed the issue of whether the converse is true, in a matter in which the plaintiff produced evidence of his workers’ compensation claim during a civil trial. If you were hurt in a dog a dog attack, you may be owed compensation, and you should speak to a skilled Massachusetts personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

According to reports, the plaintiff, a mail carrier, covered a route for one of his coworkers. The defendant’s dog approached him when he was delivering mail to the defendant’s house. He tried to give the dog a treat, but the dog attacked him, biting his wrist and shaking his head ferociously.  After the plaintiff removed his arm from the dog’s mouth, it bit him on the left leg. He managed to extricate himself from the dog, after which the defendant emerged from his home and inquired if the dog had “got” him.

The plaintiff allegedly sustained a wrist injury and subsequently filed a workers’ compensation claim. He then brought a civil complaint against the defendant, claiming liability under the dog bite law. The plaintiff moved to add proof of the workers’ compensation benefits he recovered after the attack into evidence at trial. The defendant argued that such information would be used as proof of causation and damages by the jury, and was therefore prejudicial. The court granted the plaintiff’s motion. The jury found for the plaintiff, awarding him over $300,000 in damages. The defendant then filed a motion for a reversal of the decision. Continue reading

The popularity of ride-sharing applications has increased exponentially in recent years, and people throughout Massachusetts regularly employ them to get to their destination. People who drive for ride-sharing companies have the same obligations as other motorists, but like other motorists, they are often involved in collisions. People hurt in such crashes may seek compensation not only from the driver but also from the company the driver was working for at the time of the incident, but such companies are often reluctant to admit liability and may engage in actions that frustrate the discovery process.

Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed what information is discoverable in federal action against a ride-sharing company in a matter in which the company refused to respond to discovery requests. If you were hurt in a car crash, you might be owed damages, and it is advisable to confer with a trusted Massachusetts car accident attorney to discuss your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was walking when he was struck by the defendant driver. He suffered personal injuries and subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant driver and the defendant ride-sharing company. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant driver operated the car under the authority and control of the defendant company. He also alleged that the defendant driver was the defendant company’s employer and the defendant company was vicariously liable for the defendant driver’s negligence.

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Generally, companies that sell harmful goods can be held accountable for any injuries consumers sustain while using their products. It is well-established that parties only get one bite of the apple, however, which means they only get one shot to prove liability and recover compensation. Additionally, people deemed in privity of a party in a lawsuit are barred from pursuing the same damages at a later date via the doctrine of claim preclusion. Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed the elements of claim preclusion in a wrongful death case in which it upheld the judgment in favor of the plaintiff. If you lost a loved one due to a dangerous product, it is smart to speak to an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Reportedly, in 1998, the State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the defendant, a cigarette manufacturer, alleging it engaged in a conspiracy to mislead consumers regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking. The claim was ultimately settled. In 2017, the plaintiff, whose husband died from smoking-related illnesses, filed a lawsuit against the defendant pursuant to the wrongful death act.

Allegedly, the plaintiff argued that the defendant’s actions caused her husband’s death, and she sought punitive damages. The case went to trial, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant appealed, arguing that the doctrine of claim preclusion barred the plaintiff’s claims.

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While people can normally be held accountable for inflicting bodily harm upon others, when the individual who caused the injury works for a public employer, such as a city, obtaining damages might be challenging. In particular, the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (MTCA) shields public businesses from responsibility in a variety of circumstances and imposes stringent notification requirements on potential plaintiffs. In a recent Massachusetts ruling handed down in a case involving injuries sustained during an arrest, a court considered what constitutes sufficient notice of a potential tort claim under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act. If you have been harmed as a result of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation and should contact a Massachusetts personal injury attorney immediately.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

The plaintiff was reportedly traveling home from work when he was stopped by a police officer hired by the defendant city. He was stopped on the basis of an anonymous tip that he was carrying a pistol. The officer dragged the plaintiff from his vehicle, pushed him to the ground, and stepped on his neck, collarbone, and shoulder, fracturing them. The plaintiff was released after police failed to locate a gun in his vehicle.

The plaintiff allegedly filed a complaint against the defendant alleging a variety of grounds, including negligence under the MTCA. The defendant moved to dismiss, claiming that the plaintiff failed to furnish the appropriate notice under the MTCA. After reconsideration, the court found in favor of the plaintiff. Continue reading

Many jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, have a “dog bite” law that makes owners accountable for any harm their dogs inflict to unwitting victims. While the statute does not require proof of carelessness in order to seek damages, it does require proof of other components, such as ownership. A Massachusetts court recently considered whether a property owner might be held accountable for injuries caused by one of its tenants’ dogs under the dog bite law. If you were injured by a dog, you should consult with a qualified Massachusetts personal injury attorney to see what compensation you may be entitled to recover.

The Circumstances Surrounding the Plaintiff’s Injury

The plaintiff allegedly rode his bicycle past a residential rental property held by the defendant. The plaintiff was chased by a dog belonging to a renter who lived on the premises. It then bit him, knocking him from his bike and injuring him. The plaintiff then filed a case against the defendant, stating that he was strictly accountable for the plaintiff’s injuries under the dog bite legislation. Following discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, requesting the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff appealed the court’s decision in favor of the defendant.

Dog Owner Liability Under Massachusetts Law

The trial court’s decision was upheld by the appellate court. Despite the plaintiff’s allegations to the contrary, the dog bite legislation did not apply to the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant, according to the court. The defendant, the court explained, was not the dog’s owner or keeper, and hence could not be held strictly accountable for the dog’s actions under the dog bite law.

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People who suffer the loss of a loved one often expect they will have to contend with many things, such as economic losses, grief, and other strong emotions. They rarely anticipate that they will suffer harm during the process of saying goodbye to their loved ones, however. Harmful accidents can occur in a graveyard, though, and if they are caused by negligence, the party that owns the cemetery may be held accountable. Proving liability is not always an easy task, though. Recently, a Massachusetts court explained what evidence a person injured in a trip and fall accident must produce to recover damages in a case arising out of a fall in a cemetery. If you were hurt in a fall, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Massachusetts personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

Reportedly, the plaintiff attended a funeral service at the defendant’s cemetery. After the service was over, he began to walk over gravestones towards his car. When he was walking, he encountered a soft area, and his foot sunk into the ground, creating a hole that caused him to fall and sustain injuries to his leg and ankle. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligent maintenance of the property caused the dangerous condition that led to his harm. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to prove the elements of negligence. The court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Establishing Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident

Under Massachusetts law, property owners may be held liable for harm suffered by people who legally enter their premises, but only under certain circumstances. Specifically, an injured party must show that the owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition that posed a risk of harm to invitees existed and that the invitees would not discover the condition or realize the danger and take the actions needed to protect themselves.
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All falls can potentially cause harm but falls from roofs, and other high places typically cause critical injuries. Despite the severity of injuries suffered by people that fall from substantial heights, they can generally only recover damages if they can prove their falls were caused by another party’s carelessness. This requires, in part, proof of the applicable standard of care. As demonstrated in a recent Massachusetts ruling, the courts will only consider relevant evidence in determining what standard applies in fall cases. If you sustained injuries in a fall, you should meet with a trusted Massachusetts personal injury attorney to evaluate what damages you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff worked for a roofing company the defendant hired to remove snow from the roof of one of its properties. While on the job, the plaintiff fell from the roof. He suffered significant injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence led to his fall and ensuing injuries.

Reportedly, before the trial, the plaintiff moved in limine for the court to admit Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and publications into evidence. The court denied the motion. The jury found in favor of the defendant, deeming the defendant thirty percent liable and the plaintiff seventy percent liable for the fall. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion in limine.

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