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When a patient is dissatisfied with treatment received from a doctor, hospital, or other medical provider, he or she may have a claim for medical malpractice. An experienced Cape Cod medical malpractice attorney can explain the process of asserting such a claim.

In some instances, there may be the possibility of some other type of legal course, as well. However, such situations are the exception rather the rule.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff. In order to prevail on a claim for malpractice against an allegedly negligent health care provider, the plaintiff must be able to present proof that the defendant breached the applicable standard of care and that this was the proximate cause of the damages for which the plaintiff seeks monetary compensation.

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In order for a Cape Cod medical malpractice case to be filed in a particular court, there must be subject matter jurisdiction. Most such cases are filed in state court, but sometimes there may be jurisdiction in federal court.

One such situation arises when the person who injured the plaintiff was an employee of the federal government. Generally speaking, the government is immune from lawsuits, but there are special exceptions in these types of cases.

Of course, the government has teams of attorneys whose job is to make sure that only qualifying cases are allowed to proceed. Just like other defendants, the government has a right to defend itself in court, even at the pre-trial stage with regard to jurisdictional issues.

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The concept of negligence law is born of the idea that we each owe certain duties to one another. This includes not only individuals and businesses but also branches of the government. It can also include non-profit organizations and, as was the situation in a recent case, colleges and universities.

Some duties are general in nature, such as the duty that motorists owe one another to keep a proper lookout while driving. Duties can sometimes be more specific, depending on special knowledge or control by one party or the other.

One thing that is sure, however, is that no one owes anyone else the duty to prevent any and all harm that might befall him or her. Such a notion would be very unfair, of course. Instead, the question of duty is more often resolved based on an inquiry into whether the harm was foreseeable and whether the defendant could have prevented such with reasonable efforts.

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One of the first considerations in a personal injury lawsuit in Massachusetts, such as a negligence claim arising from a Cape Cod boating accident, is the forum in which the plaintiff’s claim will be filed. Often, there is but a single possibility for the filing of such a case, so the inquiry is a relatively simple one.

However, some situations lend themselves to the possibility of jurisdiction in more than one court – a state court or a federal court, perhaps. Sometimes, two states may arguably both have jurisdiction over a given case.

Rarely – but sometimes – two different nations may have jurisdiction of a particular lawsuit. In such a situation, it is up to the court system to decide which nation’s court will provide the more convenient forum based on the situation at hand.

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When it comes to the ultimate outcome of a Cape Cod personal injury case, the availability of liability insurance is one of the most important factors to be considered. Assuming that there is a policy of insurance that covers the occurrence at issue, another important consideration is the policy limits of such coverage.

In the absence of adequate liability insurance, the plaintiff’s options for recovering a judgment against the defendant are limited. While the plaintiff may have a right to execute the judgment against any property owned by the defendant and/or any wages that he or she earns in the future, it may take a very, very long time to satisfy a judgment – if it is ever satisfied.

Of course these issues are meaningless if the plaintiff is unable to prove his or her case in court, so it is important that someone who has suffered personal injuries due to another person’s careless or reckless conduct consult an attorney who can help him or her build a case that will convince the jury of his or her right to money damages. Without evidence that preponderates in the plaintiff’s favor, the defendant’s liability insurance is irrelevant.

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There is a large branch of case law devoted to the issues of when a police officer can pull over a vehicle, when that vehicle can be searched, and when the occupants thereof can be made to exit the vehicle. This body of the law holds many general principles, but oftentimes the outcome of, say, a Cape Cod criminal defense case, is dependent on the specific facts presented therein.

For example, what prompted the officer to pull over the vehicle? What did he or she observe when approaching the vehicle? Was any additional information obtained from nearby witnesses?

Facts of the Case

In a recent criminal case considered on appeal, the defendant had been convicted on charges of unlawfully carrying a firearm (and unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm) in violation of Massachusetts General Laws ch. 269, § 10(a) and (n). He appealed, arguing that it had been error for the arresting officer to order him to get out of the vehicle in which he had been riding based on information obtained by a private security guard from employees of a nearby nightclub.

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Like other types of cases involving personal injury or wrongful death, Massachusetts workers’ compensation cases involve a variety of deadlines. For the injured worker, these deadlines typically include the time by which notice must be given and a claim must be filed.

Of course, there are also deadlines that may apply to others who may be involved in the administration and/or litigation of a claim for work-related injury benefits. These parties may include the employer, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, and possibly others, depending upon the circumstances of a particular case.

It should also be noted that, while most work injury cases are resolved in a relatively short period of time (especially if there is no permanent disability to the worker), this is not always so. As the case below proves, some such cases can go on for many years.

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In a Cape Cod workers’ compensation case, the issues can be numerous. Typical issues include the amount of temporary benefits due the worker, the extent of the worker’s permanent disability, and the worker’s entitlement to medical care for his or her injuries.

Sometimes, contention begins even earlier in the process, with the employer or its insurance company denying the worker’s claim. As grounds, the employer or carrier may claim that the injury did not happen in the course and scope of the employee’s work or that some other defense (such as intoxication on the job) may apply.

In still other cases, the dispute may be even more fundamental. Was there workers’ compensation insurance in effect at the time of the accident in question?

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The first question that must be answered in any Cape Cod wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit is, “Did the defendant owe a duty of care to the plaintiff?” The answer to this inquiry can be impacted by state statutes, existing case law, local ordinances, the particular facts of the case, the relationship between the parties, and various other matters.

If the defendant did owe a duty of care to the plaintiff, the next step is to determine whether the duty was breached. If it was, then the issue turns to the question of causation and, then, damages. Only if the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty, and thereby proximately caused legal damages to him or her may the case be resolved in the plaintiff’s favor.

If the answer to the duty question is “no,” the case ends there – unless the trial court’s judgment is appealed, of course. Then, a higher court may take a look at the case to determine whether a mistake was made in the lower tribunal. Only if the appealing party can convince the appellate court that a reversible error was made will there be a reversal of the lower court’s decision and a reinstatement of the plaintiff’s complaint.

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Most people are at least vaguely aware that there are deadlines for filing a claim in a Cape Cod work injury case. The particulars of those procedural rules, however, are not as widely understood. As the following case indicates, sometimes the statutes of limitations can even be a matter of dispute, due to the unique facts of a given case.

If you or someone in your family has been hurt at work, it is best to talk to a lawyer right away. A knowledgeable work injury attorney will talk to you about the details of your accident and advise you of the procedure for protecting your claim and your legal rights.

Waiting too long to take legal action can result in total forfeiture of an otherwise valid claim, so it important to understand the necessary steps in your particular case. It is important to note that, while there are general statutes of limitation for workers’ compensation cases, the circumstances of your particular case may alter that general timeline. This is especially true in cases involving product injury, injuries out of state, and accidents that were caused by the negligence of a governmental entity.

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