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wake up
Under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a person who has been accused of a crime has certain rights, including the right to a speedy and public trial. Depending upon the circumstances, the defendant may have the right to have his or her guilt or innocence determined by a jury at trial.

There are many procedures that must be followed during a jury trial, and any irregularity has the potential to trigger a new trial on the order of an appellate court. Of course, each case must be decided on its particular facts.

Facts of the Case

bicycle on trailGenerally speaking, Massachusetts is a bike-friendly state. It’s not unusual for students or even office workers to use this very affordable, environmentally friendly mode of transport for their daily commute. Unfortunately, accidents can happen to bicyclists, just as they happen to motorists who travel in cars, trucks, and SUVs.

When a bicycle accident results in serious injuries or death, the person who was hurt (or the family of a person who was killed) may be able to bring a claim for money damages against the responsible party. Of course, whether the case is successful is a very fact-dependent matter.

Facts of the Case

cattle in field
There are several familiar expressions warning against a premature assumption as to the outcome of an event. “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.” “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” It’s all sound advice.

But what happens if, after the fat lady has sung, the chickens have all hatched, and it’s clearly over, the opposing party refuses to accept the outcome? If the event in question happens to be a Massachusetts car accident lawsuit, the successful litigant may have to seek additional help from the court in order to collect what is due him or her via a judgment – or, as happened in a recent case, even a settlement.

Facts of the Case

alcohol calculatorA person who is suspected of operating under the influence (OUI) of drugs or alcohol on Cape Cod will probably be given a breathalyzer test at some point following his or her detention by police. Under Massachusetts law, there is a 15-minute waiting period prior to the administration of the test.

The purpose of the waiting period is to ensure that the defendant has not brought something into his or her mouth (such as food, drink, or a regurgitated substance resulting from a burp or hiccough) that would contaminate the breath sample or compromise the accuracy of the test. When this waiting period is not strictly respected, the defendant may have an argument that the test results should be suppressed and not used as evidence against him or her at trial. However, this argument will not prevail in every Massachusetts OUI case, since the resolution of such matters is very fact-specific.

Facts of the Case

equal justice
In a Cape Cod criminal case, both the prosecution and the defense have certain obligations to provide the opposing party with evidence that may be used at trial. In particular, the government must provide exculpatory evidence – evidence that tends to show the innocence of the defendant.

Of course, this does not always happen, and sometimes post-conviction proceedings are filed years – or even decades – after it is finally discovered that the government failed to turn over a certain piece of evidence. Such a situation does not necessarily result in a new trial, since there are multiple factors that must cut in the defendant’s favor in order for such relief to be granted.

Facts of the Case

RecalledWhile not every dangerous or defective product is recalled by its manufacturer, it is a good idea to occasionally check the government’s “Recent Recalls” list. It only takes a few minutes, and it could provide important information about a defect in a vehicle, food item, tire, child safety seat, or other product.

Cape Cod product liability lawsuits sometimes involve recalled products, but often the product in question has not been the subject of a recall. (Product liability claims include theories such as breach of warranty, manufacturing defect, design defect, failure to warn, negligence, or strict liability.)

Strollers and Motorcycle Handlebars Could Cause Injuries

patrol carFollowing an injury at work, a Massachusetts workers’ compensation claimant may or may not be able to return to his or her previous job. In cases in which the worker is unable to go back to the employment in which he or she was engaged at the time of the accident or work-related illness, he or she may be able to seek permanent disability payments.

Of course, the employer or its insurance company may oppose the worker’s claim, averring that the worker’s injury or illness did not result in a permanent disability. When the parties cannot agree, it is up to a workers’ compensation administrative law judge to make a determination of the specific benefits to which the injured worker is entitled.

If either party is displeased with the result, there is an appellate procedure in place.

prescription medicationsThe United States prescription drug industry generates billions of dollars in revenue per year. Statistically speaking, about one in two Americans used a prescribed medication during the last month, and about one in four used three or more drugs.

There are two ways to look at this situation. The more positive approach is to be thankful that we live in a time when so many medical conditions can be treated by the use of pharmaceuticals. The more skeptical approach is to consider whether we really need all of that medicine, or whether “Big Pharma” (as it is sometimes called) is more about money than benevolence.

Either way, one thing is for sure:  not all drugs are safe for all patients. Even medications that have gone through all of the required testing sometimes cause considerable harm and even death, inevitably leading to Massachusetts product liability lawsuits in Cape Cod and elsewhere.

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highway at sunsetSo how bad – or how good – are Massachusetts drivers, really? That all depends on whom you ask. Some sources claim that Massachusetts has some of the best drivers in the country, but other studies lead to a very different conclusion.

While we cannot say with 100% accuracy which side has the better argument, we can say one thing for sure:  there are a significant number of car accidents in and around the Cape Cod area. We know this because we have been representing the victims of crashes caused by negligent drivers for many years. Regardless of what the numbers say, we understand that a Cape Cod car accident can wreak great physical injuries and financial hardships on innocent parties, and we are here to help those who have been hurt seek fair compensation.

The Country’s Best Drivers? Seriously?

insurance

Those who have been involved in a Cape Cod auto accident may be surprised to learn that they may have to file multiple claims, including not only a negligence claim against the party whose actions led to the crash but also a claim against their own insurance company if the negligent party does not have adequate liability insurance to cover the claimant’s total damages (including pain and suffering, past and future medical costs, and lost earnings).

An experienced injury attorney can help the claimant explore the various causes of action, explain the likelihood of success of each claim, and prepare the appropriate paperwork to ensure that important deadlines like the statute of limitations are met.

While many cases are settled prior to trial, an injured party should be prepared to go to court if necessary. Despite a statutory obligation to exercise good faith in settling claims, there is never a guarantee that a reasonable settlement offer will be made.

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