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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

muscle carThe fact is, most Massachusetts car accident cases settle out of court, even though the litigants in such cases have a right to have a jury decide the merits of their claims (and defenses). There are many reasons for this, including the costliness and time involved in a jury trial. Additionally, when a case settles, both parties have a say in the outcome, while jury trials involve considerable risk and a lack of predictability.

Facts of the Case

In a recent (unreported) case, the plaintiff was a man who was injured when a vintage “muscle car” slid off a flatbed trailer that was traveling in front of him on the Massachusetts Turnpike in 2011. The plaintiff filed a negligence lawsuit against the owner of the car, and the case proceeded to a jury trial. The jury found that the defendant was not negligent. The plaintiff appealed, asking the court of appeals to find that he should have been granted a mistrial due to the opening statement of the defendant’s attorney, that the trial court should have instructed the jury on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, and that he should have been given a new trial after the jury’s verdict in favor of his opponent.

hand gun
With some of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history occurring in just the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk about the rules, regulations, and laws that pertain to firearms.

Very often, the victims of such killings are left with no remedy against the perpetrator. Even if a personal injury or wrongful death case would be possible in a particular situation, it is likely the person responsible for the act would have relatively few assets from which to compensate the victims. However, in some situations, there could be another potential defendant, other than the person who actually pulled the trigger.

Facts of the Case

dump truckA Cape Cod product liability lawsuit can arise from something small and simple or from something large and complex. If the product in question is of the more complex variety, it is possible that there may be multiple defendants involved, especially if the product was made of many different pieces. In cases involving multiple component parts, the issue of who had a duty to warn of the end product’s propensity for harm can be very complex.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently considered by the Appeals Court of Massachusetts, the plaintiff was the executrix of a man who was found dead underneath a dump truck. The decedent’s clothing was allegedly caught up in a spinning joint on the truck, and his cause of death was reportedly accidental asphyxiation. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants, the manufacturer of the original version of the truck (which the court described as “stripped down”), and the maker of a part of the system used to tilt the dump body of the truck, asserting product liability claims sounding in negligence and failure to warn. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants.

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

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

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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semi-truck

One of the most important facets of the American legal system is the right to a trial by jury. The idea is that a jury of one’s peers will be more likely to render a fair and impartial verdict than might a seasoned judge, who might be predispositioned to lean one way or another.

Unfortunately, jury verdicts are not always predicable, and litigants are often dissatisfied with the results of a jury trial. While there exists the possibility of an appeal in some cases, simple displeasure with the outcome is not, in and of itself, sufficient reason for a “do-over.”

Convincing an appellate court that a mistake was made during a jury trial is not an easy thing to do, as the disappointed plaintiffs in a Massachusetts truck accident case recently learned.

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carnival ridesIt’s that time of year again. Many families, trying to squeeze in one more trip before the kids head back to school, make the trek to amusement parks both near and far. Others take advantage of those special once-a-year local fairs and festivals, dazzled by the lights, enticed by the cornucopia of carnival-style foods, and thrilled by the many rides, slides, and merry-go-rounds on the midway.

Festivals, fairs, and amusement parks can be great fun. But are they safe?

Fatal Accident at State Fair in Ohio

Recently, a fair-goer was killed when a carnival ride apparently malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair. According to reports, part of the ride broke off while it was in motion. Several people on the ride fell from the air as the ride came apart and crashed to the ground. Fair officials said the ride had been inspected multiple times in the days prior to the accident.

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