Emergency room physician didn’t treat my broken leg properly, now I have numbness.

Additional Information:

I broke my leg playing soccer. Was told it was an acute fracture and simple to treat with minimal complications.  I now have permanent numbness in my dominant leg and cannot play soccer.  I live in Marlborough and was treated in Boston hospital emergency room by an experienced doctor.  Can I sue for medical malpractice?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

If your doctor failed to recognize and treat your injury properly then you would have a case for medical malpractice. These case can be very complex with issues only an expert can recognize. Often medical malpractice cases involve review of medical records by experts and testimony by doctors regarding the breach of the standard of care. It is important to speak with a lawyer who works in the area of medical malpractice.  [Read more…]

Statute of limitations in MA and do I have a medical malpractice case?

Additional Information:
I had been having abdominal pain since delivering my son by c-section. My Framingham primary care physician ordered an MRI and discovered something metal in my body. Can I sue my OB/GYN doctor for medical malpractice? Have not had any other surgery besides the c-section. Is there a statute of limitations in MA or can I still sue because I just discovered it?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

In order for you to be successful in a medical malpractice case you must prove essentially three items; first, that your doctor was negligent in the care that he provided to you; second that you suffered damages : third that the damages that you suffered were related to the negligence. If your primary care physician left an instrument in your body, that certainly would be considered negligence and you would be allowed to recover for all damages that flowed from that negligence. There is a three year statute of limitations that runs from the date that you knew or should have known about the negligence. Please contact an experienced lawyer who works with these cases. [Read more…]

We were involved in an auto accident with 2 other cars. Who will pay my expenses?

Additional Information:

I was a passenger in my sister’s car and we got into an accident involving 2 other cars. One of the other drivers was issued a citation by Southborough police.  I had to go to the emergency room after the accident and am still having pain in my neck and arm.  Who will pay my out of pocket medical expenses and what legal steps do I now take?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

You will have two avenues of recovery. First all your medical bills and lost earnings are covered under Personal Injury Protection up to the amount of $8,000.00. That means that if you have medical bills you should submit them for payment to the insurance company covering the vehicle that you were in. Also that insurance company should cover 75% of your lost wages.  If you have medical insurance then the insurance company will only cover the first $2000.00 of the medicals and then it must be submitted with a letter to your health insurance company.

In addition to the above you can bring a lawsuit for additional damages over and above your medicals and lost wages if you incur more than $2000.00 in medical expenses. It is important to call an attorney immediately after any accident to discuss your many rights.  [Read more…]

In general, under MA law how do I know if I can sue for damages from a car accident?

Additional Information:

I recently suffered injuries in a car accident on Route 495 in Westborough. In general, under Massachusetts law, how do I know if I can sue for damages?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Under Massachusetts law you can bring a lawsuit against the negligent operator of a motor vehicle if you have been injured and your reasonable and necessary medical expenses are in excess of $2000.00. Typically your lawyer would sue the other operator and his insurance company would defend and or pay your damages. Lawsuits like these must be brought within three years from the date of the accident.  [Read more…]

My sister suffered a bad injury to her head and neck after an auto accident with a truck.

Additional Information:

My sister had a pretty bad injury to her head and neck after an auto accident. She was riding as a guest when her car was involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler on Route 495 in Bolton.  When your auto is involved in an accident with a commercial truck are the laws or compensation any different?  Do we need to hire someone who specializes in truck accidents?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

While you don’t need a lawyer who specializes in truck accidents, you should look for a lawyer who is familiar with trucking laws and the department of transportation but who also practices general tort litigation. There are numerous laws that deal with rules and regulations that truck drivers and owners of trucks must follow and that attorney should have a general knowledge of those laws. More importantly you  should  chose a lawyer with experience handling tort cases and one who is willing to litigate the case if necessary.  [Read more…]

I was involved in a car accident and have resulting damage to my spinal cord.

Additional Information:

I was involved in a high speed auto accident on the Interstate in Boxborough.  Pieces of metal from the car accident damaged my spinal cord.  I have continued pain and difficulty breathing.   What are the factors taken into consideration when settling a personal injury case with spinal cord injury?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Spinal cord injuries are generally serious injuries that can have lifelong effects on the injured and the family. Injuries to the spinal cord can range from mere bruising and discomfort to complete paralysis requiring lifelong care and treatment. You should first get the best medical care available and second get the best legal counsel that you can find. These cases can be challenging because they are often fought hard by the insurance company lawyers. You should find a litigation lawyer who is willing to fight for you.  [Read more…]

My dog knocked the electrician over, and he was injured. Do I need a dog injury lawyer?

Additional Information:

An electrician came to my house in Northborough last week.  My dog got out of the bedroom and jumped on him.  My dog didn’t bite him but he jumped up and  knocked the guy over.  The guy fell and banged his head pretty hard on a table.  He said he was OK, but I’m still worried he might sue me.  Would he have a case?  Should I consult with a dog injury lawyer?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

In this case rather than seek out a lawyer who does personal injury, you should contact your home insurance company to report the accident and inform them that there may be a lawsuit. If in fact you are sued then your insurance company is duty bound to retain counsel to protect your interest. If it appears that the amount of damages might exceed your policy limits, then you should seek out the advice of an experienced trial lawyer who will protect your interest over and above the policy limits.  [Read more…]

I have a scar from an ER procedure, worth getting a medical malpractice attorney?

Additional Information:

I got a deep laceration on my arm.  My friend took me to a well respected Greater Boston hospital.  When I arrived to the emergency room I made the triage nurse aware of my allergies but apparently it was not conveyed to the attending ER doctor.  I was allergic to the material for the stitches and they had to reopen the cut in order to remove the stitches.  I am now left with a nasty scar.  Would this be something worth looking into getting a personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer for?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Certainly if you had indicated to the hospital that you had allergies and those at the hospital failed to consider this information and it caused your additional surgery, the hospital and or their employees or agents may have committed medical malpractice and would be liable for all of your damages caused by their malpractice.This does not mean that it will be an easy case as you will be obligated to prove negligence, damages and the causation to your damages. You should see a lawyer who concentrates in the area of medical malpractice to discuss your case.  [Read more…]

I slipped and fell and injured myself. Do I have a personal injury case?

Additional Information:

I slipped and fell in the bathroom of local Southboro coffee shop.  There was a puddle of water, and as a result of the fall, I have 2 hairline fractures, one in my hip and one in my shoulder. I had someone take pictures of the pipes and plumbing where there was clearly a leak that likely caused the puddle.  There was no “caution/ wet floor” sign and there was one witness.  Do I have a personal injury case?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Slip and fall cases are sometimes difficult cases to prove in Massachusetts. It would be necessary to prove that the coffee shop caused the spill to occur or failed to take reasonable steps to correct a dangerous situation once they were aware of the situation. Based on what you have provided, it appears that the coffee shop should be responsible for your injuries.  [Read more…]

Who is liable in an auto accident? The driver or the company he works for?

Additional Information:

I was in an auto accident on Route 20 near Marlborough. A commercial truck of a Boston based company blew through a red light and crashed into my car.  I suffered a neck injury in the accident.  I got the name of the driver and the insurance information.  Who is liable- the driver? the company or both? I already went to the doctor and am seeking representation from an auto accident lawyer.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Both the operator and the company would be liable for your damages if the operator was operating with knowledge of the company and for the company. Ordinarily the company would have insurance that would name both the company and provide for coverage of employees working for the company.  [Read more…]

Do I need a slip and fall attorney if insurance company is already working toward a settlement?

Additional Information:

I was visiting my grandmother at her Southboro apartment and slipped and fell and broke my right (dominant) wrist. She had reported a broken, leaking sprinkler head a few days earlier to the condo manager,  but it had not been repaired and there had been freezing temperatures overnight.   I’ve had about $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses and my doctor says I will require another surgery because of continuing numbness and pain in my wrist, hand and arm. The insurance company for the apartment building has been in contact with me and has paid me $5,000 (their medical coverage). They indicated that they would be “working with me toward a settlement”.  Do I need a slip and fall attorney? Can I expect to recover enough money to cover the medical expenses?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Without question you should hire an attorney who can help you evaluate and win the settlement that you deserve. Remember insurance companies are in the business of making money for their stockholders. The less that they pay you the better for them. Only through having an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate and help you with your case will you achieve the value of your case.  [Read more…]

Can a trip and fall attorney help me recover damages?

Additional Information:

I tripped and fell in my apartment building in Westboro.  I was going to the basement common area where there is a laundry room.  The railing on the stairs have been broken for months.  I had notified the landlord that the railing was broken but still he did not fix it and so I fell and broke my arm.  The management company is saying I was contributorily negligent because I was carrying my laundry at the time. I was planning on hiring a trip and fall attorney but was wondering do I even have a case based on what the management company said?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

It sounds as though you have a very strong case. It appears that based on the information that you provided the landlord clearly knew or should have known that there was a defective condition and failed to take reasonable steps. You would still be able to recover even if you were contributorily negligent (I don’t believe that you were) unless your negligence was greater than the landlord’s.  [Read more…]

In MA, is my IRA safe in a personal injury lawsuit?

Additional Information:

I was in a motor vehicle accident in Boston, likely at fault, and will be sued.  Is my IRA safe in a personal injury lawsuit?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Your retirement assets are generally safe from collection. However you should talk to a lawyer about setting up a homestead protection on your home. Also you should have insurance coverage and should immediately report this to your automobile insurance company.

You would be liable if your negligence caused that persons injuries, however you should be covered for this claim under your homeowners insurance policy and as such should report it immediately. [Read more…]

What’s the statute on limitations to file a personal injury claim in MA?

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I was injured pretty seriously in a car accident on a residential street in Massachusetts. I’ve read an article on selecting a lawyer, but I am feeling rushed and confused. I’ve been contacted by someone who I think represents an attorney. She said I should hire an attorney fast. What’s the statute on  limitations to file a personal injury claim?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:
There is generally a three year statute of limitation by which you must file a lawsuit. Depending on where the accident happened and who caused your injury, this could be shorter or longer. The decision to hire a lawyer should not be rushed; you should meet with the lawyer and make certain that he has the experience and background to help you with your particular case.

[Read more…]

In a personal injury case, can I get lost wages as damages under MA law?

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If I sue someone because of an injury they caused to my back, can I get my lost wages as damages under MA law?  I’ve missed so many days of work because of severe back problems that resulted from the accident. I’m in the process of finding an attorney, but I was curious about this because it’s really eating into my income (I am out of sick days now).Thanks.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Yes you can recover for lost wages or even a loss of earning capacity. This means that you don’t even have to be working at the time of the accident to recover for a loss of potential earnings. The law allows one who has been injured to recover for a loss of earning capacity which would include both past and future lost earnings, past and future medical expenses and pain and suffering. [Read more…]

Can you please explain the new law regarding snow and ice, slip and fall liability in Massachusetts?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

There has been a major and significant change in the law related to snow and ice cases in Massachusetts. Until recently a person who was injured when falling on a natural condition of snow or ice was not allowed to recover against the owner of that property or one who maintained the property. Consequently many who were injured as a result of a dangerous condition involving snow or ice were prevented from recovering for their injuries.

In 2010 Massachusetts courts changed the law by stating ” a property owner’s duty to maintain his property in a reasonably safe conditions extends to remedying conditions caused by even a natural accumulation of snow or ice.” This now means that if a landowner fails to properly maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner and someone is injured as a result of a natural accumulation of snow or ice they can now recover for their injuries.

[Read more…]

Can we protect our home in a personal injury lawsuit?

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My husband was involved in an accident. We are being sued for more than we have on our insurance policy.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:
Absolutely. The first thing that you should do is make certain that you automobile insurance company has a copy of the complaint and will be filling an answer. After you do that you should speak to a lawyer about doing a declaration of homestead on your home. It is a simple legal document that is prepared and filed at the Registry of Deeds where your deed is recorded. There is a minimal filing fee but the cost is worth it because it protects your home from attaching creditors.

You should also retain legal counsel to file an appearance on the lawsuit in order to make certain that your interests are properly protected. Although the insurance company is obligated to retain counsel for you, your interests are not protected over and above your policy limits.

[Read more…]

What is medical malpractice or medical negligence and what kinds of relief may I expect from the medical provider?

Medical negligence or malpractice occurs when a medical provider or healthcare provider fails to exercise the degree of care expected of the person of ordinary prudence in protecting a patient from risk or harm. A patient or plaintiff must establish by preponderance of the evidence that the defendant had a duty to the patient that such duty was breached by failing to conform to the required standards of conduct and that negligent conduct caused harm to the patient. These cases frequently involve doctors, hospitals, nurses, dentists or those medical providers that have some degree of expertise in providing care and treatment to patients.

[Read more…]

What happens in medical negligence cases?

In Massachusetts, one generally has to prove that the medical care provider failed to exercise that degree of care normally required by proof through an expert witness. In order to proceed with a case in its initial stages, the plaintiff must prove through a medical tribunal, which consists of a judge, lawyer and medical provider, that there is enough evidence, if believed, to go forward with the case. After the case has been approved by the tribunal then the matter proceeds through to the court system.

[Read more…]

Are medical negligence cases expensive?

Medical negligence cases are very expensive to prosecute because one must obtain the services generally of an expert to evaluate the case and treatment provided to the plaintiff. These cases involve extensive discovery, expert evaluations and obtaining numerous medical records.

[Read more…]