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Lowell Fire Results in Multiple Wrongful Deaths

On Thursday July 10, 2014, seven people were killed and nine people were hospitalized as a result of a tragic fire in Lowell, Massachusetts.  This fire, which was the deadliest fire in the state since 1994, was reported early that morning by a police officer passing through the area.  The building involved was a mixed use building that had a liquor store on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors.  One of the families in the building lost the mother and father and three children; thankfully two of the couple’s children were able to escape the blaze.  Almost fifty people lost their homes that day.  Read more

Attorney Client Privilege During Depositions is Not Absolute

Anything and everything you say to your lawyer is privileged, right? No. Like any rule, there are exceptions. In this longstanding rule and principle of our legal system there are only a few general exceptions. The communication must be private; that is, if your friend is in the room when you tell your personal injury attorney how the car accident happened, the conversation is not privileged. There are exceptions regarding future intentions regarding committing a crime as well. Read more

Do I Have To Pay Taxes on My Personal Injury Case?

The quick answer is no.  But read on as there are instances in which you may have to pay taxes on a personal injury case.  The Internal Revenue Code, Section 104(a)(2) exempts “income” awards from personal injury and physical sickness awards.  However, it is the substance of the transaction, not the form, or paperwork, that determines whether a settlement or jury verdict is taxable under the law and regulations.  The test is the origin of the claim, or, as the Court in a 1944 case stated, “In lieu of what were the damages awarded?” Read more

Should I Take A Loan On My Personal Injury Case?

Many victims of personal injury are in need of monies to help run their lives while they miss work, and their medical bills start piling up.  While an experienced and effective personal injury attorney will get them the best settlement or judgment that takes time.  Even the best cases, with what seems like sure victory, it can take years.

What can you do in the mean time?  One answer is to take loans from third parties who specialize in financing lawsuits.  This can be legal. However, there are many pitfalls as well. Read more

Massachusetts Recreation Use Statute and Personal Injury Cases

Victims of personal injuries in outdoor recreational activities often find themselves excluded from premises liability protection even when the owner of the land is clearly negligent.  How can this be?  The Recreation Use Statute, which has long been a part of Massachusetts law, is the answer.

That law says that anyone who allows people to come upon their land, without charge, for “recreational, conservation, scientific, educational, environmental, ecological, research, religious, or charitable purposes” is except from liability.  Except for willful, wanton or reckless action. Read more

How Can Social Networking Affect Personal Injury Cases in Massachusetts?

We represent victims of personal injury in Massachusetts. In most cases the insurance company for the defendant will undertake an investigation of Massachusetts accidents. If it is a small case, with a claimant unknown to the insurance world (someone who has not filed many claims) they may not put much effort into their investigation. However, what if it is a large claim? What if it is contested? Can they use social media to investigate victims?
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Injury Victims in Massachusetts Should See the Movie “Hot Coffee”

The McDonald’s scalding coffee case received lots of media attention a few years ago, but what Massachusetts injury victims should know is that a lot of the “news” was false and misleading. In the movie Hot Coffee, filmmaker Susan Saladoff “investigates the civil justice system” pointing out how “[b]ig business has brewed an insidious concoction of manipulation and lies to protect its interests, and media lapdogs have stirred the cup.” Massachusetts jury trials results reflect that trend. In a blog article we posted on June 21, 2010, we pointed out that “half of the counties had zero plaintiff verdicts in 2009.” Further, one judge, who calculated some statistics of his own, found that only 16 of 151 personal injury trials resulted in a jury verdict higher than the pre-trial offer.
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Massachusetts Victims of Law Suit Lenders

Massachusetts plaintiffs need to beware that borrowing money during their personal injury lawsuits can be detrimental to their pocketbooks. Victims of Massachusetts personal injury cases need also to know if and when their lawyers borrow monies to pay for experts. The lending to plaintiff industry is generally unregulated and there are reports of interest rates up to 100%! The New York Times and Center for Public Integrity undertook a study informing that interest rates on these loans generally exceed 15% and that there are approximately $1 billion of outstanding lawsuit loans at the time!
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