Questions & Answers

I was leaving the construction site after a day’s work and was struck by falling debris causing injury. Do I have a workman’s comp claim?

Workers’ compensation is a system of benefits used by states to compensate employees of private and government employers when they are injured at work. In the state of Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) oversees the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation insurance covers almost all employees in Massachusetts. To be compensable the injury must occur within the course and scope of the employment. Being injured by falling debris while leaving the constructions site, you would have a workman’s comp claim. You might also have a third party personal injury claim against whoever caused the debris to be falling, if it were dropped by someone other than your employer. You are entitled to file for workers compensation benefits if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, or are a dependent of a worker killed on the job. Employers are required to visibly display the name and address of its Workers’

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While walking my own dog, the neighbor’s bit me. How does the law protect me after a dog bite?

An aggressive dog is a menace to the neighborhood and potentially a source of legal trouble for the owner. In Massachusetts, a dog and its owner are not granted any leniency in terms of civil liability even if this is the first occasion on which the dog has bitten someone. Additionally, since Massachusetts is a “strict liability” state, even if a dog does not have a history of aggression, is restrained or an owner otherwise takes “reasonable precautions,” the owner is still at fault. Dog owners are generally responsible for “dog bite” injuries or other injuries caused or inflicted by their dog. If you bitten by a dog and are injured, take photos of your injuries and of the dog, if possible. Seek medical treatment and report the incident to the local dog officer or the police. If you later decide to make a claim, having done so this will

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The extent of my injuries after a car accident only became clear after a few weeks. How long do I have in MA to claim injury after an accident?

The Massachusetts General Laws states that from the date of the accident there is a three year period to file a law suit in court (“statute of limitations) against the other driver and a two-year period in which to claim No Fault and Medical Payments benefits against your own insurance company. When the vehicles are both registered and insured in Massachusetts and there are personal injuries, each driver submits his or her initial claim to his or he own insurer under the MA No Fault Law. Depending on the type of health insurer you have, the No Fault Carrier is responsible to pay up to $8,000.00 per person for reasonable and necessary medical expenses and partial lost wages plus up the limits of any optional Medical Payments coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Again, the medical bills must be incurred within two years. However, the insurer can contest the

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Is my employer and/or forklift driver liable for some of my medical expenses?

Additional Info: I was working at a jobsite in Milford MA and was stuck and injured by a forklift.  There was no back up beeper and I think blind spot contributed to the accident. I’m hoping you can help me determine if I have a case or not. Since you were in the course of employment when struck by the forklift, you would be entitled to workers compensation benefits on account of your work related injuries.   Your employer is required by law to have worker’s compensation insurance.  The insurance company will pay your medical expenses. In addition, if you are unable to do your job as a result of your injuries you will be entitled to disability benefits that compensate you 60% of your lost wages as long as you are unable to return to work. If you are unable to return to your regular job, you may be entitled

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Is the rental company or manufacturer liable for a faulty product?

Additional Info: My husband was using a table saw rented from a store in Worcester. He suffered an injury and lost his first and second fingers of his dominant hand. His buddy was a witness to the accident and stated there was no safety mechanism on the table saw. Is the rental company or manufacturer liable for a faulty product? Your husband may have a viable case against several possible wrongdoers or defendants.  This type of Products Liability claim may involve not only the rental company and manufacturer, but any company or person involved in what is known as “the chain of commerce.”  That means that the designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor and/or renter may be legally responsible for placing into commerce an unreasonably dangerous and defective product that caused an injury.  Further, this legal liability may be based not only on a design flaw such as an inadequate guard, but

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Was riding my motorcycle and had accident with auto.

Additional Information: I was involved in an accident today on a residential road in Sherborn. I had just finished work at one location and was on my way to my next job.  I was riding my motorcycle and the car in front of me stopped abruptly, and although I was a good distance behind them, turns out there was a problem with the brakes, I couldn’t stop and I hit the car.  There is some damage to the car and I fractured my leg. I told my boss about the accident, but not sure what my legal obligations and rights are. ATTORNEY ANSWER: When you commute to and from work every day, your commuting time is usually not considered in the course and scope of your employment, i.e. you would not be eligible for worker’s compensation. If you leave your home and travel directly to a job site and then

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Friend was drunk while operating boat. Can I sue?

Additional Information: I was involved in a boating accident on my friends boat, he was drunk.  Do I have a case?  We had lunch which included alcoholic beverages before heading out on his boat that was docked at a Boston area marina. As a result of the accident my face hit the windshield and I cut my face and hurt my neck. ATTORNEY ANSWER: You have a case, but whether you have a winning one is another question.  The fact that you and your friend drank alcohol before you went boating indicates that you might be found by a jury to be comparatively negligent.   This means that although your friend was at fault–negligent–for the accident, you too are at fault for drinking with someone you knew to be drinking and then voluntarily riding with him.  However, if your amount of negligence is no greater than his, you may still recover

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Boating accident near Boston caused injury and lawsuit.

Additional Information: My boat was in an accident with another boat near Boston.  The incident caused injury. I am the owner but I was not driving nor was I on the boat.  I am being sued.  A passenger in the other boat suffered injuries. I had loaned my boat to a friend and the other party is claiming he was inattentive and operating the boat at excessive speed.  What are my options? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Even though you were not physically onboard when the accident occurred, you may be legally liable for the injuries to the passengers on the other boat.  For example, if you “negligently entrusted” the boat to a friend and he directly caused the injuries, you may be held indirectly responsible.  “Negligent entrustment” occurs where the owner of a boat loans it to another without reasonably determining if the person is capable and qualified to operate the vessel.

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I was involved in an auto accident where I hit a pedestrian.

Additional Information: I was looking left getting ready to turn onto Route 9 in Wellesley, near Newton, and  just as I turned my head right I saw the pedestrian crossing the street.  My foot had just come off of the brake. She put her arm out and I immediately hit the brakes, my car hardly moved, but my car bumped her. She stumbled and fell backwards onto the ground. I immediately got out of the car and spoke with her to make sure she was OK and helped her up off the ground. We talked a few more minutes and she assured me she was OK and I gave her my name. She happens to work for the same company as I do. Now I’ve been contacted by her attorney.  Is she seriously suing me?  What should I do? ATTORNEY ANSWER: You should contact your auto insurance agent now and

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Our son was injured. Do we have a personal injury case?

Additional Information: My family was going to restaurant in Ashland where there is an attendant directing patrons into and out of the limited number of parking spaces on the side and rear of the restaurant.   We had parked our car and were heading into the restaurant.  Our 3 year old son got hit by a car backing out of it’s parking space, as directed by the parking lot attendant.  Thankfully he suffered only a broken leg, but we were wondering if we have a personal injury case against either the attendant or the restaurant? ATTORNEY ANSWER: A few questions come to mind.  Was it day or night when this happened?  If it was night was the lot well lit?  Were you holding the three year old’s hand or if not how far away from you was he? Did you see the car backing out before it hit your son? If

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