Legal Blog

My ex-spouse has asked to pick up our children, of whom we share custody, at a different time from that stated in our custody agreement. I’m fine with the change. Do we need to alter the agreement, or is a verbal agreement enough?

As an attorney, my answer is almost always going to be “get it in writing.” While you may have the most amicable divorce in the world, you never know what the future may hold. Contracts fill the gaps left when human trust fails. If this is a one-time, or two-time situation, a verbal agreement might suffice. Of course, without putting it in writing, if you agree to a “quick change,” you may find yourself agreeing to a years-long arrangement without intending to. Moreover, while it is hard to thin ...

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Does Massachusetts allow pain-and-suffering claims?

Massachusetts allows pain-and-suffering claims in some cases and up to a certain amount. Pain-and-suffering claims are “non-economic” in that they are not seeking to compensate for a price-tagged, financial loss caused either by damage to property or by high medical bills. The latter type are “economic” damages. In Massachusetts, pain-and-suffering claims must usually be filed alongside economic claims. In the case of car accidents, medical claims must exceed $2000 before a pain-and-suffering cl ...

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My neighbor’s dog was off-leash and bit me. What are the current laws regarding leashing your dog?

An aggressive dog is a menace to the neighborhood, and potentially a source of great 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 is restrained or an owner otherwise takes “reasonable precautions,” the owner is still at fault. If you plan on filing charges, or a lawsuit ...

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Slip and Fall on Autumn Leaves

The arrival of fall brings with it the pleasure of watching the leaves turn. Fall is famous in New England because of the many vibrant colors, from bright yellow through to deep violet, that nature treats us to as the days grow shorter. When leaves turn, though, they inevitably have to fall to the ground. Autumn invariably brings with it wet weather as well. Wet leaves, strewn along the sidewalks and streets, can pose a major risk of slips and falls. While winter’s ice and snow might get most of ...

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I am feeling fine after a minor car accident. Will skipping a doctor’s visit now hurt my chances of a personal injury settlement later?

From a purely health perspective, we would have to recommend that you get yourself checked out at a doctor. With the rush of adrenaline and nerves you experienced immediately after the accident, your body may have been suppressing pain as part of your ancient survival mechanisms. You may not realize you are injured until you have had a chance to calm down. Additionally, injuries, even serious ones, can take days to manifest themselves, or may not always have obvious symptoms. For your own health ...

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Auto Accidents Insurance Claim Process: Dealing with Filing, Settlement and Massachusetts Laws

The auto accidents insurance claim process in Massachusetts has some state laws that can add certain protections to accident claims with injuries. Nevertheless, standard procedures are still there in how an insurance company generally deals with your accident, including during the investigation phase. Investigation After Filing Once you’ve filed an injury claim (which can be done online), your insurance company will first look to see if your accident is coverable based on your policy. They ...

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Improving Your Workers Compensation Claim Process

Having a work injury is never something that either employees or employers expect on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, it is something that happens on occasion and it is important that both parties have certain steps that they take throughout the process. Both the employee and the employer can improve the way a workers compensation claim is handled, and here are some ways to do just that. Report it Immediately If you have been injured at work, the first thing that you should do is to report it ...

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Auto Accidents Back Injuries

After you’ve been involved in an auto accident, don’t ignore the minor aches and pains. You may think you’re not seriously injured or it may seem like too much trouble or that you’ll gain very little by taking action. If you are having back pain after a car accident it may take weeks and even months for the true injury to surface. Here are a few examples of serious back injuries. Herniated and bulging discs. The 23 discs in your vertebrae sit between 24 vertebrae. Trauma can cause one or m ...

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Workers Compensation Injuries

One of the most devastating losses that occur to a working adult is a disruption or total loss of their primary source of income.  Often, through no fault of their own, hard-working people find that they have been injured on the job to the extent that they are no longer able to perform their regular duties.  In the state of Massachusetts, there are very clear laws about making a claim for benefits under workers compensation, and those who don’t have proper representation can find themselve ...

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Workers Compensation in Massachusetts

Filing a workers compensation claim can be anything but simple. Having to deal with forms, dates, doctor visits, and insurance companies can almost be even more of a pain than what you’re already experiencing. Here are a few fast facts from the Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development website that you should know when dealing with a workers’ comp claim: It can take up to 28 days for your employer’s insurance company to get a check to you for your injuries. If your employer ...

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