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How does insurance coverage differ when a motorcycle is involved?

Massachusetts motor vehicle laws and insurance coverage requirements for vehicle owners and motorcyclists vary. It’s essential to understand your coverage before an accident occurs so you can be prepared for unforeseen incidents. After all, that’s why you have coverage in the first place.

Everyone is required by law to have a specific minimum coverage for a vehicle to be lawfully on the road. One component of this coverage is called Personal Injury Protection(PIP) benefits. These are no-fault benefits for medical bills and lost wages; no-fault meaning the insurance company pays them regardless of your fault in the accident.

However, it’s vital to understand that motor vehicle Personal Injury Protection benefits are not available to motorcyclists. Even if you are willing to pay for this benefit as a motorcyclist, it is not an option. This is why it’s so important to talk with your insurance agent to go over different potential scenarios so you make sure that you have the proper coverage in place.

The biggest mistake motorcyclists make is to assume the right coverage is in place. Do not wait until an accident occurs, and medical bills begin accumulating, to verify your coverage.

When insuring a motorcycle, the first step is to get the right coverage. Anyone who owns or operates a motorcycle should talk to their insurance agent about medical payments coverage. This will protect motorcyclists who are injured in a motorcycle collision, whether it’s with a motor vehicle or some other object. This form of coverage pays for medical bills or treatments.

While we’re all required to have some form of health insurance, the added layer of protection from medical payments coverage will go a long way to pay for medical bills and treatment. This is particularly true in Massachusetts, where coverage is heavily regulated, and you’re obligated to have medical bills from a car or motorcycle accident processed a certain way. This is why you want to have answers regarding your coverage before there’s an incident.

If you’re a motorcyclist involved in an accident with a car, who pays your medical bills, because PIP benefits are unavailable to you?

The motorcyclist’s health insurance ideally covers medical bills while the insurance of the at-fault vehicle is responsible for compensation for pain and suffering and loss of future earning capacity. However, if the motorcyclist is struck by a vehicle that doesn’t have enough insurance coverage, the motorcycle driver may be left covering unpaid expenses.

One option to protect against this situation is to seek higher limits for uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage. This will allow motorcyclists to have an extra layer of protection, if the vehicle that strikes them does not have enough insurance coverage.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, our team of lawyers is here to help. Give our office a call to explore your legal options.

Joyce, Vigliotti And Gambaccini Named Super Lawyers For 2019

The Worcester, Massachusetts law firm of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. announces that three of its attorneys, Austin Joyce, John Vigliotti and Andrew Gambaccini, have been selected as Super Lawyers for 2019 by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Austin Joyce, the firm’s senior attorney, has been practicing law since 1979.

John Vigliotti receives the award for the fifth time, one for each year he has been eligible. Prior to being named a Super Lawyer, Vigliotti twice was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Andrew Gambaccini receives the honor for the third time in his third year of eligibility. Previously, Gambaccini was named a Rising Star in eight years by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in Massachusetts are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

Know The Legal Steps To Take After A Wrongful Death Caused By An Auto Accident

Struggling with the loss of a loved one is never easy. Figuring out the legal steps when dealing with a wrongful death due to an auto accident is difficult, which is why we’re here to help ease this troubling time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more than 32,367 fatalities annually as a result of car crashes. Such collisions often result from the negligence of another person.

Many drivers falsely believe that car accidents are always “accidental” and are something unfortunate that just happens. From the carelessness of another driver, the negligence of a company that has hired the driver, or the negligence of the company that manufactured the vehicle or its parts, there are many reasons leading to fatal auto accidents.

Who Is At Fault

The first step is to determine who is at fault. This can be a difficult and complex process. Massachusetts has a rule of law called joint and several liability. This means that you can sue multiple parties to recover damages. When multiple people are at fault for a wrongful death claim in Massachusetts, you can recover 100% of your damages against one or all of those defendants.

As a defendant of a wrongful death claim, you could be paying more than your proportionate share of the damages under Massachusetts law. This means it’s the defendant’s responsibility to pursue other defendants for reimbursement.

Determining Damages

When assessing damages in a wrongful death case, you’re entitled to a broader range of damages than in your standard personal injury case.

When a person is hospitalized following the accident, this is considered a period of pain and suffering, and it can be included as part of the damages. A forensic accountant can determine the loss of future earning capacity. Other damages that you may recover include funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.

When To Get Legal Advice

It’s important to talk with an attorney immediately after the incident or the loss of a loved one. Gathering information on what happened and how it happened, as well as having the documents available to calculate recoverable damages, can be a lengthy process. Additionally, experts may be needed to quantify and calculate damages.

Seeking legal advice may not be a top priority when grieving the loss of a loved one. However, the sooner that your attorneys can get involved, the sooner they can determine and assess the damages to present to the at-fault party.

If you or a loved one has experienced a wrongful death caused by an auto accident, our office is well-equipped to help you handle your Massachusetts wrongful death claim by ensuring no stone goes unturned in pursuit of damages.

divorce ?- do not post

Additional Information:

We are in the process of getting a divorce.  My soon to be ex-wife has hidden assets in her mom and sister’s accounts. How can I subpoena those accounts? I know the bank account #s and they are extensive assets.  We just finished up the mandatory mediation where she neglected to disclose this information.  If I subpoena the bank records will I have to get a postponement of the divorce date through a motion?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

In divorce cases you can subpoena records as part of the case’s discovery process.  A divorce action would have to be filed with the appropriate Probate and Family Court, then the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations would direct how and when you could subpoena the records.  Also, the Rules of Domestic Relations require a Financial Statement to be filed with the court and exchanged between the parties.  The Financial Statement must be signed by the party under the penalties of perjury.  Therefore, the failure to disclose assets could have ramifications for the party failing to do so and it may be viewed as fraud.  The discovery process is usually part of a contested divorce, commonly referred to as a 1B divorce in Massachusetts.  If you are proceeding with an uncontested divorce, commonly referred to a 1A, then you are not engaging in discovery and you may want to proceed with a contested divorce to challenge your soon to be ex-wife’s finances.  This would delay the divorce.  I would suggest consulting an attorney from Tiffany Fina who would help you out with various problems you would come across while you are going though such hard times.

 

 

Rear-end collisions and the rush to settle

Rear-end collisions are not uncommon, but they are not simple or routine. Repeat after me: there is no such thing as a “simple” rear-end collision. Again, there is no such thing as a “routine” rear-end collision.

Rear-end collisions come on a sliding scale, ranging from the annoying to the frightening to the downright devastating. A long-haul trucker whose brakes fail at an off-ramp can total cars, wreck bodies, and take lives. On the other hand, a distracted driver letting his foot off the brake in snail’s-pace traffic will probably result in a dinged bumper and frayed nerves. What rear-end collisions often have in common is insurance companies’ haste in settling. Why could this be?

Liability in rear-end collisions is clear: whoever was in the second, following car assumes liability. This is true across the board: if someone slams on the brakes on the highway, going from sixty to zero, without warning, the driver of the following car is held liable for not maintaining “a safe following distance.” Without the need for much investigation to establish liability, there seems to be a reasonable explanation for why a settlement could be quickly reached.

Not so fast—insurance companies, whether representing the at-fault party or not, are for-profit entities that are not necessarily concerned with a just settlement. Often, a fast settlement is a way of foreclosing the possibility of greater damages being paid out later.

In the case of a catastrophic collision, like the hypothetical eighteen-wheeler mentioned above, expediting the settlement process may be to the benefit of the at-fault party’s insurer for a number of reasons. Accepting a settlement typically involves a signed agreement by the injured party not to seek further compensation. This could mean accepting payment before the full extent of injuries is known and then having no further recourse to the civil courts to pay mounting medical bills. Additionally, limiting the period of discovery prevents the uncovering of key evidence that could extend the circle of liability, such as proof of shoddy maintenance by the trucking company that makes them at-fault as well.

For less-catastrophic accidents, like the fender-bender in traffic, there is still a strong profit motive for insurance companies to settle quickly. Again, the full extent of injuries, such as whiplash, may take weeks to months to become known. Additionally, while fender-bender rear-end collisions may be “an annoyance” they are never “just” an annoyance. Days without a car, paying for a rental, worrying about a big road trip or family event that was scheduled for just a few days after the collision—all of these are stresses and anxieties that the injured party deserves compensation for and for which the at-fault party’s insurance does not want to pay.

No matter its scale, accidents are always nerve-wracking and stressful, to a greater or lesser degree. While you are emotionally vulnerable, you may be inclined to “get it over with” and accept the first settlement offered. Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you when you are in a difficult place in the aftermath of an accident: call our office today to discuss your options.

My husband was in a fatal accident, can I file a wrongful death claim?

Under Massachusetts law, a person or company may be liable for wrongful death, if the death of another is caused by (1) negligence, or failing to exercise reasonable care, (2) a “wanton or reckless act,” or (3) a breach of warranty.

In order to bring forward a wrongful death claim with the wrongful death attorney in eau claire wi, the surviving individual must have suffered damages due to the untimely death of another. Precisely who those survivors can be varies from state to state. Massachusetts requires “the executor or administrator of the deceased” to file a wrongful death claim in court. This refers to the person responsible for following any instructions left in the deceased person’s will or for paying the deceased person’s final debts.  This person is now called a “personal representative” and he or she can file a claim with the personal injury attorney in richmond va on behalf of the surviving individual(s).

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit, which differs from a criminal case. This means it must be filed by the personal representative directly, and any liability is expressed solely in terms of monetary damages.

A Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit may compensate damages for the following reasons:

  1. The loss of the deceased person’s expected income.
  2. The loss of care, companionship, comfort, guidance, and nurturing the deceased would have provided to family members.
  3. The medical treatment costs that the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injury prior to death.
  4. Reasonable funeral and burial expenses.

If you have suffered a loss due to wrongful death, our office of personal injury lawyer ini olympia wa is here to help. The process of filing a wrongful death claim can be complicated, but we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Federal Judge Finds In Favor Of Members Of Worcester Police Department SWAT Team

In August, 2015, the Massachusetts State Police secured a search warrant for an apartment in Worcester; that warrant was based upon information received from a confidential informant that dangerous individuals had been observed in the residence and that firearms also were present in the apartment.  The combination of dangerous individuals with access to firearms made the warrant a high risk endeavor, so the State Police contacted the Worcester Police Department in order to request that the Worcester Police Department SWAT team make entry into the residence so that the search warrant could be executed by the State Police.

The plaintiffs lived in the apartment at the time of the warrant execution.  According to them, there were no weapons in the apartment and, while one of the targets of the warrant previously lived in the apartment, he had moved months earlier.  The plaintiffs claimed that they were guilty of no wrongdoing and that their civil rights were violated when law enforcement officials broke open their door and entered the apartment with guns drawn in the early morning hours.  The plaintiffs contended that they were treated harshly and improperly by law enforcement, including having guns pointed at them, having profanities uttered at them and, for some plaintiffs, having been handcuffed until the residence was secured.

RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini represented four members of the Worcester Police Department, one detective and three members of the SWAT team, in connection with the civil rights lawsuit in federal court.  All claims against the detective were rejected on a motion to dismiss shortly after the filing of the action.  The claims against the SWAT team members proceeded through discovery, after which point a dispositive motion for summary judgment was filed on behalf of those SWAT team members.

In a ruling issued on October 1, 2019, federal Judge Timothy Hillman granted the SWAT team members’ motion for summary judgment, ruling that the SWAT team members were authorized to make entry into the residence based upon a facially valid search warrant and that the actions of the SWAT team within the apartment, including the pointing of weapons and the handcuffing of plaintiffs, were appropriate, lawful and did not violate the rights of any of the plaintiffs.  All of the civil rights and tort claims made by the plaintiffs against the defendants consequently were dismissed prior to trial.

Handling A Wrongful Death Claim

When a family member suspects the wrongful death of a loved one, they can file a particular type of personal injury claim known as a wrongful death claim. Even if no one is criminally responsible for the death, someone may be held civilly liable through a wrongful death claim. Common causes of wrongful death claims include accidents, defective products, exposure to hazardous materials, and medical mistakes.

According to notariat kreis steinfurt, the decedent’s estate has three years from the time of death or time of discovery to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable parties. Spouses, children, and parents are given priority when filing a wrongful death claim. Other relatives may file, if the deceased left behind no immediate family members.

Trial versus Settlement

When it comes to receiving payment from a wrongful death claim, there are several options. Many cases go to trial, but not all do. A wrongful death case can drag on and take years for a claim to be resolved at trial im considering bring the case to the Criminal Lawyers Gold Coast firm. Due to the time-consuming commitment to see a case to the end, many choose a settlement option.

While a judge or a jury determines a plaintiff’s award in a trial, the plaintiff or the defendant can propose settlement terms. When deciding on a settlement, it’s important to ensure that the settlement will cover current and future damages.

What about Damages?

Damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit may belong to the estate. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a cap of $500,000 on all non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit include pain and suffering, medical and funeral costs, lost wages, lost benefits, loss of consortium, and loss of inheritance.

Before You Settle

There are several factors to consider before deciding to settle with your trucking accidents lawyer in houma la. The amount the lawsuit is worth, the length of the trial, and how long it will take to go to trial are all crucial considerations, . Additional factors include the likelihood of obtaining a favorable judgment, the other side’s ability to pay the judgment, the other party’s desire to settle out of court, and whether there is the chance of arriving at a partial settlement.

Settling Out Of Court

There are two other options for settling outside of court, mediation or arbitration. These options are considered a middle ground between accepting a settlement and going to court.

The process of mediation involves the two parties meeting and discussing the case at hand with a neutral mediator. After hearing both sides, the mediator will offer their expertise and advice to the parties so they can agree on settlement terms. Similarly, parties can meet with an arbitrator who will make a ruling based on his or her interpretation of the situation after reviewing evidence from all parties.

Mediation and arbitration are viable alternatives to litigation. These options do not cost as much as court and legal fees do, and they do not take up as much time as a trial would.

The decision to file a wrongful death claim isn’t easy. Our skilled attorneys can advise you on how to proceed through this difficult time.

I was injured as a passenger of an Uber driver, who is responsible for damages?

If you’re injured in a ride-sharing vehicle, such as Uber or Lyft, you have a right to get compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Financial responsibility typically falls on the insurance company of the at-fault driver, which may be the ride-sharing company’s driver or another driver involved in the accident who caused the crash.

The ride-sharing driver’s car insurance coverage will apply to passenger injuries only, if the driver has a commercial insurance policy or a personal car insurance policy with a special provision providing coverage while engaged as a ride-sharing driver. However, many ride-share drivers do not have such coverage. Additionally, personal car insurance policy usually has a “business use exception” that won’t cover damages and injuries that occur while the insured is acting as a for-profit driver.

If the driver’s insurance will not cover passenger injury, Uber and Lyft carry third party liability insurance coverage, which pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident, either way the victim should always hire someone like the Personal Injury Attorney Pittsburgh. The third-party liability insurance will only cover costs when the ride-sharing driver is at fault for the accident; the ride-sharing driver’s own insurance has been exhausted; or the responsible driver is unknown, doesn’t have car insurance, or doesn’t have enough car insurance to pay for your injuries.

If the above insurance policies do not fully compensate you, or the insurance companies refuse to pay out, you can try going after the ride-sharing company itself. However, this should be considered a last resort option.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and specifically while riding in an Uber or Lyft, contact us immediately to discuss your options.

Deputy sues Dracut manager

Chartrand says Duggan ruined his police career
By: Amaris Castillo | Lowell Sun

DRACUT — A long-simmering feud between Town Manager Jim Duggan and Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand has spilled over into federal court.

Chartrand on July 17 filed a civil-rights lawsuit against Duggan, seeking redress for “the unlawful and unconstitutional targeted bullying and retaliatory misconduct” of the town manager, according to the suit. Chartrand, who is represented by attorney Andrew Gambaccini, is demanding a trial by jury and seeking $1.8 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

The 50-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts details the tangled history between both men and other town officials.

“Using the authority of his office, Duggan unlawfully has taken adverse actions against Chartrand and has retaliated against Chartrand, including through workplace bullying and harassment, the initiation of meritless disciplinary proceedings and the stripping away of Chartrand’s job duties,” the complaint reads. “This calculated campaign was designed by Duggan to injure Chartrand, his career and his reputation.”

Duggan on Friday said he had not received a notice of the lawsuit. He declined to comment and said any litigation is always referred to town counsel.

“I can’t comment on pending litigation as town counsel, and I have not read the complaint because it hasn’t been served in the town,” Town Counsel James. A. Hall said when reached Friday night.

“Having said that, I’ve known Manager Duggan for decades, and I know that he’s incapable of violating anyone’s civil rights,” Hall continued. “On a personal note, I’m disappointed that Deputy Chartrand would file a lawsuit against the town of Dracut. He is a lifelong resident of Dracut, a graduate of Dracut High School, and has been employed as a police officer in the town for over 25 years. I’m saddened that he would sue his fellow citizens of the town of Dracut for $1.8 million.”

Chartrand in 2016 was suspended for two weeks without pay, following a civil service inquiry into his handling of documents in a Dracut lieutenant’s personnel file. Then-Police Lt. Michael Fleury had accused Chartrand of improperly releasing a letter in his personnel file to The Sun.

Chartrand appealed the town’s decision. Late last year, the state’s Civil Service Commission ruled 3-2 in his favor. The commission hears and decides appeals on matters such as discipline filed by certain state and municipal employees and candidates for positions covered by the civil service law.

The majority opinion by three commissioners was that Chartrand’s appeal be allowed in part and that his 10-day suspension be modified and reduced to a written reprimand.

In response, Duggan wrote that, although the original suspension imposed has been modified to a written reprimand, the Commission still ruled that Chartrand’s conduct in deliberately disregarding the rights of a fellow superior officer warranted discipline. “The written reprimand will be a permanent record of Deputy Chartrand’s personnel file,” Duggan said in an emailed statement to The Sun.

This suspension, and much more, is included in the lawsuit.

Chartrand on Friday said there have been numerous actions taken against him that were unjustified. He said he believed they were for personal reasons.

“Because of those, it’s done irreparable harm to myself, my family,” Chartrand told The Sun. “I served this community for many, many years. I’ve done the very best job I possibly can. Because of what’s happened, essentially my career is over.”

Below are a few of the complaints charged against Duggan, according to the lawsuit:

• Several years ago, the town hired Municipal Resources Inc., a New Hampshire consultancy, to conduct an investigation into the Dracut Police Department. According to the lawsuit filed last week, Chartrand after reading the audit report was taken aback by what he believed to be the “personal and false subjective attack” it represented upon both him and then-Police Chief Kevin Richardson. The lawsuit states that Chartrand told Duggan he could not believe the report’s content and believed work should begin on an immediate rebuttal.

“Duggan responded to Chartrand by stating that the report was a ‘done deal’ and that, while he did not know Chartrand’s plans, if Chartrand wanted to look for work elsewhere, Duggan said that he would provide Chartrand with a recommendation that ignored the MRI material,” the suit reads.

According to the complaint, this was a “thinly veiled threatening, intimidating and coercive message for Chartrand as to Duggan’s intentions.” The suit claims Duggan did not want Chartrand to be in the department any longer.

• Duggan’s reorganization of the Police Department entailed the creation of an additional Deputy Chief position and, according to the lawsuit, the move was designed to impact Chartrand adversely.

• According to the lawsuit, Duggan has interviewed candidates for promotion within the agency and has explained to them that he expects loyalty if they are promoted. Furthermore, the suit claims, Duggan had indicated to those persons that he expects they will not be drinking Chartrand’s “Kool-Aid.”

The lawsuit also touches on the difficult history between Chartrand and Selectman Tony Archinski, who retired from the Police Department in 2008. Though Archinski is not a defendant in the lawsuit, he is mentioned early on, throughout several pages.

According to the court document, Archinski was angry because Chartrand was chosen as deputy chief. After Duggan was hired as town manager, the suit claims Duggan and Archinski developed and maintained a symbiotic relationship in which the selectman has become a blind supporter of Duggan. It also charges Duggan with carrying “Archinski’s water” and taking steps to achieve “Archinski’s desire to go after Chartrand.”

Archinski on Friday said he had not read the lawsuit.

“I have not spoken to David Chartrand since I retired 11 years ago and I have not spoken about him in a very long time. I don’t recall the last time I even had a conversation with the town manager about David Chartrand,” Archinski said.

Archinski said he and Chartrand did not have a good relationship during his time in the Police Department and added that he put it all behind him when he retired.

“I think that Chartand has always felt that I had it out for him, but I have definitely put that behind me years ago,” Archinski said. “There are much more important things to do in my life than worry about what David Chartrand does or thinks.”

In response to Archinski’s comments, Chartrand had this to say on Friday: “I’d like to thank him for yet again publicly speaking about the animosity he’s had towards me.”

Chartrand’s attorney Andrew Gambaccini on Friday said they are looking forward to the opportunity to question Duggan under oath.